Labrys, Or Double Axe in Vyacheslav Ivanov’s Translation of Aeschylus (in Russian)

According to the well-known tradition, Clytemnestra murdered Agamemnon with a double-edged axe; this tradition was followed by Vyacheslav Ivanov and Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. Although the weapon in Aeschylus’ text is not specified, the double axe constantly occurs in the Russian translation by V. Ivanov. These passages are examined in the first part of the article. The second part discusses Ivanov’s essays and other works in order to shed the light on the symbolical meaning of the double axe within his conception of dionysianism and the birth of tragedy. The author concludes that Ivanov emphasized the double axe as the weapon of Agamemnon’s murderess because he regarded it as a symbol connected with the sacrifice in predionysian cult and as an instrument of its priestess.

 Liia L. Ermakova. Labrys, Or Double Axe in Vyacheslav Ivanov’s Translation of Aeschylus (in Russian).