The following is a list of ancient Greek tragic poets. The list is far from exhaustive. Very few of the names of Hellenestic dramatists, for example, have been preserved.
This outline should nevertheless provide some sense of the sheer volume of writers and plays which graced the shelves of the ancient libraries, and also give an idea of the types of mythical subjects covered by these works.
In total only a meager 33 plays now survive intact. Considering that some of the more prolific tragic poets produced more than 100 plays apiece, the number is extremely low.

The most important of the tragedians, according to the ancient critics, were:

A) Thespis, the father of tragedy;

B) The five great poets of the Athenian canon: (1) Aeschylus; (2) Sophocles; (3) Euripides; (4) Ion of Chios; and (5) Archaeus of Eretria;

C) The seven great poets of the Alexandrian canon: (1) Lycophron; (2) Homerus of Byzantium; (3) Philiscus; (4) Alexander Aetolus; and (5) Sosiphanes; with others various named.

The biographies which follow are abridged versions of entries in the C19th Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. The lists of known plays, however, have been compiled independently.

THESPIS OF ATTICA c. 550 – 500 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The celebrated father of Greek tragedy, has no personal history disconnected from the history of his art.

  1. Contest of Pelias and Phorbas
  2. Hiereis (Priests)
  3. Hitheoi (Demi-gods)
  4. Pentheus


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 150 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Choerilus of Athens, a tragic poet, contemporary with Thespis, Phrynichus, Pratinas, Aeschylus, and even with Sophocles. His first appearance as a competitor for the tragic prize was in B.C. 523, in the reign of Hipparchus, when Athens was becoming the centre of Greek poetry by the residence there of Simonides, Anacreon, Lasus, and others. This was twelve, years after the first appearance of Thespis in the tragic contests; and it is therefore not improbable that Choerilus had Thespis for an antagonist. It was also twelve years before the first victory of Phrynichus. (B.C. 511.) After another twelve years, Choerilus came into competition with Aeschylus, when the latter first exhibited (B.C. 499); and, since we know that Aeschylus did not carry off a prize till sixteen years afterwards, the prize of this contest must have been given either to Choerilus or to Pratinas. Choerilus was still held in high estimation in the year 483 B.C. after he had exhibited tragedies for forty years. ( In the statement in the anonymous life of Sophocles, that Sophocles contended with Choerilus, there is very probably some mistake, but there is no impossibility; for when Sophocles gained his first victory (B.C. 468), Choerilus would be just 80, if we take 25 as the usual age at which a tragic poet first exhibited.
Of the character of Choerilus we know little more than that, during a long life, he retained a good degree of popular favour. The number of his tragedies was 150, of his victories 13 being exactly the number of victories assigned to Aeschylus. The great number of his dramas not only establishes the length of his career, but a much more important point, namely, that the exhibition of tetralogies commenced early in the time of Choerilus ; for new tragedies were exhibited at Athens only twice a year, and at this early period we never hear of tragedies being written but not exhibited, but rather the other way. In fact, it is the general opinion, that Choerilus was the first who composed written tragedies, and that even of his plays the greater number were not written.

  1. Alope


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Polyphradmon (or, according to others, of Minyras), an Athenian, was one of the poets to whom the invention of tragedy is ascribed: he is said to have been the disciple of Thespis. He is also spoken of as before Aeschylus. He is mentioned by the chronographers as flourishing at Ol. 74, B.C. 483. He gained his first tragic victory in Ol. 67, B.C. 511, twenty-four years after Thespis (B.C. 535), twelve years after Choerilus (B.C. 523), and twelve years before Aeschylus (B.C. 499) ; and his last in Ol. 76, B.C. 476, on which occasion Themistocles was his choragus and recorded the event by an inscription. Phrynichus must, therefore, have flourished at least 35 years. He probably went, like other poets of the age, to the court of Hiero, and there died ; for the statement of the anonymous writer on Comedy, in his account of Phrynichus, the comic poet, that Phrynichus, the son of Phradmon, died in Sicily, evidently refers properly to the tragic poet, on account of his father’s name.

  1. Aigyptioi (Egyptians)
  2. Aktaion (Actaeon)
  3. Alkestis (Alcestis)
  4. Antaios (Antaeus) or Libyes (Libyans)
  5. Danaides (Daughters of Danaus)
  6. Syntokoi or Dikaioi or Persai (Persians)
  7. Phoinissai (Phoenissae, Phoenician Women) (476 BC)
  8. Pleuroniai (Women of Pleuron)
  9. Sack of Miletus (493 BC)
  10. Tantalos (Tantalos)
  11. Troilos (Troïlus)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 50 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

One of the early tragic poets who flourished at Athens at the beginning of the fifth century, B.C., and whose combined efforts brought the art to its perfection, was a native of Phlius, and was therefore by birth a Dorian. His father’s name was Pyrrhonides or Encomius. It is not stated at what time he went to Athens, but we find him exhibiting there, in competition with Choerilus and Aeschylus, about Ol. 70, B.C. 500-499. Of the two poets with whom he then contended. Choerilus had already been twenty years before the public, and Aeschylus now appeared, for the first time, at the age of twenty-five ; Pratinas, who was younger than the former, but older than the latter, was probably in his full vigour at this very period. The step in the progress of the art, which was ascribed to Pratinas, is very distinctly stated by the ancient writers ; it was the separation of the satyric from the tragic drama. Pratinas is distinguished, as might be expected, by the large proportion of his satyric dramas ; having composed, according to Suidas, fifty plays, of which thirty-two were satyric. He gained but one prize.

  1. Dymainai or Karytides (Caryatids)
  2. Palastai Satyroi (Palastae)
  3. Perseus
  4. Tantalos (Tantalus)

AESCHYLUS 525 – 456 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 76 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 7 (one doubtful)

  1. Agamemnon (458 BC)
  2. Aigyptioi (Egyptians) (463 BC)
  3. Aitnaioi (Women of Mt Etna)
  4. Amymone, satyr play (463 BC)
  5. Argeioi (Argives)
  6. Argo
  7. Atalanta
  8. Athamas
  9. Bakchai (Bacchae)
  10. Bassarai (Bassarids)
  11. Choephoroi (Libation Bearers) (458 BC)
  12. Danaides (463 BC)
  13. Diktyoulkoi, satyr play
  14. Edonoi (Edonians)
  15. Eleusinioi (Eleusinians)
  16. Epigonoi (Epigoni)
  17. Eumenides (458 BC)
  18. Glaukos Pontios (Glaucus Pontius)
  19. Glaukos Potnieus (Glaucus Potneus) (472 BC)
  20. Hektoros Lytra (Bath of Hector) or Phryges (Phrygians)
  21. Heliades (Daughters of Helius)
  22. Hepta epi Thebas (Seven Against Thebes (467 BC)
  23. Herakleidai (Heracleidae, Children of Heracles)
  24. Hiereiai (Priestesses)
  25. Hiketides (Suppliants) (c. 463 BC)
  26. Hypsipyle
  27. Iphigeneia
  28. Ixion
  29. Kabeiroi (Cabiri)
  30. Kallisto (Callisto)
  31. Kares (Carians) or Europe (Europa)
  32. Kerykes (Ceryces, Heralds)
  33. Kerkyon (Cercyon)
  34. Kirke (Circe), satyr play
  35. Kressai (Cretan Women)
  36. Laios (Laius) (467 BC)
  37. Lemnoi (Lemnians)
  38. Leon
  39. Lykourgeia (Lycurgia)
  40. Lykourgos (Lycurgus)
  41. Memnon
  42. Myrmidones (Myrmidons)
  43. Mysoi (Mysians)
  44. Neaniskoi (Youths)
  45. Nemea
  46. Nereides
  47. Niobe
  48. Nothoi (Bastards)
  49. Oidipous (467 BC)
  50. Oplon Krisis (Judgment of the Arms)
  51. Oreithyia (Orithyia)
  52. Ostologoi (Collecting Bones)
  53. Palamedes
  54. Pentheus
  55. Perraibides (Paerrhaebides)
  56. Persai (Persians) (472 BC)
  57. Penelope
  58. Philoctetes (Philoctetes)
  59. Phineus (472 BC)
  60. Phorkydes (Phorcides)
  61. Prometheus Desmotes (Prometheus Bound)
  62. Prometheus Lyomenos (Prometheus Unbound)
  63. Prometheus Pyrkaios, satyr play (472 BC)
  64. Prometheus Pyrphoros (Prometheus Fire-Bringer)
  65. Propompoi
  66. Proteus, satyr play (458 BC)
  67. Psychagogoi
  68. Psychostasia
  69. Salaminiai (Women of Salamis)
  70. Semele or Hydrophoroi (Water Bearers)
  71. Sisyphos Drapetes
  72. Sisyphos Petrokylistes
  73. Sphinx, satyr play (467 BC)
  74. Telephos
  75. Theoroi (Ambassadors) or Isthmiastai
  76. Threissai (Thracians Women
  77. Toxotides
  78. Trophoi
  79. Xantriai

EURIPIDES 480 – 406 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 92 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 19 (one doubtful)

  1. Aigeus (Aegeus)
  2. Aiolos (Aeolus)
  3. Alexandros (Alexander) (415 BC)
  4. Alkestis (Alcestis) (438 BC)
  5. Alkmaion en Psophis (Alcmaeon at Psophis)
  6. Alkmaion en Korinthos (Alcmaeon at Corinth)
  7. Alkmene (Alcmena)
  8. Alope
  9. Andromache (c. 425 BC)
  10. Andromeda (c. 412 BC)
  11. Antigone
  12. Antiope (c. 410 BC)
  13. Archelaus (c. 410 BC)
  14. Auge
  15. Autolykos (Autolycus)
  16. Bakchai (Bacchae) (405 BC)
  17. Bellerophontes (Bellerophon) (c. 430 BC)
  18. Bousiris (Busiris)
  19. Chrysippos (Chrysippus)
  20. Danaë
  21. Diktys (Dictys) (431 BC)
  22. Elektra (Electra) (c. 420 BC)
  23. Epeios (Epeus)
  24. Erechtheus (422 BC)
  25. Eurystheus
  26. Hekabe (Hecuba) (c. 424 BC)
  27. Helene (Helen) (412 BC)
  28. Herakles Mainomenos (Madness of Heracles) (c. 416 BC)
  29. Herakleidai (Heracleidae, Children of Heracles) (c. 430 BC)
  30. Hiketides (Supplices, Suppliants) (c. 423 BC)
  31. Hippolytos Stephanephoros (Hippolytus) (428 BC)
  32. Hippolytos Kalyptolemos (Hippolytus Veiled)
  33. Hypsipyle (c. 410 BC)
  34. Ino
  35. Ion (c. 414 BC)
  36. Iphigeneia en Aulidi (Iphigenia at Aulis) (405 BC)
  37. Iphigeneia en Taurois (Iphigenia at Tauris) (c. 414 BC)
  38. Ixion
  39. Kresphontes (Cresphontes) (c. 425 BC)
  40. Kressai (Cretan Women)
  41. Kretes (The Cretans) (c. 435 BC)
  42. Kyklops (Cyclops)
  43. Likymnios (Licymnius)
  44. Medeia (Medea) (431 BC)
  45. Melanippe Sophe (Wise Melanippe) (c. 420 BC)
  46. Melanippe Desmotes (Captive Melanippe) (412 BC)
  47. Meleagros (Meleager)
  48. Oidipous (Oedipus) (c. 410 BC)
  49. Oineus (Oeneus)
  50. Oinomaos (Oenomaus)
  51. Orestes (408 BC)
  52. Palamedes (415 BC)
  53. Peleus
  54. Peliades (Daughters of Peleus) (455 BC)
  55. Phaethon (c. 420 BC)
  56. Phoinissai (Phoenissae, Phoenician Women) (c. 410 BC)
  57. Philoktetes (Philoctetes) (431 BC)
  58. Phoinix (Phoenix)
  59. Phrixos (Phrixos)
  60. Pleisthenes (Plisthenes)
  61. Polyidos (Polyidus)
  62. Protesilaos (Protesilaus)
  63. Rhesos (Rhesus)
  64. Sisyphos (Sisyphos), satyr play (415 BC)
  65. Skiron (Sciron)
  66. Skyrioi (Scyrians)
  67. Stheneboia (Stheneboea)
  68. Syleus
  69. Telephos (Telephus) (438 BC)
  70. Temenidai (Temenidae)
  71. Temenos (Temenus)
  72. Theristai (Theristae, Harvesters), satyr play
  73. Theseus
  74. Thyestes
  75. Troiades (Trojan Women) (415 BC)

SOPHOCLES 495 – 406 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 123 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 8 (one incomplete)

  1. Achaiôn Syllogos (Gathering of the Achaeans)
  2. Achileos Erastai
  3. Aias (Ajax)
  4. Aias Lokros (Locrian Ajax)
  5. Aichmalotides (Captives)
  6. Aigeus (Aegeus)
  7. Aigisthos (Aegisthus)
  8. Aithiopes (Ethiopians)
  9. Akrisios (Acrisius)
  10. Aleadai (Sons of Aleus)
  11. Aletes
  12. Alexandros (Alexander)
  13. Alkmeon (Alcmeon)
  14. Amykos (Amycus), satyr play
  15. Amphiareos (Amphiaraus)
  16. Amphitryon
  17. Andromeda
  18. Antenoridai (Sons of Antenor)
  19. Antigone
  20. Athamas A
  21. Athamas B
  22. Atreus or Mykenaiai (Mycenaean Women)
  23. Chryses
  24. Daidalos (Daedalus)
  25. Danae
  26. Dionysiskos (Little Dionysus), satyr play
  27. Dolopes
  28. Elektra (Electra)
  29. Epigonoi (Epigoni, Progeny)
  30. Epi Tainaroi or Epitainarioi (Heracles at Taenarum), satyr play
  31. Erigone
  32. Eris
  33. Eriphyle
  34. Eumelos (Eumelus)
  35. Euryalos (Euryalus)
  36. Eurypylos (Eurypylus)
  37. Eurysakes (Eurysaces)
  38. Helenes Apaitesis
  39. Helenes Arpage
  40. Helenes Gamos (Marriage of Helen)
  41. Herakleiskos (Little Heracles), satyr play
  42. Herakles
  43. Hermione
  44. Hipponous
  45. Hybris
  46. Ichneutai (Tracking Satyrs), satyr play
  47. Inachos (Inachus)
  48. Iobates
  49. Ion
  50. Iphigeneia
  51. Iphikles (Iphicles)
  52. Ixion
  53. Kamikoi (Men of Camicus)
  54. Kedalion (Cedalion), satyr play
  55. Kerberos (Cerberus)
  56. Klytaimnestra (Clytemnestra)
  57. Kolchides (Colchian Women)
  58. Kophoi
  59. Kreousa (Creusa)
  60. Krisis (Judgment)
  61. Lakainai (Laconian Women)
  62. Laokoon (Laocoon)
  63. Larisaioi (The Larisians)
  64. Lemniai (Women of Lemnos)
  65. Laocoon
  66. Meleagros (Meleager)
  67. Minos
  68. Momos (Momus)
  69. Mousai (Muses)
  70. Mysoi (The Mysians)
  71. Nauplios Katapleion (Arrival of Nauplius)
  72. Nauplios Pyrkaios (Fires of Nauplius)
  73. Nausikaa (Nausicaa) or Plyntriai
  74. Niobe
  75. Niptra
  76. Odysseus Akanthoplêx (Odysseus Stung by a Fish Bone)
  77. Odysseus Mainomenos (Odysseus Madden)
  78. Oidipous Tyrannos (Oedipus Rex, Oedipus the King)
  79. Oidipous en Kolonos (Oedipus at Colonus) (401 BC)
  80. Oikles (Oecles)
  81. Oinomaos (Oenomaus)
  82. Pandora or Sphyrokopoi, satyr play
  83. Peleus
  84. Phaiakes (Phaeacians)
  85. Phaidra (Phaedra)
  86. Philoktetes (Philoctetes) (409 BC)
  87. Philoktetes o en Troiai
  88. Phineus A
  89. Phineus B
  90. Phoinix (Phoenix)
  91. Phrixos (Phrixus)
  92. Phryges (Phrygians)
  93. Phthiotides
  94. Poimenes (Shepherds)
  95. Polyidus or Manteis (Prophets)
  96. Polyxene (Polyxena)
  97. Priamos (Priam)
  98. Prokris (Procris)
  99. Rizotomoi (Sorcerers)
  100. Salmoneus
  101. Sinon
  102. Sisyphos (Sisyphus)
  103. Skyrioi (Scyrians)
  104. Skythai (Scythians)
  105. Syndeipnoi (Banqueters, Diners)
  106. Tantalos (Tantalus)
  107. Telephos (Telephus), satyr play
  108. Tereus
  109. Teukros (Teucer)
  110. Thamyras
  111. Theseus
  112. Thyestes
  113. Trachiniai (Trachiniae, Trachinian Women)
  114. Triptolemos (Triptolemus) (c. 468 BC)
  115. Troilos (Troïlus)
  116. Tympanistai (Tambourine Players)
  117. Tyndareus
  118. Tyro Anagnorizomene (Tyro Rediscovered)
  119. Tyro Keiromene (Tyro Shorn)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 40 or 50 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Chios, was one of the five Athenian tragic poets of the canon, and also a composer of other kinds of poetry ; and, moreover, a prose writer, both of history and philosophy. He is mentioned by Strabo among the celebrated men of Chios. He was the son of Orthomenes, and was surnamed the son of Xuthus : the latter was probably a nickname given him by the comic poets, in allusion to Xuthus, the father of the mythical Ion. When very young he went to Athens, where he enjoyed the society of Cimon. Ion was familiarly acquainted with Aeschylus, if we may believe an anecdote related by Plutarch, but he did not come forward as a tragedian till after that poet’s death. We also learn from Ion himself that he met Sophocles at Chios, when the latter was commander of the expedition against Samos, B.C. 440. His first tragedy was brought out in the 82d Olympiad (B.C. 452) ; he is mentioned as third in competition with Euripides and lophon, in Ol. 87, 4 (B.C. 429-428); and he died before B.C. 421, as appears from the Peace of Aristophanes, which was brought out in that year. Only one victory of Ion’s is mentioned, on which occasion, it is said, having gained the dithyrambic and tragic prizes at the same time, he presented every Athenian with a pitcher of Chian wine. Hence it would seem that he was a man of considerable wealth.
The number of his tragedies is variously stated at 12, 30, and 40. We have the titles and a few fragments of 11, namely, Agamemnon, Alkmene, Argeioi, Mega Drama, Phrousoi, Phoinix e Kaineus, Phoinix deuteros, Teukros, Omphale, Eurytidae, and Laertes, of which the Omphale was a satyric drama. Commentaries were written upon him by Arcesilaus, Batton of Sinope, Didymus, Epigenes, and even by Aristarchus.

  1. Agamemnon
  2. Alkmene (Alcmena)
  3. Argeioi (Argives)
  4. Eurytidai (Sons of Eurytus)
  5. Laertes
  6. Omphale, satyr play
  7. Phoinix A (Phoenix) or Kaineus (Caeneus) or Oineus (Oeneus)
  8. Phoinix B (Phoenix)
  9. Phrouroi (Sentinels)
  10. Teukros (Teucer)

ACHAEUS OF ERETRIA 484 – c. 405 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 24, 30 or 44 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Eretria in Euboea, a tragic poet, was born B.C. 484, the year in which Aeschylus gained his first victory, and four years before the birth of Euripides. In B.C. 477, he contended with Sophocles and Euripides, and though he subsequently brought out many dramas, according to some as many as thirty or forty, he nevertheless only gained the prize once. The fragments of Achaeus contain much strange mythology, and his expressions were often forced and obscure. Still in the satyrical drama he must have possessed considerable merit, for in this department some ancient critics thought him inferior only to Aeschylus. The titles of seven of his satyrical dramas and of ten of his tragedies are still known.

  1. Adrastos (Adrastus)
  2. Azanes
  3. Athla or Athloi
  4. Aithon (Aethon)
  5. Alkmeon (Alcmeon)
  6. Alphesiboia (Alphesiboea)
  7. Eumenides
  8. Hephaistos (Hephaestus)
  9. Iris
  10. Kyknos (Cycnus)
  11. Linos (Linus)
  12. Moirai (Fates)
  13. Momos (Momus)
  14. Oidipous (Oedipus)
  15. Omphale
  16. Peirithoos (Pirithous)
  17. Philoktetes (Philoctetes)
  18. Theseus


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Surnamed Sacas, on account of his foreign origin, was a tragic poet at Athens, and a contemporary of Aristophanes. He seems to have been either of Thracian or Mysian origin.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Athenian tragic poet, was born about B.C. 447, and sprung from a rich and respectable family. He was consequently contemporary with Socrates and Alcibiades and the other distinguished characters of their age, with many of whom he was on terms of intimate acquaintance. Amongst these was his friend Euripides. He was remarkable for the handsomeness of his person and his various accomplishments. He gained his first victory at the Lenaean festival in B.C. 416, when he was a little above thirty years of age. When Agathon was about forty years of age (B.C. 407), he visited the court of Archelaus, the king of Macedonia, where his old friend Euripides was also a guest at the same time. He is generally supposed to have died about B.C. 400, at the age of forty-seven. The poetic merits of Agathon were considerable, but his compositions were more remarkable for elegance and flowery ornaments than force, vigour, or sublimity. In some respects, Agathon was instrumental in causing the decline of tragedy at Athens. He was the first tragic poet, according to Aristotle, who commenced the practice of inserting choruses between the acts, the subject-matter of which was unconnected with the story of the drama, and which were therefore called embolima, or intercalary, as being merely lyrical or musical interludes. The same critic also blames him for selecting too extensive subjects for his tragedies. Agathon also wrote pieces, the story and characters of which were the creations of pure fiction. One of these was called the Flower ; its subject-matter was neither mythical nor historical. The titles of four only of his tragedies are known with certainty: they are, the Thyestes, the Telephus, the Aerope, and the Alcmaeon. A fifth, which is ascribed to him, is of doubtful authority.

  1. Anthos or Antheus (The Flower)
  2. Mysoi (Mysians)
  3. Telephos (Telephus)
  4. Thyestes


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 70 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Tegea, a tragic poet at Athens, was contemporary with Euripides, and flourished about 454 B.C. He lived to the age of a hundred. Out of seventy tragedies which he exhibited, only two obtained the prize. Nothing remains of his works; except a few lines and the titles of three of his plays namely, the Asklepios, which he is said to havt written and named after the god in gratitude for his recovery from illness, the Achilleus which Ennius translated into Latin, and the Tantalos.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Asklepios (Asclepius)
  3. Tantalos (Tantalus)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A dramatic poet, the son of Pratinas, whose tomb Pausanias saw at Phlius, and whose Satyric dramas, with those of his father, were surpassed only by those of Aeschylus. Aristias is mentioned in the life of Sophocles as one of the poets with whom the latter contended. Besides two dramas, which were undoubtedly Satyric, viz. the Keres and Cyclops, Aristias wrote three others, viz. Antaeus, Orpheus, and Atalante, which may have been tragedies.

  1. Antaios (Antaeus)
  2. Atalante (Atalanta)
  3. Keres, satyr play
  4. Kyklops (Cyclops), satyr play
  5. Orpheus
  6. Perseus
  7. Tantalos


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 240 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, the son of Morsimus and a sister of the poet Aeschylus, was the pupil of Isocrates, and according to Suidas wrote 240 tragedies and gained the prize fifteen times. His first tragedy was brought upon the stage in 0l. 95. 2.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Suidas mentions three distinct poets of this name. The first he calls a native of Agrigentum in Sicily ; the second an Athenian, and son of Theodectes or Xenocles; and the third simply an Attic poet. The first of these poets is not mentioned any where else, and his existence is more than doubtful. We have to distinguish between two tragic poets of this name, both of whom were natives of Athens. The first, or elder one, who was a very skilful scenic dancer, is occasionally alluded to by Aristophanes ; but his dramas, of which no fragments have come down to us, seem to have perished at an early time.
Carcinus the elder, who was about contemporary with Aeschylus, had three sons, according to Aristophanes and some of the grammarians, or four, according to Pherecrates and others of the grammarians. There is also a great diversity as to the names of the sons of Carcinus. Besides the names of Xenocles and Xenotimus, on which all the scholiasts are agreed, they mention Xenarchus, Xenocleitus, Diotimus, which is perhaps a mere variation of Xenotimus, and Datis, which is not a Greek name at all, but appears to be a nickname applied to Xenocles, on account of certain faults in his language. Of these sons of Carcinus two (or three) were engaged as choreutae in acting their father’s dramas, in which great prominence was given to the orchestic element ; and their dancing is ridiculed by Aristophanes, and Pherecrates. Xenocles alone was a tragic poet.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Son of Callaeschrus. He was one of the pupils of Socrates, by whose instructions he profited but little in a moral point of view, and, together with Alcibiades, gave a colour by his life to the charge against the philosopher of corrupting the youth.. Xenophon says, that he sought the company of Socrates, not from any desire of real improvement, but because he wished, for political purposes, to gain skill in confounding an adversary. We learn, however, from the same authority, that he lived a temperate life as long as his connexion with his great master lasted. He was one of the 30 tyrants established in B.C. 404, was conspicuous above all his colleagues for rapacity and cruelty, sparing not even Socrates himself, and took the lead in the prosecution of Theramenes when he set himself against the continuance of the reign of terror. He was slain at the battle of Munychia in the same year, fighting against Thrasybulus and the exiles. Cicero tells us, that some speeches of Critias were still extant in his time ; some fragments of his elegies are still extant, and he is supposed by some to have been the author of the Peirithous and the Sisyphus (a satyric drama), which are commonly reckoned among the lost plays of Euripides; a tragedy named Atalanta is likewise ascribed to him.

  1. Atalanta
  2. Peirithous (Pirithous)
  3. Rhadamanthys
  4. Sisyphos (Sisyphus)
  5. Tennes


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Aeschylus, and himself a tragic poet.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The youngest of the three sons of the elder Euripides, according to Suidas. After the death of his father he brought out three of his plays at the great Dionysia, viz. the Alcmaeon (no longer extant), the Iphigeneia at Aulis, and the Bacchae. Suidas mentions also a nephew of the great poet, of the same name, to whom he ascribes the authorship of three plays, Medea, Orestes, and Polyxena and who, he tells us, gained a prize with one of his uncle’s tragedies after the death of the latter. It is probable that the son and. the nephew have been confounded.

  1. Medeia (Medea)
  2. Orestes
  3. Polyxene (Polyxena)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Son of Xenophanes, a tragic and dithyrambic poet, who is attacked by Aristophanes


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 50 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The legitimate son of Sophocles, by Nicostrate, was a distinguished tragic poet. He brought out tragedies during the life of his father ; and, according to a scholiast, gained a brilliant victory. He is said to have contended with his father ; and it is recorded that he gained the second place in a contest with Euripides and Ion, in B.C. 428. He was still flourishing in B.C. 405, the year in which Aristophanes brought out the Frogs. The comic poet speaks of him as the only good tragedian left, but expresses a doubt whether he will sustain his reputation without the help of his father (who had lately died); thus insinuating either that Sophocles had assisted lophon in the composition of his plays, or that lophon was bringing out his father’s posthumous tragedies as his own. The number of lophon’s tragedies was 50, of which the following are mentioned by Suidas: Achilleus, Telephos, Aktaion, Iliou persis, Dexamenos, Bakchai, Pentheus : the last two titles evidently belong to one play. To these should perhaps be added a satyric drama entitled Aulodoi. Of all his dramas, only a very few lines are preserved.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Aktaion (Actaeon)
  3. Auloidoi, satyr play
  4. Bakchai (Bacchantes)
  5. Dexamenos
  6. Iliupersis
  7. Pentheus
  8. Telephos (Telephus)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Athenian tragic poet, who seems to have been of some distinction in his day, but of whom little is now known beyond the attacks made on him by the comic poets. Eupolis, Aristophanes, Pherecrates, Leucon, and Plato, satirized him unmercifully ; and it is remarkable that he was attacked in all the three comedies which gained the first three places in the dramatic contest of B.C. 419. He is again attacked by Aristophanes in the Ornithes, B.C. 414. In addition to these indications of his date, we are informed of a remark made by him upon the tragedies of Diogenes Oenomaus, who flourished about B.C. 400. There is a story of his living at the court of Alexander of Pherae, who began to reign B.C. 369. He was celebrated for his wit, of which several specimens are preserved. Aristophanes has preserved the title and two lines, somewhat parodied, of one of his dramas, the Medea. Athenaeus informs us that Melanthius also wrote elegies.

  1. Medeia (Medea)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An obscure tragic poet, but notorious as one of the accusers of Socrates, was an Athenian, of the Pitthean demus. At the time of the accusation of Socrates, he is spoken of by Platoas young and obscure. With respect to his tragedies, we are informed by the scholiast on Plato, on the authority of Aristotle, that Meletus brought out his Oidipodeia in the same year in which Aristophanes brought out his Pelargoi, but we know nothing of the date of that play. His Scolia are referred to in the Frogs, B.C. 405 ; and in the Gerytades, which was probably acted a few years after the Frogs. The character of Meletus, as drawn by Plato and Aristophanes and their scholiasts, is that of a bad, frigid, and licentious poet, and a worthless and profligate man, – vain, silly, effeminate, and grossly sensual.

  1. Oidipodeia


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, the son of the elder Philocles, and father of the elder Astydamas. He is attacked and ridiculed more than once by Aristophanes, who classes with villains of the deepest dye in Hades any one who ever copied out a speech of Morsimus. Besides his profession as a poet, he seems to have practised as a physician and oculist. Frigidity seems to have been the predominant characteristic of his poetry.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 11 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, a contemporary of Aristophanes, rioted especially for his gluttony and effeminacy.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 120 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Sicyon, a tragic writer of doubtful age. In the Scholia to the Medeia of Euripides, we have two fragments of a play written by him on the same subject, one of four lines at v. 668, and another of five lines at v. 1354. Besides these we have fifteen lines quoted by Stobaeus, from the same tragedy. The account given of him by Suidas is manifestly inconsistent. Suidas states that he wrote 120 tragedies, that the Medeia of Euripides was sometimes attributed to him, and that he was the first to introduce on the stage the Paidagogos, and the examination of slaves by torture. In one particular – that the Medeia of Euripides was sometimes attributed to him – Suidas is confirmed by Diogenes Laertius. But Suidas goes on to say that he was involved in the fate of Callisthenes, and put to death by Alexander the Great. If the latter account be true, the former cannot but be an error, as Euripides lived long before the days of Alexander the Great, and, in the very play of the Medeia, among others, had introduced the Paidagogos. Besides, Nearchus, a tragedian, is mentioned by Suidas (as the unfortunate friend of Callisthenes who suffered with him. From this reasoning it seems certain that Suidas confounded the two, and that Clinton is right in placing Neophron, as he does, before the age of Euripides. This is further strengthened by an acute remark of Elmsley that men do not quote small plagiarists of great writers, but delight to trace wherever great writers have borrowed their materials. As far as we can judge from the fragments already mentioned, Euripides may have borrowed his plot and characters from Neophron, but certainly not his style.

  1. Medeia (Medea)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 11 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet of Alexandria in the Troad, according to Suidas. He was a contemporary of Euripides and Theognis, B.C. 425, with whom he competed, and successfully, contrary to universal expectation. We may infer from the language of Suidas that the play which gained the prize was on the subject of Oedipus. He wrote, according to Suidas, eleven tragedies. But his list evidently contains two comedies. As corrected by Meineke, it contains the following subjects: – Alexander, Eriphyle, Geryones, Aletides, Neoptolemus, Mysi, Oedipus, Ilii Excidium sive Polyxena, Tyndareus, Alcmaeon, and Teucer, the last three constituting a trilogy. He was of no great reputation, as the language of Suidas implies. Only four words remain that can be traced to him.

  1. Aletides
  2. Alexandros (Alexander)
  3. Alkmaion (Alcmaeon)
  4. Eriphyle
  5. Geryones
  6. Mysoi (Mysians)
  7. Neoptolemos
  8. Oidopous (Oedipus)
  9. Polyxena
  10. Teukros (Teucer)
  11. Tyndareus


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, with whom we are only acquainted through a fragment of the Moirae of the comic poet Hermippus, who describes Nothippus as an enormous eater.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 100 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Athenian tragic poet, the sister’s son of Aeschylus; his father’s name was Philopeithes. Suidas states that Philocles was contemporary with Euripides, and that he composed 100 tragedies, among which were the following : – Erigone, Nauplios, Oidipous, Oineus, Priamos, Penelope, Philoktetes. Besides these, we learn from the Didascaliae of Aristotle that he wrote a tetralogy on the fates of Procne and Philomela, under the title of Pandionis, one play of which was called Tereus e epops, Tereus, or the Hoopoe, and furnished Aristophanes with a subject of ridicule in the Birds. On one occasion he actually gained a victory over Sophocles, an honour to which, as Aristeides indignantly remarks, Aeschylus himself never attained. The circumstance is the more remarkable, as the drama of Sophocles to which that of Philocles was preferred, was the Oedipus Tyrannus which we are accustomed to regard as the greatest work of Greek dramatic art.
The date of Philocles may be determined by his victory over Sophocles, which took place in B.C. 429, when he must have been at the least 40 years old, for his son Morsimus is mentioned as a poet only five years later. We possess no remains of his poetry except a single line, which seems to come from a satyric drama.

  1. Erigone
  2. Nauplios (Nauplius)
  3. Oidipous (Oedipus)
  4. Oineus (Oeneus)
  5. Pandion
  6. Penelope
  7. Philoktetes (Philoctetes)
  8. Priamos (Priam)
  9. Teleus


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Athenian tragic poet at the close of the fifth century B.C., who is only known by one passage in Aristophanes, which is, however, quite enough to show the sort of estimation in which he was held. Aristophanes places him at the very foot of the anti-climax of tragedians who were still living, and the question of Hercules, whether he is likely to supply the void left by the death of Euripides, does not even obtain an answer, except by a jest of Xanthias.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, contemporary with Aristophanes, who attacked him in the Gerytades and the Wasps. The scholiast here speaks of him as a tragic actor, which is evidently a mistake, for Harpocration expressly tells us that he was mentioned in the Didascaliae as a tragic poet, and there are several references to him as such. He is mentioned by Aristotle with Cleophon, as an example of those poets whose words are well chosen, but whose diction is not at all elevated. The comic poet Plato also, in his Lacones, attacked him for plagiarism. There are no fragments of Sthenelus, except a single verse quoted by Athenaeus, which, being an tiexameter, can hardly belong to a tragedy. Perhaps Sthenelus composed elegies. How long he lived is not known : from his not being mentioned in the Frogs, Kayser supposes that he had died before the exhibition of that play in B.C. 406.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, contemporary with Aristophanes, who mentions him only in three passages, but they are rich ones. It would seem from a passage of Suidas that, on one occasion, Theognis gained the third prize, in competition with Euripides and Nicomachus. It is stated by the scholiast on Aristophanes, by Harpocration, and by Suidas, on the authority of Xenophon, in the 2d Book of the Hellenics, that Theognis was one of the Thirty Tyrants. According to these statements Theognis began to exhibit tragedies before the date of the Acharnians, B.C. 425, and continued his poetical career down to the date of the Thesmophoriazusae, B.C. 411, and was still conspicuous in public life in B.C. 404.


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, mentioned only by Suidas who gives us the following titles of his plays: – Danaides, Hektoros Lytra, Herakles, Ixion, Kapaneus, Memnon, Mnesteres, Zenos gonai, Helenes apaitesis, Orestes kai Pylades, Kastor kai Polydeukes. In the last title but one, the kai, which is not in the text of Suidas, should evidently be inserted, for, it cannot be supposed that Orestes and Pylades were two distinct plays, any more than Kastor and Polydeukes. Meineke proposes to unite also two of the other titles, so as to make Helenes mnesteres a single play, but Welcker judiciously observes that the mnesteres may refer to the suitors of Penelope quite as probably as to those of Helen, and that, in either case, the title is quite sufficient as it stands, without robbing another play in order to improve it. Welcker has also remarked, and probably with as much truth as ingenuity, that some of the above titles seem to be those of satyric dramas ; for the Zenos gonai cannot possibly be a tragedy, and Herakles, standing alone, without any epithet, indicates a satyric drama rather than a tragedy. The same scholar shows that there is reason to think that the Danaides was not founded on the corresponding play of Aeschylus, but contained a different version of the story, which had already been adopted by Archilochus, and according to which Lynceus avenged his brethren by slaying Danaus and his daughters.

  1. Danaides (Daughters of Danaus)
  2. Hektoros Lytra (Bath of Hector)
  3. Helenes apaitesis (Demanding Back Helen)
  4. Herakles (Heracles)
  5. Ixion
  6. Kapaneus (Capaneus)
  7. Kastor kai Polydeukes (Castor and Polydeuces)
  8. Memnon
  9. Mnesteres (Suitors)
  10. Orestes kai Pylades
  11. Zenos gonai (Daughters of Zeus)

TIMOTHEUS OF MILETUS c. 446 – c. 357 B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The celebrated musician and poet of the later Athenian dithyramb, was a native of Miletus, and the son of Thersander. The date of Timotheus is marked by the ancients with tolerable precision. According to the Parian marble, he died in B.C. 357, in the ninetieth year of his age, which would place his birth in B.C. 446 ; but Suidas says that he lived ninety-seven years. The period at which he flourished is described by Suidas as about the times of Euripides, and of Philip of Macedon ; and he is placed by Diodorus with Philoxenus, Telestes, and Polyeidus, at 0l. 95, B.C. 398. Respecting the details of his life we have very little information. He is said to have spent some time at the Macedonian court ; and reference will presently be made to a visit which he paid to Sparta, He appears to have formed his musical style chiefly on that of Phrynis, who was also a native of Miletus, and over whom he on one occasion gained a victory. He was at first unfortunate in his professional efforts. Even the Athenians, fond as they were of novelty, and accustomed as they were to the modern style of music introduced by Melanippides, Phrynis, and the rest, were offended at the still bolder innovations of Timotheus, and hissed off his performance. On this occasion it is said that Euripides encouraged Timotheus by the prediction that he would soon have the theatres at his feet. This prediction appears to have been accomplished in the vast popularity which Timotheus afterwards enjoyed. Plutarch records his exultation at his victory over Phrynis. Timotheus died in Macedonia, according to Stephanus of Byzantium.

  1. Persai (Persians)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

There were two Athenian tragic poets of this name, of the family of Carcinus ; the one the son of the elder Carcinus, and the father of the younger Carcinus ; the other the son of the younger Carcinus, and therefore the grandson of the elder Xenocles. Thus it appears that this family maintained some celebrity on the tragic stage of Athens during four generations, which is as long as the artistic duration of the family of Aeschylus. Carcinus the elder, who was about contemporary with Aeschylus, had three sons. Xenocles alone was a tragic poet. We have sufficient materials for the date of Xenocles ; for it appears that he had met with a signal defeat in a dramatic contest, shortly before the exhibition of the Clouds (B.C. 423 or 422), and the mention of him in the Frogs shows that he was still alive in B.C. 405. In Ol. 91, B.C. 415, he obtained a victory over Euripides. On this occasion each poet exhibited a tetralogy ; that of Xenocles consisting of the tragedies Oedipus, Lycaon, Bacchae, and the satyric drama Athamas ; that of Euripides, of the tragedies Alexander, Palamedes, Troades, and the satyric drama Sisyphus. There are grounds for believing that the poetry of Xenocles was very indifferent; that it resembled, in fact, the worser parts of Euripides. No fragments of the plays of Xenocles have come down to us, except the parody of a few words of the Licymnius.

  1. Athamas, satyr play (415 BC)
  2. Bakchai (Bacchantes) (415 BC)
  3. Likymnios (Licymnius)
  4. Lykaon (Lycaon) (415 BC)

    Performances : Athens
    # Total Tragedies : ?
    # Extant Tragedies : 0

    A tragic writer of the same name, a native of Megara, mentioned by Suidas.


    Performances : Athens
    # Total Tragedies : 37 (estimate)
    # Extant Tragedies : 0

    An Athenian orator and tragic poet, was the son of the Rhetorician Hippias and Plathane. After the death of his father, his mother married the orator Isocrates, who adopted Aphareus as his so, and is said to have written judicial and deliberative speeches. According to Plutarch, Aphareus wrote thirty-seven tragedies, but the authorship of two of them was a matter of dispute. He began his career as a tragic writer in B.C. 369, and continued it till B.C. 342. Aphareus gained four prizes in tragedy, two at the Dionysia and two at the Lenaea.

  6. Auge
  7. Orestes
  8. Periades


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, the son of Astydamas the Elder. The names of some of his tragedies are mentioned by Suidas.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles) (341 BC)
  2. Aias Mainomenos (Ajax)
  3. Alkmene (Alcmena)
  4. Alkmeon (Alcmeon)
  5. Antigone (341 BC)
  6. Athamas (341 BC)
  7. Bellerophon
  8. Epigonoi (Epigoni)
  9. Hektor (Hector)
  10. Herakles (Heracles)
  11. Hermes
  12. Lykaon (Lycaon) (340 BC)
  13. Nauplios (Nauplius)
  14. Palamedes
  15. Parthenopaios (Parthenopaeus) (340 BC)
  16. Phoinix (Phoenix)
  17. Tyro


Performances : Syracuse
# Total Tragedies : 160 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The younger Carcinus was a son either of Theodectes or of Xenocles; and possibly a grandson of Carcinus the elder. He is in all probability the same as the one who spent a great part of his life at the court of Dionysius II. at Syracuse. This supposition agrees with the statement of Suidas, according to whom Carcinus the son of Xenocles lived about B.C. 380; for Dionysius was expelled from Syracuse in B.C. 356. The tragedies which are referred to by the ancients under the name of Carcinus, probably all belong to the younger Carcinus. Suidas attributes to him 160 tragedies, but we possess the titles and fragments of nine only and some fragments of uncertain dramas. The following titles are known: Alope, Achilles, Thyestes, Semele, Amphiaraus, Medeia, Oedipus, Tereus, and Orestes. As regards the character of the poems of Carcinus, it is usually inferred, from the phrase Karkinou poiemata, used to designate obscure poetry.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Aerope
  3. Aias (Ajax)
  4. Alope
  5. Amphiareos (Amphiaraus)
  6. Medeia (Medea)
  7. Oidipous (Oedipus)
  8. Orestes
  9. Semele
  10. Tyro (?)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Athenian tragic poet of considerable eminence. We have no precise information about the time at which he lived, but the time when he flourished may be fixed about B.C. 380. Nothing is known of his life. It may be assumed that he lived at Athens, and the fragments of his poetry which remain afford abundant proofs, that he was trained in the loose morality which marked Athenian society at that period, and that his taste was formed after the model of that debased and florid poetry which Euripides first introduced by his innovations on the drama of Aeschylus and Sophocles, and which was carried to its height by the dithyrambic poets of the age. The following are the plays of Chaeremon of which fragments are preserved : Alphesiboia, Achilleus, Phersiktonos or Phersites (a title which seems to imply a satyric drama, if not one approaching still nearer to a comedy), Dionysos, Thyestes, Io, Minyai, Odysseus traumatias, Oineus and Kentauros. It is very doubtful whether the last was a tragedy at all, and indeed what sort of poem it was.

  1. Achilleus Tersitoktonos (Achilles Slayer of Thersites)
  2. Alphesiboia (Alphesiboea)
  3. Dionysos (Dionysus)
  4. Io
  5. Kentauros (Centaur)
  6. Minyai (Minyae)
  7. Odysseus
  8. Oineus (Oeneus)
  9. Thyestes
  10. Wounded


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet of Athens, the names of ten of whose dramas are given by Suidas. He is also mentioned by Aristotle.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Aktaion (Actaeon)
  3. Amphiaraos
  4. Bakchai (Bacchantes)
  5. Dexamenos
  6. Erigone
  7. Leukippos (Leucippus)
  8. Mandroboulos
  9. Persis
  10. Telephos
  11. Thyestes


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, who is said to have begun to exhibit at Athens in B.C. 404. Of his tragedies only a few titles remain, namely, Thyestes, Achilleus, Helene, Herakles, Medeia, Oidipous, Chrysippos, Semele and it is remarkable that all of these, except the last, are ascribed by Diogenes Laertius to Diogenes the Cynic. Others ascribe them to Philiscus of Aegina, a friend of Diogenes the Cynic, and others to Pasiphaon. Melanthius in Plutarch complains of the obscurity of a certain Diogenes.

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Atreus
  3. Helene (Helen)
  4. Herakles (Heracles)
  5. Krysippos (Crysippus)
  6. Medeia (Medea)
  7. Oidipous (Oedipus)
  8. Philiskos (Philiscus)
  9. Thyestes


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic and comic poet, mentioned more than once by Stobaeus, who has preserved the names of three of his plays. 1. Themistokles. 2. Telephos. 3. Pheraioi.

  1. Pheraioi (Pheraeans)
  2. Telephos (Telephus)
  3. Themistokles (Themistocles)


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Thurii, a tragic poet, was perhaps contemporary with the younger Sophocles, about the end of the fifth and the beginning of the fourth centuries B.C. Besides the mention of his Dioscuri in the above passage, and seven lines of his, preserved by Stobaeus, we have no information concerning him.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The great-grandson of Philocles the elder, son of Astydamas the elder, and brother of Astydamas the younger, was also a tragic poet, according to the scholiast on Aristophanes, but a general, according to Suidas.

POLYIDUS early C4th B.C.

Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A dithyrambic poet of the most flourishing period of the later Athenian dithyramb, and also skilful as a painter, was contemporary with Philoxenus, Timotheus, and Telestes, about Ol. 95, B.C. 400. The notices of him are very scanty ; but he seems to have been esteemed almost as highly as Timotheus, whom indeed one of his pupils, Philotas, once conquered. It seems from a passage of Plutarch, that Polyidus went beyond Timotheus in those intricate variations, for the introduction of which the musicians of this period are so frequently attacked. A remarkable testimony to his popularity throughout Greece is still extant in the form of a decree of the Cnossians, commending Menecles of Teos for having played on the harp at Cnossus “after the manner of Timotheus and Polyidus and the ancient Cretan poets, as becomes an accomplished man.”

  1. Iphigeneia (?)


Performances : Army of Alexander the Great
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Catana, a dramatic poet of the time of Alexander, whom he accompanied into Asia, and whose army he entertained with a satyric drama, when they were celebrating the Dionysia on the banks of the Hydaspes. The drama was in ridicule of Harpalus and the Athenians. Respecting the meaning of the title of the play, Agen, there are various conjectures, all of them very uncertain.

  1. Agen


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 40 or 11 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Ariston and grandson of the elder Sophocles, was also an Athenian tragic poet. His grandfather had a great affection for him and endeavoured to train him as the inheritor of his own skill in the art of tragedy. We have no definite statement of his age, but he was probably under twenty at the time of his grandfather’s death, as he did not begin to exhibit his own dramas till about ten years after that time, namely in B.C. 396. He had previously, in B.C. 401, brought out the Oedipus at Colonus, and we may safely assume that this was not the only one of his grandfather’s dramas which he exhibited. There is much difficulty as to the proper reading of the numbers of plays and victories ascribed to him. According to the different readings, he exhibited 40 or 11 dramas, and gained 12, 11, or 7 prizes. All that we know of his tragedies is contained in a passage of Clemens Alexandrinus, who refers to statements made in three of them respecting the mere humanity of the Dioscuri. It is, however, a very probable conjecture that, since Aristophanes of Byzantium pronounced 27 of the plays which were extant in his time under the name of the great Sophocles to be spurious, some of these may have been the productions of his grandson. Suidas also ascribes elegies to the younger Sophocles.


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : 50 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Aristander, of Phaselis, a Dorian city of Pamphylia, on the borders of Lycia, was a highly distinguished rhetorician and tragic poet in the time of Philip of Macedon.. He was a pupil of Isocrates ; and also, according to Suidas, of Plato and of Aristotle. The greater part of his life was spent at Athens, where he died at the early age of forty-one. We may suppose that Theodectes died about B.C. 335 or 334, and therefore, according to Suidas’s account of the length of his life, that he was born about B.C. 376 or 375.
Theodectes devoted himself, during the first part of his life, entirely to rhetoric, and afterwards he turned his attention to tragic poetry, but his dramatic works partook largely of the rhetorical character, so that, while in tragedy he may be regarded as, to some extent, an imitator of Euripides, he must be considered, in his whole literary character, as the disciple of Isocrates, whose style he is said to have followed very closely.
It was not till after he had obtained renown in rhetoric, that he turned his attention to tragedy. If, therefore, the view is correct, that he brought out his tragedy of Mausolus at the funeral of the Carian prince in B.C. 352, it may be assumed that this was about the time when he began to compose tragedies. The number of his dramas is uniformly stated as fifty. According to his epitaph, quoted above, he entered the dramatic contests thirteen times, and gained eight victories. We have the titles of ten of these dramas, Aias, Alkmaion, Helene, Thyestes, Lynkeus, Mausolos, Oidipous, Orestes, Tydeus, Philoktetes, to which three may be added with great probability, namely, Bellerophontes, Theseus, and Memnon e Achilleus. Popular as his dramas were, on account of their adaptation to the taste of his contemporaries, it is probable, from the fragments which survive, that they would be condemned by a sound aesthetic criticism, as characterised by the lax morality and the sophistical rhetoric of the schools of Euripides and Isocrates.

  1. Aias (Ajax)
  2. Alkmeon (Alcmeon)
  3. Helene (Helen)
  4. Lynkeus (Lynceus)
  5. Mausolos (Mausolus)
  6. Oidipous (Oedipus)
  7. Orestes
  8. Philoktetes (Philoctetes)
  9. Tydeus


Performances : Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet of uncertain date, who is distinguished from the comic poet by Athenaeus.

  1. Lykourgos (Lycurgus)
  2. Oidipous (Oedipus) (?)
  3. Phorkides (Phorcides) (?)
  4. Phrixos (Phrixus) (?)


Performances :
# Total Tragedies : 10 or 14
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic writer, who was a native of Syracuse. According to Suidas and Phavorinus he wrote ten, according to Eudocia fourteen tragedies.


Performances : Syracuse
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, whom Plutarch, Philostratus, and others, confound with the Attic orator Antiphon, who was put to death at Athens in B.C. 411. Now Antiphon the tragic poet lived at Syracuse, at the court of the elder Dionysius, who did not assume the tyranny till the year B.C. 406, that is, five years after the death of the Attic orator. The poet Antiphon is said to have written dramas in conjunction with the tyrant, who is not known to have shown his passion for writing poetry until the latter period of his life. These circumstances alone, if there were not many others, would shew that the orator and the poet were two different persons, and that the latter must have survived .the former many years. The poet was put to death by the tyrant, according to some accounts, for having used a sarcastic expression in regard to tyranny, or, according to others, for having imprudently censured the tyrant’s compositions.We still know the titles of five of Antiphon’s tragedies: viz. Meleager, Andromache, Medeia, Jason, and Philoctetes.

  1. Andromache
  2. Iasion (Jason)
  3. Medeia (Medea)
  4. Meleagros (Meleager)
  5. Philoktetes (Philoctetes)


Performances : Syracuse & Athens
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0 Fragments

  1. Adonis
  2. Alkmene (Alcmena)
  3. Hektoros Lytra (Bath of Hector)
  4. Leda
  5. Limos (Hunger)


Performances : Alexandria
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet of Alexandria, mentioned as one of the seven poets who formed the Tragic Pleiad. He lived in the time of the second Ptolemy.


Performances : Alexandria
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A Greek poet and grammarian, who lived in the reign of Ptolemaeus Philadelphus. He was the son of Satyrus and Stratocleia, and a native of Pleuron in Aetolia, but spent the greater part of his life at Alexandria, where he was reckoned one of the seven tragic poets who constituted the tragic Pleiad. He had an office in the library at Alexandria, and was commissioned by the king to make a collection of all the tragedies and satyric dramas that were extant. He spent some time, together with Antagoras and Aratus, at the court of Antigonus Gonatas. Notwithstanding the distinction he enjoyed as a tragic poet, he appears to have had greater merit as a writer of epic poems, elegies, epigrams, and cynaedi. Among his epic poems, we possess the titles and some fragments of three pieces: the Fisherman, Kirka or Krika, which, however, is designated by Athenaeus as doubtful, and Helena. Of his elegies, some beautiful fragments are still extant.

  1. Astargalistai (?)


Performances : Alexandria ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Tarsus, a tragic poet, was, according to Strabo, the best of the poets in the “Tragic Pleiad” of the Alexandrian grammarians. He was a native of Mallus in Cilicia, according to Suidas.


Performances : Athens ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Chalcis in Euboea, an eminent grammarian and poet, was the son of Polymnetus, and was born, according to Suidas in the 126th Olympiad, when Pyrrhus was defeated by the Romans, B.C. 274. He became, but at what period of his life is not known, a citizen of Athens. He was instructed in philosophy by Lacydes, who nourished about B.C. 241, and Prytanis, and in poetry by Archebulus of Thera. Though he was sallow, fat, and bandy­legged, he was beloved by Nicia (or Nicaea), the wife of Alexander, king of Euboea. Having amassed great wealth, he went into Syria, to Antiochus the Great (B.C. 221), who made him his librarian. He died in Syria, and was buried at Apameia, or, according to others, at Antioch. Euphorion wrote numerous works, both in poetry and prose, relating chiefly to mythological history. Some writers have supposed that Euphorion was also a dramatic poet.


Performances : Alexandria ?
# Total Tragedies : 47 or 57 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A grammarian and tragic poet of Byzantium, in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus (about B.C. 280), was the son of the grammarian Andromachus and the poetess Myro. He was one of the seven poets who formed the tragic Pleiad. The number of his dramas is differently stated at 45, 47, and 57. His statue stood in the gymnasium of Zeuxippus at Byzantium. His poems are entirely lost, with the exception of one title, Eurypyleia.

  1. Eurypyleia


Performances : Alexandria
# Total Tragedies : 46 or 64 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The celebrated Alexandrian grammarian and poet, was a native of Chalcis in Euboea, the son of Socles, and the adopted son of the historian Lycus of Rhegium. Other accounts made him the son of Lycus. He lived at Alexandria, under Ptolemy Philadelphus, who entrusted to him the arrangement of the works of the comic poets contained in the Alexandrian library. Nothing more is known of his life. Ovid states that he was killed by an arrow. As a poet, Lycophron obtained a place in the Tragic Pleiad; but there is scarcely a fragment of his tragedies extant. Suidas gives the titles of twenty of Lycophron’s tragedies ; while Tzetzes makes their number forty-six or sixty-four. Four lines of his Pelopidai are quoted by Stobaeus. He also wrote a satyric drama, entitled Menedemos, in which he ridiculed his fellow-countryman, the philosopher Menedemus of Eretria. He is said to have been a very skilful com­poser of anagrams, of which he wrote several in honour of Ptolemy and Arsinoe. The only one of his poems which has come down to us is the Cassandra or Alexandra. This is neither a tragedy nor an epic poem, but a long iambic monologue of 1474 verses, in which Cassandra is made to prophesy.

  1. Aiolos (Aeolus)
  2. Aiolides (Aeolides, Daughters of Aeolus)
  3. Andromeda
  4. Aletes (Wanderer)
  5. Chrysippos (Chrysippus)
  6. Elephenor
  7. Herakles (Heracles)
  8. Hiketai (Suppliants)
  9. Hippolytos (Hippolytus)
  10. Kassandreis (Cassandreis)
  11. Laios (Laeus)
  12. Marathonioi (Marathonians)
  13. Menedemos (Menedemus)
  14. Nauplios (Nauplius)
  15. Oidipous A (Oedipus)
  16. Oidipous B (Oedipus)
  17. Orphanos (Orphan)
  18. Pentheus
  19. Pelopidai (Daughters of Pelops)
  20. Symmachoi (Allies)
  21. Telegonos (Telegonus)


Performances : Alexandria
# Total Tragedies : 42 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Corcyra, a distinguished tragic poet, and one of the seven who formed the Tragic Pleiad, was also a priest of Dionysus, and in that character he was present at the coronation procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus in B.C. 284. Pliny states that his portrait was painted in the attitude of meditation by Protogenes, who is known to have been still alive in B.C. 304. It seems, therefore, that the time of Philiscus must be extended to an earlier period than that assigned to him by Suidas, who merely says that he lived under Ptolemy Philadelphus. He wrote 42 dramas, of which we know nothing, except that the Themistocles, which is enumerated among the plays of Philiscus the comic poet, ought probably to be ascribed to him : such subjects are known to have been chosen by the tragedians, as in the Marathonians of Lycophron. The choriambic hexameter verse was named after Philiscus, on account of his frequent use of it. There is much dispute whether the name should be written Philiscus or Philicus, but the former appears to be the true form, though he himself, for the sake of metre, used the latter.

  1. Themistokles


Performances : Syracuse ?
# Total Tragedies : 73 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Sosicles, of Syracuse, a tragic poet, who, according to Suidas, exhibited seventy-three dramas, and obtained seven victories ; was one of the seven tragedians who were called the Tragic Pleiad ; was born at the end of the reign of Philip, or, as others said, in that of Alexander ; and died in the 121st or 124th Olympiad ; while others stated that he flourished at one or the other of those dates. Clinton proposes to reduce these statements into a consistent form in the following manner: Sosiphanes was born in the reign of Philip, or in that of Alexander, between B.C. 340 and B.C. 330, and exhibited tragedy in the times of the Pleiad, Ol. 121 (B.C. 296) or Ol. 124 (B.C. 284). He is placed among the poets of the Pleiad by a scholiast on Hephaestion, as well as by Suidas ; but, in the other three lists, the name of Aeantides appears instead of Sosiphanes. If the latter really belonged to the Tragic Pleiad, he must have been the oldest of the seven poets in it. Of the seventy-three plays of Sosiphanes, the only remains are one title, Meleagros, and a very few lines from it and other plays.

  1. Meleagros (Meleager)


Performances : Athens & Syracuse ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Syracuse or Athens, or rather, according to Suidas, of Alexandreia in the Troad, was a distinguished tragic poet, one of the Tragic Pleiad, and the antagonist of the tragic poet Homer: he flourished about Ol. 124 (B.C. 284) ; and wrote both in poetry and in prose. He is also mentioned among the poets of the Pleiad in all the lists except that of Tzetzes. The remains of his works consist of two lines from his Aithlios, and a considerable fragment of twenty-four lines from his Daphnis or Lityerses, which appears to have been a drama pastoral in its scene, and in its form and character very similar to the old satyric dramas of the Attic tragedians. By some of the above authorities the name Sosibius is wrongly given instead of Sositheus. Another error, into which some writers have been led by thfc character of the Daphnis of Sositheus, is that of making him a comic poet.

  1. Aithlios (Aethlius)
  2. Daphnis or Lityerses, pastoral play


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : 6 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

Of Tarsus, a tragic poet, of whom Suidas and Eudocia mention six tragedies; but nothing further is known about him. There is another Apollodorus of Tarsus, who was probably a grammarian, and wrote commentaries on the early dramatic writers of Greece.

  1. Akanthoplix
  2. Hellenes
  3. Hiketides (Suppliants)
  4. Odysseus
  5. Teknoktonos
  6. Thyestes

CALLIMACHUS c. 205 – c. 240 B.C.

Performances : Alexandria
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

An Alexandrian poet and scholar who according to Suidas, amongst his numerous works, composed a few tragedies and satyr plays.


Performances : Alexandria ?
# Total Tragedies : 60 (estimate)
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Timarchus of Phlius, a philosopher of the sect of the Sceptics, and a celebrated writer of the species of satiric poems called Silli, flourished in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about B.C. 279, and onwards. A pretty full account of his life is pre­served by Diogenes Laertius, from the first book of a work on the Silli. The writings of Timon are represented as very numerous. According to Diogenes, he composed sixty tragedies and thirty comedies, besides satyric dramas. Of his epic poems we know very little. The most celebrated of his poems, however, were the satiric compositions called Silli. He also wrote in prose, to the quantity, Diogenes tells us, of twenty thousand lines. These works were no doubt on philosophical subjects.


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

  1. Amphilochos
  2. Ixion


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A tragic poet, of whom we find nothing recorded except the interesting fact of his being so fond of lupines, that he would eat them, husks and all.

  1. Hypsipyle


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

A Grecian tragic and dithyrambic poet, of whom nothing is known except a few titles of his dramas. One of these, the Kyprioi is supposed by some to have been not a tragedy, but a cyclic epic poem.

  • Kyprioi (Cyprians)
  • Medeia (Medea)


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

  1. Achilleus (Achilles)
  2. Alkmeon (Alcmeon)
  3. Teukros (Teucer)


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

The son of Cleomachus, a Dorian lyric poet, according to Meineke, whose light and licentious love verses were attacked by Chionides, Cratinus, and Eupolis. The passages quoted by Athenaeus seem, however, to bear out fully the opinion of Welcker, that Gnesippus was a tragic poet, and that the description of his poetry given by Athenaeus.


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

  1. Lykourgeia


Performances : ?
# Total Tragedies : ?
# Extant Tragedies : 0

  1. Parthenopaios (?)
  2. Perikaiomenos Herakles (Scorched Herakles)
  3. Semele Keraunomene (Semele struck by a thunderbolt)
  1. Oidipous (Oedipus) (415 BC)