Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, was born at Eleusis in western Attica, probably in 525/4 BC. He produced his ﬁrst plays at the City Dionysia about 499, but gained his ﬁrst victory only in 484. He fought in the battle of Marathon in 490 (where his brother Cynegeirus was killed) and probably also at Salamis and Plataea in 480/79. At least once, possibly twice, in the 470s he visited Sicily at the invitation of Hieron of Syracuse, for whom he produced The Women of Aetna (in honour of the new city of Aetna which Hieron had recently founded) and also restaged The Persians. By this time, with the death of Phrynichus c.473, he was the premier tragic dramatist in Athens, and was victorious almost every time he competed, though he is said to have been defeated by Sophocles in 468. After the production of the Oresteia in 458 he again visited Sicily; he died there, at Gela, in 456/5; his epitaph commemorated him, not as a poet, but as one who had fought at Marathon. At some date during the next thirty years a state decree permitted anyone who so wished to restage Aeschylus’ plays at the dramatic festivals in competition with those of living dramatists. Two of Aeschylus’ sons, Euphorion and Euaeon, themselves became tragic dramatists; so did a nephew, Philocles, who was the founder of a dynasty of tragic poets that spanned four generations and lasted until 340 or later.