A Tale of Two Sophokleis

These are the Suda entries of Sophokles, the famous tragedian, and his grandson.

Σοφοκλῆς, sigma 815

Sophocles, son of Sophilos, from Kolonos, an Athenian and Tragic poet who was born in the 73rd olympian and was 17 years older than Socrates. This poet was the first to use three actors on stage, the one called the tritagonist, and the first to introduce a chorus of fifty young men. Previously they put twelve on the stage. He was nicknamed “Honey-bee” because of his sweetness.

He began by entering the competition with a play against another, but he did not raise the funds for the play. He also wrote elegy and Paeans and a record of the chorus, in which he was competing with Thespis and Choirilos. These were the children he had: Iophôn, Leôsthenes, Aristôn, Stephanos, and Menekleidês. He died after Euripides at 90 years old. He staged 123 plays, although some claim more, and he was a victor 23 times.

Σοφοκλῆς, Σωφίλου, Κολωνῆθεν, Ἀθηναῖος, τραγικός, τεχθεὶς κατὰ τὴν ογ# Ὀλυμπιάδα, ὡς πρεσβύτερος εἶναι Σωκράτους ἔτη ιζ#. οὗτος πρῶτος τρισὶν ἐχρήσατο ὑποκριταῖς καὶ τῷ καλουμένῳ τριταγωνιστῇ, καὶ πρῶτος τὸν χορὸν ἐκ πεντεκαίδεκα εἰσήγαγε νέων, πρότερον δυοκαίδεκα εἰσιόντων. προσηγορεύθη δὲ Μέλιττα διὰ τὸ γλυκύ. καὶ αὐτὸς ἦρξε τοῦ δρᾶμα πρὸς δρᾶμα ἀγωνίζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ μὴ στρατολογεῖσθαι. καὶ ἔγραψεν ἐλεγείαν τε καὶ Παιᾶνας καὶ λόγον καταλογάδην περὶ τοῦ χοροῦ, πρὸς Θέσπιν καὶ Χοιρίλον ἀγωνιζόμενος. παῖδας δὲ οὓς ἔσχεν οὗτοι, Ἰοφῶν, Λεωσθένης, Ἀρίστων, Στέφανος, Μενεκλείδης. τελευτᾷ δὲ μετὰ Εὐριπίδην, ἐτῶν. ἐδίδαξε δὲ δράματα ρκγ, ὡς δέ τινες καὶ πολλῷ πλείω, νίκας δὲ ἔλαβε κδ#.

You Looked up Sophocles son of Aristôn? How about Apollonios of Tyana?

Suda, s.v Sophocles, Sigma 816

“Sophocles, son of Aristôn, the son of the earlier, older Sophokles; an Athenian and Tragedian. He put on 40 plays, but some people claim 11. He won 7 times. He also wrote elegy. It is understood that Apollonios was not surpassed by Sophocles regarding prudence, for Sophocles himself claims that when he arrived at old age he was escaping a rabid and savage master.

But Apollonios of Tyana was not dominated by these passions even when he was a young because of his virtue and prudence, instead, even as a young man who was especially lively, he was in control of his body and master of the madness. Still, some people spread rumors about his sexual affairs, and because of some kind of a sexual mistake he spend a year living among the Skythians. Not even Euphrates, then, ever slandered the man for sexual behavior, even though he wrote lies about him. He was at odds with Apollonious, since Apollonous was criticizing him for doing everything for money, and he was dragging him for his money-grubbing and selling his wisdom.”

Σοφοκλῆς, Ἀρίστωνος, υἱωνὸς δὲ τοῦ προτέρου Σοφοκλέους πρεσβυτέρου, Ἀθηναῖος, τραγικός. ἐδίδαξε δὲ δράματα μ#, οἱ δέ φασιν ια#: νίκας δὲ εἷλεν ζ#. ἔγραψε καὶ ἐλεγείας. ὅτι Ἀπολλώνιος ἐς σωφροσύνην ὑπερεβάλλετο τοῦ Σοφοκλέους: ὁ μὲν γὰρ λυττῶντα ἔφη καὶ ἄγριον δεσπότην ἀποφυγεῖν, ἐλθόντα ἐς γῆρας: ὁ δὲ Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεὺς ὑπ’ ἀρετῆς τε καὶ σωφροσύνης οὐδ’ ἐν μειρακίῳ ἡττήθη τούτων, ἀλλὰ καὶ νέος ὢν καὶ τὸ σῶμα ἐρρωμένος ἐκράτει τε καὶ λυττῶντος ἐδέσποζεν. ἀλλ’ ὅμως συκοφαντοῦσί τινες ἐπ’ ἀφροδισίοις αὐτόν, ὡς διαμαρτίᾳ ἐρωτικῇ χρησάμενον καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἀπενιαυτίσαντα ἐς τὸ Σκυθῶν ἔθνος: οὔκουν οὐδὲ Εὐφράτης ποτὲ ἐσυκοφάντησεν ἐπ’ ἀφροδισίοις τὸν ἄνδρα, καίτοι ψευδῆ γράμματα κατ’ αὐτοῦ ξυνθείς: διεφέρετο γὰρ πρὸς τὸν Ἀπολλώνιον, ἐπειδὴ πάνθ’ ὑπὲρ χρημάτων αὐτὸν πράττοντα ἔσκωπτεν οὗτος καὶ ἀπῆγε τοῦ χρηματίζεσθαι καὶ τὴν σοφίαν καπηλεύειν.

File:Bust of a unknown sitter (know as Sophocles).jpg
Am I Sophocles?

Grumpy and Irritable: An Encyclopedia Entry on Euripides

Suda, s.v. Euripides, Εὐριπίδης, Epsilon 3695

“Euripides was the son of Mnêsarkhos or Mnêsarkhidês and Kleitô, who settled in Boiotia as exiles and then in Attica. It is not true that his mother was a vegetable vendor. For she was actually of real highborn lineage as Philokhoros demonstrates.

His mother became pregnant when Xerxes was crossing the Hellespont and gave birth the day the Greeks routed the Persians. At first, he was a painter and then a student of Prodikos among the orators and Socrates for ethics and philosophy. He also learned from Anaxagoras the Klazomenian. But he tried his hand at tragedy after he observed the dangers Anaxagoras faced because of the beliefs he introduced.

Euripides had a grumpy character and was irritable and avoided people. For this reason, he was also believed to be a misogynist. Still, first he married Mnêsilokhos’ daughter Khoirine. With her he fathered Mnesilokhos and Mnesikhardê as well as little Euripidês. He divorced her and remarried another woman whom he also discovered to be unfaithful

He left Athens and when to the court of Arkhelaos, king of the Macedonians, where he lived enjoying the highest honors. But he died thanks to the plot of Arribaios the Macedonian and Krateuas of Thessaly, two poets who were jealous of him and who used 10 minai to convince one of the king’s servants, Lysimakhos, to set the king’s dogs—animals he had trained himself—on Euripides.

But some people record that he was torn apart at night by women instead of dogs when he was sneaking out for a late night meeting with Krateros, Archelaus’ lover [since he was enamored with him too and had a lot of these kinds of lovers]. But there are those who say he was on his way to meet the wife of Nikodikos of Arethousa.

Euripides lived until he was 75 years old and the king had his bones interred at Pella. He wrote 75 plays—although some claim 92—but there are 77 attributed to him. He was victorious 5 times, 4 while alive and once after his death when his nephew, also named Euripides, staged his play. He staged plays for 22 years in a row and performed his last in the 93rd Olympiad.”

Εὐριπίδης, Μνησάρχου ἢ Μνησαρχίδου καὶ Κλειτοῦς, οἳ φεύγοντες εἰς Βοιωτίαν μετῴκησαν, εἶτα ἐν τῇ Ἀττικῇ. οὐκ ἀληθὲς δέ, ὡς λαχανόπωλις ἦν ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ: καὶ γὰρ τῶν σφόδρα εὐγενῶν ἐτύγχανεν, ὡς ἀποδείκνυσι Φιλόχορος.

ἐν δὲ τῇ διαβάσει Ξέρξου ἐκυοφορεῖτο ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς καὶ ἐτέχθη καθ’ ἣν ἡμέραν Ἕλληνες ἐτρέψαντο τοὺς Πέρσας. γέγονε δὲ τὰ πρῶτα ζωγράφος, εἶτα μαθητὴς Προδίκου μὲν ἐν τοῖς ῥητορικοῖς, Σωκράτους δὲ ἐν τοῖς ἠθικοῖς καὶ φιλοσόφοις. διήκουσε δὲ καὶ Ἀναξαγόρου τοῦ Κλαζομενίου.

ἐπὶ τραγῳδίαν δὲ ἐτράπη τὸν Ἀναξαγόραν ἰδὼν ὑποστάντα κινδύνους δι’ ἅπερ εἰσῆξε δόγματα. σκυθρωπὸς δὲ ἦν τὸ ἦθος καὶ ἀμειδὴς καὶ φεύγων τὰς συνουσίας: ὅθεν καὶ μισογύνης ἐδοξάσθη. ἔγημε δὲ ὅμως πρώτην μὲν Χοιρίνην, θυγατέρα Μνησιλόχου: ἐξ ἧς ἔσχε Μνησίλοχον καὶ Μνησαρχίδην καὶ Εὐριπίδην. ἀπωσάμενος δὲ ταύτην ἔσχε καὶ δευτέραν, καὶ ταύτης ὁμοίως ἀκολάστου πειραθείς. ἀπάρας δὲ ἀπ’ Ἀθηνῶν ἦλθε πρὸς Ἀρχέλαον τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Μακεδόνων, παρ’ ᾧ διῆγε τῆς ἄκρας ἀπολαύων τιμῆς.

ἐτελεύτησε δὲ ὑπὸ ἐπιβουλῆς Ἀρριβαίου τοῦ Μακεδόνος καὶ Κρατεύα τοῦ Θετταλοῦ, ποιητῶν ὄντων καὶ φθονησάντων αὐτῷ πεισάντων τε τὸν βασιλέως οἰκέτην τοὔνομα Λυσίμαχον, δέκα μνῶν ἀγορασθέντα, τοὺς βασιλέως, οὓς αὐτὸς ἔτρεφε, κύνας ἐπαφεῖναι αὐτῷ. οἱ δὲ ἱστόρησαν οὐχ ὑπὸ κυνῶν, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ γυναικῶν νύκτωρ διασπασθῆναι, πορευόμενον ἀωρὶ πρὸς Κρατερὸν τὸν ἐρώμενον Ἀρχελάου [καὶ γὰρ σχεῖν αὐτὸν καὶ περὶ τοὺς τοιούτους ἔρωτας], οἱ δέ, πρὸς τὴν γαμετὴν Νικοδίκου τοῦ Ἀρεθουσίου. ἔτη δὲ βιῶναι αὐτὸν οε#, καὶ τὰ ὀστᾶ αὐτοῦ ἐν Πέλλῃ μετακομίσαι τὸν βασιλέα. δράματα δὲ αὐτοῦ κατὰ μέν τινας οε#, κατὰ δὲ ἄλλους #4β#: σῴζονται δὲ οζ#. νίκας δὲ ἀνείλετο ε#, τὰς μὲν δ# περιών, τὴν δὲ μίαν μετὰ τὴν τελευτήν, ἐπιδειξαμένου τὸ δρᾶμα τοῦ ἀδελφιδοῦ αὐτοῦ Εὐριπίδου. ἐπεδείξατο δὲ ὅλους ἐνιαυτοὺς κβ#, καὶ τελευτᾷ ἐπὶ τῆς #4γ# Ὀλυμπιάδος.

File:Euripides Statue.jpg

Affirming Beliefs by Using Them

Plutarch, Progress in Virtue 79f

“People report these kinds of stories about Aeschylus too and of similar men. When Aeschylus was watching a boxing match at the Isthmian games, one of the boxers was hit and the crowd shouted out. Aeschylus elbowed Ion the Chian and said, “See how training works: the man says nothing when he is struck, but the spectators yell!”

When Brasidas caught some mouse in dried figs and it bit him, he let it got. Then, he said to himself, “By Herakles, there is nothing small or weak enough that it won’t try to live when it’s brave enough to defend itself.

Diogenes, once he witnessed a man drinking with his hands, threw his cup out of his bag. In this way, paying attention and observation make people ready to perceive anything which helps in the pursuit of virtue. This works better when people mix theories with actions, not merely, as Thucydides used to put it, “trying super hard when in peril” but also when facing pleasures and conflicts, when occupied with lawsuits and politics, in this way providing proof to themselves of their beliefs, or, perhaps, affirming their beliefs by using them.”

οἷα καὶ περὶ Αἰσχύλου λέγουσι καὶ περὶ ἄλλων ὁμοίων. Αἰσχύλος μὲν γὰρ Ἰσθμοῖ θεώμενος ἀγῶνα πυκτῶν, ἐπεὶ πληγέντος τοῦ ἑτέρου τὸ θέατρον ἐξέκραγε, νύξας Ἴωνα τὸν Χῖον “ὁρᾷς,” ἔφη, “οἷον ἡ ἄσκησίς ἐστιν1; ὁ πεπληγὼς σιωπᾷ, οἱ δὲ θεώμενοι βοῶσιν.” Βρασίδας δὲ μῦν τινα συλλαβὼν ἐν ἰσχάσι καὶ δηχθεὶς ἀφῆκεν· εἶτα πρὸς ἑαυτόν “ὦ Ἡράκλεις,” ἔφη, “ὡς οὐδέν ἐστι μικρὸν οὐδ᾿ ἀσθενές, ὃ μὴ ζήσεται τολμῶν ἀμύνεσθαι.” Διογένης δὲ τὸν πίνοντα ταῖς χερσὶ θεασάμενος τῆς πήρας ἐξέβαλε τὸ ποτήριον. οὕτω τὸ προσέχειν καὶ τετάσθαι τὴν ἄσκησιν αἰσθητικοὺς καὶ δεκτικοὺς ποιεῖ τῶν πρὸς ἀρετὴν φερόντων ἁπανταχόθεν. γίγνεται δὲ τοῦτο μᾶλλον ἂν τοὺς λόγους ταῖς πράξεσι μιγνύωσι, μὴ μόνον, ὡς Θουκυδίδης ἔλεγε, “μετὰ κινδύνων ποιούμενοι τὰς μελέτας,” ἀλλὰ καὶ πρὸς ἡδονὰς καὶ πρὸς ἔριδας καὶ περὶ κρίσεις καὶ συνηγορίας καὶ ἀρχάς, οἷον ἀπόδειξιν αὑτοῖς τῶν δογμάτων διδόντες, μᾶλλον δὲ τῷ χρῆσθαι ποιοῦντες τὰ δόγματα.

Black-figured ceramic depicting two boxers and a referee, Greek, 7th-5th centuries BCE

Master of Pleasure and Master of Pain: Three Anecdotes about Sophokles and Euripides

These are from the Gnomologium Vaticanum

404

“When Menander was asked what the difference was between Sophokles and Euripides he said that Sophokles makes people feel pleasure while Euripides makes his audience feel anger.”

Μένανδρος ἐρωτηθεὶς τί διαφέρουσιν ἀλλήλων Σοφοκλῆς καὶ Εὐριπίδης εἶπεν ὅτι Σοφοκλῆς μὲν τέρπεσθαι ποιεῖ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, Εὐριπίδης δὲ σκυθρωπάζειν τοὺς ἀκροατάς.

 

518

“Sophokles the tragic poet, after he heard that Euripides died in Macedonia, said “The whetstone of my poems is gone.”

Σοφοκλῆς, ὁ τῶν τραγῳδιῶν ποιητής, ἀκούσας Εὐριπίδην ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ τεθνηκέναι εἶπεν· „ἀπώλετο ἡ τῶν ἐμῶν ποιημάτων ἀκόνη.”

 

519

“When he was asked why he made people with noble characters and Euripides made those of base ones, Sophokles answered “Because I make people how they should be and he makes people as they are.”

῾Ο αὐτὸς ἐρωτηθεὶς διὰ τί αὐτὸς μὲν ποιεῖ τὰ ἤθη τῶν ἀνθρώπων χρηστά, Εὐριπίδης δὲ φαῦλα „ὅτι” ἔφη „ἐγὼ μέν, οἵους ἔδει εἶναι, τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ποιῶ, ἐκεῖνος δέ, ὁποῖοί εἰσιν.”

Image result for Sophocles and euripides

Master of Pleasure and Master of Pain: Three Anecdotes about Sophokles and Euripides

These are from the Gnomologium Vaticanum

404

“When Menander was asked what the difference was between Sophokles and Euripides he said that Sophokles makes people feel pleasure while Euripides makes his audience feel anger.”

Μένανδρος ἐρωτηθεὶς τί διαφέρουσιν ἀλλήλων Σοφοκλῆς καὶ Εὐριπίδης εἶπεν ὅτι Σοφοκλῆς μὲν τέρπεσθαι ποιεῖ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, Εὐριπίδης δὲ σκυθρωπάζειν τοὺς ἀκροατάς.

 

518

“Sophokles the tragic poet, after he heard that Euripides died in Macedonia, said “The whetstone of my poems is gone.”

Σοφοκλῆς, ὁ τῶν τραγῳδιῶν ποιητής, ἀκούσας Εὐριπίδην ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ τεθνηκέναι εἶπεν· „ἀπώλετο ἡ τῶν ἐμῶν ποιημάτων ἀκόνη.”

 

519

“When he was asked why he made people with noble characters and Euripides made those of base ones, Sophokles answered “Because I make people how they should be and he makes people as they are.”

῾Ο αὐτὸς ἐρωτηθεὶς διὰ τί αὐτὸς μὲν ποιεῖ τὰ ἤθη τῶν ἀνθρώπων χρηστά, Εὐριπίδης δὲ φαῦλα „ὅτι” ἔφη „ἐγὼ μέν, οἵους ἔδει εἶναι, τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ποιῶ, ἐκεῖνος δέ, ὁποῖοί εἰσιν.”

Image result for Sophocles and euripides