The Persians is considered to be the only existing ancient Greek tragedy that was based on actual historical events. Dating back back to 472 B.C.E, The Persians is a work by one of the most famous of all figures in Greek literature, Aeschylus. While most ancient Greek tragedies were based on mythology, The Persians is centered upon a famous naval engagement which took place in 480 B.C.E.: the battle of Salamis.
If The Persians were merely the oldest extant Greek tragedy, that would be one thing. A very impressive thing, indeed. The truth, however, is that The Persians is the oldest surviving play in the history of drama. In a way that makes this work by Aeschylus the very first full example of a work of drama since nothing else exists with which it can be accurately compared. Needless to say, the production history of the tragedy is one endowed with great historical relevance.
A subsequent play by Aristophanes, The Frogs, contains a reference to a production of The Persians. The underlying themes of military defeat and political hubris has made The Persians notably robust for metaphorical reasons. As recently as the early 21st century a production of The Persians was mounted as a vehicle for commentary upon contemporary events. A new translation allowed the ancient tragedy to be staged in 2003 as a response to the controversial decision to invade Iraq in 2003.