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The death of Aeschylus

In his life, Aeschylus wrote musicals, won awards, and pioneered innovations that are now standard in today’s theater. This 15th century illustration shows his death in 456 BC.

Legend has it he died from a turtle dropped on him by an eagle.

Now, that may sound ridiculous, but in fact there are eagles in that region that eat turtles by dropping them on stones from high up to crack their shells. Apparently, the eagle mistook Aeschylus’s bald head for a hard stone.

Pliny adds an ironic twist: Aeschylus was only outside in the first place to avoid a prophecy that he’d be killed by falling object.