“Darkness! / Horror of darkness enfolding, resistless, unspeakable visitant sped by an ill wind in haste! / Madness and stabbing pain and memory / Of evil deeds I have done” (Sophocles, Oedipus the King, 1314-20).
Sophocles’ long life spans most of the 5th Century and coincides with the peak of Athenian political and cultural achievements. When Sophocles was still a child, the Greek city states won a decisive victory against the invading Persian armies in 490 BCE and again in 480.