June, of Spatter, came up with a dandy idea the other day. She thought it would be fun to have a weekly post with an interesting new fact we’d learned that week. I agree. She calls it Friday Fact. So, for those of you out there with a certain lust of the mind (lust for knowledge, that is), here’s mine.
Aeschylus: When Bald is Bad
When Robert F. Kennedy was given the difficult task of announcing the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, he drew from the dramatic poetry of an ancient Greek playwright, Aeschylus. His words have a terrible beauty:
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart.
And in our own despair, against our will
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Aeschylus also was the one who said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”
He is known as the Father of Greek Tragedy, and his plays touched a great deal on the relationship between man and God, or in his case, gods. So, it seems the ultimate bitter irony that Aeschylus died by such a cruel twist of fate. His manner of death was undeniably tragic, to be sure. But the first time I heard how he met his fate, I laughed incredulously. Definitely a prime example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thought MY luck was bad….
An eagle, flying overhead, wanted to split open a turtle it was carrying. It mistook Aeschylus’s bald head for a rock and dropped the turtle on it. So, in a plot twist stranger, for certain, than anything in his tragic plays, Aeschylus died from a falling tortoise.