Oresteia: Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides

Aeschylus (Author) Alan H. Sommerstein (Translator)


Aeschylus (ca. 525-456 BCE), the dramatist who made Athenian tragedy one of the world's great art forms, witnessed the establishment of democracy at Athens and fought against the Persians at Marathon. He won the tragic prize at the City Dionysia thirteen times between ca. 499 and 458, and in his later years was probably victorious almost every time he put on a production, though Sophocles beat him at least once.

Of his total of about eighty plays, seven survive complete. The second volume contains the complete Oresteia trilogy, comprising Agamemnon, Libation-Bearers, and Eumenides, presenting the murder of Agamemnon by his wife, the revenge taken by their son Orestes, the pursuit of Orestes by his mother's avenging Furies, his trial and acquittal at Athens, Athena's pacification of the Furies, and the blessings they both invoke upon the Athenian people.

Product Details

Price: $33.60
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Published Date: January 01, 2009
Pages: 544
Dimensions: 4.3 X 1.3 X 6.5 inches | 0.85 pounds
Language: Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
Type: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780674996281
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Aeschylus (est. 525-456 B.C.E.) was the father of Greek tragedy, whose innovations in theater included conflict directly between characters, rather than through the intermediary of the chorus. Though a highly prolific playwright of an estimated seventy to ninety plays, only seven of Aeschylus' works survive. Among the most famous are The Persians and the Oresteia trilogy: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides.
Alan H. Sommerstein is Professor of Greek, University of Nottingham.


The Loeb Classical Library, now almost a hundred years old and constituting over [500] volumes, has proven itself (like its French counterpart, the Budé series) an invaluable tool for scholars and students from all over the academic landscape. With Greek or Latin text on the left and English translation on the facing page, it provides quick, consistent and user-friendly access to a wide range of authors, and does not discriminate between those who want to read in the original and those who just want an English version...Alan Sommerstein's three-volume Aeschylus...is in many respects the best critical edition of this playwright available in any format. Sommerstein's authority as a linguist and expert in Aeschylean drama is second to none, and he has provided an up-to-date and carefully constituted text for the seven surviving plays, plus all of the fragmentary remains that are at least one line long. Important manuscript variants and modern conjectures are scrupulously recorded (making the page a little cluttered, but clear enough); and in addition he has provided copious notes, fuller and more numerous than is normal for a Loeb, on matters of myth, geography, history and interpretation.-- (02/12/2010)