Euripides (ca. 480 – 406 BC) was one of the three great tragedians
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 of classical Athens
Classical Athens
The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was a notable polis of Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Hippias...

, the other two being Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

 and Sophocles
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...

. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda
The Suda or Souda is a massive 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often...

it was ninety-two at most. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived complete (there has been debate about his authorship of Rhesus
Rhesus (play)
Rhesus is an Athenian tragedy that belongs to the transmitted plays of Euripides. There has been debate about its authorship. It was understood to be by Euripides in the Hellenistic, Imperial, and Byzantine periods. In the 17th century, however, the play's authenticity was challenged, first by...

, largely on stylistic grounds) and there are also fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays.

The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.

Ægeus, Frag. 7

Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.

Æolus Frag. 38.

Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.

Alexander Frag. 44

Sweet is the remembrance of troubles when you are in safety.


Cleverness is not wisdom. And not to think mortal thoughts is to see few days.

Bacchæ l. 395

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.

Bacchæ l. 480

Slow but sure moves the might of the gods.

Bacchæ l. 882

Humility, a sense of reverence before the sons of heaven — of all the prizes that a mortal man might win, these, I say, are wisest; these are best.

Bacchæ l. 1150

Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.

Bellerophon, Fragment 298; quoted in Plutarch's Morals : Ethical Essays (1888) edited and translated by Arthur Richard Shilleto, p. 293

I sacrifice to no god save myself — And to my belly, greatest of deities.

The Cyclops (c.424-23 B.C.)