GYGES AND KANDAULES IN ANCIENT AND MODERN LITERATURE
AbstractThe intriguing story of how Gyges came to succeed Kandaules as king of Lydia in 685 B.C. is told as historical fact by Herodotus in Historiae 1.8-12. In addition to the account of Herodotus, Plato in Republic 2.359d-360b includes the tale of a shepherd called Gyges who finds a ring which renders him invisible and enables him to usurp the throne. This, as will be shown below, refers to the same historical episode and has often been combined with Herodotus' version by later writers. In spite of its kernel of historical veracity, this story has been handled in later literature as if it were mythological. Like many Greek myths it has provided inspiration for later writers in a variety of genres. 1 It is the purpose of this paper to examine how Jean La Fontaine in seventeenth-century France, Theophile Gautier in nineteenth-century France, Friedrich Hebbel in nineteenth-century Germany, Andre Gide at the start of the twentieth century in France and Anthony Powell in the second half of the twentieth century in England, have each made use of this story in the creation of a particular work of literature.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).