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483, 489, 621, 680, 710) or, through the part played by the E rinyes, the existence of a conditional self-curse. 39 for the distortion of the court procedures in Eumenides which are closer to those of the ordinary court. According to S&B 112, the fact that speakers in rhetorical speeches never make any direct appeal to the oath of the Areopagus Council – nor to its explicit conditional self-curse either – shows that there was “a rule of etiquette ... involved”: the Areopagus Council was thought of as too august a body to need reminding about its oath.
379‒80 (B). 51 Formal oath in the assembly: Ar. Lys. 181‒238 (411; B-C-R); elicited oath (but explicit self-curse offered): Ar. Birds 440‒7 (414; C-B); voluntary self-curses: Ar. Ach. 151‒2, 324, 476‒8 (425; C); Ar. Knights 400‒1, 409‒10, 694‒5, 767‒8, 769‒72, 832‒5 (424; C); Ar. Georgoi fr. 107 (424/422; C); Ar. Clouds 1255 (423; C); Ar. Wasps 630 (422; C); Ar. Lys. 530‒1, 932‒3 (411; OSC); Ar. Frogs 177, 579, 586‒8 (405; C); Ar. Eccl. 977 (391/90; C); Eubulus Chrysilla fr. 6‒7 (380/330; C); Alexis Mandragorizomene fr.
Ar. 94 But, as some of the following examples will show, they can vary in form, length and content, depending on the purpose of the swearer. The following section will mark some of the contextual circumstances that accommodate these voluntary self-curses; it will also show some of the ways through which their religious solemnity increases in the context in which they are found. In two of its occurrences in tragedy the self-curse marks the swearer’s effort to convince a highly mistrustful character about the truthfulness of a claim.