Blowhard, Esq. writes:
When he was 90, Sophocles was sued by his sons who argued their father was incapable of managing his financial affairs. They charged the playwright with “paranoia,” which was the ancient Greek equivalent of saying he had Alzheimer’s disease. Sophocles defended himself by reading to the jury lines from a play he was working on, “Oedipus at Colonus,” which coincidentally is a play about old age. At the conclusion of his reading Sophocles asked, “Do you think that’s the work of an idiot?”
The jury acquitted him.
- I swiped this anecdote from Prof. Robert Garland’s Teaching Company lectures on everyday life in the ancient world. Back here I passed on some stuff about daily life in ancient Egypt.