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  • Author: Jan N. Bremmer x
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In his Phoenissae Euripides introduced a unique case of male self-sacrifice before battle instead of the traditional virgin sacrifice. Its appropriation by II Maccabees and Statius as well as by its important resonance until the end of antiquity demonstrates the success of this innovation. In the male-dominated world of the Greeks and Romans, a male self-sacrifice clearly was more attractive to use than that of a virgin. The example of Menoeceus shows that gender does play a role even in the transmission of myths and mythical motives.