Sophocles was the second of the great Athenian tragedians (Aeschylus and Euripides being the other two). He lived during the fifth century, B.C, a time when Athens achieved its greatest power only to lose to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Though not heavily involved in politics, Sophocles held several distinguished positions during his life. Among his works are the Oedipus cycle (Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus Coloneus and Antigone), Ajax and Philoctetes.
Oxford Concise Companion to Classical Literature. ed. Howatson and Chilvers. Oxford. New York, 1993.