This course will focus on selected plays written by Aeschylus, the earliest tragedies to survive in European literature. Aeschylus preferred to write plays that were thematically connected, such as The Oresteia, which deals with the homecoming of Agamemnon from the Trojan War. He also wrote Persians, a history play that deals with the Persian Wars, in which Aeschylus himself fought as a general; and he wrote plays such as the Seven Against Thebes and Prometheus that explore the complex families of Greek heroes and the relationship between gods and humans. Most fascinating is the way in which Aeschylus frames his plays from a perspective that acknowledges the heroic-mythic past while at the same time anticipating the possibilities inherent in the new progressive democracy at Athens. Books: We will read the translations of Aeschylus published by the University of Chicago: Aeschylus I: The Persians, The Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliant Maidens, Prometheus Bound, and Aeschylus II: Oresteia, both volumes edited and translated by David Grene, Richmond Lattimore, Mark Griffith, and Glenn W. Most.