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An early Athenian tragic poet; see tragedy, greek. The Suda says that he won his first victory between 511 and 508 bc and was the first to introduce female characters in tragedy. Themistocles was his chorēgōs (see choregia) for a victorious production in 476, probably near the end of his career. At least two of his tragedies were on historical subjects. Soon after 494, when Miletus, which had been aided by Athens, was sacked by the Persians (see ionian revolt), Phrynichus produced a Capture of Miletus, which, acc. to Herodotus, so distressed the Athenians that they fined him 1,000 drachmas ‘for reminding them of their own troubles’. He was remembered for the beauty of his lyrics and for inventive choreography. He seemed to Aristophanes to exemplify the ‘good old days’ of tragedy.

Subjects: Classical studies

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