This article is concerned with the philosophical concept of the tragic and its affinity with
ancient Greek tragedy. It investigates this notion from two different perspectives. First, it
focuses on the revival of the idea of the tragic in the - mainly German - philosophy of
the late modern era, namely those of Kant, Schelling, Hegel and their critics. Secondly
this notion is used as a stepping stone towards a general cultural-historical perspective on
the nature of Greek tragedy. This trajectory leads to the conclusion that the traditional gap
between abstract, philosophical reflection on the tragic and concrete, philological
research on Greek tragedy is not as big as commonly supposed.