Aeschylus 525-456 BCE


I enjoy a good story. Today I read about Aeschylus.

He was not only a playwright, but a soldier.Why is it not write? For another time. No, I had to look it up.

Oxford says it comes from an “old fashion” word wright meaning a maker or builder. Must have been the stage presence of theatre that would set wright aside from write or writer. Don’t all writers build something? Kind of like BCE, I am not completely satisfied.

Now where was I? Oh yes, Aeschylus. What I enjoyed about his character is that he liked being a soldier more than he did being a playwright. By measure of theatre going crowds, his plays were popular. By measure of soldering, he was alive.

In any case, he thought well of himself in both endeavors, but especially as a soldier. We know because he wrote his own epitaph.

His ending trumps his successes in life. At least for comic drama. Maybe because he had made a few enemies. At any rate, I read in Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia that “according to popular story, an eagle killed Aeschylus when it dropped a tortoise on his head.” Wikipedia adds “by mistaking his head for a rock.”

The story gets  better by mention of an oracle that had prophesied Aeschylus would die by a blow from heaven. I wonder if he had heard the prophecy? If he did, I assume he had in mind something more eloquent, but maybe I am projecting.

6 thoughts on “Aeschylus 525-456 BCE

  1. New Hampshire Garden Solutions December 21, 2013 / 6:45 pm

    What a way to go! It is a very plausible story though. I love reading works by people from that era. My favorite is Marcus Aurelius, who came along a little later than your guy.

  2. Carole Webber December 22, 2013 / 6:38 am

    I think if he had stayed indoors writing his plays he may have been saved from such an indignity of dying from a turtle on his head, .
    Was he soldiering at the time ?
    another good reason to be anti-war, you never know what will hit /kill you,

    • fictionfitz December 22, 2013 / 6:39 am

      Good observations, maybe he was picking blueberries.

  3. jhvn December 22, 2013 / 9:45 pm

    So what was the theme of the plays Aeschylus wrought? What was his obituary? What was the connection between them? Perhaps he had wrought all he could, and it was time for him to leave. What a painless way to go — he probably never knew what hit him. Until after he reached the other side.

    • fictionfitz December 23, 2013 / 9:12 am

      But a turtle?

      • jhvn December 23, 2013 / 9:28 am

        “The way you think it is, is not the way it is at all.”

        John

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