was first; Sophocles second; Euripides third, with Medea, Philoctetes, Dictys, and the Reapers for satyr-play." Euphorion, the son of Aeschylus, was not likely to have abandoned the use of tetralogy; and we cannot reasonably doubt that Sophocles, too, produced four plays. To have competed at the Dionysia with a single tragedy against a tetralogy might well have exposed an Athenian poet to the imputation of sterility or of arrogance; and there is no evidence that, after the institution of tetralogy, either Sophocles or any other fifth century poet ever did so; while all the presumptive evidence is the other way. The year 340 B.C. is the earliest in which it is proved that the tragic poets exhibited less than three plays each; and in that year they produced two each. It may be added that in the fifth century B.C. a poet who offered only one tragedy at the great festival would not merely have courted defeat in the contest, but would further have seemed to render an incomplete and grudging homage to the god. It was only by a tetralogy that the old Dionysiac Chorus was fully represented. We may decide, then, I think, against the view that Sophocles abandoned tetralogy.
(2) Boeckh modifies that view. He supposes that Sophocles continued to produce tetralogies at the Great Dionysia, but set the example of producing single tragedies at the Lenaea. There is nothing to support this conjecture. What is known
- By a contemporary inscription. C. I. A. ii. 973 (M. 323 n. 2, H. 324.)