©Damen, 2021

Classical Drama and Theatre

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Because the construction of Christus Patiens entailed mainly re-appropriating large portions of The Bacchae, it has become, by an odd stroke of good fortune, central in our understanding of Euripides' text. That is, the Byzantine script is one of the best ways available to fill in a large gap, a lacuna encompassing probably fifty lines or more, in the text of The Bacchae near the end of the play (Ba. 1329ff.). This lacuna was created when a page was for some reason omitted from the principal medieval manuscript of Euripides' plays. By studying the Christus Patiens carefully, scholars have been able to recover several lines of the Greek original which would otherwise have been lost. Thus, this medieval Byzantine abstraction has served Euripides' posterity well and in ways one might not expect.

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