(/ˈiːskɪləs/ or /ˈɛskɪləs/; Greek:
Αἰσχύλος Aiskhulos; Ancient Greek: [ai̯s.kʰý.los]; c.
525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often
described as the father of tragedy. Academics' knowledge of the
genre begins with his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies
is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According
to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theater and
allowed conflict among them; characters previously had interacted only
with the chorus.[nb 1]
Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived, and
there is a long standing debate regarding his authorship of one of
Bound, which some believe his son Euphorion
actually wrote. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotes
and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus, often giving
us surprising insights into his work. He was probably the first
dramatist to present plays as a trilogy; his
is the only
ancient example of the form to have survived. At least one of his
plays was influenced by the Persians' second invasion of Greece
(480–479 BC). This work, The Persians, is the only surviving
concerned with contemporary events (very few
of that kind were ever written), and a useful source of information
about its period. The significance of war in
so great that Aeschylus' epitaph commemorates his participation in the
Greek victory at Marathon while making no mention of his success as a
playwright. Despite this, Aeschylus' work – particularly the
– is generally acclaimed by modern critics and scholars.
2 Personal life
4 Surviving plays
4.1 The Persians
4.2 Seven against Thebes
4.3 The Suppliants
4.4 The Oresteia
4.4.2 The Libation Bearers
4.4.3 The Eumenides
5 Lost plays
5.3 Phrygians, or Hector's Ransom
6.1 Influence on Greek drama and culture
6.2 Influence outside Greek culture
7 See also
12 External links
Aeschylus at North Carolina Museum of Art
Aeschylus was born in c. 525 BC in Eleusis, a small town about
27 kilometers northwest of Athens, which is nestled in the
fertile valleys of western Attica, though the date is most likely
based on counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great
Dionysia. His family was wealthy and well established; his father,
Euphorion, was a member of the Eupatridae, the ancient nobility of
Attica, though this might be a fiction that the ancients invented
to account for the grandeur of his plays.
As a youth, he worked at a vineyard until, according to the
2nd-century AD geographer Pausanias, the god
Dionysus visited him in
his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art
of tragedy. As soon as he woke from the dream, the young Aeschylus
began to write a tragedy, and his first performance took place in
499 BC, when he was only 26 years old. He won his first
victory at the
City Dionysia in 484 BC.
In 510 BC, when
Aeschylus was 15 years old,
Cleomenes I expelled the
sons of Peisistratus from Athens, and
Cleisthenes came to power.
Cleisthenes' reforms included a system of registration that emphasized
the importance of the deme over family tradition. In the last decade
of the 6th century,
Aeschylus and his family were living in the deme
Persian Wars played a large role in the playwright's life and
career. In 490 BC,
Aeschylus and his brother
Cynegeirus fought to
Athens against the invading army of
Darius I of Persia
Darius I of Persia at the
Battle of Marathon. The Athenians emerged triumphant, a victory
celebrated across the city-states of Greece. Cynegeirus, however,
died in the battle, receiving a mortal wound while trying to prevent a
Persian ship retreating from the shore, for which his countrymen
extolled him as a hero.
In 480 BC,
Aeschylus was called into military service again, this time
against Xerxes I's invading forces at the Battle of Salamis, and
perhaps, too, at the
Battle of Plataea
Battle of Plataea in 479 BC.
Ion of Chios was
a witness for Aeschylus's war record and his contribution in
Salamis. Salamis holds a prominent place in The Persians, his
oldest surviving play, which was performed in 472 BC and won first
prize at the Dionysia.
Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who were initiated into the
Eleusinian Mysteries, an ancient cult of
Demeter based in his home
town of Eleusis. Initiates gained secret knowledge through these
rites, likely concerning the afterlife. Firm details of specific rites
are sparse, as members were sworn under the penalty of death not to
reveal anything about the Mysteries to non-initiates. Nevertheless,
according to Aristotle,
Aeschylus was accused of revealing some of the
cult's secrets on stage.
Other sources claim that an angry mob tried to kill
Aeschylus on the
spot, but he fled the scene.
Heracleides of Pontus asserts that the
audience tried to stone Aeschylus. He then took refuge at the altar in
the orchestra of the Theater of Dionysus. At his trial, he pleaded
ignorance. He was acquitted, with the jury sympathetic to the military
Aeschylus and his brothers during the Persian Wars.
According to the 2nd-century AD author Aelian, Aeschylus's younger
brother Ameinias helped to acquit
Aeschylus by showing the jury the
stump of the hand that he lost at Salamis, where he was voted bravest
warrior. The truth is that the award for bravery at Salamis went not
to Aeschylus' brother but to Ameinias of Pallene.
Aeschylus travelled to
Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC,
having been invited by Hiero I of Syracuse, a major Greek city on
the eastern side of the island; and during one of these trips he
produced The Women of Aetna (in honor of the city founded by Hieron)
and restaged his Persians. By 473 BC, after the death of
Phrynichus, one of his chief rivals,
Aeschylus was the yearly favorite
in the Dionysia, winning first prize in nearly every competition.
In 472 BC,
Aeschylus staged the production that included the
Pericles serving as choregos.
The death of
Aeschylus illustrated in the 15th century Florentine
Picture Chronicle by Maso Finiguerra
In 458 BC, he returned to
Sicily for the last time, visiting the city
Gela where he died in 456 or 455 BC.
Valerius Maximus wrote
that he was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle
(possibly a lammergeier or Cinereous vulture, which do feed on
tortoises by dropping them on hard objects) which had mistaken his
bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the
reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus
had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed
by a falling object. But this story may be legendary and due to a
misunderstanding of the iconography on Aeschylus's tomb.
Aeschylus's work was so respected by the Athenians that after his
death, his were the only tragedies allowed to be restaged in
subsequent competitions. His sons Euphorion and Euæon and his
Philocles also became playwrights.
The inscription on Aeschylus's gravestone makes no mention of his
theatrical renown, commemorating only his military achievements:
Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος Ἀθηναῖον τόδε
ἀλκὴν δ' εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος
Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, the Athenian,
who perished in the wheat-bearing land
of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak,
and the long-haired Persian knows it
According to Castoriadis, the inscription on his grave signifies the
primary importance of "belonging to the City" (polis), of the
solidarity that existed within the collective body of
Aeschylus married and had two sons, Euphorion and Euaeon, both of whom
became tragic poets. Euphorion won first prize in 431 in competition
Sophocles and Euripides. His nephew,
sister's son), was also a tragic poet, and won first prize in the
competition against Sophocles'
Aeschylus had at
least two brothers,
Cynegeirus and Ameinias.
Modern picture of the
Dionysus in Athens, where many of
Aeschylus's plays were performed
Tragoediae septem (1552)
The roots of Greek drama are in religious festivals for the gods,
chiefly Dionysus, the god of wine. During Aeschylus's lifetime,
dramatic competitions became part of the
City Dionysia in the
spring. The festival opened with a procession, followed with a
competition of boys singing dithyrambs and culminated in a pair of
dramatic competitions. The first competition
Aeschylus would have
participated in, consisted of three playwrights each presenting three
tragic plays followed by a shorter comedic satyr play. A second
competition of five comedic playwrights followed, and the winners of
both competitions were chosen by a panel of judges.
Aeschylus entered many of these competitions in his lifetime, and
various ancient sources attribute between seventy and ninety plays to
him. Only seven tragedies have survived intact: The Persians,
Seven against Thebes, The Suppliants, the trilogy known as The
Oresteia, consisting of the three tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation
Bearers and The Eumenides, together with
Prometheus Bound (whose
authorship is disputed). With the exception of this last play –
the success of which is uncertain – all of Aeschylus's extant
tragedies are known to have won first prize at the City Dionysia.
The Alexandrian Life of
Aeschylus claims that he won the first prize
City Dionysia thirteen times. This compares favorably with
Sophocles' reported eighteen victories (with a substantially larger
catalogue, at an estimated 120 plays), and dwarfs the five victories
of Euripides, who is thought to have written roughly 90 plays.
One hallmark of Aeschylean dramaturgy appears to have been his
tendency to write connected trilogies, in which each play serves as a
chapter in a continuous dramatic narrative. The
Oresteia is the
only extant example of this type of connected trilogy, but there is
Aeschylus often wrote such trilogies. The comic satyr
plays that follow his trilogies also drew upon stories derived from
For example, the Oresteia's satyr play
Proteus treated the story of
Menelaus' detour in Egypt on his way home from the Trojan War. Based
on the evidence provided by a catalogue of Aeschylean play titles,
scholia, and play fragments recorded by later authors, it is assumed
that three other of his extant plays were components of connected
Seven against Thebes
Seven against Thebes being the final play in an Oedipus
trilogy, and The Suppliants and
Prometheus Bound each being the first
play in a Danaid trilogy and
Prometheus trilogy, respectively (see
below). Scholars have moreover suggested several completely lost
trilogies derived from known play titles. A number of these trilogies
treated myths surrounding the Trojan War. One, collectively called the
Achilleis, comprised the titles Myrmidons, Nereids and Phrygians
(alternately, The Ransoming of Hector).
Another trilogy apparently recounts the entry of the Trojan ally
Memnon into the war, and his death at the hands of Achilles (Memnon
and The Weighing of Souls being two components of the trilogy); The
Award of the Arms, The Phrygian Women, and The Salaminian Women
suggest a trilogy about the madness and subsequent suicide of the
Greek hero Ajax;
Aeschylus also seems to have written about Odysseus'
return to Ithaca after the war (including his killing of his wife
Penelope's suitors and its consequences) in a trilogy consisting of
Penelope and The Bone-gatherers. Other suggested
trilogies touched on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts (Argô,
Lemnian Women, Hypsipylê); the life of Perseus (The Net-draggers,
Polydektês, Phorkides); the birth and exploits of
Bacchae, Pentheus); and the aftermath of the war portrayed in Seven
against Thebes (Eleusinians, Argives (or Argive Women), Sons of the
Main article: The Persians
The Ghost of Darius Appearing to Atossa, drawing by George Romney.
The earliest of his plays to survive is
The Persians (Persai),
performed in 472 BC and based on experiences in Aeschylus's own life,
specifically the Battle of Salamis. It is unique among surviving
Greek tragedies in that it describes a recent historical event. The
Persians focuses on the popular Greek theme of hubris by blaming
Persia's loss on the pride of its king.
It opens with the arrival of a messenger in Susa, the Persian capital,
bearing news of the catastrophic Persian defeat at Salamis to Atossa,
the mother of the Persian King Xerxes.
Atossa then travels to the tomb
of Darius, her husband, where his ghost appears to explain the cause
of the defeat. It is, he says, the result of Xerxes' hubris in
building a bridge across the Hellespont, an action which angered the
gods. Xerxes appears at the end of the play, not realizing the cause
of his defeat, and the play closes to lamentations by Xerxes and the
Seven against Thebes
Main article: Seven against Thebes
Seven against Thebes
Seven against Thebes (Hepta epi Thebas), which was performed in 467
BC, has the contrasting theme of the interference of the gods in human
affairs. It also marks the first known appearance in Aeschylus's
work of a theme which would continue through his plays, that of the
polis (the city) being a key development of human civilization.
The play tells the story of
Eteocles and Polynices, the sons of the
shamed King of Thebes, Oedipus. The sons agree to alternate in the
throne of the city, but after the first year
Eteocles refuses to step
Polynices wages war to claim his crown. The brothers kill
each other in single combat, and the original ending of the play
consisted of lamentations for the dead brothers.
A new ending was added to the play some fifty years later: Antigone
and Ismene mourn their dead brothers, a messenger enters announcing an
edict prohibiting the burial of Polynices; and finally, Antigone
declares her intention to defy this edict. The play was the third
in a connected
Oedipus trilogy; the first two plays were Laius and
Oedipus. The concluding satyr play was The Sphinx.
Main article: The Suppliants (Aeschylus)
Robinet Testard showing the
Danaids murdering their
Aeschylus continued his emphasis on the polis with The Suppliants in
463 BC (Hiketides), which pays tribute to the democratic undercurrents
Athens in advance of the establishment of a democratic
government in 461. In the play, the Danaids, the fifty daughters of
Danaus, founder of Argos, flee a forced marriage to their cousins in
Egypt. They turn to King
Argos for protection, but
Pelasgus refuses until the people of
Argos weigh in on the decision, a
distinctly democratic move on the part of the king. The people decide
Danaids deserve protection, and they are allowed within the
Argos despite Egyptian protests.
The 1952 publication of Oxyrhynchus
Papyrus 2256 fr. 3 confirmed a
long-assumed (because of The Suppliants' cliffhanger ending) Danaid
trilogy, whose constituent plays are generally agreed to be The
Suppliants, The Egyptians and The Danaids. A plausible reconstruction
of the trilogy's last two-thirds runs thus: In The Egyptians, the
Argive-Egyptian war threatened in the first play has transpired.
During the course of the war, King
Pelasgus has been killed, and
Danaus rules Argos. He negotiates a peace settlement with Aegyptus, as
a condition of which, his fifty daughters will marry the fifty sons of
Danaus secretly informs his daughters of an oracle
predicting that one of his sons-in-law would kill him; he therefore
Danaids to murder their husbands on their wedding night.
His daughters agree. The
Danaids would open the day after the
In short order, it is revealed that forty-nine of the
their husbands as ordered; Hypermnestra, however, loved her husband
Lynceus, and thus spared his life and helped him to escape. Angered by
his daughter's disobedience,
Danaus orders her imprisonment and,
possibly, her execution. In the trilogy's climax and dénouement,
Lynceus reveals himself to Danaus, and kills him (thus fulfilling the
oracle). He and Hypermnestra will establish a ruling dynasty in Argos.
The other forty-nine
Danaids are absolved of their murderous crime,
and married off to unspecified Argive men. The satyr play following
this trilogy was titled Amymone, after one of the Danaids.
Main article: Oresteia
The only complete (save a few missing lines in several spots) trilogy
of Greek plays by any playwright still extant is the
BC); although the satyr play that originally followed it, Proteus, is
lost except for some fragments. The trilogy consists of Agamemnon,
The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi), and The Eumenides. Together,
these plays tell the bloody story of the family of Agamemnon, King of
The Murder of
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1817)
Aeschylus begins in
Greece describing the return of King Agamemnon
from his victory in the Trojan War, from the perspective of the towns
people (the Chorus) and his wife, Clytemnestra. However, dark
foreshadowings build to the death of the king at the hands of his
wife, who was angry at his sacrifice of their daughter Iphigenia, who
was killed so that the gods would restore the winds and allow the
Greek fleet to sail to Troy. She was also unhappy at his keeping of
the Trojan prophetess
Cassandra as a concubine.
Cassandra foretells of
the murder of Agamemnon, and of herself, to the assembled townsfolk,
who are horrified. She then enters the palace knowing that she cannot
avoid her fate. The ending of the play includes a prediction of the
return of Orestes, son of Agamemnon, who will seek to avenge his
The Libation Bearers
The Libation Bearers continues the tale, opening with Orestes's
arrival at Agamemnon's tomb. At the tomb,
Electra meets Orestes, who
has returned from exile in Phocis, and they plan revenge upon
Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Clytemnestra's account of a
nightmare in which she gives birth to a snake is recounted by the
chorus; and this leads her to order Electra, her daughter, to pour
libations on Agamemnon's tomb (with the assistance of libation
bearers) in hope of making amends.
Orestes enters the palace
pretending to bear news of his own death, and when
Aegisthus to share in the news,
Orestes kills them both.
then beset by the Furies, who avenge the murders of kin in Greek
The final play of The
Oresteia addresses the question of Orestes'
guilt. The Furies drive
Argos and into the
wilderness. He makes his way to the temple of
Apollo and begs him to
drive the Furies away.
Apollo had encouraged
Orestes to kill
Clytemnestra, and so bears some of the guilt for the murder. The
Furies are a more ancient race of the gods, and
Apollo sends Orestes
to the temple of Athena, with
Hermes as a guide.
The Furies track him down, and the goddess Athena, patron of Athens,
steps in and declares that a trial is necessary.
Orestes' case and, after the judges, including
Athena deliver a tie
Athena announces that
Orestes is acquitted. She renames the
Furies The Eumenides (The Good-spirited, or Kindly Ones), and extols
the importance of reason in the development of laws, and, as in The
Suppliants, the ideals of a democratic
Athens are praised.
Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan
Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan by
Dirck van Baburen
Dirck van Baburen (1623)
In addition to these six works, a seventh tragedy,
is attributed to
Aeschylus by ancient authorities. Since the late 19th
century, however, scholars have increasingly doubted this ascription,
largely on stylistic grounds. Its production date is also in dispute,
with theories ranging from the 480s BC to as late as the 410s.
The play consists mostly of static dialogue, as throughout the play
Prometheus is bound to a rock as punishment from the
Zeus for providing fire to humans. The god Hephaestus, the
Titan Oceanus, and the chorus of
Oceanids all express sympathy for
Prometheus meets Io, a fellow victim of Zeus'
cruelty; and prophesies her future travels, revealing that one of her
descendants will free Prometheus. The play closes with
Prometheus into the abyss because
Prometheus refuses to divulge the
secret of a potential marriage that could prove Zeus' downfall.
Prometheus Bound appears to have been the first play in a trilogy
called the Prometheia. In the second play,
Prometheus from his chains and kills the eagle that had
been sent daily to eat Prometheus' perpetually regenerating liver.
Perhaps foreshadowing his eventual reconciliation with Prometheus, we
Zeus has released the other Titans whom he imprisoned at
the conclusion of the Titanomachy.
In the trilogy's conclusion,
Prometheus the Fire-Bringer, it appears
that the Titan finally warns
Zeus not to sleep with the sea nymph
Thetis, for she is fated to give birth to a son greater than the
father. Not wishing to be overthrown,
Thetis off to the
mortal Peleus; the product of that union is Achilles, Greek hero of
the Trojan War. After reconciling with Prometheus,
inaugurates a festival in his honor at Athens.
Only the titles and assorted fragments of Aeschylus's other plays have
come down to us. We have enough fragments of some plays (along with
comments made by later authors and scholiasts) to produce rough
synopses of their plots.
This play was based on books 9 and 16 in Homer's Iliad. Achilles sits
in silent indignation over his humiliation at Agamemnon's hands for
most of the play. Envoys from the Greek army attempt to reconcile him
to Agamemnon, but he yields only to his friend Patroclus, who then
battles the Trojans in Achilles' armour. The bravery and death of
Patroclus are reported in a messenger's speech, which is followed by
This play was based on books 18, 19, and 22 of the Iliad; it follows
the Daughters of Nereus, the sea god, who lament Patroclus' death. In
the play, a messenger tells how Achilles, perhaps reconciled to
Agamemnon and the Greeks, slew Hector.
Phrygians, or Hector's Ransom
In this play, Achilles sits in silent mourning over Patroclus, after a
brief discussion with Hermes.
Hermes then brings in King
Troy, who wins over Achilles and ransoms his son's body in a
spectacular coup de théâtre. A scale is brought on stage and
Hector's body is placed in one scale and gold in the other. The
dynamic dancing of the chorus of Trojans when they enter with
reported by Aristophanes.
The children of Niobe, the heroine, have been slain by
Niobe had gloated that she had more children than
their mother, Leto.
Niobe sits in silent mourning on stage during most
of the play. In the Republic,
Plato quotes the line "God plants a
fault in mortals when he wills to destroy a house utterly."
These are the remaining 71 plays ascribed to
Aeschylus which are known
The Argivian Women
The Argo, also titled The Rowers
Attendants of the Bridal Chamber
Award of the Arms
The Carians, also titled Europa
Children of Hercules
The Cretan Women
Daughters of Helios
Daughters of Phorcys
Glaucus of Pontus
Glaucus of Potniae
The Lemnian Women
The Men of Eleusis
The Nurses of Dionysus
The Phrygian Women
Prometheus the Fire-Bearer
Prometheus the Fire-Kindler
Semele, also titled The Water-Bearers
Sisyphus the Runaway
Sisyphus the Stone-Roller
The Spectators, also titled Athletes of the Isthmian Games
The Thracian Women
Weighing of Souls
Women of Aetna (two versions)
Women of Salamis
Influence on Greek drama and culture
Mosaic of Orestes, main character in Aeschylus's only surviving
trilogy, The Oresteia
Aeschylus first began writing, the theatre had only just begun to
evolve, although earlier playwrights like
Thespis had already expanded
the cast to include an actor who was able to interact with the
Aeschylus added a second actor, allowing for greater
dramatic variety, while the chorus played a less important role.
He is sometimes credited with introducing skenographia, or
Aristotle gives this distinction to
Aeschylus is also said to have made the costumes more
elaborate and dramatic, and having his actors wear platform boots
(cothurni) to make them more visible to the audience. According to a
later account of Aeschylus's life, as they walked on stage in the
first performance of the Eumenides, the chorus of Furies were so
frightening in appearance that they caused young children to faint,
patriarchs to urinate, and pregnant women to go into labour.
His plays were written in verse, no violence is performed on stage,
and the plays have a remoteness from daily life in Athens, either by
relating stories about the gods or by being set, like The Persians, in
far-away locales. Aeschylus's work has a strong moral and
religious emphasis. The
Oresteia trilogy concentrated on man's
position in the cosmos in relation to the gods, divine law, and divine
Aeschylus's popularity is evident in the praise the comic playwright
Aristophanes gives him in The Frogs, produced some half-century after
Aeschylus's death. Appearing as a character in the play, Aeschylus
claims at line 1022 that his
Seven against Thebes
Seven against Thebes "made everyone
watching it to love being warlike"; with his Persians, Aeschylus
claims at lines 1026–7 that he "taught the Athenians to desire
always to defeat their enemies."
Aeschylus goes on to say at lines
1039ff. that his plays inspired the Athenians to be brave and
Influence outside Greek culture
Aeschylus's works were influential beyond his own time. Hugh
Lloyd-Jones draws attention to Richard Wagner's reverence of
Aeschylus. Michael Ewans argues in his Wagner and Aeschylus. The Ring
Oresteia (London: Faber. 1982) that the influence was so great
as to merit a direct character by character comparison between
Wagner's Ring and Aeschylus's Oresteia. A critic of his book however,
while not denying that Wagner read and respected Aeschylus, has
described his arguments as unreasonable and forced.
J. T. Sheppard argues in the second half of his
Sophocles: Their Work and Influence that Aeschylus, along with
Sophocles, have played a major part in the formation of dramatic
literature from the
Renaissance to the present, specifically in French
and Elizabethan drama. He also claims that their influence went beyond
just drama and applies to literature in general, citing Milton and the
During his presidential campaign in 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Edith Hamilton translation of
Aeschylus on the night of the
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy was notified of King's
murder before a campaign stop in
Indianapolis, Indiana and was warned
not to attend the event due to fears of rioting from the mostly
African-American crowd. Kennedy insisted on attending and delivered an
impromptu speech that delivered news of King's death to the
Acknowledging the audience's emotions, Kennedy referred to his own
grief at the murder of his brother, President
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy and,
quoting a passage from the play
Agamemnon (in translation), said: "My
favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote: 'Even in our sleep,
pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in
our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful
grace of God.' What we need in the United States is not division; what
we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United
States is not violence and lawlessness; but is love and wisdom, and
compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those
who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether
they be black ... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks
wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle
the life of this world." The quotation from
Aeschylus was later
inscribed on a memorial at the gravesite of Robert Kennedy following
his own assassination.[better source needed]
2876 Aeschylus, an asteroid named for him
Theatre of ancient Greece
^ The remnant of a commemorative inscription, dated to the 3rd century
BC, lists four, possibly eight, dramatic poets (probably including
Choerilus, Phrynichus, and Pratinas) who had won tragic victories at
Thespis was traditionally regarded
the inventor of tragedy. According to another tradition, tragedy was
Athens in the late 530s BC, but that may simply reflect
an absence of records. Major innovations in dramatic form, credited to
Aristotle and the anonymous source The Life of Aeschylus,
may be exaggerations and should be viewed with caution (Martin Cropp
(2006), "Lost Tragedies: A Survey" in A Companion to Greek Tragedy,
^ Jones, Daniel; Roach, Peter, James Hartman and Jane Setter, eds.
Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary. 17th edition.
^ a b c Freeman 1999, p. 243
^ Schlegel, August Wilhelm von. Lectures on Dramatic Art and
Literature. p. 121.
^ R. Lattimore,
Aeschylus I: Oresteia, 4
^ Martin Cropp, 'Lost Tragedies: A Survey'; A Companion to Greek
Tragedy, p. 273
^ P. Levi, Greek Drama, 159
^ S. Saïd, Aeschylean Tragedy, 215
^ S. Saïd, Aeschylean Tragedy, 221
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sommerstein 1996, p. 33[citation not
^ a b c d Bates 1906, pp. 53–59
^ S. Saïd, Eschylean tragedy, 217
^ a b c Freeman 1999, p. 241
^ a b c d e f g h i j Kopff 1997 pp. 1–472
^ Sommerstein 1996, p. 34
^ Martin 2000, §10.1
Nicomachean Ethics 1111a8–10.
^ Ursula Hoff (1938). "Meditation in Solitude". Journal of the Warburg
Institute. The Warburg Institute. 1 (44): 292–294.
doi:10.2307/749994. JSTOR 749994.
^ del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J., eds. (1994). Handbook of
the Birds of the World. 2. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. p. 107.
^ a b J. C. McKeown (2013), A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities: Strange
Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western Civilization,
Oxford University Press, p. 136, ISBN 978-0-19-998210-3, The
unusual nature of Aeschylus's death ...
^ Critchley 2009
^ Anthologiae Graecae Appendix, vol. 3, Epigramma sepulcrale.
^ Osborn, K.; Burges, D. (1998). The complete idiot's guide to
classical mythology. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-02-862385-6.
^ Smith 2005, p. 1
^ a b c Freeman 1999, p. 242
^ a b c Pomeroy 1999, p. 222
^ Sommerstein 1996
^ Sommerstein 2002, 34.
^ a b c d Freeman 1999, p. 244
^ a b Vellacott: 7–19
^ a b c d e Freeman 1999, pp. 244–46
^ a b Aeschylus. "
Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants, Seven Against
Thebes, The Persians." Philip Vellacott's Introduction, pp. 7–19.
^ Sommerstein 2002, 23.
^ a b c Freeman 1999, p. 246
^ See (e.g.) Sommerstein 1996, 141–51; Turner 2001, 36–39.
^ a b Sommerstein 2002, 89.
^ Griffith 1983, pp. 32–34
^ a b For a discussion of the trilogy's reconstruction, see (e.g.)
Conacher 1980, 100–02.
^ According to Vitruvius. See Summers 2007, 23.
^ Life of Aeschylus.
^ a b Pomeroy 1999, p. 223
^ Pomeroy 1999, pp. 224–25
^ Furness, Raymond (January 1984). "The Modern Language Review". 79
(1): 239–40. JSTOR 3730399.
^ Sheppard, J. T. (1927). "
Aeschylus and Sophocles: their Work and
Influence". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Society for the
Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 47 (2): 265. doi:10.2307/625177.
^ a b Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: Robert F. Kennedy
Martin L. West, Aeschyli Tragoediae: cum incerti poetae Prometheo 2
ed. (1998). The first translation of the seven plays into English was
by Robert Potter in 1779, using blank verse for the iambic trimeters
and rhymed verse for the choruses, a convention adopted by most
translators for the next century.
Anna Swanwick produced a verse translation in English of all seven
surviving plays as The Dramas of
Aeschylus in 1886 full text
Stefan Radt (Hg.), Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta. Vol. III: Aeschylus
(Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009) (Tragicorum Graecorum
Alan H. Sommerstein (ed.), Aeschylus, Volume II, Oresteia: Agamemnon.
Libation-bearers. Eumenides. 146 (Cambridge, Mass./London: Loeb
Classical Library, 2009); Volume III, Fragments. 505 (Cambridge,
Mass./London: Loeb Classical Library, 2008).
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Bates, Alfred (1906). "The Drama: Its History, Literature, and
Influence on Civilization, Vol. 1". London: Historical Publishing
Bierl, A. Die Orestie des Aischylos auf der modernen Bühne:
Theoretische Konzeptionen und ihre szenische Realizierung (Stuttgart:
Cairns, D., V. Liapis, Dionysalexandros: Essays on
Aeschylus and His
Fellow Tragedians in Honour of Alexander F. Garvie (Swansea: The
Classical Press of Wales, 2006)
Critchley, Simon (2009). The Book of Dead Philosophers. London: Granta
Publications. ISBN 978-1-84708079-0.
Cropp, Martin (2006). "Lost Tragedies: A Survey". In Gregory, Justine.
A Companion to Greek Tragedy. Blackwell Publishing.
Deforge, B. Une vie avec Eschyle. Vérité des mythes (Paris, Les
Belles Lettres, 2010)
Freeman, Charles (1999). The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the
Western World. New York City: Viking Press.
Goldhill, Simon (1992). Aeschylus, The Oresteia. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-40293-X.
Griffith, Mark (1983). Aeschylus'
Prometheus Bound. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-27011-1.
Herington, C.J. (1986). Aeschylus. New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press. ISBN 0-300-03562-4.
Herington, C.J. (1967). "
Aeschylus in Sicily". The Journal of Hellenic
Studies. 87: 74–85. doi:10.2307/627808.
Kopff, E. Christian (1997).
Ancient Greek Authors. Gale.
Lattimore, Richmond (1953).
Aeschylus I: Oresteia. University of
Lefkowitz, Mary (1981). The Lives of the Greek Poets. University of
North Carolina Press
Lesky, Albin (1979). Greek Tragedy. London: Benn.
Lesky, Albin (1966). A History of Greek Literature. New York:
Levi, Peter (1986). "Greek Drama". The Oxford History of the Classical
World. Oxford University Press.
Martin, Thomas (2000). "Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to
Hellenistic Times". Yale University Press.
Murray, Gilbert (1978). Aeschylus: The Creator of Tragedy. Oxford:
Podlecki, Anthony J. (1966). The Political Background of Aeschylean
Tragedy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1999). Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and
Cultural History. New York City: Oxford University Press.
Rosenmeyer, Thomas G. (1982). The Art of Aeschylus. Berkeley:
University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04440-1.
Saïd, Suzanne (2006). "Aeschylean Tragedy". A Companion to Greek
Tragedy. Blackwell Publishing.
Smith, Helaine (2005). Masterpieces of Classic Greek Drama. Greenwood.
Smyth, Herbert Weir (1922). Aeschylus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Sommerstein, Alan H. (2010). "Aeschylean Tragedy" (2nd ed.). London:
Duckworth. ISBN 978-0-7156-3824-8.
— (2002). Greek Drama and Dramatists. London: Routledge Press.
Spatz, Lois (1982). Aeschylus. Boston: Twayne Publishers Press.
Summers, David (2007). Vision, Reflection, and Desire in Western
Painting. University of North Carolina Press
Thomson, George (1973)
Aeschylus and Athens: A Study in the Social
Origin of Drama. London: Lawrence and Wishart (4th edition)
Turner, Chad (2001). "Perverted Supplication and Other Inversions in
Aeschylus' Danaid Trilogy". Classical Journal. 97 (1): 27–50.
Vellacott, Philip, (1961).
Prometheus Bound and Other Plays:
Prometheus Bound, Seven Against Thebes, and The Persians. New York:
Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044112-3
Winnington-Ingram, R. P. (1985). "Aeschylus". The
Cambridge History of
Classical Literature: Greek Literature.
Zeitlin, F. I. Under the sign of the shield: semiotics and Aeschylus'
Seven against Thebes
Seven against Thebes (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 1982); 2nd ed.
2009, (Greek studies: interdisciplinary approaches)
Castoriadis, Cornelius. "What Makes Greece, 1. From
Find more aboutAeschylusat's sister projects
Definitions from Wiktionary
Media from Wikimedia Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Texts from Wikisource
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Aeschylus at Project Gutenberg
Aeschylus (translated by George Gilbert Aimé) at Faded Page
Works by or about
Aeschylus at Internet Archive
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
Selected Poems of Aeschylus
Aeschylus-related materials at the Perseus Digital Library
Complete syntax diagrams at Alpheios
Online English Translations of Aeschylus
Photo of a fragment of The Net-pullers
Crane, Gregory. "
Aeschylus (4)". Perseus Encyclopedia.
"Aeschylus, I: Persians" from the Loeb Classical Library, Harvard
"Aeschylus, II: The Oresteia" from the Loeb Classical Library, Harvard
"Aeschylus, III: Fragments" from the Loeb Classical Library, Harvard
Plays by Aeschylus
Oresteia (including Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides and
Seven Against Thebes
Prometheus Bound (authorship disputed)
Prometheus the Fire-Bringer
Greek Dark Ages
Ancient Greek colonies
Antigonid Macedonian army
Army of Macedon
Sacred Band of Thebes
List of ancient Greeks
Kings of Argos
Archons of Athens
Kings of Athens
Kings of Commagene
Kings of Lydia
Kings of Macedonia
Kings of Paionia
Attalid kings of Pergamon
Kings of Pontus
Kings of Sparta
Tyrants of Syracuse
Diogenes of Sinope
Alexander the Great
Milo of Croton
Philip of Macedon
Ancient Greek tribes
Funeral and burial practices
Arts and science
Greek Revival architecture
Funeral and burial practices
Theatre of Dionysus
Tunnel of Eupalinos
ISNI: 0000 0001 2140 7828
BNF: cb118881476 (data)