The Persians, Aeschylus' earliest surviving tragedy, holds a fascination both for readers of Greek drama and Greek history. Not only is it the earliest existing play in the Western tradition, it is drawn directly from the playwright's own experiences at the battle of Salamis, making it the only account of the Persian Wars composed by an eyewitness. And as pure tragedy, it is a masterpiece. Aeschylus tells the story of the war from the Persian point of
view, and his pride in the great victory of Greeks is tempered with a real compassion for Xerxes and his vanquished nation. Lembke and Harrington have rendered this stunning work in a modern translation that
loses none of the original's dramatic juxtaposition of serenity and violence, hope and despair.