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.
“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
Jacket illustration: Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It, Cy Twombly, 1978. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift (by exchange) of Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, 1989. © Cy Twombly Foundation
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.