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date: 16 May 2021


, Athenian tragic dramatist
  • Alan H. Sommerstein


Aeschylus was probably born at *Eleusis in 525/4 bce (Marm. Par.). He fought at the battle of *Marathon (Marm. Par.; Vita 4, 11) and probably at *Salamis ( *Ion (2) of Chios, FGrH 392 F 7). His first tragic production was in 499 (Sudaαι357 with π 2230), his first victory in 484 (Marm. Par.); thereafter he may have been almost invariably victorious, especially after the death of *Phrynichus (1)c.473 (he gained thirteen victories altogether, Vita13). Of his surviving plays, Persians was produced in 472 (his chorēgos being the young *Pericles (1) ) and Seven against Thebes in 467. Suppliants, part of a production which won first prize over *Sophocles (1) (POxy. 2256. 3), is probably later than Seven (despite the predominant role of the chorus and other features once thought to prove it very early); its exact date is uncertain. The Oresteia (comprising Agamemnon, Choephori (‘Women Bearing Drink-offerings’), and Eumenides, with the lost satyr-play Proteus) was Aeschylus' last production in Athens, in 458.

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