c.484 - 406 BC

Euripides c.484 - 406 BC

The scene on this vase may be from Euripides' play Alkmene. Here, Alkmene is saved from being burned by her jealous husband when Zeus appears as clouds and puts out the flames on the pyre.
Euripides was a playwright from Athens. He wrote tragedies. He wrote over 90 plays including Trojan Woman, Medea and Suppliant Woman.

He had a very bleak view of humankind and his plays were often dark and grim. Aristotle called him the most tragic of all the ancient playwrights.

He created very strong female roles in his plays. In Medea, Euripides writes about a witch, Medea, who has been abandoned by her husband Jason. She is driven almost mad by jealousy and anger. She finally takes revenge on her husband by killing their children.

© The British Museum 2005