Abstract

This paper argues that the myth of the burial of the Seven Against Thebes at Eleusis was not a long-standing Eleusinian tradition with a basis in cult but a relatively late innovation that perhaps appeared first in Aeschylus’s Eleusinians, to which Pindar responded in Olympian 6 and Nemean 9. Euripides’s Suppliants altered the myth by foregoing the burial at Eleusis and having the Seven returned to Argos instead. It is suggested that the treatments of the burial in tragedy reflect contemporary ideology and events in fifth-century Athens.

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