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Born5th century BC
Died5th century BC
ParentPhilopatho (mother)

Philocles[pronunciation?] (Greek: Φιλοκλῆς), was an Athenian tragic poet during the 5th century BC. Through his mother, Philopatho (Greek: Φιλοπαθώ), he had three famous uncles: Aeschylus, the famous poet, Cynaegirus, hero of the battle of Marathon, and Ameinias, hero of the battle of Salamis. The Suda claims that Philocles was the father of the tragic playwright Morsimus, who was in turn the father of the tragedian Astydamas.[1]



According to the Suda, Philocles wrote 100 tragedies. Philocles is best known for winning first prize in the competition against Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.[2][3] Philocles also wrote a play on the subject of Tereus, which was parodied in Aristophanes' The Birds along with Sophocles' treatment of the same subject.[4] A scholiast has noted that Philocles' Tereus was part of his Pandionis tetralogy.[4] An extant fragment shows that Philocles wrote a play covering the story of Hermione, Neoptolemus and Orestes, a subject also addressed by Euripides in his play Andromache and by Sophocles in his Hermione.[5] In Philocles' version of the Hermione myth, Hermione is betrothed to Neoptolemus by her father Menelaus while she is pregnant with Orestes' child.[5] Philocles also wrote plays entitled Oedipus and Philoctetes.[6] The Suda also names the following as plays of Philocles: Erigone, Nauplius, Oineus, Priam, and Penelope.[1]

See also



  1. ^ a b Suda φ 378
  2. ^ Kopff, E. Christian (1997). Ancient Greek Authors. Gale. ISBN 978-0-8103-9939-6.
  3. ^ Smith, Helaine (2005). Masterpieces of Classic Greek Drama. Greenwood. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-313-33268-5.
  4. ^ a b March, J. (2000). "Vases and Tragic Drama". In Rutter, N.K.; Sparkes, B.A. (eds.). Word and Image in Ancient Greece. University of Edinburgh. pp. 121–123. ISBN 978-0-7486-1405-9.
  5. ^ a b Sommerstein, A.H., Fitzpatrick, D. & Talboy, T. (2006). Sophocles: Selected Fragmentary Plays Volume I. Aris & Phillips. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-85668-766-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Collard, C., Cropp, M.J. & Gilbert, J. (2004). Euripides: Selected Fragmentary Plays Volume II. Aris & Phillips. pp. 113, 373. ISBN 978-0-85668-621-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)