And their Contributions
Homer was a great but blind poet who believed he had a purpose. He
wanted to tell people the myths about the Greek gods and goddesses. Homer
wrote very long and beautiful poems called epics. They took a long time to
read because of how long they were. Homer tells about the war of the Greeks
and the Trojans in his epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. These were among
the oldest works of literature.
Aeschylus (Es-ka-lees) was one of the most famous Greek play writers.
He was known as “father of tragedy” because it was he who created
tragedies. Tragedies were plays in which life is treated very seriously and
usually had sad endings. Aeschylus was inspired to write tragedies after
fighting in wars against the Persians. His great tragedies won him the
first place prize in the Greek writing festival thirteen times in a row.
Aristophanes (Ar-is-tof-a-knees) was one of the most famous writers
of comedy. Comedies were pretty much the opposite of tragedies. Comedies
were plays that were funny and usually had happy endings. Aristophanes’
comedies were always loud and happy events. His comedies were full of jokes
and written to make fun of famous people. Aristophanes even made fun of
Aeschylus in one of his comedies.
Socrates (Sock-ra-tees) was Athens’ most famous philosopher. His
motto was “Know thyself”. He became very well known when he dared to
question Athenian values. Because Socrates doubted the “glory of Athens”,
many Athenians got angry. The government then accused him of “forming an
idea of revolt”, and then a jury gave him the death sentence. While in
jail, Socrates jailer gave him a poisoned drink and he died.
Plato (Play-toe) was Socrates’ most brilliant student and he admired
all of his wise teachers’ work. Plato though Socrates was “the wisest and
most just and best Athenian”. After Socrates was poisoned, Plato wrote down
all of Socrates’ ideas. He then founded the first University (known as the
Academy) ever, and it lasted for 900 years.