Z0MBIE2: The next line after that is
> But this story may be legendary and due to a misunderstanding of the iconography on Aeschylus’s tomb
CosmicNoire: Did they interview the hawk or something and it just told them, “sorry mate, thought his head was a rock.”
PorshiaPortiahPortia: Some days you’re the eagle, some days you’re the rock.
foreskin_trumpet: Karl Pilkington was right.
pfeifits: Why not just live in a home without shelves and stuff? Seems like this tragedy could have been avoided.
helionking167: TIL Terry Pratchett made a reference to this in Minor Gods.
SpockHasLeft: Ironically he also coined the phrase “It’s turtles all the way down.”
LoveIsANerd: Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.
And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.
And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap . . .
And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.
And then the eagle lets go.
And almost always the tortoise plunges to his death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises.
But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection.
One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
-Terry Pratchett (Small Gods)
10_Eyes_8_Truths: Huh so it does happen outside of Mario world
SO_U_BE_SAYIN: That tortoise? Albert Einstein.
hardestnuts: Why the hell would he stay OUTdoors, if he was afraid of getting hit by falling objects? That solves nothing.
Robobvious: I’m constantly watching old episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show on youtube and seeing bits where Karl was talking about something real but getting the facts wrong, and Ricky and Steve end up destroying him without bothering to suss out the truth. And this is totally one of those things; I believe Karl mixes up Aeschylus with a prominent philosopher like Descartes or something, and he mixes up the tortoise with one of the bird’s eggs, but this is definitely what he was trying to talk about. Honestly, he’s not as daft as you’d think.
…Though he does have a head like a fuckin’ orange! /s
Faar2much: The real question here is if the eagle, knowing that his head would suffice yet that he would die, would still have dropped the tortoise, indifferent to Aeschylus’s death.
CognitivelyDecent: What if the reason he was bald was because he stayed in doors all day
gradeahonky: I’ve been attacked by a large bird of prey on two separate occasions, both times while riding my bike down a nature path without a helmet, my shaggy brown hair flying in the wind…
I assume they mistook me for a smaller animal. Both times I felt a very brief clawing at my scalp and I would look up to see the bird like “oh shit!”
ARN_01D: Is this a real photo of him? Have to agree.. his head does look like a rock
morrock14: Life’s funny that way. That’s why the most sublime art is slapstick.
There’s good eating on one of those..
dad_soup: I wrote a play in the style of a Greek tragedy where the turtle follows Aeschylus to hell to lament his fate.
Clicint: “One often meets his fate on the road he takes to avoid it.”
wintermute-rising: One of my all time favorite quotes is by Aeschylus.
*”He who learns must suffer. and even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of god. ~ Aeschylus”*
_thandiwale: I should take care of my hair fall
XNinSnooX: Sounds like my luck
cstack18: Of all the ancient ways to go..
Xul-luX: Quick death by a tortoise, who would imagine that?
fatcity: Did the tortoise die?
leonryan: i’ve heard this story ascribed to several different greek philosophers.
moschles: This is one of those jokes that math professors tell after relaying 3 stories about Archimedes to each other.
phuctran: TIL eagle is intelligent enough to attempt dropped turtle on rock to eat it.
JimmyCrackCrack: Was the Tortoise okay?
tweenangst: Live fast die bald
_Professor_Chaos_: “therefore stayed *outdoors*”?
bee_jay7891: So Karl Pilkington was nearly correct!
dewart: According to Greek mythology, soon after this pointless death hats with brims were invented. How do you say: “Fuck you eagle” in Ancient Greek?
SpermWhale: Stop objectifying tortoise!
Nakita1974: No way that’s amazing
ThaUniversal: 15 yards for targeting. The eagle has been ejected.
CarmenFandango: Given that his sons were tragic poets, I suspect some of their art has seeped into the accounts of his passing.
Blue9390: When I here these ridiculous stories from thousands of years ago I just can’t believe they are true.
mentat70: That wasn’t exactly an eagle-eyed eagle, was it?
volcano496: Can’t blame him, just look at him. Seems he’s made of stone to me.
Tayl100: We don’t know WHY the eagle dropped the tortoise on him. Maybe it didn’t like the guy.
JohnArce: TIL that Valerius Maximus was full of sh*t.
If you bother to read on, the Wikipedia page of the writer of this story explains how his style was to basically add anything you can to make a poetic story.
DrZed400: What happened to the tortoise?
MoistBumCrumbs: Sounds like a load of shit to me
Spatula151: Impeccable aim tho. A human head from that height had to look like, well, a rock.
Nathan_RH: I’m sure the eagle was pleased to find more food than just turtle.
Lancalot: I’m sorry, but tragedian? Is there such a thing as a stand-up tragedian?… or maybe sit-down?
Pablo_Hassan: Sounds light, source, I majored in eagle talk at eagle Rock university.
beansahol: But how did the eagle drop a tortoise on his head if he was indoors?
Pujiman: How do they know the turtle didn’t just slip?
Skiinguphill: Do we really know what the bird was thinking?
RealGranola: Now that’s a tragedy!
Jr_jr: Is it fucked up that my first reaction was to laugh at this?
mondayandtuesday: It’s turtles all the way down.
ghostcoins: It is the most satisfying when you obliterate your foes with a green turtle shell.
hydroclone02: > Prophesied to do die from falling object
> Therefore stayed outdoors
urchir: Sorry all, I didn’t mean for the confusion. As someone points out, the story is very likely legendary. I placed the word “supposedly” in the TIL to hopefully indicate this, but it would seem it worked less than I thought it would.
To compensate, here are some other tidbits about Aeschylus:
1. Aeschylus was actually better known in his day for his military achievements than for his plays. His epitaph doesn’t mention them at all, instead honoring him for his participation at the Battle of Marathon.
2. His arguably most famous work, the Oresteia, had a fourth part in the form of a satyr play (meaning it was a tragicomedy) named Proteus, but only a single line has been preserved.
3. His other most famous work, Prometheus Bound, is believed by some scholars to have actually been composed by his son, Euphorion. The play may have been part of a trilogy, with the other two works being named Prometheus Unbound and Prometheus the Fire-Bringer, which respectively detail the god’s release at the hands of Heracles and his reconciliation with Zeus. Unlike the first play, these two only remain in fragments.
CommentumNonSequiter: After reading the headline all I could think about was ancient Greeks chasing down and questioning the eagle. “I thought his head was a rock, I swear, officer.”
dtwhitecp: “What do you do?” “Sad shit. I’m a tragedian.”
RetardAuditor: Donald trump is a tragedian.
tapanojum: His tombstone probably had this random scene engraved by the first Rimworld players of the ancient Greek world