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“The poet Euripides was the son of a shop-keeper Mnesarchus and a greengrocer Cleito, an Athenian, but born at Salamis in the archonship of Calliades (480 B.C.) in the 75th Olympiad, when the Greeks fought the Persians at sea ... He brought out his first play in the archonship of Callias (456 B.C.). The number of his dramas amounted in all to 902, of which 78 are extant. He died according to Philochorus at over seventy years of age, according to Eratosthenes at seventy-five, and was buried in Macedonia.1Life of Euripides

Lament and Inscription

Lament for the Athenians Who Fell in Sicily

“After their defeat and destruction Euripides composed a lament or epitaph:

These men won eight victories over the Syracusans when the favour of the Gods was equal for both sides.

Plutarch Life of Nicias
“According to Eparchides, the poet Euripides was once staying in the isle of Icaros, when a certain woman and her children, two grown-up sons and one unmarried daughter, all died of poisonous mushrooms which they ate in the fields, whereupon he composed the following inscription:

O Sun whose path lies through the unaging vault of heaven, did thy eye ever behold so sad a thing as a mother and a maiden daughter and two sons perishing on the same destined day?2

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner [on mushrooms]

1 The Parian Chronicle gives for his birth 485, for his first victory (aged 44) 442, for his death 407

2 for examples of E.'s use of Elegy in tragedy see Eur. Andr. 103 ff. and Lyra Graeca iii. 663, and for the lyric poem to Alcibiades Ibid. 240

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