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On this page: Sophocles

SOPHOCLES.

597

question arose in 413, of giving to the State | and afterwards by the production of his

an oligarchical constitution, he was on the i grandfather's dramas. There was a story

commission of preliminary investigation, that a quarrel arose between Sophocles and

He also filled a priestly office. his son lophon, on account of his pre-

toni, IlffrOdes Atilcus, Aristldts, Lucian, and Phllostratus the elder, belong to the flourishing period of this second school of Sophists, a period which extends over the whole of the 2nd century. They appeal-afresh about the middle of the 4th century, devoting their philosophic culture, to the zealous but unavailing defence of paganism. Among them was the emperor Julian and his contemporaries Libdnius, Htmerius, and Thlmistius. SynSslus may be con­sidered as the last Sophist of importance.

Sophocles. One of the three great Greek tragedians, son of SSphillus, the wealthy owner of a manufactory of armour, was born probably in 495 b.c. in the deme Colonus near Athens. He received a care­ful education in music, gymnastics, and dancing, and as a boy of fifteen was chosen to lead the paean sung by the chorus of boys after the victory of Salamls. He afterwards showed his musical skill in public, when he represented the blind singer Thamj'rls in his drama of the same name, and played the cithara with such suc­cess that he was painted as Thamyris with the cithara in the Stoa Poicile. Again, in the play called the Nauslcaa, he won for himself general admiration in acting the part of the princess of that name, by the dexterity and grace with which he struck the ball [Athenseus, p. 20 E]. In all things his external appearance and demeanour was the reflex of his lofty mind. At his very tirst appearance as a tragic poet in 468, when 27 years old, he gained a victory over jEschylus, who was thirty years older, and from that time to extreme old age he kept the first place in tragedy. Unlike jEs-ehylus and Euripides, he never accepted the invitations of foreign princes. Though possessing no special inclination or fitness for political affairs, as his friend, the poet Ion of Chios, declares, he yet took his part in public life. Thus, in 440 b.c. he was one of the ten generals who, with Pericles, were in command of the fleet sent against Samos. Owing to his practical skill he was also employed in negotiations with the allies of Chios and Samos. During the Pelopon-nesian War he was again one of the generals, together with Niclas. In 435, as HellenO-tumiils, he was at the head of the manage­ment of the treasure of the allies, which was kept on the AcrOpSlis ; and, when the

The charm and the refinement of his

character seem to have won him many friends. Among them was the historian HerodStus, who much resembled him. He was also deemed by antiquity as a man specially beloved by the gods, especially by Asclepius, whose priest he probably was, and who was said to have granted him

SOPHOCI.KS.

(Rome, Lateran Museum.)

health and vigour of mind to extreme old age. By the Athenian Nlcostrate he had a son, IGphon, who won some repute as a tragic poet; and by Theorls of Slcj'on another son, Ariston, father of the Sophocles who gained fame for himself by tragedies of his own,

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