Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.21.1 = T 148 + T 111 Radt vol. III (Aeschylus) + T 94 Radt vol. IV (Sophocles)

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus

εἰσι δὲ Ἀθηναίοις εἰκόνες ἐν τῶι θεάτρωι καὶ τραγωιδίας καὶ κωμωιδίας ποιητῶν, αἱ πολλαὶ τῶν ἀφανέστερων. ὅτι μὴ γὰρ Μένανδρος, οὐδεὶς ἦν ποιητὴς κωμωιδίας τῶν ἐς δόξαν ἡκόντων. τραγωιδίας δὲ κεῖνται τῶν φανερῶν Εὐριπίδης καὶ Σοφοκλῆς. λέγεται δὲ Σοφοκλέους τελευτήσαντος ἐσβαλεῖν ἐς τὴν Ἀττικὴν Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ σφῶν τὸν ἡγούμενον ἰδεῖν ἐπιστάντα οἱ Διόνυσον κελεύειν τιμαῖς, ὅσαι καθεστήκασιν ἐπὶ τοῖς τεθνεῶσι, τὴν σειρῆνα τὴν νέαν τιμᾶν· καί οἱ τὸ ὄναρ <ἐς> <ἐς> Kuhn Σοφοκλέα καὶ τὴν Σοφοκλέους ποίησιν ἐφαίνετο ἔχειν. εἰώθασι δὲ καὶ νῦν ἔτι ἔτι Musurus: ἐπὶ M ποιημάτων καὶ λόγων τὸ ἐπαγωγὸν Σειρῆνι εικάζειν. τὴν δὲ εἰκόνα τὴν Αἰσχύλου πολλῶι τε ὕστερον τῆς τελευτῆς δοκῶ ποιηθῆναι καὶ τῆς γραφῆς ἣ τὸ ἔργον ἔχει τὸ Μαραθῶνι. ἔφη δὲ Αἰσχύλος μειράκιον ὢν καθεύδειν ἐν ἀγρῶι φυλάσσων σταφυλάς, καί οἱ Διόνυσον ἐπιστάντα κελεῦσαι τραγωιδίαν ποιεῖν· ὡς δὲ ἦν ἡμέρα – πείθεσθαι γὰρ ἐθέλειν – ῥᾶιστα ἤδη πειρώμενος ποιεῖν.

The Athenians have statues of tragic and comic poets in their theatre, most of the poets being unknown. Apart from Menander, there was no poet of comedy who achieved renown. Of the famous tragedians, Euripides and Sophocles have statues. It is said that after Sophocles died, the Spartans invaded Attica and their leader had a vision in which Dionysus, standing before him, instructed him to honour ‘the new Siren’ with whatever honours are due to the dead. And it seemed to him that the dream related to Sophocles and his poetry. Even now they are accustomed to liken the seductive element in poetry and speeches to a Siren. I think that the statue of Aeschylus was made much later than his death and the painting which shows the battle of Marathon. Aeschylus said that when he was a lad, he was sleeping in a field guarding grapes when Dionysus appeared to him and ordered him to write tragedy. But when it was day, since he wanted to obey, he attempted to compose and was already able to do so very easily.

Relevant guides Aeschylus, Sophocles