Exploring Unusual Deaths in Ancient Times

Not only are the lives of ancient figures quite intriguing, but also the deaths that took the pulse of such historical characters. As you explore the fascinating circumstances mentioned in this article, there are some people who will debate the validity due to the altering of stories in text or word-of-mouth. In this piece, you will learn a little bit about the last moments of individuals like Aeschylus.

Aeschylus , 458 BC

Aeschylus was a Greek playwright, who lived between 525 BC (or 524 BC) and 456 BC (or 455 BC). He is a prominent figure in history, as he is considered the father (or the founder) of tragedy. When searching for a good Greek tragedy to read , it is his that serve as the earliest examples of plays to survive throughout time , joining the company of Sophocles and Euripides. He is also recognized as the man who expanded the number of characters in plays in an effort to permit conflict to easily occur. In the beginning of playwriting, it was common to see characters only interact with the chorus.

Aeschylus wrote about 70 plays, but only around seven were able to survive over the years and are available for modern readers to enjoy. The majority of Aeschylus’ works were influenced by the Persian invasion that took place in Greece. To gain a real sense of what was taking place at the time , his play titled “The Persians” serves as one of the leading accounts to date. The importance of this war to the Greek and even the playwright was undeniable, as his epitaph even made reference to his role in the Greek victory in Marathon and ignored the success he had enjoyed as a playwright.

Death: It is said that Aeschylus lost his life when an eagle mistook his bald head for a stone and dropped a live tortoise on top of him. Ironically, the tortoise lived and Aeschylus died as a result.

Philitas of Cos , 270 BC

The poet and critic from Alexandria thrived during the second hald of the 4th century BC and was known for his appointment as tutor to the heir of the royal throne of Egypt. During his time, he was considered the most important intellectual that lived when the Hellenistic world was just getting its feet wet. He is also recognized as the first major writer who held the title of both a scholar and a poet.

Death: It is reported that Philitas wasted away and died of insomnia (extreme lack of sleep), while he fretted over the Liar paradox. The Liar paradox deals with the ups and downs of the truth and lies that involves a blend of philosophy and logic.

As a result, his epitaph read:

“Philetas of Cos am I
’Twas The Liar who made me die,
And the bad nights caused thereby”