Achilles (play)

From Academic Kids

Achilles is a trilogy of plays written by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus. It follows the Greek hero Achilles during the Trojan War, wherein he defeats Hector and eventually gets killed by Paris when an arrow punctures his heel.

The play had been known to exist due to the work of Aristophanes and his various mentions of the play. It had long been believed to be lost in the great fire of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC. However, in the early 1990s sections of the play on papyrus were discovered inside an Egyptian mummy - which, along with extant sections of the play, were used to reconstruct it.

A Greek author, Elias Malandris, worked on the project for over a decade, as was reported in 2003 [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3269965.stm). His work was based on the newly discovered material and a wide array of references to Achilles, found in ancient texts, as the Homer's Iliad, and other Greek plays.

A small number of verses from three of Aeschylus' unknown works had been saved: fifty-four from "Myrmidons", seven from "Nereids" and twenty-one by Phrygians." Elias Malandris first translated the remaining material and then - in the first attempt of this scope - made the recompilation of the three tragedies. Thus, the trilogy under the title "Myrmidons, Nereids, Phrygians" was born.

The reconstructed play was performed by the Cyprus National Theatre (Th.o.C) on August 6 and 7 2004 for the first time in over 2,000 years (and 2,500 years since it was written).

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