Trauma and morality in Thucydides

Hau, L. I. (2020) Trauma and morality in Thucydides. In: Jonasch, M. (ed.) The Fight for Greek Sicily: Society, Politics, and Landscape. Oxbow Books, pp. 99-106. ISBN 9781789253566

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Publisher's URL: https://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/the-fight-for-greek-sicily.html

Abstract

This paper is a response to B. Steinbock's paper in the same volume. It begins by declaring itself persuaded by his argument that the Athenian soldiers who eventually returned from the Sicilian Expedition were most likely suffering from a form of combat trauma even if such trauma was much rarer among soldiers in the ancient world than in the present day. It then goes on to argue, however, that Thucydides' decision to narrative the retreat from Syracuse in such a visceral and experiential way cannot be solely ascribed to the especially horrific accounts he heard from the eyewitnesses he interviews, since many of his eyewitnesses for many of the episodes in the Histories must have had horrific stories to tell. To illustrate the difference in narrative manner between episodes which must all have been horrific in real life, the paper compares the narratives of the retreat from Syracuse, the civil war in Corcyra, and the Plague. It then argues that Thucydides' narrative manner is due to literary and thematic concerns, often to do with morality.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Thucydides, combat trauma, Greek historiography.
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hau, Dr Lisa Irene
Authors: Hau, L. I.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DF Greece
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Publisher:Oxbow Books
ISBN:9781789253566

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