Euripides

Euripides
  • Full name: Euripides

According to ancient biographers Euripides was born on Salamis Island, on 23th September 480 BC, the day of the glorious victory of Greeks over Persians in the famous naval battle. Aeschylus took part in this battle and Sophocles performed in the boys choir that praised the victory. Thus the legend represents the succession of three great tragedians, of which Euripides was the youngest.

Soon after his birth Euripides moved to Athens, where his parents were from. In this city he began to write his tragedies. His debut play, “Peliades” was written and staged in 455 BC but did not win in the Dionysia due to a quarrel with judges. His was first awarded a prize almost 20 years later for the tragedy “Alcestis” but he never attained real success in Athens. Altogether only five tragedies won the first prize out of all the 92 plays he wrote. Two of them, “The Bacchae” and “Iphigenia in Aulis”, were performed after his death and the first prize was awarded posthumously. That’s probably why the offended, 72 year old playwright accepted the invitation to move to Macedonia, where he died.

From all Euripides‘ plays only 19 remain to this day, including the satyr drama, “Cyclops”, the only fully extant example of this genre. Besides Medea, the most popular Euripides’ tragedies are “Electra”, “Hippolytus”, “Alcestis”, “Andromache”, “The Suppliants” and “The Trojan Women”.