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Euripides, Hippolytus 88 Author(s): M. L. West Source: The Classical Review, New Series, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun.

, 1965), p. 156 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/708290 . Accessed: 22/03/2011 09:31
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I56

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CLASSICAL

REVIEW

EURIPIDES,
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HIPPOLYTUS

88

address you thus because) it is the gods whom one should call master.' So Barrett, wrongly. Why should the slave abstain from using the word 'master' in its proper, everyday sense? No reason. What is more appropriate about 'lord'? Nothing. The meaning is, 'for we should call our masters gods'. Outside poetry, dvra survived
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only as an appellationof deities.That Hippolytus'servantshould addresshim as &vaf is a normaltraditionalusage of poetry; but to a fifth-century ear it suggestedan address to a god. Euripides justifiesit by an ad hoc reflection: the masteris a god philosophical to the slave. University College, Oxford M. L. WEST

PLATO ON PRIESTS
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AND KINGS

IN EGYPT

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I J. B. Skemp, Plato's Statesman (London, 1952), 190o, n. I, rightly says that in Egypt 'the King was by virtue of his office also a priest',' and this statement justifies Plato's first dictum unless one rigidly makes it conform with the second by translating (with Skemp), 'in Egypt none can be king unless he belongs to the priestly class'. Perhaps need not imply power conXOpis iEpa7TK1g ferred simply by caste, although royal birth often brought priestly functions, eventually, with it. Such functions had to be formally assumed, however. In Urkundendes Neuen Reiclhs,iv. I57. 9, Tuthmosis III speaks of the time 'before I was initiated to become a prophet'.2 In the 21st Dynasty (c. Io85950 B.c.) a special situation prevailed at Thebes in that the priests of Amfin became the sole rulers in what was tantamount to a theocracy. Kienitza has suggested that this theocracy may be reflected in Plato's statement, as well as in the picture given by
' Cf. H. Kees, Das Priestertumim igyptischen Staat vom .VeuenReich bis zur Spitzeit (Leiden, 1953), I: 'Priestertum ist in Agypten K6nigsdienst.' 2 I owe this reference to Dr. Dieter Miiller. vom7. bis Die politischeGeschichte Agyptens a zum 4. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1953), 49 ff. from Gernl in Parker, A Saite OraclePapyrus Thebes in the BrooklynMuseum (Providence, 1962), 36, describes it as 'a sacerdotal state with Amon-rf' as its head and his High Priest in a position not much below that of a real king'. des Altertums,ii. 2 (Stuttgart, * Geschichte

Diodorus Sic. i. 70 r ft. of a kingship which was confined by priestly rules and itself performed some priestly functions. Eduard Meyer* rightly found a more general significance in the statements; to him they show a desire to portray a monarchic Utopia, much as Xenophon created a Utopian picture of Persian life in his history of Cyrus. 'Das Idealbild des aigyptischen K6nigtums' is Meyer's appropriate designation of what is implied. Chronologically he would place its origins as far back as the late Ramesside era, with a gradual elaboration in the subsequent period.s The second part of Plato's statement has appeared to be so un-Egyptian in reference that commentators have doubted its validity as applied to Egypt. Skemp asks, 'Who could such usurpers be?' and goes on, 'Hardly the Persian Achaemenids,... for there is no evidence of their becoming priests'.6 He wonders whether the Hyksos are meant. Meyer, op. cit. 44 suggests that the sudden throne-changes of Plato's time, under the dynasties which rose against the Persians, may be reflected. More apposite than these nationalist anti-Persian affirmations would be instances in Egyptian history
1931), 42

if.

s There is no valid reason why a still earlier tradition may not be implicated. Both Meyer and Kienitz assume, by the way, that Diodorus is following Hecataeus of Abdera. W. Spoerri, Spiithellenistische Berichte iiber Welt,KulturundGCtter (Basel, I959) has shown that this is unlikely; cf. the present writer's review in J.H.S. lxxxii (1962), 182 f. 6 A. D. Nock in A.J.A. liii (1949), 283, n. 40, wondered whether the Achaemenids in a Persian background were not behind the description ('a reflection of what was now believed of the Persian king').