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Part 1

Griechische Literatur

Only 10% of the literature of ancient Greeks probably survived today. More than 1000 tragedies were written in the period 500 - 400 BC, only 32 survived. A large fraction of Hellenistic literature did not survive. Chrysippus of Soli according to Diogenes Laertius was the author of more than 705 books, all lost.

The recent developments of methods some derived from remote sensing technology, that enable to read papyri previously assumed to be not "readable" will in the next years increase our knowledge about antiquity. Works of Hesiod, Sophocles and others assumed to be lost could be revealed after the analysis.

And Tynnichus the Chalcidian affords a striking instance of what I am saying: he wrote nothing that any one would care to remember but the famous paean which is in every one's mouth, one of the finest poems ever written, simply an invention of the Muses, as he himself says. For in this way the God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods by whom they are severally possessed. Plato, Ion


3300-2000 BC Cycladic Civilization

3300-2800 BC Civilization of Pylos, 2800-2200 Keros-Seros

2000-1700 BC Middle Bronze Age

Achaeans enter in Greece. c. 1700 Phaistos Disc with Linear A symbols (different interpretations of meaning, including even geometric, mathematical text), earlier use of ideograms (picture symbols) Linear A (1800 – 1450 BC)

1700-1100 BC Late Bronze Age


Linear B symbols from Pylos, interesting is that some of these tablets were found since most were produced for short use

Linear B fonts for Windows

Minoan (from 3000 BC until 1400 BC with catastrophic events around 1700 and 1450 BC and Mycenean invasion around 1400). Since 1500 Mycenean civilization. 1350 BC ? Linear B symbols (deciphered 1953 by the British architect Michael G. Ventris, who died when he was 34 years old in a car accident, and John Chadwick) Linear B (The Discovery of Linear B PDF file, 1.2 MB, The Decipherement of Linear B PDF File 1.3 MB, Chadwick, Reading the Past Linear B and related scripts )

1500 – 1300 BC Cypriot Script

Mycenaean language

History of Greek

c. 1100-850 BC Dark Age

Dorians enter in Greece, end of Mycenean civilization

850-480 BC Geometric and Archaic Period

c. 750 BC


One of the first Greek symbols found on the Dipylon Oinochoe from 740-720 BC and inscription: “hος νῦν ὀρχεστôν πάντον ἀταλότατα παίζει, τô τόδε κλ[.]μιν[...] “

Dipylon Inscpription

Earliest inscription from the Acropolis

Boeotian Alphabet on a Boeotian cup (c. 420 BC)

Alphabetic script adapted from Phoenician , 800 BC ? (not all agree with this idea.. see for example The Dispilio Tablet or a Greek website which claims that Herodotus was wrong). A very important element the invention of the vowels (α , ε , η, ι, ω ...) by the Greeks. The Greek alphabet the first which used symbols for consonants and vowels. Many characters of the Latin alphabet obtained from the Greek alphabet.

Homer (Όμηρος) Iliad.(Ιλιάς) A 51 days coverage of the Trojan war. Patroclus leads the troops against Troy after his friend Achilles having problems with his commander Agamemnon refuses to fight. Patroclus is killed by Hector who then is killed by Achilles.

Other works such as Βατραχομυομαχία (Batrachomyomachia ; The Battle of Frogs and Mice) and The Homeric Hymns, initially supposed to be his work probably were written much later by others. How Homer conquered the world

Homer, Odyssey III, c. AD 1, Brit. Mus. Pap. 271

Kreophylus (Creophylus) of Samos (Κρεώφυλος) a epic poet and a relative or friend of Homer assumed to have written Sack of Oichalia (Άλωση της Οιχαλίας)

c. 730 BC

Eumelus of Corinth (Εύμελος ο Κορίνθιος) (member of the royal family), The Titanomachy, The Returns (Nostoi) describing the returns home of Greek heroes besides Odysseus, mainly on Agamemnon and Menelaus.

c. 728 BC

Callinus (or Kallinos) of Ephesus, (728 – 660 BC or later ) (some sources say that he was born in 680 BC and flourished around 650 BC) patriotic poems (military songs), Elegies Καλλῖνος, πολιτικὸς καὶ πρῶτος ἐλεγειοποιός

c. 725-700 BC

Homer Odyssey (Οδύσσεια). The story of Odysseus return to Ithaca after the Trojan war (with Poseidon against him).. After 10 years Odysseus arrives in Ithaca and kills the suitors of his wife Penelope.

Terpander of Antissa (Lesbos) (Τέρπανδος ο Αντισσαίος) (c. 712 – c. 645 BC) poet and musician. Famous as a singer he won a prize for music with the kithara at the 26th Olympiad in Sparta. He established a school for musicians and created a system of musical notation.

c. 680 BC

Hesiod (Ησίοδος ο Ασκραίος) born in Ascra near Mt. Helicon, a Boetian poet who worked as a farmer in Naupaktos, Theogony, (Birth of the Gods from Theos = god, gonos = birth): Works and Days (describing his experience as a farmer), Shield of Heracles, fragments (Perseus Links) “διδάσκαλος δὲ πλείστων Ἡσίοδος· τοῦτον ἐπίστανται πλεῖστα εἰδέναι, ὅστις ἡμέρην καὶ εὐφρόνην οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν· Hesiod is most men's teacher. Men think he knew very many things, a man who did not know day or night! “ Heraclitus

Hesiod one of the poets who “invented” ancient Greek religion, who merged the local Gods (many of the Homeric Gods were known much earlier), into a unified polytheistic framework as a unifying cultural element of the Hellenic tribes.

Theogony as a diagram , (another site with Works and days Use Unicode encoding),(See also Theogony, Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica )

Hesiod : Theogony, Works and Days, Shield Apostolos N. Athanassakis, The Johns Hopkins University Press (October 1, 1983)

c. 660 BC

Lesches of Mytilene, The Little Iliad (epic in four books about how Odysseus's obtained Achilles's arms and Ajax's resulting madness, Deiphobus's marriage to Helen, and the making of the Trojan Horse. )

c. 650 BC

Arctinus of Miletus (Αρκτίνος ο Μιλήσιος) Aethiopis (from the Aethiopian Memnon an ally of the Trojans), five books about the history of the Amazons and their leader Penthesila trying to help the Trojans against the Greeks (Penthesila is killed by Achilles) Proclus’ Summary of the Aethiopis , (Ilioupersis a work of Arctinus of Miletus ? )

Stasinus of Cyprus (Στασίνος) probably the author of The Cypria (Kύπρια) (11 books, events about the Trojan War before the start of the Iliad: Zeus's decision to begin the Trojan War in order to relieve the earth's overpopulation, the judgment of Paris, the sacrifice of Iphigeneia, and the death of Troilus. ) Proclus’ Summary of the Cypria ( Demodamas (ca. 3rd century BC) says is is a work of Kyprias of Halikarnassos)

Spartan poet Tyrtaeus (or Tyrtaios) of Laconia (Τυρταίος)(inventor of the Trombone?), poems praising military of Sparta [tm6.5] [tm6.8] [tm6.11] [samples] The Spartans swore that they would take Messene or die themselves. When the oracle told them to take an Athenian general, they chose Tyrtaios, the lame poet, who rekindled their courage, and he took Messene in the twentieth year of the war. Suda Lexicon ...they (Spartans) made it a custom of their military expeditions that after the evening meal when the paean had been sung each man would sing a poem by Tyrtaios, and the leader would judge the singing and give the winner a prize of meat.' Athenaios, Deipnosophistae

1st half of the 7th Century BC

Archilochus of Paros (Αρχίλοχος ο Πάριος), Son of Telesicles and Enipo, born probably around 680 BC, soldier and poet, killed 630 BC in a battle by Calondas of Naxos, nicknamed Crow (Korax), ( Fragments of poems ), Info More Info Cologne Epode (Diotima). One if not the first European Lyric poet (maybe influenced by the fact that the father of a woman which Archilochus loved was against him and did not allow his daughter to marry Archilochus) ....Ἀρχίλοχος - ἰαμβογράφος, ἐλεγειοποιός, μίσθοφόρος , Poems (Greek and translation in German)

6 April 648 BC Archilochus describes a solar eclipse:

Nothing there is beyond hope
nothing can be sworn impossible
nothing wonderful.
Since Zeus father of Olympians
made night from mid-day
hiding the light of the shinning-sun
and sore fear upon man.

Alcman (or Alcmaeon) (Aλκμάν) of Sparta (fl. around 620 BC) , inventor of the love poetry, songs for girls who were dressed as doves Partheneion (Hymn to Artemis) (A Papyrus with the text of the Partheneion in Louvre, Paris)(from Diotima) (Alcman is the Doric form of his name) Image from 2nd century AD

Mid- or Late-7th century BC

Semonides of Amorgos (Σιμωνίδης ο Aμοργινός), On Women (a rather critic poem about women) Example from Diotima , See also Σημονίδης


Late 7th-Early 6th century BC


Mimnermus (Μίµνερµος) (fl. 37th Olympiad), the son of Ligyrtyades, from Colophon or Smyrna or Astypalaea, love poetry and the horrors of old age. The Fragments of Mimnermus: Text and Commentary (Review)
Stesichorus (Στησίχορος) of Imera in Sicily, maybe a pseudonym (Chorus Master) of Tisias? (640/30 – 556/5 BC) lyric poet, heroic ballad , Palinodie, Nostoi, (a work of Agias of Trozen?) Ilioupersis (a work of Arctinus of Miletus ? )
Eriphylle “..ἐκλήθη δὲ Στησίχορος, ὅτι πρῶτος κιθαρωδίαι χόρον ἔστησεν “, See Στησίχορος
Arion of Methymna (Aρίων) (Lesbos) (625-585 BC) the son of Cycleus invents the dithyrambos (choral poems), give it its name and sing it in Corinth according to Herodotus (more probably it was Archilochus who first mentions a dithyramb as a song to Dionysos). The term onomasanta used by Herodotus could be interpreted as Arion saying what the horus sang and not given its name.

640 BC

Peisander of Camirus in Rhodes (Πείσανδρος ο Ρόδιος), epic poet Heracleia, He is said to have introduced the lions skin and club characteristic elements of Heracles and the number of his labors fixed to 12. (Maybe he used elements from the work of Pisinus of Lindus)

c. 630 BC

Sappho of Lesbos (Eressos) (Σαπφώ), Poems (Aeolic Dialect), and Bilitis ( a "lesbian" poetess invented by Pierre Louÿs)

c. 620 BC

Aesop (Αίσωπος) (620-560 BC), Herodotus writes that he was a slave in Samos in the 6th cent. BC who eventually was freed by his master. Aesop's Fables and http://www.mythfolklore.net/aesopica/ (English, Latin, Greek, Spanish). “Leader of the Chorus. By God, I never knew that before! Pisthetaerus. That`s because you are ignorant and heedless and have never read your Aesop” Aristophanes Birds

2nd half of the 6th century BC

Ibycus of Rhegium (Ίβυκος), (fl. probably 560-530BC) Italy, lyric poet (erotic poetry for his love Euryalus) (Ionic Dialect). Ibycus was attacked by robbers and before he died he asked crane birds flying around to revenge him. One of his killers later was in a theater when he saw some cranes flying he said in panic "look the avengers of Ibycus". The crowd understood that he was guilty. ( The Cranes of Ibycus by Friedrich Schiller , Original German version )

Anacreon of Teos (Aνακρέων) (Asia Minor) (c. 570-485 BC), poems about “wine, women and songs (anacreonic)” (Ionic Dialect) Images: Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824-1904: Anacreon with Cupid and Bacchus , Bertel Thorvaldsen 1770-1844: Amor und Anacreon

c. 600 BC

Alcaeus of Mytilene (Αλκαίος ) (probably (620 – 580 BC) (fl. around 600 BC) poems about “wine, women and songs”, Helen of Troy (Aeolic Dialect)

6th century BC

Susarion comic poet Hear, O ye people! Susarion says this, the son of Philinus, the Megarian, of Tripodiscus: women are an evil; and yet, my countrymen, one cannot set up house without evil; for to be married or not to be married is alike bad.

Dinolochus, comic poet

c. 570 - c. 478 BC

Xenophanes of Colophon (Ξενοφάνης ο Κολοφώνιος), condemns the popular image of the Gods as anthropomorphic “...But if cattle and horses and lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the works that men can do, horses would draw the form of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle..

Theognis of Megara in Sicily (Θέογνης) (570? - 490? BC), poet (poems for his friend Kyrnos and about other nice things such as beauty, fame, youth etc. ), Selected Fragments of Theognis (Theognidea)

c. 568 BC

Eugamon of Cyrene, The Telegony (Τηλεγόνεια) History of Odysseus after his return. He is killed by Telegonus, his son by Circe, who then marries Penelope and Telemachus marries Circe.

c.556 - 469/7 BC

Simonides of Ceos (Σιμωνίδης ο Κείος), famous for his Thermopylae epigrams and poems , considered as inventor of the epinicean odes, "the first poet in the West to work for pay" (Suda), therefore "the smartest person in the fifth century BC" (Anne Carson). He died in Sicily. Hiero [and the poet Simonides] Xenophon, Minor Works

c. 550–c. 460 BC

Epicharmus of Kos (Επίχαρμος), Greek comic dramatist, a physician and a Pythagorean, worked in Syracuse Sicily (produced probably the earliest Greek comedies), father of comedy although his work is lost. His comedies considered the behavior of the Gods. Another contemporary poet from Syracuse was Phormis (Φόρμις)

Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550 BC - c. 476 BC), historian

c. 548 BC

Lasos of Hermione (Λάσος) (teacher of Pindar) proposes a competition in making dithyrambs and introduced this form of expression to the Athenians.

c. 544 BC

Birth of Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 544 BC – c. 483 BC) Fragments: Patrick translation and Greek text

c. 540 BC

Hipponax of Ephesus (Ιππώναξ ο Εφέσιος), poet “Two happy days a woman brings a man: the first, when he marries her; the second, when he bears her to the grave.” , On Women

c. 535-533 BC

Tragic competition begins at the City Dionysia (Peisistratos)

c. 534 BC


Thespis plays on wagons, Text of Greek stamp for 2500 Greek theater (actually a ship of Dionysus)

Thespis of Icaria (Θέσπις) the founder of drama wins a prize for a tragedy about 534 BC. Probably first playwright to introduce an actor (hypocrit), independent of the chorus, who delivered monologues and also engaged in dialogues with the leader of the chorus. Thespis probably introduced the use of pigments and masks by the performers. Horace describes Thespis taking his plays on wagons, with a chorus whose faces were stained with wine-lees. Actors are also called Thespians derived from Thespis, the first actor in Western culture playing a character of a story. [Solon] went to see Thespis himself, as the ancient custom was, act: and after the play was done, he addressed him, and asked him if he was not ashamed to tell so many lies before such a number of people; and Thespis replying that it was no harm to say or do so in play, Solon vehemently struck his staff against the ground: "Ah," said he, "if we honor and commend such play as this, we shall find it some day in our business." Plutarch: The Life of Solon

c. 525 BC

Birth of Aeschylus (Αισχύλος)

c. 520 – 423

Cratinus of Athens (Κρατίνος) the son of Callimedes, 9 times winner of a comedy contest in Athens. Founder of political Comedy.

c. 518 BC

Birth of Pindar of Thebes (Πίνδαρος) (Odes from Perseus) his mother was a sister of the poet Simonides (who was therefore his uncle)

c. 500 BC

Bacchylides 1st c. BC Brit. Mus. Pap. 733

Bacchylides of Iulis (Bακχυλίδης) (born c. 507? ), son of Meidos or Meidon of Iulis (Cos) , dithyrambs (no 17 about Theseus) (fragments of his work survived in 1896 a Papyrus was found with his poems) Perseus

Telesilla of Argos (Τελέσιλλα), Greek woman warrior poet and musician who rallied the women of the besieged city of Argos with war hymns and chants and led them in defending the city against the invading forces of Cleomenes. The Argives, in order to honor her, set up her statue depicting her as she puts on her helmet while her books lie on the ground at her side (Pausanias 2.20,8. Plutarch Moralia 245 ff.).

Corinna or Korinna (Κόριννα) poetess from Tanagra Boetia, student of Myrtis of Anthendon (Μυρτίς) and contemporary of Pindar. Won a competition 5 times (against Pindar 4 times ?) Choral poetry for celebrations using a Boeotian dialect. “ .. the only lyric poetess of Tanagra, has her tomb in a, conspicuous part of the city, and in the gymnasium is a painting of Corinna binding her head with a fillet for the victory she won over Pindar at Thebes with a lyric poem, I believe that her victory was partly due to the dialect she used, for she composed, not in Doric speech like Pindar, but in one Aeolians would understand, and partly to her being, if one may judge from the likeness, the most beautiful woman of her time. “(Pausanias, Description of Greece). A interesting story by Melissa Bodner: Corinna gave Pindar the advice to "Sow with the hand, not with the whole sack" referring to the excessive amount of mythology in his early work.

Pratinas of Phlius (Πρατίνας) around 500 BC, dithyrambic poet, assumed to have introduced the satyr play into Athens

Melanippides (Μελανιππίδης)

Acusilaus or Akousilaos of Argos or Boetia (Ακουσίλαος ο Αργείος ή Βοιωτός), son of Cabas or Scabras, historian and mythographer

497 BC

Pindar winner of a Dithyrambic contest

495 BC

Birth of Sophocles (Σοφοκλής)

490 BC

Marathon Battle, Aeschylus participates in the fight, Sophocles celebrates the victory dancing with a lyre completely nude (or at least wearing a himation) according to Athenaeus. Simonides is a winner in a epigram competition with Aeschylus for those who died in Marathon.

492 BC

Phrynichus (Φρύνιχος) Capture of Miletus (work lost) Phrynichus, a disciple of Thespis, represented on the stage the capture of Miletus, and the whole audience burst into tears. The art of the poet was considered criminal in thus forcibly reminding the Athenians of a calamity which was deemed their own: he was fined a thousand drachmae, and the repetition of the piece forbidden--a punishment that was but a glorious homage to the genius of the poet and the sensibility of the people. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Athens: Its Rise and Fall

Empedocles (c. 492 BC Acragas/ Agrigento Sicily - c. 432 BC Peloponnese / Greece) The Fragments W.E. Leonard translation and Greek text ,Lucretius and the New Empedocles (PDF File)

486 BC

Comic competition introduced into City Dionysia., Chionides the first Athenian comic writer wins the prize, no work survived like in the case of Ecphantides “Kapnias “smoky” another comedian. Chionides work probably were The Beggars (Ptohoi), The Persians.

484 BC

Birth of Ion of Chios

484 BC

Birth of Euripides (Ευριπίδης); Aeschylus wins his first victory.

Achaeus of Eretria (Αχαιός) (born. 484 BC – 405 BC ) tragedies and satires, 19 titles known. said to have written 24-44 plays, his first play was produced in 447 BC and won a victory.

480-323 BC High Classical Period

480 BC

Birth of Herodotus (Ηρόδοτος) the son of Lyxes and Dryo and the nephew of an epic poet named Panyassis (Πανύασσης ο Αλικαρνασσέας)

Antiphon (Αντιφών)(c. 480-411 BC) son of Sophilus one of the first professional speech writer ( Prosecution of the Stepmother for Poisoning , Anonymous Prosecution for Murder , Second Tetralogy , Third Tetralogy , On the Murder of Herodes , On the Choreutes from Perseus)

Audio Books: The Persian Wars, Volume 1 (Unabridged) , The Persian Wars, Volume 2 (Unabridged) , The Histories (Unabridged)

Citizens of Thebes are angry that Pindar composes dithyrambs for Athens

476 BC

Phrynichus, Phoenissae (work lost) Themistokles is the Choregos

472 BC

Aeschylus' The Persians , first prize, Pericles is the Choregos , Perseus Text : The Persians

468 BC

Sophocles wins his first victory (he defeated Aeschylus), with his first production ( Triptolemus, which does not survive). 3rd actor introduced in Attic Drama.

467 BC

Aeschylus' The seven against Thebes, first prize (Labdakid trilogy , Laius and Oedipus, satyr play Sphinx lost)

Death of Simonides of Ceos at Akragas

464 BC

Bacchylides Odes 1 and 2

463 BC

Aeschylus' Suppliant Women, approximate date , Pindar Paean for Thebes

460 BC

Birth of Thucydides (Θουκυδίδης) (460/455 – 399? BC) The Peloponnesian War (from Perseus)

Magnes (Μάγνης) (fl. .460 BC) a comedy author

459 BC

Lysias of Athens (Λυσίας) (459/8-380/75) BC son of Kephalos or Cephalus from Syracuse, Orator (Info) Speeches: On the Murder of Eratosthenes , Funeral Oration , Against Simon , On a Wound by Premeditation , For Callias , Against Andocides , On the Olive Stump , Accusation of Calumny , For the Soldier , Against Theomnestus 1 , Against Theomnestus 2 , Against Eratosthenes , Against Agoratus , Against Alcibiades 1 , Against Alcibiades 2 , For Mantitheus , On the Property of Eraton , On the Confiscation of the Property of the Brother of Nicias , On the Property of Aristophanes , For Polystratus , Defence against a Charge of Taking Bribes , Against the Corn Dealers , Against Pancleon , On the Refusal of a Pension , Defence against a Charge of subverting the Democracy , On the Scrutiny of Evandros , Against Epicrates and his Fellow Envoys , Against Ergocles , Against Philocrates , Against Nicomachus , Against Philon , Against Diogeiton , Olympic Oration , Against the Subversion of the Ancestral Constitution of Athens ,

458 BC

Aeschylus' Agamemnon - ChoephoroiEumenides (Oresteia Trilogy)

457 BC

Aeschylus' Prometheus bound, approximate date, assuming the play is actually by Aeschylus (it could also be somewhat later)

c. 456 BC

Death of Aeschylus

455 BC

Euripides competes for the first time, and finishes third

c. 450 BC

Praxilla of Sikyon (Πράξιλλα), poetess from Sikyon, a contemporary of Telessila. She wrote the dithyramb Achilles, A sculpture of Praxilla from Lysippus

c. 449 BC

Prizes are given for the first time for actors at tragic competition in Athens

448 BC

Birth of Agathon (448-400 BC) , tragic poet

c. 446 BC

Papyrus, The Persians of Timotheus

Timotheus of Miletus (Τιμόθεος)(dithyrambs) is born (446-357 BC)

c. 444-429 BC

Herodotus Histories of the Persian wars

442 BC or 441 BC

Sophocles' Antigone (disobedience against civil laws), Comedy competition in Lenaea (or Lenaia). Antigone daughter of Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother (Oedipus other children: Ismene, Eteocles and Polyneices who killed each other) Their Uncle Creon as a ruler orders that Polyneices body must be left unburied as he is an enemy of the state. Antigone (I was born only to love) decides against this law her sister does not follow her (I cannot act against the State. I am not strong enough). Creon's order: Antigone must die even if his son Haemon loves Antigone. Creon changes his mind but it is too late. A messanger comes with terrible news.

c. 440 BC

Andocides (Ανδοκίδης) son of Leogoras, (440 – 390 BC) one of the Ten Attic Orators ( On the Mysteries , On His Return , On the Peace with Sparta , Against Alcibiades from Perseus) (Info)

Sophocles' Ajax

440 or 441 BC, dramatic contests in Lenaea.

438 BC

Euripides' Alcestis, second prize

Death of Pindar of Thebes, his last work is from around 446 BC

436 BC

Birth of the Orator Isocrates (Ισοκράτης), son of Theodorus (436-338 BC) students of his were Hyperides, Isaeus and Lycurgus Bibliography

Speeches: To Demonicus , To Nicocles , Nicocles or the Cyprians , Panegyricus , To Philip , Archidamus , Areopagiticus , On the Peace , Evagoras , Helen , Busiris , Panathenaicus , Against the Sophists , Plataicus , Antidosis , On the team of horses , Trapeziticus , Against Callimachus , Aegineticus , Against Lochites , Against Euthynus ,

435 BC

Neophron of Sicyon (author of 120 tragedies with almost nothing survived) fragments of Medea (probably around 435 BC)

431 BC

Production of Euripides' Medea, third prize PLOT and Info , Medea Text

Birth of Xenophon (Ξενοφών) ( Anabasis , Hellenica from Perseus). With his work he provided important information about Greece and Persia in his age.

c. 430 -429 BC

Euripides' Children of Heracles, Sophocles' Women of Trachis , PLOT and Info

429 BC

First play of Eupolis (446-411 BC), his first work written when he was 17 years old, comic poet, 19 plays (Old Comedy) (460 fragments survived) Autolycus, The City-States, The Demes, The Dippers, Exempt from the Draft, or the Men-Women, The Friends, The Girl of Naxos, The Goats, The Golden Race, The Helots, The Laconians, Maricas (pervert), The New Moon, Officers of Infantry, The Prospaltians, The Referee, The Scofflaws and The Toadies. Probably he introduced the role of the “Parasite” character in comedy. (http://webpages.acs.ttu.edu/wgelber/greek.htm )

428 BC


Euripides' Hippolytus, first prize PLOT and Info

427 BC

Birth of Plato

Part of the series on:
The Dialogues of Plato
Early dialogues:
ApologyCharmidesCrito
EuthyphroFirst Alcibiades
Hippias MajorHippias Minor
IonLachesLysis
Transitional & middle dialogues:
CratylusEuthydemusGorgias
MenexenusMenoPhaedo
ProtagorasSymposium
Later middle dialogues:
The RepublicPhaedrus
ParmenidesTheaetetus
Late dialogues:
TimaeusCritias
The SophistThe Statesman
PhilebusLaws
Of doubtful authenticity:
ClitophonEpinomis
EpistlesHipparchus
MinosRival Lovers
Second AlcibiadesTheages


First competition of Aristophanes (Αριστοφάνης)

c. 425 BC

Euripides' Andromache PLOT and Info

Aristophanes, The Acharnians first prize

Death of Herodotus

424 BC

Euripides' Hecabe PLOT and Info

Aristophanes, The Knights first prize

423 BC

Euripides' Suppliant Women

Aristophanes, The Clouds (Parody of Socrates) third place, (second place Ameipsias with Konnos), Are the Clouds of Aristophanes the origin of academic life?

422 BC

Aristophanes, The Wasps , second prize


c. 421 BC

Sophocles' Oedipus the King

Aristophanes, Peace 2nd prize. Performed 2 weeks before the Peace of Nikias was concluded. First prize “The Toadies” winner was Eupolis. Info,

c. 420 BC

Euripides' Electra and Sophocles' Electra, approximate date (could be later) PLOT and Info

Isaeus son of Diagoras (420 -344/3 BC) (Info) Speeches: Cleonymus , Menecles , Pyrrhus , Nicostratus , Dicaeogenes , Philoctemon , Apollodorus , Ciron , Astyphilus , Aristarchus ,, Hagnias , Euphiletus

416 BC

Euripides' Heracles , PLOT and Info

415 BC

Euripides' Trojan Women, second prize PLOT and Info

Androtion , author, politician, historian, Atthis Atthidography ( 'Atthis-writing' about the Attic history) (Demosthenes speech against Androtion claiming Androtion having been a prostitute )

414 BC

Euripides' Iphigeneia among the Taurians , PLOT and Info

Aristophanes, (second place) Birds (first place Ameipsias with Komastai)

413 BC

Euripides' Ion , PLOT and Info

412 BC

Euripides' Helen , PLOT and Info

411 BC

Aristophanes, Lysistrata (Greek Women conspire to force men to stop the war using their strongest weapon)


410 BC

Euripides' Phoenissae; second prize

Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazousae ("The Festival Women")

409 BC

Sophocles' Philoctetes first prize

408 BC

Euripides' Orestes

Antiphanes (408-334 BC), Attic Middle Comedy, Only fragments of his Comedies (200 titles known) of 260 or more Plays

407-405 BC

Deaths of Euripides (407/6?) and Sophocles, in that order, a few months apart (around 406 BC). Posthumous production of Euripides' Bacchae and Iphigeneia at Aulis, (written c. 410 BC) first prize

Aristophanes, The Frogs (Lenaea) first prize (Produced after the death of Aeschylus and Euripides, a competition between these two poets which the Athenians missed so much)

401 BC

Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, produced posthumously

Around 400 BC

Ephoros (or Ephorus) (c. 400-330 BC), of Cyme in Aeolia, Asia Minor, a student of Isocrates , historian author of around 30 books Universal History [all now lost, but used in books 11-16 of Diodoros Siculus (Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης, a Greek historian 90-20 BC born in Agirium Sicily)] beginning with the mythical origins of Greece up until his death . Universal means history of entire Greece. Some of his work completed by his son Demophilos Links and References in German (around 372 BC he observed the splitting of a comet Comet Champion of the Solar System)

Philoxenus (or Philoxenos) of Cythera (Φιλόξενος ο Κυθήριος) (435-380 BC) , dithyrambic poet (24 dithyrambs). He was invited to the court of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse (c. 432 – 367 BC) who asked the poet his opinion about some of his poems. Philoxenos said the only thing to do was to run a line through them and put them in the fire. For this reply he was cast into prison, but, being released, he retired to Ephesus. He wrote the Cyclops (a parody of Dionysius who was blind of one eye)

4th century

Alcidamas, of Elaea, in Aeolis sophist and rhetorician, On the Sophists, or On the Writers of Written Discourses

394 BC

Apollodorus (Απολλόδωρος) (390 BC) , orator, son of Passion of Acharnai (Info)

392 BC

Aristophanes, Ecclesiazousae ("The Assemblywomen")

c. 390-389 BC

Birth of Aeschines (Αισχίνης) (390 -322/14 BC), son of Atrometus, Orator (Against Timarchus (C. D. Adams version) , Speech on the Embassy , Against Ctesiphon from Perseus) (Info)

Hyperides Euxenipus, British Museum Pap. 115

Birth of Hyperides (390/89 – 322 BC), son of Glaucippus, Orator (Info)

Birth of Lycurgus(390-324 BC) , son of Lycophron, Orator (Info)

388 BC

Aristophanes, Plutus ("Wealth") (388/380 BC) Info

387 BC

Foundation of Plato's Academy

385 BC

Death of Aristophanes

385-334 period of Antiphanes (Middle comedy)

384 BC

Birth of Demosthenes son of Demosthenes, Orator, On the Crown ( Peri tou Stephanou , 330 BC ) considered his masterpiece

Demosthenes' orations

Political orations Olynthiacs 1-2-3 | First Philippic | On the Peace | Second Philippic | On the Halonnesus | On the Chersonese | Third Philippic | Fourth Philippic | Reply to Philip | Philip | On Organisation | On the Navy | For the Megalopolitans | On the Liberty of the Rhodians | On the Accession of Alexander

Judicial orations On the Crown | On the False Embassy | Against Leptines | Against Meidias | Against Androtion | Against Aristocrates | Against Timocrates | Against Aristogiton 1-2 | Against Aphobus 1-2-3 | Against Ontenor 1-2 | Against Zenothemis | Against Apatourius | Against Phormio | Against Lacritus | For Phormio | Against Pantaenetus | Against Nausimachus and Xenopeithes | Against Boeotus 1-2 | Against Spudias | Against Phaenippus | Against Macartatus | Against Leochares | Against Stephanus 1-2 | Against Evergus and Mnesibulus | Against Olympiodorus | Against Timotheus | Against Polycles | On the Trierarcic Crown | Against Callipus | Against Nicostratus | Against Conon | Against Callicles | Against Dionysodorus | Against Eubulides | Against Theocrines | Against Naeara

Epideictic orations Funeral Oration | Erotic Essay

Birth of Aristotle, philosopher, scientist (The Master of those who know), author of The Athenian Constitution , Categories , Eudemian Ethics , History of Animals , Metaphysics , Meteorology , Nicomachean Ethics , On Dreams , On the Generation of Animals , On the Gait of Animals , On Generation and Corruption , On the Heavens , On Interpretation , On memory and reminiscence , On the motion of animals , On longevity and shortness of life , On the Parts of Animals ,On Prophesying by Dreams , On sophistical refutations , On sense and the sensible , On sleep and sleeplessness , On the Soul , On Youth and Old Age, On Life and Death, On Breathing , Physics , Poetics , Politics , Posterior Analytics , Prior Analytics , Rhetoric

c. 380 BC

Anaximenes of Lampsacus (fl. 380 - 320 BC), Greek rhetorician and historian. Rhetoric is an ancient Greek invention.

Birth of Theopompus of Chios (Θεόπομπος) (c. 380 – c. 322 BC) , historian and rhetorician , Philippika

Demades (Δημάδης) (380 – 319 BC), Orator, On the Twelve years “Cassander killed Demades' son so close in front of him that the blood sprayed all over Demades' clothes. Then Cassander showed Demades the letter and gave him a lecture about ingratitude and treachery before killing Demades too.” Plutarch, Phocion

376 BC

Anaxandrides of Rhodes (Αναξανδρίδης) winner at Dionysia

c. 375 BC

Birth of Alexis (Άλεξις ) comic poet of the Middle Comedy. According to Plutarch he died at the age of 106 on the stage while being crowned. He produced 245 comedies (130 titles preserved on 340 fragments or about 1000 lines in total according to Sudas).

around 370 BC

Cratippus (or Kratippos) a historian (Hellenica Oxyrhynchia??)

around 360 BC

Philemon of Syracuse (c. 363 - c. 264 BC), New Comedy, from his 97 plays only fragments survived winner at Dionysia 327 BC, 3 times winner at Lenaea According to Lucian: he died in a paroxysm of laughter at seeing an ass devouring some figs intended for his own eating. Also another story which I assume is about this particular Philemon : “The night before he died he saw nine girls leaving his house; they were the Muses Some of his plays adapted by Plautus (Mercator, Triummus, Mostellaria) from (Emporos, Thesauros, Phasma)

Deinarchus of Corinth (Δείναρχος ο Κορίνθιος)(360 – 292/1 BC), son of Sostratus, the last of the 10 orators Against Demosthenes, Against Aristogeiton, Against Philocles (Info)

Hieronymus of Cardia (c. 364 – c. 260 BC), historian, History of the Diadochi (lost)

Birth of Diphilos, Comedy author

Hellenica c. 362 BC of Xenophon

354 BC

Death of Xenophon

350 BC?


Sappho and Erinna
of Telos (or Rhodes) (although Sappho was born a few centuries before Erinna) in a Garden at Mytilene, Simeon Solomon 1840-1905.

Erinna of Telos (an island near Rhodes) (Ήριννα) , poetess probably a friend or student of Sappho but some sources say she lived in the 4th century BC (350 BC?). Only fragments survived and Distaph a poem about childhood and her friend Baucis.

Archestratus of Gela, The world's first purported cookbook writer from Magna Graecia in Sicily The Life of Luxury (Italian Text)

347 BC

Death of Plato

345 BC

Timaeus from Tauromenium in Sicily (c. 345 - c. 250 BC), ancient Greek historian.

342 BC

Epicurus of Samos (342/1 – 271 BC), philosopher ,author of a large number of books almost all lost. Catalog of books (Laertios in Greek) Info in Greek

342/41 BC

Birth of Menander (Μένανδρος), the representative of the so-called New Comedy. Most of his plays (more than 100) are lost, some parts found their way into plays by the Romans Plautus and Terence (called by Julius Caesar as a half-Menander). From these Roman authors elements are found in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and also in the writings of St. Paul: Bad messages belie good manners. Some Plays : The Arbitration (Epitrepontes), The Girl from Samos (Samia ), The Shorn Girl (Perikeiromene ), The Bad-Tempered Man (Dyskolos), The Shield (Aspis). Discovery of Dyskolos and other work fragments in 1957.

Menander: The Plays and Fragments (Oxford World's Classics) Peter Brown (Introduction), Maurice Balme (Translator), Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (May 1, 2002)

c. 340 BC

Birth of Philetas of Kos (Φιλητάς ο Κώος), founder of the Alexandrian School of Literature and Poetry, father of the Latin Elegy. According to Aelian, Philetas was so thin that he had to wear weights on his shoes to stop himself blown away by the wind.

331 BC

(around 330 BC?) Cherillus (or Choerillus) of Iasus (Χοιρίλος) was a notoriously poor poet who travelled with Alexander the Great, and was paid to celebrate his achievements. He obtained 400 drachmas a day.

Cleanthes of Assos (Κλεάνθης) (331/300 - 232/231) BC, a wrestler, Stoic philosopher author of 50 books, More Information , See also Encyclopedia of Philosophy Hymn to Zeus ( Ymnos eis Dian - Use Browser Unicode encoding)

Albin Lesky, History of Greek Literature , Hackett Publishing Company; Reprint edition (November, 1996)

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