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“Sophocles:—Son of Sophillus; an Athenian of the deme of Colonus; tragic poet; born in the 73rd Olympiad (488-5 B.C.) and thus seventeen years older than Socrates. He was the first to employ three actors and the tritagonist, as he is called, and to bring in a chorus of fifteen youths instead of twelve. He was called the Bee because of his sweetness. And he himself originated the custom of making play compete with play, rather than tetralogy, or group of four plays, with tetralogy. He also wrote an Elegy and Paeans and a prose-treatise On the Chorus , competing with Thespis and Choerilus... He died later than Euripides, at the age of ninety. He produced a hundred and twenty-three plays —indeed some writers say many more —and was victorious twenty-four times.” Suidas Lexicon
“From the time when Sophocles son of Sophillus, of Colonus, won the prize for tragedy at the age of twenty-eight, 206 years, in the archonship of Apsephion at Athens (469 B.C.).” Parian Chronicle
“From the time when the poet Sophocles died at the age of ninety-two, and Cyrus marched up-country1 [43 years,] in the archonship of the second Callias at Athens (406 B.C.).” Parian Chronicle


“In heroic verse this shortening is less frequent; indeed the name Archelaus appeared to Sophocles to suit neither Epic nor Elegiac verse, for he says:

Archeleos; for 'twas meet to the metre to say it thus.2

Hephaestion Handbook of Metre [syllables of doubtful length]
“‘Rule shows the man’:—Demosthenes in his 5; but Sophocles, in his Elegies , makes it a saying of Solon, and Theophrastus in his treatise On Proverbs , and Aristotle, ascribe it to Bias.” Harpocration Lexicon to the Attic Orators

Χάριτες ‘Graces’ is sometimes used in the sense of


as by Sophocles in an Elegy.

Erotian Vocabulary to Hippocrates

Epic Poems

“The tragic poet Sophocles says:

Not even to the Gods come all things of their own choice without3 Zeus; He it is that hath both end and beginning.

Clement of Alexandria Miscellanies 5. 726


“Hieronymus of Rhodes, too, declares in his Historical Notes that Sophocles was once robbed of his cloak in equivocal circumstances by a boy who left him his, and when the story, as was only to be expected, went the round, Euripides heard what had happened and made mock of it, saying that in like circumstances he had suffered no loss himself, whereas Sophocles was clearly despised for a profligate. When Sophocles heard this he wrote the following epigram upon him, in which he employs the Fable of the Sun and the Northwind as an allegory of his victim's dissolute character:

It was the Sun that stripped me,4 Euripides; but when you were after a girl your bedfellow was the Northwind; you must be a fool to hale Love into court for highway robbery when you sow another's field.

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“This inscription (or epigram) is admittedly the work of Sophocles:

At the age of five-and-fifty Sophocles made a song for Herodotus....5

Plutarch (Should Old Men Govern?)

1 the Anabasis described by Xenophon

2 the Greek adjective can mean both ‘suitable' and ‘in accord with the metre’

3 or except

4 cf. Avian Fab. 4

5 if the 55 really belongs to S. the lost remainder of the line prob. contained the age of H., and since the historian would be about 40 when S. was 55 Bergk completes it with ‘at the age of twice-twenty years’ and Gomperz with ‘at the age of six-times-seven years’; but as the context ( q.v. ) clearly suggests that 55 is too low an age for S., that numeral may well be corrupt, and since we do not know that the historian is meant, emendation is useless; for Bergk's fr. 6 see L. G. iii p. 224

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