The 1903 Iphigenia

In 1903, at the behest of Provost Charles Harrison, Penn Classics students followed up the success of the 1886 production of Aristophanes' comedy Acharnianswith the production of a tragedy, also in Greek, Euripides' Iphigeneia at Tauris. The play came off well, but the differences between the two productions reveal much about the changing place of Classical Studies in the American college curriculum and in American society more generally between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These issues are explored by Lee T. Pearcy in his paper, "In the Shadow of Aristophanes: The 1903 Iphigeneia in Tauris in Philadelphia." Among the interesting points that Pearcy documents is the participation in this production (as a chorus member) of Ezra Pound, and the teasing that Pound had to endure from his friend and fellow poet, medical student William Carlos Williams.

Images from the University Archives