The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god's retinue. Their name translates as "raving ones". Maenads were known as Bassarids, Bacchae, or Bacchantes in Roman mythology after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a bassaris or fox skin; the maenads were portrayed as inspired by Dionysus into a state of ecstatic frenzy through a combination of dancing and intoxication. During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped with a pine cone, they would weave ivy-wreaths around their heads or wear a bull helmet in honor of their god, handle or wear snakes. These women were mythologized as the "mad women". Lycurgus "chased the Nurses of the frenzied Dionysus through the holy hills of Nysa, the sacred implements dropped to the ground from the hands of one and all, as the murderous Lycurgus struck them down with his ox-goad".
They practiced strange rites. According to Plutarch's Life of Alexander, maenads were called Mimallones and Klodones in Macedon, epithets derived from the feminine art of spinning wool; these warlike parthenoi from the hills, associated with a Dionysios pseudanor "fake male Dionysus", routed an invading enemy. In southern Greece they were described with Bacchae, Thyiades and other epithets; the term maenad has come to be associated with a wide variety of women, supernatural and historical, associated with the god Dionysus and his worship. In Euripides' play The Bacchae, maenads of Thebes murder King Pentheus after he bans the worship of Dionysus. Dionysus, Pentheus' cousin, himself lures Pentheus to the woods, his corpse is mutilated by his own mother, who tears off his head, believing it to be that of a lion. A group of maenads kill Orpheus. In ceramic art, the frolicking of Maenads and Dionysus is a theme depicted on kraters, used to mix water and wine; these scenes show the maenads in their frenzy running in the forests tearing to pieces any animal they happen to come across.
German philologist Walter Friedrich Otto writes: The Bacchae of Euripides gives us the most vital picture of the wonderful circumstance in which, as Plato says in the Ion, the god-intoxicated celebrants draw milk and honey from the streams. They strike rocks with the thyrsus, water gushes forth, they lower the thyrsus to the earth, a spring of wine bubbles up. If they want milk, they draw up the milky fluid. Honey trickles down from the thyrsus made of the wood of the ivy, they gird themselves with snakes and give suck to fawns and wolf cubs as if they were infants at the breast. Fire does not burn them. No weapon of iron can wound them, the snakes harmlessly lick up the sweat from their heated cheeks. Fierce bulls fall to the ground, victims to numberless, tearing female hands, sturdy trees are torn up by the roots with their combined efforts. Cultist rites associated with worship of the Greek god of wine, were characterized by maniacal dancing to the sound of loud music and crashing cymbals, in which the revelers, called Bacchantes, screamed, became drunk and incited one another to greater and greater ecstasy.
The goal was to achieve a state of enthusiasm in which the celebrants’ souls were temporarily freed from their earthly bodies and were able to commune with Bacchus/Dionysus and gain a glimpse of and a preparation for what they would someday experience in eternity. The rite climaxed in a performance of frenzied feats of strength and madness, such as uprooting trees, tearing a bull apart with their bare hands, an act called sparagmos, eating its flesh raw, an act called omophagia; this latter rite was a sacrament akin to communion in which the participants assumed the strength and character of the god by symbolically eating the raw flesh and drinking the blood of his symbolic incarnation. Having symbolically eaten his body and drunk his blood, the celebrants became possessed by Dionysus. "Maenads" are found in references as priestesses of the Dionysian cult. In the third century BC, when an Asia Minor city wanted to create a maenadic cult of Dionysus, the Delphic Oracle bid them to send to Thebes for both instruction and three professional maenads, stating, "Go to the holy plain of Thebes so that you may get maenads who are from the family of Ino, daughter of Cadmus.
They will give to you both the rites and good practices and they will establish dance groups of Bacchus in your city." Dionysus came to his birthplace, where neither Pentheus, his cousin, now king, nor Pentheus’ mother Agave, Dionysus’ aunt acknowledged his divinity. Dionysus punished Agave by driving her insane, in that condition, she killed her son and tore him to pieces. From Thebes, Dionysus went to Argos where all the women except the daughters of King Proetus joined in his worship. Dionysus punished them by driving them mad, they killed the infants who were nursing at their breasts, he did the same to the daughters of Minyas, King of Orchomenos in Boetia, turned them into bats. According to Opian, Dionysus delighted, as a child, in tearing kids into pieces and bringing them back to life again, he is characterized as "the raging one" and "the mad one" and the nature of the maenads, from which they get their name, is, his nature. Once during a war in the middle of the third century BC, the entranced Thyiades lost their way and arrived in Amphissa, a city ne
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms, it focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary; the Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius; the other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.
It is accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries. Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music and film; the Homeric epics were the greatest influence on education. Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name'Homer'. In antiquity, a large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia, the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, the Phocais; these claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world.
As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer. Modern scholarly consensus is; some claims were repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works, that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, various explanations for the name "Homer"; the two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. Nonetheless, the aims of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia; the earliest preserved comments on Homer concern his treatment of the gods, which hostile critics such as the poet Xenophanes of Colophon denounced as immoral.
The allegorist Theagenes of Rhegium is said to have defended Homer by arguing that the Homeric poems are allegories. The Iliad and the Odyssey were used as school texts in ancient Greek and Hellenistic cultures, they were the first literary works taught to all students. The Iliad its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods; as a result of the poems' prominence in classical Greek education, extensive commentaries on them developed to explain parts of the poems that were culturally or linguistically difficult. During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, many interpreters the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom; because of the Homeric poems' extensive use in education, many authors believed that Homer's original purpose had been to educate. Homer's wisdom became so praised that he began to acquire the image of a prototypical philosopher. Byzantine scholars such as Eustathius of Thessalonica and John Tzetzes produced commentaries and scholia to Homer in the twelfth century.
Eustathius's commentary on the Iliad alone is massive, sprawling nearly 4,000 oversized pages in a twenty-first century printed version and his commentary on the Odyssey an additional nearly 2,000. In 1488, the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles published the editio princeps of the Homeric poems; the earliest modern Homeric scholars started with the same basic approaches towards the Homeric poems as scholars in antiquity. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems, so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists praised Homer as the archetypically wise poet, whose writings contain hidden wisdom, disguised through allegory. In western Europe during the Renaissance, Virgil was more read than Homer and Homer was seen through a Virgilian lens. In 1664, contradicting the widespread praise of Homer as the epitome of wisdom, François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac wrote a s
Robert von Ranke Graves, known as Robert Graves, was a British poet, historical novelist and classicist. His father was a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival. Graves produced more than 140 works. Graves's poems—together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths, he earned his living from writing popular historical novels such as I, King Jesus, The Golden Fleece and Count Belisarius. He was a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Graves was born into a middle-class family in Wimbledon part of Surrey, now part of south London, he was the third of five children born to Alfred Perceval Graves, the sixth child and second son of Charles Graves, Bishop of Limerick and Aghadoe. His father was an Irish school inspector, Gaelic scholar and the author of the popular song "Father O'Flynn", his second wife, Amalie Elisabeth Sophie von Ranke, the niece of the historian Leopold von Ranke.
At the age of seven, double pneumonia following measles took Graves's life, the first of three occasions when he was despaired of by his doctors as a result of afflictions of the lungs, the second being the result of a war wound and the third when he contracted Spanish influenza in late 1918 before demobilisation. At school, Graves was enrolled as Robert von Ranke Graves, in Germany his books are published under that name, but before and during the First World War the name caused him difficulties. In August 1916 an officer who disliked him spread the rumour that he was the brother of a captured German spy who had assumed the name "Carl Graves"; the problem resurfaced in a minor way in the Second World War, when a suspicious rural policeman blocked his appointment to the Special Constabulary. Graves's eldest half-brother, Philip Perceval Graves, achieved note as a journalist and his younger brother, Charles Patrick Graves, was a writer and journalist. Graves received his early education at a series of six preparatory schools, including King's College School in Wimbledon, Penrallt in Wales, Hillbrow School in Rugby, Rokeby School in Kingston upon Thames and Copthorne in Sussex, from which last in 1909 he won a scholarship to Charterhouse.
There, in response to persecution because of the German element in his name, his outspokenness, his scholarly and moral seriousness, his poverty relative to the other boys, he feigned madness, began to write poetry, took up boxing, in due course becoming school champion at both welter- and middleweight. He sang in the choir, meeting there an aristocratic boy three years younger, G. H. "Peter" Johnstone, with whom he began an intense romantic friendship, the scandal of which led to an interview with the headmaster. However, Graves himself called it "chaste and sentimental" and "proto-homosexual," and though he was in love with "Peter", their relationship was not sexual. Among the masters his chief influence was George Mallory, who introduced him to contemporary literature and took him mountaineering in vacations. In his final year at Charterhouse, he won a classical exhibition to St John's College, Oxford but did not take his place there until after the war. At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Graves enlisted immediately, taking a commission in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers as a second lieutenant on 12 August.
He was confirmed in his rank on 10 March 1915, received rapid promotion, being promoted to lieutenant on 5 May 1915 and to captain on 26 October. He published his first volume of poems, Over the Brazier, in 1916, he developed an early reputation as a war poet and was one of the first to write realistic poems about the experience of frontline conflict. In years, he omitted his war poems from his collections, on the grounds that they were too "part of the war poetry boom." At the Battle of the Somme, he was so badly wounded by a shell-fragment through the lung that he was expected to die and was reported as having died of wounds. He recovered and, apart from a brief spell back in France, spent the remainder of the war in England. One of Graves's friends at this time was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, a fellow officer in his regiment, they both convalesced at Somerville College, used as a hospital for officers. How unlike you to crib my idea of going to the Ladies' College at Oxford, Sassoon wrote to him in 1917.
At Somerville College, Graves met a nurse and professional pianist called Marjorie. About his time at Somerville, he wrote: I enjoyed my stay at Somerville; the sun shone, the discipline was easy. In 1917, Sassoon rebelled against the conduct of the war by making a public antiwar statement. Graves feared Sassoon could face a court martial and intervened with the military authorities, persuading them that Sassoon was suffering from shell shock and that they should treat him accordingly; as a result, Sassoon was sent to Craiglockhart, a military hospital in Edinburgh, where he was treated by Dr. W. H. R. Rivers and met fellow patient Wilfred Owen. Graves was treated here as well. Graves suffered from shell shock, or neurasthenia as it was t
Neoptolemus called Pyrrhus, was the son of the warrior Achilles and the princess Deidamia in Greek mythology, the mythical progenitor of the ruling dynasty of the Molossians of ancient Epirus. In Cypria, Achilles sails to Scyros after a failed expedition to Troy, marries princess Deidamia and has Neoptolemus, until Achilles is called to arms again. In a non-Homeric version of the story, Achilles' mother Thetis foretold many years before Achilles' birth that there would be a great war, she saw. She sought a place for him to avoid fighting in the Trojan War, disguising him as a woman in the court of Lycomedes, the king of Scyros. During that time, he had an affair with the princess, who gave birth to Neoptolemos. Neoptolemos was called Pyrrhos, because his father had taken Pyrrha, the female version of that name, while disguised as a woman; the Greeks captured the Trojan seer and forced him to tell them under what conditions they could take Troy. Helenos revealed to them that they could defeat Troy if they could acquire the poisonous arrows of Heracles.
In response to the prophecy, the Greeks took steps to retrieve the arrows of Heracles and bring Neoptolemos to Troy. Odysseus was sent to retrieve Neoptolemos a mere teenager, from Scyros; the two went to Lemnos to retrieve Philoctetes. Years earlier, on the way to Troy, Philoctetes was bitten by a snake on Chryse Island. Agamemnon had advised that he smelled bad; this retrieval is the plot of a play by Sophocles. Euripides, in his play Hekabe, has a moving scene which shows Neoptolemos as a compassionate young man who kills Polyxena, Hekabe's daughter with ambivalent feelings and in the least painful way. Neoptolemos was held by some to be brutal, he killed six men on the field of battle. During and after the war, he killed Priam, Polyxena and Astyanax among others, captured Helenos, made Andromache a widow, his concubine; the ghost of Achilles appeared to the survivors of the war, demanding Polyxena, the Trojan princess, be sacrificed before anybody could leave. Neoptolemos did so. With Andromache and Phoenix, Neoptolemos sailed to the Epirot Islands and became the King of Epirus.
With the enslaved Andromache, Neoptolemos was the father of Molossos and through him, according to the myth, an ancestor of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. According to Hyginus, his son with Andromache was Amphialos: CXXIII. NEOPTOLEMUS Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and Deidamia, begat Amphialus by captive Andromache, daughter of Ēëtion, but after he heard that Hermione his betrothed had been given to Orestes in marriage, he went to Lacedaemon and demanded her from Menelaus. Menelaus did not wish to go back on his word, took Hermione from Orestes and gave her to Neoptolemus. Orestes, thus insulted, slew Neoptolemus as he was sacrificing to Delphi, recovered Hermione; the bones of Neoptolemus were scattered through the land of Ambracia, in the district of Epirus. Although Neoptolemus is depicted thus, the play Philoctetes by Sophocles shows him being a much kinder man, who honours his promises and shows remorse when he is made to trick Philoctetes. Two accounts deal with Neoptolemos' death.
He was either killed after he attempted to take Hermione from Orestes as her father Menelaus promised, or after he denounced Apollo, the murderer of his father. In the first case, he was killed by Orestes. In the second, revenge was taken by the Delphic priests of Apollo. After his death his kingdom was portioned out and Helenos took part of it. "Helenus, a son of Priam, was king over these Greek cities of Epirus, having succeeded to the throne and bed of Pyrrhus..." Neoptolemus is one of the main characters in a tragedy by Sophocles. Andromache, a tragedy by Euripides. Neoptolemus does not appear on stage but his death at Delphi is described Apollodorus' Library, in Book 3 and in the Epitome 5.10-12, 5.21, 5.24 The Aeneid by Virgil Trojan Women by Seneca The Posthomerica, an epic poem by Quintus of Smyrna In Confessio Amantis Book 4 line 2161ff he is the slayer of the Amazon Penthesilea The Tragedy of Dido by Christopher Marlowe Pyrrhus features in the player's speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet where his killing of Priam is described The Second Part of the Iron Age, the final play in the Ages series by Thomas Heywood Pyrrhus is a leading character in Andromaque, a play by Jean Racine Andromaque, an opera by Grétry based on Racine's play Ermione, an opera by Gioachino Rossini based on Racine's play An Arrow's Flight, a novel by Mark Merlis The Song of Achilles, a novel by Madeline Miller The Song of Troy, a novel written by Colleen McCullough The Silence of the Girls, a novel written by Pat Barker Mentioned in Euripides' plays Trojan Women and Hecuba stating that Andromache, wife of Hector, was his promised spear bride.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Neoptolemus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon and queen of Mycenae in ancient Greek legend. In the Oresteia by Aeschylus, she murdered Agamemnon – said by Euripides to be her second husband – and the Trojan princess Cassandra, whom he had taken as a war prize following the sack of Troy, her Greek name Klytaimnḗstra is sometimes Latinized as Clytaemnestra. It is glossed as "famed for her suitors". However, this form is a misreading motivated by an erroneous etymological connection to the verb mnáomai; the original name form is believed to have been Klytaimḗstra without the -n-. The present form of the name does not appear before the middle Byzantine period. Aeschylus, in certain wordplays on her name, appears to assume an etymological link with the verb mḗdomai. Clytemnestra was the daughter of Tyndareus and Leda, the King and Queen of Sparta, making her a Spartan Princess. According to the myth, Zeus appeared to Leda in the form of a swan and impregnating her. Leda produced four offspring from two eggs: Castor and Clytemnestra from one egg, Helen and Polydeuces from the other.
Therefore and Clytemnestra were fathered by Tyndareus, whereas Helen and Polydeuces were fathered by Zeus. Her other sisters were Philonoe and Timandra. Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus were in exile at the home of Tyndareus. In a late variation, Euripides's Iphigenia at Aulis, Clytemnestra's first husband was Tantalus, King of Pisa. In another version, her first husband was King of Lydia; the kings of Lydia, according to Plutarch's The Greek Questions, 45, having succeeded Omphale who had received from Herakles Hippolyte's axe, carried this axe as one of their sacred insignia of office. In the tradition following the Sicilian lyric poet Stesichorus's Oresteia Clytemnestra used such a double-edged ax to assist her lover Aegisthus in the killing of Agamemnon, as depicted on the mixing bowl with the killing of Agamemnon by the Dokimasia Painter. After Helen went from Sparta to Troy, her husband, asked his brother Agamemnon for help. Greek forces gathered at Aulis; however weak winds prevented the fleet from sailing.
Through a subplot involving the gods and omens, the priest Calchas said the winds would be favorable if Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis. Agamemnon persuaded Clytemnestra to send Iphigenia to him, telling her he was going to marry her to Achilles; when Iphigenia arrived at Aulis, she was sacrificed, the winds turned, the troops set sail for Troy. The Trojan War lasted ten years. During this period of Agamemnon's long absence, Clytemnestra began a love affair with Aegisthus, her husband's cousin. Whether Clytemnestra was seduced into the affair or entered into it independently differs according to the respective author of the myth. Clytemnestra and Aegisthus began plotting Agamemnon's demise. Clytemnestra was enraged by Iphigenia's murder. Aegisthus saw his father Thyestes betrayed by Agamemnon's father Atreus. In old versions of the story, on returning from Troy, Agamemnon is murdered by Aegisthus, the lover of his wife, Clytemnestra. In some versions Clytemnestra helps him or does the killing herself in his own home.
The best-known version is that of Aeschylus: Agamemnon, having arrived at his palace with his concubine, the Trojan princess Cassandra, in tow and being greeted by his wife, entered the palace for a banquet while Cassandra remained in the chariot. Clytemnestra waited until he was in the bath, entangled him in a cloth net and stabbed him. Trapped in the web, Agamemnon could neither resist his murderer. Meanwhile, Cassandra saw Agamemnon being murdered, her attempts to elicit help failed. She realized she was fated to die, resolutely walked into the palace to receive her death. After the murders, Aegisthus replaced Agamemnon as king and ruled for seven years with Clytemnestra as his queen. In some traditions they have three children: a son Aletes, daughters Erigone and Helen. Clytemnestra was killed by her son by Agamemnon, Orestes; the infant Helen was killed. Aletes and Erigone grow up at Mycenae, but when Aletes comes of age, Orestes returns from Sparta, kills his half-brother, takes the throne.
Orestes and Erigone are said to have had Penthilus. She is one of the main characters in Aeschylus's Oresteia, is central to the plot of all three parts, she murders Agamemnon in the first play, is murdered herself in the second. Her death leads to the trial of Orestes by a jury composed of Athena and 10 Athenians in the final play. Alexandre Soumet's tragedy Clytemnestre was produced in 1822; the fictional protagonist Becky Sharp plays Clytemnestra in a charade described in chapter 51 of William M. Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair. In Ferdinando Baldi's The Forgotten Pistolero, a Spaghetti Western adaptation of the Oresteia, Clytemnestra is named Anna Carrasco and
Maurus Servius Honoratus
Maurus Servius Honoratus was a late fourth-century and early fifth-century grammarian, with the contemporary reputation of being the most learned man of his generation in Italy. These works, In tria Virgilii Opera Expositio, constituted the first incunable to be printed at Florence, by Bernardo Cennini, 1471. In the Saturnalia of Macrobius, Servius appears as one of the interlocutors; the commentary on Virgil has survived in two distinct manuscript traditions. The first is a comparatively short commentary, attributed to Servius in the superscription in the manuscripts and by other internal evidence. A second class of manuscripts, all deriving from the 10th and 11th centuries, embed the same text in a much expanded commentary; the copious additions are in contrast to the style of the original. "The added matter is undoubtedly ancient, dating from a time but little removed from that of Servius, is founded to a large extent on historical and antiquarian literature, now lost. The writer is anonymous and a Christian", although not if, as is suggested, he is Aelius Donatus.
A third class of manuscripts, written for the most part in Italy, gives the core text with interpolated scholia, which demonstrate the continued usefulness of the Virgilii Opera Expositio. The authentic commentary of Maurus Servius Honoratus is in effect the only complete extant edition of a classic author written before the collapse of the Empire in the West, it is constructed much on the principle of a modern edition, is founded on an extensive Virgilian critical literature, much of, known only from the fragments and facts preserved in this commentary. The notices of Virgil's text, though or never authoritative in face of the existing manuscripts, which go back to, or beyond, the time of Servius, yet supply valuable information concerning the ancient recensions and textual criticism of Virgil. In the grammatical interpretation of his author's language, Servius does not rise above the stiff and overwrought subtleties of his time. Servius set his face against the prevalent allegorical methods of exposition of text.
For the antiquarian and the historian, the abiding value of his work lies in his preservation of facts in Roman history, religion and language, which but for him might have perished. Not a little of the laborious erudition of Varro and other ancient scholars has survived in his pages. Besides the Virgilian commentary, other works of Servius are extant: a collection of notes on the grammar of Aelius Donatus; the edition of Georg Thilo and Hermann Hagen, remains the only edition of the whole of Servius' work. In development is the Harvard Servius. Latin Wikisource has original text related to this article: Maurus Servius Honoratus Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil at the Perseus Project in Latin. Commentary on the Eclogues of Vergil at the Perseus Project in Latin. De Centum Metris at Intratext.com De Centum Metris at Forum Romanorum Servii grammatici qui feruntur in Vergilii carmina commentarii, Georius Thilo, Hermannus Hagen, 3 voll. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1881-1902: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3 part 1, vol. 3 part 2