The earliest Jewish play in Greece – Ezekiel the Tragedian

Jewish Ezekiel the Tragedian

Ezekiel the Tragedian – also known as Ezekiel the Dramatist and Ezekiel the Poet – was a Jewish dramatist who wrote in Greek in Alexandria in the 3rd century BC.

His only known work – Exagōgē – is the earliest known Jewish play.

It survives only in fragments, found in the writings of Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, and Pseudo-Eustathius.

It is a five-act drama written in iambic trimeter, retelling of the biblical story of The Exodus from Egypt.

Moses is the main character of the play, and parts of the biblical story have been altered to suit the narrative’s needs.

These changes probably point to Ezekiel’s intention to stage the play, since certain scenes that are impossible to stage were converted into monologue.

This drama is unique in blending the biblical story with the Hellenistic tragic drama.

Konstantinos Kalymnios is a Melbourne-based lawyer, columnist and spokesperson for the Panepirotic Federation of Australia.

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor