Libation Bearers

Aris & Phillips Classical Texts


February 9th, 2018



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The Libation Bearers (Choephori) of Aeschylus is the central tragedy of his Oresteia, the only Greek trilogy that survives in full and one of the acknowledged masterpieces of Greek literature. The play enacts and explores in profound detail the unsettling myth of Orestes, the young hero who was obliged to avenge the murder of his father Agamemnon by killing his mother Clytemnestra. The standard commentary, by A. F. Garvie, is intended for advanced students and professional scholars and makes few concessions to the less experienced. This edition, while taking full account of the latest advances in scholarship and criticism, seeks to make the play accessible to a much wider range of readers. Besides an introduction and bibliography it includes a newly constituted Greek text (with critical apparatus), a facing translation closely matched to this, and a commentary keyed to the translation. The commentary seeks to interpret the play at all levels, not avoiding detailed issues of textual criticism and the meaning of individual words but also exploring the play’s imagery, questions of stagecraft and dramatic effect, the poet’s use of existing mythical and poetic material, and the wider significance of the play in relation to the rest of the trilogy.


'Any student who has occasion to be involved with Libation Bearers will be well served by this edition; textual problems (perhaps the most puzzling to the neophyte) in this sadly corrupt play are handled with notable skill .... strongly recommended.'
Colin Leach, Classics for All

About The Author

Andrew Brown has edited Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ (1987) and Aeschylus’ ‘Libation Bearers’ (2018) for the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series, and is the author of ‘A New Companion to Greek Tragedy’ (Croom Helm, 1983; reprinted in Routledge Revivals, 2014) and a number of articles on Greek tragedy in classical journals.