Aeschylus: The Persians

(3027 words)

Aeschylus’ Persians (Persai), produced in 472 BCE at the City Dionisia of Athens, is not only the earliest surviving Greek tragedy, but also the first known play in the history of European theatre. It is thus rightly considered an invaluable source for the history of the early tragic genre, but it should not be forgotten that more than sixty years separate it from the beginning of the tragic contest in Athens (around 535 BCE) and that Aeschylus had been active as a dramatist since 499 BCE. Thus, Persians is neither a piece of “primitive” dramaturgy, nor the work of an apprentice playwright. In the dramatic contest of 472 Aeschylus presented, besides Persians, the tragedies Phineus and …

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Medda , Enrico. "The Persians". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 October 2014
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]