nation states

The Next Stage of the Polis

In Aeschylus' play Oresteia, Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter as an offering to the primitive (pre-classical) gods of nature and war, meant to insure sea passage and victory in an upcoming battle. In doing so, he sets in motion a cascade of blood vengeance that echoes the historical practice of pre-classical Greek retaliatory clan justice. On Agamemnon’s return home, Clytemnestra cuts his throat in his bath. On the discovery of this horror, Orestes then, on prompting from his sister Elektra, murders his mother Clytemnestra.