The Unexpected Death of Aeschylus,
Aeschylus was one of the most popular Ancient Greek playwrights. Known as “The Father of Tragedy”, Aeschylus wrote somewhere between 70 to 90 plays, of which only 7 survive. One of his most popular plays was Prometheus Bound, which was about a Titan who defied the gods by gifting humanity with fire, for which he suffers eternal punishment.
While there are many legends about the life of Aeschylus, the legends of his death are certainly bizarre. Aeschylus had fought as a soldier in both Persian Wars, facing incredible danger throughout both. Needless to say the manner of his death was most unpredictable.
The story of Aeschylus’ death begins with a prediction. After consulting a fortune teller Aeschylus learned that he was to be killed by a falling object. To avoid the prophecy Aeschylus stayed outdoors under an open sky as much as possible. One day while strolling out in the sun he was unexpectedly struck in the head by a turtle which fell from the sky. The turtle fractured his skull and killed him instantly. It turns out that eagles in the area often preyed upon turtles. They would often drop the turtles from a height onto rocks in order to break their protective shell. One eagle mistook Aeschylus’ bald head for a turtle smashing device, dropping the reptile on his head, causing his demise.