The works of the ancient tragedians (especially Seneca, in preference to the Greek) came into vogue, and were slavishly followed by French and Italian imitators down to the 17th century.
According to the account given by Pindar and the tragedians, Agamemnon was slain by his wife' alone in a bath, a piece of cloth or a net having first been thrown over him to prevent resistance.
The tragedians used her story to point the moral of the instability of human happiness; Niobe became the representative of human nature, liable to pride in prosperity and forgetfulness of the respect and submission due to the gods.
Pacuvius (c.220-132), the nephew of Ennius, called by Cicero the greatest of Roman tragedians; and, in the following generation, by L.
The legend of an organized apportionment of Peloponnese amongst the Heracleid leaders appears first in the 5th-century tragedians, - not earlier, that is, than the rise of the Peloponnesian League, - and was amplified in the 4th century; the Aetolians' aid, and claim to Elis, appear first in Ephorus.
Homer does not speak of the horrors of the story, which are first found in the tragedians; he merely states (Iliad, ii.
Several of his translations (into Latin) from the Greek tragedians and other writers, made at this time, have been printed.
Besides philosophical studies, where he now added Aristotle to Plato, he read Homer and the Greek tragedians, made extracts from books, attended lectures on physiology, and dabbled in other sciences.
The story was first amplified by the Greek tragedians, who probably drew their inspiration from local legends, which glorified the services rendered by Athens to the rulers of Peloponnesus.
He attempted both comedy and tragedy, and his success in the latter branch is due to the fact that he was not content to seek inspiration from Seneca, as were most of the tragedians of the 16th century, but went straight to the fountain heads, Sophocles and Euripides.
When Myrtilus claimed his promised reward, Pelops flung him into the sea near Geraestus in Euboea, and from his dying curse sprang those crimes and sorrows of the house of Pelops which supplied the Greek tragedians with such fruitful themes (Sophocles, Electra, 505, with Jebb's note).
Helbig suggested that the word ÎºÏÏ‰Î½ (dog), which is connected with the sphinx in the tragedians, was used by Homer for the sphinx, but this theory has not met with general acceptance.
Other works by him are: - Editions of Anacreon (1778), several plays of the Greek tragedians, Apollonius Rhodius (1780), Aristophanes, with an excellent Latin translation (1781-1783), Gnomici poetae Graeci (1784), Sophocles (1786), with Latin translation, his best work, for which he received a pension of 2000 francs from the king.
Under the name of Hyginus two school treatises on mythology are extant: (I) Fabularum Liber, some 300 mythological legends and celestial genealogies, valuable for the use made by the author of the works of Greek tragedians now lost; (2) De Astronomia, usually called Poetica Astronomica, containing an elementary treatise on astronomy and the myths connected with the stars, chiefly based on the Ka-raa-repu s of of Eratosthenes.