Aeneas, Phrygians and apoikia (Soph. Fr. 373 Radt)

Mosolkin Alexei V.

The subject of the research is a fragment from Sophocles’ tragedy “Laocoon” (Radt 1999, fr. 373). It is argued that the Phrygians gathering around Aeneas were not a Phrygians tribe in the direct meaning of the word, but Trojans or Dardans. The change of ethnonyms must have happened during the war between Greeks and Persians, which is supported by a lot of evidence in Attic tragedies and Greek architecture. The use of the term ἀποικία was not typical of ancient playwrights. Apparently, the word was introduced on purpose by Sophocles who may have meant a site which was well-known to his audience as well as to every Athenian citizen. During the Peloponnesian war Athenian intellectuals made an attempt to slander Spartans connecting them with “Trojan barbarians”. The tradition on Aeneas escaping to the west on Sicily had been known by that time. Thus the play “Laocoon” must have been written before or during the Athenian expedition to Sicily.

Keywords: Aeneas, Trojan war, Phrygians, Sophocles, Laocoon, Greek tragedy, Sicily
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