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Sophocles: Antigone

Antigone_And_The_Body_Of_Polynices_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_14994Antigone (Greek: Ἀντιγόνη) is a tragedy by the Athenian playwright Sophocles, probably composed around 441 BCE. It is therefore the earliest of the so-called 'Theban Plays' in which Sophocles draws on the cycle of myth centred on the story of Oedipus. The dramatic date of Antigone is nevertheless later than that of Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, in the aftermath of the struggle between Oedipus' sons portrayed in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes

The drama centres on the struggle between the new king of Thebes, Oedipus' uncle/brother-in-law Creon, and Oedipus' daughter Antigone. She is determined to see that her brother Polyneices receives a proper burial, which is forbidden by Creon because of Polyneices' attack on the city. The competing demands of civic, religious and familial loyalties are thus a central theme.

Antigone at Amazon: United States.

 Free online texts

Gutenberg: Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone; translated by Francis Storr.

Internet Archive: Antigone, Greek text edited by Karl Wilhelm Dindorf (1836). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Sophocles - Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, translated by John Swinnerton Phillimore (1902). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Antigone, translated by Richard Jebb. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L020 - Sophocles -- Sophocles I: Oedipus the King. Oedipus at Colonus. Antigone. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text, edited by F. Storr (1912). English translation (1891) and notes (1900) by Richard Jebb. HTML and XML formats. 

Poetry in Translation: Antigone, translated by George Theodoridis (2004). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Oedipus Trilogy (Oedipus the King - Oedipus at Colonus - Antigone), translated by F. Storr. Multiple formats.

University of Canterbury: Antigone, verse translation by Robin Bond (2014). DOCX and PDF formats.

Vancouver Island University: Antigone, translated by Ian Johnston (2005). HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text (edited by Richard Jebb, 1891) and multiple translations. Multiple formats.

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Burnet: Early Greek Philosophy

Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise by Fyodor BronnikovEarly Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, first published in 1892, is a survey of Presocratic Greek thinkers. Individuals and schools covered include Thales and the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides and the Eleatics, the Pythagoreans, Anaxagoras, Empedocles and Leucippus.

Burnet was a distinguished scholar of Plato, and many of his editions remain authoritative today. He saw Socratic philosophy as a development from the problems of the earlier cosmologists, despite the protestations of disinterest in natural philosophy recorded in Plato's Apology, believing that Socrates had been a disciple of Archelaus in his youth.

Early Greek Philosophy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Evansville.edu: John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy. HTML format.

Hathi Trust: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet. PDF format. 

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1892 edition). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1908 edition). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy,by John Burnet (1920 edition). Multiple formats.

Peithô's Web: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1920 edition). HTML format.

Plato.spbu.ru: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1920 edition). PDF format.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: John Burnet (classicist).

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Sophocles: Oedipus the King

Oedipus and the Sphinx of Thebes, c.470 BCE.Oedipus the King (Greek: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος, Latin: Oedipus Rex) is a tragedy by Sophocles. Although it is said to have come second in the dramatic competition in Athens at its original production, sometime after 430 BC, it is now widely regarded as Sophocles' masterpiece. It is mentioned favourably several times in Aristotle's Poetics, where it stands alongside the Iliad in a comparison between the tragic and epic forms.

The plot opens with Oedipus, ruler of Thebes, learning from the Delphic oracle that a plague in the city is due to the presence of the murderers of King Laius, his precursor and first husband of his wife Jocasta. It proceeds inexorably through a series of revelations. Oedipus had once killed a man, who is now revealed to be Laius travelling with his retinue. Oedipus is not as he believes the son of King Polybus of Corinth, but a foundling. His true parents are Laius and Jocasta, and he has murdered his father and married his mother.

Oedipus the King at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bartleby: Oedipus the King, translated by E.H. Plumptre. Harvard Classics edition. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Oedipus King of Thebes, verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats. 

Gutenberg: Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone; translated by Francis Storr.

Internet Archive: Oedipus Rex, Greek text with commentary by J.H.C. Barby (1807). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles, Greek text with English notes by Howard Crosby (1860). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Sophocles - Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, translated by John Swinnerton Phillimore (1902). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Oedipus Rex, Greek text edited by F.H.M. Blaydes (1904). multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Oedipus the King, translated by F. Storr. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L020 - Sophocles -- Sophocles I: Oedipus the King. Oedipus at Colonus. Antigone. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text, edited by F. Storr (1912). English translation and notes by Richard Jebb (1887). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Oedipus Rex, translated by George Theodoridis (2005). Multiple formats.

San Francisco Unified School District/Internet Archive: Oedipus the King - an abridged and adapted version of the play for high school students, by Nick Bartel. HTML format, PDF available at PBS.

Society for Classical Studies: Oedipus the Tyrant and Oedipus the King: A Problem in Translation, by Frank Nisetich, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Oedipus Trilogy (Oedipus the King - Oedipus at Colonus - Antigone), translated by F. Storr. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: Oedipus the King, translated by Ian Johnston (2014). HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text (ed. by Richard Jebb, 1887) and multiple translations. Multiple formats.

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Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks

The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896) by the Oxford classicist Arthur Elam Haigh is a comprehensive study of the evolution of the tragic form, covering its origins in the hymns to Dionysus, known as dithyrambs, the activities of the major tragedians of the 5th Century BCE, and later Hellenistic developments at Alexandria and Rome. Although doubtless obsolete as an academic text, Haigh's work has been widely cited over the years, and may still be of interest to the general reader.

The Tragic Drama of the Greeks at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Hathi Trust: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks, by A.E. Haigh (1896). PDF format.

Internet Archive: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks, by A. E. Haigh (1896). Multiple formats. As well as this upload from Harvard, there is one from the University of Toronto.

Wikisource: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks, by A. E. Haigh (1896). Incomplete, not much more than the contents at the moment.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: Arthur Elam Haigh.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Category pages for Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.


Aeschylus: The Oresteia

The Murder of Agamemnon, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879)The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is series of plays by Aeschylus which won the dramatic competition in Athens at their original production in 458 BC. The component plays, the Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides, make up the only surviving trilogy from Classical Attic Tragedy.

The successive episodes are centred on the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, the revenge of Agamemnon's son Orestes, and Orestes' subsequent trial at Athens. The resolution of the trilogy arguably represents a transition from the clan-based vengeance of Archaic Greece to a new form of justice associated with the classical polis.

The Oresteia at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Poetry in Translation: Agamemnon, The Choephori, The Eumenides; translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Multiple translations and Greek texts. Multiple formats.

Performances and Reviews

Cambridge Greek Play, Cambridge, 1933.

Almeida, London, 2015: IndependentObserver - Time Out

Translation Reviews

Anne Carson

Note that Carson's An Oresteia combines Aeschylus' Agamemnon with Sophocles' Electra and Euripides' Orestes, thus bringing together the approaches of all three major tragedians to the material provided by the myth of the House of Atreus.

London Review of Books: Lets Cut to the Wail, by Michael Wood, June 2009.

The Nation: Violent Grace: Anne Carson’s An Oresteia, by Emily Watson.

New York Times, Family Feuds, by Brad Leithauser.

Ted Hughes

The Ted Hughes Society: The Oresteia.

Other Resources

BBC In Our Time: The Oresteia - Melvyn Bragg in discussion with Edith Hall, Professor of Greek Cultural History at Durham University; Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge; Tom Healy, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Classical-literature.com: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Oresteia - public domain audiobook.

L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico: Aeschylus' Oresteia and its Characters - Professor Bob Wallace interviewed by Michele La Ferla.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater | Episode 27 - The Bloody King - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 1 - Agamemnon | Episode 28 - A Mother's Curse - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 2 - The Libation Bearers.| Episode 29 - The Mound and the Furies - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 3: The Eumenides. Podcasts by Doug Metzger.

Penguin: The Oresteia - reading guide.

Reed Magazine: Darkness, Light, and Drama in the Oresteia - lecture by Professor Thomas Gillcrist.

Society for Classical Studies: Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens? Voting and Divinities in the Oresteia, by Amit Shilo.

Theatre Database: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

Theatre History: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

Theatricalia: The Oresteia - list of past productions.

Vancouver Island University: Lecture on the Oresteia, by Ian Johnston.

Youtube: Oresteia Summary (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers and Eumenides) - by Macmillan films.

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Aeschylus: Eumenides

The Eumenides sometimes known as The Furies, is the final play of the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, originally produced at Athens in 458 BC, when it won that year's dramatic competition. Along with its precursors, Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic tragedy to survive in full, although an accompanying satyr-play, the Proteus is lost.

The plot opens with the Furies, goddesses of vengeance, in pursuit of Orestes, who has killed his own mother, Clytemnestra, in revenge for her killing of his father Agamemnon. Orestes flees first to the shrine of Apollo at Delphi, and then to Athens, where Athena arranges his trial by the court of Areopagus. The theme of the play is thus revealed as the transition from clan-based vengeance to the justice of the polis.

The Eumenides at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Eumenides - Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Eumenides, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Eumenides, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: The Eumenides (The Kindly Ones), translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Eumenides - multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Furies (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast by Doug Metzger.

Literature and History: Episode 29 - The Mound and the Furies - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 3: The Eumenides. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aeschylus: See Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers for texts and resources related to the other plays of the Oresteia.

Aeschylus' other extant plays are The Persians, Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants and The Seven Against Thebes.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aeschylus: The Libation Bearers

Electra and Orestes, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).The Libation Bearers, or Choephoroi, is the second play in the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BC. Together with its precursor Agamemnon, and the succeeding Eumenides, it forms the only surviving trilogy from Attic tragedy.

The plot centres on the return to Argos of Orestes, the son of the murdered Agamemnon, his recognition by his sister Electra, and his vengeance against his mother, Clytemnestra.

The Libation Bearers at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Choephoroe (Libation Bearers), translated by Gilbert Murray (1923). Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Perseus: Libation Bearers, Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Choephoroi, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Choephori (Libation-Bearers), translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: Choephoroi (The Libation Bearers), translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Choephori (Aeschylus) - multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Libation-Bearers (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Literature and History: Episode 28 - A Mother's Curse - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 2 - The Libation Bearers. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

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Aeschylus: Agamemnon

The Return of Agamemnon, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).The Agamemnon (Ancient Greek: Ἀγαμέμνων) is a tragedy by Aeschylus, the first play of the Oresteia, a sequence which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BCE.  Together with its sequels, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi) and the Eumenides, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic drama to survive intact. 

The plot centres on Agamemnon's return from Troy with his concubine Cassandra, whose gift of prophecy allows her to foresee that they will be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra, and her lover Aegisthus.

The Agamemnon at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Agamemnon, verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Perseus: Agamemnon, translated by Robert Browning (1889). TXT and XML formats.

Perseus: Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. TXT and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Agamemnon, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Agamemnon, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: Agamemnon, translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Agamemnon, multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Agamemnon, by Donald L. Wasson.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Agamemnon - Audiobook readings of Browning and Morshead translations.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Literature and History: Episode 27 - The Bloody King - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 1 - Agamemnon. Podcast.

Vancouver Island University: Lecture on the Oresteia, by Ian Johnston.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

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Aeschylus: The Suppliants

The Suppliants or The Suppliant Maidens (Greek: Ἱκέτιδες, Hiketides; Latin Supplices) is an ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, the first part of a tetrology along with the lost tragedies Aegyptii and Danaides, and the satyr play Amymone. The sequence was originally produced for a dramatic competition in which Sophocles was also a participant, possibly that of 463 BC.

The fact that the chorus functions as a protagonist in the title role has been seen as evidence that the play reflects a relatively early stage in the development of Athenian tragedy. The suppliants are the fifty daughters of Danaus, who have fled to Argos from Egypt to avoid marriage to their cousins, the fifty sons of King Aegyptus.  The loss of the later plays has left broad scope for debate about the plot's significance for Aeschylus's view of the institution of marriage.

The Suppliant Maidens at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Suppliant Women. Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Suppliant Maidens, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Suppliants, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Suppliants (Aeschylus) - multiple translations.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Suppliant Maidens (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus  - The Suppliants (Aeschylus).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aristotle: The Poetics.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Suppliants is listed.


Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes

The Oath of the Seven Chiefs, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).Seven Against Thebes (Greek: Ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ Θήβας, Hepta epi Thēbas; Latin: Septem contra Thebas) is a tragedy by Aeschylus, originally produced in 467 BC as the conclusion of a trilogy including the lost plays Laius and Oedipus.

The drama centres on Oedipus's sons Eteocles, King of Thebes, and his exiled brother Polyneices, who is leading an Argive army against the city. Eteocles dispatches Theban champions to the city's gates, each of which is being attacked by one of seven heroes: Adrastus, Tydeus, Parthenopaeus, Capaneus, Hippomedon, Amphariaus, and Polyneices himslef, who is confronted by the king in person. 

In its original version, the play ended with mourning for the two brothers after they slay each other in single combat. The text was modified some fifty years later to set the scene for the events of Sophocles' Antigone.

Seven Against Thebes at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bacchicstage: Seven Against Thebes, translated by G. Theodoridis. HTML format. Other formats available at Poetry in Translation.

Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Seven Against Thebes, translated by Edwyn Bevan. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Seven Against Thebes, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. HTML and TXT formats.

 Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Seven Against Thebes, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Seven Against Thebes, translated by Herbert Weir Smith. HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: Seven Against Thebes, multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

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