Time Line*

535-533 Traditional date for first tragedy at Athens (Thespis)

?525/4 Birth of Aeschylus

508 Cleisthenes establishes democracy

?497/6 or 495/4 Birth of Sophocles

490 Battle of Marathon: Athenians and allies defeat Persians

480s Birth of Euripides

480 Battle of Salamis: Greek fleet defeats Persian fleet

479 Battle of Plataea: Greeks defeat Persians

468 Sophocles' first tragic competition

460 or after Birth of Aristophanes

458 Aeschylus' Oresteia (his last production)

456/5 Death of Aeschylus

?442 Sophocles' Antigone

438 Euripides' Alcestis

431-404 Peloponnesian War

423 Aristophanes' Clouds; our text revised 418-417

before 415 Euripides' Electra

408 Euripides' Orestes

406/5 Death of Sophocles

after 406 Euripides' Bacchae

405 Aristophanes' Frogs

402/1 Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus produced by his nephew

around 386 Death of Aristophanes

*If a play on the syllabus does not appear in this time line, the reason is that its date is unknown.