Tragedy responded to the sophists in subtler ways, projecting the issues onto a mythical canvas, so that the connections with contemporary culture become suggestive rather than explicit. One of the greatest examples of Greek tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, seems to be a case in point. The date is not certain, but 428 or so seems likely; this would place it precisely in the eye of the sophistic storm. Sophocles has often been thought to be the most religiously-minded of the three major tragedians, but Oedipus the King paints a more complex, challenging picture than this. Oedipus is centrally about divine prophecy, and humans’ attempts to assert control over lives that have already been predestined.
Thessaly Thessaly is not a destination in today’s Greece. A hot and humid plain for much of the year, with undistinguished provincial towns, it lacks the attractions that other parts of the country possess in abundance. But it is in Thessaly that we will begin our story, for two reasons. First, it was there that, … Read moreAn excerpt from The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, 1453 to 1768: The Ottoman Empire by Molly Greene