Sophocles Life

Information about Sophocles personal life is little, but enough to conclude he had a rather restless life. 

He had a first marriage with Nicostrata, by whom he became the father of Iophon. 

Later in life he had a relationship with a certain Theoris, a woman of Sicyon. He also had a son called Ariston. 

Other three sons are mentioned by name, although nothing is known about them. Some also said that in extreme old age, Sophocles fell in love with the courtesan Archippe, whom he made heiress of his property. 

This theory is discredited by the fact that Athenian laws were against disinheriting children.

The most picturesque incident of his entire life is the conflict he had with one of his sons, in his old age.

It is said that Iophon was jealous of Sophocles illegitimate offspring, and accused his father of mental incapacity. He wanted to obtain the administration of his fathers’ property. In order to prove he was perfectly sane, Sophocles proceeded to recite a portion of the Oedipus Coloneus, which he had recently composed. The jury, in great admiration, acquitted him immediately.

Most critics consider this episode as being just a story and their arguments are very powerful. 

The nature of the charge is doubtful and there are no strong testimonies of contemporary authors to support this event. 

Phrynicus, the comic poet, describes his last years as being the years of a "fortunate man, who died happily, after encountering no evil". 

Aristophanes writes that Sophocles assisted all his life, his son Iophon, in the composition of his tragedies. And even, Iophon, in the inscription which he placed upon his father's tomb, expressed his great admiration for his father last work - Oedipus Coloneus.