Jephthah and his daughter

Camille Bessette carmel.de.lisieux at wanadoo.fr
Mon Sep 14 02:03:39 EDT 1998


Dear Brian,

"Are there answers either in legend, ancient Levantine anthropology...?"

Well, you have Agamemnon, the Atrid king leader of the Trojan War, requested
by the priest Calchas to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenie, so that wind may
blow over Greek ships.
Among poets themselves, there are strong differences in the way they treat
the subject:
- Eschyle, Sophocle, Lucrece, Horace have Iphigenie killed at the end.
- Stesichorus, Racine have another woman of the same name (a foreigner)
killed
- In Euripide and Ovide, a hind is substituted to the young girl over the
altar at the very last moment by the goddess Diane.  Iphigenie is
transported in a temple where she stays as a priestess in "a life of
seclusion or celibacy."

It reflects the different commentaries of the Jephthah story!

Camille Bessette
<carmel.de.lisieux at wanadoo.fr>




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