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The Persians, Aeschylus' earliest surviving tragedy, holds a fascination both for readers of Greek drama and Greek history. Not only is it the earliest existing play in the Western tradition, it is drawn directly from the playwright's own experiences at the battle of Salamis, making it the only account of the Persian Wars composed by an eyewitness. And as pure tragedy, it is a masterpiece. Aeschylus tells the story of the war from the Persian point of view, and his pride in the great victory of Greeks is tempered with a real compassion for Xerxes and his vanquished nation. Lembke and Harrington have rendered this stunning work in a modern translation that loses none of the original's dramatic juxtaposition of serenity and violence, hope and despair.
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Based on the conviction that only translator who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals.About the Author:
Janet Lembke, a poet, is the author of Bronze and Iron, and is co-translator of the forthcoming edition of Euripides's Suppliants, also in the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series.
C. John Herington is Professor of Classics and Talcott Professor of Greek at Yale University. He is the author of several books, including Poetry into Drama and Aeschylus.
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