Divine Intervention Made Aeschylus Write Tragedy

Pausanias, 1.21.1

“I think that the statue of Aeschylus was made much later than his death and the painting which shows his effort at Marathon. Aeschylus says that when he was young while he slept in the field to guard the grapes, Dionysus appear to him and ordered him to compose tragedy. When day came—since he wanted to obey the god—he set out to compose with great ease. He’s the one who used to say these things.”

τὴν δὲ εἰκόνα τὴν Αἰσχύλου πολλῷ τε ὕστερον τῆς τελευτῆς δοκῶ ποιηθῆναι <καὶ> τῆς γραφῆς ἣ τὸ ἔργον ἔχει τὸ Μαραθῶνι. ἔφη δὲ Αἰσχύλος μειράκιον ὢν καθεύδειν ἐν ἀγρῷ φυλάσσων σταφυλάς, καί οἱ Διόνυσον ἐπιστάντα κελεῦσαι τραγῳδίαν ποιεῖν· ὡς δὲ ἦν ἡμέρα— πείθεσθαι γὰρ ἐθέλειν—ῥᾷστα ἤδη πειρώμενος ποιεῖν. οὗτος μὲν ταῦτα ἔλεγεν·

 

aeschylus
Would you doubt this man?

Mile-By-Mile Quotes for a Marathon

 

Sentantiae Antiquae is running a Marathon today (For real, Rock N’ Roll San Antonio). Here’s a quote for every mile.

 

Mile 1: Feeling Irrational Noble Thoughts

 

Hesiod Works and Days, 289-90

“The gods made sweat the price for virtue.”

τῆς δ’ ἀρετῆς ἱδρῶτα θεοὶ προπάροιθεν ἔθηκαν

ἀθάνατοι·

 

Actual Shirt Worn During Marathon
Actual Shirt Worn During Marathon Last Year

 

Mile 2: Positive Feelings Continue

 

Horace, Epistles 1.4.12-14

“Amidst hope and anxiety, fear and rage, believe that every day has risen as your last: pleasant is the arrival of the hour which was never expected”.

inter spem curamque, timores inter et iras omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum: grata superveniet quae non sperabitur hora

 

Mile 3: When I try to Check Myself

Plutarch, Agesilaos 2.2

“His weakness made his desire for glory manifest: he would refuse no labor and shirk no deed.”

ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν φιλοτιμίαν ἐκδηλοτέραν ἐποίει, πρὸς μηδένα πόνον μηδὲ πρᾶξιν ἀπαγορεύοντος αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν χωλότητα.


Mile 4: Self-Righteous Thoughts Get Delirious

Cicero, Pro Sestio 143

“Let us spurn the rewards of today and look to future glory; let us deem best what is most honorable; let us hope for what we want, but bear what befalls us; finally, let us consider that even the bodies of brave men and great citizens are mortal; but that activity of the mind and the glory of virtue are forever.”

praesentis fructus neglegamus, posteritatis gloriae serviamus; id esse optimum putemus quod erit rectissimum; speremus quae volumus, sed quod acciderit feramus; cogitemus denique corpus virorum fortium magnorum hominum esse mortale, animi vero motus et virtutis gloriam sempiternam

Mile 5: When I start to Make Jokes to Myself about Pheidippides

Lucian, On Mistakes in Greeting

“After saying ‘hello’ he died with his greeting a gasped out a final farewell”

καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν συναποθανεῖν τῇ ἀγγελίᾳ καὶ τῷ χαίρειν συνεκπνεῦσαι

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Ancient Criticism of Aeschylus: Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 1.39

“Chamaeleon says that Aeschylus composed his tragedies when he was drunk. Indeed, Sophocles criticized him, saying that whenever he used the right words, he did so unwittingly.”

μεθύων δὲ ἐποίει τὰς τραγῳδίας Αἰσχύλος, ὥς φησι
Χαμαιλέων. Σοφοκλῆς γοῦν ὠνείδιζεν
αὐτῷ ὅτι εἰ καὶ τὰ δέοντα ποιεῖ, ἀλλ’ οὐκ εἰδώς γε.