Euripides was born between the year of 480 and 485 BC from a wealthy family on the island of Salamis. He was one of Athens greatest classical and tragic writers and poets. He lived the life of a student in the standard Greek methods studying philosophy under Anaxagoras then later with Socrates. However, he was not listed as one of the highest philosophers of his time like Socrates and such. He spent a lot of his time alone outside of Athens. His works were quite popular around his era. Even Socrates, the most famous philosopher of all time enjoyed going to the theatre if a play of Euripides was performed. Euripides started submitting and producing his plays to several competitions. His first play won him a third place prize and four more of his works helped him win first place, and that’s all he won during his entire writing career. Sophocles holds the record with 18 first place awards. He wrote over 90 plays in his lifetime and some of them were about women and mythological themes like “Medea” and “Helen of Troy”.
Euripides ideas and philosophy were often misunderstood and became frequently the object of criticism by Athenian writers of comedy. They repeatedly criticized the bizarreness of his plays simply because he used everyday words for the main characters’ dialogue. Regardless of negative comments and views of his colleagues, his plays gradually became well known and famous throughout Greece. In 409 BC, Euripides decided to leave Athens for the court of Archelaus, King of Macedonia where he spent the remaining of his life until his death in 406 BC. The entire city of Athens was devastated to hear about the death of Euripides and mourned his death. Sophocles had his actors wore mourning clothes during their performance on stage or even in the street to show respect to their most profound writer Euripides. The city of Athens demanded for the body of Euripides for a memorial service and burial. Unfortunately, the Macedonians declined the request. Upon this, the city decided to build an honorable tomb in memory of Euripides on the road to Piraeus with the inscription saying: “All Greece is the monument of Euripides. Macedonian earth covers but his bones”. Another magnificent monument was built by Archelaus in memory of Euripides and it said: “Never, O Euripides, will thy memory be forgotten”. Euripides was buried at Arethusa in Macedonia
The death of Euripides helped his popularity and his plays were often chosen on stage than those of his rivals Sophocles or Eschylus. The French classicists later idolized his work. The comic poet Aristophanes recognizes the greatness of Euripides and often shows it in his plays.
In 1997, archaeologists discovered what they believed to be one of the caves where Euripides often used for some of the inspiration for his writings. They found objects like a pot in the cave with inscription of the first six letters of Euripides’ name. The archaeologists believe that Euripides’ fans added the inscription on the pot later.
Euripides is considered by many to be the founder of the modern European dramatic sensibility and his writings have become a benchmark for several of the most important western writers.