Most students of classics are focussed on either the history or the literature of ancient societies, but not both. It is for this reason, in my opinion, that much less is commonly known of the political reading of the Oresteia. While the first two works are masterfuly written, the ending of the "Eumenides" ("well-doers" in Greek) is absurd. Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the whole work is when Athena agrees that it was acceptable for Orestes to slay his mother because the woman is only the "carrier of the seed" in the sexual union. This is an example of shameless pro-Periclean propoganda written into the trilogy by Aesychlus. As an ambitious young politician, Pericles had bankrolled one of Aesychlus' early plays, and the two maintained a good relationship for the rest of Pericles' life. While not a malevolent or excessively violent ruler, Pericles had ascended to the position of Tyrant (not always a bad thing) of the city of Athens at the time the Oresteia was firt performed. Aesychlus used his plays as a mouthpiece for propoganda in Pericles' favor during this period to try to win over the city. While Pericles was a very powerful politician, he carried the stigma of having blood from the eminent but cursed Alkemeonid family on his mother's side of the family. After the Alkemeonids killed suppliants to the altar of Zeus, a curse had been put on their entire line for causing "blood pollution", an ancient Greek concept that any blood shed in violence was a pollution of the world and needed to be purged. By including the absurd proposition listed above, Aesychlus was trying to put the Athenian populace at rest about having a leader who carried a curse. The Oresteia, while being an exceptional work of art, contains this and many other examples of shameless political propoganda that lower its otherwise exceptional artistic merit.