Paeanic Crises: Euripides' Ion and the Failure to Perform Identity

TitlePaeanic Crises: Euripides' Ion and the Failure to Perform Identity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRadding, J
Ancient AuthorsEuripides Trag. (TLG 0006)
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology

The fusion of Athenian and Ionian identities is central to Euripides' Ion, but this article demonstrates that the play's paeanic monodies conspicuously avoid expressing Ion's "true" origins, and thus challenge the reliability of paeanic performances of identity. While classical paeans were regularly used to articulate communal identities, particularly in Athenian/Ionian contexts, the songs of Ion overtly assert fictional (Ionian) origin myths, and explicitly criticize Apolline music. Thus, although the play seems to close with a successful merger of Athenian and Ionian origins, grave doubts persist as to the ability of paeanic song to properly express this communal identity. []


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