Athens of the fifth century B.C.E. represents one of the towering achievements of civilization. It is the crucible in which Western Civilization was given form. It created democracy: rule by the people. Of the three supreme tragedians of Classical Athens; Aeschylus, Sophokles and Euripides, Euripides (480's-406 B.C.E.) is the most modern. His people are no longer the heroes of Aeschylus, inspired by Homer and the Heroic world of war and warriors. Nor are they the more humanistic characters of Sophokles, who created men and women of grand moral integrity. Rather, Euripides' people are pyschologically drawn, they are frequently petty, conniving, and conflicted. In other words, they are like us. The plays included are:TROJAN WOMENIPHIGENEIA IN TAURISIONHELENCYCLOPSCARL R. MUELLER has since 1967 been professor in the Department of Theater at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he ahs taught theater history, criticism, dramatic literature, and playwriting, as well as having directed. He was educated at Northwestern University, where he received a B.S. in English. After work in graduate English at the University of California, Berkeley, he received his M.A. in playwriting at UCLA, where he also completed his Ph.D. in theater history and criticism. In addition, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin in 1960-1961. A translator for more than forty years, he has translated and published works by Buchner, Brecht, Wedekind, Hauptmann, Hofmannsthal, and Hebbel, to name a few. His published translation of von Horvath's Tales from the Vienna Woods was given its London West End premiere in July 1999. For Smith and Kraus, he has translated volumes of plays by Schnitzler, Strindberg, Pirandello, Kleist, and Wedekind, as well as Goethe's Faust, Parts I and II. In addition to translating the complete plays of Euripides and Aeschylus for Smith and Kraus, he has also co-translated the plays of Sophokles. His translations have been performed in every English-speaking country and have appeared on BBC-TV. These brisk and earthy new translations of 19 plays by Euripides'among them Alkestis and Hippolytos'give David Grene and Richmond Lattimore's The Complete Greek Tragedies: Euripides(1959) a run for its money. In each volume, Mueller (theater, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; translator, Luigi Pirandello: Three Major Plays) offers concise introductions that set Euripides and his plays in their time and include descriptions of various forms of theater, the use of masks and music, and the centrality of Dionysus'information valuable both to the newcomer and to the performer. The ?Note on Translation? outlines purposes and methods (summed up in the words of St. Jerome: ?I have always aimed at sense, not words?), and the bibliography includes works published from 1907 to 1996. Exemplifying the plays in the set is Medeia. In a 1944 translation by Rex Warner in the Grene/Lattimore volumes, the language is roundabout (e.g., ?I would not have spoken or touched him with my hands?); Mueller's translation, which speaks vigorously to modern audiences, is much more direct (e.g., ?No, not one word, not one touch?). The paperback version belongs in college and university libraries. At $70 per volume, the hardcover edition had better be bound in Moroccan leather, the title stamped in gold leaf on the spine.-Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., MoorheadMueller, Carl R. is the author of 'Euripides The Complete Plays' with ISBN 9781575253589 and ISBN 1575253585.