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Phaedra is one of Seneca's most successful tragedies. It was the first ancient drama to be performed in the Renaissance, marking an epoch in European theatre. The myth, as reworked by Seneca on the basis of dramas by Euripides, was endowed with fresh power, and his characterisation of Phaedra, especially in her frank avowal of love to her stepson, Hippolytus, fired the imagination of later tragic poets, especially Racine. Roland Mayer introduces the reader to the complex dramatic and literary inheritance which Seneca appropriated and in his turn bequeathed, and he sets out some of the main lines of contemporary interpretation and performance practice.