ANTIGONA IN TEHNOLAND
Macedonian National Theatre 22.00 pm
In early summer of 439, the Athenians kad successfully concluded their
war against rebellious allies on the island of Samos. At that time, the
general Pericles reportedly brought the commanders and marines of the
Samian ships, members of the island's elite, over to the marketplace in
Miletus (Plutarch, Life of Pericles 28). There, he had them bound to boards
and exposed them until they were nearly dead. He then had them clubbed
to death and their bodies thrown away without benefit of funeral rites.
Plutarch, who names the Samian historian and sensationalist Duris as his
source, does not believe the story, because other authorities do not mention
it. Yet the punishment resembles apotympanismos, crucifixion on a plank,
which Athenians inflicted upon citizens guilty of heinous crimes. By all
appearances, Pericles treated the Samians as disloyal citizens, and, in
that light, their revolt is equivalent to stasis, fractional discord among
citizens, and analogous to the quarrel between Oedipus' sons Eteocles
and Polyneices, both of whom claimed the kingship of Thebes for himself.
Sophokles surely knew about these events - as would his original audience
- and perhaps was inspired by them.