Explores how classical Greek literature provides timeless insights into the complexities of wars both ancient and modern
Many famous texts from classical antiquity—by historians like Thucydides, tragedians like Sophocles and Euripides, the comic poet Aristophanes, the philosopher Plato, and, above all, Homer—present powerful and profound accounts of wartime experience, both on and off the battlefield. These texts also provide useful ways of thinking about the complexities and consequences of wars throughout history, and the concept of war broadly construed, providing vital new perspectives on conflict in our own era.
Our Ancient Wars features essays by top scholars from across academic disciplines—classicists and historians, philosophers and political theorists, literary scholars, some with firsthand experience of war and some without—engaging with classical texts to understand how differently they were read in other times and places. Contributors articulate difficult but necessary questions about contemporary conceptions of war and conflict.
Contributors include Victor Caston, Page duBois, Susanne Gödde, Peter Meineck, Sara Monoson, David Potter, Kurt Raaflaub, Arlene Saxonhouse, Seth Schein, Nancy Sherman, Hans van Wees, Silke-Maria Weineck, and Paul Woodruff.
Victor Caston is Professor of Philosophy and Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. Silke-Maria Weineck is Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at the University of Michigan.
“The chapters reflects an unusual degree of thoughtfulness as well as sound scholarship. The collection will appeal to a much broader group than the academic community. All the chapters are readable by an educated general public, and the topics covered are timely and provocative.”
—Rosemary Moore, University of Iowa
"The book as a whole is an excellent volume, well balanced in terms of both structure and thematic coherence, and also consistent in the methodological framework underlying the individual essays, which do not mechanically apply a comparative approach but consider every single case study in relationship with its distinctive historical context. "- Giorgia Proietti
--Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This book makes for an intensive read, but it is one to be recommended to teachers and scholars alike. Not for what it tells us of the ancient world, but as a source with which it is possible to find new ways of engaging a modern audience with the ancient world. "- Owen Rees
--Classics for All
"This incredible volume merges the ancient and the modern in such a unique way that it forces the reader not only to rethink war through the classics, but to reflect on our own scholarly experience of war with those who approach it in a different light."- Journal of Hellenic Studies
--Journal of Hellenic Studies