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Works by Aeschylus


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Born in Eleusis, a district of Athens, he wrote his first plays in 498 BC, but his earliest surviving play is possibly The Suppliants, written in approximately 490 BC. That same year, he participated in the Battle of Marathon, and in 480 BC he fought at the Battle of Salamis. Salamis was the subject of his play The Persians, written in 472 BC; it is possible that The Suppliants was written after this, making The Persians his earliest surviving play.

Aeschylus frequently travelled to Sicily, where the tyrant of Gela was a patron. In 458 BC he travelled there for the last time; according to traditional legend, Aeschylus was killed in 456 BC when an eagle (or more likely a Lammergeier), mistaking the playwright's bald crown for a stone, dropped a tortoise on his head (though some accounts differ, claiming it was a stone dropped by an eagle or vulture that likely mistook his bald head for the egg of a flightless bird).

The inscription on his gravestone was written by himself before his death, and makes no mention of his theatrical renown. He chose to commemorate his military achievements only. It read:

"This gravestone covers Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, from Athens, who died in fertile Gela. The field of Marathon will speak of his bravery, and so will the longhaired Mede who learnt it well."
Texts by Aeschylus, included in our collection:
Agamemnon | Eumenides | Prometheus bound | The Choephori | The Persians | The seven against thebes | The Suppliants |
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