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Our Ancient Wars

Rethinking War through the Classics

Edired by Victor Caston and Silke-Maria Weineck


Co!,alght o ,dr6 by udor Csto! and Sille-Mdi. i\reine.L Contents

Ihis book m hd be rephd(.d,,n khntc or rn p., mLtudin8,[{lr on5. D ary rorn

Orrond th (opybg p(rmiu.d by Sdion! ro7 .nd ,os of rhe ,S. Copyrtghl Lrs md
*ept by rdies,.6 ao. ih. pubtic prs)i Bithort srine. pmi$ion fom !h. pubti.h.i

lublilhe d in de Unfted Srates of Aierica by th e

Unive6lty olMi.Iigan !re$ Victor Castofi
ManuLctui.d i. the Un .d St.t.s ofAseric.
@ ?rinl.d o. acid-Ge.
!.p.r Part I: Rethinking the Ancient, in View of the Modrn
&re &rB !or7 r9
Genocide in Archaic and Classical Greece
A CIP cat.tog iecord for Uk boo&is avaitdble frch rhe Bri6h Library Hans Nan Wees

librdryof CoDgrs CauloginE-i!.publicition Data !,Jist/ard and wari Impact on the Home Front 38
Kutt A. Raajaub
Otr ancienl ss : Ethinkjn8 war .lreugh tn .hnics / edited b,v M.tor C,.ion and
"h'ar Guiltl'National Characterl' "Inevitable Forcesl' and the
Problematic Historiography of "Unnecessary Wars" 75
Includesbibtiogmphical iefeeDcesan,l inil.x.
Is.N 973,o-472.o22e3-9 hardcove.: dk.rap..) _ rsBN e/8,o.47._oj29s I
(pbi.:.1t, paper) BBN928-o,az1j,59j {.book)
r.riv.r{ll$lospltJ l CEe(FHisrorn Mlltlfy. l. Ror-Hktory Miutary Soc rates' Military Service 96
4. t4r.r dd civilizdion. l. C.rton, $ctor, s63- lI weinct S k!,Marir. 1061
S. Sora Monoson

Palt II: Rethinking the Modern, in View of the Ancient

Moral Iniury, Damage, and Repair
I,IR$TY CF AUC(TNb.I Nanq Sherman
War Education rtt
0 - JUL 2016 I
Paul Woodruf

LIIJTJARY i Dciding to Go to War: Who Is Responsible? 167

Arlefie 1 a Saxofihouse

Combat Trauma and the Tragic Stage:

Arcient Culture and Modern Catharsis? 184
vl Couhnts

Port IIL Other Moderns, OtherAncients

"War, What Is lt Good For?,, in Homert fliar,
anal Four Receptions
Seth L. Schein

Modern Achilles: The Beautyofwar and the Batrle ofthe

Sexes 229
Susanne Gi)dde

'l Am sparLacus": \n.jen.Wrrand Slaveryin r161,46yi", Introduction

Page duBois
Victor Caston
EpilogLre Distances
Silke-Mati.t Weineck
285 At one point in the Iidd, Homer momentarily despairs of describing a
battle scene, saying how arduous itwouldbe'forme to describe it all, as a
gotl cauld: (theon has,12.176). One mighi think this disclaimer is just a
rhetorical flourish, setting something up as an itnposslbillty (ad ndtan),
only to go on and depict it masterfully (or even divinely, as the compari
son inevitably hints).r There is no sign, though, that Homer is reveling in
his own artistry here, as the sophist Gorgias does in his Encomium of
Helen, r,hich also attempts something rhetorically "impossiblei' ard then
explicitly celebmtes the power ofthe word to bewitch and enchant onet
audience through deception and i11usion. Homer is focused more on his
object, the particular battle: on individuals st ving to surpass their out-
most limiis because of the enormity of what is at stake for each and al1of
them, and on the chaos and confusion that ngulfs them. The object of
descripiion is something at the bounda es of our very motal, human
abilities. To describe it see s equally to deir our capacities. fhe immense
affed ofsuch experiences, at once widely shared and yei also deply per
sonal, is dimcult to convey in words.
Homer's line erpresses something more, though, at least implicitly: the

r. Ce.ranrly he was vis{rd thjs wal in antiquiltr Detuodirus was reluted to nave said that
"beins endowed vith a dn ire nature, Homei erected a unntrse (losaDr) fron wo.ds ofall
kinds" (B2r DK). [A]t lradations here de qr o] n.l lor a suggestive discu$ion ol dre liter-
ary and rrhilosophical inplicatiols ofrhis fraSoent, see Arnshong ( r99r, 21 r- 1jl,
Fo! the obsenation about the rrope, see Kate Mcloughlin (roo9, r5), who ex
plores lhe diflicultl olverbai\- conirins the qperience of\ar mu.h more $idel, st ting
Nfth this saoe Homeric line, in a paper rich wnh percepdrc obrnztions and datuples
dra(! fro6 across wtstern literature.
,IOurAICi{nlW. lt l.lroduciion l
in a partjal and frrgrnentary way. By arliculating them, we hope to make What wc wcre nol prcparcd lbr, though, was sonrething that the con-
themlegible, by rcstoring oreven imposing order at theverypoinh where iircnce revealed about ourselvcs aDd about universities more generally, as
we feel threatened by its loss and our own powerlessness. Something like Weincck iurther argues. As communities, universities are unusual in that
ihis need is true for readers as well. Very few ofus write about war. But they are unified by a common purpose, of teaching, learning, and con-
virtually all of us read about war, as Silke-Maria \4reineck points out in the ducting research at the highest ieveis. To that extent, they are somewhat
EpiloSue, 'Distances: Literature about war has rcleYance for those of us less representative of the population at large, \,!ith fewer children and
who have not experienced war directly too. $re are all affected by r,, older people in their day{o-day operations. Their educational purpose
even ifonly at one or more rernoves, and in democmtic societies Iike our also depends on providing a sanctuary in which thought and discussion
own, we are implicated in it, even ifby nothing more than our tacit con- can be safely pursued, removed from th violence and conflicts in which
sent. Reading aDd writing about war thlrs lills an important reed, by ai- our society at large is involved. Something that is ho, absent fiom univer-
lowing us to reflect and engage with the many large issues at stake in hu- sities, horvever though not highly yisible either is the large population of
man conflict, issues that in the actual event threaten to overwhelm us. veterans, whether pursuing degrees as students or teaching and condlrct-
It is natural, then, for scholars in the humanities to ask themsehs ing research as faculry What surprised us was the extent to which veterans
about writings on war and ho*. we read them, especially during one of the try to keep a low profile on campus: some student veterans, \^'eineck
lon8est military co,ficts this counrry has been engaSed in (nor fully and found, described themselves as 'closeted' in university communities, oui
finally settled ever at the time of this $,riting). As members ofcontexts of fear at how they might be received, while faculty with a mititary back-
for Classics, an iDterdisciplina-ry consortium for the Classical Tradition ground often do not advertise their past oi discuss how it afcts their
hre at the University ofMichigan,, Silke Weineck and I decided to hold a outlook and research,
conference in March zor2 on how Western thinking about war turns and Because of its aims, this conference was different. Unlike most aca-
returns to ancient 6reek r,vriting on the subject, from Homer to the Aftic demic colloquia, where those in attendarce are usually specialists in the
tragedians and comic poets, to historians such as Thucydides and Xeno- field or have connections to it, our audiences ranted much more widel)'.
phon, and to ph ilosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. So As did discussion: some ofthe differences and reactiofls were quite brac-
we gathered together historians, literary and cultuial critics, aDd philoso- ing, a symptom ofthe fact that these points ofview and experience are
phers to discuss how we 'rcad war through the Classicd' and make these not con1mo yvoiced in academic settings. All ofthe speakers soon real-
ancient wars our own: ho*' $,e frequently approach our research with ized the value ofsuch dialogue, even if it was only oascent hre, and the
questions arising from contemporary concerns about wat and how at importance of acknowledging more generally the xperiences of those
other times we rediscover reflections in ancient texts that bring fresh and members ofthe university community who have been directly involved
needed perspectives on the events ofour day; and finally how other texts in conflict. I recalled myself that in December 2oo1, when soldiers were
within the \\?stern tradition read these classical texis in st,ll other wa).s, called up for the second Iraq War, we had no formal provisions in place
reminding us of the cortingency and limitation ofour own preoccupa- at the University of California to handle students who could not finish
tiom, as well as the richness and multiplicity ofthese ancient texts them- their exams ard so complete their fail courses, lvhich was astonishing at
selves. The Epilogue to thisbook describes the contribution ofthe Theatre the time, but even morc so now in retrospect, when one considers how
of War project, which we brought to Ann Arbor for dramatic readings frequently this nation has been involved in military conflicts. We do a
from Sophocles' ATar an d, Philottetes followedby a panel and discussion disservice to veterans, as well as to those $ho are not, by making our-
for both the university and local community, including \terans and mili selves oblivious to these facts.
tary families, to enact the very sorts ofinteractions with classical texts that
were ihe subject ofthe conference. We could nor have hoped for a better
reception. The ta1lc were filled to overflowing, while the dramatic read- PaIt I: Red nking fte Ancient, in View ofthe Modem
ings and audience discussions were lively and memorable.
Ifwe find it profitable, in tryinSto undersiand ourown wars, to Iook at the
2. hnpJAq{ sior.lasi<s treatment by ancient Grek authors of war and its consequences, one of
4 | onr A|( olr W.fs lnllodLrcLior l5
the most salient questions to ask is whether rheir texts have anlthing
to ( clllury r|ol] ihcre arc numcrotl.\ occasions whcrr an entire community
say about problems that concern us. For the diferences bet$.een
anci-ent \{'rs dcstroyed, by killing al1 lhe men and enslaving ai1 the women and
dnd'node-n hor.,Ie rnan) r )d \d.r. fto,e oue.o re(hnolog)
r hlk|cn, which the Greeks euphemistically referrcd to as "uprooiing'
dlore cre cor.equen.ia,: rnoder n {dr i5 olie.r foughr tr or grecr d .ruce,
(drflrldsis). l:'urlhermore, it was o1ler rcgarded as legitimate, from the leg-
and high altitudes, $iithout those sol<tiers direct\ confronting the
enemy rnduysacki[g ofTroytothe massacre at Sestos in 353/52. Yetcorflicts did
or the violence done; modern wars involve the mobilization o] enormous
nol invariablyend this ay either Why did it occurin some cases and not
nLmbe\ ot reil a, hdrne\\inB Lhe n.d.nre econoini( poher
'oldier, a(
rno orgar '/alror
olhcrs, and how did the perpetrators justiEr it? Van Wees considers not
o, n"rion .td.e\: and a, qe krror. a'l loo \1e.t. modern only ihe practic but the rhetoric ofannihilation, from Homer onwards,
*arla,e h.' lhe, apa.i.y lo dfle(r civili,rn popr tdr -nore de,tru.
nkng with the Near Eastern antecedents and terse refercnces in ancient
Lrrery dnd e\re.l,ivel\. There .:milaririe( a. \e.1,
"re. no doLbl. imporrdn. hhtodnns. He concludes in general that the practice ofkilling and enslav-
especially having to do with the psychology of liar analviolence, rhe
aleep ing the civilian population was aimed at the destruction of the commu-
wounds le1l by tmuma, and the ralue ofcomtadeship and service. But do
nity. (Rape, in contrast, does not generally seem to hav been part of this
arcertdr..u.nonrhd!edrFl,,gimporrJr ro.Jyobourphenonrena rhar policy.) Such extremes were not the norm, howver and conflicts were
we tal<e to be characreristic ofmodern wars and
that."peiiu y p.eo"..rpy lrequently settled in ays that fell well short ofit. Although a range of dif-
us today?
ietent motivs might have been involved, van Wees argues that in many
A number of our contributors focused on just rhis kind ofquestjon. cases the preponderant considerations involve the victor's status as a
Did the ancient Greek ever commit somerhiDg we could appropriately
power and thus the symbolic signilicxrce of an action of 'conspicuous
label "genocide'? What do $,e larow about th efle.t, of*u, onifr. "t
o-" clestructionl' (Here one thinks especially of debate over the M)'tilenian
fuo[t" in ancint Greece? What can rve learn, ifan]thltg, abott the causes
rebellion, discussed below by Arlene Sa-{onhouse.) In some cases, reli-
(or the narrarives) of"unnecessary wars,,in arltiquity, which
seem at once gious issues may have been involved, though l1ot, it seems, in genera]. And
to be pointless and )et ineiu.table, as the First World War is $,idelvtaken
while the Greeks did develop notions ofethnic or racial superiority o\.er
to be? How should rve understand rhe military seryjce ofan irreilectual
"barbariad peoples, they do not seem to have solrght the destruction of
and phiJo.opher'.ke5ocrdre,?The,eaue\r.on,re ecl our I rinkingrbou.
their communities as such. Ethnic and religious dimensio[s, which are so
wars toda). But with such thoughts in hand, can we learn somethi;g from
prominent in modern fonr,s of genocide, do not seem to be central in
aDcient texts without anachroni$n? Our contribrton demonstrate iuit-
ful ways in which we can. Atrhough we need to understand the presup
Theidea ofa"home fronf is also amodernone. Butagain,the coflcept
positions and preoccupations with which the ancient authors framed
their is easily spelled out $'ithout anachronism. How does war affect ci\1lian
texts, it can be advantageous to Iead across the grairl, so to speak, by ask-
populations beyond the battlefield,both in terms ofthe institutional prep'
irg fresh questions of rele\.ance and inierest. arations necessary for \{agiq war and the impact on these populations,
The term 'genocide" is a modern one, dating from World Urar It.
But if both during and after the conflict, ard how is the civilian population mo-
r.c consider a standard definition ofit, os Hans van Wees argues in,,cno-
bilized to support the war effort? Though ihis is not a primary focus of
cide in Archaic and Classical Greecel, such as is provided by the 1948
ancient historians, Kurt Raaflaub seeks to recover as much as possible on
United Nations Convention for the prevention and punishment ofceno
the one city about which we are relatively well informed, classical Athens,
cide, it is perfectly fair to ask whether it is to be found in creek warfare
in his wide-ranging and detailed study, "q/s/srr.did and Wari Impact on
and, ifit is, whether it was condoned. According io the UN Convenrion,
the Home Frontl'From the drills and training ofhoplite soldiers to the
gnocide consists in actions aimedat the alestruction ofa..national. ethni_
maintenance ofa fleet and caval(y,lle considersthe lvays in which citizens
cal, racial, or religious group, as sucl.rj, whether in whole or in parr, and
prepared for war even in peacetime. He then moves to consider the after-
$'hethr by kil1ing, injuring, or otherwise crearing conditions intendecl
to math ofbattles, with the state funemls and proyisions fur widows and or-
leadto its physical destruction. So understoocl, genocicle is not unhearclof
phans, as well as the ]ittle we krow about the few disabld vetemns who
in Greek wadare. On the contrary, untll aboui rhe middle ofthe fourth
managedto suwive their wounds (and ancient medicine). War also lrans
6 oLll Ari(i(, Wrrs
lnLloducLion 7

formed t[e economy and politics ofAthelrs. The expansiorl Nnd lbrritica- willr Lrssigning responsibilily lin sllr ting lhc war ("war guilt") to the other
tion ofthe Peiraeus lvas necessary as it grew from a major tra.tfug Ilarbor si(lc. lherc is also a persistent overestinatioD ofthe prospects for victo4.,
r'1ro d ba\e lor Arl-en. g,er. flepr ir.lJdirg e.\rer . ve i fra.rrucirre and
Iol orrly at the outset of the war but eren in defeat, through appeals to
adrnrr'.ralron. cs well a, wo,k.lrop. ior re"pon, and orher mrlrra-y 'nrltional characterl' rather than a mor sober assessment ofthe nation's
eqJrpmenl. The pol4.iza on ofA.henirn democrr.y .. ,r'.o ' in rhi;
l)foparedness and the ability of one's genemls. Add to this a tendency af-
period, as impedal er.pansion and success stoked the ambitions ofits po1_
lcrwards to rationalize the conflict as somehow the product of "inevitable
iticians, $'ho saw war as an opportunity to achive ,greatness,, and
lorcesl'which likewise occludes the multipiicity and contingency offac-
glory. But how did the lengthy peloponnesian War aDd its sacrifices affect
lors at work. The repeated pattem ofthese memories and explamtions is
the mindset of ordinary citizens? Here hard eyidence is elusive, but we cvidence ofthe purposes or needs theyserve, while simultaneously mask
have one notable depiction of resistance to th tvar and the elites who sup
lng th truth about our actual responsibilities and limitations.
ported it in Aristophanes' comedy, the l,yririrair. The genre allows Arii
in her piece "Socrates' Military Seri.icel' Sara Monoson takes th fa
tophanes to voice criticisms otherwiseleli unsaid and so focus on the dev-
niliar figure ofSocrates and rminds us ofar aspect that for many ofus
astating effects on womell, the family, and the social fabric ofthe has become unfamiliar, his mllitary service. Although we t)"ically think
city, something that does not take center stage in the ancient historians, ofhim as the \.ery paradigm ofa pllilosopher unceasinglyengaged in con-
wriiings. His critique rel.eals the deceptil allure of the periclean ideal versation, whether in public settings like the marletplace or in private
and the needto abandon the pursultofwar and mpire in order to rcstore
homes, or on trial for his life before an Athedan jury, he was also cele
the health and integrity of the community, a perspective thar has muclr brated in antiquity for his bravery, his endurance, and his unfailing service
relevance today, as we reflect on the prcjection of American military to the ciqr Pluta(ch, for example, responds to Epicurean criticisms of
might and rhe political and economic ties it protects. Socrates as a braggart and a h)?ocrite by citing his martial valor and list-
In a comparative piece, "'War Guilt; 'National Character; .Ineyirable iDg the important ergagements in $'hich sened, something thai would be
Forcesl and the Problematic Historiography of,Unnecessary Urarsl,, Da hwocritical, Plutarch adds, only ifsocrates had de\-oted his life to p1ea,
vid Potter discusses the war narratives surrounditg three urinecessary or sure, as the Epicureans do (Against Calotes,:rtTE). Monoson discusses the
"improbable" wa$, wars that in retrospecr make even less sense
than othr various "eye$,itness" reports rccounted in Plato's dialogues ofhis service at
wars: the Peloponnesian \,Var (431 4o4 Bc!), th first punic War (264 2,1r the siege ofPotidaa in 432, in the fierce action near Deliun1 in 424, and in
BcE), and the First World War (1914-1918 cE). Like Arlene Slxonhouse's ihe expedition to Amphipolis shortly afterl{ ards - In the Slmpasium, AI-
contribution to this volume, Pottert is centraily concerned l\.ith questions cibiades stresses Socrates' extraordinary endurance at potidaea, including
ofhow and r{,hy these nations rvent to lvar But while Saxonhouse focuses the famous episode $rhere he stoodin one spoi for twenty foff hours,lost
on the decision makingprocess and the extent to which the popuiation of in thought, as evidence of his imperviousness to bodil, pleasures and
a nation bears responsibility for the cloice to go to !l,ar, potter looks in pains, as well as recounting Socrates' heroism in rescuing him frorn the
stead at the historical narratives told about the events bv the midst of hea\'y fighting when Alcibiades had been seriously wounded,
ndr:on,,. borh ar t\e r inre oi rhe h dr. in an etlo-t ro gin up r']eir *ar edo .
events about which Socrates is strikingly understated and rstrained $,hen
and then afterwards in an effort io explain and justify their involvement asked in the Charmides. Alcibiad,es similarly credits Socrates' frerceness
andtl1e outcome. The threecases Potterexamines have stdkng features in during th bloody retreat from Delium as responsible for not only
common. Each conflict was enormously costly, far beyond eqectations, his own life but that of comrades like thegeneral Laches, somethingwhich
and complete\. transformed the geopolitical realities ofthe time. None of was in fact more widly acknowledged. Monoson finds choes in Plato's
the sides u.ere adequately prepared for rhe challenges, and none had a accounts ofHomeric heroes, suci as Odysseus, Palamedes, and Ajax, but
clear conception of what they hoped to achieve. Why rhen did they go to especially Achilles.In contrast, Xenophon does noi give detailed accounts
war? Potter 6nds thar in each case the historical narGtives follolr, certain ofhis actions, but ofhis virtues instead, in particular his lawfulness and
recognizable patterns-patterns, I might add, thar w are well familiar ability to withstand hardship. The article ends by considering wherher
with in our own recent history. Duri,lg the war, there is a preoccupation Socrates' renown for coruage on the battlefield might have made Aristo-
8 | OurANic,( wrrs lnrroduction I9
phanes' lampoorirg of him in the comedy Cloldj of 423 a particularly nor lo lhc violence iDwar orkillil1g, orthe fear oflllem, but what has come
bracing move. VarioLrs details al1d hints throughout the play suggest it
to trc knowl clinically as "moral injurf'(a phmse first irtroduced by the
might well be, in rvhich case the attack on Socrates would call into aues-
lrsychiatrist Ionathan Shay). It refers to the profound anguish a soldier
tion botli militarism and the new intellectual fashions. Monosons issay (xpcriences at havinS failed to live up to reasonable standards he seeks to
reminds us that bravery in battle and the endurance of hardships arc not
livc by, often as a result of not having been backed or supported suffi
,ntithetical to a commitment to a philosophical tife. tndeed, it suggests
cicntlyby the command structur. Even though such soldiers do not bear
that to the extent that Socrates' Iife possesses unity or integrity, they may
ullimate responsibility for the wrongs done, their seflse offailure and cor'
share featrues in common,
$cquent shame is nonetheless real. Sherman recounts stories of such
lraun1a flom soldiers who recently sewed in Iraq, alongside Sophocles'
ljar, which follows the same series of stages psychoanalysts ha\ ob'
Part II: Rethinking the Modern, in View ofthe Arcienr served io such cases, where they lead to violent afld impulsive acts like
suicide. The shame involved, which is much more damaging and recalci-
lvhile the essays in the lirst section consider hora, our contemporary con, lrant thanguilt, also cannot be manaSed in the same way, since its mecha-
cerns might bear on ancient texts, the second group of articles flips this
nism is essentially differenl it is not about wrongs done but about the
question. After all, if we are reading anciefit teras in part because we are
failure to live up to an ideal, at least before one's o1{n eyes, and this shame
trying to grapplewith our o1{n concerns about military conflict, jt is perti- leads to self-accusations ofa sort that cannot be deflected by the defenses
nent to askwhat we can learn from them. In this section, our contributors
appropriate to 8uilt. To heal such wounds effectively, a treatment must
turn to Athenian tragedy, to ancient philosophy, and to the historian take these distinctive features into account. Just ns shame is something
Thucydides to reinvigorate our thinking. The predominant focus in this
one feels about how one is seen, so what is needed to heal it is a different
section is with the trauma soldiers suffer in war whether it is due to dange!
way oflooking at oneself, not as accuser but as someone concerned and
loss, or what has come to be known clinically as "moral injuryi'where one
supportive and understandin* to feel eftpatlq for onesel[ sherman uses
su.ffers from (what one regards as) a failure to live up to one! own code of
Aristotle's notion of self-love in Nicofiachean Ethics 9.8 to develop this
ethics aDd standards for living honorably, even when circumstances are idea further. Far from a kind of selfrshness or excessive narcissism, this
genuinelybeyond oDei control or the failure is due to onet supedors. These
concept of self-1ove presupposes only a modest ievel of good will and
pieces use ancient literature to expiore how fragile apersons character and
compassion towards oneself, in order to help oneself be accountable to
sense ofselfis, whether it can be restored, and ifso, how One of our au-
reasonable standards and pursue what is in one's own best intrest. The
thors looks to ancient philosophical theories of emotion to undersland kind ofdialogue thisrequires, a sort ofcall and response,does not entail a
hoi{ to repaironeself, specindly the appmpriate attitude one should take certain spliFcoNciousness or alienation, but on the contrary a gefiuine
to&?rd oneselfas an imperfect being. A second papr look at the nature of friendship and concern for oneself. In this respect, she thiDks the Stoic
virtue and of one! own character how they are acquired, how they can be account ofsomeone who is progressing towardvirtue is more helpful than
lost, and whether they can be recoveied again. And yet another looks to the their ideal ofthe moral sage, someone who has become radically trans-
use ofliterature, and in pa icular the use ofdramatic performance, to help
formed and left their former moral selfbehind. At times, Seneca adopts
ngage indiyiduals who have sufiered trauma and initiate the process of this more austere standpoint, but frequently in his letters he takes the per-
recovery. A fourth paper look not to consequences of conflict but to its spective of one imperfect human being helping another, and this, Sher-
causes! and not to the selfas such but rather to the individual! responsibil
man suggests, is how }1'e should help ourselves to move forward.
ity as a citizen in a community in its decision to go to war. All of these au, In his contribution "War as Educationi Paul Woodruff asks about the
thors show hox', by broadening our horizons ro include these ancient way in which war changes us, which is not always for the worse- How is it
works, r'e can gain crucial pe$pectives on our own concerns. that we learn from war, and what sorts of ihings do we, or can we,learn?
In "Moral lnjury, Damage, and Repairl'Nancy Sherman coNide$ how The bitter experience of war informs many works of ancient litemture,
best to help soldiers who have suffered serious psychological harm, due
especially the tragedies of the Athenian p13)nvrights aod Thucydides' Hls
ro I Our Aflclcnr wrrs
lnLroduction l

lotv oJ the Peloponnxon War. somcthjng the audren(es

ard rerders ofrhe S.rxonhous! article "Deciding to (i(, to War: Who is Responsible?" This
trme knew Our culture lodav lacks rhi( ldmilidrirr
rnd becaus l)icce has clear connections with David Potter's contribution in the first
of ir lon8. ro hear aboJr ("noin or*r,-.u.i;;i;;#;";;;;; section, which starts from a particularly arresting version of the puzzle:
ror. rather rhe ,uller dimensions"rp..tJ
ofhufian lite thrt ir exhibits. Bv reflecl- how going to war in three historical cases could seem so inescapable at the
rn8 on an(rent lilerary works, then. we may begin
to"h.nd so..- time and yet in retrospe.t so patently unnecessary Both, moreover, pay
rh,ng more about whal war reaches, nor only aboul danger
or about loss particular attention todetails from Thucydides' treatment ofthe Pelopon-
and suffering but also about the enormiry o[human error
and what mat- nesian War But unlike Potter's search for historical explanatioff in spe-
lers most rn lite. ln parti(ular, war affect! and changes people,s
moralchar. cjnc cases, however exemplary they may be, Saxonhouse is engaged at a
acter, rs rhese Iiterary texrs make clear. They demonsriatejlrr
characrer is ,nore general and theoretical lvel, concerning questions ofa moral and
not simply inherned or inalterable once acquired. But (dnd
lhis is a point political nature. In the field ofinternatioDal relations, the decisions to go
ol converSeoce belween \ oodruffand Shermanr rhel al,o .how
thar rhe to war are o1len trcated by focusing almost exclusively on the political elite
disintegration of virtue under extraordinary pressure need not
be jrrc- of a commurity, in veiy generic terms that effectively treat the state as
versible either that a person may even grow as a result.
Through an ex- though it were a simple, unifonn entity, much Iike a billiad ball that acis
amination of Sophocles' pftilocteres, he shows how echilles,
son-Neoptol, as an undillerentiated whole in problems ofclassical mechanics. Such as-
e'nu. a'lohs his tmilys repuralion to be misuseo. becau(e or
lhe e\:gencies sumptions ar of obvious interest when we turn to democGtic societies,
of har, and rhereb) svri6ces his own integriry In sophocle*
a7a r, we <ee and their widespread (thouSh not universal) tendency toward peace,
its heroi well-e\rabtished chdracrer undon by events u.o
rt. it u^" Thse discussions largely iSnor the normative questions, though, of how
dishonor he has sufered, with suicide to his mind as the onty "oa
way out. to locate responsibility for the decision to go to war, a question more natu-
Even firmly established characters can change. Thucydides,
wiro Wood, rally raised in the deliberations ofancient Greek states in Thucydidel ac-
rL-rffdescribes as a terular tragi( poet.'recounrs anorher (uch
change rn count ofthe Peloponnesian War. Saxonhouse contrasts Thucydides' treat-
the cilizens of Cor(yra in the turmoilofcivil war.
again tor rhe worse. OuL ment of the democracy as a unified whole with George Grotei opposite
there are also changes for the better: the Athenian general
Nicias is at his view, il.hich holds leaders directly responsible. But at the same time that
best in battle. It is the pressures ofdemocratic polirics that
urdoes him. the latter view allows for a plurality ofvoices within society, it also sug-
Each person's charactervaries under different extremes.
Finally, Woodruff gests that the democratic populace has been manipulated by its leaders
turns to consider whether charactet once lost, can be recovered.
Achilles and thereby removes agency from them ai l,ell as responsibility. Even if
ventually overcomes his rage at the loss of patroclus
and comes to feel Plato might be content with such a portrayal of democmcy, Saxonhouse
compassion for his slain enemy,s father, priam. War powerfullvteaches
us argues that $,e should not. Instead she looks for a dillerent alternative to
to know rhe deep pain ofloss and the ease oldoing wnaL we will
long re- the Thucydidean view, especially in representational democracies, where
gret. These experiences also lie behind the compassion Deianeira
feels for the dilemma is only exacerbated. She begins with Aristotlet emphasis on
her.rival in sophocle, tyonen ol Trachis or evei beh,.d Ody.,"r..
r.ii;;; the composite character of states in Book III of his Poltf,cr (something
in ll^e Alii.r. suiering mry be inevirable, but rhe exprience of !,ulnerabil echoed by'the Old Oligarch') before turning to an extended analysis of
ir) it occJ'iors ledd\ Lo deeper undersranding. Wotdruffends o) rfle(r the Atheniand debate over how to respond to the Mytilenian rebellion, as
ing on the narure oi characler, as the partern of responses each
oius give, recounted in Thucydides. Hard-nosed calculations of costs and benefits
to varying situations. Our responses are not invariant across lead them initially to order the destruction of the entire community (a
But people do respond differently under similar circumstances.
and we classic example of the considerations Hans van Wees argues for in his
can see how iL 6rs with lhe resl oftheir responses ro make an
mlelligible piece above), thus treating the Mltilenians as a unified entity, like a bil-
whole. Th-e enreme slrain lhat war puts on;s teaches
us, if not abouiour liard ball. But a day later, the assembly revokes the order. The debate itself
rrue set, at teast where its often turns on questions of whethe, the people in M)'tilene are mere
"Why do rvars occur?,, and more specifically ..Whr, and
pawns oftheir leaders or acting independentlyin ways for which they can
decide to go to war?', are the central focus of Arlene be held accountable. Sa-xonhouse dissects the many ironies and complexi-
l, Our A,r.icDt Ware
lrr!ritrlr llt,r1 r1

ties of the debate, arguing in favor of the notion of holding to ac.ount

v nquishclt in wna will cvcnlu.rlly lriun]Irh, rn(t isks how lhcsc n.rrr.rtivcs
(e!lrrr?,) not onlypublic figures but thepopulace as well. To think orher,
inlersect with conte,nporary lnilitaris'r.
wise is to render democracy an empty ideal.
ln his coDtribution "War What ls lt Good For?' in Homer's lliad alld
In "Combat Trauma and the Tragic Stage: Ancient Culture and Mod- l:our Receptionsj' Seth Schein focuses on an aspectofHomr's liadthat is
ern Catha$isl' Peter Meineck lays out ihe rationale and argument for the
pirticularly dificult for modern readers to confront: not simply its vio
Aquila Theatret multiye prqect, Ancient Geeks/Modetn Liyes, fnnded, lcnce and the gruesomeparhos ofsuffering depicted jn it, but the ways in
by the National Endownent ^r for the Humanities (zoro
r3), Like )onathan $,hich heroism and the striving for glory are inextricably bound with a
Shay (zoou ) and Lawrence Tritle (2ooo), Meineck believes that there are
ceriain "joy in battle" (crarmd). These moments are the ones warriors re_
signilicant commonalities between the psychological experiences that rlember and wish to be remembered by, that tie thm to their comrades
both modern veterans and ancient soldiers undergo, both in combat and and in some sense enable them to transcend their o!\rn morta.liry The epic
in returning home, despite the many cultural differences between them. genre may be especially suited to the ethical comPlexities involvd pre'
The posttraumatic stress that they soffered and the dificulties thef fam!
ciselybecause ofthe ways it simultaneously afiirms and callsinto question
lies faced after their homecoming, moreover, are not only situations they
lraditionalsocietal institutions and values. Accordingly, to the extent that
would have shard but are recurrent topics ofancient Athenian tragedy. Iater receptions of Homer are often in other genres, different features of
For these reasoff, the perfomance ofihese tragedies before audiences of
the poem may be brouSht to the fore. Scheio considers four twentieth
veterans and theirfamilies, muh as in ancient Athens, can be averypow-
century treatments here. Th 6rst two are essays that date from the Fall of
erful way ofconfronting these emotions. The way in which u/e engage r,rith
France in r94o, by two 6migr writers. In "The Liad, or the Poem ofForcei
live performances, aurally aad in the company of tle actors and other Simone Weil gives expression to the emotional and ethical abhorrcnce of
audience memben, is fundamentally difrent than reading and poter-
war by the rlay in which yiolence turns Peopte into objects or thinSs,
tially can lead to further dialogue, understanding, and even healing. The completely at the power ofanothet and so sees the liad as efretively an
Anciefit Greeks/ Modefi Lires performances includeddramatic readings of
antiwar poem. But Schein frnds her treatment one sided ard aDachronis'
scenes ofSophocles Aiar-much like the Theatre of War's rcadiru in Ann
tic, idealizing the Ilad along Christian 1ines, ard he .ounterbalances it by
Arbor that Sill Weineck aliscusses in her Epilogue-along with scenes considering the near contemporary essay of Rachel Bespaloff, \a'hich con_
from Aeschylus' Agamehnon, Euripides' Heralder, and the Odysseus, centrates instead on the moments in t1,ar that open an oPPortunity for
homecomiflg in Book 23 ofHomeri O4,ssel. Meineck discusses each of transcendence, lvhere human freedom and ethical choice are decisiYe,
these scenes and the effech they had on their audiences, who were still while simultaneously recognizing wart self-defeating natuie. Schein then
trying to cope with their soldiers' return home. examines in closer detail two poetic treatments from the late twentieth
century. He fruitfully compares Alice Oswald's Memorial: A Excavation
af the lliad to the.,\ays in which war memorials, especially the Vietnam
Part III: Othei Modems, Other Ancients Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, capture the moment ofdeath of
both the grat raarriors and the lesser ones alike, showing in their cumula
In this linal section, 11 step back to consider other ways ancient texts on tive succession not only the uniyersality ofthe experience but some ofthe
war have been received, both in our own age and in earlier ones. Byseeing
individual particularities as well. A similar configuratior is presert ir
how differently the same texts can be read, we gain a further perspectiv; Christopher Loguei WAR MUS.IC, which emphasizes the brutality and
on ourselves. Two ofour pieces focus on readings ofHomer up through ''easy professionalism' of the heroes in battle. One of the great rewards of
the late twentieth century; they show how in difierent eras, under different Schein's close readings is his aftentior to l{hat these poets omit as \r'ell as
circumstances, and in different genres, the emphases change dramaticalltr, to resonances theyborrow from oiher passages in the Homeric text, sho$'-
Tle third and last piece shiiis to an entirely nery medium, that of film, to ing how these selections enhance the particular power and effect ofthese
look at different gtoriications ofthe ancient slave, as someone who, while later poetic treatments. They offer, simultaneously, a visceral confronta-
r4 lorrrAr(c tWxr{
lntroduciioD 15

liolr with thesc di0iculr monlenrs in all their complexj

ry, lvhile atso afford- soLrrcc of dislirclion betwccn tlrings, in nature ls well as society. Page
iD8 us the aesthetic distarce reeded for refl".ti""
qa )drng a- trell ,d.rhe'ne
;; p;.Ji; ;;;;- (lLrBois, in her piece "'l Am Spartacus': Ancient War and Slavery in rhe
wpr enrphacired ill sitk" W",n"ir. rp.iogr",. N4ovies;' drarvs our aitention to tlle last clause ofthis fragment, in which
( entra lo he //iad i, the 6gure
or Ach.l]e,. rr\o.. t,ii,o" Ileraclitus explains that l\'ar makes "some slaves andothers freel' She em
,lorv i,. ndrr rar.atr!e "ng.r,r
gi\e, Lhe OJ- in.ere.r phasizes the liternl fict that ancient war litetally transformed peoplet
ln.Acnrlies lodd\ e<.errtral,) pur.ue- rwo !oi1(ern\.
as Su.anne Codde lives, with the resulting distinction in status alld circumstances often\.io-
po'nr\ oLrl rn her 'Modern Ac ).Ile, ile BeaLt)
or U;. ar(l rhe Bd,tle of leDtlyinscribed intheirbodies, with brands, welis, and crippling injuries.
the Sexes":^ the. violent consequences of his rage
and of his subsequeni It is striking, then, how in American movies audiences are made to iden-
mourning for the toses he has sLrffered, above
ilt pa-
for his close frieni iify with slave characters: l\'ith thir sutrering aid oppression, but also
troclus, and the recognition that he too 1\,il1die.
But latural as this focus
as with the promise oftheir eventual vanquishing oftheii cotrupt masters.
mayseem, it is not timeless. If we look at the
way in which the figure of In part, this effect is achieved via rligious identifrcation that allows Hol-
Ac\ has beer .rp i\ e \ rei,ndgined in Uer m.. ,, ,," rro.,
il," tat. lywood films to portray Israeliie and Christian staves in antiquity in a
e'ghlee0lh throutsl .rid rhenrierh cerr,rie, Belnd.,r(.or,ing-o
Gbode particularly heroic light , fiom Ben Hur to Tne Robe to Spartacus - Each of
a wide range oftrearments. She disringuishes
five distinct tend-encies. .Ile these treatments reinforces a certain Amedcan m)th oforigin, of a na-
h r.t lr e. to m,r(e -env ol h
irn ernrcat.r. a orficrr.r r.,* gi en hi. ;n.r-6;. lionfonnedfrom dispossessed and persecuted refuges. But sh points to
drn"lion. his unwil.rrgnc:, .o ,hou rhe cu,.orrarv
respe.t for . ie dead, the lvay in which this ide[tification with ancient s]aves persists beyond
and ot coune nt, alnost rmprr.dble rage. BLrt
in Cernrn clj(icr n,.L these older films in contempomry cinema and TV, with films such as
thorr (u.h d. lohann uo.rrned Herder dnd Fr edriclr
schlegerp-.,ced rr, Gladidror and series like Spartacus: Bload. and Sa,?4 which trade instead
irpatre,\orsoul-orry.SotopsuchM :1 ),tdoitrcnrhar goe,oack ro p,aro on the eroticization of the slaves' bodies and the glamorization oI vio
ard Ar'clotle. ernDha\r,, ng the.elt ,"cr.nce lre malej
ou, oJ devotion ro lence. In a great irony, duBois suggests an irversion of Heraclitus' frag
lr,. dedre\l l.ie1d. \ ,e(ord lendenc! (exIali,,e, hjal:
in ldre jn.iqr l). ment: such films, she argues, are of a piece with dle recruitment fiIms
c1r..ridl aLlhor..Jr him d\.oneone ru.oed o) hi,,"rrrt
po,,io,r,, used by today's military, an implicit and cynical artempt to draw in to
wqilerheuer.nan pta),v igt-r Heir)rjch \or Kleiq
made hirr rhe lalr. ob- dayt poor and disadvantaged youth to fight in al,I end]ess "war on terrorl'
le.lor d.ireoillre Am.ron ouee hr pe th?,ited
and Lh-i,ra Woll! Their slavery, she notes, is not literal. But they are nonethless ilestined
lran(lormr him .nlo bru-al ripr.t in the tdle r(enirelh.en_ by their ethnicity or their class to fight and diel' Unlike the 1960 frlm
^rsiardrc "
LUn. ln he early Lh_errtieth.enrury. lean ng up to rrre
;r( hbrla Wdr, the
f Sprilrar? , which stressed the solidarity of the oppressed slaves in their
locu. 5 rn.ledd on \, hproic oual,lre.. wi.h reoctr*,ci.m,
hor,hip of lhe long struggle for liberation, the TV series lrsion of 2o1o glorifies the
rgLre oI lhe grea. "\e\v Mdn. a, tor pxdnrp,e in
sretan heig., iersnes. heroic individualas "a lover and lone killerl'
lhr\ lredrrerr Lortra,t\ tvirn d empndn\ Act.rlte, nerhrng
ae'l.lrer c and ,ubl Te a,r objeLt o- a\tori,\rrenr^1
and uoroer, Lrecar:e or
or ,r, hho (on-
nr\ bP,rulv dnd hi, \iolence. r. in Hoirarr,.ha, REIERENCFS
cenlrdle. on himn. rn ooiect ot .enor.
Uoaa""rolor.. r,, ro
undernd)d A(hilleq.1 lern( of lne | .duna ne qa..rrtrerec Armstrong, David. r99r. The Impossibiliq. ofMerathesis PhilodetuN and lucreiius on
n"ade iamihar rorm and Content nr Poetryl'ln DnkObbirk (ed.), Pliloden$ and Poen/: Paetic
lo u, b) ot lon,rthan shay. Dul
lJenn. All o.llre,e drfferenr rrpjrmenL. \eek"l.o pre.ent ir ,l-e poel Cotl.ried meart and Pnttxe in Luoeti s, Philadetuus ond Hone, ro 3r. Oxford: Oxford
to render Achrl:e, rnore in.e.
ligible. br :e,e. r're'y empha.izrng diflerenr etemenl( wilhin I4.Louglrii[ Kate.2oo9. War and U'ords]' Ir (ate Mclo\g)lit Ga.), The Canbridge
rhe //lrd. B;r
edcl rhereb) .e\edh rhe.onpie{ir) oflhis figLre. trow Conpanian to Wat Witing, tr ,4. Canbridge, Cambrjdge Unlversiry Press.
both hrs bedurv and
clestructileness coexist with one another Sha),, loDathan. ioor. Od./ssgrs h Anetna: Canbdt Tnuna and the Ttiak aJ Handan

A,fa'nous lag-nerr 6r Per.cliru, be8in,..\\ar is rhe Lrlher ,rg. New York Soibner
or. Al|.B(rl.ll p sugge.tio]l
Tritle, Larrence. 2ooo. I/on Llelas ta NU Lai: A Stud/ in \tialene, Cultwe a d Soeial
i, rhat har.dlld.ora,<rmorebroadll rs^rn8
rhi Seri/al London: Routledge.
'- 0)
- I r-a

Genocide in Archaic and Classical Greece

Hans van Wees

"Chares the Athenian general sailed into the Hellespont and captured the
city ofSestos, then executed the adult men and sold the rest into slaverf'
(Diodorus 16.34.3). Massacres of this q?e are familiar from Homer on
wards, so one can understand why one account of Chares' career merell
remarks that it was "a common fate of a conquered city' and moves on
(Pritchett 1974, 8r. Yet when Chares committed this massacre in j53/2
Bc!, it had ben trio whole generations since Athens last destroyed an-
other community-Melos in 416 BcE and it was to prove the last time
(or1 record) that any G(eek city state destroyed another.r Ifsuch extrcme
brutalily $'as prhaps not 'tommon' after all, ir is equally indefensible to
say, as some have done, that it rvas alie[ to th chivalrous, "agonistic]'
spirit of Greek lcarfare and began 1() occur only in the late Iifth century
when incessant conflict caused emotions to run high and the rules to
break down.'?fhe destruction ofan entire communiiy was in fact always
regarded as ince ain circumstances a legitimate course ofaction in Greel
warfare, but it was only occasionally the actual outcome of a war.r W
need to try and understand fie, it was deemed legitimate, nnd ftr, it
happened rlhen it happened.
In order to bring home the impo ance ofthese questions,l prcpose to
call the form ofviolence prpetrated by Chares at Sestos 'genocidei' This
may seem arachronistic because the concept is recent-it rvas coined in

r See the surveys in Prirchett 1991andDucry 1963.

z.l.g.,Hanson 2oot:esp. r8o,182tj99t:2tt 53 ("conpletely abFnt flon rhe mjnd of
dcluic Greeks "ras any intentio! of ge.ocide" unril rhe "larer 6ih and fourth cdiluiei'j
Ober 1996: esp. 56, rule olrvd no. 3 ("punrslment of surcndded opponeDts slDuld be re-
straired") md !o. 9 ("non combataDts should !o1 be primary tdSets of ana.k').
3. Ior tuller discussior, see vd \^Iees 2o1 1 j 2oo4: 1 r5 r/, r:4-26 j Da),ton 2006.
I ro OLI A|(i(,rrL Wiic
(uxrkhIrArlrxl(rr (lksl( l(;lrur l ,
D44, .
i n ur. ppd Lu, ope I
)1,:l I "J,lll,,
alea hrth. 11,.
the frolocau.l

.nd orher c"nrpa,gn.

rncr c osery i
t)resert from the lichional sackol'lioy to tlrc historical sackofSestos, and
ol e{lernlndrion uaped ooly if we accept that some anciert Greek states alld generals did have
agdrrsl elhnic and religiouc mil|orilre\ i\
rthin na.ron .rare,. unparalreied something incommon with contemporary ethnic cleansen and genocidal
in creekhistory However, the United Nations
defi.iri., a"., governments can rve fully appreciate the gravity of $ihat they did and the
not confine the act to such instances: "fg"".'.ia.
urgency of the question why they did it.
Cenocide mean: ary ol rhe loliou rng The Greeks had their own word for it, and one could argue that it might
,.r. .onmileo h irh
teil lo de.tro\. :t wno,e or :n part. a n,rrion,l. ethnrca,, the in be better io use the indigenous term and avoid anyconcerns about anach-
rr.ial or ronism. The word is ararrasls, litrally "raising upl' i.e., forcing a commu-
'ex8,ou\ groJp.,a',1r.\: ra Ullirrtsrember.or.l-eBroLp: o cdJ\- t'ity to get up and lea\ its home, and it covered a range of actions from
rng lenou\ bodil) or mentdl harIr ro
memoer. oirhe group, r., driving an otherwise unharmed population out of its city and territory to
de.rberaiel). inflicr,18 o , .he (ondilions
Sroup of lire cal. Lrlared io the ultimate fate of execution or enslavement.5 Even the mildest form of
bflng about rrs phy\i.d, dp,lrurlron in r^hote
o. jn p*, . . 1U,, drasfdsls entailed scattring a cityi population and turning them into refu-
Contentia .for the pretentiotl and punishment
af the irime of Geno- gees, and as such would stil fall under the UN definitiont clalrse (c): 'de
cide, 9Dec. :94B)
Liberately inflicting on the group conditions oflife calculated to bring about
The inclusion of 'national,, groups mearN its physical destruction in whole or in parti'The disadvantage ofthe Greek
that ihe destruction of I citv can
corrnl rs Seno(rde. rince ciry-slate\,ve.e
tl-e pr;na-v enr i.l :' '- term, horvever is that it is in effect a euphemism, and English translatiors
pa1' o'arch^i( a.rd ( h(ical such as "raising upl' 'iemovali' or even "uprootnlg" fail io bring out the
Greece. even rl.hey uerc D"_fl oiwider regiondl
sheer violence involved, which 'genocide' by contrast powertuIy evokes.
il.d.-.Jy. _,.s]*,i
roruan.'. And ,",1"1 s,oxp. re.s.. Boeonan.. ftre-at an.: ,qeo.ran.,
lhe ilclunon oi rnear, or rte,Lrucrron orher
Moreover, appropdation ofthe term genocide for ancient Greece may
rhan kllJing serve noi only to recotceptualize an important aspect ofcrcek warfare but
near-,that,rollecrive.w,re rnro,larery rnu:r
al.o.ount dc a torm ot genoode. also io rccorceptuaiize the place ofgenocide in modern war The con,mon
r\or onry I, rse ot rhe.ermrhr..orrrll) ju.r;6edbur
, assumption that genocide is a modern phenomenon is Iiable to limit ou{
oee^d nece5,ary. ro .e.o1.cprJdti,,e
Cree^ hrrlare br mak ng expiicrr .J ar
r somerrre\ .1\oi\ed $hal we hoLld .a .geno.ide Tak; jo; understandi[g ofit, at best, to the conditions under which it occurs in the
example contemporary world. If we accept that genocide also occurred under quite
t5e legendaru.ack oi frc). wlch enoed
iust ,ir.. .r.,e .i"g. o, *,irh different conditions in the ancient world, we maybe led to a deeper under-
rhe killrnB ol Jll .lren ana lhe
en5tareren. or .i-" *om.n ina cl,,ar.n..ti
standing of its fundamentai causes across human history6 With this in
numerou. r,,., p*t,.
,:"1", :- !1.1:"."
Irayed'1 drl {ory
":cnbed.b1 ".a "rr"" po]-. mind, we will investigate what motivated acts ofgenocide in archaic and
is verr futntriar,o ,., or, ,n. ai.,rr,..r.o."d
,.he by classical Greece, and suggest that among other things it was q?icaily an act
lrneaDdb) rhe.on\enlron,ol Jrterdryand arr.5rrc
6ctron make. ir harj of'tonspicuous destructionl'a display of force designed to assertth power
rc-_u(rodD.\o.D.t\ iu| 5igni6c"1.e. fteporrt
isperfecr,\ i,.u\.rared o) the and status ofthe perpetratorin the face of a perceived challenge.
re(DoDse ot dn anon\ nor, re.eree ro
dn ea,tler dr an ol t\i. chple": ...,on
prn.1g t\e ar.ocire. or t\e srcl or froy
,o rnose ot moderr elhnic .leans_
rng (eem\ to b a .tretc\. equal,lg TFh:caJ
act, of herorc uolence Lo verv
Lnreror( rode.n beha\ior' l.i( \ort o, neIta. "Cutting Open Pregnant Women'l
compdrtrnertali/ario-r, The Ancient Rhetodc of Genocide
trhrcl ,eg,rd\ rhe annihjlalion ol J conmLrniry
.n dncierl ,,terdtLrre or
nr(tory a\ cometrow c.tegoflcr'1, differe
I rhe,.me e\ enr in Ine.oo The ancient evidence for the destruction of communities is not easy to
lempora") world r"pre,i5el\trhd, I hooe
ro overcore b1 poin.ed J,eoI interpret. When a Greel( historian claims that a city was "razed to the
l5e.erm genocide. The ir.enL lode.rro). a nar.onj. groLp..Js5u(h wr(
5. Fordrls oildest folm olararraJis, see n.2a, beloq
4.Iorleokin!use otthe concepr, see l,loses 2oro.
6. Ford attempt at greater historical depth, see Blo$an and Nloss 20 10, chapte4 I 1- 16,
nrduding m Urees 1o1oa! much of wlat follows is adapted fron lhat palei
22 I Our Ancicnt Wrrc (ilxn kl(' lrr Ar( |rl( irrd Ch$rrlCr{.e I 2l
Eround" and its population massacred, is this a record of genocide or 'lhc same sequence of images, iD rcvcrsc ordcr, occurs in biblical prophecy:
merely a boasr rhat the enemy suffered an overwhetjning
def;t? When a
Greek plalv'/righr laments the fate ofan annihilated
ciryioes his imagerf Samaria shall bear her guilt, becaus she has rebelled against her
reflecl conlemporary practice or merely a nightmare
Usion of the w-orsi God; they shall fall bythe sword, their little ones shallbe dashed ir
that could possibly happen? We do nor always halr
enough eudence to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.e
delermine the exrent and intent ot the de<tru(tron inflicted. yet
e\ en $hen
\\e cannot tell whrl rerlity ]ay behind rhe words. rhe rhelori( 'lle mutilation ofpregnant
L valudble wornen is here not a random atrocity but part
De.Jure ll reveals ancienr jdeologieg ofgenocide, oi a program of systematic violencer adults ujll be killed by the sword,
Durint rhe irst bartle described in rhe ./rdd. Agamemnon noricel rhar children beaten to death or blindd so as to rende, them helpless, and fe
MenelaLrs is abour to spare rhe life ofa Trojdn captrve.
so l-e runr over and llrses ripped from their mothers'wombs. The message is the same as
shouB to his broih.r.
Agamemnon's: the entire enemy populatiol must be destroyed, even the
unborn. fhis is an explicit and extreme rhetoric ofgenocide.'0
"Nol a srngle one of rhem must escape sheer destrrcLion
ar our Did this brutnl rhetoric correspond to an equally brutal practice? On
hands. Not even if a mother carries one in her oelly and
he is male, could rot, ofcourse, selectivelykill only male fetuses; the pregnantwomen
nor even he should escape. All togeiher rhe) musr be
errerminated xnd their unborn girls, too, $'ould die. Conceivably this lvas seen as ac-
lrom Troy. therr bodres untended and invisrble.
ceptable "collateral damage" of the symbolically important extermination
of all males. However, since the motifof killing unborn boys as an act of
The poet adds: "With rhese words the hero swayed his
brother! mind, wardoes not reappear in Greek literature it was perhaps a piece of extreme
since he gave d,iirrd advice" (6.54-65). Scholars d;bate
the precise mean- rhetoric rather than a Greek genocidal practice. It may indeed have been
ing. of aisizra; I would argue that its nearest English
equivalent;s tue,- a borrowing from the Near Eastrr that even as a rhetorical conceit proved
and that the poet implies that Agamemnon as supreme commander
of the too strong for later Greek tastes. This form ofgenocide thus served as th
Greek army_ was enritled ro give such advice. ihis fals
iusr short of an ultimate threat, but it may never have been perptrated-
outright endorsement of Agamemnont sentiments, but ii is
certainly no At the other extreme of the rhetorical range, we have one-word notics
reiection. The liad sympathizes deeply wirh the sad fare
of individual Tro- lhat so and so "sacked" or 'Aes[oyed" a city, without any elaboration on
jans, but italso contajns numerous passages that place
the blame for the what happened to its people, or bald statements that a defeated people
war squarely on rhe Trcjans' collecrive shoulde$;nd treat the were'told into slavery: Sometimes such elliptic statements simply reflect
tion of the froiaus as a Iegitimate goal ofwar._ the brevity ofour sources, but even otherwise detailed accounts often say
Paralle.s for AgamemnoD! exhorLar ion appear in Assyr:dn
and Babylo- little more. The surviving Greek and RomaD historians mostlybelong to a
nian poems and the Bible, where yictorious besiegers .tut
open pregnant school ofthought that did not like to elaborate oD the suffering caused by
uomenl lle lheme firsr appears in an Aqslrirn poem thar p;obd;ly;lon-
war, pafl1y because this usually involved imagiDatlve generic descriptioll
le\ a niLIrr) vicror) ofTiglat.pileser l. c. troo Bcl: rather than recording speclfrc historical facts, and partly because it ap
pealed to readers' emotions without serving any anal).tica1 purpose. Poly
He slits the leornbs ofpregnant womenj he biinds the infants. bius criticized his predecessor Phylarchus in these terms, mocking his ac
He curs rhe rhroats oftheir srrong ones. . . .
Whoever offends the god Asshur will be turned rnto Hosa 14.1; ci 2 Ii,8s 3.1r-r3 for d .inost idenftal prophecy aboui ihe fat oI hmel.
a ru:n.s 9.
10. Contn Krn 1999:34, who ar8ues that "the killing ofa fetus w.s consideed peculi t),
abhoftnf and was "a litenry nolif.bout the mohl .h.os of w.a; cf Kuhrt 2@r: 7-8. Ihe
7.s*e8.,(]oldhll r99o: J73-75i Yama8.t. ,99o: vm wees roez. r76 s,
Fora,s(and focus on mn/mal fetues in lhe Ldd ma, b. spcifically Cre.k @ below.
:l:,1,1,*. "h.,j'1:",: r4.sp //. ,8 1,/. .m or.M or s?ors.. nor rusr neurrau,
, I r. nE ,t d dates (in ny vi{) to c. 700-610 BcE, {hil. most of the biblic'l p*s8es m
sh@ bur \pe<'hq y th. "shrE rhar h.@r,due"(by f.teor bvmfrio torerN. sel i! the )em 7rc7oo BcE. lhough th. book in qu6tion w6E prcbably @mpGd o y in
a. vAT rj3).,, rcc t-6.t.xrand rnnslation in Cog r9sl.,.j5,s. th *w.rh Gntnrv s.E or l,rer
4 I ourA ciclr Wais
Ccno(ldc Ir Ar(h l( and clnssicalGreece 25
counr oa the sack oI M.rnrined in 223
B( F as..base and effeminate,. because
it described scholars have imagined that men \rere killed because theywere"more dif-
Iic(lt to control than women and childrenl'so that enslavement was oot
l{omen\ embracet and disarraved hdrr and lcisible. This is not a tenable view given that countless men were in fact
exposures ofbreasts, as
werr a\ tears and ltunenl5 ot rcduced to chattel-slavery and other forms of forced labor throughout an-
men md wome; led cway rn morley
c,rowds wrlh rheir chjrdrer ard elderly Itquity and beyond, Conversely, the youngest children and the elderly
pareDt:. And he doe5 lhi,
-nroughout his history, were spared despite being no use as slavesr they would often find no buyer
lrying eacl- and evry lime ro pla(e the hor
rors betore our ves .lnd be left to die ofexposure, hunget or attack by wild animals.ta Ifa dis-
linction by gender and age was made, it was rather because creek com
onry be.ruse ir offended asninsr his hisrorio
rnunities were conceived of as consisting essentially ofadult men. Women,
graphrcat principles, but also because children, and the aged were mere dependents. The death of the men
he felt thar tt ,,in it ,trtton ot Vln
lined was aju\ti6ed act of revenge. so thar " .rmounted to the annihilation ofth communityi killing the others was not
the Mantineans did not deserve
(\ymparnyelrcrted bvdwellingon
rheirmisery(2.56.7_12)., fte ideol-
ogy tn"t a nonpartisan. non.enjrtionali\r We have good contemporary evidenc for instances of genocide that
l-iltorian should re(o.d no more
rne Ddre ract thal .r ciry nas de.rroyed took this sharyly gendered form, as we shall see, but the impression cre-
', 'ar or a people en\ld\ed Ieavej us
wrtr a record,utal nray understa.e rarl-er rhan flted by litemry sources that it was standard practice is probably mislead-
exaggerare the trequency
ano erilent o, dr(rnrctlon. Bur thiq record ing, since a iange of different treatments of saclcd cities is also attested.
i\ in its o*n .au no 1.,. i"t, i.,
expres\ion ofthe common an.ienr view Mass eNlavements occu ed with some frequency in the Greek world.r5
lh.l unde, *rri', .,rir ri""."?
genocide could be a legitimate, desirable, Not even nuclear families rre kept together when they were sold into
ana n"."".r.y .ou.r"-if slavery, so the result was complete dispersal of a community. The irrevo
cable destruction of a group in this way counts as a form of genocide, even
if few were killed.
The Cities ofMen: Targets for Annihitation Rape did not play the ancillary part in genocidal campaiSns that it has
played in more recent history. A few brief and rather euphemistic refer'
Ir 'ludying ancienr Creek Seno(ide, he qhould rrol \imph :nclude e!erv
ences Ieave no doubt that many women, and indeed young men, were
rncrance ot targe-scJe,killing in war -fte raped during the sack ofcities, as one would xpect, but our sources tend
countless sieges r nat caLr.ed huel
uz,iage a.1o to1, ol tjte bul drd nor end wirh to treat tlis as an iDcidental and distasteflrl aspect ofsiege warfare. Unlike
be!e8ed ciries beirU eliminaled. in one way
the eulire populdtion ofl;e killing and enslavement it was not a matter ofpublic policy. A concerted
or aDolner. oughr ro be ey-
c,uoed. Also to be excluded dre massac campaign ofrape nlay just be hinted at in the Iriad when the creeks are
res .om m ired by roldiers runnrng
amol and laiprng out entire rowns. wilhoul told: "Let no one be in a hurry to go hom unril he has slept wirh the wife
beiDg ordered ro do so, or inl
UKU rn oenance ot orders to \lop kilrng. of a Troian, in revenge for the shock and sobs of Helen' (2.354-56). But
Only where the population ofa
exe(uted or.permanently dispersed by this could be explained instead as a reference, not to rape, but to soldrers
:'Y.was the design oi military or
por.hcalaurhoritresdoes having sex with Trojan *omen who were allocated to them as slaves-a
the Iabel "genocrde seem appropriate.
_n.:isacre form ofsexual coercion that was regarded as legitimate and is repeatedly
of all. inhab ranrs ot d crty was
- .lhe More t\rDrcal wa, rhe exe.ur or o,all quire rare. though nor
.Lr(nown. mentioned in Greek epic and trngic poetry. The institution of davery al
free men ofm,litaiy rge.
whik wome+ children and slaves $.ere sold into (furtle4 lowed men to establish a form ofcontrol over women that was far more
516".., i,: ig.fil lasting and comprchensive than a brief and limited exercise of power
ir-ror rhe rrior lislnioSrdph) ot ..Jr. ..1.e., qe
-, E d,Hrys r987, . f _.,1: bla,e through ad hoc sexual violence, and this is surely why the enslavement of
counio,rieqcl<ofdcly nora.ins,eoneo,,,.,"h,,f.,,il;,;:il;E;;".
s rcterrcr'hy on ruct' o(arcn\ x a ohrfled, , 2 r s7 rr.,4,. ra. Xenophon, ,4gailaoJ r.2r-,2.
t l. L.8. tut1 6 44a_65, 9 \s t -q\: 2, 6'_6R rr. For mass etulavement, se agai. Ducey t968i Prit hett r99r; for rh Eelenisrir and
Romd worldr se.lso Volkmon r99oj Choiotis 2ooi: rl1-3r, r.{2.
I 26 |our^nclenrWaLF Ceflocldc lrr ALrhtrlc nnd Cl ssjcal creece | 27

wonrcn wfls a prominenl tearure of the publi< face

otgenocide, while rape rodernclaimsto the contrary, peace w.s always considered the norm and
was largely passed over in embarrassed silence
as I gratuitous private form idcal, even ifit wasoften interrupted by the necessary evil of when
war did break out, its goals usually stopped well short of annihilating the
A 6naltarget Fordestruction was the physicatsire ot lhe
cityilseli CrLjes oncmy, and we need to consider the full range of options that an ancient
are,orever being burnt down, and ..azed to the g,ound.. stare had in dealing with a hostile city before we can try to determine why
in an.ienl re-
cords.andrr marycasesrhis ma) be nomorerhan a iormulaic \onreLrmeg d stdte chose ro resort to genocide.
reference ro
lhe damige dore in rhe corr<e ot the siege and hapoa;ard
vandalism by Wars could be concluded with pacts ofnonaggression, treaties ofequal
pilldging soldiers. At least a few ciries, ho;ver, were
Lrerally flanened ln 0lliance,or unequal treaties that imposed on the defeated side th military
5ro BcE, one oF lhe ri.hest and most powerful ciries of the Greek obligation to "have the same friend and enemy" and "help in the most
S,,baris,a!'as detiberatety.flooded atier irs popularion
hdd been driveD out b) vigorous manner possiblel' Decommissioning of military matedel
ilr rivalCroron. - The culrivaljon ol$e terrirory ofa desrrored iortifications, 1larships-might be required.']o The outcome of the vast
ciry rnighr oe
lorbidden, (onre.Ime. by dedicaling il lo a god, so rlar
tre l.nd .reverred to majority of wars in archaic and classical Greece fell somewhere within this
a sheep-walk." A less dramatic pjrrial 5anctification
of a destroved sirc o.. range, and in such.ases communities were left wholly intect, apart of
curred when the Spartans used the ruins of plataea ro
constru:t a temple course frcm any casualties suffered in combat, and ofun retained a high
complex for Hera, complete with hotel facitties for
degree of local autonomy as well, losiflg little more than their interna
purpose ofthe physical deslruclion ol buildings and tional standing.
, .The land wrs ro
obliterate nor onrv lhe etremy but even the memorl oftherr
exisrence. I or More violent measures began \,\,ith tlle elimination of a city's leader
lhe same reason. Agamemnon insrsred rnat the -roians
should not onl, be ship, which was particularly common in dealinS with "rebelsl' i.e., cities
killed but their corpses be "untended and invisible': they should that in some way olFended against the terms of their subordination, or
have no
tombs to keep lheir memoryalive. The destruction ofciti;s
$/as usually no sometimes simply refused to be subordinated. Tension between a ruling
doubt only pirrial, or merly symbolic, bur rhe consrant rhetoric class and the rst ofpopulation was a constant feature ofpolitical and so
of ra;ing
towns and the occasional comprchensive destruction
suggest the geno: cial life in Greek cities, and in order to strengthen or rcgain control over
cjdal rntenl of lhe a[rckers: rdeal']. rheir vicrinrs were to their subject al1ies, Athenians and Spartans exploited such divisions by
be elimirared
wrnout IeaMng any trace at all, executing or exiling hostile or rbellious political elites.'r ln a famous pas-
sage, Thucydides has the Athenian assembly debate the pros and cons of
killing only the responsible memben ofthe ruling class versus massacring
Alternatives to Annihilation: cenocide in Contert
the ent ire population of Athens rebellious ally Mltilene. The argument in
favor ofthe former is essentially that it will in the long run be less costly
Itternational relations in the ancient world were complex, 1{,ith a not to destroy the whole community. The historian characterisiicallyplays
ranSe.ol recognr/ed relaLion5hip, oerween states. including
kinshjp and down moral qualms about 8nocide, hich in reality surely played their
friendship ai we I o formal treary obligatrons. aad part, but his view that the main appeal ofconfiningyiolnc to the elite lay
,ophisiicated aipto_
malic mechanism\. from inviolable envoys and ambassadors, via in its material advantages may well bejustified, and may be more widely
(hanges of leners and gifts, ro internrlional
arbitralion. Despite some applicable. The Athenians decided in the end to kill 'only" a thousand
leading M)tileneans.'}7
16. For Greek a.d Rome e!iden.., see Vikoan
2ooriKerr r sgt: t54'.62, 735.16, 345.
47i ancient attitudes to .aps Deacey .nd pierce r997i omjssion ofwotuen 19, For a biief suvey of ancilt ilt@ational !.latio!s, see ro Wees ,o1obr Bedermann
frcm clssicat hi!
to.iography ofwd: Hornblow er No7: 42_47. ,oor. On Cr.ece and Rom, s.e ako the relewt chaptE jn rtunnann.nd Heusr 2oo1;
\7. Snrrbo" eeogruphl 6.t.t3t cf, Hetudotu, Hirrori,
r2.10. r; AtheDaeus, Derp,6ophir.,
6,2 t; Diodorus of Sicily, Ire lira,/ Sabin et al. 2@7; Raaflaob 2@7,
,21d. 20. Low 2ooz h wes 2@4i r2-rt.
"Shep-walr: r$c.tes, Oar,oar 14_31 (Kirrha, .. seo scE); Diodo.u ofsiciry, Tlt" 2r, Cla$ical Grece Cehik !98r; Lintott !98r arch.ic Greee im wes t@8.
. .13.
!irrarl !t.6r.!, Plataea: Ihucydides, Hn,orty 3.6B,2_3, 22. Thucrdides3.36 ro, {itI Holnblower r99r4ro-4!,
28 Oxr AlcienL Y/ars
(iuxn nlr' lrr Ar lrrl( rrtr Chs'ri(rl Crcccc 29
Elsewhere, elites $,ere llot executed but diven into exile or deported.
'Ihe Athenians in ..the r.lnin cortrol of it, and of the rest ol Lbe 'flyacian Chersonese, lvhere
506 B cE expelled Horsemen', who ruled Chatis and
Alhcnians had begun to settle two centuries earlier. Chares'action not
sent settlersto occupy rhe esratesofrhese exiles (Hdt.5.772).
The displace_ r)nly gave them back Sestos but also led to the Thracian king Cersobleptes
ment ofpeople was not confined to elits: whole communities
mi;ht be lrunrlillg over nine of the ter other towns in the Chersonese to Athens,
dr.'en 116. 11,.,. ,.or."c. One early Creek poe. p.rlure, I I.e la.nitie. of r
w h ich promptly "snt settlers (ft1 /or.hol) to the cities" (Diodoros 16.34 4i
deied.ed (i.\ \drde ing i, -efugee.. o.(liLed and di(lrorored
rhe) eno uD. u czo scr. r,rrde.arract o) .he per,i"r,.
\\herever rl, Xcn. Hell. 3.2.10). Moreover, at least part of Chares' army consisted of
.ho Creek (om,nu. rncrcenaries, whom the Athenian treasury colrld il1 afford to pay. and as
nities simply evacuated their tolyns and resettled far awav. .irr_
aDd such tltl agos autokrat hehad the power to decide to rnise funds by sacking
barr relocarro i' aa, reg.ded a. perler-.r d. cepraD e.
h t-en .he,rclim\ lhc city (Demosthnes 23.173). One might imagine, rhen, thatthis episode
were unable to escape, ihe victors sometimes let them leale
thef citv un- r)l gcnocide was simply a sholv ofextreme force designed to solve se\ral
molested when theysurrendered, tpica y allowing them to
bring litlraly rconomic problems at once through direct seizure and intimidation.
only the clothes on their backs. Er.en after a very'torrg, bitter, uia
However, the Athenians' financial and economic problems had been
siege, Athenian generals once agreed to let the potidai;ns vacaie "o"tly
their cit; cndemic for several decades before rs:, and Chares and other Athenian
orr..rrch re ms,r.1o dllo*eo ea.h per,on ,ome r.a\el nuney a( uel,
aJ.ho,gh;dmrr.adly rhel.r,ere.en.ired by rne Alher,d'r d*emoh lor er Bcnerals had conducted numerous other camPaigns with mercenary
rflries, yet they had not resorted to genocid as the solution. Th last time
I'ng lhe enem) ofl roo lgh.r). , One cou,d
Bo orr I. .g \er orner wd)r o Athens iad previously rcsortd to genocide, against the Melians in 416
dealng rth deled pd erpmre.. i,).t rd rd .uch;"ri. hyb id r;r-n.
rJoE, th city had been at a peak of power aad prosperity, and their victim
a, Ihe decr,ior by Lelo. .,,ler o .l"acr,.e. .o re,et.,e lhe n iing etire,
oi was a small island of little economic or strategic significance. The eco
deleared ci..p. in \y,d. u.e r. r ti wi.\ .rr cir zen rignr.. bur ,e
ire re_ o. oomic beneft ofthe annihilation of the Melians was limited to land for
their populations into slavery because .he regardei the common people
llve hundred ofthe more than thirty thousand adult male citizens.'?" Non-
as somethirg very unattmctive io live rvith, (Hdt_
7r5o). nut enouih has ccoromic motivations were decisive her, as rve shall see shortly, and they
been said to make the point that genocide was far llom the only
or n'ormal fiay also have tipped the balance againsi Sestos, when so many other cities
orl.omeol ho,r.le IergrouorpIion\in,heCree\world. f,,.L, irg,r.
cscaped Senocide.
bcck to tlre qr esrion ot u.dt motrv?te,j genoc:odld. ior. by rrcienr .rdre,
We should in any case remember that while one Greek form of geno-
end anmes.
cide, mass eDslavement, lvas indeed very proftable, the charactedstic
massacre of aduli men reduced tllese potential proits. The choice \vas noi
between ldlling an enemy or letting him go, blrt between executing cap-
Conspicuous Destruction: profit, Honor, and cenocide
tives and going empty-handed or selling them and taking a profrt. Uihen
Menelaus hesitated to kill a Trojan and needed remiuding ofthe Greek'
Sometimes we con do little more thanguess at ihe rcasons for ge[ocide,
as genocidal mission, hls hesitation as due not to any hlrmanitarian feelings
in the case of Chares' annihilarion of Sestos. Here, economiJfactors
are but to the fact that h hadjust been promised "an infinite ransom" for his
li1ely to ha\-e pla).ed a rol: rhe Athenian treasury was virtually
empty at prisoner. The profit motivethus encouraged enslavemnt but discouraged
the time, thepovertyofihe Athenian lower classes was posing
acuteprob_ killing, and only when it was countered by e1.en more po erflrl motiva
lems, and there $.ere grain shortages. Sestos was so srrategicaily
viial to tions lvere states likely to resort to genocidal massacres.
Arl,en\ grain irnporr ll r. one po rlicr"r (alled it .lhe bread ;ilr of pirceuj
(qn.r. Rrc,. rqr arq . bur A.\en. h"d ,rLgged An endless variety of such motivations is mentionedin ancient sourcs,
ro ,l lea,r a dFc,jde ro but the majority have at least one feature in common: those peryetrating
23. netrgeesr l.rtaeus, frg. ro.r rorct Honer, Lad z1,lsr-!4i2.1.rs1 8,1...Urbdrelo_ the massacrc saw themselves as intucting revenge or punishment for what
cation" h a.oncept.oined bIDetuand 1990.
24. Thuc 2.70.2 4r }ritcher 199r: 297 l03;van1{ees roo4r 261 n.44
2t. Thuqdid* 5.116.4 for popdatioD size, see Hanse! r9s3.
lo I Our Ancient wars Ctr(xldr Ir Ar(lrk xrd ClxssicalCreece lr
one may call an "aggravated" challenge to their power
and status as a com l)cen. Athens did nol occupy the Aeginctans' larld in Thyrea, so their de
munity and/or lo the Doq er ofa god who\e cause they champroned. struction brougl'rl no materialbenefit. Their annihilationwas strongly
A few
r)?rLalscerario! wrll have to sufhce to illusrrate thi\po:nt. syorbolic: a demonstration by the Athenians of how great a superiority
First. imperial powers sometimes destroled smai independent lhey now enjoyed.
on the ground( that lheir very independence con\riruted an ajlronr Also common was a third scenario: the destructiod of a formerly
made the emp:re look weak Thi( was ihe decisive laclor in rhe liieodly or allied city ihat was deemed to have committed a Particularly
case ol
Melos, according to Thucydides' "Melian Dialogue,- where heinous act of treachery, which seriously endangered the city betrayed.
lhe Athenians
explain bluntt) why rhev mun incorporare rhis sma[, neutral 'Ihis situation features in another of Thucydidej set-pieces, the "M)tile_
island inro
l\err naval empire: '5ince you are idauder,. and Berker rha'1 rhe orhers, ean Debate;' conceming a ProPosal to execute all the men and endave
you cannot be allowed to escape ftom thosewho ruie the lhe women and children of Mytilene. This city had changed sides in the
seal,The Melians
retused to submit, so rhe Arhenians killed all the men nliddle ofa maior war, rajsing the sPecter of a Seneral defectio[ to SParta
and enslaved the
women and children.r6 Rfusal to submit impjied that the opponent ofall Athens' alliesi its destruciion, it was a-rgued, would act as a deterrent
garded himself as somehow the 'tqual,, of the empire, to other would-be rebel s (1.17.2, 39.7-a, 4c-4-7\. Here we have genocide
whici was more
insulling when it came from an insigni6canr Iillle town than from .arried out for calculated political efrect, as a means ofintimidation. Yet
a seri
ou. rival. The desrruciron ofde6anr small louns wa( therefore not iust a political pragmatism was not aiways the w'hole storyeven in these cases. A
marter of consolidaring impendl power but of upholdrng jtalrs. major argument used in favor ofthe massacrc of all men ofMltilene, ac
or in
Greek terms, "honor" (rime). The demands of power politlcs cording to Thucydides, was that this allyi betrayal did not itlst crate a
might have
been \arisfied by merely forcjnS \4elos to submir to impenal aurh;rity. serious threat to secudty but entailed a serious breach oftrust, because
the demands ofhonor required lhal lhe Melidns be de,troyed relations between Athens and M)'tilene had been unusually close and
ro wipe our
the insult. prMleged. "They were not ruled by Athens, like the others;' but retained
A second scenario involves the destruction of a roughly equal oppo- autonomy "and were treated with the highest resPect byusl'Their betrayal
nent who i\ reSarded a\ rn 5on)e wry roo persisLenr in hii no,rit:ty. was all the more culpable because there was evidence that they had been
inslaqce. while rehtion\ berween {thns and mon ofils rivals a,ternated planning to defect for a long time. "We should never have treatd thm
between hostiliryand alliance, the Athenians saw rhe neighboring wirh more respect than anyone elsel' he adds, "then they would not have
tans as implacable enemies, r,ho had started hostllities in become so arroga[ti for it is human nature to desPise those who show
the dim pasiand
kept attacking l,ithout protocation. In deference and to admire those who concede nothing' (3 36.2' 39.2 and t).
431 Bc!, the Athenians diove the
Aeginetans out oftheir island, forcing the refugees to find new Once again, emotive matters of honot creep into the picture alongside
homes all
over Greece; a Iarge group selled rn Thyrea. \or content with rhi,. political calculatiorlr a failure to reciProcate rcspect and friendship calls
in 4:4
Bcr lhe Athenians 5enl a fleer lo arrack Thyre.r, uhich rhey crprured. for violent retaliation.
loored, and burned down. All Aeginerdns caplured dlive *"i. r"k"n A Iinal scenario is the annihilation of a community for cornmitting a
Athens, where r tormalde(ision was made lo exe(ute everv la\l retigious ofience. A city that tresPassed against the temples and images of
dccoJnt ol rhe hosliljry which rhey had rlwa),.hown in the pasr..., power others' gods was sometimes Punished with destruction. fhe destruction
poliLical mor ivdlions clear.) played a prominenr role, bul it is of Kirrha in Greece was punishment for aSSression against the oracle of
srrihng rhal
the AeBinetans weredestroyed al a trme when rhey no longerposed a_serr- Apollo at Delphi, a sanctuary in the charge ofa leagueofstates that s['ore
ous threat to their old rivals, however dangeroui they ;ight once an oath to "uproot!'any citythat committed offences against it.'13
By extension, cities might be destroyed for breaking rules sanctioned
26. ]}luc.,.97, ror (rhereten in fact survito6r Xenophon,
t rler,ia ,. r.9); Hornblohtr by the gods. The flooding of sybaris is said to have been provoked by the
'it rnade theh angrl t}at eve" rhoe who actualty li\rd in istards deed
27.Ihuc, 2,2ri 4.5/i for rhe Athenhn tradition ofan ag+old feud 28.AeschinesOrariors2,115!3.1o7 9 (th*e are douhs aboul historicilv, which I regard N
lvith Aegioa, se Hdt.
t.3r-3r written al around the tine of the senls des.ribd ,bove. unjlstiied: v.n $tes 2006: 1re-a rt for "up@tin8" (u trasrdrir) see above.
l2 | ourAncjentWars
(;ortrl(1. IrA (lrrn:r C]rssicllCrcecc ll
!iolalion oJ,ljplomari e.r\ ov\. rpgardFd
c\ \c. ro\dr. r r5rrdbo 6... U,. Ti-e hrl probably did Dot usu: ly aim to dcstroy whole political or ethnic
',,rd.mplrcru\ iuq:he5 rhe rnr,hi,arion ol lrol br .l-o*ing tlre
accumuldting oflen(e. r.irl^ ,: re,rgiou, d.rlen,ion. llr.()ups, and the collective subjection ofnon-Greek popuiations to a sed
rhe) th;.,.",r i; a,i Likc or at leasttributary status, $'hich so far aswe can tell usually Iell their
\lemlau,hhenhe,r.,t. ioyorr ad.p,omarrcmi.noo.the)
brear thedr- nulive communities intact. A urique appeal to ethnic distinctlons as ajus-
MIrer) ..rclioned bond ol ho,pr," it, ,r abdLCting
rlre\ bredkd rrrceLnat rhe) 5dd (,orn.oLrpho,don "ile. and 6nal,y
pajno. de.rruc-:onbv
lilication ofgenocide is Xenophont comment on Lysandert enslavement
lhe god.. " sin. p dll rrear'es an- rruce. and ol ihe entire population ofCedreai in 4o5 Bcx: "they rre half barbarians"
nan\ other a(ppcl< oi rnterna (,lix.abarbaroi: Hellenika 2.1.rj). This is evidently an attempt to excuse Ly
tionalrelations in the ancient world were under tl" pror""to"
.frfr" go;", sxndert action by contrast to previous Athenian acts ofgenocide against
i-,ha. ra.el) d:ii,L, Lo,rccJ.e lr opponel ol,,
religrou.oferce. Vei.a.- (;reel<s that Xenophon was about to denounce (2.2.3), rather than an at-
rrege w.. ro- ohen,rddu.ed ac d red.on ,or de.rructror.
and one rarely lcmpt to erplair why Lysander destroyed Cedreai in the firct p1ace. Even
6nds religious ofiences alone, withour other aggravating
circumstances, rnore than ethnic distinctions amotg creeks, the Greek barbariau dis-
inspiring genocide.
lt.hnr. or ra..dl noti\a.;on.ror gerocrde.,o prorn. linction served to lower slightly the threshold for violence against those
rent in tnemodern who belonged to a different group, but it nevertheless plaledno obviously
world. never,eem to "pdrJ.e.n o.rr.oJrce,.
C.dsicd U,eeh"did l_rve a signilicant role injustifying or motivating Senocide.
'e1(e lSal\ bc.ongiIg to tl-( ,ame elhni group _Aeor.rn, ,onrdn. or The fundamental premise ofcommon legitimations ofgenocide in an
Lron,r n -oJgh- lo be on lriendly lerr(
dnd thrl har Detween lhem hd5 cient Gteece is rathei that a challenge to the power of a community and/
le(' lh"n wir al| eremy from a difierenr elhr . groLp. 0
"(.eDrable "ga.I{ or its gods must be answered with a display of force in proportion to the
O1e right rnfe, t\rl rhe thre(ho,d forgenocider".lor^erfor.ho.eo
dit scriousness ofthe challenge and may require an act of'tonspicuous de-
ernl ellr)ic o gin(. ,rnd d. rt hdppen..cverrt
ofJon.dn {lher_\rcr:mr slruction' that completely eliminates the challenger Wlat determined the
oeJo.rged 'o diflirent ctlrn;( grolrps: \e,ro)
an.l \4).i,ene\aere {eolirI.i.- seiousness of a challenge was partly its impact or secudty and polcer
ies, Aegha and Melos Dorian islands. But the pattern
is by no means politics, but often its symbolic significance ard impact on status counted
.on\ic.enr.1r no dncierI author rdke, ir
e\pf i.,.. n.* i, _,,"iriy r" a! least as heal,iIy. A challenge from a treachercus friend, an inveterate
\r8r' of De.cei\ed ellrni inrer,or rr\
bernSrited ns ru.ri6c"r jur branr hrla-
cnemy, or alow-status opponent rcquired a harsher responsethan al,I oth-
{ oierl-r,. crwise equally dangerous challenge from an open and equal rival. The
or ra.:dl,. enor :l\ did emerge a( pa.r ol the .l e
oryol r)"ru!l.larer): more powerful a community, the more it miSht be inclined to demand
h Ich lreld rnar non, ,..1.
pable of governing themselves and needed ". e Ly na,rr",n.,-
Greek:Iasters. On this vier,,
respect in proportion to ih status and to respond f.iolently to even the
the enslavement of these ,,barbarians,, was a slighiest,least dangerous, challenge. The same was true ofgods, who were
kinrl ofhunting, and as sucli inagined as responding to offences with greater force in proportion to
did not need spcialjustification, but massacring ,.barbariam,,
was neither their vastly greater power.
roreno lesirr 6edrna.m".,a.rirgc.eel.. Ile r"o,r. r tor_, oi
ei\'r\e.11ent ol ror-Crepks thar uere iuclrned by
ne rheo-y ot narural
ndver)'herp ,ldve r,iding. whi(h could do grear ddnoge
lo J (oi .rLnrty Conclusiorc: cenocide and Its Limits
r9..:lrcjals breaknrg oarh: Honet, iadj67 4.ztt:cf.4.231
. _ 39! 2351 j3. tlrats to By giving the name '?enocidd' to a twe of military action wlI-kno$'n
MoPlaosaanbaMdor:r1.113-25,r39 Discusion: mn ure;s 1992:176
4zicf.3.2o5 24.
8r. from Greek history, we set it apart from a range ofmilitary acti\.ities that
ro lLFi,r ll.o.lo r..1,r,.e.b..i}. .a.oe..turi.o8f qh. grouo.iB jngo,rc start with the trampling ofcornfields and setting fire to fannhouses and
Jnodfld' iCUe\.r"np{oed.r.., -. .tor,..e.e,ti.r)o * t,t.r" " " erd with the sackinS of cities, and we indicate that it was a distinct and
t:.' 4ent..r \.(r.,hn,de..o)eJ ceotdr,\.i.b" r ooo.1r,, deliberate form of warfare, not merely an accidental extreme ofviolence
,,l ."*"pdlore odr,,o)
oldr' r) r. l
oni". V..e \.uufl... t.41t pt,,e,/) thal might occur when p assions got out ofhand. By reconceptualizing the
.. NdjrJ.l.ver\ redmenro.odrbrrid..r,kd..ori.r.b9.r.70. destruction ofcity-states in this way, u,e force ourselves to ask why Greek
j4 i o rArj(i(,IlW rs
Ccrnx{L( |r AR lirlc xr CLrssical Creccc I l5
ornrc\ irnd stale. Llre rherr -nooern.ourr erpanr.
l.o:n tirne.o tirne .elr occrsionally, save a city whe[ purelypoli[ical ard ecoromic reasons night
orven 11] re\or I to lh'. lorln or \ iolenre. .lle
anr"er nnd rn arcl^aj. and lrlvc lilvored its destruction, as when the Spartans after a long and bitter
(ra$rc.U Lreer .our.e( i) ^e
rhal genocide was regdrded ,( ar ulLimrte n,, n
$,Lr r spared Athens in deference to the city's eminent international status.r5
a . ornrurir h,rd j;
r\hment rhal (ould_be legrtinrarer\ irfl,cted wh;r
( icnocide was most commonly perpetrated by the most aggressively er-
rnrrreo a \er oL. Lottecrn e oflence rra. ,
.lJed ro- ,uch n ea,r.e5
The explanations for genocide oniered frusionistic states not only because such states pursued their own mate-
in ancient texts probably did not ridlinterests with more ruthless calculation but also because they pursued
,:lll:1,11 , \ore nish.drsue rha, rt,e _*,*
:," a.rd.ra.u\
) I 'uo rc. 'elgrou,. reh.ed natr re ot offen.e. "lnpr,".i, ""i ir,.
doe. not re .he
l)tcstiSe more competitively and with greater emotional intensity than
others. Those who aimed forthe highestpossible status in the u,orld order
I'ue, ory al all. dnd I ha, r,re e.\termindlrol ol.omrr"t,
naleDeen morrdledb\ a.ear.h for nrorppower
.. ;r,;l; ;;:i;; wcre lelst able to tolerate any challenge to their honor and most willing to
e.our.e. dno terrirorv (liminate rvitholrt a trace thosewho seemedto show insufrcient respect.36
.rip",,,."1 thJl vi\. one migtr. po,rr
llLor\ rn.wnr.h the ideolog). ro orher period. ot,n.,enr hii I1le conclusion that thnic, racial, and religious disthctions play very
oi gero.rde wjs mo"t urde,\ a(Lepted. dnd little, if any, part in ancient Greek genocidalwars is perhaps most relevant
genocidal campaigns most cornmon,
among states tfrd were eigagea i; Ior those who study genocide in the modern world, where such distinc'
rapid military expansion. Nlacedonian armies,
for instance. destrove.l lioDs seem all-important. the Grcek evidence shows that tlle existence of
car pdisn. ir cree. e ar" p",.,,;i_;j
Tl-:.:l rrp Idrd Alexander r theLrea..b.rron.erhe.e.onq...r,i.ra
unoerP :,,r,:,,,q,1."r, " ". ; cthnic or religious dMsio[ is not a necessary precondition for genocide,
Deen Lon'olidd,pd into rlrrpe tairly
or a sumclent cause, and it raiss the question ofwhether we should look
srable ne$ I ngd"T.,, ,:pnru11 *.,,g Ibr other structural causes. It is tempting to suggest that the concerns
l-:: li"8,.,s",.cidarcanpaisn berr I reco;d"d. si,n,to,t), r;. R;'
19..n:,,acred on husp .crte white rney er.enied heir
nbout status that emerged as a porferful motivation for the Greeks also
rcro., rhe " [nderlie much modern genocidal conflict: perhaps ethnic distinctions
Power Medirerranern. L,Lr o1.F llre,..ontrot wa. e,t.b,r.he;,
very few fufihr acrs ofgenociale arc atresteal.ri xnd religious aliliations are ways ofdefinlng the kird of collective hiemr-
Th. p"n..,,
t";;;;;;;l chies that the Greeks expressed andcontestedin tenns of"honorl'Whether
Inar d 4r\D'opor tionare rurrLrer or ge rocioal . amp-r,en. occ,r;ed r. n..-
this line ofenquiry is rvorth pursuing is for others to decide, but to note
tne lhe long e.rol,l ched Ipgemoniec or rt,e .p".Ln, that tllere is a question tobe addressed seems apoiltworth maldng and
$hen'hc\e serc irr danger o, Io.rng lreir po\ .esolr.e,. "rd Ar"."i;;. it is a question that emerges only ifwe reco[ceptualize atcient lcarfa(e by
cerrarnr)."r .h , .ime.,rn .he late a1n dnd foJflh
Jt *a5 .r.loowledging thatthere was a place in it for geuocide.
c"rt".y e, . rh",g"no-
Cloal wr,rlnrecdrnr lobe ll-e\uDie,t oi,erior.
_ord, o.bJt.,, cre.i"._
l,here o'e erough ,r-ar:ce. RXTXRENCES
olgenocide rna drdnor re,u,r in an1
^^rIelc,,t ad\dnLdge or m,Ieri.l grin for.he perpetrdtor\_rne qlhe'1irn
ma5(acr e ot Apgrrelar relL,ge., rr tredermann, D. 20or. Irrerratianal Lon in Antiquit)). Canbridle
ft wea i, a,rr iking exalnpte _ ro .r;*
Blodam, D. and D. Moses (eds.).2oto.Ihe a,lord Ho tlbaak alGe ox
,.] arwa), me et) a mear . ro Jcl-,e\e or \p(lrrF ocide stutlies.
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a.rd,.oIrelime, ma 11. rn d. r ol tun,pi.uo.r. Jaurndl oJ the Aneticah Otiehtal Saeieq rc}: 7t5 it. uctior -hd seaed ro
(rr(p'a\,jlhe puwer ol the perpe-rator. Da]not,l- zao6. The Athletzs o/ la/ar Toronto.
rnd to re\lo-e o" erl-an,e their
nonor A r r\ th staru. mrght nolonr) leJd
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(', v maI Droug,rt rt\\er. 'lo dddi.;ond. pol1er
o. u eal. h bur ;lso. .u. double edged: rcmoving the Adrenims bI genocide sruld eliminate Sparta! greatest rival,
Iut aho risked creating a nerv powerftrl rn al jn the shape ofThebes.
funhr discuslo. j6 See Lendon 2oooiran Wees 2oo;l 19-33, on the role olhonorin internalional relations
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ii ancient Greece. Con*$eh barbarids rere legitimate tdgeh for slave raiding Gee above)
14. Se Ducrey 196s:3r3-32j Karavites 1984iVollhe, reeo:
/r 9r because tlel w*e not reg ded as pdt ofthe international statLs hierdchy.
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16 | ourAncientwars '

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ayil$r'(id rd wrfi lmpo.l on lhc Ilonre Front I t9
(,thor supplies or in providing serviccs that enable the troops to frght or
sustain a war, aod passively by exposing them to lhe impact of military
ctions (for example, through the bombing of.ities and industrial sites,
cconomic blockades, or the social and economic lepercussions of massive
ensualties). Frequently, though, the term seems to be used more narrowly
Lysistrsta and War's Impact Ii)r the mobilization ofthe civilian population to support the war effort. In
lhis active sense, the home front has played an increasingly important rcle
on the Home Fronr Nince the French Revolution and NapoleonicWars; in the passive sense, it
w:ts affected in various ways by the huge losses caused especially by the
Kurt A. RaaJlaub
Anlerican Civil war, world war I, and then, as the result of air warfare,
World War II.'
Yet war's impact on th home front is not strictly a modern phenome-
non. Although less horrendous in dimension and ubiquity, war caused
The War Come Home is the title of
destruction and sufferlng for cities, the countryside, civilian populations,
a book by Deborah Cohen that sho$,s
.r,rd cultures throughout history: distance from the w.r front offered pro
on its.dusr iacket a disabled war veteran after Wo.ld
\4h. I_th" ;;;k, tcction in some ways, none in others: noncombatant populations were
to?ic.r It h easy to imagin books with other
duu ;*t"", f""t"rirg ifr. neither exempted from the obligation to support the fighting troops in
city-scape ofruins in Dresden after World
War It,, tie .u.liation buris on many crucial ways nor spared the need to cope with casualties and other
the bod, of a Hiroshima victim, or trcves
ofalt lootea by the Nazis consequences of war and defeat. Wars in Graeco-Roman antiquity too
discoveredsomewhere in a cave or salt
mine.3 Such i_age" .emlnJ osoi "ai were mostl), decided in battles and sieges: the fightingwas limited to cer
lhe,all roo fami[ar hct thal modern war,
though foughr along fronL lines, tain more or less clearly de6nd areas. Yet in multiple ways wars also had
look a terribre toll not only on rhose 6ghring
ii brt, fi, rro. it.r" froni,, .r profound impact on the communities of the fighting soldiers and on
on the. cities. rhe (ivilian populatrou.. and rl-e cuhure"
of rhe frghting others that were not even dircctly involved.
courrlrie'- on whal is somerrmes called rhe home fronr.
lt rs onlv recenrli I understand the concept of"home front" as broadly as possible, sub-
that the distinclion between war front and home
almost complerely by rhe fluidily and ubiquiry
f.-i h* i""l ir,"."i suming under it the entire mnge of interactions in war between people and
ofmodern war and violenl experiences at the war front and those in the civilian sphere. To offer but a
(onIIrct h,th i,s. invisible enemy
and rt, guerilla and Lerrorist compo- briefand far from compleie sketchofthe range of issues involved (and thus
nentr,thal eq.rally affecl mrlitary persoDnel
and ci\ rliall popJlation.i 1() fl1l the abstract notion of "wars impact on the home front" with con-
what is understood under -home fronr in poliiic;
a,d scholarship tent), ancient infantry 6ghting, involving heavily armed soldiers ir man-
usually is rhe.involvement ot rhe (ivilian sphere
and popuJation in acts o't to'man combat, was brutal, causing serious losses. Casualties in naval war-
wdr, acrively by engaging them in war industrier
and rhe production of fare, fought with specialized war ships manned by large crews, could be
rhdrk rl-e . .g,i.7*\ or rhe conGren-e , dramatic, even in victorious battles. We kno!! something from some cities
nr c!r'prer qa6 pre\enred. for rheu n\ .rior j anJ, o\pird jtr \nich
-.,.aohenroo,..t d" ei.trcr vss.on oI
rhe pd L.phr fo! u; (as so often, more from Athens than from elsewhere) about funeral cere
.ommots, dd ttte ed,ro6 of rhn blume as wlt
a the p6J a,i."r_.," ."ia",, i., t monies, the burial of the war dead, and lsar memorials, but $,e wonder
2. Or, tor rhal
matre! of Adanla after lhe Americm Civit Wai about ihe wounded and maimed who survived and were brought back and
A,toptr bio-gn o p_bt( Jr.en.,o- a8a,n in r-e.p1nB about those halmed or destroyed psychologically by some forrn ofwhat we
_-_,. of:or4 by rhe iovie 7.,,..r/oir'
-a"r qe, and trre do.umerrat] jhe now know as PoslTraumatic Stress Disorder (in both respects, "the l\,ar
Rape aJEuropa.

,-:;.:y.L:l:n ',],",,5.lho<eD \ ieinm, Arshdi.rdn.orrBei.orcoujf. su.hbruri,na

m n".ounrrre' shere ,he 6ghr,ng ut( ptace i. s"", *""t" ,r*, u".l res6, ree3i SiiS 2006! sey,fenh 2oo7. Mo6t of the relaant
dc nor etiminaie rrre ,isnrncancc orU; ",8;,
scl'ol&ship is lound in srrks thar $.ith the e.o@mic, ocial, od ideolotical dimensions

4o Or r Air(i0ir WrLrs
lyihil?rrrinld Wr'r lrrt)r( Li)I l|c llonre FronL l4r
(ome hunre i or aboul the
[.le of *onrer h tro he, e \ r(,U.r/ed b\ l|ar\ d^
'ence. aoo t warhrooh.andorph"n,.alo l"o";;..;;;;;;;;';; In,Nrlilirl death).'As a result, altholrgh individual aspects have been dis-
r lr$scd, io some cases even ftequently, and although Iiterature on ancient
dlr rher di-ec,i) dFecred person, rd(ed
l]l: rii"o,.T.
r\ warr mpd.1 on lhe .om-n!.nin a, a u hole.
rnd cau,ed. ften wflrllre abounds, overall modern scholarship has neglected the topic of
' it. econo-n'' a10 ,o.i_ w[rl{ i]npact on the home front. To my knowldge, no systematic andpen
e6ecr on rcrisron on con.r:.u :ondr
, r(ruorng.
rx lletj(eolleArherr.. theoe\elonrentotdemocraor.
.rrdrse !lrLrling analysis is available.
therai- Yct if we throw our net wide and collect all t)?es of information
poli-iat rno e,. rtre pot.ri.,.rion berueen JrauL
l:"1,,,"*,:] lrlslorical, poetic, epigraphic, andpictorial, direct and indirect, andacross
omnrurit\ prepare tor \a. lhe c:tilen. for balrle:
u-nal role did rni':lary rr,rining pldy llrc centuries atleast ofthe archaic and classical periods-therc is much to
l therr ti\e.. Ho" did rt (ele;-e; l]c lbund. The onlysound method in this situ:tion is to begin with the col-
ererndr're r15 vi. tor.e.. dea' \ rt\
lr.e lhredt or deteat. Ho\ d,d it (oDe
l(,clion and categorization ofthis evidence and to progress to its analysis
.-*:ien.ed ,iege rre re,, ;r b; ;;,; ;;,;i:
'l',1-l: ll""
ur 'n,rrecon,eqrenceol
a..colque\l d,rd(apitJlat;on?
n(l interpretation. This task exceeds by far what I can do in a short chap-
lcr. I *'ant to make a beginning by showing how rich this topic is, hoping
'rr lolTe hdy( arrno\r ine^Jrou.rible ropic. At the ,dme
d L,ig.
x r(. rrrF lo pursue it more fully later on-or to encoll-rage otlers to do so. Hence
Seneral\ ,peal.rng. vdlv neg.ecred. bo.r
rr anc:en (oL.ce5 ano lrcre I will be selective, focus on a few issues, and do so briefly.'o
,_'@rrn <notar!hrp- the lal!er dl tea\r
irrpan cau.ed oi .he lormp,. lo As suggested above, information from Athens is richer than that from
.cene.. s:rh de,Jite4 de,cripr,or.
i.i il i l ?
examp,e ou,- .,cr,
Ir LhLjc)dide, ,l^e public ru.lerai cerenony. the mr(,acre ar,.,Mvroi. olher ?oleis. Inevitably, Athens will therefore take center stage in this
chapter. As far as war is concerned, though, Athns, like Sparta, was highly
.aresru\.ortlei i\it\rr ct LorclTa. bu,su,h pas,rge.are,o,e,no,1,abie
Lrnusual. It $,as not a militarized society as Sparta was, where the citizens
r,rev d-e ercepr,ondr. rrLe rou. n re\ ho.t\
,,,d, !(a,rnoer.IlurLhi..Lre.tha, cre er,a,rr $,cre supportedbythe labor ofthe helots, enjoyed leisure to prepare cor
Jreotcon.. r tou.here_ .uch",l_lom sl.rntly for war but u,ere subjected to a dgorous regimen-issues discussed
er: //,rd Arislopr_are( tt:;.ttuta. u trre toLrth,cert.rry
rred\ Taclr.., on hu^ ,o .unirc.rroer,:eqe .b.rt
lreati\. h\ Ap l|cquently in scholarship.'I Athens was proud to be different,lr but war
,r:i; ;;;i: ,;;r.," played a huge role in communal life nevertheless. It maybe, as Hans van
I he ra(r a m rira.y hrlamor, r*,,s.a onrl o"
((arn l,]I:ll-"1;",.o.
::,1",: d.Pecl. a,.d ,Jr (\..emnlrc in rherrcorerage.
Wees posiulates, that usually "the impact of war on Greek society was
A. r.e.ha,,iee, Hther limitedl' This statement might be misunderstood: it does l,Iot reftr
i de,e.\e. "p..,ui,r,.n, o" precr.erl becau,e :r
lhe 1:,.,,/: rai,e\ i,,Jes lo a community's suffering under the impact of war but to the way war
p".."do\e- il] ,i'ence and rhar rhe domildnr po,[Lar
( lllil)"illl.
urrure rr,!crhen\
apparentl) did ro. \dn, to oe dro" n ro prol,.
overall affected life and politics ofsocietyt generally, van Wees explains,
rJveratr,rtarement, o.1 the,l, ,it"n lo .. "in archaic and ciassical Greece it was the demands ofsocial, politicat and
dt rntere,r u\ he.e dre,cafiered economic life which shaped warfarel' and not the other way around.r3 In
rlruery rn rDe exrcnt eviden.e and
usua v r
;.1.t, ::, I
.f ; ;.-
;: :l i i"-.,1 ;:;
ff :l ::::.':, xllll:;: i::
enoL8l- ro e\prybod\ ,n a i,. rrollDte,ome
9. For rhe avoidance of m issue I nnd a good eumpk nr dre peNasive silen.e, nl dcieDt

::^."11,: :l:.,\; historiograpb! on slave participatjon i! rarfde: Hunt 1993.

,: olel on in deL.ri,.3rn r.41i ro. A compdion chapter, dealilg mostll with the ihta.1 of war on the conbatant and
;l^:::l:T "*"
uee. rea'or..or.-iou.l) "r\ ra"r. rtrcre ,na1
to dvoid the rc,ue. ,ucn a, ,l e conren,ion,
ronconbltant populatioD (apart from ihe dead .nd rvounded also prisoD*s ofwdr retugees,
rcompd) ot a lhe abNes commlned by nercenaries, the lictinizarion ol women, the inpa.t on and by
SFIre apo:renrl, ord o. .kc lo b ng.rp llre lo\,ed hr
war ur ure tsood.i,'/er\ oLtigdtion ro help slares, and tle citl under sieBe) hd been publjshed in molher rotutue (Raaflaub 20 14). In tle

ir(nce rr.harc poerrv dnd vd,e ieep pLrbli. lno,0," rllnn preklt chapte., I will briefly sumnarize a felv topjcs thar I discu$ rler in more dekil, rd
pa ntirg ter ded to celebrare the he;.. Dainll o, srructlral, political, and ideological issues.
r r. see, Seneraur, xenophon, constitutian oJthe Laetl4enanidri (hans. in lvlooie 197 5 or

6. tlluc. 2.34 7.29,3oi 3,69_84. Il chant r9/r; Plutuch, i/.rrgrr (tnns. nr Talbelt 1988), On Sparta's militarized culture,
phr" see Lazenblr 1985 j Kemell 1995;Hodkinson and Powell2006.
n 1060.Beh, jeeo.
:I :lAerE'rJLu"q
see l\o.rdtes. Or a e- lqDoLed belo\l 11. Thuc 2.39r see van U?es zooTr 273.
4, l orrr AIclcul Wirs
Iysir,rlrl rrr(l wlr r lrrrt)ncl orr lh( l_lomc lront 4l
lpa|ta an'fu'ay. bur alsor Arlren.. .J88e\t.
I rhi. wcs d ffere1l Berween
rne "eF,dr alld llre peloporne.,rn rar. the lI cllizcns, able, for the longest to attracl a large foreign work force
Arhenian, rlere -n,ot\ed in
comle I'ind ol\^ or rn rho.oJr.ofever) -n-ee nnd maintai[ a great nun'rber ofslaves, and d(awing on huge financial and
)ea^ rdrd t\is I rrdly chanSed o(lside resources, built up a higllly eficient $,ar machine that was based
In lhf IourLl (e]ltru\l ll lhe ,r.e
48o.. they or ll dnuge*araeet l"ha, rllr naval warfare and rfined naval technology as well as paid mass labor
mdde a crut.rrl cor.ribut,on to defeating tre per,,", ..
fi"l ,,",, .on.,n- rrrd 1immense industrial and administrative infrastructure. This ma-
n'. anc effe<.rvet) 6nr ro reotize rhe ;.
rne uel rn I edg,re a rd .\en. wnen dlljdnce wa. r,rned so,rl, rh ine was intended both to detr and to be used at any time and ruthlessly.
rr-ro empireia,r,iiT. I shall discuss iffrastructure later but here lt is crucial to note thai the
a' drooi ro enh.Jrce lheir t omn.unrtyi Dose.
and pr o.per rty. Al' rrI. I-dd Mrccess of Athend impedal ambitions and rule dependd on its constant
deep and iJr-.edchiIg con\equercec: ,,
,.."*,.r,"d a proiound re,t.u( [nd intense preparedness for war. Athens was,, on constant
lx -rn8 ol {lherr. ddmillr.trd,ive,
ootirrcat appa1alu, and q1.n,1.r_ed
(oc,er) e.olomy. dnd \rv(orrhrnkins."
orce.t_ede. 'Iis brings up the question of tGining. For naval battles, featudng
r lo bL:ld ard u\e t\ c wd m"(hine hd. mrrie..r {rien., n corrras-
to most other?olels, the demands ofwarfarc cr rrnplex maneuvers of highly specialized and delicate ships rowed in uni-
help.d stupe e"ono_i., r()n by 17o oa$men tightly packd in thre rows, the need of training is
cial, and political life ro a remarkable extenr. "o_
Hmc. fo. _y pr"."rrt topi. otrvious and, foronce, contemporaneous sources arevocalabout suf
A.hpr\.llrorgh prceptiona,. oBerp.r-..uJ.rly r.areral.l-
Ll^all morp trom prepa ron lor 11dr dnd trarn.'1B lices here to quoie Thucydides' Pericles and the "OId Oligarch':17
ro rhe brrrat e\pe-
ience a11d impact oI batll itself, ard then to related
to'pics such as ca.e'for we [Athenians] have acquired mor xprince of land fighting
the dead, for rhe wounded, ard for war widows
anrl oiphanq before dis, through our naval operations than they lthe Spartaml have ofsea
i uc,urar pori,,c"r a." a*rogi."r .r,,nr.,.,,."i
;.:::li ll 1"" (ilh
Dy hn ndir.
1"1. :,tea\t
d, a brief took. promi(ed
nghting through their operations on land. And as for searnanship,
irr .he.) apre1., ri,le ar they will find that a dificult lesson to learn- You yourselves have
Arlstophanes ar,r,st,rad
been studyiry it ever since the end of the Prsian wars, and have
still not entirely mastered the subject.... They are farmers, not sail-
Preparatior for War and Training ors, and in addition to that they will rTever get a chance ofpractis
ing, because we shall be blo&ading them wiih strong naval
Ur .equire, prep,ra.,oL <pdrtd. forces . . . , and so lacl( ofpractice will make tlem even less skilful
eI(ep.ioral,Id parddo^rcdt in.o mdnv
ria) hd. d't roo dware ot rhe Droblcrns cdL,ed b) ir. \n
s. than they were, and lack ofskill will make them even less ventue
dU r"rd de.tining
rumber ot., itrzen.. irc ldcL ol norrgricLltr some. Seamanship, just like anlthing else, is an art. It is not some
al re.oJrce( ord it. need lo thing that can be picked up and studied in onet spare tine; indeed,
(o,lrol n, hr,ge Jepplldenl DoDulat on ot \elot.
dndpe,rollor _d']d dt r5e it al1ows one no spar time for an)thing else. (Thuc.2.142; trans.
same time to integrate large numbers ofboth in its army. It therefore cul-
Lv.led llr ir)rpo,rng \dr,nac5ine buitl o.1 dgra.ran Warner I954)
rerou(e\ i )d a,. in-
l"rlr' rl\.rmI. thal \va( de,iBred ro terrif aro derer and rl-ur ro
oo\ rn-e.ts own ulp a 1 mJch a. po..,ble r. Because the Athenians orvn propertyabroad and public duties taLe
B) contrr.r A-hens abouudinp theln abroad, they and their attendnnts have learnt to rorv almost
v:,r"1 , .rIro..-..ap.r ,r.r!r .s., roo.:,)..7..,"r.o rvithout realising iti for it is ine\.itable thai a man who goes oD fre
. L4I'0k, lr.n.lor-, ro ot 1, r, .. Rd. quent voyages r\'ill take an oat and learn nautical terminology, and
roor3. \.e.. rt.e. be o\.
(]pne.oUr o. art-r..d d,,.pe "uD the same is true of his servant. Expedence ofvoyages and practice
'( Vp.e|o.ob q"d,".o raoo. a. !o .tJn.or, oo .
makes them good helmsmen, some learning in smaller boats, oth
,:: 1-,'d8e oor iro.," .o .@0. ... I -,r o \D.r
i. +.ppr.ondrI)
1"."1.' 0!.,1:::,
t-od(j".o.r,] -o^er :oooo. ]c.pdlddr ), t, jn,.nd on detetence b),reputation, O. hoplites, Ee, e,9., Hanson rggr, zoooiKagd andvjggioo
4 on rdo .,n dr -e. PodLrron r09). ooo o. d(. .nin8....
er, n_mb"r Fob n.or,.o-r 17, See, $ith furrle! elidenc, Strau$ r995r 2oo7:226-29.
44 OurAncieni wir\ tyslslrul4 und Wu/s lrrrpn(L orr lh( I lomc lroni 4t
ers in-merchantmen, and orhers graduaring
to lriremesi the maior- lhe clitc nature of most ofour evidence nnd the prevalenc ofelite values
rry are competent rowers as soon
as they boa-rd their ships be(ause hcld up by it, lo democratic ideology that de-emphasized any strict mili-
ot previous pra.tice throughout their lives.
{ps.-Xen., often ni(l- Irry rcgilnen and stressed the voluntary nature of individual Preparation,
t]amed 'rhe Old Oligarch:. Ath. pat_ n9
-ror ( Moore r975) Il]d to the fact that the very essential physical cordition could indeed be
ncquired by farmers in their daily activities and by urban ellers inth1-d
consrantlyon parror durinsrne saitinsseason. nslon and palaistra, while drills in formation could have been part of
collecting rhe imperial rrioute and engaging in
naval exercises. Coordina- trriniDg before and durinS the march to battle.'?l
uon and dis(ipline were espe(ially imporrant
because ofthe compltcated One of fel^'e$ant explicit discussions of training focuses on the ques-
mane!vers and lhe need to (hange speed and direction
in shon sequence li(nr ofwhether or not the war dance (pTrrlticfte) was a useful PreParation
ancl thus lo hear the commands of lhe caprrin
and his assislanr.. More t)r war The discussion remains inconclusi\.e (because Socrates diverts it
over. ior example. rhe n)ariner on board ,had
ro be able to throw fronr a (o ihe issues in which he is interested), but the war dance was a perfor-
sitlinS_poi,ion. because cland_ing hould cause the.h:p
to roll ond upsei Dance, a showi it presumably incorporated movements useful in battle
Ine oars.'. Ihe percenrage of citrTens (as opposed
ro residenr aliens_ but exattrated them. We do not know who exactly and how many citi-
called metoiloi, metrcs_ mercenaries, and ilavert
among th" .r"*" i, zcns participatedin these performancesi those who did presumably prac-
much debated but, without question, among rhe rowers
iranning these I iced for it. Nor do we know how lorg these dances lasted and whether the
squadrons on patrolor, for e\ample, among
the up lo twenry lh;u.rnd
men on a hdr lleel ofone hundred lrjreme\ ferformers used a t)?icai hoplite or a lighter shield.'?3 The same is true for
nary lhousinds would nrve the hoplite race at th big games: the competing athletes trained hard but
Deen crl,7en5. quire aparl From rhe elire
all-cirizen .rews ofthe rwo mes- lor a relatively short exploit: a run with helmet, greaves, and shield over
senger rriremes. ! presun-ably many of there
same crrrzns worked in lhe two lengths ofthe stadium (35o 4oo meters) or ven twice this distance
snrp yarcts in the Piraeus when noL on sea.
War thus provided war and (as at Nemea) is a ditrerent matter from fighting with fi.rll equiPment in a
peace-time employment for huge numbers
ofcitizens. lentthy battle.'z{ ln short, the feats ofwell-trained athletes and Performers
On(e Athens created in rhe r))id-fifrh cer)ru_ry d reqular
cavalrv force. do not tell us much about the training ofthe average hoplite.
iis need fo, lrainirrg wa( undr.putable a: well :o
Ii" ,.-ul .r* i, ,i":..* Still, it wor.rld be naive to think that the use of ihe weapons and the
or lra.nrrg among Arhenian hoptires. A fully
regul atedephlbeia \the |,nn mechanics of hoplite fighting (for example, the dangers involved in the
rn8 oJ the young men. epliarot, For their
fundionr as.irizens and soldrea) advance on the run) did not requir intensive traininS. We do not know
is well atested onlyfor the second halfofthe
fourtf, ..rto.p .".fi.. io..l the details and cannot ignore elite criticism-citizen militias "must in_
can be traced to the fifth centurybut we knowverylittle .Ile
about them.rr clude some men who are already past and some who have not yet reached
exlant source( do. not say much about hoptire lrrining
and, if rhey do. thejr prime; and there are very fe$, people in each city who ktep con'
conlpare disparaginglv Spanan dedication
to rraining hith Alhenran re. stantly in good physical trainin&' and jokes about those who sho$, up
jection ofit; they mention athletics, war
clarces, and irunting rather than forbattle fat, "breathless and clulessl'Even so, we must assume that Phys-
specialized training in formationand for battle.
This may in p-art be due to ical and military training was a substantiel Part ofthe citizens' Iiit that
probablytookplace in smallgroups h'ithin deme and tribal units, in which
Ship^s oparrcl:-{rrst /rir. pol ,4.J sith Rhodes rssr.
dd la.i ptur. p.r r r.4 Mrh
!3 The rurrber and dumrron rrwrnrv or sirv. ror e,shr ,nonrhq?)
:::::r lr3:. 'lj_ r;e de zr.DispdagirgEmulc:e.8.,Ps.'xen,lrl.Pol.2,riXoMtm.3.5.1r,18-r9i3.11.5jsee
Dareo: seearlo Me.BB! r97::42-. Loord.rdroi
ard dsopLne r,,*,.-- .r,,,rr alsonextnoie,Democaticrejectionofst.iclregine!'I]N.,2.38-39.Aristoclaticvalues:va.
Conpos Lon ad ,<!u_raenr oI n,at (ewo: e.g.. eo,nach .e8sr
.,9 Hunt1993:81 roL.Shrpradsbetown.a6, caorielen ,oa4: Wees2ooTr 279-80, Trairing:Plttchett 1971 91:ll,2o8-l!(213tr,on&mndstictlainingfor
wdfere, 2 r 9n on exercise ofarmics on.d!ai8n)i van ives 2oo4ch.z. see Christesen 2012!
ft INi s n:ed rm kcnin}: e _s. xen on the ( a w h Lohmoadet
, 1o^ ro.uD i\
,rpu / at o I HoRe naa Pnl.hdd 20 r conoections bctw.en spon, dmomcy, ald
I o, M.
Afienjov.try Bugh 19s8iSpen( rqol. w
21. Plato, I4.i,6 rSre-r84c. Cecerlli 1993 ofreB a detaned study of the p/rfii.Ia;
t Epheb. io: AnsL At h. pol. 4 2.,,
, sith _ 493Jt; Gehtke
Rhods 2oo4 tlith bibliog also Kyl r 992: 9r-9r. Lighter shreld: G Schsanz 2oo9: a9- t3.
24. On the hoplite race, $e K/e 1992:33 39i 2oo7: r2!;Schsiartz2oogr 46-4r'
lr l)r\kr,r \\, ri
/-),sir,"14 n,(lWrfi lllrt (Io Llx. ,,llli tr,r)lL ,17

;i:,TiT:::t:J"""'#,H""li:,:,.';'..i. ::::s expressrv,ha,, he peo.

*':tocratic Privilese ol e*.r- mcnt to have conquered and been savcd, .rt .rnolher ro have been
cise grounds and blihs,il x-";r'#Tll of an elite dcl'cated and desrroyed. Certainly the fear that was upon them must
uses the relurn ,rtp r.., o,i.r. i*l'i 'alks land owner who
havc made them believe thar rheysaw manythings which they saw
hrs ho."e, rr,e"e ,
r;;;j:. i;,"^.,.,n'.jifll;.ou,,* '.,, *,,r, not, and heard many that they did not hear. What supplications,
what reminders of sacrifices, wre not seot up to Heaven? Wlat
pity was felt for children, what yearning over 1,ives, what compas,
The Brutal Face ofwar sion for fathers and mothe.s, in calculating the evils that (,ould re-
sult from their ill success!(Lys.2,37-39).?3

,-L,',il,lf;X::::: ;:ll: ki,,ins zone: where

^].:,i::.r', :t+: \tabbins and.ruBsrins
op- (lalculations oflosss are difficult. Wheeler think that "the victors lost
L".J,,n,iJ,,,.", ;l::,1T;!::?*,",0 rl-itle Llbout 5 per cent and the losers about 14 per cent $ith the djscrepancy
rne srghls and toun,-j. a^1. r., "*ttntt is:not" grlihici
^rrLr. coning in the scond phase ofthe battle, the routl'In addition, most of
lhe seriotrsly wounded died oI,) rhe day of the battle, more after being

broughthome. Casualties in naval battles, Strauss suggests, "were not nec,
essarily higli'j perhaps so, ifthe weaker side took to flight soon enough,
but they could be tremendous, given the large numbers of crews involved
.-i,,il;';J,Ii::Jt:flTli,llf;,"lX,,*:,fI, (up to two hundred pr ttireme). lt is more infbrmative to lool( at concrete
;,",",*,,a numbers, as they are conveyed byAthenian casualtylists. In a single yeat,
460, one ofthe ten tribes (civic subdiyision, alone sufiered losses ofr77
a, saramis.,socra,es
ry,li,f;;l:.'#il:i::;',1'.'#;#: :.,Ia, men (which corresponds to roughly 3.5 ro 4.5 percenr ofits adult men),
lvho died fiShting in Greece and all over thc casrern Mediterranean. To
:f ;,:rull*:illl[1r#:r!:"""#;':HT,l[:':;.';# return to estimates, in the E$?tian expedition in the 4tos perhaps eight
thousand (roughly one out ofeight adult nale citizens) perished, in the

fffiiiiffi[*.".,;.l;,ffi eight thousandin the entire Peloponnesian War When Athens capitulared
in 4o4, the number ofcitizens had shrunk to less than halfthe prewar to-
tal.'e Prorated to modern population numbers, this by far dwarfs even the
horreddous losses ofrhe great Conversely, betweenthe per-
We^may bc .ure rhat sian and the Peloponnesian wars, Athens' citizen and overall population
the perple\iry of rheir
grasp each orher by ca(e made rhem olien
the hand. and wjth reason increased at an exceptional pace, perhaps even doubled much ofthis in-
beuail rherr plishr . .
crease toowas, directly or indirectly, aconsequeDce ofwar and the empire

,,l"]ir"*-*,;, He . 6.1tt plata, Rep.5r6c-di ps.
xen.,4,i. pDt. 2.1o; xen. oea
23. Se A$ch. Pers 3jr-432.442-7rj Straus 2ooz:231-l4wirh 6flhe. evidnce.
29, Wheele( 2oo7:12 r3j Krntz rg8tjSilaus 2oozr236j 2oooion Alh.lie war tosses in
general Stauss 1986: 179-82iHmsen r988r 14-28iBrulC r9r9. To give anoth( eEmple, as
the lesult of repeated substaDthl lo$s caused by war Boeotian .hespjae virrualjy disap
peaed fro,n the ma! after 37r (H!trson 1999:2o8-15),
26. Wheeler 2@,
ro. Hunt 2oro: 1 ! Ihe Athcnio lGses ar Charone. in I r8 (one rhoB.nd d.d, tqo thou
2o9_ ! o.
27. Tiitle 2@9b:60; k also L.zenby 199r_ s&d capt@d) mounred to at La3t ro per.ot ofth. .du[ mate .ittun body and, in peren(
ag. l.rms, ,erc compaBble b the loss ofrhe .ombatants i, lvorld t{ar L
I 48 lourAnclentwars Lytl ralo alrd W0r'{ lmnacl on the tlome Front | 49
conquered by The impact on tie community ofsuch seismic demo_
'var have ln Lhe public cemteryin the 42os, the lirststatue honoring an indiYidual
graphic shifts musr been massive.i, ln lhe Agora in the 39os.r''

Caring for fte Dead

what about the wounded?

Th.nks to Thucydide( descriptiol of the annual Funeral

Ce.emony for ln a hoplite battle, the rear ranks in the phalarL\ stepped up to replace
the \eason! war deao. surviving luneral orarions {in rhe original casualties in the front rankr. But, Tritle notes, "no attention has been
or in
Iiterary adapraiions). and archaeotogjcal as well as eprgraph;cai paid in the literature tohowmen 6ght and at the same time care for their
les, we are quite \!ell informed aboui rhis aspect ot wars wounded friends, or how the wounded extricate themselves from the
rmpacr on rhe
communiry The Athenian patrios nomos, the state funerai itieii lighting." that this happened is beyond doubt, though, even if we do not
was an
innovalior. introduced mosr likely io rhe lrre have an ima8e comparable to the first-aid station dePicted on Trajen!
47os or early 46os as a re-
sull of almosr (onstanl (ommunat involvemenl in wrr. (lolumn. Archaic vase paintings show a warrior bandaging the wound of
Henceforth lhe
arhe,ofrhoie fallen in barrle l'ere broughr home and brri.d (.lle.r;"eii inotherss ln his portrait ofthe coward TheoPhrastus offers a rare litel ceremony and in one tomb, along the "street otglorl "
from the ury testimonyl
u,pvlon cale lo the .an(tuary ol the hero Akrdemos
liarei rhe site of
PIaloi Academy)i their names were wri en by tribes on a Hearing cries and seeing men falling he says to his neighbours that
steta crowning
the tumulus, aDd their sacrifice lor the community was
commemoratei he was in such a hurry that he forgot to bring his sword, and h runs
and honored byapoem on thestelaand an oration
by a political leader r, to his tent... Whilehe is inthetent, he sees one of his friends being
Although the families were involved in the ceremony_they were brought back wounded, and so he runs uP to him and tells him to
time to mourn their own-all this meant that the communitv
took-over be brave and ledds a supporting hand- Then he gives him medical
some ofthe [un(rior)s rradrrional]] held by lhe ldrnilie..
Ilis was one of attention and sponges him down and sits beside him and keeps the
sewral ways in wiich in democracy rhe public sphere approprialed flies ofthe wound . . . Spattered with blood from the other! wound
o! lhe pr^dte spl.erc. rnd ii must hdve caured rension< and he meets the troops returning from battle and announces, with the
Scholars have found echoes of such tnsions in Sophocles, look of one who has risked his life, "l saved one of our menl' Then andAr- Similar efforts at communal contrcl are visible in ihe refusal he i[vites his fellowdemesmen and tribesmen to come in and look
grant individual distinction for communal achievements, at the patient, and as they enter he explains to each one of them
be it through
rame identi6calior on historical painlings, starues rn public -or
how he carried him to the tent with his o1{,n bare harlds. (Charact.
expensrve tombs in the Kerameikos: rt was Lhe (ilizen "p.rces.
body as a whole 25.4-8i trans. Diggle 2oo4)
that achieved the victories, reaped the benefits, suffered the
and monopolized the honor. Tlpically, it is in rimes of extraordinary What a liar! As Tritle emphasizes, experience shows that easily four to six
Pressure exPeflen(ed in war and especjally hi8h.acrifice. demanded of comrades were neededto evacuate and protect one wounded man, Hom-
.he el e thar such restri.lions were loosefied: ;x pensive
rombs reappear er's des.ription of the effort it took to evacuate Patroclui body conirms

3r Or' lhe. aorl) (oronic b_r a,o \ocir. dd, rmprcr or popdr-
the masrs. la. RefDsal of irdividual rccoBnition: e.t.,Ploi. Ciftor 7.{-8,1; Aschir. 3.178-33; Dm.
lDn ilBar&d de.pacr rhe 6nh century,s* Akri8g fonhomrng: wrtoSaftrcs r99 r. 2J.r96iR.daub 2ooi: ,24 with moe bibliog. ExPensive tombs: StuPPerich 1977: 7r-r35;
32. u- the Fcor'en ofLfe dead: VauBt-n req..ol bu,.dlsgeoe.Jt.I. D,,r-h.r-,e7e_e.. v
94-25e. lunenl crmoor: 'Ihuc. 1.3a; Iacoby leaa. on ih; *t."ii-
aa^_a. .i^^ ttt ,5- Tritl. 2@9b: 62-6$ InaSs: e.&, Du.rey 1186: fi& r42, rar. Tr.jtn! Colutun: Rcsi
k?r ..fretery), seeStlpFrich r97^ Clairmont 19sr. !une..l oranon6r lo.aux ras6. " r97r: 1t2-53 widr ig. 16, or, e,g., \whsl,vtgiriaedu/lnstorical/srtifacts/otiqua/index,
11.lVeier !9ar: j66 -ol
cfm, under"hililary mediG" (..c*ed SpL 1r,2ort).
5o I Our Ancicnr Wars
Lttltlrala 0rld Wrr * lmprct on th' Ilome Front I 5r

this impressively. Furthermore, if the wounded marl in

srory (urvi\e\ he sould be one ola lucky
TheoDhlastlrs, llorllcr's lllad arld odlsrel and ln latcrvidence, from tragedy (Aja:q Her-
lew. S(holar! esrimate rhar about
erghl out ol ten seriously wounded <oldiers perighed n(li:s, Orestes) to Alexander the Great.{o
on the day of rhe
battle itseli and a rhird ofthe rest soon after returning
home, while per_
haps halfofthe surviving wounded were permanently
Derpile ,uch h8h morlaliry rale,. grven rhdr rhe AlheniJ]ls Wldows and orphans
were rn.
voived in land warfare dnd sieges throughout
fie century. we shodd ex- 't hcAthenian commulityt support fot the families of its war-dead is well'
Pecl lhat rnvduds were a freouenl Dresen.e il) the (treets ofAtheng (rhough
cenainly not ds much as roey were in Europedn (iries riter ntlested. Pericles states in the Funeral Omtion: "The city will undertake
Iet we barelyhearabout Gem. A fewtesrijnonjes weha\eabour
World WarI):r- lhc upbri4ing oftheir children (Paider) until they grow up' thus confer'
paid ro iDval,os jrrLrpable ofworking dnd owning
apen.ion rt,rg a valuable crown on them. . Where the prizes for valour are-the
minimalproperiy _rwo gr;test, there the men will be the best citizensl'4r The Corlstitution oI the Aristolle\ time, perhaps only one in that of Ly ias.
that is. one or
t\o lhirds of the r]inimal hage for sorkers_.oncern jny hnd o[ inva. Alheniafis (Ath, Pol) lists orphans among recipieDts of state subsidies'
probably, as in the case of invalids, of one obol per day. The intrcduction
lids, not speci6cally rhose maimed In w3r, but the pension
pljed to the latter as But if we look nrore broadly,
<ertainly ap- ol-this measure is attributed both to Solon and to th mid-fifth century
we cannot mis 'lhe latter is much more comPellin8r such care on th part of the state be'
the survlving bur permanenrly suflering victims of r^,ar
From the san(tu. c me unavoialable when communal and especially naval warfare increased
aryol lhe heiling god Ascleprus in Epidauros ue have nunrerous..miracle
in significance and frequency, losses mounted and afiected especially the
Insc_rplions - lhal is ,ns(riprion\ recording miraculous
healings ((ompa. lowei classes, and perhaps a maior military disaster-such as the destruc-
rable lo those we might 6nd more recentlv in prlgrinrage
churjes;: .ome tionofthe expeditionary force to Eg)?t in the 45os-focused Public atten_
bodieslor tion on this isue. In a soiemn ceremony on the 6rst day of the Great Dio_
a fferi ng from other permanentdamage. Sopho.lea philocletes,
nysia, the names and fathers' names of the orPhans who had reached
excludecl Dy a'rd Irom socre.y becdu\e ot h:s mrserable cnes
ol his neveFhealing wound, may well have reminded the
and rhe siench ldulthood were announced, and they were equipped at state exPensewith
audience oIex- a _panoply and dismissed from state
tremecases ofveteran jnvalids. As Tritle writes, ,,the plight
of the $,ounded Whai about female war orPhans? Elsewhere the Parents and dauShters
in an era without pain killers must have been horrificl
. . In the warring of war heroes received state maintenance, the daughters also a dowry; all
towns of Greece, people lived close to one another. The
cries ofthe war: $re may Presume in Athens is a food allowance for the daughters Remark-
,vounded, their hobbling about town, would have been
commonplace ably, we hear nothing either about sPecfic material suPPort for war wid'
sounds and sights."se
ows, not er.n in the Funeral Oration where Pericles specifically addresses
And.thre ryere those whose psyche was harmed by the
experience of them in a much discussed statement. Presumably, they wre exPected to
intensei n fantry battle_ Epizelos, whosutrered
h)sreric;l blindness ar Mar-
athon, was famous. Gorgias co[firms that psychic 40.EPizelos:Hdt,6,rr7.Gorgias,r/..Helr6-17a'ithTritle1oo9ai201oir53-60Psy'[o-
traurna was frequent
among veterans. Symptoms resembling PTSD have been ;amage md PTSD: Shay ree4, 2o@. 1@2, md Tritle rgT Tride consid'B othr vi-
observed in !er'
dsce s well moo, 2oo3, 2ooa), iDdudinA EuriPides' Orota (,o!o:

41, Ihuc, trms. Rhodes 1983icl Cratrnus f! r8r PCC

36, tliad :.7-7t5 tt Estimates of losses: abow n. 29; of nonatity
ofwouded: Wheelr Arist. AtL Pol 2a.3 (vith other Ef- in Rhod6 rgS r: 308-9);d P3 _Xn lrl'' P"/") 4'
zooz:2r2-rr; k.lso l.cob r9r2;Sternbtrg rgggiHmson 2@o: a2.
One oboli SEG 28,46 $ith Stloud 197r: ,87 (ihe lh.o@tides deqee ofaorz
,ro-rsr Salaar zooo, wlxch con_
fered on th. Lgitimate sns of ciuzens Bho htd dkd in the 68It for democra'v agaist the
18, A'Bt. xr,r. Prl.49 4 h,rh Rhodes rgsr.adlo..j Lr.24 wirh Rouset 1966:Edwadi
.. d 'ftntyth sn right! s th @ orphd nioyed). For discNjon, w Raaflaub 19e8: ]o-] !
t sher re3o. r@--. 16r-@. AenhD r.:or. phro Cnro <
a: 1. rbtrnd. hm., dd crp?led *ith iibliog. in nn.'ri 20 o! pp. 353-54. E$?tie disast{r sugg6ted bv Ruschenbsch
pe,rcns! ftJC. :..o.--8 phgle! nrpptf8 eff(L on rhe Dody,.
'lne reTe: 8r. C;remony al Diorysia: Isci s (P.dc.) 82i Aerhi.. 3 (ng' ou-)' 1t3-5a;
re. Philo.r.r8. Eds.,& ,ooo: 'l ride roro: Mia.l osciflonr: LLDonn,c, ,q!r. 1986: 26-27;Goldhilt tggo !07 14,
52 I OurADcient w,rs Lvrhlrutu lrd W /B l!rrpuct on thc llome lronl I t]
return to their families and be remarried or supported as workshoPs Producing weaPons
by them. Nor, ap- 0lhcr parts of the "war industry" such
parntly, was anfhing done for the families ofalithos. meti", who fougirt nfld cquipment were located there.r6 The costs especially ofnaval warfare
and died along $,ith the citizens in Athens, !v"...., fn" p".pore
of ifr. wc|c staggering, forcing the AtheniaN to pay close attention to financial
measures the Athenians did institute in this area
clearly wai to iaise future pl0nning and develop a soPhisticated aalrninistrative apparatus.lT
citizen toldier. and strengthen the morale of the citizensr
as pericles sa1s, Demographically, all this PromPted a veritable population exPlosion'
men who know that their families will be cared for wilt
fight with greaier ll lire half-century after the Persian Wars the number of adult male cili
Tcns probably more than doubled, from about thirty thousand to more
than sixty thousand, with Proportional increases in the number of family
nrcmbers. Since Athens became a Place of oPportunity, immigration
brought large numbers of foreigners to Attica. The number and imPact of
War and Structural Changes in Athens
thcse resident aliens (metics) became a Public issue already in the late
This a big lopic in ihelfand I can only skerch briefly further corNe-
'. considered here. Thev
a few ofrhe phe 46os, necessitating the definiiion of their status and' as a
nomena are all. drrecrly or indiredll. a co'nse que nce, a redefinition ofthe criteria for citizenshiP! th latter were enacted
quen(e ol the Athenians decision Lo.onlinue lhe war
against the persians ln Pericled 'citizenship law" of 45rlo. ProsPerity and need propelled the
after 479, to maintajn their big lrar fleet and rely largelion
uaval warfare, number of slaves to unheard_ofleveis All this much more than balanced
and to.assume hegernony in what we callthe Dellarif""g".
int"rp.; Athenian emigration to colonies and cle(uchies on land conquered from
this role ertensively. Athens power thereby in(reasea *htle "ra
rhar ot the al- crremies or con6scated from rebellious allies. As said earlier this popula
lies de(reased. Soon symtfiachia was rraDsformed into archi_ lion increase u'as equaled by a massive downward sPiral dudng the Pelo
thaldssocracy. e-npire,
or shatever we shorLld call The de(isron to ponnesian War that 1('as caused not onlybywar casualties but also bythe
move in that direcrion wrs poliri(al: polirrcs indeed determined plague, political repercussions (exile of convicted citizens), emigration
war. But
once lhal deci{ion was made, !iar to some extent a}(ufied (many metics must have left \,&en Athens ceased to offer attractive oP'
a dvnamrc ofirc
owrt. 'haped devel6p66n1, ar)d triggered rar.reacl-irg consequences portunitier, and flight of slaves. The forced reEigration of Athenians after
virtually every aspect ofcommunal life.
their loss ofproperties abroad (more womenfolk and children than men)
Economically, Atheft'rise ro a le ding power in rhe only compounded these problems.{3
Aegean and be
yond made the Piraeus rhe cenlrdl rrdde harbor in '*re inllux of populatio[ (from abroad and from the Attic hinterland)
the Aegea;. wilh 8ood.
from all.directions beingimporred, traded, and expo.t"d ih"."_un necessitatecl by the economic changes of the 47os to 4tos totally changed
emphrsiTed by sevral conremporaneous sour<es. The
military funciion lhe settlement structure in the capital and harbor area. The Piraeus was
oflhe hdrbor, u hrch had been forrrfied and rurned inro a wir I-dr
bor even
eadier. was mas,ively expdnded. wjth (hip trad h.rbo. RMflaub 1993: 22-26 (with
)ards. ihip sheds, and orher 46,5G. Garldd 1987 on tle; cdtral
tacilirres for building, outfining, and maintrining hu;dreds
or lrireme(. $u@r; *., itr genral, Yon R.den r99t: pt,2, FadoE reducing th n'ed to construct sar
Even iffor various reasons-the connscation of the navies ships: Gabrielsen ,oo7; 260 64 Bissa 2oo9r dr t. Amt nanufacturers: AristoPh Peate 447
ofdefeated en_
ernies or rebellious ailie. and perhaps even con\truction 4e: 5$-4s, ,",o 64 LIs. 11.s- 19 for the shGld fadory Lvsi.J familv olvned in ihe haeus'
abroad _perhaps dd adniniltatiotr Iord'n 1975; cook 199oi G'brielsn 1994 smons
iewer ships were built there than was lonS lhought. borh funcrions 47. rinacing
oftie 1o@i Prit(hrd 20r2, rort.
Piraeus must hare employed many lhou(ands of lrorkers.
In addition od their colsequetc$ (in alt PoPulation cate8orier: AkiSg forth
as. Population shifts
coning. Olher esrimates of Athenie Populatio!: Gomme r933i HaDsen 1988 Metics:
4r. F.r sourcs od bibliography oD iss!s, *e Raaflaub rge8: ,r_12. widows
the* bhithead 1977, 1986; Baksell 1997. CitittrluPl : Pattelson r98r. Slaves: e & Osborne
-FtncBI oBtior: filc i,
2.4r_r (bettu Raisirg citizen sotdi.6: ibid. 44. r.
D. 6s)_ ,esii Raaflaub rees: 26-2s $ith bibliognphy. Entrgation to @loni.s and cletudtiet: loB
za. tur wd ed .he (on nrncrdid$' repor!,
, "idm,dion of women ,a bt8 dnd ihportb ropkt,rn.ot cow! 1e57i 7, 167 7 7 Gome ien ihousdd). Monality cau*d bv thc Pla8ue
nere . ,ee e 8,. s.rrp( .082. Poqeli roo4: ca.. ,oo8, 2oru.
/o1r. seeHor.blNerleer:r16 ls BithbiblioSqPhy; Ihomas 2006): Po$iblv uP to c sopetent
the Aihetrio empir, see M.i8gs 1972j Scluler r974i
.4r.-On Fom@ and S@ons r99r: ofthe popolation {SaU.Es 1ee1:2rs 60). Flight otslavet: c.g.' Ihuc. 7.r7. i. Remigration: il_
.h-J; Rhodes 1992; Ma er al. ,oo9; Morri, 2oo9_
tusirated by xen. lsn. 1.7.
t4 I Orrr Anclcni Mrrs
Iyrl]rrrrln rrtrlwllr'! lrrrl l on tho IIo!n( r'iont I 55
riprdly builr rs a large (rly ofirl own. ptanned
'rp by the tamous ciry plan-
nr,rHippodamus of Mrlerur. anri connected *r,,,r n,f,"r, would not have becn possiblc wilhoul war and lhc enrPire that ('as created
watls, also a huge construction Ui iiJ i"rg rnd nraintained by war. This delnoctacy promptly stepped into the shoes
re.rson. brough r'a .,;,i;;,,;i; j;;i;:,;"XiT;i"""'::*t:;i.1Xl
Droiect. E
r)l lhose who had so far ruled Greekpoleis (aristocracies and tyta[ts) and
a{ier narrl.campaign, rhousands
of mercenaries must hdve crowded urbnrked on an ambitious building program that a8ain largely celebrated
prraeus. All this lhe war', cmpire, and the gods'support for victory5o
required a big infrasrrucrure of ir"
lmporrs-not new but now assurning o*r, fro. gr; 'lhe Peloponnesian War had further deeP infrastructural conse
unprecedentea irnpoflrn.i lo
vegetable farming, housing, (lucnces. Pericies'war plan provided for el.acuating Attica's ruralPoPula_
and red light disLiicr"r.,:-"b
and enter"tairnment (lavernrl glresthou'e('
'"'\' 'c 1l(m into the fortress Athens- Piraeus, supporting it by supplies guaranteed
Belween 462 and 45o lhe Arhenians by the fleet ruling ihe seas, and thus blunting SPartat superiority on land.
pe ected their democra(v. draw-
inB rhe (onsequences of *h,r ()nc consequence was that th concentration of poPulation ifl a narrow
ctei"rh*;" ;;J;;,;;;,". 6^, ;.*i'#;;
aDd going far beyond it. They sPcce and unhealthy conditions nourished the devastating Plague that
redefined cirizenshir rra ,.r;;nr,.ni,l..-
ated dr adminisrrative dnd l)rol(e out in 429 and thus helped weaken the community's social fabdc.
Sovernment appararus rhar,niolr ed rhor-.anis
.l*,:, ever1 year_rhe intention seerns Another was a profound change in the citizens'lives. Farmers became ur
v!\,, ,u ursq,oure partrcrpation in qovernm
rn r"., t. i"," hrn dwellers even if they lived in shanty townsj AristoPhar,es' Achar iafis

ll., *"i ,,,,"i,."i ;:ffi: ;;l:r;:ilil: LT:ffi .r nd Thucydidei description of their reaction to Spartan devastation ofthe

so_tnat alt ",o

citizens were rea y rble lo parricipare. ;ffi:::
Thjs developm-enr rva.
.ountryside illustrates iheir unhappiness- They now depended on paid
d,recuy connected lrirh wa.
,:nd emp,r" in ur'le"st ,_; ;ry;.
cmplolnent and, because of ideological prejudices against worldng for
h..nd, the,lower-dass citizens who 5;;h" ;; private persons, such employment largely had to be ploYided by the state,
hrgelv rowed rhe fleer now assumed a
crucral role in supporting the trcouraging further buil&ng projec ts and further war. Not accidentally in
securirv. oow,
i,s-n,ore rrr.y rrui rucr."d ;ilili;ffi"J:i:: :ffi,X;l,f Ijf,
dernonsrrared this role year after year.
lhucydides it is halfway through the nar, in the debate aPproving the Si
.itian expedition, that hope for further emPloymelt and material gain

::llr:: ::F;
(oura nor Ibut have polilical
:;t;;#',;,;;::H:::l;T:tiff :x,TI
t,J; repercussion..
slrfaces for the first time as a notive supporting war' The economy now
became fullymonetized, andsonethinglike a free labor marketemerged

mrlitary. and politkal capaciry lvere

since i, ,fl. Cr""f.p,rf"..i,"i
over many of rhese citizens moved from
atway( closefy tn,.,_n*o.a. Vo..
the hi;k and ot i. ,fr" war, Politics, Polarization, and Radicalizatior
when the) were
llor on carrpaigll lley thur Iived
i;'il ,;i;
rhere, and Fou,rd .rpt"y_";;^u,.,
cro"e ro rhc Eberhard Ruschenbusch observed that in an average Greekpolls council
rrrcar ce.rter:,thejr wishes and
demand. <ouli be l""ra ,J "..
ai'u'Uous polrrrcrans. On rheotherhand. and assembly did not ha\c much to do: domestic policies wer virtually
the impe.ial triUrr. "r"j.r"a'i
n a bis.financiar (ushionr even nonexlstent and the range of foreign policy decisions was very limited.
X::"-,::^1,1"i,:,:tl/u if rlrey did noi use
urat money lo pay lor politrcrl Not so in Athens. Frequent warfare and imperial rule promPted a host of
expenses. irs
.hem ro
rvailabilttl mrsr har. ie.i issues that required deliberation and decision and marry other issues, such
:::.ll l: :1,::l:9",c "pend
money for u,p*.'.a",,"a
i,,r"*, as the council's annual scrutiny of the continuing qualification ofwar or_
':'N ,jru' ro cros< a deci(ive rhreshold-a\
lhey had done earlier, when
,lil l.$"i their sajtors and sotdrers: tiadirional phans and disabled veterans, were at least indirectly connected with these
with f"nrC
its briefcampaigns
h"pt*.-;,;;; bi8 ones. The Athenian t,?e of democracy was as direct as was Possible,
had nor required this
ro sty rr,a a e. o i, oizo io *':il ;;;;;:H i:;::l;::itrf ir::,;:: jo. Denocracl and e,rpire Raallaub 2oo7j goltrnnent apparatus: Hansen 1999i building
horpi-erdnd 5(n!odrq,ea.: 2__5o.5ciure, Boersna rgToiKallet 199s,2oo3iC@p 2oo1r ci,4.
6,ren. A,r. Poi r.r-. For detdt.. efunrJb "rar..ee5 v.,to.,.
",i:i"t:,,".; ia{s. _r ,u C.., eir., , r, Ru ral citizens' u nhappiness: ftuc,2,16-17,2o-21,59i Aristoph., .iarniatu. Motive of
-* ,;i }, matrialgaininSi.iliandt.hior:Ihuc.6,24;clDen.3.3r-rtwilhHuDt2o1o:l9-4o Mon-
tization ofeconomy and l.bor hdket Humph.e)s 1978: r 16-7$ Davis 1992: 194 loi
56 Orrl l(.knrLWrrs l,yrhl/al, ulrd W r'N lnrl)nd on Lhc t bmc Front 57

inv(rving mulidc comlnirtees and boards and bittet and often

thousands of citizens in All lhis was true espcciully in thc coursc of a long,
dehbfl n,e,, d,DiDislratrvc. and .udi(ial funclro s. througlr
rhe rnsrilu. lfuslratirSwar. We do nol l(llowhow theAthenians handledthe successes
lrons {is(embly. and laB (orrls, lhal
represenred -he entrre crtj- nnd setbacks of the so-called lirst Peloponnesian War in the 45os and
,/en body. the aimor (ontrolled rhe entrre
poritrcar procers. rrom planning curly 44os and the losses sufiered in the EgyPtian Expedition. By th time
lo de(rding, execuring the decision\. and
supenising the execution of de'- d new war loomed, a new generation, conditioned from early youth to
crsions. As a resuh. Athenian polir rc, dealr wrlh
a brlad and rnrenselv ac. lhink of war as necessary, profitable, and exciting, had grown up alrd
tive and.busy political ageDda. Decisions
p"u.. tt* lvxrtedits opporrunity. Thucydides, tragedy, and comedy combine to help
supervision if not micromanagement of military
.rmpuign, "I,i
",ra figured
,rery tls lnderstand how the intense Pressure caused by such a war exPerience
Prominently on this agenda.t, crn rend a societyt social, moral, and political fabric. In his thoroughly
Precisely because this arera was so active
and some of its decisions nna])zed "pathologied' of the plague in Athens and civil war in Corcyra,
might hare far-reachiag.or))equence\ rucl great potenriJ 'lhucydides demonstrates lhis for two particular episodes. The Pelopol1_
tor individual
or. nctron..l atracted both aristocraric Ieaderr from iamilie, rhal nesian War as a whole, and especially itslast phase with its dense sequence
poliricat leadership and dmbirious no,er,r" up,ro,s of ups and downs, horrendous disasters, and political upheavals put the
$ ho had:^*r"*.,1
profired froDr e.onomic opDortunity ano
looked ar politics a. arr Athenians under comparable pressure.ia
olportudty to gain more wealth in addition to glo.y
and po*.r tr. po_ The famous Arginusae Trial throws a rar but intense light on the Pos_
litical arenabecam the battlefieldfor ambitious
ieaders. oespite setbaiks, sible consequences of such Al1er a brilliant victory a storm pre_
lhAthenranr experience of war and emprre apparently
wa; positive, the vented the captains placed in charge by the generals from rescuing the
Prohts Irumped the ,os.e\. Hence ihe .ilizellq uere gcncrdlly di\posed ro shipwrecked and dead. To save his own skin, one of these caPtains Publicly
favodng war and imperial expansion, which
il1 tum encouraged ihe poli placed the blame on the generals. In assembly meetings dealing with this
ticians to compete wiih aggressive schemes. Advocating
peice and cau, issue, emotions ran berserk, whiPPed uP by griei anger demaSoguery,
tion offrred no rewards; activism and interventionism (pilypragnosyni),
nnd, coincidentally, a festival honoring the dead. Against better advice and
the hallmark ofthe Athenian .tollecrive characte.;,
n""d.ato U. f.a. n" Socraled refusal to put al,I illegal motion to th vote, the assemblydecided
d;n os.coLlo be by br;.lianl rma8rrarion and
rheloric. Ir re. to try the generals collectively and coodemned them to death This event
qurred e^ceptional qUalir:es oi ma.. .onrrol
and orscipline_drsptayed by has raised much debate amongscholarsi factional politics and rivalry' and
Pe, rcles. ven_ it iderlized and cxagger:red
by Thucyaiae. _ro t'anat. rtri the Ioss ofan exceptional number of elite citizens, may have played a ma'
Dean catled damor and \t,ld a slead, lille. jor role, and the legality-though not the justification-ofthe assemblyt
As ftuc)didesre.s Alcibiades
'"vir rheSi(il Ir Dcbatp..he:rdctivr.mhad brorghl lhe Alheniansrothe decision may have been less questionable than has often been thought
topj thrycould not simply..turn it off" without changing
their entire hab_ Still, the trial will always b seen as one of the indelible stains on democ_
ils and chara(ter. The resulr war a dangerous potentialior
irrarjonal racy's record; it highlights the emotional strain suffered under the imPact
rI aclvlsed decirion\. il,u.lraied by ftu(ydjde. $ irh rhe debare. aboui and ofwar by the community as a whole. That of individr.rals was dramatically
carnp.rrglx at pylos and to Sicily.!i
displayed on stage in Euripides'war Plays.'6
Another direct result ofthewar was poiitical polaization.l focus here
i,. Liorred torign potio in a!eB$ polrc Fudenbu\cl reTs: .h
porrtrr D Athene Arin .4/r. pol. a tnrpn(ifrcarion 01
al a thedefense.frh M. M
," "8.'1'-:r;; p, ;;;;; ;.,;;; ",J:.;::'::1, 4. ConditioDius for Raaflaub zoor. On d.mat.eaction to crish kdtonalos and
i::::i.ixi:j JJ,;;TJfi

Ziom{mann zot2. Pl.gue: Thuc, 2,47- 54i Thotuas 2oo6i "Patlology of civil wd": 1.32_84!
kncero por'(..h ot knNhdSe abour m{k6or wai ke \rn. Mea r.oa ""1
ro: es.-pLro,
A4 tond6 r t o7dt At tst Ri?,. I t\ob,4_r36oa r, r,e6a, rr. rt- &r.lieli. r-6.24 ls (on the batd), r.7 (on the rial); Diod. rl.9l 1@ (betde). ror-l
hddeN Connor Fintev ra7.. A;enh (t!ial). For diBcussion (wiih othcr souer, e.g., Ardrew$ l9z4i Mehl 198li Osiwald 1986
- liNdL
p:t bn!:a:i:t. 'e7,:
rh-c. 1-o. pdJtrJb
drponrjon. Finley re_d.
reer. .omp.flrron wrD briltrdn rher;ric: 43r-45j Bl.khan, 19981 508-7rj Buckhardt 2ooo; Giovannini 2oo2. Tritle 2013 emPha-
I h!cidlde'_\4 qih.m_Debar ,.J --4& sp. , -.ts, "ee
I +rrr . rer. nrc.:.os.
Ar..bhd.s: Ihu(.h,8. pvlc debarea!7_rsis,.rtiand.bare:68
sizes the inpact olldge lo$s ahong rhe elite.
26,.tp6.,a ,6-lspeciTlly Ttujdn wodcn od Hecubn.
t8 IOurADcieDtwar3
l.|lldrrl( ll WlCr lrrrnlrLnr lllc IIornc !,oLrl l19
on two ofits manilestations. One is the tension between democracv an.l
Irnong citizens were forccci lnk) th(! opcn In(l cxrcrrbated by the exped-
oligarchy. Opposition had existecl sjnce democracy's breakthrough in the
cnce of war and the frustrations, uDbltknrs, ond illusions prompled by
mid-century, but it was q/eak and pushed under the surface as long as de-
wirr War here, as in many other respects, was a radi. lizel "Ho de pol-
mocracy was successful and oilered plenty ofopportunity to gain influ-
rmos . . . biaios diilaskalot" says Thucydides, discussing wart impact on
ence, glory, and r{'ealth. Such opposition surfaced and gained strength
eurotions, passions, and character: "War is a violent teacher and brings
precisely when democracy lost its legitimation through success and, as a
nrost men's passions in line with the present situations."te
result of setbacks, defeats, and linancial exhaustion placed increasing fi-
nancial pressure on the elite without offedng adequate returns, Not ;ur-
prisingly, therefore, the larenr conflict between oligarchy and democracy
war and ldology
erupted in Athens in the iast decade of the war (after the Sicilian debacle)
and then plompted violent consiitutional strugtles and oligarchic coups_
An Athe ian, walking through the public areas ofhis city and the Piraeus,
even if these lacked suficiently broad support and quickly became so re_
would 6nd himself constantly surrounded by reminders of his .ity's tradi-
pressive that they were overthrown after only a fe$, months.57
lion ofmartial success and imperial greatness. The busy shipyards and war
Another form ofpolarization was caused by ambitious young politi_
harbors and the arrival and dparture ofwar fleets; the goods from alJ over
cians. George Forresr postulated long ago that in the last decades ofthe
the Mediterranean world he could buy in the markets; the foreigners he
fifth century Athens witnessed an increasirg gap between generatioDsj
cncountered in the streets },ho visited Athens for political, legal, or eco-
others have spoken ofa conflict ofgenerations. This is probably exagger-
nomic reason$ the public monuments he sawin the Agora, on the Acrop-
ated but Thucydides, traSedians, comedians, and philosophers leave no
olis, and in many other places, and the images and inscriptioos they dis-
doubt that young members ofthe aristocracy rebeled agai;st fie egalitar-
playedi the funeral monuments and inscriptions hoDoringthe war heroes
ian principles and a8e limitations for office hoiding imposed by democ,
in the public cemeter),r the temples and shrines with powerful pictorial
racy. Many of them were involved in the violent subvrsive activities of
programs, dedicated in gratitude to the gods for great victorie$ the festi-
elite clubs (rerdileiai) that paved the ground for the oligarchic coup of4r1.
vals featuring competitiolx and theatrical perfoffrancesi the ceremonies
Intere\trngly, they moslly belonged to the generrtion thal reached adult-
rnd rituals he attendedi the meetings ofcouncil and Assembly in which
hood dt the
'ery begrnning ol lhe war and access to offi(es in rhe tiTe of he participatedi and ail the other potitical activities Guch as administra-
the Peace ofNicias. They had thus never known anlrhiDg but democracy
tive committees and panels ofjudges) in which he was involved-on top
and been shaped by the experiences of rhe Archidamian War. Their dis-
ofhis o\,rn experiences as a crtizen-soldier frequendy fighting in wars-
satisfactiods and aspirations infused a new dynamic into Athenian poli-
combined to impress on him the same message: constant involvement in
tics. ftwas largelythis group that saw war as aD opportunityio gainpower
wat a unique series of victories and successes, and the dedication alld
and glory and vigorously pushed for more aggressive policies against
sarifice ofthe citizens had hlped hispolir achieve unprecedented power
Sparta.In the debate betweenNicias and Albiades about the Sicilian expe-
and greatness. Hence he was called to continue this trndition and to live
dition, Thucydides puts ihe diilernces between oldet (presbJteroi) ind
up to the example and standards set by his ancestors. These constant re-
younget (nebteroi) citizens starkly on record.j3 Again, larent tnsions
ishne$ (wheth* about poss or suniml) dt the comnunity's expense, cohparable to Al
t7. Opposjtion to democmcy: Ub[f r9r9i Bleicken 1994i ]71-79, ,21_z2i Raaflaub roo4l we,rry think ofEur Srpr, 160-62,23r-i7;
cibiades and Phrynichus in Thuc.6.39i,
2 r r - I. Oligarchi6 and dmocali. Hrionr Krertz r982j Ostwald res6: chs.
7, oi tf,Imann oresres, Pylades, and El{lE in Eu. OErt s, or Eleocles ad in Eu. Pr'or,,
r99liBleckman, r993i31j 624jMun1ooor.hs. 5,8-9;Shear2o1r,
Mfle, !^re rhnrk aho of thasynachus ind callicles in ?lab, Re?. I ard Go/8ra' holding
cxtreme positions i, the,oror-rb,rs contrdelsy (o, whjch see Cuthrie reTr: ch.4 (et
,3. Genelation gap or connicr ForEst r97' Berrman 1976!Osrsald res6: 22e_so! Stnuss
r99l; Zimormann r 99 8; ,ordoviC ,oo7i Hunt zoro: 121-32. Aoong
much oth.revadene, ferd resr: .!.ro). Aristophues (in Clad, od ltu.ldides ('n rh M.tian Dialog@) show
se'Ihuc. 6.8-26 (Sicilian dbate), $p. 12 r1 (Nicis), r7-rs (Alcibiadet; 6.3, a1 (Sya.
hod tamiliar Arhenian audiences ed polilicia.s rc!. witi such ideas.
59. Thuc,3.82 2 (trars. Lattimore 1998) wjdr Hornblower 1991:431.
60 | our Ancint Wars
Lyrhlruto {nd Wr'{ tr pacr on thc Home Front | 6r
the Arhenian citizen from
young_onio accepr war a, in.rit"Lt"
'ltrucydides and other thlnkers ofthe litne recognized
that dmocracy

ff:.}:,:j.T": l,:ji1" ;
il;': una ur"n a."ir"Ul...o

"ilffi::,:;osy. rhe, Eion

lcquired and produceda specific type ofcitizen who thought and behaved
ln ways and pursued policies that all differcd radically from those in an
Ar.hrrrian vi.rorie. orerE^;"11J::ltK.';T.,?,il
r.;;; ;.'.* :;;:: j;:,;,,: oligarchicpolis. The citizenswere supposed to think ofthemselves as their
Aegean in 476lj. Two of ,t Joiy*" ."#, /,o/is' lovels (erasrri). This goes far beyond frequent characterizations of
"* Athenian leaders as "friend of the damos or the polis,, (phitodimos or
Tht stand as.rhe rribure h hrch /r,llopolis) because it stresses the emotional bond of every citizen to his
"hall Athens pdid ro her leaders,
nomage to hard-foughr victones, /){,//r. Jusr as a lover sacrifi(es his own interests Lo rhose ot hic beloved, so
_ earned Ly ,f,ui.
I hose who (ome
after may read and from this
m".orirf i"f,],-*. ""f,*ii."a". should the citizens do for their communiry. The Athenians acquired, as
()hristian Mier puts it, a "civic idenrity" that was to take precedince
courage, over
and in thetu country,s cause lhch prii'ate identity, the pr:blic sphere was to come before the private,
march no less bravely to war
co,nmunity before family. And all this in the interest of war, communal
Ar the beginninS of rhe Funeral greatness, and glory. This is the core ofArhens' civic ideology. Iye thint of
\Jur rncestors, Oratio n, Thucvdides jers pericles
:ay: l)criclean Athens as a "Golden Agd'ofgreatness in cuhure andhumanism,
chamcterized by the Parthenon, Pl.idias' sculptures, Sophocles, rragedies,
by their courage and rheir llerodotus' Hisforiei, and the emergence of Socrates' philosophy Th
virrues, have handed our
country on ro
lli..,.1:""..:,-"r, *"y cerrainl) deserve ol.r praise.
rven morc
Athenians at the time defined
treatness' b), stunnint successes in war,
so oo our larhers deserve u nprecedented imperial expansion, and unmatched liberq/.6,
rt. For to rhe;1ls;14n6.,fr.1
cerved they added a1l the
mDrre we h,v,
f,.i...- Not everyone accepted this without protest. Apart from those (known
out brood and toir,ill i;;H;;,:i :ill,,,1i;,#ii:.,j.Ljl; ,rnd unknown) Athenians who spoke up in the Assembly against hawks
like Pericles, Clon, and Alcibiades, some thinke* (itinerant philosophers
And rhen we ourselve.. assembled
ln most dire(lrons, added ro
here ;;;. I ;;;;: Ind teachers of rhetoric and politics, whom we call sophists) began to
rhe porter or our empire and in all r-
spec6 provided lhe city develop theories about how to preserve or restore lasting peace,6] a;d the
wirh the fullest resources for both
peace. (2.36.1-3i trans. war and poets kepl reminding their audiences of the blessings of peace or drama
Warner 1954)
tizinS the consequences oftheir martial policies. I shall here focus on one
Later in the same speech, pericles
proclaims: those ro be buried flay that seems directly to contradict pericles, statement of cMc ideology
r . worrhy
oted now but in itscritical attitude to war far transcends this ideological aspect. Ttiii
of their city.
hnally brings me to LJ8irrrata.
You_rheir survivors must pray
to meer rh rt lesser cosr but
resorve todoso JUsr as ;*.'*1,""i"'j",',t ",.r,
u,o.a",ron. u,r *o,i;;ilii:'#fi,"Jli:*r,,1?ffiT::l i
I.-each day and becoming
,,rr_rame appears great to you
b""r" terosluit. rr,lililil;,.i:; In the first phase ofthe Peloponnesian War, Aristopha[es had written two
that men wl
i*a,n.i, a,,y.
(2.41.r: trans. Lattimore
*no ffi;; ; ; ;::.::ff:,11illi ffii other peace pla)s (Acra rniahs and peace\.Iheir heroes set out to restore
the Athenian citizens' normal lives and dwell on the economic disruptions
6:. Specili. t) e of citizar: thu c. 1.7 o. philapalk,
,hilodenos, erc,: Connor r97 ri ch. r, esp.
60. Ovehl, !e Reflaub 2oor. 99 ro3i Mono$n r99s WolU 2oo2. Potiriot idenritl Mie. r99o.: <h.6_ On Ath.nj ideol
6r. Eion epithhs As(hin.3 ,81_8rj o8y of Mr: RaaflaEb 2ool Atlenian d.tinirjons otgEahe* Boed.ker anr! Raanaub leeo:
- _a_77,s,a|_,i ?lut, C,z ,._ s(dr.K,,rn,e6o,i re
c"^p,eo. ;;;1,;; ;;ilfi l;;;.;:(nm 1-e; on Athens as the gre.tesr, nost elf-sufficient, and fe$r ciq,: Raaflaub 2oo4: r81_e3.
62 I o1ll,^Lrcic t wlrrs l'yrhlr tu nrxlWrt'r hrrl'rcl o' thc tlome Fronl I 6l

cdused by the wari the plays make fun ofwarmongers ancl women occupy
celebrat indi_ whcrc at the misery it causes ln rddition, ihe Athenian
vidual nonconformists who pursue their own paihs to peace. Sr.rch located in order to make it
eco- llrc Acropolis where the st{te's treasuries are
nomic.and bucoli( a.pecr. are missing alrnosr entnpty in Lysistnta. per.
rrrrnossibie in 6nancial terms as well to continue tie war'
lormed in irr. ror Iotg afrer the SiciLan d;.asrer of4rJ, tl-e pla) reflects
a lrr a orrtic.rlarlr qripping scene. an offi(ral trying with his Polcemen
different moodt the criticallight it throws on the war is much more to inter-
radical r,,.t,,loJar. the *om-en'fio;the AcroPolis. chaltenges their right
and penetrating, exposirg its destructive impaci on society as a whole. in the warl'
It flr" *itt p"Ufi. *u"". ffis reason is that they "have no share
is nothing less than a profound indictment of rhe war in I,hich the Athe- sons and then send
lv\i\lrata counter' rhis vehemenlly: the women bear
nians by that time had invested an enormous amount oflivs, wealth, more lian double the burden of rhe warl The
effort-on which they had banked rheir ftrrure. More than that it h 4n
and ii,". ro *"r, rrtur.urrying ;'se
,,rii.iut inr"r."pr. tt.r, silenil Dont bring up bad memoriesl" He ih]-Is
indictmcnL of!rar a, such- and rhat is why, rn the form otthe "Lysislrata otherwise
llludes to the losses the war has caused-an issue comedy
proiecll the pla\ could lhrough peacehrl leadings s.rpporr *orldr.ide pro- who have lost
lvoids. Instead, tyslstrata s]mPathizes with those women
tests against rdar when the Iraq War was looming. As such the play
is ii,"i. f,,r"t"nds o, t *" not even found ooe and whose short bloom of life
unique in the extant corpus of Greek literature, and ,ve have no idea'es in solitude.66
whether other authors ever assumed a sjmilarty radical stance. It ran
Ihis Dlav criticizes the war because il dis-uPls life lhrealens lhe
against deeply entrenched civic and patriotic priorities, and the poet pre, more than
irv ot ttie hoLrsehold (orkos). serves the interelts of ind;viduals
sumably had good rerson. to urap lhir hor ropic in a hy\teri(a]ly ' who
funny lh;.e o, lhe (ommLlnt). and wreaks havoc dmong GreekPoleis But
and complelely surrear far(e ol lemale usurparlon or power. prec;scty about the war? The
be- is to blame if the .Ltttor as a whole makes decisions
cause it is so exceptional, Llsisira,a points at the boundaries sharp di5rin(tion belween the
ofwhaiwas rocL resolves thi' dilemma bv inrroducing a
possible in terms of (ritici\m of democra(yi wrr policies rwe meel them in a ditrer_
and suggesl, \,lJ men, whose livelihood depends on polilrcs
,nhaL u'uall\ rernained uneaid.'" Lxceprionally
in world hidory. lh; re- cnt context in Wrsps), who supPort the hawkish ]eaders' and
who oPPose
sponsible were not monrrchs or ruling elites bur the enrire d?,zos, which
*.'.". *d r],e vorre..n who fight rhe*ar' suffer from it and are rlilltng
added lLrrlher rompli.ationsi we shall see hos Arisrophmes navrgard
i. consent ro peace'ialthough only because the womens sex slrike ledves
around these cliffs. Other scholars have offered detaileci and penetriing ro restore
thern no alternatrrel. {t ar1 rare. peace lr desPeratel\ needed
araly\es ot ro;s play, I can hrShlighr here only a ferv cructal asiects.^. - Creek world'
r)ormal life rn family. economy. community, and the entire
lvyrlral, rs besl lrowrr. ol coune. for ihe .ey strike wiih An xtenclal metaphor of weaving explains how the women
can restore
which lhey lorce their war crazy men lo capituiate "ornen!
and ccept their de- lhe wholeness ofthe community:
lands lor peace. A quintesient,all) donleslic rool is used here ro rein in
the ultimate prerogative of the publi. sphere: the conduct ofwar As David
When a ball ofwool becomes ta[gled, ]ike the city at l'ar' we use
Konstan emphasizes, the lyomen tu.rn ihe entire pol,r_in facr, all of
our sPindles to Put it in order.In the same way, through embassies'
Grecce-into one big farnilyand take over not as intruders or usurpers but can .ie taneled threads of the war be properly arrdged'
we musl
as re.oncilers and uniliers. The play's rvomen, in close connecti;n wool' out the
r1ith $ash the 6lih from the.ity ac from a ball oi beating
women from manv oLher Creek pole,c. are mol,vated by deep coucern
bad anil useless Parts and picking away the burrs-those who
abour rheir frmilies and homes rhar have been depriverl of their
men lor clDmD incaucuses and Lnot themselves together to obtainPositions
months. The poet shows tls the war and its deprivations from their per- or oo'wer mu"L be combed our and their leaders plucked away lhen
spective that h, from wirhin sociery, and lve get as close a look as iny- It'i wool mu.r be carded into the barlet ol Peace and goodwill
64. S aborc (intro{tuct io,) al n. 9. where all usefirl shall be: citizens, metics' friends And a1l of
our colonial cities, now strewn like fragments ofa whole' must
Se, e.t., Holdnsn r98obi Newiger r98oj Korstm 1995: ch.r, on whose vie{s I grate_
_ ,6r,
tuII dmi+ i, ine folloNing ktion. On the rol of rh s,ooeD: Rosselini ! 929; Lohu 1991i
66. Cruci.l PNsages: lrs.99-1r1,583 97.
64 ()1| Atl(n,r wtrrs
llrlrrrrrirr r(l Wrr ! lrrrp!d ob thc Homc Front I 6t
diawn irto the common ball ard $.oven togeiher
into a mantle for lhc cojnrarcfutation of thc $ining ideal drawn by Pericles'civic ideology.
all th people.5?
l,ovcrs of th city, yes-bui not ai the price of the wholeness and health of
Tlis piece lrome and familyl the recovery and long-term health ofthe community
is extmordinarybecause it reveals rare
integrative thinking that r(\lui,e precisely the reintegration of the citizen's social and political
comprises not only the citizen bodybut
also metics, friends, and rhe;Uied klcntities-even at the expense ofthe grcatness lnd martial gloryextolled
hy I']edcies.
The piay uses gender role reversal as a to bring out essential con- Moreover, in disregarding the divisions amongpoleis that the $,ar had
(-n(.1),,i\U ota r. chd-a! ter r/ed
d. d tsood rno brdre ciri)er ir.onrra.rro (lis$troudy deepened between Attic/Iodian and Dodc or democratic
,no<e hno rep-F\er I lhe mcJe .ili,,en
bod). nave mi,rn.rrrgeo aiTdirs. rund oligarchic Greeks the play's heroines reverse ideology on yet an-
squandered the polis' patdmony, and
do not car *fr"t .1lfy i" ifr" olher level. Women from acrcss Greece join thei rcbellion: their con-
\. rere embody r arrre", "U*t
r,,,,"..'pr,.,r p*..J
:::1t1.-1":9.qlhenrdr"",re. ccrns, values, and goals are valid for any Greek communiqr They thus
,rslno.eot menin lhe Dr,Te do.urner rola.nenianci,iiioeol
cxpose thewnr as what it really is: fratricida], self-destructive madness.In
Or"r,on n Thrcvd.d+: t"e1 roomd(er rnrjor.o.1 his Ilisrolies, Hercdotus lets both the Athenians and Spartans ofihe Per
:_iI ".",",",,
IrlDJtror) lo the commlrrral rar ellort..nd the\ roo
nare (ommor .e.,e, sian War period insist on principles-especiallythe bonds and obligations
tneJligence. and rrnowledge. \ev cdn
on\. pe lorr rhi( .ivi( rote, I oh cfeated for all Greek by
commudty ofblood and language, temples
ever. b) brealdiS our oi lh"t J..igneo
thpm br rr,pir ma,e mas p,( jr real flnd ritual, and common customd'-that were no less valid at the time of
\o( rerv:ro De $teIt ,Ird \ub,errelL.63
50 r) sist, dta sDeak. rp: rhe men h iJl hls writing and exposed the giaring contradiction between the waring
now be jrten. I he won-en tvill bp lhe tdller.
and rale car e oj .he *ar.,"
Yet the wo,nen do no. a.m d. ,1 lurties' past and present actions.Tl
ll^epuolic realm
rng Poher pe-marent\
As .oon ,r, rhe) hd\e ended rle "nd exerl
hdr and e.rab
I.hed peace. . hev u rll rome aro a..Lrme therr previou, ,ole,.
etu rn
godi r. only ro re.r tegrdre, omntrnily.
Ileir Con.lusion
rou.ehold dnoldr:l). -ftle ucr dnd
rr\ orsa(Lror\ rmDact oll rl-e communirr ,rre
lhuc represenred a\ the dct,l Other aspects musi be 1eIi for another occasion.I think, for example,ofthe
menlar con.eqlen!e ol the seL,a,,rror
ol rhe pubiic ,onere ol rhe pol^ impact of war on retigion; the development of concepts and theories of
from the private sphere ofthe oi&or. The t$.o
spheres ha,e been disinte pcacer the consequences ofvictory and defeat, from celebration to staffa
8rared (h;Je on y lhe r inlegrr.ion .an keep rhe poli, heJ,hv. fte \diue, lion and capitulation; and ih transformaiion of outlook and attitudes a
aIo p'rn..plcs ol por:lr.dl lilp na\ e em ,.iDared
rlren,elve. florn rho.e ot community mighi-al1d the Athenians did-undergo as the result of an
dome'lr lilc and 'rou keep Dr,r.u .r8 polic,e( rhar
ha.rn ooLh rhe o;to. arJ oppressive war er?erience.z Still, even this brief survey has conirmed the
tne p.rrs r\ d h hote. lo Lrroer.tdnd rhi. we need ro renenrber rhe thesis fonnulated at the beginning:that in Athens, exceptionally, war, once
rrore (orlettron n ( reel, thought bel\een .,.J.ture.
e.oiomie(, rnd nccepted as the principal means to enhance and maintain the?olls' power
vaLues ot orloJ and rolrr u

'Ilis and prosperiq,, shaped public lifeto aremarkable exten! war indeedtrans-
is why I think
!,stsirrf, shows us, so-to speak, the other side of lbrmed Athenian politics, society, ecoromy, and ways of thinking.
The question remains of what it $'as that propelled the Athenians on
! I *..* d.._r.)ir..r'DL rpno!i...,oooD.
'r,. the path of war, all the way to the end and almost to the destruction of
,vou do nol iait lo lile up to your orn ndture, and if there their community. thucydides famoudy lets Athenian ambassadors in
ls the l"ast po$;]" iatk;r
,n ong rren -*"r Io. o.dne o for btr
r- t.,
ql,or". ,ess . ree trte..
\'lan Leel Iwiih b,btrosraphyl 71.Herodotuss.r4r 44, esp. r44 (trans. de Sdlincout and Nl incola 1996).
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66 | OurAn(lelr wxrx
lyrlllrala afld Wlas Impactonthe Home Front | 67
Spirra D)enlioD threc powerful
motives: glory, fear, and protit.
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It w
"uout.,np,.ai.i"uru i"i.,.;,;;;r:
vengetut reaction ofthe
;:',li::,# :fi:il,:: ffiT ll
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omocrrtic ritizens, representing
_"" ,ra"r,.iii. n J""r"" iiil
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an-unpreceden,"a *a f..qr"r,i,
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,.,". .',ln,""",,i"iilifijl;,,;.T1:l?_";,ifl
pl,srlmenr never experjenced
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ans had se\eral.hances.
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*fr};),Iill;,:"l,;,ITni,e,r,"a,r,"",anii.". Phoeni, j)t tgt-iot.
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Rosdlini Michite 1979. "I/rr,rara: ,roj-.i86 rc. Ithaca. lIY,
Une miseenscer
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Ro<.t, i, I'cl o po n n e si an Wa. P.ircerol
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L ,966- Llrdt. t'I|wltde.pais
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_ zu u.d pot\k e4 n t\cch.ata d on.l Modem, 313-25- Ptinceton-
". ",;-iti,
Rus.henh,".rEL--L-,, :,
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"Iaeluh? l"'cnPotttik ia 5 Ih' td?oto8,. ade, ln kn Wees 2ooo:261 83.
sabrn Phrljp, HaDs vr We;, "h'' SrrNtss,BMy S. zooz "Naal Battles ud Siegcs: In Sabin et a|. zoo7t 221-47.
and r4ichaet wlitbv r,:ds't' looz
u)trccrand Romn tva4ar.. The cambtidgP H'tov Sln)!d, Ronald. r97r. "Grek lMiptions: Ihozotides and ihe Athenim Orphus: Hat
^ t.c.mbridop Reinhard. rgzz St@tsbegiibnis und Ptivatgabhal in klsitch.n Athen.
n wat wou ds Geao Roaon A"tqut)
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Stlll, Dietm{.2006. "ste,eruns dutch tnk r,atior,? laseph Goebbels als'Kont'istat det
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:::ii::;:,,*t,:f "j."f.j zt :,":"i:,: il:,:;:i*ten
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scrrutte,. worrla.i,r'so .;yy;;;;;il;l;"#- A isch.,se?bund. Benin hbert, Richar.l ( trans.). 1988 - Plutonh o, Spatta. Hamondseortll
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mokhh? uhd Adtitekttu n.,]J.
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" Athens. 'Iritle, lavrence A. 2013. "Democracy and Wari' In Arnaon et al. 2013: 298-320. Peter. u8o. "O*os und pofu VaDghn, Pamela. r99r. "'Ihe Identiication and Reuieval offE Hoplit Bad-Dead: In
1o*r; :l;,;;;;;';
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j:',:1':"1 ;":.;:;:,f ',o;d* s",
,pqr4 t.iteeJ_ To
the Cdvaby ot Cldrs@l warner, Rex (tra$.). r9r4 lrk)ilides me Pelopo n sion war H.monds$orth.
ratucutat R?l*te to Athe
c_*". sotial ahd Militatv Hi'totv wtth wrrner, Rex Grans.). 1978. -&, ophot\ A History ol Mr'I:tns. New ed. t{amondsworth.
- s.oxton ^
Wees, Hans rlrn (ed.). zooo- [.at and viobn e in Aflcieflt GrcM-London
srad(er. Philjp A. ro8e. / Codn tal on
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Ch^pe) Hiu ulees, Hans van. 2oo4. Greet watfate: Mtths and R.alities- Lornon-
74 I ()rr Arxi.,rr w s

societyr rn sabin er.1. 2oo7:

wheerer. everett l"^"::
:oo7 .yll lnd
,!l; ;;;;Hi: ;";::;i ,3-ee.
j'::l'f: "1't",c&t, ag iii ;;;;ffi *,0*oo*"
"",X:Ij11; ',X:i,"#II
i.";i*. i."Z'i,#[',,]i,,i#l #;;
v it tnrro.l u. ti ":::.i:*:,t"
h_ oh aid Co m h. *.ry. Oe;i ^,*
"War Guilt," "National Character,"
wo f. Hdrmul.,e7c. Dr Oppolrjon g.ger
dje,ad Idte De_ok,at e jn Alhei bi. zum " lnevitable Forces." and the Problematic
Chi zc,r,./,"y,,,;. copl,olos.
r, u"a b,s-ophtk a._ )_e_ro2.
^,.;l:;:1.X., ,e57. rhc Athenhn A8a,a., t";a,\ an,J Fpsraphica, ha:aan,a. I I istoriography of "Unnecessary Wars"
Zrne-mdrl Benhard e98 Cene dho. entorq
||r2bu,C.1- tdtrh".ht
ii r8,er,(h.rd,,I{,.e,) nrardt. l)atid Pottet
)i" d,e Alt?n m,wi -ei7 han 22: e 20

lmprobabl wars

Ar "unnecessarywar" is a vrar in which the combatants engaged without

llior articutation of a lear vision of acceptable grounds for ending rhe
Lonflict. An "unnecessary war" is a war that begins without the combat-
,rnts'needing" to go to war in the sense that the war is an obvious next
stcp in the development ofinternal or external policies, or that the conflict
has well defined and realizable goals relating to existing policies. An'un
nccessarywar" is contingent upon eminently avoidable errors and choices
olien recognized at the time as being poor. In fact, one aspect that such
wars may have in common is that the initial confrontations leading to war
nre not between the major powers themselves but rather betwen subsid
inry polrers, which restricted, orwere seen to restrict, options available to
the major powers. This last aspect, the subordiration of the inierests of
great powers to those of subsidiary powers, links the three wars whose
historiographyis ihe primary focus ofthis paper These are the First World
War (19q-1918), the Peloponnesian l rar (4Jr-4o4 Bcr), and the First Pu-
nic War (264-241BcE). when mobilization orders rrere transmitted in the
Austro-Hungarian, Ruisian, and German empires in late Iuly 1914 none of
the governments involved envisioned their own demise rvitlin four
years and neither did their allies/opponents in England and France Even
though were plenty ofpeople who realized that the war would be destruc
tive, no one in a position of responsibility was willing to step back and
consider that their worst fears might be reasonable predictions of vrhat
could happen. The problem European governments were having at this

76 | OurAncient warc The Problematic Historiography of"Unnecessary Wars" I7/
stage may be exemplined by the conduct of Edward Grey, the British For- sation when dealing with the outbreak of the Second Punic War Polybius
eign Secretary. On luly 27 1914, he told Parliament that if a general war may allude to Thucydides, whatever debt he may owe to Thucydides is not
broke out'it can but end in the greatest catastrophe that has ever befallen especially close. ID offering his own tripartite rl1o del of aitiai (causes), pro-
the Continent ofEurope: no oDe can say what would the limit ofthe issues piaseis (pretexts), and a/cftat (begjnnings), Polybius may owe something
that might be raised by such , conflict, the consequences ofit, direct and to the Thucydidean ?rophaseis anC, aitiai, b\t \t is clear that Polybius is
indirect would be incalculablel' All of this was perfectly true, but eek a rejecting a bipartite model of causation and is apparently correcting
later, on August 3, he recommended that Englandgo to \cat as a matlerof Thucydidean usage byemploying a/fia for the stage for which Thucydides
honor, in defelse of Belgiumi trritorial iDtegrity. lt would not be unrea_ usesProprasis. As an educated man, a professiol'lal who wished to display
sonable to readhis public statements on these two occasions asbeing con_ lis wide reading, this is inkeeping withhis generalapproach to hisprede
tradictory (as, in fact, the Germans did). So too, in 264 Bc!, neither Rome cesso$. Polybius is primarily interested in impressing his audience with
nor Carthage envisioned a war that would establish Rome as the dominant his improvement on earlier writers. More important to Polybius ar writ-
power in the western Mediterranan, and in 431Bcr it does not aPpear ers whom he sees as more immediate rivals (Philinus, Phylarchus, Callis-
thateither Athens or Sparta regarded the dissolution ofone or the otherof thenes, and Timaeus), sources (!abius), or hodels (Ephorus). He only
their allian.e systems as a likelyoutcome.' mentions Thucydides once by name in his extant work.2 Io the case ofthe
In addition to beginning for roughly similar reasons, the three wars in Iirst World War although some of the maior actors were exposed to ex
question generated explanatory historiographies with striking similarities cellent Classical educations (Gray and Asquith, the Prime Minister, read
to each other. These include significant discussion of "war guiltl' "inevi- Greats at Balliol, while the curriculum in the Humanistisches Gymnasium
table forcesl' and "national character:' ln all three cases the invocation of of Germany and the Austro Hungarian empire would have exposed all of
generalizing factors or issues lends universality to eYents that caused Pro- ils products to Thucydides), there is no evidence that'Ihucydides had
found human suffering and could, in all likelihood, have been avoided if much influence on the thought patterns ofany of these decision makers.
decision makers had acted with greater discretion- A 6nal feature ofthese In turning to the historians who have done the most to shape subsequent
historiographies is that in each cas the defeated side promoted a version i,ralysis ofthe First World War-Luigi Alberrini and Fritz Fischer-itap
of the "stab in the back'thesis to explain defeat and claimed that there was pcars that neithero es an obyious debt to Thucydjdes. Similarly, Ch sto
a bdlliant plan that $'ould have led to victory ifonly it had been correctly pher C1ark, the author ofa justifiably influentjal recent history ofthe out
executed, bleak ofthe wat offers an analysis ofcauses and reasons with no direct
Given the temporal priority of thucydides' history, an obvious ques_ liul(age to the similai analysis of Thucydides.3 Histodans are drawn io
tion is whether the aforcmentioned historiographic patterns are simply nrcdes ofexplanation because circutnstances seen to dictate their rele-
due to Thucydides' irfluence on later writers. The answer in both cases is
"no:' Iust because Thucydides employed a model ofstructure and contin- i. For causation see l1uc. r. 23.r-6j 88; 113.2 {ith Pol r.6,r4-7,rj o! the relationslip
h(ween Ihucydides md Polybius see Walbank (r 9Z r 4o-a, conha the Dole skeptical view
gency to explain the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War does not mean
|r (;elzer (195r:8/-91) = Gelzer (1964, j:155 60) who shows 6th.r coDclsively rhat Poly-
that everyone who has used similar structures mr.rst be engaging with hlus wN Srounded in posi-ltucydidem lisiorio8raphlj nr Celzerb rladition is Beck (2orr:
Thucydides, either directly or at some distance, or that any such engage_ r.r)rDerow (1ee4:34 3, o! Po\,bian lrofesionalism, while Dill.y(ro11:176-27) shows
ment is particularly significant in shapinS the analysis of a later thinker' how Polybiuits inroapost-Ihu.]drdean inteledu milieu. 'Ih. case for a strolger connec
Thus, while it is the case that in offering a general model ofhistorical cau- lloi irsuedjnRood(2o1, mdlongley(ro1, n pehaps notsobviousas it oLght b. For
thcsprci6c i$ue of'ftucldid* on causationseeiheseminaldiscu$ion in d Ste Croix(1975:
r. Ih t.rm "unncc$ary wd" is bosoErd frcm Harpr (2006) esp. p. t8 "m 'une$ary
w' cd mcl.asily be denned agair$ jts opposire, a Mr of necesitl A w of necesity h r. CINlk (2or2: 36!-6a) dr*ing on ]eltink (r3e, shich is'Ihu<ydides tr.q note a1e

a M in responr ro .n unprcvoked attacl on on} lerilory or citiaG or thce of a ftiendly l(how (rool: 94-9r) argui,g rhat "uderlving .auser" do not di.tare specifc acrioB ud
county. or a {ar to a nalion! indePndene or wry ofl.rfe: An .qually ut . llotrrlson (2m7: raa-aron thc problm.tic naturofbir.ry modelr of causlion-in both
tul .orcpt in lhis 6* is "imprcbabL wr: tor t{hic} se E. Altlrback dd D Stveruon ( {(r llE l.rminolog), is ewcati! otThucydides, but rhe acrual argument ows nothing to his
"lntroducrion" in Am.rb..kand stvenson (2oo7:2); sa also Lbos (roo7:85-r1r).
78 Our Ancienl Wrs The Problematic Histoiiography of " Unnecessary 'tqars ' I 79

vance as heuristic tools. The use of these tools even when their us oc- cach nation that entered the conflict had its own particular narrative justi-
cludes rather than explicates events suggests something bxsic about the lying its decision. The Austro-Hungarian empiie was attacked by Russia
impact ofwar on human ommunities, which may apPear less interested when it was simply trying to punish Serbia for supporting a terrorist attaclq
in the precisereasons whysomething might be so than theyarein impos- lhe Russians were defending Serbia; the Germans were at war because the
ing meaningupon what they have encountered.In dealing with war Peo- Itussians provoked them by mobilizing against them at the same time they
ple i{ant to believe that their suffering is part of some higher scheme or mobilized against the Austro-Hungarian Empirer the French were at war
greater pattern of existence. l)ecalrse the Germans attacked themt and the British went to war because
lhe Germans attacked Belgium.r
In so far as the ability to assert the justice of one's cause is an essential
War Guilt rspect of any state's mobiiization ofdomestic opinion, the question ofwar
guiltis notan academic exercise but rather an integralpart ofwar makiDg.
Wars needro be sold to its participants, and the 6rst thing that the hislori_ So too post-war assignation ofwar guilt is a feature ofa victort treatment
ography of all wars have in cohmon is that, while the war is going on, the oiits enemy and il1volves specific assenions about the "national character"
explanation is explicitly self-serving and justificatory. It is the need to pre_ ol the defeated state. Implicit in the Roman treaty witi Carthage in 24r
serve an image of righteousness that makes the publication of information wds the assertion that Carthage had been rcsponsible for the outbreak of
contrary to a state's master narrative so verydamaginS-e.g.. in cass other lhe wat which justified the imposition ofreparations as well as the with-
than the ones I am discussing here, the publication of the Pentagon PaPers dralval of Carthaginian forces from Sicilian territories to which Rome's
or lhe revelation that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.ln onlyclaim was by right ofconquest. That right was established in contem-
the case ofancient Rome, the very process ofdeclaringwar war intended to lrorary diplomatic language by the concept of doriktztos ga (spea(won
demonstrate the correctness of Rome's action. The fetial procedure offered hnd), which appears to have been developed under Alexander to justi$,
a literal claim before the gods that Rome had been wronged, and the crucial his disposition of lands seized from the Persian king. In the case of the
phase of negotiations pnor to the actual declaration of$,ar l^,as the rerrt, l'unic War, the imposition of terms on Carthage also \alidated Roman
rePelitio, the "seeking ofthings back;'which de facto imPlied ihat someone claims to have acted in good faith and that the gods had approved Rorne's
else had started the whole business, by taking something that should have rlclions. By implication, the Carthaginians were responsible for the war.
been left a1one. The theory is clearly set out by Cicero when he writes: lhe end ofthe warconfirned that the Roma[ c]aim that it hadbeen forced
"lhose wars are unjust that are undertaken $'ithout cause, for it is not Pos'
4. rbr letial procedure see watson ( r99j: 62-7 r, .otilg thar the irslcr,4k @s developd
sible for a war to be iust unless for the purpose of revenge or driving off hr "tle presrvation ofpeae"rsee.ho Rich (re76) md Cic.xep.3.35 (quoted in the tex0.
enemies . . . no war is just unless there is a Proclamali,on (denwiio), zn- lbr carrhage! feeling that the Romans shoutd be kelt oui of sicily see Diod. 23.2. For larer
nouncement ( irdicrio) and there has been a demand for reparations (rerrm rllbrts to creare a more internonal approach to tle FiBt Punic Wu in the Romd iradition
repelil,o)l' In the case of the First Punic r rar, from the Roman point of rc. Hq c (2or 1: 133-36), for lhe si8oifi..nce of br.aling the'nirty Yem Peac in 43 r s.e
'l hu.. r.33: 2.7. ri
tie Lsue sems lo h.E slemmd froh thr AtheDian rcfDsal lo sel dbnr.'
view' Rome was at war in Siily because the Slracusans and Cirthaginians
lt re als thoc. r.r4o.2 with a summary of the dbare orr tbe arbitation claus. in Horn-
attacked their Mamertine allies, and themsehs. The Carthaginians seem hl,Ner (,e9r 227 23)- For orh.illpaFrime ndBti\ts for rhe @tbEak otthe Firsl world
to have Sone to war because they felt the Romans had no business being in w{( se Mombauer (2oo2: 2i-13); though focuring primdil}, on Cermany as dGt Hcwit$,
Sicily, ivhile the Syracusans fell into war with Rome, $'hich they rapidly ( 1006:re ,6); [or d xploration with . l.$ cermu focu ee w,i]liamsn (2ora); for Beth-
exited, becaue of their hatred for the Mamertines. Th outbreak of the rrxotr Hol\rgl Reichsta8 6peech 6e. abo Moobauer GoR, n.416); for the fulltext of th
(n'rcl,en memorandum to Cre)'see Monbguer(2or3, n.4re);forthe Fren.h lee.tso CIrk
Peloponnesian War depended, from the Spartan point ofview on the de-
(ro,2: 5o3)!(eig{ (1981:167) G.takes. kinder via of Poincdat diplooatic eftns, {hich
termination that Athens $,as in violation of the Thirty Years Peace; from h. vlcss as aiming to arcid a, tha, does Chrk who su8ge6t6 greater culpabiliq on Poin-
Thucydides' point ofview the war stemmed from Athenian refi$al to sur' ('(r(lr prt)i for Ru$ia see Cldk (ro 1r: 48o-88); Kel8er G933: r67); for ihe Aulro-Hunsarlan
rcnder to rvhat we(e perceived as unrcasonable Spartan demands con' l,R,coN Beewawlo (2014: 107-22). Forpress cersolship duringrhew seeFdsnson(19991
nected with its policy toward Megara. Ir the case ofthe First World Won
80 I our Anclent wals
The Problemaii. Historiogralhy of"Unnecssaly waB" 8r

lhe MeSarian decrees could be taken by many Greeks, as indeed it seems

to fightin defense ofthe Mamertineslsas true. The fact that they had gone
lo have been, as one more indication that the Spartans were justified in
to iar for the right reasonsjustified the imposition ofa penalty upon the
declaring war with Athens on the grounds that Athens was hopelessly ag,
CarthaSinians for having forced them into this action. Similarll', having
gressive by nature and that the Athenian democratic constitution helped
mainiained that they were forced into war the victorious allies in \(orld
make it so. Eveo Herodotus, who is inclhed to a positive view ofAthens
War I asse(ed the Propriety oftheir Position in the Versailles Treaty as a
tbr its role in the repulse of Xerxes' invasion of creece in 480/79 BcE, ac-
way also oarustityin8 the imposition of extraordinary war reparations on
knowledSes that most Gleek are tired of hearing how the Athenians
the a.teatei ,ia.. erlicte z3r ofthe Versailles Treaty served not simply as
saved the day, a poin! that was one ofthe ideological underpinnings of the
posh{ar propaganda but also as tlle fourdation for future dalings be
Athenian Empire. He also allows that the vaunted Athenian democratic
tween the lwo sides. It stated that
.onstitution, about which he does have some very positive things to say,
was capable ofmaking stupid decisions.5
The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany ac_
cepts the responsibility ofGermany and her allies for.ausing all the
loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments
National Character
and their nationals have beeD subjected as a consequence oftlle\{'ar
imposed upon them bythe aSgression ofGermanyand her allies'
ln all three cases, stress on national character occludes a narrative where
Gernanyt lotally false appreciations of military capacity played a signilicant role in
while this is not the Place to rhash the extensive history of
clause lvas to cast sub- determining the course of events. In wartime people do not want to con-
response to the \\iar Guilt clause, the etrect ofthat l
l ront the fact that their generals might not be up to the task, and when wars
sequent debates about the rvart origin in terms of rn inherent national

nre o\-er they prefer to believe that theiIleaders did the best theycould do.
flawjustasthe efiecl ofthe peace in 24r BcE was talcn as conlirmingu'hat
liven the (justifiabte) denigration of Britainl military leaders did not take
appears already to have been the Roman notion olinherent Carthaginian l
shape until after Douglas Haig's death in i928, and was unusual in that it
diihonestl.'Ihe issue of integrity' or lack ofsame' conditioned the most
was actively encouraged by a former prime minister and former cabinet
extensive discussion ofthe Sicilian l'ar, even a ceDtury after the eveni, as
sccretary (later to be prime minister). This wes not matched by similar re-
it was carried on in Greek. The fundamental issue was whther Rome'
sponses to equally lackluster leadership on the part ofother leaders in the
e\r,at y point, acted in good faith ifit could be shown that Rome acted
(lccades after the war, with the notable exception of Helmuth von Moltke,
iD bad faith at the begiuning ofits campaign ofMediterranean conquest,
.hiefofthe German general staff, who was blamed for hadng castrated the
then it could be assu;ed that it would ahvays act that wal Polybius' ex_
hrilliant Shtieffen pian of 1905 and then failing to execute his version of it
tensive discussion of the origins of the Second Punic War is intended to
wilh sufncient lan. At the crucial moment he lost his nerve and botched
counteract his Greek audience's understanding of Rome, $'hich came
he first Battle of the Marne. Asid from denying the French credit for stop-
largely through PhiliDus, the PIo-Carthaginian (or anti-Roman) historian

fro-m ,Lgrlgentum, whose discussion ofthe first war's opening included

a fing them, the German critique ofvon Mottke elevates the Scl ieffen ptan
lo a status it in fact nevr had as the blueprint for war since it \aas based on
demonstration of Roman dishonesty as exemplified by their assistance t'o
uDrealizable assumptions about the resources available to the German
the Mamertines, their violatioo ofan earlier treaty, and the seeming inc_
oncinnity btween their a.tions with rspect to Mssene and Rhegium'
r. For th debate iD Polybiu time fe Pol. t.26 with Chdpion (2or3: 152-16). Eor rhe
This inconcinnitl' might have seemed less ifPolybius had been arvare that Mr Dertines and Decils see Plnt. P!ih.24,1-3i yal, 1-t-? - \j, Fo. Hdodotus'impltcil r.o8-
the Mamertines had contributed ten thousand lnen to fight Plrrhus ill nlllonofcriljquesofAthenidself-prese.tauonseeHdt.T.r3gwit!ftuc.r.73.2-74j86.lifor
Ital)', while Dcius was a Roman soldier who plainly violated his instruc',pe.psmorcsubdyBirhr-9j(sh,
tions i{hen he seized control of the city from its inhabitants The question li'B viNs expre$edin nuc ,.6t.4 6.3r. r), With the foundadon.l dii.u$ion in Srsburger
('95rr r-15 = Strabulger (1982), 592-616 (esp. 605 6; 62r ,2)r eserdaly followed in
ofgood faith negotiatio[ also looms large in debates over the cause of lhe
M.hs (1oo1: 33-t2)i Bldsel (1oolre6-17).
Peloponnesian \\'ar In 432l1, theAthenian unrvillingness to negotiateover
82 I our Ancient wars The Problemalic Historiographl of,,Unnecessary Wars 8l
annyand tookno account ofthe development ofRussianpower, akey fac inlhians felt they had dumped thernselves. In this case, holvever,
tor in German thinking as the summer ofr9r4 unfolded.6 'llucydides does make it clear that Corcyrean claims as ro
their o1{,l1 mili-
In the case ofthe Peloponnesian War, llucydides argued that Aihens tary prowess misiead the Athenians. tr\&n war came, the Corcyrcans
could have won the war if it had simply followed ihe plan that Pericles were more notable tur the vigor $,iih which they killed each other than for
adumbrated at its inception: it should simply defend what it had, avoid any material assistance theycould give ihe Athenians.:
risky encounters with the Sparians on lard, and raid their Spartan terri- In the case ofthe First Punic Wat the most obvious Droblem $,as that
tory from the sea. Thucydides' praise for the Periclean sirat8y of sitting homedecidedto,.lrodLceregion.inro\rclywilhoJr havi.rgan!.\ 'rgli^e
tight and winning the war by not losing it is, for instanc, as patently a sumcient battle-fleer (though they had more of one than polybius sug-
flawed as the German beliefthat Erich Ludendortr$,as a brilliant gneral. gests) and the Carthaginians elected to frght the Romans, whose presenie
The Periclean strategy, $,hich he supported, as founded on a false esti- on the island need have had no impact on their own holdings, wtthout hav
mate ofAthenian financial resources, which were plainly proving inade- ing an)thing like a sufficient army to contend $,ith a Roman army on 1and.
quate as Athenian treasury accounts show a steady erosion in th city's Yet the proimate cause ofthe fightingoutside Messanawas a Carthaginian
ability to sustain the struggl, unti1, possibly in the wake of tlle most un- attack on a Roman squadron. At the end of the first year of the !!aE it ap_
Periclan victory at Pylos, tribute collection wls more than doubled as a pears that the army commanded by Appius Claudius had encountered
result ofthe Thoudippos decree. There was an alternative Athenian expla ol1s problems through deficiencies in its supply chain becar:se he
was un_
nation for the outbreak of the $'ar that placed responsibility for its out- 1 epared ror a )ong campaigo and \vrs
hgh. rg rhrorgh rhe s i-ter. Alier
break squarely on Pericles' shoulders, asserting that he had moved th rhe sar Hamrl"dr Barcd. cornmanoer ot Crr\dginidn .or(eq m \icrl\, ev,-
Megarian decrees for his own reasons and this sta ed the war. This story enlly d.;rned rhdr ne. ould ha\ e won rt ilre had been given LIe reces.ary
is parodied in Aristoplranes' Acharnians of qzs and the Peace of42r, sug- rc,our(es lo \upporl hr\ p-a]r ot crrrFng rre $ar lo Ljly.3
gesting it \cas commonplace during theArchidamian \{at andlaterhisto- the major contestants in August of 1914, the only one with nearly
rians did not think it was to b dismissed as readily as Thuc)dides did. s ulicient forces to carry through its own plan
ofcampaign was Germany_
Ephorus ilcluded a form ofit in 1is histor]., combirirg it somewhat awk- but nearly suficient is not the same thing as suficient. Still \.on Moltke
lvardly with the Thucydidean narrative. A Iater historian of the Atllenian rppears to have regarded his army as good enough to win the wat and it
state, Philocllorus, preserved a more detailed version, ircludirg a story of xppea$ he felt war should come sooner mther rhan later because he re
serious peculation on the part ofPhidias.It is this account that Thucydides garded his fears about the growth of RLrssian power as more significant
implicitly rejects by naLing Corinth the moving force in the quarrel be- thar the iac- rlrar hi\ rlar p Jr requ ,ed mo-e men lha r he had. Senaror
tNeen Athens and Sparta. In the Spartan case-as Thucldides makes
7.For Lldendorf see Ferguson (rer9:31j r.r)i Eastinss (2011: 5o7 s) Fo. perides,
abundantly clar through the contrast he offers betlfeen the ineffective
'lJ *e Luc . ,. -rr::,) o-Arhe. dni!.n., poot;m.,e/- 7.. d,o .c-.,o.
speech ofArchidamus, lvho lays the differential between resources avail- l0lvieiS8s aDd Le$is (1938, n.69) dd lhe loans fron tle treNurl otAthena in.IG rr
able to Sparta and Athens quite clearly, and the effective speech of (liscu$ion i! Mei8gs md Le*is (r9SS, n. i, an.l i, gauat see Lervn (1992:
lso_s8)j for tle
Sthenilidas the decision was made on the basis of ao appeal to tradi- nllcr.ative accounl of tle origins of ihe $ar Ai .{r.}. 51,r j pa,6o3-r8j FG|H
70 L ro6:
iional Spa an values. The trouble with Corinth lhat brcught about the l'.od Pp.. a, rL.rJ.oa t. r rorrhDrler ror : .eo, d-d ,dobr _
r ,h,.dlo,.'o- \rc\i,p.i.idd. +tt ..r.8o 6.:so. o.Co.clrd.,orp.{d
meeting at Spata -here war was decided *'as not the fauit ofAthens, in ircni oi their porer
see ftuc. 1.36.3j lor Thucydides, beljel thar skjlt marteredmoE than
'Ihucydided narrative. It simply arose out ofthe long-standing dificulty
rtrNbers see Thuc.1.,r9.1j 99.1i 2.t3.5-84.r a,jrh [Xen.] lrh pol. r.r9_2o! br tle stasis in
Corinth had $'ith Corcyra, and then from Corinthian anger at the way the ( ircyra se Thuc. 3.7:-8 5,
Athenians had bailed the Corcyreans out of the mess into which the Cor- 8. Poiybtu omiLs the Carthagirid action, bft see, nosr jmportantln Djod.
23.2.1, which
rloivls from Philin6, u {rornrg $e importoce, fron ihe Cdttragirim
tdspectile, of
6.Ior Haig's reputation see, e.9.,l-loyd George (1937r rrr',..lelvas devoid ofnrEle.tual ll,o chiD drat the Romals had bcor excluded flom Sicitv
and peBonal gifu tlat make greal @mnand{s: Churchill (r937r r9r,19/ 93),es-
See also
\, tearl (pol.3.16.1 11. The nawl
43 /jzon. s.s, iil rhe signijicdce ofthe
litrLrle relPpea4 in later Roma| tftdirion, sec Djo r I
pe.ially as .ompded with his disc!$ion ol Foch on pp. 16 z-6ai se 6lso snnpso! ( re9,. For liLlor l\onr.n lrndition igihxr 1,{)lyhi0s src Uc.k (2o.5r 22-25)! Btccbn D (2oo,, r13
the historioSrap$ ofthe Schliefen plan see Stachan {zoor:163 30). hr ppiusChdnN'dillcolllcrre.t\'l,rrTZtirIinr .nrltdrcisccpol.r.56.1_ji62,2a
84 | our Ancient wars The problematic Historiography of,,Unnecessary was" | 8,
Charles Humbert's report on July 13, 1914, pointed out that the French ''Jtlhe chain ofrecklessness al1d errcr
$hich brought Europe to catastro-
army was desperately short of needed stocks of modern udforms, weap phe is made up ofa series oflink which crnnot be taken ;part and
ons, and equipment. The Austro Hungarian army was likewise severely one of which must be examined, if it is to be understood how the war
undersupplied with modern artillery, relied on outdated tactical doctrines
from its last (unsuccessful) rvar in 1866, and sought to ignore the vast
problems caused by the inability of its soldiers to communicate with erch
other. The annual budget was simply insufficient to equrp the men l^.ho Inevitable Forces
were theoretically eligible for n1ilitary service each year, The English con-
tribution to the campaign of 1914, the only contribution $,hen war I'as 'lhe assignation of war guilt to one
side only and supporting that assigna-
declared, was a force ofjust over one hundred thousand men for a cam- lion with assertions about a national habit or character serves to breali the
paign involving, quite literally, millions (perhaps no bad thing that the chain that Albertini mentions. It was precisly with an argument of this
British army had nlready evolved a mlth ofheroic retreat).e sort about German "national character" that Fritz Fischer utset the relative
The siiuation in Russja ,!as, if anylhing, worse. The Russian army, consensus ofthe post-Albertini unde$tanding of the warii outbreak
whos mobilization order \(ras the proximate cause ofGerman mobiliza- riot denying that other states played a roie in ihe failures ofcommu
tion, could not provide rifles for the majorityofthe soldiers who were sent nnd simple logic during the July crisis, he claimed that German
to fight and lacked suflicient artillery shells to function ellecti\Ly under Il(lhmdnn Hollweg wrs simply tollowing a consisrent Cerman approach ro
rnodern conditions ofcombal the arnyt inadequacies had recently been J,ireig.1 policy thar began with Bismarclir thar Berhmann ffottwei n;a tne
uncovered as a resuh ofthe Liman von Sanders affair on Februry 2r, r9r4. iuppolt ofthe Germm busines" communiry; and that the unique ir ructure
As far as we can tell on the basis ofsurviving documents,lack of prepared- ,'lrhe Wilhelmine state made ir possibk for l}le miliirry and business
ness did not factor into Russian decision making, even though, by th .lasses to dominate the state and for their interests to drive ;ggressive poli_
tjnre Nicholas II signed the mobilizatior ordr it was clearthat this\could cics without reference to other elemenh of societv.r, .Ihe thiust oftlis ..
result in Geman mobilization. One faclor in German thinking-though l{rur)enr i\ simply that rhewarwould have broken out, with Cermanvas rhe
it is no{,generally held that this was not decisive-was that it would be .r8gressor even if Franz Ferdinand had nor been shot. The problem
better to fight Russia before itcompleied its modernization plan and could lhis argument, aside from assertion that a countefactuai proposition
then bring over$'helming force to bear oD German),. This assumed that would somehow become true, is that cermany did not have act;al;trategic
Russia would also have developed the industrial base to support such a Soals for the end ofthe war until after the war began. The goals that Gir-
}!arby rgrz which does not appear plausible,ern though it was believed. r)uny then established were not relevant to a chain of eve-nts that
In the case ofthe French, knowledge oftheir own weakness does not seem
to have factored in to arry discussion that the French governraent held (hrr n short war w$ unlikely de6pite
tle faci lhat the enrire Cerman ap!.oac! to rm plan-
with the Russians on the verSe ofmobilization.'0 As Luigi Albertini put it, lng was for a slorr wu.
, Albertini (t@r: 2.48, ). Alb.rtini: ".hain of reckte$n6" is not the soq it shoutd
tor von Moltke\ feelings *. als thr slighll), ryisionnl tal in HeEilson (1006: 227-
'. be
9. ior.d as Uoyd cergeS "thr nation' stitheed oE. the bri,k irro rie
boiting autdrcn ofwar
28)i for Aslrian aMrenes ofthei! weakne$ see ['awro (2014; r22 2a)j aor the Humbert w'rhN, ey t,&e of.pprhen(ton or d .-rv" rLtovd ceor8e
lre3jl, ao,aid norhrng ro ex.
Report see Keiger (r983: 12l) Groting Lhat the rcporL seems lot to have had arry impact on ('.lt.are cern sn\ orr i, her ro cdsr
-pe1.onr nor u rtu.onab.), or ciey: condue. ,ee
$liccialy lloyd G.orge (rel3: se), his pesoraljq,ks distincd).one ofthe elemeats thrt
and nrinimizalion oflhe implications of the rcporl se ihe Be(ie menorodum of )uly t6, ('mributed to thc gmr @rdrrophl Uoyd C.orge3
,ud8Dent on crqt .utp.bility "hr
1914, in Monbauer (2o1r, n. 160)i for the inadequacl oalhe 3Ef in ter6s and ldllcd c.ldnourl)iin hisend..rcus to en th. cr6t wa." (!931r e2)_is noi rn die.cord
British interest in narativesolhcroic retieat ser Hastings (20r3:2o1,239), wxh the corhen MehorMduo, for which see Mombaud (2orj, n.
are), rhough for tte
ro.Iorthe neetingoflebruar'I21,1914, see Albertjnl (:oo5; r:i49 5o)! for the issue of (rt|ovesyon thh point ee Laogdon (199r; 1ro_1r.
Russianafiilleryinpalticularsee\\hwro(2or,r]r97-98)jseealsoSt&cheD(,oot:roo7-9)o[ r. Fischer (re7r: 2r8): for rh! dbate se Mombaue. (2oor: rre_6a); Hewir$n (106:
the disconnec! bet$een the recotnnion b,y Senenlstalis (in this cir especiauy the Gcdn.n) r 'ra,,r-ari Langdon Geer: 66-r:e).
86 I our Ancierr wars The Problemtic Historiography ot Um(essary wars" | 87

when the Tsar ordered t}e full mobili?ation of the Russian army and Brit- rny more inherently aggressive than Carthage, nor does he allo\a that
ain responded in ways that neither Moltke or Bethmann Hollweg expected lbme is slf-evidently more aggressive than Philip V or Anriochus III. It
to the invasion of Belgium. If Germany in fact had a plan for a lvar that is, after all, their plot to annex Eglpt that sparks Roman intervention in
would have begun irrespective of the actual chain of events, Germanyb (;rece. He may be wrong about this (confusing, in his own terms, an ex
leaders $'ould also have had a plan for e ing the war and they $'ould have cuse for acause) butitis significant thathe does not see Rome as acting in
had aplan that included the possibility that England uould go to war. The 0n exceptional way given current geopolitical custom, and he sees the Ae-
fact dlat Germany's leaders did not have a plan for dealing with English lolian appeal to Antiochus III as the cause fo! the Syrian War.rl
inteNention is further proof that they did not have a plan for the war that Polybius answered the arglrment that Rome was inherently faithless
begar in August 1914. The question in all these cases is whether the'Aeeper ,\'ith an argument based on "national character," much as Thucydides had
causes" actually help contextualize the details. (lone inhis discussionofthe openingofthe Peioponnesian War, where his
Less profoundly than World War I, but sii11 significandy, the First Pu- lssertion that the truest cause ofthe war was Spartan fear ofAthens with
nicWaraltered the politicalmap ofitstime. Polybius is correct in stressing out allo\\,ing that the argument from national characier r{,hich is deployed
that the Roman decision to cross the straights of Messana ultimately by the Corinthians in the Spartan war debate, might actually be a legiti
change the corJrse of Mediterranean history, but he $,as wrong to stress r)rnte concern. But the Corinthian position had been answered by the
that this \yas the result of some sort of coherent plan which he duly in- lnonrrnous Athenian ambassador who showed that their assertions were
\cnts. The nature ofthe problem Potybius encountred arose from an on- (nfounded, and thatitwasinthe nature ofany great power to be resented
going discussion ofwar Suill based on Philinud narrative of events in 264 l)y lesser powers. So too the argument that a great power would rule where
BcE. After outlining the texls oftreaties between Rome and Carthage that it could in the Melian Dialogue presents the massacre of the Melians as the
he could discover at Rome, Polybius mentions a treaty according to which, nct ofany imperial po\a,er rather than one that stemmed from a particu
Philinus said, the RomaDs agreed to stay out ofSicily and the Carthagin- lnrly Athenian approach to the exercise ofpower.r{
ians away from Ital),. He then states that the'many people'\i,ho rely on In Pol,'bius'case, the reiection of the argument about Roman "national
Philinus' treaty are nisinformed about the legal situation surrounding .hamctei' as a cause for the First Punic War opens the maiD part ofhis
Romei iotervention oD behalfofthe Mamertines, $,hich obviously could history. He had treated the Roman decision making process ar the begin-
not have been j ustified ifRome had agreedihai it had no interests in Sicily. Ding ofhis two-bookpreface to the maid history. In this case whai he tells
Polybius goes on to say that ifa person t'anted to criiicize the Romans for (s isthat the Mamertines, being hard-pressed by rhe Syracusans,who had
receiving peoplelil(e the Malrertines lnto theirrdes and then giving them hcaten thembadly several years before at the battle ofthe Longanus Rivet
aid, that perso[ would be taking a reasonable position- This posiiion was nppealed for support to boththe Romans and the Ca haginians. the Car
reasonable ]1ot because the Rom.ns had no busilless maldng treaties vdth lhagiDians sent a gardson of support to occupy Messana, which appears to
people in Siciiybut simplybecause the Mamertines were appalling. But if hive prevented a direct attack on the city by the Syracusans. When the
that same person believed the Romans had yiolated thefu oaths to the Car- Mamertine ambassadors showed up in Rome, there was a great debate in
thaginians, that would be wrong because these oaths had never in fact the senate as to whether or not they should a.cept the Mamertine dedrrio
been s$'orn. The point that Polybius' enemies are concerned r{ith is plainly ir,fdez, whichwould requirc Rome to come to the aidofthe Mamertines
whether or not the Romans can be trusted at all, and ifit could be shown ll they r|'ere attacked. Polybius says that, on th one hand, the Romans
that they were routinely in the habit of breaking traties that could reason- were dubious about having anlthing to do with the Mamertines because
ably support a view ofRoman character thatiustified Perseus'defiance in lhcy were a faithless crowd of mercenaries, who had seized the city
the 17os. It is also significant, in terms ofmodern discussions of innatd'
r.]. For a$rc$ire Romm 6ndu.t in var p. esp. Pol. r.Jz. For discussion ofRonu con
or'syslemic" causes ofRoman aggression, that Polybius does not portray
du.t in onjuction with that of.ont Dporary st.t r se Eclstei, (2006: 24,(-315); Der@
the Romans as being notably aggressive in diplomatic terms though he ('ez9)on Poubiu' de6ritio, oforc,,,. For Philins'rErty*c Hoy6 (r9s:9 rr).
does offer notable observations on the generally aggressive rature ofRo- r 4, Ihuc. r.7r-78; t.8t- r r7r for th.
S.n.nuztng .ppliation both frcm thc p.6?.tiE of
man generals once wars have started. He does not suggcst that Rome is 0n lmp.rial power ed 0 imdl tlrt , r. Andnl{.. ( 1160); B.s@rth ( reer.
88 our Ancient ware The problernetic Historiogralhl of .Umecessa{, wars,,
| 89

through treacherydriving out or enslaving the previous inhabitants. Since cven planed on having to deal with an appeal from the Mamertines. WheD
the Romans had just punished another group of mercenaries who had lhe Romans accepted the Mamertine dedjrro it did not commit its full
done the same thing at Rhegium toward the end of the Plrrhic wat they lbrce tothe potential struggle because it was already at war in
worried about being seen to be inconsistent. On the other hand, so says Carthaget sudden surrender after the battle of the Aegetes Islands did
Pol),bius, members of the Roman senate were aware that Carthage had rrot sit well with all Carthaginians. Hamilcar Barca mad; it plain that he
subordinated all of Libya, had made great inroads in Spain, and would did not believe he had been beaten. In his view, the government at Car_
soon dominate all ofSicily, becoming troublesome neighbors and threat- thnge had given up too much, and the governmentk failure
of nerve was
ening everypari ofltaly. ln the end, the senate could not brinS itselfto aid lhe direct cause ofth dreadful "Truceless War', Carthage had
to fight with
the appalling Mamertines. The consuls, howevea decided to bring the its Lrnpaid mercenaries after the waris end. (The fact that. while the war
matter before the people, pointing out that theywould derive great benefit with Rome was going on, Hamilcar had promised his mercenaries far
from plunder iftheywent to war in Sicily. fhe people then decided to serd rnore .han Carl hag , oLld deliver was a pornt rnat coJld be satelv ignored
h J po,lwar post-mortem.I Similarly. rhe Cerman mrlh ofrre.\.dt in rhe
From Polybius' point of view, this narrative proved that the Romans l'.r.kl thal Lhe.'vjIdn governmenti failure of\iil hdd ended the war on
had a genuine concern to appearfaithful and consistent, andtheinal pro- unnecessarily harsh terms, occluded the disintegration of the
cess appears to support the model ofthe Roman state he would later set rrmy in the months before the armistice, as well the German general Lu-
forth in Book6, sho\a'ing hora'the three elementsofthe state the monar- d!'ndortrb personal collapse once he realized that the war c;td not be
chical, represented by theconsuls; the adstocratic, represented by the sen- wor on lhe batlle6eld. That the acceptance of the war guih clause in rhe
ate; and the popular represented by the "people" interacted. In this case V(rsailles Treal y, albeir under severe duress, by the posr;ar Cerman
the argument of the consuls based on geopolitical awareness won out be- unmentcould be seen as a betrayal by that sarne government, only heiped
calrse people saw it as being to their advantage to risk a rvar. The explana- \lrcngthen the myth that the civilian government had failed Germany
tion is theoretically consistent with Polybiui views of the way Romans
tho$ht. It just has rninimal connection with what appears to have hap- ...Ior th.drteot-Lhet.nhon lhe ton8anussee Hovo! trees:14 ri).someottheaDp&
pened. A key factor in 264 that Polybius ignores, or ignores the signifi-,{ve.yd.\_sed e Lh.flelienr !rm.
cance ol is that ihe debate in the senate $'ould indeed have been about r'rMyi, colkowsLl, (2006:75 n. r9r_ c the esultofthe us. of.litrerent cateldus; po\,-
whether or nol to accept the dedllio;the popularvote \\,as on a compleiely htus oatrs it plai! that the consul6 of r6ah wele in 06@ when r,\e
Manertine appeat w;s
diferent issue. Tle fact that, as Polybius says at the end ofthe debate, the
,r eroRohe.d.rharL\eexpulionofrheCr-ha8.nkrer,,o.roo(ptd.e"lierrhea.di-
r/, wn. rpEd ,Dot i.r -j. D.od. :r.r6.e pla(r rhe ne8oridrio- o.tne d|id..e
people voted to send one of the consuls to bring aid to the Mamertines (irthig".nd \?.uf dt ireendof the,z&hOtmpkd r.i.D rLeL.e!mn,-ot betw(en
)6a. H.
meaDs that this \.ote was about the assignation ofapr.orirria. The poitlt is I'h.A rhe ,ondunon or rhe athanLc ,J.1, thr! { rhe eno or rhe ,jmer. wtxc} wiU be
made in Diodorus, wlro has Appius Claudius sa,vihat he$'as sentbyRome hlrcn lne Rone(.howed up.\oterhatin denoun(jngrhe
Romli s.:,ancD, r,\e I4n{-
to deal urith the issue ofMessana.'Ihe second issue is one ofchronology, rl,,r..,rhre de Pomr rmy D { Rh.giuD. HieroD Date\ no roe,en. e ro rneu qohron
the Mamertine appeal was accepled Nellafter the consuls took oflice so an
Itrry, only to th. dilgrae ofridin8 Fople who had no faith thtuetvs (Diod. zj.l.a).
lllrun k, m l-he embr$y one, n,nt rh ending or rhc $ege. 6 I erv rfie p,,_ rrn,o.
assiSnment of a province eira ordinem was lnevitable. The third is that
hx lhe relaronship b.Mftn the e.ly6r, of th. Rofr.n (onsutulion in Book 6 ro lhe eelier
one ofthe consuls ofthe year was already at war Fulvius Flaccus would n(hrive*eEBkine(2o3),$$esrion in chmpion (2013: 116); e also
celebrate a triumph over the Volsinii as a result ofhis year in omce. Th
.r(dlot dir@sion in Beck (2ot ! | 2l r-33). For rh. bsic go6lem with po!.biuj na@tiE
fourth is that only two legions were sent, vhich suggests that the Romans .lllr Rlhan dernion r &llrri, (r98o: r7r_9o): Hqos (,9s4),
dd sprd,lly BtLImd,
did not think that acceptance of the Nlamertine dedirio and the assign- {)oo:'6r-77) whose.nJystr,( taBely rp.ated,n rh. rexr (he is t?ss Ere,esred m (hron.
ment of "aid to the Mamertines" as proyircia (at this point the word
a "l('ticalisue Mrlun tl)t yer whi.h 3eft ro m. toobwidre rhe n*d topostutatea ?tir w,thu
lhc ilolenirg distocraq); especi.lly import.nt ue his obefladon
simply meant task assigned to a magistrate) would start a ma)or war.'Ih. ihat th populd vote was
rrl { diflerent hsue than th sen6torl debatcj thar this n pbin &om pol,
1.11.3 with Djod.
evidence thar Polybius ignores shows that Rome had no plans to start 0 r Lr a (p.7j --a,: hb poinr rh.t Rom. wB w6r rnd on ,t. -p.i*r on oi,"nai.g
major war in Sicily when the consuls tool( office in the spring of 264, or 'trrlytrrln8le
90 Our Ancientv s
The pioble]naiic Histonographyof ,,Unnecessary ware,, 9r
the $ar's end. For Thucydides, the SpartaDs did not win the war so much the reception ofearlier war narrativs. For historians seeking to under
as poor leadership at Athens lost it. The record ofAthenian refusal to ne- stand the causes of wars and to draw applicable lessons from tiose narra,
gotiate with Sparta, when the Spartans looked to end the war two,orpos- lives, these are important tendencies. Memories, $/hether or not "accu-
siblythree, times after 4lr lends more legitimacyto Thucydides rie\\, than rate" in an academic sense, shape perceptions and policies. As the
is true in either ofthe other two cases. Athens could have ended the war .entenary of August 1914 passed, difierent participants had different reac-
and lcpt its empire lfit had rot been for poor leadership. Pericles' master lionc: Cermany wa< largely ml.ted on the ground( Lhrt was rro louger
plan may not have beeD a recjpe for success as it was fonnulated, but if rclevanl: the United K ogdom ard France'have beer rather more foflh-
AtheDs had been content to eDd the war aiier 4r1the way it had ended ihe coming, so much so that Germany requested that the United Kingdom
t!'ar in 42r, it $'ould have remained an imperial power This view does lone down what it regard5 as "lriumphalist' commemorations thai would
understate the importance ofthe Persian intervention and presumes that rhmage relations belrveen the two countresi AusLralia. where the experi-
Persia rvould have ended a war that Athens had provoked through its sup- cnce of lhe war. especirlly rhe Gallipoli campai8n, had an importani role
port ofAmorgei revolt, but it is not an altogether unreasonable position. in \haping neliona I ( ons(iousness, is spending lansuy (raising
lnsofar as the "internal dissensions" mentioned at end ofhis summary of lhrt lhe commemordrion r,linked to (he sagging popu lJity ofthe Ausrr.-
the war in Book 2.65 can be taken as a reference to the Thirty as well as li.r1 orime minister).' More ri^rn a centuryatter lhe erd of rhe First puni(
earlier blunders, Thucydides $'ould nothavebeen alone in seeing the final Wdr. the rhemoq ofthe sar wa. shapi g reacLions ro Rome
in the Greek
treaty as being shaped by lraitors rvithin the city (even though there may \\urld. whrle mernory in Rome itrelf sharpened the poinr of prior Car
be some truth to this, the war had still been lost for other reasonr. One ll)JSrnran The srres\ on Carthaginidn aggression in t64 argu
thinS that made all three wars hard to end was the absence of well-defined "ggression.
[bly paralleled rhe de\lopment ofa tradition aboui the start of the S"ec
goals for the maiorcombatants when the .tl,ar began.16 ond Punic War, stressing the Carthaginian perfidy in the attack on
S.rtuntum. The view that Carthage was persisrentlyper6dious conrribuled
lrr th" ,n.,or'. surrounding rhe declaration oF the rhird war The anri-
The Function ofHistory l'criclean tladition that survives to us from Athens does so in writings
lhc mid-fourth and third centuries, in the later case at a time when m;m_
in allthee cases, acciderltal war generated similar sorts ofrationales for rrry of the extreme democracy of the fifth century was pioblematic for
war In all three cases, debates over the origins of the war shlft in time rlrore oligarchic regimes.
from those that are directed inl^ ardly to shore up domestic support for the Case studies in "unneces,sary wars,, allow us not only to see perhaps
war effort to those that explain the combatants' concerns to outsiders. Ll
hhy they startd but equally significanrly how patterns of memory aie
each cas, appeal to broader circumstances has tended to distort ,lhrped. These paEerns of memory are active
elemenls in \haping so(ial
oithe ntrrrative so that these war narratives become, in effect, narmtives (rnlsciou5ness ofpast rccierrl dspiratrons. Although
rhey may beliive thar
lhcv are (ommined ro constrJcting..true" narrrtions ofevenh, histoflan.
16.Ior t{anilcd see Pol,1.9,6-7, lorGernanysee lerguson (1919:311 1a);Momb
(,1''unneces(arl'uars mighl l-Jve rerved their readers
(2oo2:16 37,56). Forpea.e ohsions dnpatchedfrcm Sparh toAthcnsbet$eer 41r and betler ifthev had
see IG|H 323 F. r39 in 411/!o (vitl Diod. 1j.52.2 putlinS it in 4rc19)i FG.H 3ral,44 Ix)lcd to different patterns of conduct than the .limeless causes,l they
neSotietions in 408/7; Pol ]4, r for neEotiations in &6/t with Andws i 199r: a8o, h ve.lended to choose. poverly of)magination, incompetence, and follj
49!) pointing out that^dr,
the mentioned in i,i,. Pol, 14. r may be a doubht of th.t r( cllequally porent forces aad equally eternal.
4rr/ isarguable lhat 2.6t.r! ned nol inplythtsunndernegoriations *.AW
mes dis.usrion in Gome (!9t6: 197-93) tle poirt is not dkcus.d i, Hombloper (
la8-49)i in light of PM,.,,. resr.nd r98rb (lhe so oled "]hrameres Paryrui), il is 17. For comhcmor.rion ofAugNr
that proc$s ol surcnd{ did involre signilicant acts of {hat .ould .hditabl), be called
.lrMetr Cowell (rcr.) (Br.rain
rer4 se. BarEt md thompsn (zora) (Bdt.iD and
Md rrrn(e. t.mited prni<.paLon bv cerm y,: Srlv*mrn
interested negotiation, see Youtje and M*kelbach (1e68)j Henrichs (r963)i Andrewes (r, (n,ra) lUs effodr,:cercgy (ror4t (pr0n<.)r CoppirS r20rJ'Cerman
(still utuable on the oddity oltle pa$age in a hktoriograpllic contero, and loftus
uese,t Sntrhe
(1 r4) lA'trlrJlla,. dre coveratc lhr.d ob.v( r AnSlo.Anerrd,, L FrSaro
ofers a qjde
showjng that rhe text n most likcll Ephorus gjven the contcxt of 1he find. rirrll. I(olerigedrwell
92 | Our Ancient wars The problematic Historiog!.phy of"Umecssary wars"
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SocrateJ Military Senice 97

may speak to modern notions of "war trauma' and "post-traumatic

strcss" among veterans.3
According to Plato, Socrates deployed as an Athenian hoplite on three
campaigns: the efiended siege of Potidaea in norrhe.n Greece, the Athe,
rrian attack on nearby Delium in Boeotia a few years later, and on the ex-
pedition north to defend the Athenian colony Amphipolis. These cam-
Socrates' Military Service paigns included chaotic retreats and humiliating disasters for the
,{thenians, yet Plato stresses that Socrates at war was 'h sight worth see-
S. S@ra Mo oson |tg" (Symposium zzoega). Xenophon only briefly mentions the fact rhat
Socrates served on military campaigns5 but portrays him engaging in sus-
lrined conversations about training, tactics, and strategy, as well as the
virtue ofcourage and qualitis ofa good commander that take for granted
considerable nrst-hand experience as a soldier6 Aristophaned Clords
(loes not explicitly refer to Socrates in battle or on campaign outside the
Platot a.col1l1t ofsocrates' ,nilltary service during the long years of the
Peloponnesian War remains unfaniliar despite the fact thai viYid ac_ city but, I will argue, his send-up ofthe philosopher Dakes more sense in
collnts of it appear in the dialogues as eyewitness reports of fe1low llSht ofhis notorietyfor certain combat experiences of the sort descdbed
diers or as the subject ofhis own recoilections.' In this essay I examine hy Plato. In particutar, I will propose that Socrates' conspicuous conduct
Plato's depiction of his service, focusing on Socrates' uncommon capacity l(ring retreats at Potidaea and Delium informs the comic portrait ofso-
for 'endurance,"2 and consider how far Xenophon and Aristophanes ad' .ratic intellectualism and "tongue warfare' (Clordr 4r9)? that we find in
dress similar themes. I take uP these issues to initiate attention to the O/olds as well as helps explain the scope of the verb "to do like Socrates"
possibility that the richly ps)'chologicai character ofSocratic philosoPhy lhat Adstophanes coins in Birds.s

r. I am cotrcernedwitlrhe lfterary tre.tnlenisof So-ates Bur this le.tule of hjs

is lvell establishcd on the histori(.| Soclates' military seni. see Calder 1961, So.rates and the Siege ofPotidaea,
1q71, ?lanaux teee, Nails 2oo2: 264-65, H.n$n 2oo3:213-17, Andersn 2oot, Graham
roro, rzT 53,and Mon6on 2or4. 'lhe Athenian actior against the rebellious
2oo3, Hughes tribute paying ally potidaea is
2. EnduraN. (xoprepio) is Fgularly identified as a milita.y vntue lhroughout Geek llt" nnlong the conflicts that initiate the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian
@turc and its cognat6 rcutinely siSnal th. duration md intensity of a militarv
li)rces sailed to reach tle site on the isthmus ofChalcidice. Their 6$t en
(e.g, Herodolus 1.7.4, r.11.1, 6.1o1.18, 12.2). lt aho in circuDstdces lhat
emotioial.s $rllas physical demands For exdnPle, in hucldides Nicias stdns to
g gemeDtwas a fierce battle during which one ofthe four Athenian gener
age the dejected Atheniu troops in siclly abour ro face a neady hoPelss batUs "stmd
now ifeva" (Kdprsprtome 7.6a) drd in SoPhodes' Plilo..ekJ Achillet son :.reoPtolemus I, On the u$ of e.iefi sour@s to dtscuss nonons otvd rlauma among v.iems see Shay
Philo.terus, a disabledvarriorlong a8o abandonedblhis unil ro live Nlone on a smau
r0r4,1995,.nd 2oo2, King2oo1, Trirl. rooa,Crowley2ol2 od 2014, Meirect< md (oDstd
ro 1n, I!,Iirect 2oo9 md in this votum, Lod.wycl dd Monoon 2016, Shermd 2@5, D@r-
nhdher he will no\r rerDm ro rhc h-ith him or "ndlrc h4e (mPi.P.iy 12t3)-
it is appli.d b.yotrd stndy nrnial circumsl.nB (metaPhodcally or nol) the slrts is on
rlc$rr ht9://M.ouLideihNirelc,com/poicctrtheder of-w /ov.rviehl
*ithslodint of a Fychotosnd and contrclling its physi@l omife$ations. a. 66ov aiooooor toxpdq - Cf. Rcpublic a2s," 145.,6tx_
*mpl., P.ricles ets par.ntr in his fuenl odtion to "crdut" nd go on t. M.dotubilia t.2-6!, +1.L
sa-vs to a vecPing Crito jusi
6, 8,8., Menatubilid \.6.s-to, 2_L_t-6i 2,6.27i ,.t,1 5.28, 6,1o, 1o,9- 1r, r 2.4.
harc hoe dlildren (r.aa) and in Platoh P,raddo Socrates
takingtle hemloc]! "Collectyouselfl" (koPcPilB 11/e). In xeno?hon, Plato, Ar,stode, 7 4 trldrn ro).opl(ox a re. AI lranslatioDs of Clords ee ftom Herdrson r9e8.
t, dol(pai{o al Slrdr 1i82.
hter rlinkes st llnd endurance applied to resistance ro the intensq' and Pesiste all(rc
pteasres and lsuries (e.g., Plato Garyids 5o7b, Re?tblX 556c, Aristotle N{ rr 5 oa1o, e. Thh s.count is draM frorn Plaro\ ApoLag, 2Be, Chdnirtq rt3r-., t56d and slmpasirh

r27ob).'Dis is a comonpla@ meoing in l.t.r Grek md Ron.n wileE,BPedallv rrre-:lrd,.onrertualiz.d dd rutmenlcJ by mateiiat dr.wn from Thucydides r_16-52,
98 | ourAncienr wars
Socrates' MiIitaI,Serice | 99
als on site, Callias, perishes. The Potidaeans retreated behind their city
during the siege and stood outside in the same spot, lost in thought,
r.nlls and the Athenians laid siege for three years. lrom this information for a
lull twenty-four hours straight. After a few hours, his comracles
we can infer that Socrates was deployed, possibly without leal, for a pro- Jame out
ro watch him rand mock him,. even taking rheir bedding
tracted lengih oftime,ro andthat he parricipatedin both hoplite battle and oureide to 8et d
dood yiew ol the epecrrcle. But rhe mol. .trikjng behavior Atcibradei re
the backbreaking work ofbuilding fortifications for a siege.l1 ports is clearly his aciions in battle, specifically
i-n the midst ofa hordble
Alcibiades' speech in Plato's S;!,mposrrr? hjghljghrs Socrates' acrions at Arheniar) retreal. From Thucydrdes i!e know thar thar
Potidaea. The setting ofthat speech is the end ofa djnner party ar whjch lhere wa, d fierce
hoplile enSrgement at Potidaea duflng which the Arhenian
the guests have each already delivered discourses in praiseofEros. Alcibi- Ines broke
rnd mary fled. In Plato's Symposium, Nciblrdes reports thri
ades bursts in on the gathering, possibly drunk, and offers a speech in he was him-
self seriously wounded and movingly tells the
praise not ofthe god, Eros, but ofhis would-be lover, Socrates. He is inter- story of how Socrates res-
cued him from the chaotrc baIlefield. managing toextri(ate
ested to describe Socrates' singularity-espe.ially his resistxnce to con- him ,r/ hi\
rrmor. "Socrares single-handedly ,aved my life,; he exclaim\ (onrin-
1ntional expressions of erotic desire-but goes offon tangents detailing and
ue(, He iusr refused to leave me oehind t2zoe). yet, Alcib:ade.
soes on
his experierce as Socrates' comrade and "mess-mate" mostly to enlarge to report, while this happened in full viewofmal1y
the account ofevidence ofSocrates' uncoml1loD capacity for "endurance' others, the coro'mand-
crs deliberately ignored Socrates,act ofvalor
ofthe allure ofpleasures. Alcibiades reminds his audience that, years ear- and instead gave a decora-
lion to him, the one rescued, evefl over his owr objectioni. In so
liea he deployed to Potidaea with Socrates. At the time, Socrates was a doing,
lhe.commanders betrayed that their foremosi concem
ivas to curry fdvo!
man in his middie thirties and Alcibiades x'as a young rnan on what was with those who shared Alcibiades' social status, not fairly to
likelyhis first campaign. Alcibiades was also, of course, a ward ofPericles recognize
l)aldefield acts ofvalor. Alcibirdes also says rhat Socrates jid
and Athens' most famously beautiful young man. Socrates $'as already a 'lhe impli(ation nol pr;tesr.
seems to be thal rhe commanders rnd rroop" did not
'celebrity"'r of sorts for his philosophical examinations, uncoNntional
mind insuiting him and that Socrares was indiferent
behaviot lLntraditional view ofa good life, and peculiar manners. But to to the sli;ht.
Alcibiades does not address the particularly grisly aspects
have been the preferred comrade in arms ofsuch a high profileyoung man oithe potid_
ncan campaign that Plato's readers would have likely
he must also have been well-trained, physically strong, and thought byhis known about. For
cxample, from Thr.rcydides we learn that an outbreak ofplague
fellows to be fullycapable ofperforming as a hoplite, struck the
,{thenia[ troops duiing ihe siege and that the beleaguered
Remembering the expedition to Potidaea, Alcibiades recalls that rhe iotidaeans be-
came so despelate for food that they resorted to
Athenian forces sufeled yery serious deprivations (theywere cui offfrom cannibalism. Thucvdides
!\,rites that it was only after word ofthis unneryjng
their supplies and had an acute lack of food) and prolonged periods of repulsion circulated
.rnrong fie Athenian troops and they began reflectirigon
severe discomfort. He makes a particularly big deal about $,ays in which rheirown barely
.rJequate rarions that rhey finalty agreed ro terms
Socrates was conspicuously admirable but nevertheless not lauded by fel-
PIato sets the Clarmides the morning after Socrates.retuln
low troops. First he mentions Socrates' endurance of the intense cold home from
lhc lhree year long Potidaean campajgn. There is no accounL
weather procLaiming that'wearing nothing but this same old light.loak' of his re-
runion \,tth his wife and son< or a<se\sment of the
stare ol hr\ hoLsehold
and "inbare feet he mrdebetter progress on the ice than the othersoldiers ltlier a.long absence. This may not be as striking as it first
did in their boots" (z:ob).'3 Alcibiades goes on to tell of a time when seems since it is
possible thar his marriage came later in his lfJ.ra
Socrates got flbsorbed thinking about a problenr while inthencampment
But still there is no ac,
count of his inierest in the state ofpublic discourse about
the possibility
(or nol, ofpeace wiih rhe
ro. See Pleeaux r999 on the (ry dramaric leatues of Piato's texrs are consistenr Hirh tha
Spdflrrq or rhe Iikely course ot lhe war. Insreaj,
ll)c accounr ofhis homecoming focuses on
po$ibitfty tnat So.n(e6 6erved sithout Lay for . prctracred period, possibly s long d thr.a Socrates.recolleclionq oi his
lrr\l moment back rt the palaeslru where rhe yourh
talher dnd his desire
rL On the demands of sie$ f,arfar [u aI eldier on <ampaign se Kem 1999: 89- loonce again take uphis philosophical examinations. Without
r 9r, any sign of
12- Graiionelal. 20ro:39r.
13. All tnnslarions of Phlo ftom Cooper 1997.
roo or Ancient \lhre
Socrates' Military Service I lor
Socrates and the BatdeofDelium'5
hesitation, Socrates says 6t the opening of th Chatmides,'After stch a
long absence I sought out my accustomed haunts $'ith sPecial pleasure"
(r53-a). He specificany denies feeling ill at ease in any way-even though he
t)elium \,\,as the 6rst full-scale andcertainlythe bloodiest hoplite battle of
lhe entire Peloponnesian War In this campaign of early autumn of 424,
reports lhai only a short time ago on Lhe journey home rhe Athenians
fought battles in which some of hjs Personal friends perished
(presumably the Athenians aggressively sought a stronghold in the heart of hostile
years) The boys Iloeotia, just a dayt march from central Athens, by fortifying the sanctu_
felliw soldiers with $'hom he had served for the last three
ry of Apollo at Delium. FouI details beyond the simple fact of the hu-
are excited to see him and are fulIofquestions aboutth camPaign h fact,
the image of a calm Socrates iust home from war contrasts with the unre-
miliating Athenian defeat stand out in Thucydides' report. First, a sort of
"friendly fire" episode contributed to the carnage and notoriety of this
strainedenthusiasm of the bo)s, especially Socrates' young friend Charo-
battle. In the midst ofa hoplite battle in which the Athenians had Sained a
phon.r5 At first, socmtes answeIs Chaerophons questions with 1'ery short,
lcmporary upper hand, "some of the Athenians fell into confusion in sur-
minimally informative lines The ton and conteni of SocGtes' responses
rounding the enemy and mistook and so killed each other" (4.96.3).17 Sec-
are a bit itrange gi,,en his self-described good mood and suggest Platob
ond, Thucydids indjcates that the Athenian retreat at Delium was initj-
honest attentjoD to the settirg ofa warrior's return:
ted byerrors byan Athenian commander and clever moves by a Boeotia[
(ommander, not simply by Boeotian superior strength. Athenian forcs
cHAERopnoN: How did you survive thebattle?
were far larger but were routed atrd the troops fled in a wildly chaotic
socRATEs: Exactly as you see me,
lirshion. Specifically, 'Ihucydides tells us that a smart tactical move on the
cuernoraott: The way we heard it here the fighting was very hea\T
and many of our friends were killed. l]ari of the Theban general Pagondas 'struck panic into the victorious
rving of the Athenians . . . [and that] the whole Athenian army took to
socRATEs: The report is accurate.
Ilight" (4,96.6), some to the ships and some over land. The third stdldng
cHAERopHoN: Were you actually in the battle?
(lctail concerning Delium reported by Thucydides is that Athenian corpses
socRArEs: I rvas there. Gtlb-c)
rcmained on the battleground for seventeen days. Because Athenians had
vidated the sanctuary ofApollo by making it into a gardson and some
ChaerophoD urSes Socrates to sit and give a full account ofth battle a
Socrrtei quicklyadjusts to more extensive talkjnS. Socrates recalls that
|rd retreated into that space and therefore now still remained in Boeotian
t.rritory, the victors refused to allow the Athenians to collect their dead
took a seat, went on "to relate the news in answer to whatever
unlil they abandoned the fortified temple. In effect, they held Athenian
anyone asked, and they asked plenty of different oned'(153d) Plato depi
hodies hostage. The stalemate ended only after the Boeotians used a nerd
him slipping nearly effortlessly back into his usual philosophical inver
with the promising young men of the ciry " wrapon on the Athenians in the offending garrison. This nw wenPon is
thc fourth special horror associated with Delium by Thucydides. In par'
they had had enough ofthese thingsi he continues, "l' in my turn,
I lcular the Thebans used a "flame blowing contraptiori'ts that allowed the
to question them with respectio allails at hone, about the Present staie
phiiosophy and about the young men, whether there *'ere any who h cncmyto set thewoodenwalls ofthe garrison on fire from a relaiively safe
(llstance, incinerating some, driving out the rest, and strihng terror into
;ecom;di;tinguished for wisdom or beauty or both" (r53d) Answering
ll. After ihis, the Boeotians let the Athenians recover their dead, includ'
the questions ;bout the ,ecent battle, about injured and dead friends, a
about conditions on the long deploymert likely took up some time'
hg the decomposing corpses from the earlier engagement. Thucydides
PlAtot construction of th e openingot the Chanrlides hiShlights the
raforts that, at the end ofthe day, at Delium "not quite five hundredBoeo-
and ease with which Socrates returned to his Philosophic labors' 16.Ihis a.@unt is dra$ l@m PLro\ Apologt ,8., La&es lSLb nd $tnposiu4 2,1 ..,
(orrlcxtu.ltzed ard augmeited bI lhurydids a.89-10r, a.1o8 and 5.14.1.
ionsl.tiols fem Thucydid.s .n frcm str.$l.r 1996.
r 7.

18, Mayo oo9: 2r9, .lso Crolby rool: 39, Ihoq/didq explaits the t.chnology al

1t. He is described as tloutoc at rr3b3,

ro2 Our Arcient Wars Soqates' Vilit ry Sepice I rol

tians fell in the battle, and flearly one thousand Athenians, including Hip- \!l)elher Iearning to 6ghr in armor d. a hoplite is somerhrnS tl-ey (hould
pocrates the genelal" (4.1o1.1-z). Delium had been a 'tevere blow" rcrct Lheir children. Is ir a raluable parr oieducatior? Oneiuggesrs rhey
(4.ro8.5). ,r\k \ocrrres. For a time rhe) rocu, on Socrate{ 6ines\ a. a pdrr[er
in dis-
The Athenians' lactical errcrs, humiliations, and sufFe ng, all experi- course on such matters. Lysimachus &,orries whether the plibsopher
enced er,lremely close to home, made this campaign infamous. Hanso[ boys always praise knows an)thing ofsuch matters. But when he
describes Dehum as the "only pitched battle of the Peloponnesian War lhat the philosopher the boys admire is ,ftat Socrates, the son of Sophro-
fought in close proximity to Athensl' Passages from Plato's APologr', niscus who se ed at Delium, he reconsiders. Laches recalls that
Loches, a d Synposium place Socrates squarely in the middle ofth con_ rLlrons during the lethal and generally disgraceful Athenian retreal
fused retreat in which, as Hanson stresses, Atheniansin error speared and (jlcmplary and rhat rn lhis respe(t So(rales enjoys i 6ne
hacked arvay at members oftheir own forces of which dozens "must have
been impaled by their own brothers, fathers, friendsl're Alcibiades' praise He accompanied me in the retreat 6om Delium and I assure vou
of Socrates rn the S/rrposirrr Iauds the memorable \{ay Socrates at De- that ifthe rest had chosen ro be like him, our citywornd be holjing
lium was "looking out for friendly and enenytroops" (221b) and up her head and would not then have had such a terrible fa . (rsrbl
one incident in particular Alcibiades rcports being on horseback
during the battle and ofhaving had a clear view of a striking act of As the dialogue progresses, Laches calls special attention to Socrates,
by Socrates. He says he witnessed Socrates' steadfast refusal to 1e |lrry of'tndurance" and, when the discussion turns to inquiry into mili_
Laches' side during the retreat. Laches was a former general and t.I y vir tues. he insists on dehning courage as a son of tndurrnce
of the
ofa truce with Sparta the following year. Alcibiades sa)ts that Sooates n,ul (rq:b).
'remarkably more collected thar Laches;'continuing as folows:

Even from a great distance it obvious that this was averybrave

$,as Socrates and the Expedition to Amphipolis?o
man, Nho would put up a terrinc light if anyone approached him.
This is what saved both of them. Fot as a rule! you try to put as Irr l'lato's Apolog4 Socrates places himself on the caDpaign to retake
much distance as you can between yourselfand such men in battle; I'hipolis as well as on those to potidaea anil Delium, bui nowhere in the
you go after th others, those rvho run away helter-skelter (zzrb-c) lllllogues does Plato present ,ny details of his condoct on this expedi-
tk,rrrr I rom Thucydides we know rnat Amphipolis was an Arhenian
Alcibiades dramatically stresses Socrates' oddity by calling attention to rrrry rn Thrace rhat wenr over to Spana after beinS besieged by torces under
way this behavior, so seemingly unusual and courageous, actually ll'(' (ommrnd ofthe Sparran general Brasidas. The Spartans rook Amphi-
him of Socrates' usual conduct around the city. He turns to the |(,lis soon after the debacle at Delium. Unsteady from the defeat atbe-
Aristophanes, another guest at the banquet that is the dramatic setting llurrr and lo<\ ofArnphipoti.. as welt as aiarmed by rhe ,uc(ess ofrhe
the S,lmposi x, and says that SocrateJ behavior during the retreat of lilos lbrces undet Bmsidas in Thrace, the Atheuians negotiateal a one-year
Iium reminded him of the way Aristophanes years earlier had lnrcc. Laches, the general Socrates saved at Deliufi, proposed its ratiica
socrates maldng his way around town lvith a "swaggei' (221b, ll(nr at Athens. When that tflrce expired in
422 Cleon prevailed upon the
citing Clords 362). Socrates strikes Alcibiades as \,\,ondrous for his b Athcnians to dispatch forces north uncler hjs command to retake Amphi
field courage and for the way he remains himselfwhile at wat even lrillls.'tte expedition failed and both Cleon and Brasidas perished there.
in the midst ofbattle. 'lhls h also the campaign in which Thucydides (the histor;n)
served as a
Lachei owfl account ofthe event appears in Platot dialogue named
!''lhisi..ounr.cliesoDptito!/tlroiog,rsconlexruatirf,da iuBmenred by,Ihucydjdes
him, lacles. In it, Laches, Nicias, Lysimachus, and others talk { ror rrnnd r.6.r r6.,.
,, \r .hJ/oE/ ,ic \o.r. c\ thrs rhc rhroq !trn,t..nsn! nur iftn{on,Jt o,dpr On \hund
r9- Hansn 2@lr ,oo, rr3 hn\ rhh nnBhtjndr(,rrcth( nntnnr.ur.,,t t,.lunr In ArtnrLrnnIr Dr)\cr.rderr96.
Io4 Our Ancient Wa6
So(ates Military Swice I ro5
general. He lvas in command of ships charged with bringing reinforce- gcsts that Socrates' capacity for endurance rivals that
ofOdvsseus. Alcibi,
ments to the Athenians on campaign at Amphipolis, but he failed to get .rdes lauds .ome ofsocrates panicular acrs b) rdenirrFng
r'hem with.\he
his forces there in time to make a difference. Tried and judged incompe- , \ploirs.our srrong-hearied hero (xoprr po( dvnp) d;rej to do,, (2roc2J.
tent by the Athenians, he was sentenced to a tiventy-lear exile as punish- Ar(rDrrOes [ne erhoes reterences to Odyrseus as ka eros anet
at Odyssqr
ment (5.26.5). The reference in the Apologl to Socrated part in the expedi 242 and 27r. In doing so, he links Socmres at poridaea
ro rhe sufieri;8;f
tion to Amphipolis could suggest service under the cornmand of either lhe Achaeans, especially to Odysseui endumnce at Troy recounted
Cleon or Thucydides. l'elemachus rn Odyssey a
This Repr&li. passage on .ensoring epic also clelicately invites
a com-
f.,rison ofSo.rdre< ro A(hrlles. Immediarely lolloMrg th reference to the
Plato Compares Socrates at Wa! to Odysseus,
'.ii.Jbiliry ol Todei. of endurJnce for a guardran! edu-arion. Socrates
A(hjlles, Palamedes and Aiax ro\es ro con\ider Homeri accounl ofA.hille, a']ger and how rt
might he
l.ined down .o make the stor\ iDclude a bit more e'raurance
aud rh;s be a
PIatot account of Socrates' condlrc t iD war never mentions anypraisewor- hllirg par. oi rhe guardian's nroral rrarnirB. plato al,o t rjft. a compari)on
thy acts of killing or indeed aDy particularly belligereni behavior ,,1 Socrdre, and Arhrlhs n the
I A?olog.-- rn rhat speech, Socrare. appeal,
aDy enemy at all. Nor does PIato ljnger on any specifically grisly or heart- i,' rlre erample ofAc]-jlles when he addres\es uhar he rake. ro
be a iom-
rending things he might have vdtnessed, suffere4 or done. Instea4 obJecrron ro his devorioD lo philosophy_it i( J shamefuiacriv-
account of Socmtes' military service stickr to detailing the phi rrl rhar plrces one at grdve perso dl ;isk (i.e., it shrmefullv leaves hini
display of how his ph)sicaland psychological endurance serld him rrlnerable to prosecution and eilher undble or unrvilling ro defend oneself
his compatriots well in the face ofdeprivations, insults, and hr.ouro. Socrates imagines being asked, nrent you asiamed to
have en-
especially during shamefu] retreats. Across the sources, Platob [il$d in the sort of occupation thar has now put you at risk ofdearh?,,
consistcndy stresses Socrates' demonstration of "endurance' and treats {/8hr. Pe responds io rhe imagined query b) invokjng rhe praiseworth)
as observable evidence ofa hard'won healthy state ofsoul, nnd its r\,,rrple ot A(hilles. hhose decision to avenge rne dearh ot parroclu"
to others eclipsd in importance only by his conduct at trial, in prison, klllinS Hector is made in full awareness ofthe fact that
his owo death is
in facing death. lrlcd swiftly to follow that of Hector Socrats mock his audience. ..Do
Some indication ofthe importance Plato assigns to Socrated yrrr rcrlly.uppo.e cchrlles gave a rhoL8hr
to ddnger o.deaLh..when he ser
'tndurancd' to the exclusion of other features of soldiedng-especially ,rrr lo kill He(ror r28d,? ln effecl, r. rrrogr..l) p,oposes
thar he. like
ing and the mental anguish that often attends irDer moml conflict lr lllller ri resolure-in the face of impendin; deaLh. eur llaro! pre.enu-
i,1the context ofthe censorship ofpoetry in Repr&lica. At one point in lk,rr ofSocrates' self,jmportance has not rea;hed the height ofexpresslon
discussjoD, Socrares qucsilons thc vdlLrc ofstoies ofthe pitiablebehavior ltrsl yct. Plato also sets up his reader to see a dramatic wav in whjch
Homeric heroes and argues that the education of the guardiaos must \\r',rtc\ merges from the comparison not A(hiues. equal bul
as his
only modified versions of their stories. Then he contiflues: rlr|(flor"?' Socrates obeyed hrs commanders ar poridaea. Dehum,
lr't'hipoti\, bore insults hghrlv, srood hrr ground. and never abandoned
But ii on the other hand, there are words or deeds of famous men, lrlt sr.rlron { rd{'(, 28d) or fellow soldiers. Norv, at rridl, he w,ll similartv
who are exlibiting eodurance ((op-rEpio) in the face of everlthingl rl,rr(l wrlh phrlosophy-an o(cupatron he finds p.eferable ro war_and,
surely they must be seen or heard. Ggra) hh X.\ltlv wdy. aid his ciry On plaros accounr ofso(rare< l.r( endurance
ltlc\ n('l come u,rdone or er a long period o.time. dnd in rhe lace ofpains
In light of the fact that Alcibiades' account of Socrates' singularity in irxl grive dangers as well as exposure to events that could elicit ange'r and
to's S),mposi?rm stresses above all his ulcommon 'tndurancel' it s
Jr ( lllvcrcaltzoogiid Irobbs looo r78o ptiro,.!.omparison ot So.rares lo Ach les.
that Plato's olvn story of Socrates .rt war is designed to pass nlusler
the monitors ofguardian education. In particular, Alcibiades' speech
106 Our Ancient Wars Socntes Military Service ro7

grief. Alcibiades' arecdoie about Socrates being passed over for a deseNed ',.led .i_etrue .tare o. rnind ot olner,. de,ighted in ex?o(.ng the dcrtlal
prize for valor after saving him at Potidaea stresses precisery this ponrr l:c k olrelevanr e:r.penr.e ofa,onndenl durh;rr). ara peri,nJ a. a .e,ut.
Socrares lightly bears a 1,1o1ation ofrrhats right thai couid disturb (if not of an erroneous assessment of his public import motivated by personal
uperd) another. In this al., Socraies is the antithesis ofAchilles. 'fte lat animosity and political disagreement. flere is even someevidence to sug
ter'.sexplosiv $,rathis ofcourse ihe ceniral theme ofthell;dd, manifestin, gest that Plato might have modeled his defense of Socrates in the Apolog,,
among many other things, his shlftlrg attitrlds tolvard his fellow Greeks, ai Gorylas' Diense of Palamedes_1a
bitter arguments with connnanders, andthe grief induced acts ofdeprav- Apologl also invites us to compare rhe sullering ofsocrates and Aia-..,
ity (ablrse of Flector's corpse). lhe_formidable Homeric warrior and subjecr of Sophoclean tragedy.
Platot ApoloSl also inutes hearrs to compare Socrates to Palamedes lroth cufer per.o'rrl<lrShts hhrle on cdmpaign rAJrx rail( ro B,'1 \ihrj
and Aja-\. Near the close olthe speech and $ll after he has reported the l . (hield at Iro). (ocrate, i( pa,,eo ove, ror d de5erred de.oration ar
verdict and sentence. Socrates insists that death is an unkaown and there- l)otidaea). Both have close associats lvho try to dissuade them from
fore possibly a blessing. He imagines himselFin Hades; it $,ould be r,onder rrccepting death (compare the pleadings of Aia_!'s wife Tecmessa and
tu], he says, io spen.l tnne with Palamedes and Ajlx comparing our experi- Socratej friend Crito), both diebytheir own hands (Aja_xburies a sword
ences ofunjust conyjction (41b). Both ln)1lic heroes suffered lrjustices at in his own chest, Socrates lifts the cup ofhemlock ro his lips), and both
the hands offellow warriors uhile on campaign. (icaths are set in motion by uqust judgmenrs issued
by recognized au-
Pnlarnedes rvas the leader ofthe contingent fro Nauplia in the Greek thorities (Ajaxt commanders st up an unfair contest for A;hiiles,ar
forces at Troy.ra Three attributes of this m).tlic figure are relelaDt. [irst, rDor precipitating his instability, the Athenians indict and convicr
Palamedes $ient to see Odysseus in lthaca to deliver Agamemnon! orders Socrates). But, in the nd, Platot attention to Socrates, unwavering er_
to join the expedilion to Troy. On that occasion Odl.sseus feigncd mad- rlLrrance makes their dissimilarities stand out_ Socrates remains
ness in an effort to avoid going, bul Palamedes cleverly exposed his ruse, ir,,l on y in ba.rJe bur atiernard, in hi. ca(e in the.rrr and rnoqr drr-
thus ensuring he x,ould sene.r5 Specificalll, Palalredes placed Odysseus' nrdtically under the stress oftrial. E\.en if we allowthat (ocrates' defense
soD Telemechus in thc path ofhis fathert plo$,, causing Odysseus to act \l.cech hd\ a feeble dtrempt to ,e.ure rlal and r rar ne <eereo -o
"D dcqu
quicklvto sar-e the boyand in so doing revedhis deceit- Second, itappears lr {PnlI.owndeajh Lhe picrLreo.nis acremain. thal ot d red\oned
that in sorne lost tragedles Palamedes $,as depictcd "all\,aF shorvirg up "end-of life choice"r, designed to produce a stirring specracle, not
Agamemnon as a totally ridiculous general" byexposing hls poor skills as lct brought on by shame and despair.
Aja_r, or the other Lrand, becomes
a Lactjciar and strategist.r6 Third, on campaign at TroyPalanedes publicl/ increasingly unsteady psychologicalty as he wrestles with the \.iolations
disagreed with Od,vsseus and advised the Greeks to go home. Aggravated oi whatt right that hehas suffered (regarding the armor) and commined
and i,engeful, Odysseus rnaneur.ered to undermine Palamedes' credibility (rcgarding his homicidal attack on r.hat he believed to be his
$,ith the troops by conspiring to hnve hnn wrongfully accuse d of the1l and, .(nnpatriots the Goddess substituted sheep) and sinks into suicidal de_
on the corrupt orders of the commander Agamemnon, unjustly killed, r'l)rir. Aia-! is a great wardor rrho eidures a lot but whose endunnce
'Ihere is a lot in these briefdeiails to suggest that Socrates might have fan- 'irrrles undone."ro Sophocles marks the tutning point. Sword in hand,
cied himself very much 1iLc Palamedes, the one hero in the set of co - Ind contemplating sr.ricide ir full view ofhis wife, Aja-r lamenrs, ,.I user]
parisors that does not appear in Homer.'z: Socraies might say that he, too, lo hnv tremendous endurance" (65or').

2.r. Palanedes is les lvell k.oNn to us, largell }e.ause he does Dor appear much nr our
extrnt sources, including Homel Bodr Xenophon ald Plato reler ro his slory !s a lrequont
subjecr oi tragedr. Mr dr"blo 1.2 rr, Re?,rli. j2z.., coryias Delense al Palanedes. 18, Coulter 1964, Wallace 2o13.
2i Atollodofts lrDitone 5.3. 1r.l borrow the term lrcm ,Cohpe6ion dnd Choic$.'d ad6, dry gro-p onc looq s
26. llata Republi c s 22c. " lhc Hemloclsocifry" m itr lxptictr nodto rle exmpk of Socrares.
z/. Xenoplon! ApoloSy also depick So(ates dratring r.ompMison ofhnnsellto Prhn).
t 1, dld ydp '6< rd 6et! aMprlpoui rd.r..
ro8 Our Ancient WaIs So(ates' Military Senice ro9

xenophon Treats Socrates as a Model ofMartial Endurance on deplo)ment outside the city and to be a hardy resident of the city dur
ing wartime stresses. For exafip\e, in Memarabilia he depicts Socrates
in ih midst ol'the tlxnulLuous politics ihai followed the close ofihe Pelo- rhetodcally asking, "Wlich *'ill find soldiering the easier task, the one
ponnesian \\h Xenophon chose to leave Athens tojoin a nr ercen Ary force who cannot exist without expnsive food or the one satisnedwith what he
ofGreeks recruited by a rival for lhe Persiar throne. Xenophor rvas still can get? Which when besieged .r\,i11 surrender lirst, the one who $,ants
),oung at the tnne, only in his tu,enties, and reports that before goirg he what is very hard to come by or the on who can make shift with whatver
asked Socrates Nhat he thought of the idea. He tel1s a brief story abotlt is at lund?" (r.6.935). In his Apol4y Xenophon recalls how Socrates held
ho$i Socrates adl.ised him to consult the Delphic Oracle, chastised lim up under one dramatic siege in padicular the siege of Athens by rhe
because he asked only about ho$,to ensure srccss and not wlletller he Spartans in the last year of the Peloponnesian War. He portrays Socmtes
should go at all, but thcn encouraged hirr to,ollow through on his deci- rcminding his heare$ that, "While oihers were feeling sorry for them
slon, r,hich ofcourse he did (rising to take conrmard ofihe fbrces wheD sches, I carded on in no greater destitution than wheD the citys prosper
they faced increasnrg\' deqeratc .orditions and to become the inspira- ilywas at iis height" (r.18).
tlolial Ieader oi tl)e len thousand crcdited with resclrlng the arrny).rr Xe
nophon! \,arious \\,(, ks tend to militarl afairs at lenglh but thc various
accounts of Socrati exemplaritr tal 1itt1c note of the specifics of hls Aristophanes' Clords and rhe Batle of Delium
militar,v exptoits. I have fourd only ore explicit rcference b Socratcs' mil
itar,v servjce il1 Xerophons workt. He srys SocI.ltes displayed scrLLpulous Xerophon and Plato both l(new Socmtes but wrcte their accounts ofhim
obetlielce to the laws reg ding.onxnon rl']airs $'her in the cili- or with liier his
death. Aristophanes' send-up ofsocntes in Clords, in contrast,
the.rrmy on crl1nlaigr (Mcn.4.4.r. Xenophon docs not name thc was pmduced at an Athenian dramatic festival in the midst of the pelo-
crmpaign(, on r,1ich hc scrvcd Dor does he go on to supply a vivid pic- ponnesian Wat t\,renty-three years before Socrates, trial, for an audience
LLLre of Socrrts' part ln the 'icparate realm'I of lh battlcfield. Earlv in lhat very likly included Socrates.In that comedy, Arisrophanes delivers a
the r1{r,ro,?&rI, he does seen !o rec.rll Socrates atPolidaenw-hen he $'on hlistering satire of new sophistic intellectual fashions at Athens that fo-
ders horv anyone could vieN Socrales rs a colrupter of lhe youth l'hen hc c$es on a character called "Socrates" who is both like and unlike the oor
$,as in fact in strict crDtrol ofhis own Fassions and most able to endurc l r ts of him that come down to us in the other
authors. Scholars iave
cold, hcat, and toil (xoprrpLxdraros r.:.rr1). But there are ro elTorts in .xplained this discrepancy by viewing Aristophanes, character as an amal-
xenophon to recall Socrates sianding by Alcibiades at Potidaea or Lachcs gnm, a "compound figurs' meant ro rpiir the genus being skewered so
r! Delium. hsleod, we lllrd passngcs thatuse Socrates' conduct as asoldiet lhilt the poei can exploit the subject's broadest comic potential.r6 But why
as one more piece ofevidence ofthe practicalvalue ofthe moral virtues
(lid Aristophanes choose Socrates for that role in Clords?
cultivated at all tirnesi his self conLrol and sclf sullicieno becomc mani Commentators usually assume that Aristophanes musi have found
fest in his capacity to withstand rvith ease ihe hardships and depdvati lhni over the years Socrates'ragged appearance, ascetic conduct, pro-
Lrsual in $,ar. In particular, he describes $'ays in r{hich his frugaljty- l(ssioD of highly unconventional \.iews, and irritating habit of q;es-
beha\.ior that manysneered at-prpared him to endure harsh condi r5. Transldtions ofxeDopho! are lroD HendesoD zo1r,
, oflttlnrg
wa). to dplai, the mia of borh corriruiries and discontnruit,es ttat qisr amonp

13. I bodorv thisfron lallos 2or4: 7 5, ,(.'c-o.'.or.u,.de.4ppedr,r'.econd .hodo. 1.e. in./o,d, -Lto.rnd X"nop oi:
lrL sD1, Dov*r 'hlthough rle diference berwee! Socrates and rhe Soptrists was
r4. Henderson (zo1rr r9n7) obser\rcs a.olnection between the reference to endumnco krolvn to
cold in thh p!$age lrom rtlrnor.Lilia, Plato's sl,d?os,rn 219e, and rhe Battle olPotidror. A, hrophaDes . . . he simp\- did nor *e it, and if ir lud been Dojnted our to trnn he x,onld foi
L,q' re8dJed ' r. :mpoFdrt , robs. lri And Ko. rd co-r $.! Llordr reDrernr. hp
stess Xenophont llteresi in how tld .ase illusthtes his endur@ce nore broadllr'. See
ur of Kdpcpio i! &nopho! ,,Dolo8, 25 CHoa could r coiit Pl rhe youn8 by r.,,, lLelle-.1.t rcverrn ..J.Nc.k n.( hvrr!.,1r..p,e.oc-J.ic.djd ..,,1 ,* rho,ch
( k,0ks rt thc tnne sould hxr
them to fortitude dd!v?") and S],nlorir, 8 8 (Socratcs praises Antislhenes fd Ml $00ri lit Ltc or no d lntuce berweor rtreni (2ol I s6_s,. S;e
nirnrg those who show strcnEthxnd lo.LiL!de"). (le)lls{ssioinrl-l0ndoson rgar, j\,1r(l)(r.ll !esl11 1:r,rndndDUDds2oo6
rro I Or Ardent wars Socrates' Military SeNice rrr

tioning everyone made him notorious enough to anchor a play about Sround and protecting Laches during the chaotic rebeat at Delium, it is
intellectuals designed for a popular audience. And that seems plausible. possible to imagine that this quirky intellectual Socrates was a particularly
It is reasonable to surmise that in 42413 Socrates was "a conspicuous visible citizen-soldier in Athens that year. Dovet considers this possibility
individual and the subject ofsome striking anecdotes, something more lnd suggests that this visibility might have made Socrats \,,ulnerable to
than a name."r7 But this view does not account for the topicality of l)ersonal attacks. Dover notes not only that Socrates "must have been talked
Socrates that,vear, a point the poel stresses when he defends his p1ay. [bout after his remarkab]e behavior at Potidaea as a man ofextraordinary
Clouds failed to gair top hooors rvhen first perforned at the City Dio loughness'but also that "his bearing on the retreat ftom Delion is likely to
nysia iD 423 and Aristophanes reyised the play, addirrg a parabasis ad" have spread his reputation further but not necessarily for his own good;
dressing its disappoiDting reception (518 62, the text we ha\.e is the re- human nature being what it is, our reaction to those who look much braver
vision). That speech not only berates his audience for its poorjudgment lhan we feel in a headlong retrear is not always generous admirationl'{,
but also disparages other comic poets for focusing on figures whose Ifthis is the case, allusions to the Banle of Delium should appear in
plrblic reputations have already become sullied. He likens his orvn bold (;/ords. The play opens with Strepsiades obser\.ing a strong enemy pres-
choice of target in Clords to his fearless decision to go after Cleon the olce very nearby and its disruptive efFect on his household. In particular,
previous year in his victorious pla), (,1rgrrs. That decision rvas fearless ln the frrst scene of Clorlds we find Strepsiades complaining about not be,
because Aristophanes conlposed KrErrs soon after an event that cata- lng able to disciplide his slaves for fear they wiil desertro the enemy(6-7).
pulted Cleon into a positioD ofpopularity and leadership-the ullllkely lhe pronmity ofa large force maybe an allusion to Delium. Other passing
and spectacular AtheDian victory at Prlos under his command. He im' (lctails in the play are more straightforwardly tied specifically to Delium.
plies that taking on Socrates iD 423 rvas just as great a challenge and |or example, there are references to Cleonymus and Hippocrates, tvro
deserved similar acolades.33 There is additional reason to suppose n amed individuals Thucydides ties to disgraceful acrs ar Delium. Strepsia,

Socrates must have been conspicuous at that time for more than dcs says that the presence of "Cleonymus the shield thrower" causes the
tamiliar oddities. A norv lost comed1,, Ampeipsias' Konnus, pto (louds in the sky to morph into the image of a frightened deer (353,
for the samedramaiic competition as Clords, also foc used on S ocrates. 'lhucydides
4.96). He and Socrates refer to Cleon),rnus again as an exam-
As Konstan has noted, "lt is fnir to assume that somer&l,igabout Socra l)lc of cowardice $,hen they develop the silly grammar lesson about the
had caught the AtheDiani atiention in or shofily belore 423 for him lcnder ofnouns (693).In addition, Worse Argument invokes theexample
be the subject of a spoof in two comedies that year.'' But Konstan of Hippocrates, the incompetent commanding ofrcer slain at Delium
mains puzzled by i{hat that somthing might have been. He allo*'s (rooo roo2, Thucydides 4.89-ror.In addition, the chorus refers to Cleon
"very possibly there is an allusion to such an event in Crorls" yet co hl a u,ay that assurnes a post-Delium mood at Athens. The Cloud Chorus
cludes, "ifso, it is opaque to us."{o r.bukes spectators for being taken in by Cleon. They say they thundered
Could that something have been Socratei conduct at the Battle of lo try to warn the city of his "bad policy-making" and promotion of
lium in 424 just months belbre the production ol Clords? Since it "$cnseless" expeditions, and yet the city elected him general an)'way in-
loqht in such close proximiry to Athens, the grisly disaster at rlcod of convicting him of bribery and theft (t75 95). These comftents
'inust have quickty takeD oD m),thic proportions and been recounted llx$ume Cleon had been lauded but is now out offavor even ifstill in office
stantly throughout Atheus."lr Accordingly, if we take seriously Plato's $ u general, That was indeed the case in the months aller the disaster at
count of Socratesr fielce and yet somewhat bizarre stance holding l)cliurn.4r Cleon was elected one ofthe ten generals around February 424
bul, in the wake ofthe Athenian defeat at Delium and facing th Spartan
8c neral Brasidas' successll eforts to foment revolt among Athenian allies
38. ln th. pmbsis of WairJ he olls Clrrdr nis besl phy .rd rbses s?eclators for

19, Ameipsias Fi 9, Diogenes lanjus 2,28. Dorer 1968rll. 41. W. ntght add that, a.cordtng to thc p.labasis ln Clordr dis.used .boE, bernS our of
40, Konstan 20 I r: 90, oy emphasis, lrvor 6t lh. momelt would m.k CLon unrult l. for a rally frne @mic poeti attentron ar
4r, Hdson 2oo3;2oo,
rr2 OurAn.lentWar Socrates' Military Serice I rl
in'llrace, ilcluding Amplipolis, public opinion at Athens swiftly turned rna) be vi.ib.e ir tne wd),he.ari(ature ot so(raric
against Cleont aggressive war policies; hc was not reelected to the board
d"nrns :I b)'l:keniig it ro s.r. (o(rate, .ea(nmgr reaoy
soDh\tr. ledrning
ore lo tre,rr o,he;
ofgenerals and the Atherians took up regotiaiirg the terrns ofa tempo .il:ren5 a. jfrhey \ere enemr co.roaran.. over whom
one,ee[s d crJlhinp
rary truce with the ln the spring of423, $'ith CloLds and -Ko, ucton. Socrare.,ay.l-e $iU pldn an aa"ck and s erpecred
(a79 8a)i Worse Argument also provokes
. -,ry a;;;:
,r s on the program of the City Diorysln, the Athenians \oted to reject Betrer Argume,.rt utunaon ii.
Cleont advice and ratilied the terns of a one year truce proposed by vic( flee rno r\e lhinlery in Ue .rMrer oi ioplire
,aud rn , rerrear
Laches, the general by$'hose side Socrates stood firm at Delium.L5 / rroJ ''). The caricahxe al,o robs so.
c,rd h:( rrk or dny ahactunent to lhe
In addition to indications of the Battle of Deliun in geDeral, CTords' honomble fbarues of a good soldier For example, rh" n^i ,i_. *"
.* friri"
compound portrait ta1s note ofSocraics' reputation for lbrtitude oi de crtrerge lrom so,mre< Ft;nke.vrhey re.emble
rne r1o, piLrabte hvi.r;cd'.;-
ployment and in combat, traits lilked to his martlal prowess inXenophon .,lrier ol hcr. Cleor,."pr:\e,. rhe qpdfldn priconer-
trom pl tor re.ijing rr
and Plato. Wher the Cloud Chorus $'arns Strepsiades of the many per' Ailen. rr8r).'' llis L d dig ar 50(rates ..miliar racon.c at1ecr rlorg
h"a r
sonal qualities one must possess in order to beDefit fiom insuuction at urrwa\l ed,,a'rd dry a\.ociation it might have witr
c.",-, t" rl.rrr,", p,;;;,..
Socratei'Ilinkery and cxcel at 'longue warfarel' their iist includes "en- difti. uir endirrg play atco mike, ,ome ren,e \heu
uewed m lhi,
durance abides in)'oursoul" as well as anabilityto be "not too annoyed by lig,r,. [rejmdge ol tdther-bed.mgand lhe riueal ot mother
oedting (e gel al
the cold or ioo keenon h avii g b|eal(fast" (412-19). Ihe idea of"endurance I'c eid o' plr) edsi,y.igrral r}e urer mora corruprion o Socrirrc
r ii,,k.
in the sou1" appears in Laches' sunr n] ary o F So.rntei ertraordinar y endur ;' pu/zhrg. perhnp, e imaSe ol Sr :eprs,ade, .:dc e nJy and
i.)8. B,ul,rhe fire
ance at Delium in Plalo'.,r .I-ar&es. Alcibia.les' accollnt ofSocrates at Potid- \'ngerull).elLi.1gfrrelorl-eft;ol.ery.ugger.ban,e6elder,.e.seror
aea highlighlshis exceptioral tolerance ofseyere cold. And lightly bearirg ll,0l lhe Arhe.l;dn,ufered a. Deium, The hre.r r_he
th,n|ery rrghr ever
htLl1ger resonates Nith Xenophons account of SocrateJ capacily to copc hrve resonatedwirhAthenianmemories
of the frighttulburnidof tie Athe-
Nith mnger rations M,hen under siege and oD campaign.{6 nian garrison at the end of the Battle of Deiium.
One reason t; indulg rhis
Ifwe allow Lhat the disaster at Delfun is an iDporlant context for the t)ossibjlity is the similariry beheeen ihe characterization of the Thinkerfs un _
interprelation of Cloudi that Aristophanes rlas alert to SocraLes' reputn- lr,dir iona .o.-nologi.dl tedchrDg -t he.lry r,.r
rr' rrd {e dre lhe hor corl, -Jnd Thrcydidei
bdrr.qr" t.d,hr,,;;;:;;,
tion as a soldier and that the philosopherl conduct at Delium is ai leasl a.coJn, o. rhe.pnrral roie or
part of the "sonething" that made hirn topical in 42.1/3,'1r the ridicule ol' r,l Lorj( ir rhe ope%non or tle lleDrn iar ethro\er
u.eo dgainn .i^e gar-
hlellectuals jr Clordi is probably not as disengaged f|onr Aristophancs' risor at Delium.5' But even without this identidcation,
the fiery-ending shiws
.oncen M,ith Athenian "nilitarism'as is usualh supposed.!3 Aristophnncs lrs the culrnination of a steady increase
in the magnitude of rh violence
may be mockjng ne$, intellectual fashions and Athelian mjljtarism in Slrcpsiades is rvilling and abl !o undertake
ro ad;*
hi" i"ter."t", ;r;"-
randetn, possibly everl suggesthg that the new intellectual movements aru . ,lh noh tlra ni..intere.t, dmo!,nt on\ lo a ae5ire
to e\acr revenge dnd hp
clueless about rvar despite appearances. ' ,rr I'Jd a mrddled e"?erjelce r-h 50, rare\ and hrq hoo,. q.r
rlll.p.a\. 5lrep':ade) raunlc a c rokjrg \ocrdre\
- the c.o,e ot
dnd hr. puprJ. rr Lhe Th.n l-en
4,1 Detajled .1 ftucydides 4.rr3 iir l,ken:n8 hi( own brazen r.roler. rcr ro \ocrrrrc j,"L.,i..
45. fiuqdides 4.4 119, The follo$'ing )an Arnbphanes depicts the sme ]-aches es a p,p,t,".'.
51\ p.r"de, h irh rhe torcn in .lre proce,,
rarget of Cleonir revenge in i{ts?i. Cleon did gain lnolhei comnand-rhe eapedltion o.,eni'1g the ,ooi ablaze and asL.
Anphipolis, wh{e he p*hhed.
\vlct are \oL doing?" lo he -e,oord,: Imnilr.,ng*o-d.withrhe
a6. qmposiufl 1.ob, Menorabilid 1.6 9,xer. A?.log/ r.18,lac&61e2b.
47. Aopeipsias'Fr9 also referenc* ro a chrader's ?rferene forathincloakodbare
Dd .apaciq' for "endurance" ((oplepfto(). 49. Also Dorer 1968;2:8.
a8. Konstan (,o11) on old comed),dd militarism in cla$ical Atbens dos nor d to Spadn solokb @re caprred ov ALhpnre: tojLe! undu rhe "omhdo otc j
llrrhte'umnsota)s eon
Clords. fte Aihenius aita.Innelt to 1{ar and rhe .o(upt chdacter of public delibentl and impnronedaArhens,ue Lhen. tru.,drde.4.rs_4-.
atout war and peace proccupies Ari$ophan* in plxys prodlced in the s{o years
rr rrn'I, h lhe pliy,-Dey
atev before md the tlvo yeas imediateLy foUowing Ciordr li.e., Acharnkfls MA Knqfi. rorch rh. rcofby Nn hrnd. ond not by ree( of rhe kind ot
tI4sps ud Pade, as well as, of.ouBe, in larer plays lile t/s6rrard). Iri r,(hrou* thrt nu.ydrd.0 dcscrlb.r In htr rccou l oi Dehrn
n4 Our Ancient Wars
SocraieY Militaq, Service rr,
Iaturs ofyour house' (495).52 And the play closes with an image ofSocrares
wreDchins 5i8h15 of sufferine. insulrs
enactiog a complete relersal ofhis rotable behavior at Delium: he flees pur- l^"::l:1':lr,
(ommanders, and:,*:.-mbar.
publi( ridicule soon atter relurning home from
sued by a stone-throhing Strepsiades. a disas
lrous.barrle that nas a humiliating
Dover ltonders if proximity to the Battle of Delium explains why defear for lhe ciryiut al which he Der-
sonarry managed to have behaved
C/o,ds placed last in the dramatic competition at the festival.It maybe, honorably _bur also powerfuj experi
ft U:: under rrim and f rigr,t"rirg.i.,rn"i;l."..
he notes, that the Athenians appreciated Socrates' bravery at Delium and :I::^:1"",fi,
I rave argued rhat ihi. :.rdiers
lens reveals netlected
that "the spring of 423 was just the wrong iime to attack Socratesl's3 I laye.iofsig;6canL comrl"*-
rw,ln rnse works. Each of t-hese authors
think the immediate response to Cloriis' send-up of Socrates may have mobilizer knowledge ol Sociarei
mllrary serv,ce d5 a citiTen to fashion him
been even rnore visceral. No matter hou, much they enjoyed lambasting into a singular;con 01 Dhilo-
ro jdenrify a practicrt effe(r of piitosophy
Socrates as an idle chatterer5! and poking fun at his pretense to tough, ::ll:.Il,ry,"r9 ro be rhe
ness on display in his adoption oflong hair and not barhing his "super- ::-,:l:li"l
rocraresat :lpny.,.,t
psychorosic al "end L,rance." Does
war.resonate witi contempomry concerns
ih is pi.r u,. of
ficial laconism"ss that appears as a verb, "to do like Socratesi in Aris, about the psycho-
ropcrl ettects of combat experience? Does
tophanes Bilds (1280) the parody in Clo ds might just have crossed a it provide resources for us to
llodrejs the inner mom, conflicts rhat good
line in 423 that had less to do with the satire ofintellectual fashions and soldiers experience?5" Can the
rcr orc oJ socrate) be brought
inro modern di.cus,ioniofwar trauma rnar
rnore to do with stil1 fresh memory of the sutreriDg at Deiium. This
o*'" fisures in Greek rrasedy. Horneric poerry.
might be what unnerved Arlstophanes about the poor reception ofhis lllliY"l}],,i,+.
\rorc Dnllosophyi lhe5e "n
play at the festival- In the parabasis of Wasps, Arjstophanes identifres deserve sJ)tained consideraiio[.si
himself, the poet, as a'bulwark against evil" (1043) and berares specta-
tors for not re.ognizing that Clo,/ds was "the best comic poetry ever
heard," fullof"brand nerv ideas that you made fruitless byyour failure to A ndeDon. Mark. ,oot. -So. El6 a. Hoplite.. ,4 4. r.,l p,r,Io ,aph\ 2, 2n_A9.
understand them clearly" (ro44-47). His picture ofSocrates, composite ,,,",J.1,l:j::-i::l in \ omed;' rn so. ror",j raoo tcn\ s.n
)".* e H\ D.aLh
"/ ,w^Narasmanu,S,r
or not, neverth1ess stuck. Plato's Apologl states that the unflattering edned
r5 DelDhi.
portrait iD Clords had a irenendous impact ol1 the l{ay Arhenians \'l',111' "'".
l:-lj:- ,:. 'r",,": "re'rrempfi po]is ap 28e..'prro,4qs6,2,.8r s5
viewed Socrates for years. ID Apologl Socrates jdenti6es Aristophanes as :.::l:r caapt?te wa ,
i ourer, l:i,
,ames A " -pkla
rno,_,pori,. rN,
Reiation otth,{,a/a4
an early accuser and speDds the first portion of that speech addressing
e,r,-.a" -a i,i,r.: i.,,i,";il;1,:fi*'1.:fi;fl[
"charges" that Cloads leveled against him longbefore Meletus and others Phtlol ! 6A: t69_3o3.
6led a formal indictment, iniriating a trial (r8a 2oc). (iosby, 2oo2. mtueing Fne: pmjectite Tkhnolog/
.W. threugh Hktor/. (jmbndE :
cambridSe University pres.
(lowley, hson.,rcr, Ih; pv.holog) aJ h. Ath?naa HopLie: Ttle Crhu,e ol(ahbdt
t td, Ake c ambt:d8e. Carnbddge UniLe riry p,e\.
Concluding Remarl(s ,. rJwrey.

' t5!on.2014..Beyo 1d .he Un iveraj Soidre, :

Conbdt Trauma in Ctasi(a cn
rAnitf_-tn Conbat Truuna a d the Ancient
I have reviewed the attention paid to Socrates' military service in Aristo- Gftek, edjted by p"* t;;J ;;
Daud](ostan, (hdprer s. NeB.york: patgrav.
phanes, Xenophon,and Plato and shown thatover thecourse of the tr.enty-
rrov.r, K. t. r968. Adrroplrd$. C/ordr
Ma.m l.n.
Oxford: Ctarendon press.
seven years ofthe Peloponnesian War ard its aftermath, the rorct. K_ t..t97 2 AtBtopho"ic Coz?dv. Berketey:
Uni\r6rry of Cairfornir p,es.
endured extended deployments far from the city, hardships and rdmunds,Loeett 2006 "what wA Socrals
Catedr Aasiroteuortuty qq t.
l'.rllow! lmes rora .w1ly Do tne Bestsotdi",rin sorzt:
/i.. Iamrary/rebruey.
*o..o f*p fo.ingi" n",.ifrr'
t2. Tra.s Henderso! 1993. 6ro-\errotroloatLdr loiq 6orci( riq olktaq. Cf. Meineck 2ooo
mndatioDr I aD engaged nr subd ar8ument with )'our housel'
bridge: Harvard Unil,e6itv prer.

r6.l bortuw som. l0nSuogc fiom Sh.rmon ro,o.

rz, Cotrra Shny r99413,!r rool rr,l
116 Otr Ancienl Wa6 Socrater Mllitary Seflice lrrT
Grahd, Daniel.2oo8. "Socrates on Smos:'Clrssical Qraterr s8: ro8 13. t .: PpBrirho,.... D.aa4,-
Hanson, \r D. roo3. R0ples o/Aarrls. New York Dolbledal ltd"T,",",oot
Th? lautual lor An.knt Peljarna .e
4r): t 5.
Hende6on, letrrel 1992. nrntuphanes Clands TtdnslaftA Nith Intoductiofl ofld ,onathu. ,oo,. Atuerkd: Conbat barno afld the Ttjak af H.n
Odl,sse us ih .n
Nclvbu6?orr, MA: Cla$ical t_ibra.)i r,8 NF^ vor. oe .
Hendereon, lefl'|e)r ed. 1998. Aristopha es D. Clouds, .dl!s, Pedd Canbidgel s rernED, NaDcL 2oo,. Sroi. rr.a fiat: \he An bnt phitasophr- Behind the Mijitary Ltin(1.
CLasical libraly iD Ha$ard UniveNjtl Pre$. O!,6rd O/rord L q+.
HeDdeBon, Ie$rqr 2orr. Xenaphan IU Menarabilia, aeca onicrs, S/nposlrn, shermd, Nanq,.2o1o. A Crack i n rhe Stojct Aioort, Ne w york Titu6. M^! 1.
o8_y. Cambridger Loeb CLasical Librat, Harvdd Univesuy Pres. \r a . er R B. cd pan. Ihe la"dt or thu.ytiid,.. New \or... I re p,$,
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-c o
.d qr-
Moral Injury, Damage, and Repair
Na.rlcl Shrrmal

Soldiers sustain ma.ny injuries at rlar-not only physical and psychologi-

cal injuries but also moral inju-ries. When soldiers feel betrayed by com
rnand or by an ill-planned or under-resourced mission, and as a conse
<luence feelthat they have fallen short oftheir own reasonable standards
ofgood soldiering, the moral anguish can be incapacitating. I argue that
rnoral injuries such as these often require a special kind of moral treat
rnent: self empathy.
To begin, I recount two tales ofmoral injury-one recent, involving a
US Armycommander deployed in Iraq, and another ancient, dramatized
in Sophocles' Ala.,r and develop a prcliminary sketch ofself-empathy. I
rrgue that these moral injuies desery philosophical attention in that
lhey essentially involve re.alcitront emotions. Soldiers are often racked
llith guilt, despite the fact that they are not uhimately responsible for the
wrongs perpetratd; that guilt can sometimes eclipse shame, itself often
pegged to over-idealized standards of agency and control.I shall then ar-
gue that self-empathy, which is not to be confusedwith self-forgiveness, is
u niquely situated to combat these recalcitrant feelings ofguilt and shame.

I conclude $'ith a ]esson frorn Seneca on how the moral progressor, and
nol the sage, moves forward morally and emotionally while still having
some accss to the hurts ofthe past.

'Ihe Wounds of Shame

Anny Maior Jeffrey Hall dcpkrycrl lo Irrq twice, commanding irfintry

lnd artillcry units (at thc tlnrc, [l lhd r0nk {,fc pt in) ncar Baghdnd and
r22 | ouAncient Wa6 yonl lnjujy, Damase, and Repair I 12]

lal1ujal.' He signed up for the Army at sevenreen, and at forty, despite mostwasthe return ofthebodies for a prompt burial, Hall set to work, but
havitg implemented versions of COIN (counterinsurgency operations) in his efforh were sl,mied at every turn. His battalioD was partnered with
those lasi deployments-servilg as Da)'or ofa local advisory courcil of lhe Coalition Provisional Agency (CpA), paul Bremer,s American occupa-
elders, painting schools and layjng sewers, outfiiting scores of children lion administration ser up to govern Iraq after the fall of Baghdad, and
$'ith shoes (who never having norn them before had no clue that shoes, or incompetence, by many accounts, ran deep.2 Hoping to cut tfuough lhe
theirfeet, had a right and a left), and risking life to bring food and medical hureaucracy, Hall drove to the morgue himself and located the bodies. But
care to families in need he still thinks what he should do in armed con- lhe CPA wouldnl rclease them withor.rt oficial paperwork authorized and
flict, and $hat he is good ai and trained to do as a soldier is engage and si6ned bv lhe Iraqr Minr,try ofHealth. So began the tor o!er a month
destroy an er, emy. ll,r the bodies.
And yet that as not what his war in Iraq $,as about. ODce Baghdad felt In tbe meantime, Hallt commandercalled to inform him that the CpA
in zoo3, he found himselfdeep in softer and more cultural meihods of had issued solace money for the family. With cautious excitement, Hall
rvarfare, often inadequately supported, and unclear of the cause or mis- drove to battalion headquarters to pick up the money; 6nally, hea have
sion. He often felt betrayed by his command, and as a resuh he, in turo, something positive to show the uncle and daughter He was speechless
was forced to betray those who counted on him. Stateside, he was diag- when heopenedthe envelope and counred the bills, lt rvas apiddlinS $75o.
nosed with severe, near suicidal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), lle let his commander know how he felt "Sir theylost a father a mother,
and with the support of his \a,ife and his commander at home sought ueat- nnd a son. And a car that is probably as important to them as the other
ment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center As he puts it, "You have to lossesl'He handed the moneybackto the commanderin disgust: go
understand. My PTSD had everything to do i{irh moraliniury. Ir was not pay them with thisl" lihe commandet cocooned for much olthe war i-n-
from killing, or seeing bodies severed, or blown up. Ir was from betrayal, side Saddamt former palace in the Green Zone, was unmoved. Hall had
from moral betrayall' tln unequivocal order to deliver the money.
One incident stands out.In hisfirst deployment in 2oo3, a civilianfam- And so he did. In sllence, he handed the uncle the envelope and
ily drMng home fro church in Bagdad's Mansour district crossed a u,atched as he counted rhe bills, and then flung them ro the gro;nd. .,I
don and go1 cauSht in the crossfire of a US attack on a high,value rarger. deserve whatever rhis man does;' Hall recalls thinkiDg. .,tfhe siaps me in
Halli unitdjdn't carryout the attack, but he l\'as near the scene at the time. nry face, I will take it. I will jus! take if, But the unclejust stood up, turned
The mother and son were evacuated from the car, though theydied shortly his backto Hall, and walked out ofthe room, the moneystillsEe;n on the
thereafter The father was instantly killed, his body parrs strewn over the lloor. Wilh the young girl's eyes glued on him, Hall put on his helmet,
road. Hall and a buddy gathered up rhe fragmenrs and rolled them up in a snapped his chinstrap, and left the house, covered in shame.
rug, which they thn loadedonto an ambulance. "ltl\,as collateral damage But the ordeal, and ihe shame, wouldnt end. The bodies were fnallv
that happens and that is probably j uslified in warl' Hall says philosophi- rcturned to the family, unembalmecland rotted beyond recognition by th!
cally. "The car jusl turred a co er at the wrong place at the wrong time] scorching desert heat. The family had one last request ofHall. Theyneeded
Bu! in his Drnrd \!hat folloNed was not at all justified ot unavoidable, and death certificates to finalize the budal_ Andso Hallreturned to the Minis-
it is that aftermath that unravels him. try ofHealth and was given the certificates. On each was stamped in bold
Shortly aftr the accident, Hall 8ot orders from his battalion headquar- rcd letters: "ENEIVIY' 'Can t you give me something that does;l have .en-
ters to lind the surviving family members andbegin to make amends. He cmy' stamped on it?" Hall beseeched. No," the oftcial curtly replied.
found the home and a1-oungdaughter and eldrlyuncle, who had stepped "'lhey are enemies, They are considercd enemles.,
in as guardiaD. Over chai the family made it clear that what they wanted Hail's storyverges on the comedic, but the comedy barely lightens the

r.I inlervicwcd ,.fi tlal 6nr in mb.r 2oro tud s*.al rims l.ter th,t ye* and
!. Foi an xc.llenr account. Ec Chondrrkkaran (1006)_
r24 OurAncjentWars Moral lnjlrJy, Damige, and Repair r,t
profolmd oral injury he sutrered.r Disarmed of much of his usual arse- Put this way, self-empathy can be construed as a kind of positive reac-
nal as a 1{arrior, more than ever he needed to be able to trust his or.n basic tive attitude, alongside trust and crtain foms ofhope in persons. These
goodDess, here, and ha\e some assurance thai he could compassionately emotions, each in their own lvay, rvhether directed at selfor othe$, expose
help these Doncombatants caughtin war. HoNever rnuch apart ofthejust vulnerability a[d call out to the other about onet needs, dependence, as-
coDduct of a soldier to minimize collateral damage in war and ameliorate pirations, normative expectations, and so on, drd seek a response. With
its effects, fbr Hall the duty ,as more basici it was an intimate dut) to a trust, r'e call upon another to tend to oul interests hen we cannot. Witll
family he had cone to know and care for He felt thoroughly inpotent in hope, $'e call upon another to aspire io heights that we may not expect her
the role. Hc felt profomdly betrayed by his comrnard nnd coalition and to reach without our settitg thechallenge. And lvith self,empathy, too, we
humiliated thnt thir nassive incompetence forced him to betray inno' call upon ourselves to teevaluate our past actions and to show mercy and
cents l\-ho had suffered so grievousl1,. When he says the iDjury was worse understanding where we could not before. Sometimes we "grow' respon-
al1d more lastirgthanr.hai he sufered from seehgthe detritus ofNarfor siveness in thosewe engage through ouremotional calls. this is often true
lhree )ears, $,hat he means, in part, is that the betrayai by comrnand put in the case of trust, I'here if r,e are a bit wise ith regard to whonl we
hnn in a position ofL1ing trapped and helplcss, much more powerless lrust, fo( what and rchen! our very act oftrusting may elicit and reinforce
and capin than he had ever felt in Facing enemy 6r. He was stripped rnothert trustworthitess.5 In the same way, it is often the case that in
defenseless, lvith nowhere to go. That shame haunted him ultil one day placing ourhopein someone, thatperconis able to achieve l{,hat she could
back home o]r blrse at Fort Rile)! Kansas, he sinply couldn't pLrt his com- not have erpected from herselfbefore. Something similar may happen in
bat gear on. Suicidal ideatior tooko\.er. It was at that poirt thal a De*', far the case of therapeutic self-ernpathy. We uncover our hurt to ourselves,
more berign.ommander than his pre\'lous onc goi him help. Empath,v ind in that acbowledgment we can sornetimes elicit resources for re,
and seli.empathy were a part ofthe henl g. sponding to and ameliorating the suffering. In the case ofpunishing guiIr,
fhe idea ofself empathy may strike some as odd. As rn epistemic no- iD mpathetically reviwing the very evaluations that are at the core of our
tion, enrpathy is i?ically directed at another and is a vehicle for under- self-reproach, we may find room to hold ourslves to account in a more
sta dirg hol{ to see the world from her particular corner. As an allectjve compassionate and equitable ay. Ratherthan focusillg on the fact that $,e
mode, it is ar,a,vofblrg able io shnr someone elset emotion and so havc have falln short of some standard ro which we hold ourselves, as we do
congruert feeling. But what $'orkdocs empath), do $'hen directed at self? when $'e take up the perspecti\e of tlle accuset w learn to empathize
lvel1 if we are never/alll in sync rvith our or,n minds arld emotions, for with o11I imperfect selves: r,e take up the pe^pective of the accused, of
mostofusthercisrtthsameLi11dofgap,ithinusasthereisbet$enus. one who genuinely attempied to meet the endorsed standard but failed
Tle idea of empathizing $,iih oneself, some might sa)., is redundant. l through no fault ofher or{n.
$,ant to argue in this chapter thai this is not so. E\-en if we are already "in We shall come to the various dimensions of self empathy and rheir
sync" \cith many aspects ofourselyes, therc are still corners we dont peek hcaling powers. BLlt first I return to another story ofshame, this one an-
irto because thcir contents ar too alien, nndso possibilities for chang are cient. And then I turn to a contempomry siory ofguilt with its likry un-
thcrcbv closed off Sell'emp.tthr" (or whrt 1 arn intcrcstcd in, therapeuti! dcrlayers in shame.
self-empathy) car play a role in peering into those corners and opeling In all this I come to moral repait slowly, as the veterans I talk to do,
doors. Ir can be an impofian! part ofrco\ering a sense oflost goodness. /r/orig, the concrete challenges and anguish of rcal molal damage. For
It can be a way ofcallirg olrt to oneselfthat one is hurt and in need of at- lhem, thriving or flourishing after war is mrcly just positil.e thinking.
tention and response.a llealing requires a complex understanding of one's rar-holv ro male
scnse of its detritus and the profound losses that can seem, on the one
3, "You couldnt invent nore conedn @r nadaliv$j' Rajiv Chandrasekarm, war corr. h0nd, all too futile in the face of wart often dubious and grand polltical
spondert ed author ol lh?erial Li.le in the En*atd City lisitle Inq\ Qreen zane, sdid tn n
senind at the \4ri]so! Center Sepiembs ,o 11, reflectinS lack on his own resdch and srlt. 8()als, and on the other thorooghly avoidable, if only one's own conduct
nrg ahout that peilod in the war in Iraq. wcre jlrst a bit more perfcct. ourselves involves a ldnd ofmoral
4.Hde,I n inlluenced bythe work ol(uUa rd Ldre Goor) ind Mrcnamfia ( ro 1r) on
Slra sonian lrodels of .eactive attnud e s See P n Stowson (1961).
Our Ancient vars Moral hiury, Dem,ge, and Rpair I r27
126 I
dialosue wllh ourselves, a kind ofcait and respoise' \te are in need'
be_ swordsman, But the goddess Athena blinds hlm and he flails his s\,\,ord in
acknowledges I h dark, mistaking barnyard animals for his rival He 'hacked at this chief
cause of the hu( lve hale suiiered, and seeking heLp that
to redress it- Healing starts' then' from recogn nnd that chiefl recounts Athena. And after tiring ofthe slaughter he took
this hurt and attempts
and empathyi self-'healing, theiefore, starts with self emPathy All lhe rest of the beasts captive and tortured them. Aja"r'tomes to" in a
For many in the ml bloodbath ofbutchered carcasses and mutilated livestock. He mocks the
takes time,loving supportland intellectual honesty
tary, it is still allioo easy (and despite challenges from,on high'
partof $i8ht ofhimsell
eni.ench"d ethos) to soft-peddleihe reality of mental and moral
and to believe that with just a littte bit more positive thinking ald s Look at the valiant manl The brave heartl
sucking it up, one can getihe mission done. But healing after
moraltraur The one ho unflinchingly faced the enemy!
is not iiat kind of miiion ThrMng after war requires a different kind You see the great deeds I have done to harmless beasts?
Oh, the ridicule runs riot agaifft mele

There is ironic distance,'0 but it fails to insulate, Ajax's self-evaluation

eouldnl be more unforgiving. He seems to look at himself as someone in
Aiax's Shame and Prio/s Guilt
lhc past. But his past is not past It consumes him in the present. In an
tnparalleled moment in Greek tragedy, this great Greek general falls on
t first met Maior Hall at a readiig of SoPhocles' Aiax' performed by
anl hls sword on stage. In this particular staging ofthe play, before a commu-
Theater of Wa; before a mostly military audience at the thirteenth
rllty that has come to know suicide all too intimately, the scene brought a
Force Health Protection Conference in Phoenix, Arizona' August
hush like few moments I have known irl theater. Ajax vras in the room, in
The play is another story of shame, with disastrous outcome Aiax
vot I\4njor Hall and in mady others, who felt they had Iost their ideniity as
stripped ofhis iima his honor and status, when the Creekchiefs
o Priz given to the best 6ghter, to Odysseus I
wurriors, and then their good name.
^*j.d ".-o"
tlan him, despite his legendary status. As Home-r chronicles in the
Mellin Lansky, a psychoanal)st who hai worked extensively with a vet-
Ajax was "the Lulrn'ark of the Achaeans" in their 68ht against Troy' ?i
arnn population, writes insightfully ofstages that lead l,p to a violent, im-
pLrlsive act, such as suicide, and the rcle ofshame as a precipitant. r r Though
iri size, "powerful urrd rvell-builtl' "the Siant god ofbattle;' uoriva'led
fiuhter in a iamerl duel \vith Hecror. he rs easil) the ri(lor His own w l , nslV does not reference Sophocles' play, an abbreyiated version of the

rt ges he describes reveals interesting correlates:

ri"or menle is storied. god_like but so roo ishis fathrs He is.the.!on
Telamon. who battleithe Trojans alongside Heracles and who'
a war bndi r. In the fr$t stage, turbulence and shame erupt from a "narcissistic
mettle, $,as aNardedth Troian kilg's daughter, Hesione, as
comlarable 10 wound" that exposes onet owo "iimitationsl' In out play, Aja-x
In the p1ay, Ajaxt sllock and shame oilosing a?rize
H is passed over for the prize, to which he believes he is
father's beicoies part of a more generalized, psychological break
lost all face before those who matter: 'I will retum from Troy ha'
entitled. This iniury to his ego throws him into a narcissistic rage.
lool 2. Next, there is a tissociative' break that may follory the upsurge of
earned nothing. Howcould he [myfather, TelamoD] stand to even
me?"s ln a piqire ofblazing rage, he sets out to take revenge
on odyrl shame, As Lansky puts it, "In more protracted cases, the patient
often reports a disorganized, fragile, paranoid state of mindl' Simi-
rro ,..'"p1, a prL"once and for all his unmatched skill
""i "ta Iarly, for Ajax there is madness induced by a god: "Never in your
e. r- -ore or lhen*t.r of war and ihe lalter @breIa theatu SrouP unde! thc right mind/Would you, Telamon's son,/ Go so far as to slaughter
ri,{1 or B,r l)^e'-e., 'e l''rP. rfl'^ pi:lu. '4e 'Pror" 'orE r'o'rLu Iivestock./The gods must have driven him madl" sing the Chorus
(onrrl009/ l2/theJrer/12sre(ks.h(ml'iPr8ew,nkd=Jl'
I 1,
il* r, rin". i. i' co' soor z rin""ar-rr: For a wond'!fiq l) Sopho.ks (roo7),,4,d 164-67.
,o. On narr.tivc and ironlcdhlrnc., k. coldl. (ror r.37), rnd Coldie (2@r.
f-m a rcrellinSof lhe Aidtlorv'\eewoodrufl(lotr) l
-o*rL"**.U.t*a r r. See Larsl.y (199r, r086).
s SopnoJe! 'roo't.lineq464-.t. I
Moral Injury, Damage, and Relaii I rr9
r28 | our Ancient wars
'I demption through moral Indeed, perhaps one way to think of
the sharpes!
tsopho(les Ai4x. 2oo7.linesr82-85). can darken certain instances of epistemically ill-fitting (or irrational) guilt arc as sub-
eye;: Athera boaste to Odys\eus {line 85r'
stitutes for shame, sublimations ofa sort. So an Army commander who
'Iirc dissociative break is foitowed by an impulsiYe act' ith the
loses a private due to an accideDtal blast of a turret gun on an army vehicle
imDulsive a(lor 'obli\ rous" .o its concequence' Ajax frnd' himsetf rnay not be culpably negligent, though he feels horrific and unabated guilt.
in; delusional state:'He thoughl he was balhing his hands in your This is a case of \a,hat I call "accident guilt" in Tri e Ufitold War.\6 ln tbe
bloodl Athena tells odysseus (line 43) Mad with rage' Aja-x is specifrc case I detail there, the commander, Captain John Prior, approved,
unaware ofhis environment and the objects he acts on' with the advice of his team ofengineers, the use of a Marin repla.ement
_rea(lion lo lhe a(t: oren 'tonsclous
The asent\ consequent battery fo, the Army's Bradley fightirg vehicle in the early months of the
remo_eore.riltl car rackI're'hameofdi'\oc:'a1irlgrnd of Lhe
lraq War. What no one foresaw was that turning on the ignition would
Aiax be
rmpulsire air. Sr-rrveyrng the mas\acre he har exe(uled' now calrse the currenttojump to the turret and automatically fire the 8un.
harmhs an mah'
*J"n', Vou,". tn.'gr":t deeds I na\e dorre 10
'He har been laid low
'lhe blast scooped out the face of young pr ate,
Joseph Mayek, who did
{line ro6). so Aiax! ;ife, Tecmessa. report\: not survive the accident. Prior tells me, severalyears later
s,,t i fte *onr e"t or drink or <ay anfhing He jun srts in tt
midst ofhis butchery" (lines 32o 25) The aftermath of that was the guilt of the situation because I'm the
rin"tti', tt"." i., t"n"ors and maniPulated reachllqi] l:]::* one lvho placed the vehicles; I'm the one \aho set the security Like
o"", i', t"tp."" ,o ,tt. ot selt harminS 50 Ata"l de_
most accidents,I'm not injailright now. Clearly I wasn t egregiously
mands that Tecmessa bring to him their son for a final encounter:
responsible. Still, I dealt with and still deal with the guilt ofhaving
"Lift him up to me here. Tie sight of fresh blood will.not frighlen cost him his life essentially.
him-not i?be is trulyhis fathert son Norc he must begin to be -
(lines :+s-p)'
broken in and haraleDed to the ways of his father" After a lengthy investigation, theme.hanical cause ofthe misfire was
Aiax\ cree. eharne Diles or 'hare -t\e barnyard ma"acre pile' on
to lhe ljinpointed to the amperage ofthe replacernent battery. Though the Ma-
top ol the los ol the . oveled and rnliciPaled PriTe -leadinS rine batteryhad the same voltage as the original AImy batteqa the ahper-
final, irrevocable act. ge was different, and that turned out to be all-critical. In this case, the
gL lt Prior feels may be morally fitting and admimble, though strictly
The experience of shame, as these vignettes, nucient and speaking not objectively fitting, given the actual facts of moral responsi
*.y, rh*,, i, seen and about hafing nowhere tohide'1
hility.rT Prior is well aware ofthis and so, in a way, his guilt is "recalcitrantl'
.i-oloev reminder] Ad6s is rclated o aidon'genitals lobeash'
i" n
lhat is, the beliefor appraisal that grounds the feeling is irl conflict with
isio be iaught *irhour your fig lealrr llre audience can be real or
0nother beliefor appraisal he holds that he $as not at fault in causing the
ined. WheriAristotle says, "eyes are upon youl he should
not be read
errlll' That is howsbame/eek. What Prior feels is that he shoud havebee\ able lo take care of his sol-
In some .a,es, sl'anre can be too toxlc'o be coll((ioud) (llors better, or as we mlght put it, that he lss than perfectly fulfitled his
..r..n"i u" ,o.ially respectable and manageabl feeling of lnrperfect duty ofcare. (As an imperfect duty, there is t)?ically "room for
*iti " ^o."
ii. a <iiscrete act ofwrongdoing and promise of
"r 1thy" lSpielraun), aslrnmanuel Kant calls it, for how and how much one
irlnlls the dury but Prior yiewed the duty as having to be fulfilled
pnetrrbnisrudy ol lhe an(i.n6on shame' 5e wrllltm\
D tor a '9q1)'
rouhetner:hlnemusrlT.'li! rr. S. LuikI(r99r,2@3, r@r.
.,;-;;;, ;;;;;;;iilseme.taiscustater,or uttinsshortotan idar'sh!
t6. Scc Sh.rmo (zoto, chdp. a),
ti'-. ,^ * *o *iv dr,erenl fearu(3 oI \hrme' rr'd lhe liner i! i morc co
e.r'. ,1,".t 17. For lnport r wort on d!0mblgurtlnt mor.l no0oN of apprcprlaren* frcm thos.
lhrt l!.8 r,o do{ith.pbt mlc $|rrrn! |.. Dl\|mr ind ricobson (1ooo).
ra, Anrrotle (I9sa),,c ll.6 rr84nr5-rr34br
rto Otr Ancienl Wars
Monl hjury, Damage, and Repair rlr
perfectly.)r3 So cast, the emotion may have more lhe color of shame than or grandiose; at least, it does not seem over_idealized
to me, in the way
guilt, the shame offallinS short o[an ideal'' Piior set for himselfand that lhal, say, drinkjng one can aloid enemy-inlli(ted combar
death is. Epis'-
captures his responsibilities of office and role. But given the context and the lcmkally 6r ng shame. in this regard, seems more permissive
than epis-
fact that a unit member was killed in a noncombat action, in "friendlyfirel lemically finirg guilt and perhaps less ,,irrationall'i,
Still, shame of ihis
on his watch, for Prior (and for many like him, I suspect) the more palpable sort can linger far too long, particularly when shietded by guilt,
and so not
prcsentation of this negative n'ave of self-reproach appears in the form of recoBnized a5 its own kind of self-reproach ro do with
u;met goals and
culpable guili for a negligent omissior. Guilt brinBs witl it concrete op- *lrndards. Thrr is precisety why jr js importanr
ro lry ro uDnrsk shame.
portuniries for moral repair-to the nother ofthe dead soldiet to soldiers lce'rt. diflerenrrate it. and 6nd ways to uncover and as(es, jts pre5ump.
who lost their good buddy, to unit rnembers who [eed reassurance that a tions. Self-emparhy plays a role.
sinilar accident will ]1ot be repeated. Sharne may bring opportu ties for
moral repat as well, iD terms of reirxtaiing onesel{ and reviewing one's
commitnents to ideals. In sonlc cases that repair may be more sell- Recalcihant Emotions and Uncertainty
regarding than other regarding.'zo In other cases, not. To return to the
of Major HaI, he feels diminished by his stymied efforts to aid the We are nearly ready to rurn to self-emparhy
and s role in helping to as-
family, and the discomfort ofthat shame may motivate him to redouble \u8e rhe houndinS (sometimes suicidal) repelirive and re< al. it rani shame
eflbrts at aid. In his case, at leist, it seenx the urgency for action rrd Suilr feelings soldiers can experien(e afier Lraumari( incidenls in war.
from a desire to right a grievous lrrong to others that will derivativety llrt to_understand the reparative work ofself empathy, we need to under-
restore his own sense of goodness. One can imagne other cases in \l.rnd berter in what sense these ernotional experiences
are, in fact, recal.
the fall in sef-standing and self-image itself pushes toward correction .itrant. Consider Michael Bradyt view of recalcitrant fear. "In
a rcalci,
a closing ofthe gap between reality and aspiration. ln such cases, the I rnnr bout of fear S is primed
to act on and assent to her construal of her
comes from the damage to selfmore than the damage to ofiers. $iluation as dangerous, but does not act on or assnt
to this construat,
In poiniing to the fa.t thar guih can be the public face ofshame,l hclieving instead that her situation is r,o, dangerousl,
There is a waste of
not suggesting that jt is in any way nraDipulated a contdvance that (o8ririve resources here. savs Brady. .,Recalcirrant
emofion,lhererore rn-
lows for a contrition thal nright nol otherwise be possible. Rather, I v,l\e ll.e mobiLi,,rtion ofcognitive resources in lhe 5er!rce ot a quesrjon
suggesting that feelings of guilt can easlly eclipse complex feelings lhrl Iras. by the suoiecri ow,i-lilhrs, already been answered.- J lle wasre
shame, and when the shame isn t obvious or manifest we may be too q r(rourCe5 mearr tha. atrenrion 15 taken a\\ay from factors
rhdt d/e relevant
both as self judges and judges ofothers, to think that what we feel is k, unes sirudrion and inve5ted instead in an inchnarion ro
seek more con-
placed or epistemically irrational guilt. As shame, in contrast, the lirmation ofan evaluation one doesnl believe.ra
is all too epistemically fiiting, whether manifesi or not-Prior did
short ofan image oahimsellas a commanderriho takes care r 1. As said above, this seehs b foltow fron rhe id.a ot.onstuing jt d a failue of imper,
troops.'t Moreover, the idea of seeing oneself as a leader who should t( hdrr thd perfcr duty, ro ue (antio rerms. Xant faDouslrh ts "en for ply"
(rillr"/a) N b shar de8re dd w aE to tutilt inFrfect duries ofend, such ; b-
able to avoid this kind ofmalfunction on his llatch is not that far-fe
rl.h((re b,orh6. rhouBh he do.s nor hrmsetrdewtop rhe.areSor, ot rhe supeErcgrtorl
ru hrrher rtDr8hrs on rhi6. sc sh.rman I r9ra, chrp s, At$ Sh"^ r gz , oasi. nil tl , i,
11.tutr I r99r,.
r9. on eso'id.als (Frud re74), w for xdple, "On Nmissisn: st n ldtd Uition, lir. Body (2@9, {27), (y itali.s. Se allo BBd), (2006, 1oo7, 2oos).
ra. Birdy b ea8.r ro purfonh. nrc.judtmenralist ewotemotions lh ntrbam,ddle
b. on a related mte, Pter Gotdie ard Kate Ablatlson have recendy ugued thtt llrroc betNetr ih lrn8 roo much nEr,onalir, ro th. subje( I o, re.r'lc.rrMr emorjon,
mal, alwaF larc "insidiousl tlobalizirlS" tendencies thai dery "aI nohl vortfil
lot xr'lillle,onhisMs.the(ubiecrofinartorrtrnoriordoe,nor50td \
o .on,I.tin8 be. r.fs.
sone cases ofshdne, oDe se$ onesellfron a perspective that alows fo. ser-for8i!nc0t firlrlLriudSme a]lns 8ue Rifica rh. iubJecr hotdr a conq ru.i an d
a betk[ br Lhe con.
rederpl.on. \ee Lold'e, ror r,30\. aId Abrrmson ()oI o . nl1rl, hhile lr'lbn! shqr ofo bctrlt, h nord hptyirarton.l: h* a."p .og,,,i""
,.. -. in,i;,
r rxr,,,as the lub{ecr ro explnd tlmhcd cognlltv. ltxou($ w$reru.ty dd nen<e r0.e epjr
Moral Iniury, Damage, Dd RePair I r11
r32 I ow Ancient warE

guilt or ofrcflectioni and an openness to feeling new emotions, such as grief, sor-
But sometines-l suspect often in dificult cases-fee1i[g (imPly row, and self empathy, based on new evaluations once self-reproach re-
tl"-. ,- oue"tion ofoner norat re'Pon<ibilrtv the hoolc
ft.." ,.u'"a ,nJ matrer a' ro *herher one i' tully off
leases its grip. As such, subjective goilt or sham may have deep connec-
.* '"r"W"'."
Thlre .trrgering doubr and enough hrr.h cell
judgnenl lo keeP lhe ques' tivity !o a raflge of epistemically apprcpriate feelings that we come to only
';ncoheren' evaluarr\e prohle; indirectly, after lirst experiencing the negative feelings and then sur-
tion ali'e. li i" nir so m,ch that one has rn mounting them.
soa, ,rt. it, a conflicl ol evdltrdlron( aoour rnhar one drd and it'
"' what to Consider the following case involving a student of mine. Again, the
i""i,"ii i--"... lt ic lhar one i. genutnelv uncertarn' nor \ure details are important for capturing the contours ofthe moral phenome
i",i"". rO"ri one" moral re'pon'ibilrt) 8i'en ones cau(al invoLvement' rlology. Tom Fiebrandt served in Iraq between July zoor and December
*i",n., ."rfa n*. or should have knoun the consequences of one's roo5.'z3 At twenty-ofle he vras a young sergeant and a team leader of a
"r.i. ,,..t .r.", in rePlacing the battery) or cor:ld have or should
".ia""i* inbe' t{roup of inteiligence analysts attached to an Army cavalry squadron of
ffi;;il;;;;;;;;;iur wJv outircompliciiv ('rs in Harl's case'
lro men in Tal Afar, a desrt to\a,n not far from Mosul, about forty miles
i.rying tt".iuitl"n io.ity through the bureaucmti-c operatronsofhis com'
I rom the Syrian border As cavalry, his unit served as the 'tyes and ears" of

;;".;;).'; r1'".. ;shadois of doubt, not a fl,i out conflict of

lh battalion, collectiog andsorting ifitelligence critical for a dynamic pic-
ir rft *"y ,ft*" is, say, in the case of a bowing Phobic $ho lure ofthe current battlefield. The unit was a "bridge" between those in-
..,. ri"* "ti ,rn^"aiately be<omes lrighrened evaluaLrng the upco
ing fligiL a< dangerous. though (he rn fact behe''e'tl'' tlil':l,l"jt: side and outside the wire, with Fiebrandt himself spendiry much ofhis
lime outside, talking to troops and locals, and drawing and redrawing a
iii-,i. n .a.i,i"*. ;mes in shades-it is a spectral notion'
"f,.n visual, first'hand picture ofthe viciniiy and its dangers. He knew howtall
huildings were on ditrernt strets, where snipers could lurk, where you
did and didnt want to be. He became the point guy that noncommis-
sioned and commissioned omcers alike turned to get their inforrnation.
As he put it, v{ith modesty but candor, his superiors 'had confidence in his

About three months before his deployment was up, he was ordered to

;;#.,;;;;;;:;,i"liiit"o?'o"t'ot tt'"t onn is a part orthis klil tuke a few days of"R and R'(rest and relaxation) in Qatar before returning
h) lhe States for a longer t\,"o-week leave. Fiebrandt was reluctant to aban-
,..iIi*io.. n,.,e,,ar o . neo'judEmneta ilr hoJtrll an aPrta:nrde8r( (lon th unit so close to the end of their deployment, but an order was an
i.,r* ,",il ;G; "r;.rc,r,dnr e;or'otu 11l.lli 1jl order and leave-time was mandatory anpvay. He was stressed of 1ate,
;;o,,on: ae sotrsha'| "'1'''"?
T" dl osou' ro <osn*iver\ sPenetr
;il,',;;;;'il;;;,;;, ( "Lourcing insid and outside the wirei as he put it, and at some level he
nJ Jii,""r.*,*, *nuls rhe "ur ronJ" percPtion et' or $ar tht i<k aPPars
rear)' Ir]cw that a breakwas probably a good idea.
*ii;;;;;;;;;";is",lunue the 'lecalcitror' @nsme" Gav Probic
'olstruai our attentioni th' iur
*g"il ;; il;a,"i""io* do et taPt@ od En route to Qatar, he learned that his unit v/as about to run a cordon
a"'.ro..o, re'ourc's' 5e' Braov'2oo7'' r!1d search operation in the southeast .orner of town. Tal Afar had be-
"na.,".o""."sn.1\e enotion' k'ceensPd (r98r)'
,..'s- S"at r-* a, a ). On umrion'l (onre a major smuggling hub, with weapons pouring in from unsecured
,r. i *" ., vr" of 'o-alrd iraLiondl re'alcirrer":".d""
emotio-" is
borders with Syria. It ivas now time to flush out the weapon caches and
p.*rrf""i- 'r..' dso
'""-,'1",'.,t.-r, "r'r,*'p-p.i suitt
ftcLDg', $hat he c"x.
i' 'altro belEve sornsro lnsuents with a strong show of troop forces and a door-to-door raid.
.,r. J"*.'*pr" p""- 't'" 'alseo
":", u',. bui r.;hen 8G moe* rv- What Fiebrandt didn t know was that as pafi ofthe preparation, one ofthe
;;;i ;;;;r"',s".i.u.w. he ro the su
is ambivarent or unsue 6bout u evr

i.i"i*i.".i r; -.. ror tho* {hue one lll loons, headed by Lt. william Edens,aclose friend, had been ordered to
Rask' se wh[24 ree6' ao-
,* ir,"i .". h* a-" *,r,-g r@ng. For ' discussion orRePear'n8' and uor'ns

:,.';.";;";;; ",;reud.;e
lnrerviftd FLbrodr ln follzoro.I..m.rokrNhih rhtuush cldr I husht
r,"iii-J'*' p.p",';;;p,uu,r,td F erte !'iB
r8. I Tom a
lrter' "rnhibirion'' svmProms d
rl (idorg.towrl UnlveBly thot frllon ll1. clhlo ofwii
rl.+ Our Ancient WaB Molal tnjury, Dmase, and Repair B5

scout out apotential egress route atthe backside ofthe city where a wal1 omdscient, to keep constant vigil of rhe changing batrlfreld, as he purs it
troops could be mounted to blockinsurgents fleeing the raid into the several times, without 'gaps in his knowledgej'is unsustainable. Herecon_
ert. It \{as during this preparatory dd!'e through that an Improvised Ex' sLructs the thinking:
plosil Device (IED) strlrck Edens'vehicle, Idllirg him and o t
Fiebrandt leamed about the ircident a fw dai.s after he arrived in Wll, god,I thouSht ro myself, ifI am nor here in a hro-weekperiod
It hit him hard: of time and things go to he11in a haad basket . . . r,r,hat is the situa,
tion going to be like when I ger baclq having been ar.ay longer? I am
What bothered me $,as that ii was in an area that I kneN verywell. going to be less quipped ro handle any further situations, because
It wns in a part ofthe citl that you real\ had to see in order to visu no\'\,I have a real gap in my knowledge. So all ofthis was coalescing
alize. Arld I had this suspicion that my soldiers, who had at the same time, and it took me a while to solt of ralize that i
never actually, personally been there, didn't really have a grasp on couldnt be the person that was rhere all the time. I could only be in
all the information that I felt I did. in some $,q', I almost feli re- one spot at a tirne. I could reenlist and I could stay in the job. But
sponsible for not being there to provide them with the infonnation ultimately I am never going to cover the whole country. I was nver
that may have potentially resulted in a di{Ierent outcome. So it is going to be the one-srop intel analyst for the whole Army. Maybe
rough. It is a dilicult thing for me to process. . . . So here I was sit my role was actually very small.
ting by a pool, and I henr this. It $ras-l dont even know how to
describ it. It lvas-devastating. Iooirrgon lromdreour.ide.tve rnrght 5dy. Well.or(oLr.e..Hohe\er
\^.ll Lieb_andt .er\eo .n hii ro.e a rd hosever .rit,cd ne \\a5 Lo rhe ralerv
Had Fiebrandt been there, he is sure he would have olhis unit, he was* ther thar day, wasn r at faulr for not being rhere tha't
against Edens taking that road. He krew that back area of the city was day, and wasnt at faulr for not b efing in advaDce his unit aborit a mission
pecially dangerous al1d that no unit vehicles had trave]ed down that lhat he didnt even know was going to take place. yet for Fiebratclt, it was
for good reason. He would have urged more reconnaissance on the tr, eoiplranv ro <ee ri^ar hoiding nrr.ett re.ponsible wa, grandro.e. tl re
and potential "Whether or not I would have been . Jjred loo rdeah,ed sen(e o.5:s role-re(pon.'br.itie. a'ro dJlre., dnd too
in gettiq that lo become the battle plan, I dont kno$i: But given that klealized a set ofexpectations and injunctions about how he was supposecl
uas relied on for this kind ofinformation, he had a good chance of Lo function. And yet the unreasoDableness of the demandshe
held iimself
ing the case. In his mind. he let dorvn his command as rve11 as a fri lo only dalvned on him with rime, lvhen he realized rheir absurd
What happened, as he puts it, "reflected poorly" on him. He "faulis" implications-that he rras expecring of himself something close ro full
self for not being there, and though he is "frustrated' that his unii orrniscience and omnipresence, a constant vigil on the battlelield that
bers'Aidnt ha\-e the same clouf' as he did and couldnt '?ick up the eould produce an accurate, automatically refreshed picture withour gaps,
in his absence, he doesn't fault them for failins to maLe the call. Lrreaks, andbreaches. He chuckles as hethinks abour the absurditv of it all
Significnntly, il is just this sense offeeling that he is the only guy .,Id ol lhe /edr(lio rhal rt .ook .o ger hrm to realize ir. Bu. it i. a renrarne
can do th job and that it is aJob that requires constant vigiiance, l.rr8h. He ,r;ll knoBs rhe pulJ or rhose e^pecr;rions ard wndl it i\ tike ro be
gaps and breaks, that botb hounds him ard L timately opens the in their grip. He may no longer endorse the evaluations so intimatelv re,
self-exculpation. The fact that he didnt cfuoose to take the leave-that lntcd lo .\e reeling5. bJr he wnen l-e sa\ (.' ] (:nd o, faulr my.e f. . aljnost
was ncting on an order only gets him so far. The real exculpation lclt responsible for not being therel' he siili can put himselfin the mindset
some three to fourmonths afterthe incident, when his deploy$ent is r)l-what it was like to endorse those evaluations and feel their tugs. He is
and he reflects or the incident in connction lvith whether he should rrow at a point where he has moved on. But he got there only through an
enlist and return to Iraq aftr what would amourtto a longer period a honest moral struggle about what it means to be vigilant as an intei guI
He no$ sees, somehow that the demand h put on himselfto be 'lhcrewere epistemic fiDiLudes rnd fftrillies that he
Uato accept, trowe-ver
116 | ou ADcient wars Moral lnjury, Damage, and Rpan I rl7

they complomised his aSency. Like marry soldiers I have spoken to, reproach. It required accepting his limits and the bad luck of being up
Fiebrandt dosn't easil).volunteer the word'gullt)' His Nords are "fault" against them then. It required self empathy.
and "responsibilit)i' But rt is clear ihat he is talknrg about self blame.
I teil this story to illustrate the functior ofguilt, here, as a way of work-
ing out the boundaries of moral responsibiliry There is genuine irfellec- Self-Empathy
lrrl liguring out. The emotion ofguilt is notjust rccalcitrant iD this case,
ith Fiebrandt, as Brady s.ou1d put it, seeking confirmatlon ofaconstrual Mu.h has beeo written on empathy in the past three decades, and so i will
'despite believing that there are no genuine reasons in favor of that be brief in this prelude to self-empathy.3r Empathy is a term of fairly recent
construall'2e Fiebrandt is not sure what he believes, and he is l'lot going cademic coillage. It comes into usage at the turn ofthe twentieth century
1et himselfoffthe hook until he is sure. The rub, ofcourse, is that having with thetranslation by Titchner ofthe German word Enj hlurlg-to enter
'tobe sufe" quickly spirals into intellectualization and rationalization, -ij i[to a feeliog, a term itselffirst used by Robert Vischer in 18n in the con-
seduction that involves inveDting reasons. In short, it beco es primitiG text ofthe psychologyofaesthetics and developed by Theodor Lipps in the
thinking that mixes rational processing with the iliogicality of wishful/ context ofhow we know other minds.], Two prominent models ofempa-
magical thiDking and presunrptions of omn iscience. 'Ihere are elemel1ts o lhy have merged in recent years as something ofcompetitors in the psy-
this in Fiebrandt's Urithout any inkling of the planned raid, chological and philosophical literature. The first is empathy as vicarious
Fiebrandt had no reason to inform his commanders ofpotential dangers rrousal or contagion. The key historical figure is David Hume and his no-
before he Ieft for R and R. Yet, he repeatedly pu! himselfback in the re' lion of slanpathy, though what he means is what we would now call empa-
po(ing chain as if he knerv, or should harc knorvn, what lvould thy, as a mechanism that allows us to'tatch' another personl affect. We
relevant only later. Similarly, there was little reason for him to have p know others'emotions bycoming to feel qualitatively similar or congru-
out that particular stret to ldens, though Projecting forlvard he cnt emotions, Humes metaphor is intuitive we are attached, as if by a
himself to what is now the salience of that piee ofknowledge and faults cord, with movement at one end reverberating at the othet causing a
himself for failing to share jt earliei He faulis himself for an epistemi( lairter impression ofthe original feeling.! The second camp,led by Adam
stance he couldft easilv have had then. Smith, conceives ofernpathy in more rcbust, cognitiv trms.3a Empathy
But my point is what Fiebrandt was going through hasn'tjrs, that. (a8ain, "sympathy" is his term) is a process that engates imagination, re,
was also thinking, as he put i!:Nas he like the homeownerTvho never q quiriDg simulation and the taking up ofroles or perspectives. We come to
got around io putting a fence around lhe backyard pool and then one know another's motions bytrading places "in fancf'as Smith puts it, and
discovers a child has Landered ioto the pool and drowned? Or was coming to time' with their hearts.,, But Smith insists that lhe swap
mole like the cop who might have had helpful information but was ls not only situationel but also dispositional:3c We not only stand in aD-
mately off-duty at the moment and norvhere near th sene of others shoes. We try to become thefi in their shoes: to "enter, as it were,
Even after absolving himself of the responsibility to be omniscient iDto his body aDd become in some measure the same person with himi'37
omnipresent,he questioned rvhether or not he $,as negliSent. The sense 1r For ny own overview of thr sobject uth lengny and discusion ofihe lir
minimal culpability was not easy to dismiss. In the end, he seemed ( !r, sft speci.lly Sherme (r998a, r993b, r9e3c).
think he was more like the cop than the homeownet but accepting 3 2 Ior discussioD, se Ehelbe.B and Straler ( !e87), l-ipps (1eo3 ), and Titchen* ( 1ro9)

analogy required a lengthy, psychological process ofsurmounting his llr Fred md his iiteEstin eEpathy, se Pigman (r99r, Freud (1986. r2r.
rr. Huhe (1968/1739, 3r6-,{)
r4. Smjth (1976lr759).
ro. Sinildrly, who worl$ {ith soldiea reeDtV told ne of a patien who
a therapist lr. Soith (1976h7r9, ,r.
edly {ent over the sie of where he lost a buddy, hohin8 in ovr od over on t}e spol J6. lor reflections on b..oming anolher, see Ben&d Willians, "lmaginarion and rhe Self:
Google maps, mrkrE o
how he @uld hrv. Dff nr.d the d.ath if he only tool d ! ret{
ratnc- lr d Lnar. I r7. Srih (197611759,48), On thc notlon ol"Lrcconring" rhe other peson nnd the therl
Il8 Our Ancient Wa6 Moml InjuJy, Damage, and Repajr rl9
Howdo these models fare with respect to sef'empath)., and in particu- Similar rTorris emerge for the simulationview ofempathy, furit would
1ar its rcle in surmounting overly harsh self reproach? One obvious require dlat we take up, again, the very perspective from which we are try-
for the contagion model is that it suggests a pictue of empathy as a ing to free ourselves. In the cases I detailed above, the emotional subjecti!
tion ofthe same stuck, ofien intrusive feeling, and risks retrauma lbcus is framed by guilt and shame that 'tapture and consume atientio[,
as a secondary effect ofthe repetition (even when the repetition is in (1o use Bradyt felicitous term).{t Self empathy requircs dwelling again in
service ofmastery and self understanding).rs The idea ofemotional Lhat perspective, and so reexpedencing the same emotions. In the case of
or stubbornness is part ofa more general lvorry that the philosopher I r aurnatic ernotions, it rnay involve retraumatization.

Goldie raises about the inbuilt biases ofefiotional construals (or ways these objections may be limired, but theymal(e clear rhat ifa notion of
"seelng as") that predispose us to judgmerts (in the $,ny perceptions sclf-empathy is to be part of a nodel of emotional and moral grc$,th,
but in some cases predispose us to what we dont believe.3'As he puts something more rhan simulating and reerperiencing traumatic events
emotional subjects tend to conirm rather than disconfirm their rnd emotiois (whether thrcugh narmtion or other representational
tive construals: "The feeling directed tor.ard the object of the emoti lbrms, e.g., artwork or dance) is required. Here, nor surprisingly, rhe no-
and the related perception ofthe objeci as havin8 the le\.aluative] lion of empathy in psychorherapy is helpful. Arguably, psychotherapy of
ert)., tend to be to &'hich reason has to cohre. The vrrious stripes, and especially psychodynamic models, depend on a pa-
is a familiar one: \\,hen we are afraid, we tend unknowingly to seek licnt revislting and reliving painfut emotions, bur characreristically in rhe
featurs of the object ofour fear that will justi4r the fearl'4o So we have conler,l of an empathic listener who can both bear compassionate .lyitness
epistemic tendency to build an "episten c landscape" that coheres with lo the pain and thrcugh variolrs inteffentions and gentle corrections of
evaiuation and feeling. We lock ouselves into a specific emotional bids, interpretations, or reframings, help breakthe repetition anddefenses.
Self-empalhy, as a contagious reexperience of emotion, may eracer Ihe iherapist's empathy involves the "tracking,, of a patient,s emotion
tendency lhat $'e alreadyhave and that ilselfrequires inteNentior. (sometimes ihrough her own congruent reenactments or countertransfer
lnces, other times more cognitively).ar But it also involves a conveyed
peutic $ork ol emDatlic resonmce, tle writiDg ol psrrhoanalytic rheorist Heinz Kohut sympathy of sorts, compassion, rrust, rapport, and a nonjudgmental
highly instrudive See (ohut ( r97 r, 1977, 1934) Nnte, lor Sdnh, there is an ultjmate sl.rnce that help build a "working al]iance."a3 Empathy, in this dch conrext,
in moral judgment drd the fttingness of the ehotion, and this reqdres a bringing back lnvolves access but also benevolence and trust.a That stance is both Dro-
thlt empathi. connection to one's own bosom' (Sdith 1976/1759, 14, in a way ttrat, lccLive and transformati\.e, helping the patient safely to remembea rei.isit,
both facilitate mod n$ight but also distorr empathy with a prcjedion from our orvn ho,
,rnd feel painfirl reactions to tralrnatic events, as rcell as to reconstrue
$,hat happened in ways rhat may involve fairer self-judgmeni and less
r3. Sec Ireud on repetftion cornpr sio! in l1is Bqond rle Pledsue Principlel'
cluded in the synltoms olposttnumatic stre$ a.e intiusive recolle.tions. Ior a very rlgid notions of success ard failure thar ultimately help loosen self-
discusionofpostlraunatic srre$ and its treatnent, seewilson, Friedmu and rindy (roo (lcstructive feelings.
NoLe, &ere has been a hove afoot, wirh sotue tuomentuo trom the AJnv, ro drop the "D' All this is relatively familiar stuff Less familiar is rhe notion of self-
PTSD (Postraumadc Stress Disorder) becaus of the stigmatizing efed of tu tenn. fte rnrpathyandwhat roleit can play in moral healing, not as a competitor or
gumenL is often oade that senice neDbe.s retu.ning from s d wjdr lnnb losses do nol
rplacement for second person emparhy and its role in formal or informal
"lim! dhord*s] 1{'h), should those returning lrom * d with pt drolognal s1t$ have

ders? tiere are oth e r G rninological shifls aimed to 'lrormalize' tle response to stress
histoD,ofPTSD and its inclusionintheDidS/or,i ard Sr,t,st,.r Maaral nr r93o, see
41. Clued Geel), M.raugilin (1eer.
39. "Construal" h Robert RoberLs' term for rhe cognitive contenr of an enoiion. For
Roberts distinguishes Lhat notion fron a sunter iudgmeff, see, lor mnplq Roberts ( And so rhe theraPisr is not just a btdk screen or withholding (or .absilnenl,) lstener,
ao. Goldie (rooa,99). ftis is sihilar ro Bradl,t !le('lvitl respe.t ro recalcitrart tr on the traditional lreudid view, but lather an engaged pdt!e., atrectirll- nrtnerable at
tnat because emotions Lerd lowdd a tapture and con$nne" mode, throqh emolional linrs. Ilat ldrerabiliq 6 in ountertransferen.e .eacrions, .d be e?iltemicaUl importart
gagement, we sometjmes waste atlentional lesources for prcblems alreidy solved, See hr folowing the patieitb owtr projecrlons rnd .trludes. Fo. a discussion. see sherman
(ree8b, r99rb).
r4o I OurArcientwars Moral Injur) Damage, and Repair r4r

therapy, but as something in addition that has an important place in its However, in the soldiers' stories that are my focus, there is no shortage
own ri8hr. ol nobilityand sacrilice. If an)'thing, that aspiration for virtue is too hard,
One way to think about self-empathy is as a conceptually or caus (lriving, giving way to too much self-punishment when luck runs out.
derivative notioD. it is a first personal stance where the paradigrl is th li,er so, Arisiotle's idea of turding the right way to befriend oneselfis use-
second personal case. So an indiyiduaL may come to self-empathy by i lirl here. The best kind of friendship-that ofcharacter friendship, he tells
lernalizing a second prsonal instance ofit, as when sh learns a rus-is an arena for character critique and moral growth,{3 lvhich like all
of 6elf-empathy through the empathy of a therapist toward her ln l , icndship requires positive feelirgs (plil sis) roward onet object and feel-
case, she ma)r interna.lize another's stance. But she may also internalize i,)gs of goodwill ("rroia).4'!
olvn stance that she takes toward others. So a rape victim in a Self-empath),, as I am imagining it, involvs a similar kind of self-
group may come to feel self-empathy only after first feeling empathy lricndship and requirs a minimal measure ofgood will or compassion. I
ward others in the group who were similarly victimized. 'Oh my, rnr also imaginirg it in the service ofmoralgrowth and inthe cases I have
th lt {'hat happened to me;'she might come to say 1() hersellr: The rec linrned of rnoral repair ofbeing called forth when one has held oneself
oSniiion ofexperiences similar to her own and the ens ng empathy n..ountable in a waythat begins to seem unJair or atleast (equires further
ward others may enable her now to look at herself through new eyes, r..onsideration and reassessmentof the narure of that accountabilit),. And
Second persorr empathr,, both the receniDg and giviDg ofit, mayrhuspre- s(, lhe self enrpaihy I have jn mind energes as part ofa moral process ard

Pare one for first'person empathy. One gains an outside perspective is rarred as a counterweight to overbearing self judgment. This helps de
oneself that is qualitatively different from rhe punishing and llc.t popular images of self empathy as merely self kindness or self
stance that has held one hoslage until now. Veteran support groups (ornpassion, a going gentle on-oneself, or, relatedly, the kind of self-
similarly enable self-empathy through the validating experince of .n.em that is a contd\.ed boost to undo self-deprecation, or a naicissistic
thizing and being empathized $,ith. scll absorption wherc gaze turns too much to selfard not enough to oth,
In thinkinS about self-empathy, it is useful to turn to Aristotle's .rs.5tr But equally, I am not thinking ofself empathy as a minimization of
marki about self- love (or self- friendship) in Ni,ao nachean Ethics 1X.8. \e1,, a puttingofselfin its place,as Cicero redacts the Epicurean reaching:
istotle's view is that self love involves a kind of self-friendihip and a l|cse are the reslrictions under which all humans live;'s' "you are not the
sured way to favor oneself x,ithout narcissism or an undermining r)nly one to have this happen;'s, "to endure these things is huIrranl'5r lle
goodwill due others. lriendship, in general, involves mutual afection lrl)icurean teaching, in essence, is that distress occurs when we direct our
mutual good will, q,here individuals come together in a relationship ,rllcntion toward something r1,e regard as evil and regard as a relatively
the basis ofpleasure, or utiliry or investment in each other's good tr1,irl evil compared ro goods measured against it. The Epicurems hold
iers. He is aware lhat the idea ofself friendship may be a bit strained, b thirl ure are masters of our own attention, and so we can prevent this kind
because it requires that we stand as subject a/,dobject toward ourselves i,l stress bydirecting our attention to pleasuies ofvarious kinds, or to the
one of these grounds,{6 but more importently because the idea of a Irinimization of our &,oes by focusing on those ofothers.a But this is not
lover" popularly connotes selfishnss. However, there is room for a lhe kjnd ofself-empathyl have in mind.l am envisioning self-empathyas
kind of selflove, he insists, that involves favodng above all else the ,irl cnlotionala itude that predisposes one to a fairer self-assessment, es
part ofself, practical reason, and listening to its directives with equan |((-iallyin the cases Ihave focusdon, u,here luck and accident andpower
ity. He associates this kind of selflove with nobility and the sacrifice
acteristic oftrue virtue, and he contrasts it with a baser kind of 43. NE IX. r I r r7za, pplo- r 2. Scc "Shard Vof.ges: itr Shcrmu (!99ta),
that involves taking material advantage for oneseliiT 49, See NE VIII.1 for the cltted! of ftendship.
,o, S.e Neff (roo3).
a5.I thanl Saan Bri@n for this poirt. , \. Tudhn DitPrhnont ITD), 3.r7 h Ci(ro (roor).
a6. Aie aI, t}.rc is o.ry one ch.ptr on this odd bnd of fliendship in a dkcu$lon t1TDr.78,
th.t 8oq on fior Menry six chapter (at le6r in th. Ni@ra.lpaa E4,i.r. rr, TD r.!a.
47. Aristotle ( 1984), M.ofiacl,ea, Ed,icr (NE) IX.8. 14. S.. Gr6v.rb ur.ful dlruolon oftfu 8rl.ur.m porltlon l, (:o02, 99),
42 Our Ancient Wars
Moral rniury, Dahage, and Repair ql
ceded to others squeeze out ones moral eficacy or cast doubt on One is "in effect seeing oneslfas another:,58 And this creates an e1.a1u_
goodness, .rtive and epistemic gap essential to reappraisal al1d reevaluation: ..One
As a kind of felt reactile attlt[de, self empathy operates by dra$'irg novyknows r.hat one did l1ot know thenj. . . one can now tal<e an evalua
in, in the way that emollorr, and not less charged mental states, do, live stance $.hich dife$ from the stance that one then rookl,re
in our attention oll rrhai is morally salient and signifrcant to our My fotion of self- empathy adds to this narratable conception ofselfan
agency and well beiry.5r One way of thinkjng abour Tom Fiebrandt's rlbilityto see from beyond or outside without radical dissociation or alien-
perience is that he entrcated himselfto look back at rhe specific ,rl o1 from r he old ,e.fa.ld irc
"aI, oisee,.rg ard fep,irg. Thar ,c pdn ofr re
tions in his self condernnatioD and the need for reopening th case. ln'.e ol lhe nolro'r, o[afle.ti\e aro (ogr,rr e reergagemenr. t ) rl ..en\e.
$rent backto the very scenes that caused so much pain and assessed ."ll emprlhi allous lor'rrlegrar'or (d .(iDd ol conoe..edne*1.
froln a nervperspectil thatiime and distance allow. in the to al1dfto rather than serial reinvention or radical conversion. Though one may have
logue of expressed reactive attitudes, overwrought guilt calls on self psl.chologically and emorionally moved on, one can stil remember how
consider the reasonableness of showing oneself some conpassion and one saw and felr things. One car srill be affecied, even ifslightiy, in
pathy i11 the very way that rcsentment asks those who have transgressed such rva).. As I am imagining it, in a case like prioris, he can still
feel a bf
to norv give us reasons for reassurance or trustsi The call in each case olthe bite ofth old guilr. it doesnr mttle him anylonger but in narrating
the starding io expect a reply. lhc story, he is nonetheless affected by rhe rcmembering, in some way ai
As suggested, the notion of self esteem doesnr get at this rc once \{'as. That is notallhe feels with respect to the events. He nowsees
ldea, bui neither does self,respect. 1he underlying rorion behind ljircumstances far more completely and his emotions reflect those changed
respect is that one is not seNile or subordinate to others, but rather lppraisals. But it is notjusr that he is now t'olela,/ngwhat he used to feel or
equal among equals. Yet one may have no doubt about thai, stand in t_hink ot,acce?ting arrd alrrirg it for what it was, a; therrpists
might pur ir.
[eed of its reallirmation, and yet sti]l need a faner hearing about Itather he also Lno$'s how it feels, as ifin nrscle r?emory. That is apart of
'tould-have done's" entail "sl1ould-have-done's" i[ tlle case of guilt his self-empathy. Similarh in Hallt case, 1{,e can imagine lim experienc_
ings, or about how flled or severe the damage done to self is in the case, ing a flush ofshame as he retells the story and brings io mind the
faces of
shame feelings. lhe father and daughter or hears the commander,s intonation as he gives
This reparative or therapeutic view of self enpathy presupposes him the order to deliver the e
,elope. The shame is no longer intnlsive
possibility of narrative distance and what Peter coldie has called a .rnd paralyzing, as it is ir1 posttraumaric stress. But it is still accessible. Self-
ratable" conceptio[ of sell .rnpathy, as I am usingrheterm, inaddirion to a compassionate, less judg-
i-t regrrd. i1!o,!e. rh is hrd ^. aFp(ti\ e. emprlhic d((e(,.,0
We are able to deploy in thought and feeling a narratable concep- Obvious'y rhe degree or acce* w,l deueni on how <hanged a per<on.
tion ofonesell with a narratable past, which one now remembers, l)sychological make-up has become. Access exists aiong u .oniin,lo-.
irterprets, and evaluates in vadous ways; with a presenti and.with a When the narrative distance isgrear, an individualmaybe able to remem-
narratable future, about \chlch one can make plans, have hopes and hcr only coldly and cognitively, wirh little emotional valence. She isnt
aspirations, and so on. This conception ofoneself is the narrative
sense ofsell5T 98. Goldie (2orr,86).
59. Goldie (201!,87).
60. (ee
Scl.e"hlmd . )oor,. hho,e woiI I , me upo- :n rflrnC tnn D.per Sne irr'o(p)
55. See Shernan (r997a,68), on the idea rhar emorjons are ways of rlacking, in Irrchdd \ollhe,m. nor.on or ekn. ae aod s d^!rs.ed :n n" n_ua t,V, .e.. -t
wals, the norally rlerant !e$s. See Huder and Macn nda(2oro). r Jr phhs n rcr . 6ld @gniri\e "i
retation ro rhe p.,r_ bui o= oich.,.h*ough.y i"
56. See Walker Coo6). See also Berna.d Williams (1995b,7j; 1995a,42): jusr as rJicdx,dr dftd'r,oor. k3,. "
'asks" a 1rds8re$or for "ad.nosledgment" ofone! stmdjng, so 1oo do$ cllbkme 6k
WoUhsm whel de*norg hh uo rd wr rr.otd* yea e-i
(,'lls dnL nB b) nilleinro dE Germ0n tines u AuSsr raj4: trving oe(-,,beo .he e!e-l
coldeDr{ li.r acknowledgoenr of tie hurr and reconsiderarion ot the chdges. On thc the nemor/ orrl. he sa) s, "rnd a! r lemember teetjng,ho"e ieetinS6l he rn.e
'rnJ o.toq. rhe
and iesponse narure ofreactive attitudes, see MadnnaB (2orr.
'cnbeo,lf,rrc! rhe reNe of betng on my own, rhe upsur8e orrcbe on dgain"tml, fa.e. come
52. Goldie (ro11, 36). Io. a sharp and livdy cdttclsm ot thc ldcn of a narnttlt ovcr m., so finr I am 0fi.ctcd by ttl.o h rcff! such wny a$ I wd! whetr
I Gtt thed on that
r44 Our Ancient Wars Moral rnjury, Damage, and Repair I r45

much alive to horv circlrmstances felt then. At this extreme, alimit to self_ good kind ofdistress for a sage) that witl function as handmaidens ofyir
ehpathy has been reached, at least for a while. tue and gatekeepers against vice.
The taxonomy is clunky. But the point ofintroducing it is that to be a
sage who sees externals as truly indifierent requfues fidical riansforr.rla-
A Sloic Lesson: The Sage and the Progressor lion,a conversion of sorts, with a disc.ete break from a past self. you are
eilher a sage or a fool, in one of the many hlperbolic St;ic formulations.
To illustrate this idea of self-empathy as empathi access, it is helPful to Jnd lo be(ome a sage rs to lave behind what you used io expenence as a
turn againtothe Stoic writers and to two conceptions of emotional change fool. Stably recalibrating externals so that they are now seen as indifier-
presented in the literature. One characterizes the Path to emotional en' cnts removes the sage from the emotional mlnerability to them that the
lightenment ofthe sagei the other, the emotional reforms of the 'progret_ rool still experiences. But crucially. for our pUJposes, r his also means rhrt
sor;'that is, the student who Dakes moral progress but never re rl_e sage remembers hie pasr iD a way rhar i\ a1edNeb dise gaged frcfi
sagehood-namely, ),ou and I, and all those I interviewl Self empa how he used to experierce it. The remembered events ;imply;o;t touch
both as empathic access and compassiorate, fail rcgard, can play a role him in the way that they were felt. They have lost thetu ch;rge and emo-
the progressort life, though not easjly at the point ofsagehood. And the tjonal valence. They arc not reiived aflectively, eve! faintly. There is no
reasons $'hy help underscore the notion ofself-mpathy 1 ,n1 after. I)roustian "madelaine:' Thus with equanimity comes a change in phe-
Butirst, some l-ery brief b ackground is helpful: the Stoics are nomenological access. And so the sage loses empathic access to who he
ists with respect to the emotions,6r holding that emotions are assents was, but also, presumably, empathic access to those who are still emo-
impressions or construals. The impressions constitutive ofordinary lionally like he used to be. In short, on this interpretation, the price of
lions have to do lfith goods or bads in the presentor future. There are l)eing a sage is that you lose connection to what it feels like to b; a fool.
'lhis maybe a blessing that
basic, ordinary emotionst appetite is directed at a future Sood andrar makes possible achieving the moststable kind
avoiding a future bad, while Pleasar is focused on a present Sood ofhappiness. But it definitely puls the sage at odds with most ofhuman
disrress on a present bad.6'? The Stoic notmative claim overlaid on top ity, including who he once was.63 fhis is a radical picture ofconversion
this taxonomy is that in experiencing these ordinary emotions, we are lhat requires dissociation from the past as a part of an embrace of an
senting to false impressions about what is io fact good andbad. So, in cnlightened future.
perielcirg ordinarydesires aDd appetites, lve mistake the objects of Admittedly, the picture is complicated by the Stoic concession that the
s ge still can shutter and shake. A sage's hair may stand on end at the sight
desires and appetites-comestibles, coEfortable dwellings, and
ones-as real goods and fail to grasp that the only real good is virtue, ol awful physical danger, "the knees of even rhe fiercest soldier
that it alone is constitutive of complcte being or happiness ( lrcmble a little as the signal is given for battle:,Still these are not fuil_
,ror,n). Of everlthing other than vi(ue, we should Learn to become blown emotions, insist the Stoics. They ar protoemotions (propatheiai),
ferent, or more preisely, 'select" those external Soods as no more /,/r),riologiral disturbances that dont impugn the saget pure virtue. They
"preferred" or "dispreferrcd" indifetefits, fot lhey make no substantive rc caused by seductive impressions that only when assented to become
ference to our happiness. The sage H,ill never be emotion-free-truly loperemotions. "lfanyone thinks that pallor falling tears, sexualexcite,
palietic (without emotion): he l^ill have cultivated 'good' motions (, mcnt or dep sighing or a sudden glint in the eyes or something similar
pdtheiai), hlgienic l.el.sions ofthree ofthe four basic emotions (therc ir lurc an indication ofemotion . . . he is wroDg;'insists Seneca. ,,H; fails to
rce dlat these arejust bodily agitationsl' "Emotion (or impulse) never oc,
6r. qualifications on ognitivism and Deo{ognitivisn (also judgmentalism ard lll
jud8nenhlisn) oflhe enotions, see Deigh (199a) lndBrady(zoo9).
62 For further adumbration of Stoic views on erotions, see She.nd ( roor. lor a 6 3 - Agair, de lexts $ de rdele r m I ne d portrait of lhe sage. lor m), o{n ahernative pi ctures,

Stoicvlewofemotion, see Nssbalm (rool). For .n ovetall accounr of sbicism, see 816
tucsh{md Goor. For lolltr Coop t competting md hore sanguine picture ota;5ge, see
(2oor. lor anoth* in-depth a(oultofStoi. emotion, see GBv.r (2oor.
46 Our An ient Wars vorall.jury, Damase, and Repair I r47

curs \\'ithout the hindt

assent:'6{ the sage kno s not to E ve assent to possibility ofregress. Even $,hen the aspirant is most zealous, there is a
these seductive presentations, slill empathic openness to what it feels like to be emotionally wlnerable
Nolv rve might seize on just this idea ofa Protoemotion to drive home .Lnd hut. This is the best most ofus mortals can expect.
the point that the sage still can/es, what he used to feel and so Prese s Seneca, at times, tal<es up this stance when he writes to his moral tu-
empathic access with his past. (And I have done so myself in some recon' lees, his progressors, from the vantage point of a fellow progressor who is
structions of the sage.) But the congruence of feelirgs here is thin just a bit further along. He is the doctor as well as the patient: "Listen to
merely physiological.65 11Ie battle cryis sounded, the saget klees tremble me, therefor, as you would as ifl were talking to myselt' "1ying ill in the
presumably as they used to, in the old preenlightenment days. But it is same hospita1."67 In a lettr to Lucilius upon the death of his good friend,
physical sensation in his knees,like a star[le reflex. Even ifhe can |laccus, Seneca urges Lucilius to move beyond his griefand "not . . . sor-
Lei, cognitively, the thoughts that were part ofan earlir set of row more than is fittingi though to take comfort in rhe fact that "the ideal
that th; enemyis fearsome and death unnen'ing-those are old aPp soul"-the sage-can himselfbe'ttung by an event like thisl'Still, ifthe
no longer infused with afiect. He doesnt relive the fear' Nor does he sting (morc s) is a reference only to the physiological protoemotions to
to impressions oapresent threats that ('ouldbringon similar ieelings which the sage remains vulnerable, then Seneca is not ofiering much ofa
ttis body is lust hcting oui' involuntarily. He knows that to have the hone. The real concession comes when Seneca confides that "he lvho
emotions is both undtting morally and urfitting epistemically, mi writes these words to you is no other than L who wept so excessively for
senting $'hat is good al1d bad out there.66 And his character is in line nry dear friend Adnaeus Serenus that, in spite ofmy$,ishes,l must be in-
those ;ewjudSments. The upshot is that empathy with his past self is cluded among the examples of men who have been overcome by grief:'6s
cluded as a condition of equanimity, but so too, it seems, emPathy llc suffers real grief, and notjust protogrief-lachrimae that are an invol
others who still feel and see through preenliShtenment sensibilities' u nlary, physiological drip. To be sure, the matureseneca now "condemns,'

be a new kind ofnumbness

may'Cortrast (r/a,zro) this behavior andbelieves he might have avoided it had he prac
this picture of a sage \{ith the less idealized model of liccd then the Stoic consolations he now embraces. But what catches the
tional change that the Stoics also offer the progrssor aims for the rcrdert attention, and no doubt Luciliuslis the empathic stance both to-
goal, values and emotions and thus achieve the
to reialibrate wrrd himself and his student. Despite the psychological progress, he re-
sufliciency that comes with SrasPing inner virtue as the only true nuins alive to what he once felt. We can imagine Seneca remembering the
But the goal is always only asymptotic, ard there is progress but also rr0rmtive details ofthe ]oss ofSere[us and the actual feelings that he felt
lhcr-the helplessness and griefas he shed excessive tea6, the shock and
6a. Seneca(1998), O, '4rgr IL3.It vie{ is ProPouded i! otler Stoic texts See
rLrrprise, as he says, that someone so much younger than himselfshould
6r. One @uld gd moE milease oul of lhe rror"fisiz bv suggesling that thtv c a prcdecease him. The feelings are repudiated but not disowned_ Seneca,
reenactmeot, of th" ort a p.r"hoanalyst niSht fel in littnin8 to a Parient and iirra progressor, doesn t pity his former self for having been so wlnerable
a ieethg congruent feelnrS-say of anger, or sexual douul or sadne$' The atalvst (n'lia! for his current selfthar he will be derailed byrhe glance backward.
iidllge the enotioD ir a full fled8ed rry, )'ei still the tasle ot that emotion is a momcn
( Lr contrast, the sage both condenns his fomer behavior and feelings and
.onn*ti." a[uncment that allows !.ce$ and undsstudjns Se' Chused
""a "]he Analvd 6 Stoic sag] hls nrade them alien.6e
McLaugt in ( reel), and my lnPublished Pi4e
66. Ih ttx6 can in othe. direciioc on jusi hw to i@lstruct th' sagr's
Pult 'qu
Onc of th 'g@d" e'notions (e4parleia) th. s.g feels is .!Lbiz, @ry or ntion'l
that rcplaes oidind) felr (rro& Nay be aatchfulnss widl respect to virtue bul 67. Sen .4 (1989), Epistb 27. t 2.
wq, .;ntrol to help keeP a tiSht lid on Potential entangLemnts wirh !rce' if s.' 63, Sene.a G989), E n&63.16.
o ,ritt ""tir." to *t'"t .nn"-"a him in the Past! he still thmcs' in the wolld olemoilo 6e Itr tle case of og.r, Sereca him*lf 8iEs us a tade of $at procas oflaltirg off "co,_
(r01" it, &eep n'hiddm ard* giE rh. oind d .dvoce directiE
thar shoutd dger
S* lohn Croper! interPretation of thc sge! equ.nimity, abdt as Putling in thk l rrupr. the mind nut "bury it d..ply ! not prcclaim ns disre$" (Sener 1998, Otr An8,;
tior. Ars, Re ny d6cu$i;n of the rcle of Stoic Sood .molions, inc-luding lhis ki'd of
na1wuines, in Shsnmn (2oo5,81, 106, r09,193,2or). P.rh0p! an84 h orc toxlc thin 8d.fand i $.!t.r lhcol to lqu0nlmtql
r48 | Our Ancient wars Yoral Injury, Damage, and Reprir r49

sela-Empathy Is Not self-Forgiveness traying or being betrayed, or letting oneselfor others down, etc.
This idea resonates with Smithi cognitive gloss on ernpathy as in
Some readers rna)- have the n agging thouSht that what I havebeen afterall volving imagination or "fancy:'
along is not self'empathybut self-forgiveness.T0 Isdt itforgiveness that can ' Compassiodate atrd benevolent regard toward self, especiallyin
really heal the guill'wracked soul? Even if a notion of .(ef forgiveness is cases where it is needed to counter overly harshjudgment. In the
coherent in cases where one has transgressed ngninst anothet it seems aD cases I am most interested in, this attitude can often arnount to a
ill fitting notion when there is no real irtentional wrongdoinS for fairer and morc equitable self,assessment ofaccountability impor-
to defiand forgivencss. lrue, as a more ge]1eral idea offorestearing anger tant for moral repair. Relevant here is Aristotleii notjoo that all
and bl neTr it uray have its p1.tce in the surmounting of self-reproach, ir- friendships involve feelings ofaffection and goodwill, and that the
respective ofrvhether that reproach is deserred or not. BlIt even ifit does, best friendships provide arenas for moralgrowth.
self-forgiveness doesnt expose the more complex evaluative and affective . Reactive attitude structure, in the sense that slf,empathy is an
mechanism I have been exploring, ofsurmounting cettain emotions with emotionally charged rvayofcalling out to oneselfwith the norma-
compassion while preserving empathic access to them. tive expectation ofa repl)r. In the cases I have developed, it is a way
And why is that access important or wor$ preserving? I susPect it is of morally entrating oneselfto reconsider how one holds oneself
because I don't believe that dimcult conflicts and the motions that ex' accountable. One is exposing to oneslfa potential misiudgmenr or
press them are ever so completely resoh,ed that all residue of such conflicts unmerited self'reproach with a demand to shift from blame to
disappear Self-empathy is a way of remaining attuned to those tugs and .redir for doing vi'hat was at the time appropriate and best.7, This
pulls as lhey morph into new shapes on new landscapes. It is a comPas' idea borroi{s from the rich discussion ofreactive attitudes begun by
sionate form ofkeepingself-\,igil. That said, we mayalso need self empathy P F. Stra*.son.
in thecaseswhere we have, ir fact, transgressed or acted morally rvrongly,
and forgi\ness, toward self or from others, doesnt seem quite right- ' A narratable conception ofsllthat highlights the idea that one
knows norl. what one didnt knox' then. This notion ofselfinvokes a
perhaps because the wrcngdoing t'as so heinous (and unforgiveab)e)
historical perspecti\.e, such that one now has aD epistemic and eval
Weve traveled a windiDg path in this sketch oftherapeutic self-empathy
uative advantage that oDiy time affords.:3 This notioD builds on Pe-
and iis historical and philosophical roots. As I have developed it, self,
ter Goldie's yiervs.
empathyis a cofiposite notion that resists easy unification. A quick
of those component elemeDts and dimnsions is in oider. Self-empathy
. Self-forgiveness, or at least self,forgrveness may figure as a companion notion ill this account ofself-empathy, However,
forgivness typically connotes an objective wroflgdoing that one
. Afiective access to past emotionally imbued expellences, such thal forswears and seeks atonement for as a cordition ofreentry into a
one is able to "feel" and recapture something ofthe tone andva_ moral community. Insofar as the kinds ofmoralinluries I have
lence ofthose experiences. This is the force of"being alivd' to thos been focusing on do not t)?ically involve objective wrongdoing,
self-forgivenss does not seem apt. Granted, i have spoken ofslf,
experiences, not numb or dissociated. This picks up on Hume's no_
o[ "catching" affect. exoneration in places, but I am bending that term to capture the
tion oiempathy as a way
psychological sense ofrclease from reproach and the move toward
. Cognitive and imaginative engagement such that one can reinter_
crediFgiying and selflrust, withoirt commitment to the/acfofa
pret, reframe, and so reconstrue emotionallr'Powerful and in somc
wrongdoing. Perhaps one way to captute the move from negarive
cases traumatic exPeriences. This will o1len in\rch'e a reassessmeot
of the evaluative dimensions ofthat experience onetsenseofbe" 22. Se Coleen Ma.nanM (2or 2) on the genrral view of EacriE anibds .s h.ving .a.ll

coh.En.c of rhar notion, see Goldi (2ola). 71. Perer Goldie refes to thk r! jrcnl. ftou8h this kind o, shnce may b mcesaq, to.
70. For lhe
(to7),Goldie (rortb), Roberts (,oo3), and Calhoun (ree1) notry, n d@snl sem sufi<ient. I thonk Snbln. Rec.. lor .o rnrnrs on dris.
7r. Se criswold
rio Our Ancient Wars Moml Injl]]y, Damage, and Relair rrr
to positiv self-reactive attitudes is by thinking about the shame RIFXRINCIS
guilt that can come with nonperfect fu1611ment of imperfect
duues, and the ultimate acceptance ofones bounded but ALrrmson, K. 2o1o. A SentineDtalists Defense ofcontemDr, Shame. dd Disdaint rn p
noneth."less honorable and creditworthy engagement. So, I
Colde,ed. rhe Atatd tlaadbaar atpt-ttasap\ alEno,ior.,8o-2rr Oxtod o.-
ford Univereity Pre$.
couldnl save my buddy, but I was still a good soldier or Marine Atistotle. t9a4- me Conpletu Wark: af Atistatl" : ne Reised Otlad Trannaion. Barnes,
and did nothing that intentionally or through negligence or my Ionafian (ed.). Princetonr Prirceton L'liversiq. press.
ircompetence or self sefiing ends exposed my fe11ow soldiers )\nton, M- t99t- Kantid Ethics Almon Wthaut Apotagy lthacar Corneil Unjrersil-
undue dsk or l1arm. To arrive at that point is no small
lllack, S. A. et al. 2or. "?reva.len.e ud Risk lactos Associated wilh Suicides ofArmv
achierement for many service members wracked by guilt or
Soldiers 2oo1 2oo9l' ,l.rlldr), ps/o\olagt 414): 413',51.
shame-whether a Toln Fiebrandt, a John Prior, or a IeffHall. h ady, M. S. ,006. "Appropriate Atlitudes dd the yalue p rcbtem:' Anenean phitasoph
lcal Quatat q\t): et-es.
To sum up, h thinking about self-empathy i have asked us, ll.rd)t M. S.2ooi "Recal.itranr Emotions ud vbual ItlNiors: Anerjeah philasaphnaL
othr things, to focus on moral injuies that mal seem only apparent Quarteru aah):271 8a.
cause ihe $'rongs are only apparent. But the injuries are no less real. lJlady, M. S. ,oos. Value aod fifiing lmotionsl, /o r/rat aJ vdtue I qairy
42(a)t a65_
the soldiers' suffering no less real. Soldiers routinely impose moral
rr,ady,M.S.,oo9. The krationa.liry of Reca.lcitrdt EmotioDS:, philasaphicdt Stutties: An
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public iDdiffereDce, spottyirtelligerce, or all too lethal hightech and (hlhoun, C. 1992. "Changing Onel Hedl: -Erfricr: ,,1, rrternationat"d lauraat of Socidl,
tech weaponry. All this begs for healing, ir part, through the Lpla, pt lo-aph) oa ..:-n eo
ofself empathy that allou, one to touch the past in a uray that doesnl
(;hmdrasekdd, R. ,006. rareriat Life i the Etuenh Citt: tnside baq\ Grcen Zane.
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astate, and to see a future 6lled u,ith some sense oftrust and hope in s( ( rhused,
l. L 1991. 'fte Evocative Power of Enacimentsl, Io urnat of the Aneican psrcho-
,rr'.,h Aso.r,io, Jo 1.or.-J9.
I i. eto . aa .t.'a o, th? I n. |o"": 1,. Lta- D,.p..a.-ons, a, tt ! \t.
Grare.. ed
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( looper John M. 2oo5. "fte Emorional Life of rhe Urise." So rtheft laurkdl of phitosophr
74.1wish torhanklrancisco callegos and Trip cldze.lor invaluable research 43(Sr:176-218.
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the ps)chological literatue wnile I was a research scholu at the lvilsoD Center, 2011- Enotlons:' Philosophy and phe atuetotogical R5earch 6!i: 65 ea.
I4an),e)es have seen thjs paper in ils various i!.dnatiols. Amon8 them are Ch.istina l)dNall, S. 2006. 7re Stuofld?eruo Srdrdpoiflr. Cdnbridge, MArHdvard Uni!rstr
dernan!, Suan ilriso., Alisa Carse, Victor Caston, and Iessi.a Stern.I o etbankto
a! drd am sleciallr- lndetite.l nere to Vi.tor for his encoumgernent and insightlul I)cigh,l. 19e4. "Coglitivism in the ]1leory ofEmotions:,thjcs: An rnternatiakaj
Ia rnol
read. NIary ea4 have llso heud yersiors of this paper, nrcluding au diences at the al sacidl. Political, and Legdl phitosopb, rc414: 82a-ra.
of Indiana at DLoomingtonj D,rtmouth U.nsilvi Kccne Srare Collegq Kings Collegei I ti8h, J. 1e99. 'A1l (inds ol c!ilr:' Lafl and phitosopb,:
At tntenatianal laurhat lot lu-
LoDe Srd Distingrnshed l-ecture Tour at Unnrsit) of Texas Austin, Texas A&M, and r\prudence aftd Legal Philosaplt rs(4)r 3r3 25.
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euanerly ,ala), 6r_
rrersjryofCalilornia at San Diegoj Taristod.Irtjturei GraDd Rounds at Georgetown
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156 I our Ancient wars
War as Education D7
The universal experience ofwar must at last pardy explain the way minds in their audience who acted in, and received, these poems with
Nhich the dramatic poetry of the classical period flourished. The s undentanding. I do llot claim that war was the onlv teacher ofthe Athe
goes for all the poetry and prose that brings a Homeric \.ision to bear rirdn poel\ ar)d lhe,. drdiences: man) rrjbutale. liowed rnro rh"r
the experience ofthe Greeks-all the liierature, in other words, that Urhat I do claim is that the experience ofwar the men mustereal Lrncler
lvould suppress in his ideal state. No olle but a grizzledveteran could arms, the women huddled behind walls under siege-was essential ro th
wrirteo 'ftucydides' History and I do not believe thai a poet uneduc poets'ability to $'rite as they did, and to the capacity ofrhe audience for
by war could have composed the magnificert ode containing ftd0r responding to the poems.a
(Aeschylus, ,,lgane,x ro, r77). We who live now within salb boundaries, have a more distant experi
have seen too many wars, Lacedaemo ans (and so have you, ence of waq anemic and vicarious, o1tn mediated bv artists who have
you're lny age), to have any desire for the business out of that rFver been rncorbal. We haremu(h ro leJrn lrom theanc.en. Creel". It
belief, to which ordinary people succumb, that war is safe and goodl' u,e can iearn from them the lessons they learned from war then we can
says the Spartanking Archidamus as he sets outto wafi his fellow perh;p, detaclr our, irom ou. rargell iglora.rt .r lJre o.wa,. e,pe
of the dangers of war with Aihens. FIe, at least, had a thorough ed .ialv Iro,11 the b avddo gdme. ard mo\ie,. alon8 Mth lhe (t:rk
in wat but the education war delivers goes far further than the lesson horror ofthe stories we like to hear from veterans.
u,ar is dargerous. History can teach the dangers ofwar even to those In our time, even in the war,torn twentith centurv. war has been an
harc no direct experience of combat. But war teaches its owr J'omdlyformo,iAme-,cansrho *ri.eand readurd rarchptay<or. lrn:
deeper lessons than this about human error nnd suffering. A dealing with war Our culture, for better or.nrorse,lacks the education of
combat can teach a soldier to do things he will forever wish to war. War has al$7ays had a bad press, but it is worse now largely because
while neverbeing able to do so. Once past, howevet war teac.hes its war is anomalous. Witnesses hal-e never told the full storyofwar; theytell
ans througlr memoryj its lessoN relate to what is most important what the ignorant audience back home longs to hear In the nineteetth
human lifb a]1d may lear-e a \ieran with growing compassion for certury that r\rould have been glory (',IDto the l?lley ofdeath rode the six
who do evil under stress.r Tle two sides ofwar as teacher are hundred"),s but in rhe late twentieth and early twenty 6rst centuris the
presented in the llidd. $rar teaches Achilles, through the death ofhis ignorant want mostly to hear of the horror ofwar. Reporte(s, historians,
lo1.ed friend, to become a raging, pitiless beast. And then, in tlle .,nd mo\ie mdl.erq no" gtor\ .1 rre mo.. grisll ,rorie, rrom uar
combat past, war also teaches Achilles lo reflect on his own death by lLe one\ tha. rre calculared .o horrib ciVj.ian, dt home in r1e
mo.t blood
and, by way of that reflectior, u,ar leads him to compassion for his curdling (and therfore perversely delightful) wa),.5 Audiences love hor
ard so, iD the iadt brilliant ending, to conpassion fo{ Priam.3 ror forreasonsNoel Carroll understood,Tand the tellers ofwar stories are
A plantthathas suffred from atight pot, a lack of water, or a Slad io oblige.3 The result is that audiences now have a distorted sense of
Iight, may suddenly burst into triumphant bloom. So the war the effect war has on those who wage it. In fact, long after a retum from
minds ofpoets such as Aesch)4us blossomed into wisdom as did eombat, a veteran may find civilian life flat, ug1y, boring, devoid ofmean-

1. I an testiit in nr o1v! case, tlar althoush l ws wouDded in nird and sod by r. I owe rhe loint partly ro colvesations $ith leler Metueck,
perience of lva., thar ea?erience nevertheles made ne the ethical thinker I am todqr 5. Tenll.son Mde "'the Chege of the LBh Brigade" in the )eu of the battte of Bala.taea,
othets judge vhethd drat is a good thnrg. r ri 5 4, after reading a nerspaFr rport. He t ner the attack had been a blunder, but for all riut
l. For a modern tesrimotry to rhe positive side ofwar as a teacher, .onsid$ !his: hls drme $%s glory: rheir siory fade?,,
lool .ould do hro ]rds ofNation.l Sdlice od.eseDr ir N a waste oftine It... o. ],e \o,l o Lhe horcr ..Lp. Io..,' e \.e.. n pe.,o,l Vich"e. He- - roe I uCe.
coisdiptl 10 an altuost dosed sociel., monkish nr a war, disciplined and order\! ud .,.. . i"h \ m..k.d. B. in Drc! on o. r e c.!,t r puDtr. q.r r ni. Drtd,d "
dd ".. h.. . krnLon
him !o nana8e hn indncipline and disorden alger sexualiq. Bullying, brutairtl k) poiso! the culrue olviexrm W novies.
dation and fed srre among its tranring rools $ith ra
recruts, eictimjzation too, bui z. see Noel cdroll, ?tre piilos ophy al Hotor at pardda,es af the pnai_ 3ga.
tlse had thelr educaLive ?spose, and \rre Lhe stimulus ofa resilien.e rhat had not 8. rn a reenl eidnple, fron ?1rc Anmian Sthatar, an iricte
by Neil Shea gires vivid de
tapped before: (Fron Ile ?r,s Literarr Suppletuent,lan. zo,2or2,22 2r. Review by lnilsnbout a paluologicallyviolohrrcrgool whitc etvcrrinB in onlvone scntenceloasrgca.i
dd Davenport Hines olBrian Sewell's O asidei quoting the book,) ,)1 i hotrer slripe ('l\ Crthc!ltrg S ntr jN j. r, ||, 6-r I ).
58 Our Ancient Wars We as Education 59

ing, empty ofreal friendship. One need not be a psychopath to love After reviewing these, I will turn to a philosophical reflection about what
fare. A veteGn $'ho wants to return to war is not pervene, these results mean for ethics.
The bad press about war leaves folks at home rvondering why
can go willingly back to war, wlry battered vterans miss their $rars
sometimes long for impossible returns. The lure of rar-even for r. The Inleritarce Question
who knorv how bad it can be-is due to its exciiement, its vividness,
ifiportance itplaces on small actions bearing on life anddeath, and, In Sophocles' Pfrllocrefes Achilles'son ispresented rtth a choice:lrhther
ofall, ol1 the tight bonds war cements among commdes. But these are to be true to the character he be1iel-es he has inherfted from his father or
my themes in this paper to embrace ihe only means available for winning the long war with Troy.
NIy theme here is moral education. Any experieDce that cha[ges a pe] As the young son ofAchilles,x'ho is proverbialty honest, the young Neop -
soni moral charactr is part ofthat person's moral education. For better tolenus benefits from the aristocratic assumption rhat he has inheritedhis
worse, war is an educatiot, No ol,Ie returns ulchanged from war Some fathert character an assltnption t'hich he himself shares. Because of
the ar-changes are good, and some bad, as u'e shall see shortly. But this, he and the others believe that he truly is absolutely honest. That is
interesting is that such changes occuratall. Tragic poets showd ho$, why he is the most credible ofthe crcek soldirs, and that is why he has
changes occur; in doing that, they dealt Nith questions that seem to l)een brought to Lemnos under the tutelage of Odysseus, the master
lenge the possibilitythat war rvould change character at all: liar-so that h can tell a whopping 1ie and be believed. philoctetes, rhe
owner ofthe bow ofHeracles, has been srranded on the island. The war
1. Is character inherited and therefore woven frombidh into the cannot bewon without the bow bur the owner will nor willingly (ejoin the
identity ofa person? Ifso, no expeience could fundamentally nrmy, and he will not board ship with Odysseus, whom he Ieows to be a
change it. liar. The crdible Neoptolemus is charged wirh telling th lie that rvill gr
2. If character is not simply inherited but is acquired through lhe archer on board the boat for Tro)r
tion ovr iime. then orce it has come to flower does it stand Only the big lie will bdrg the decisive weapon to the Greek army at
Ifso, character ac!uired in childhood and youth *'ould wi ltoyt only Odysseus can craft the lie, and only Neoproiemus can deliver it
successfully. At first the lad,-ar1 ephebe on thebrinL of adulthood, on his
The first ofthese I will caI the inheritance questlon, the lirst campaign-demurs: "lt is not in my nature to practice treachery /
I s,ill call the character qustion. Both.all fbr neg.ttll.e ms$'ers, Nor so l am told, \qas it my father!" (88-89)., But soon (in rwenty busy
and those answers are important to ethical theory. I wil16$t i1- lilles) the perceived necessity ofwarl0 r,ill teach him to go against whar he
lustrate these answers with texts from ancient GreeL history and l)clievs is his naiure: "Then cone what may I rdll put aside my shame and
traged).. $'e shall see thatboth issues wre &'ell understood in (b it" (11o).
Uisdom tradition of ancient Greece. Neoptolemus tells the whopper as instnrcted, and he never retracts it:
A third question, close cousin to the second, also calls on the hc says he is fleeing the Greek armybecause Odysseus and the others re
experience reflected in tmglc poetry, but this one can be lirsed to turn over to him his fatheri annor. Toward the erld ofthe play is
in the aflirmatii.e: Lr l;rlse ending in which he says, "If that is rvhat you want, we will go,

Once shattered by trauma, can apersont character ver recover

virtue, or strenglhen its virtue? e. Ailirdslatiors ofsophocl$ aftfion Fott Tlag.dies: Ajar, watue oJTraehis, Elecltrd,
/rrilo.rerei trds. Peter l,leine& aod paul Woodrdl (rndimapolisr Hacketr publishi!&
lf l(e can answer this recovery question in the aflirmative,
we can see how a soldier who larned to beha\.e badly in combat o. 'Ire feeling of necssitf thar cloal$ cerianr acrions in a,e is uong the nost power(rl
may nevertheless be a better pe$on afierwards for the er.? '
loche6 ofwari evils, Few people have the wisdonr or the time to consider whelher a course
or at least no worse. ol d.llotr that h perceiyed ro be nccclsMy rc(lty ts ro.
160 Ou! Ancient WaIs
wa! as Education I 16r

(1402), meaning tllat he wiil take the $'ounded Philoctetes home rather and countless course of time"t 'I have recently come to leam / To hate my
than to ihe $ar In this, Neoptolemus ma)- be sirown coming over to the enemy while knowing / That one day he may be my friend-/ And $ar I
side of truth (as some scholars believe), but, as he does Dot retract hir rhould help my friend but know / Thar he may one day be my enemy. /
main falsehood, thisseems unlikely ( as orher scholars hold, and I concur). Friendship is a treacherous harbor (Aja_r 646 and 678-33).
Apparendy, the Greek have only one boat, and Odysseus is effctively in
command. Neoptolemus has no way to carryout the promise he has made.
We do not know as the play ends whether the boywas telling the truth or 2. The Character Question
not when he promised to lal(e Philocreres home. His character remains a
mlsier)', probablyeven to hinsell Sophocles'use ofmysreryon this point Can character stand firm against strcss? A soldier wants to believe that his
is brilliant clifihanger stagecraft.r I character can be strong enough to remain unshaken by events and situa
Whetheror not he reco\rs his honesty, Neoptolemus has allond it to tions. In Sophoclej Aja{, the hero (perhaps because he is tempted to
lapse through most ofthe play, and that is enough to show that Sophocles change for a new situation) clings to such a belief: are a fool t;think
does not hold ivith the aristocratic assumption in his plotting ofthis play.r? You could teech m to change the man I am." So he sa)4e to his spear-bride
Indeed, the Greekcommanders nrust themselves hold rhat the aristocratic Tecmessa when she tries to persuade him to submit to his fate (Aiar
asslnrplion is false but crcdiblc-crcdible so that Philocteres will be raken 9(1. He is half-n8hl. Tecmessa will nor (hanBe him, alrhough ne wlII soon
in by Neoptdemus, and false so that Neoptotemus can learn easilyto 1ie. pretend rhat she has: L . . now feel m) .trarp eage aulei , By rl-e rofr
ADother assumption ofinherited character: Odysseus \{as belie\d to words ofthis woman" (650-52). But the situarion will build to the poinr at
have been fathered by Sisyphus, so that he was a trickster born ofa which it does change him. Before he dies he will hau. become u .r.I/'/ Ayax.
ster father His bastardy is cited byNeoptolemus in the tellingofhis The situation is dire. For the first time in his life, his strength anal cour,
lie (Philoctetes 3a4). ll true, this genealogy would explain Odysseus' age do not avail Ajax, and his bluff honesr,/, has become a liJiliry He has
characler (ifcharacter is inherited): although raised by a noble farher, been engulfed by three waves ofshame: shame at being outwitted for the
$ras begotlcn in Laertet wife by a dishonest inrerloper. Ofcourse, Neop- prize by the cunning Odysseus, shame at haying failed in a now public at_
tolemus u'ould like to believe that sons inherit their father! characters; lempt to kill his commanders, and now the shame offacing public death
Nould likc to turn out liL his farher Achilles. Ofcoursc, Sophocles' by stoning and leaving a corpse to be dishonored. He cannoi hght his way
encekncN that he r,ould nor, that hc would be kno$n instead for his out, and he cannot go home to face further shame from his hero father.
ish crueltyduring the sack ofTroy, a future to which Heracles nocls in His only hope is to take charge ofhis dearh, bur this appears to be impos_
final advice to the Greeks (u4o-4a). As for Odysseus, bastard sible. His men and family have put him on suicide watch.
though he may ha1.e been, he can show a noble character when He must learn to use words cleverly; he must learn to use them to de_
upon to do so, as Sophocles shows ln the Aidx. ceive his wife and friends in oder to be freed from their suicide warch
Friendship, the relation ofqLtriq, is often based on birthright Lilrc Neoptolemus, he must learn to lie. This lesson he has learned not
ships, but the traSic traditior is built on mlhs in which people lrom conventional war but from the civil war lhat has broken out in the
and such friendships shatter Creon and his son and fliece Anti Greek carDp and now threatens to destroythe army Although he lost the
though friends by birth, 6nd themselves rolled into enmity by (oDtesl forthe armo( Aiax remarned higt y respected
by the ranlt and file:
Birth does not matter Odysseus observes that "a friend today could his altack on the (ommanders was therefore especially dangerous. and so
ways be a foe tomorow" (A)ia, 1319). An)1hing can happen in "the lhey had grounds for wanting to punish both the man and-his corpse se-
vcrely. This episode ofcivil war sumced to make Ajax a new man, ; more
11. 11)e interp.etation ofthe play is fiautht, See o). "'I}e -Pr,loc,era of Soplodesj' in
interesting man than he had been before, one who could charm with
Ormand,ed.,/ Conpdnior,o sorlrod6(Oxford: Wjley'Blackwell, ,o 1r, r26 40.
words and tell a convincing lie. To save hjs honor from these new enemies,
1r. Sopho.ks mal not be consistent on the point Electra's nlsisience o, her noble
dk6 frofr her specid relationship wirh hcr fathtr: 'You fathrt th $ur.e of{ho you his former friends, he must learD to Iie.
(E 3a!). Dehnenat ecognition of rh. ,obility of her replaceneit tole {wohefl ol ''War is n violent (eachcrl wrltcs
he shows how civilwar
3o9), tunso ro b correcr. hrought out the worst in rhc pcopla ol (i,rcyrn. l-lun)nD narure, in hrs
162 | Our Anclent Wais war as Education 163

view is not a constanq it is known only through generalizations learned Philoctetes home. And even the boy does not yet know what we know and
from history about how people respond to varied situalions. The Greek Heracles suspects-that he will violate reverence at Priamt altar. The
did not beha\ so badly outside of civil war In this, as in other areas, ),oung manir brutality, evidently learned at waB will triumph in the end
Thucydides is true to his mission as a secular tragic poet-that is, he $rites over whatever reverence he might have had by his birthright or leamed
abouthumanmattersinmuchthe same wayasthePoets \{hileThucydides from suffering. We cannot know in adwnce v/hat siiuations will alter what
rites mainly of cities, their characters, and their policies, Sophocleo we thought was a nan's character. Ifquestioned about this epleret choice
writes ofindividuals, but his themes are similar Character in an between lying and honesty, Sophocles would probably have said, echoing
ual is no more constant than nature in the human species. To underst Solon, "Ca1l no man honest till he's deadl' An assessment of a persont
can expect
human nature is to undrstand the Patterns ofchanSes that character would be an assessment of the pattern ofchanges that the char-
trom people as situations change. As for individuals, their charactrs arc acter undergoes, and a full assessment would take into account all the
known (insofar as they can be known at all) through the Patterns ofchangc known changes in drawing the pattern.
they make in themselves to meet new circlrmstances.
As often with Thucydides, his editorjals are undercut by his nel's sto-
ries.rr What \{ar teaches, according to the tales he reporis, is not alwayl t. The Recovery Question
bad. True, the popuiation of Corcyra turns vicious under the strain of
$,ar, but indi\iduals sometimes rise to the demands ofcombat. Nicias is War is indeed a violent teacherj under the stress ofwar, peopie do brutal
striking example of a man who is at his best in combat. He rises from rnd unconscionable things. They act out of fear for themselves or otlrers,
sick bed to save th oval camp, and, during the fatal retreat' he out ofanger after the loss of friends, or in the stupid haste of rapidly un
order and puts heart into his men. What brings out the worst in Nicias lblding and confusing events. The wisdom tradition illustrates this theme
democratic politics. Afraid to speak the truth in Public, frightened by hmously with the bestial rage of Achilles after the death of Patroclus. We
ticipaiior ofhow the democracy will Punish him if he admits failure, now know that some people never fully recover from such berserk epi
sends afalse letterholl1e askirg for reinforcements, aDd, muchlatet $odes; after cornbat tmuma, they live the remainder oftheir lives a hairt
defeat is imminent, he lies to ihe army about his hopes for a frfth brcadth ftom violent ractions to srnall provocations.ta But Achilles does
in Syracuse. So, yes, his character vades with situatioo' but the si rccover his humanity. MindiJ ofhis own impending death and the grief
thai brings out the worst in him is noiwar but radical democracy The this will cause his fathr he shows compassion for Priam, the father ofth
that makes him a liar is not the fear ofcombat, in combat he is a ntan rsho killed his beloved friend.
steadfast. His fear is that radically democrati elementswill destroy him After combat, in moments ofpeace, compassion may arise in veterans
home. Thucydides brings this out as an implicit charge against hecause they understand the weakness of human beings in two ways, pas-
democracy rlve and active, and they understand this first handr the suddenness and
The Iesson to draw frorn this is not that Nicias is really a good p p in ofloss, aod the ease ofdoing things they will later regret. The experi-
that the real Ajax was a master of deception, or that Neoptolemus as cuce ofwar, after all, is both active and passive. Amongthose who exped-
boro 1iar. Thucydides' lesson is that Nicias' character ueeds to be (nce war Passively are of course soldiers, but also civilians in the war zone
saii from radical denocracy ifit is to flouJish. And ifSophocles has a lDd civilians left at home.
son tbr us about Aj:-{ and Odysseus it lvould be not to judge them on War iliuminates human v'reakness like a flash of tightning on a dark
basis of their behavior in only one kind of situation. The tiSht lipped ttighti lhose who have seen it, in themselves or othe$, may never be the
cle man may never have had the need to use words, but do not assumt t{me. But an enlarged sense ofhufian weakness can make a person both
does not have them. As for Neoptolemus, it is obvious that the rrrore reverent and more compassionate. I have seen this myself, but I will
mans character is far from formed. At the play's end $'e do not know rcport here on this theme in classical tragedy.
sure \{hether the boy has decided to do what he has said to ca
rrrl,!'.rrL fl'.\ rrrrlr ,r1 i riri rrr rrr rrrr r t tlt tt)lirt,ltl)rntltr
Lr, So, famously, deSte Croir,ln l..t!res, ,, ,,I \,r i, I i
164 Our Ancient Wals war as Education r6t

CoNider Deianelra, the principal figure il1 Wo7, efi af Trachis. She tcmpers his feelings toward this enemy Aja-{, who had formerly been his
known war passivelysince she *'as a 1rcung girl, when Hemcles $'on her lrlend and comrade in arms.
a battle, and thell, soon alter, r,hen he rescued her flom a Athena, protected by her divinity, has no such knotyledge and no such
bidinous centaur Nesus by killing him with a poisoned arrow compassion.ts At the enl, af Women of Trachis, Heracles' son Hyllus asks
man-beast died practicallyin her arms, promisinS her the benefit ofa lc lbr compassion for what he is about to do-to place his living father on a
potion from his poisoned blood. Maniage and a home did not save lirneral pyre. He knows better ihan to ask the gods for pity: "See the great
from further experience of waq however All during her marriage ruthlessness / Ofihe gods in these actions. They sow children, \ce honor
lived in terror that herhusband, on whom her safety depended, would lhern / As our fathers, and yet they watch so mtlch suffering" (1266 69).
1ost. And she could not even Iive in her o$in homej violence threw her lhe actor would have spoken from the heart. Educated by lvar he and his
her children into exile in Tra.his Iudience knew the gods ryould not save them or anyone else from suffer-
Sophocles understands how deeply she has been wounded Iry ing. And in that knowledge grew compassion.
experiencs ofcombat, prcsent or distant, and also how compassion llar's education is a deepening of our understanding of hunan vulner-
spring from her l\,ounds. l{llen she sees lole, a prjncess captlrred in rrbility-of how swiftly we may be destroyed even through our own ac'
she is deeply nTored: 'A terrible pity strikes me / When I see these Llons. taken under the severe stress ofwar
tuDate women tossed on a foreign land, / Exiled, the homes
their fathers killed" ( Wonen of Ttachis 298-3oo). llle story does not
in this expression ofcompassion, however. Whe[ she ]earns that the Character and Ethics
cess is actually Heracles' nr, trophy wife, she succeeds in deceiving
selfabout an irtense anger that will destroy the man she loves. This llwar educates bychanging cllaracter whai is leliofthe notion ofcharac
deceived anger also seems to derive fron her wounds. 1cr? By "character" I mean not a pelsol1 but the moral qualities ofa person

She llas acted in the haste and fLrry that $'ar incites. not that are exhibited in actio[ and speech. These are ai the center of vitue
people in wartime often do not know what they a(e doing, $'hat is cthics, if there are no such qualities, \.irtu ethics rests on a mistake.
on. But she soo,l leanN the truth ofwhat she has done, and this is There are questions here for philosophers and psychologists, but I will
able to her: "No woman could bear it, / Not if shel always held he. $ct them aside in this paper. I find a literary answer in the worL ofSopho
above nrongdoing' (zzr zz). She covers her face in shame and cles, and a historical answer in Thucydides along the same lines. Sopho-
takeshero$,n life. She has done wrong, but she has notbecome dre .les' people are consistent only in that their behavior is l,rd(, as Aristotle
person vyho could glory in her action, or e\-en merely accepi it. Her would put it.16 Sophocles seems to operat by implicit assumptions, cred'
oo discov..ring what she has done shows that she has returned to her lble to an audience, as to how a person can shill character in response to
character. She returns, but she does not surviv thejournql Such r)cw demands. Aja-! can 6nd rvords to save his honot Odysseus can 611d
are a1l too common among those who ha\.e been educated by war, eoDpassion to save the army from injustice and civil war, Neoptolemus
The consummate survivor is Odysseus. li lhe Philactetes, ear find a streak of convincing dishonestyto win the war We beiieve all of
lhis; the changes enrich our understanding of these agents as human be
shows him as a ruthless instrumeDt of war But in the 4rI
surprises us with a n1an ofdeep compassion. Seeing Ajax h his lngs uho have a full range of human responses.
inthe prologue ofthe play, Odysseus sa).s, "I pity the poor man / Thucydides' amwer steers a delicate coursebetween an essentialist and
this insatiable evil, / Even though h is my enemy. / It could just as
1 ,. on compa$io! in the ,{jar Fe sdndd Knox, Ihe Aj@ of Sophocl$l' in his tford
be me. / We are all insubstantial shadows, / And life is iust a
rrd Action: E$ays an the Ancier, Tlratel (Baltimo.e loln6 Hoplons Udve$itl PE$, r9r9),
dream' (A7ax u1 26). Again, at the end of the play, he pleads
Aga$emnon for compassion, in order to save the herot body from 16. O, chuacter aristotle on Chdacterj or, Who h Creon?" Io4rn4l
iD Alistotle, see my
honor "Don'tbe so ruthlessl'he sals (1333) andgiveshis reason:'After il Ctltkhm 67.r (loor)r 301-9. On chda.ter in sophocles, see mI
Asthetics and Atts
someday I'll also need to be buded'(1365), Like Achilles*lil(e "Sophodes Humanrsml tn Wlllnr Wnn6 ed,, LoSor afld Mrthost Phtlsophiel Essays in
soldier-Odysseus knows how close he is to de0th, and this know (;agli Lltslaa!/c (Albanyr SUNY Pr.r, .oor ), lt 3-rj.
166 Our Ancient wa$

a sitlritioDist a.count ol.hrra.ler Nclihcr humxll nrture nor ch

entire\ lixed; that is why we should reserye our judgment of people
their lives are spent. Character is allected by sjttationi that is why
should hope to protect people from the kinds ofstress that are most
torting ofcharacter extrenes ofwar civil war, plague, political
"Hu an natlrre" is what, according to hucydides, we should call
patterns of response io situations that the historian observes in l)eciding to Go to War
afiairs. But individuals are not totally at the mercy oftheir situationsi
ferent men under the same stresses do not do the same things. The Who Is Responsible)
niaDs claim to be governed 11, iron laws of human nature, but the
does not bear this out; even they show exceptions to these "iron lalvsl'a A ene W. Saxonhouse
the Spartars behave quite differently from the AtheniaN. History is
empirical subject; its genralizntions have no dPlloribasis, never hold
all cases. By analo$ lvith htllnan nature, then, we could say that an
vidual's nature is a pattern ofresponses to changes, different for difrr,
people. And that is character. l)iscussions of why wars occur fiI] the literatlrre of internaiional (elations
Cha(acter then is a pattern (or a set ofpattern, of responses to in political science journals. To quotejust one central6gure ir the 6e1d of
lions. Chamcter does not guarantee a certain beha\.ior (such as truth nternational relations, James Fearon: "The central puzzle about ar and
ing), but it does indicate whai behaviors to expect from a given nlso the main reason 1{.e study it, is that wars are costly but nonetheless
aglven situation. Charactr differs from person to person. So, for wars recurl' Fearcr continues that there are three q?es of argument to
CiytenDestm and Deianeira both find themselves in the situation of irnswer the puzzle about $'hy wars happen. First, that "people (and state
ing killed unfaithful husbands. Both are changed by this, although caders in particular) are sometimes or always irational. Second,
the same way: one loses whalever mothr1y qualities she once had; . . . that leaders who order war enjoy its benefits but do not pay the costs
other loses the courage to face public knolvledge of lyl1at slle has which are suffered by soldiers and citizens. Third, . . . that e\en rational
Other situations may have changed them in yet other ways, not entir lcaders who consider the rislc and costs ofwar maynd up fighting none-
predictable. And )t audiences accept these characters as plausible lhelessl' Fearonir article focuses on the third option-that leaders are ra
cause each is seen, after the fact, to have a crtain coherence-\qhat lional calculators r.ho conclude that the risks offighting wars are worrh
totle expresses byi,(6q. Yes, we might say,I did not expect her to do lrrking given the potential advantages. He concludes thar this approach is
but now that she has done it I see that this lits with what we kno noi adequate because states shor-rld, but are unable to, ''locate an altema
A complet account ofa persons character can never be given, liveoutcome that both would prefer ro a fight" (1995r379). Another author
the full mnge of possibie situations is never exhausted. War brings rcfers to this as the "inefficiency puzzle ofwar" (powell 2006: 169 )
most severe experiences to bear on chamcter, and for this rason There are a number ofreasons that I begin with Faron's article. He ap
seems to be the ultimate test. An ultimate test would be a single tes proaches the problen, of why siares go to war in the way that has become
single experienc that determinedan individualt true character. But slandard inth fie1d of international relations and his questions dominate
is no single test, and the truth about one's character is a story that lhc literature. He tries to understand war as a mtional calculation or irra-
many twists and turns. Character allows for no ultimate testsi we are lional response on the part of leaders. Approaching $iar from this per
our true selves under extreme conditions. tu1d although war is an sl)cctive entails seeing the decision to go to war as lying in the hands of
tion, the final word on soldiers' characten should not be spoken ll)ose (unidenti6ed) Ieaders-an issue that will play heayily in the discus-
their lives have ended. si(n below. Nevertheless, dlthough Fearon begins his ariicle with th lan-
guagc of"ieadersl'as hc dcvclops thc 0rgunrcnt, he moves by the very last
168 OurAncient Wars Deciding to co to \yar I 169

paragraph to assert that he is working wifi the assumPtions that underlia argurnent is that citizens in democracies abhor violence and so constrain
Ivhat in the international relations literature is referred to as "unitary (bil. theirleaders from pursuing violent foreign policiesl To support this, they
liardball') state'(rqgS: +1o). This "billiard-ball" theory understands states quote from a r99r article by T. Clifton Morgan and Sally Howard Camp
as units that like a billiard ball move through the space of internrtional bell: "[T]he key feature ofdemocracy is government by the people... and
relations and often collide, as billiard balls do. Scholars analyzing why the people, ilho must bear the costs of wat arc usually unwilling to fightl'
states go to war do not study the Parts out of which the billiard ball Urithout refering to Athens specificaily, Bueno de Mesquita et al. respond
composed. Rather the state itselfis understood as an undifferentiated ra. lo the 1991claim by noting that "[m]any democraiic states pursued impe-
tional actor calculati,rg whether to pursue war The billiard ball does ialistic policies and, in building empiles, engaged in wars that $'ere about
travel in multiple directions across the surface ofthe billiard table, subiugation rather than self-protection' (19991 792), butthe rhrust oftheir
the billiard-ball theories of the state-does the state as it engages in rrticle is to suggest that these institutional differences between nations do
on the world stage. It is a singular actor. Although all acknowledge not have the effect that is usuallyassumed by the democratic peace litera-
foreign policy decisions are often the result ofinternal political develop ture. Rather they suggest that al1 leaders are motivated by the desire to
ments, it is that unilied'ttate" that acts when many internntional stay in power-whether they are autocrats or democratically elected 06-
assess ihe probabilities ol warr cials. Thus, in their work the leader returns to the center ofthe decision-
Another dominant concrn in the study of i making process in their response to the democrati. peace lirerature and
rlations is the puzzle ofwhat has come to be known as "the demo the state is not a billiard ball.
peacei the effort to explain the empirical dis.overy (questioned by My concern, when looking to th world ofancient creece, is to raise a
butaccepted by most) that wars btr4,een democracies are rare.'?One of question about the leader-focused theories that shade inro billiard-ball
explanations ofthis is that "inlernational disPutes ofdemocratic states theories when considering decisions to go to war and to consider the
in the hands of individuals who have experiencd the politics of .omplent,'that democraric regimes pose when it comes to decisions con
ing values and interests and who consistently responded within the ccrning the initiation of war, whether we se the leaders separated from
mative guidelines of bounded competition. ln situations vrhere both lhe people at large or the state as an unditrerentiated whole making the
ties to adispute are denrocIacies, not oDly do both sides subscribe to decision.l But more than that, what I find lacking in these approaches to
norms, but the leaders ofboth are also fuily cognizani thatbounded lhe causes of l,,,ar is the normative issue that asks who is responsible for
petition is the norm, both for themselves al1d their opPonents]'r The lhese decisions. Asking the question of responsibility introduces the issue
thors of the article that cite this explanation continue, 'A closely rela ofjustice, what is ol|'ed for actions taken by a collective that call for pun
ishmentor-iess dramatically-praise or blame that largely escapes notice
in the literature ofinternational relations scholars. Who is accountable for
I Al,ad) nr 1e96 sone schol{$ predicted the decli,re oldre biliaball aPProach ycr
still captures rhe dooinant theoretical a$umption lo! thoF ana\'zng tle causes ofwd
tlre actions a city may take? And what be.omes ofihe implications ofa
a game theoreft apPro&h Sa ,acobse! (1996) Certain\. not all international billiard-ball theoryin this context? ln what follows,I focus on the decision
rholds are satislied with$(h i view olth.stac. Cf, e.8., Shafer md CricHo{ *ho q lo go to wa-r, but the question extends to all other decisions that take place
d(nr ftom tarn)n(lrdoldd Srme dEorl aPProa.hes" b.r "adherencc
the theories that in the realm ofinternationai relations.
'bilidd'bal (mnar, stat rclor),' $6ries thtl vork on the th.t
ned nor lool at ni.rc.ld.l ro undeslod outcorcs in inhatjonal E
{2m2: a6). s turt}6 t}e refeEnces in foornole 4.
2. Ihe literatue on lhis ropic is so vart ihal I hesilate even to be8in to addres n. Il i
dres on Kantl Perprual Pra.e on shi.h tvlichael wl Doie bded his .rgument in hii a. For sue, m&y scholds har nor b..n immune io this prcbleo and thee ft nmy e-
Dal articte G9s6). Note, though, lhat Ooyls arti.le discM "liberal regime{ and Kart
lldd Ihat try t, addr4 the reLtionship berw., publi. opilion 6d foreign poticy deci5ions,
cuss "republi.s:; oadcmo....y has signif@dy (to tuy oind) take, owr l[t as Rob.t Putlm .onment , to aresr $at ret.rion ir oot siDptq "Dom6ri. potitiG ud
dislre 6'
on this topi. iSnoring th. dittin.tions that one d make btq'en ePubllcl e
|rlrrnationrl relationr often 6om.hos .nr.nded, btt our have nor yrt sorrd oqt
lho puzzlint tangle. lt is to rlcb.c whdh.r domesri. politi.s realy determine inrr
&no@.i6. sc, fo. .xmple, Zinnes (1@a) and Rosato (roo3).
Dixon quoted by BueDo de M.squit. et.1. (1999:791).
lrlon.l rlatlon!, o! ih! rcllrC (rr88r{12). S.. aho Sclulr! (2oo1).
r7o our Ancient wars Dciding to Co to war I r7r

Thucydides and Grote that Finley quotes,s sees the democracy as a unifred whole-'1he unitary
('billiard ball') statd'-and questions whether one can separate respons!
Let me begin with something ofan imagined debate bet$een Thucydides bility from the people who voted "yes" and the leaders who proposed the
and George Grote, the nineteenth-century friend of John Stuart Mill' disasterladen adventure. The a.tor/decider in Finleyt Thucydides is the
Milh fellow Philosophical Radical, and the liberal author ofthe multivol- .re/noi itself.
Dx,e History afGftece as we]l as many other$'orks oD ancient Athens To side with Grote where the leaders need to take responsibility for the
its thinkers.l anl led to this debate by M. L Finleyi classic article on Ath- ctions ofthe Athenians in their decision to go to Sicily is, though, not so
nian denragoSues G962).5 fle purpose ofFinleyt article is essentially to clearly a perspective that favors the denor as much as Grote might imag-
point out that the word'demagogue" in fifth century Athens was not ine. Indeed, it suggests that the peopte were led, subject ro manipulation,
derogatory term meant to portray the masses as simply subiects to areed frorn responsibilit'r. only by losing their agency in the face of the
demagogue! rhetorical manipulationj rather, the term 'demagogue" porcr of rhetorical t cks. In one of the more hostile descriptions of the
merely descriptive. Showing his Marxist colors, Finley blames .r,mor that come from Platot Repurli., Socrates describes the people aj a
and Plato for the deroSatory connotations of the language of wild beast, soothed and tamed by the orators and sophists. "lr is jusr like
eiy and points lo the ancient $'riters' class biases as the source of lhe case of a mani he says "who learns by heart the angers and desires of
prejudices against nonadstocmtic leaders. As a preface to this r great, strong beast he is rearing, how it should b approached and how
though, Finley oIIe$ two quotations, one from thucydides alld the laken a hold of, when-and as a result ofwhat it becomes most diflicult
from Grote, concerning who was responsible for the Athenians' de or most gende, and pariicularly, underNhat conditions it is acustomed to
to set out on the Sicilian campaign. utter its several sounds, and in turn, what sort of sounds uttred by an-
First Finley quotes Thucydides' description of the Athenians orher make it tame or angry" (493ab).,
they receive the news oftheir dfeat in the &sastrous expedition to lf we accept Socrates' image of the democratic cjty here, \,e could ex-
in 41t BcE.'l1le Athenians become, according to Thucydides, "indi onerate the people from responsibility for the actions taken by the city, as
$'ith the orators who had joined in Promoting the expedition' to w (loes Grote. The people are understood as simply the dupes ofthose who
the supposedly 'bbjective historian' Thucydides then adds, edito have drunk heariily from the lessons of the Sophists and know how to
"as if they Ithe people] had not themselves decreed it lin the assemblyll hanipulate the susceptible masses. Though Grote, for sure, would disdain
In contrast, the quotation Finley offers from Grote reiects the lhis implication drawn from his response to Thucydides, nevertheless in
of Thucydides' comment by remarking, "it \,rould seem that removing the people from responsibility for their lote he is also in some
considered the Athenians, after having adopted the expedition by iense taking away their agency. Are we content with that conceptualiza-
votes, to have debarred themselves flom the ght of complaining of lbn ofdemocracy? I thinl( not and the implications ofthe unacceptability
speakers who had stood forward prominently to advise the steP. I do ofthe Socratic portiait ofdemocracy force us to confront how we under-
at all concu! in his opinionl' Grote continues, "The adviser ofany i $land the meaning ofresponsibility il1 a democratic regifte.r0 Or are we to
tant mclsure always makes himselimorallyresponsible lor its justice, ccept the somewhat unpleasant implications of fhucydides' commentary
fulncss and practicalityi and he very properlyincurs disgrace -.. ifit lhat leaves the people acting but then also responsibie for the conse
out to present results totally contrary to those which he had predicted quences ofthe actions the city as a whole takes even iftheir leaders misled
Grote, like Mill, the elitist defender ofdemocracy that he so manifestly
throughout his ivritings, Iays the responsibility for the Sicilian 8, InII.6t th. story Thcydides Glh abour the f.n@ of the Sicitian .ampaign is some-
ard its failure squarely on the leaders; Thucydides, at ieast in the whot difteE ir there he blmes rhe sellintcrclted leadds rarie! tho rhe peopte for the fail-
uru. For . nore complq oalyss of Thucydides' ow, dalrlls ofthe lourcA ofthe failure in
5. ]]ris Article Iat r becones the secoDd chapter of Firlels D.u actdcrt Ancient d^d
e. I use All.n tldslatlor of th. x.rlrlk ( 1968).
6. Iinley ( 1962: 3, quoiing lhocydid.t 8.r r- Iinly in*ns th bra.lrl.d Mrds ro, As I willnot. thlt ofd. ooac)r.aptxrr a con(eption of demcbcy
lhur und.rll.s mu.hworkln polltlc.l (l!nc. ottr rhc larr hrtfcentury.
r72 Our Ancient Wars Decidingio co 10 war r7l

them? In rnisillg these issues rvith a vie$, to ihe actions in the lied sense. . . defined by no other thing so much as by sharing in decision
Gree|world, I (like Grote) am ignoring the transfonnations ihat and ofrc' (rz7 5az.z-zl.
rvith the practices of represntation unkno\{n in the Greek demo That definition ofa citizen sharing in rhe decision complicates the po,
$,orld. Representatives and not the i7,mos at large make the deci tential answer to the question of who performs aD action with regard to
Hoive\er, insofar as representation ultimately entails an abdication of Lhe city. It may be easy to say that in the case of a qranny or a despotism
litjcal responsibiliq', i.e., allowing othe$ to make the political deci lhat it is the tyra.nt who acts and not the peopl, or even in an oligarchy
that $,e ourselves do not have time to make,I' the challenges posed by lhat it is the oligarchs, but what about a democracy? Ifdemocratic citizens
'Aebate" between Grote and Thucydides become only morc pressing. share in decisions and ofice, then are they all responsible for the conse-
debate between Grote and Thucydides is stark, but it is preciselythis (luences of the city's judgments? Linguisrically, rhink of the contrast,
ness that forcs LIs to address the challenges posed by a represeitative in Herodotus where he $rites about the persian king (singutar) who de-
tem that seems to allow others to act for us and therebylet us escape cides whether to advance against the Hellenes and about the Lacedaemo-
responsibility (and agenry) wnll which Tlucydides $,as eager to nians, the Athenians, the thebans (all p1ura1) who analyze, worry, strate-
the dEmas. giz, and ultimately decide how to respond ro rhe threats and rhe invasion.
When Herodotus writes of rhe Persians deciding, $,e know that behind
lhat decision is the Great King. He is singular; when we turn to the Greek
Aristode on "What Is a Citv' cities, th subject is plural.
Aristotle recognizes the complexity ofthe question he is asking when
At the beginning ofBook III ofthe Polilicr AristoIle raises a difficult hc also raises, but does not answer, the probiem ofhow we address the
tion. I-Ie Nants to know hat in th world the city (Pors) is. It is a .hdrge in regimes within a cityi if a ryranny becomes an oligarchy, is the
that he tries to ans er by focusing on rvho is the citizen, but oligarchy no$, responsible for the actions raken when the city was a tyr,
turrs ther he raises the question that motivates this paper. After rnny? Or vice versa? Think here of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam, or
that for 'bne investigating the regime . . . virtually the 6rst viewing is ol those countries affected by the Arab Spring. When Saddam, Mubarah
$'hat the cit,v nctually isl'he remarks: "lhere are disputes, some saying (idddafrwere ousted from powet who rcmaind responsible
for the deeds
the city performed an action lpErachenai tan p/a.nir), others that (lone by lraq, Egrut, Libya in ihe inrernational sphere-the
debrs incurred,
not the city, but the oligarchy or ihe tyrant (r274b3r 35)l't'zHe doe6 lhc treaties signed, the injuries sufiered. As noted above, Aristotle does
meotion democracy here but continues by acknowledging that the rx)t mention democGcy when he reflects on these questions. Aristotle,s
city belongs among composite thhgs" and that as a consequence $llcrce may leave us with the impression that for democGcies there is no
clear that ihe first thing that rnust be sought is the citizen' (1274b38- (llslirction between the people actinS and the city as awhole, and that the
Itrere follows his famous discussion of the citizen in which he pre l)()blem onlyfaces oligarchic, ryrannical, and monarchical regimes wherc
democmtic defrnition that descdbes the citizen as being 'in an lllc reSimes themsehs emphasiz distinctions between 1eaders aad fol
ll)wers. But, despite the emphasis on equality ofrule in dmocracies, we
rr. See, e.8., J J Rou$eau,Ihe So.i,lCo,r,rtIII,r5 or lvlansneu (197r. Also
.rlnrot simply excuse democracies from this qustion. Leaders-ri/dregoi
(194, and B*elsonetal. (1966). E. !. Schalhchleider fmous!" wrore about
denocracy: I1e people are a sorerign lnose vocalulary is Lnnited to hro \rords
r)ritors, if not demagogues-exist in democracies, but are they as such
rcsponsible for the actions of the city? Or in our contempomry experi-
12,In a note 10 this puticular passage in the 194,{ l,oeb edirion of Aristotleb cnce, are the elected representaiives isolated from and independent of the
Rackhm unlebfinry remarks, "So we speal ol a! action planned and caried by tle !lcctorate? Who really has agency and therefore responsibility in contm-
porr as an Ad ol Puli@elt, and tectnnal\. as an act olthe sovereiSrl' Racklm
ob(uri.g rhe difncub,thar Arhtorle (ud l) is Eying to highlighl by bleoding fie
llofttry democratic regimes? the issue becomes particularly salient when
onc thinks ofthe charging composition ofthe Assembly (or jumping to
lmSuage of so\qeignty and its nodem denocraric ituplications and thos grdted
rnodern times, the changirg clectorate). I rrould argue that the questions
13. I nodii,the Cdn$ rord translation lor .liations lrcm Arhlotlet Poliiicr ( re l1riscd by Aristotle are not sint|ly, s() 1o spenk, "acrdemicl' These arc ques
ry4 Our Ancient Wars Decidinglo Go to War r7i

tions that address the critical concerns of responsibility for actions taken about justice, we ca-re about what is owed for deeds done. We fear the "ter'
and thus force us tol'ard questions ofj uslice, whether between the tiflng place" Macdonald imagined where guilt becomes meaningless,
citiesorthe nationsof today questionsnotaddressedbythe"ineficien where decisions to go to war may be the result of rationai calculations,
puzzle ofwarl' where the moral aspects arc ignored. Thucydides, the "scientific/objectivd'
the much maligned "OId Oligarch' l\,riting sometime in the late historian, helps us uidrstand that aspect of our political world.
century Bc! seems to recognize the complexity ofthe issue when he o the following in his screed against Atheninn democracy:
Ihe Mltilenian Debate
[S]iates oligarchical\ governed are forced to ratify thir alliances
and solemn oaths, and if they fail to abide by thef contracts, the Itather than focus on the specifics ofPericles'role in persuading the Athe-
offence, bywhomsoever commltted,lies normally at the door ofthe rrians to go to warwith Spata or Alcibiades'role in urging the Athenians
oiigarchs lvho entered upon the contract. Butin the case ofengage lo set offon the expediiion to Sicily, I turn now to what I considr an ex-
ments entered into by a democracyit is \{ide open to the PeoPle to cmplary debate fron, thucydides' Hisrory to explore these issues. Deci-
throw the blame or the single individual rvho spoke in favour of sioDs to go to war nre probably the most consequential ofall actions that
some measure, or put it to the vote, and to maintain to the rest of cities can take and why, in the language ofthe international reiations lit
ihe r,orld, "I was not present, nor do I apprcve ofthe terms of gov- crature discussed above, the decision to go to war is such a puzzle.
ermnentl' Inquiries are made in a full meeting of the People, and Thucydides uses the rebellion of the M).tilenians from the Athenian
should any ofthese things be disapproved ol they can at once dis- llLiance/empire as one ofthose paradigmatic cases that-like the Plataean
cover countless excuses to avoid doing $,hatevei they do not wish. siege or the stasis at CorcFa provide clarity about the pmctlce and con-
And if any mischiefshould spring out of any resolutions which the scquences ofwar in his time. Thucydides offers considemble detail about
People has passed il1 council, the People can readily shill the I he events surrounding the Mytilenian rebellion from AtheN as a preface

from its ourn shoulders.'A handful ofoligarchs acting against the 10 the debate that takes plac in ihe Athenian Assembly concerniig what
interests ofthe People have ruined usl' But if alry good result en- l)urishment is appropriaie for the rebeilious city. the island of Lesbos
sues, they, the People, at once take credit of that to themseives wiih Mltilene as the leading ciiy on the island lvas eager to break away
(,,2).'n lrom its status as subject to the Athenian empire and sought to join in-
rlcad with the Lacedaemonians. It calculated, we can say, the costs and
Inthemiddle ofthe lastcentury, durirg the debates abouthowlo bcneits. The Athnians gtiing wod ofthis rebellion sent ships to prevent
p1e ith the events in Nazi Germany and how to assign respo lhh new alliance from taking place and laid siege to the city-again we can
al1 that happened there, the cultural critic Dwight Macdonald scc this as a calculation of the cost and benefits.
onthe issue ofGerman guilt wrot: "lfthe Germnnpeople are not At tust the Mltilenians ( hai Mytilnaiai) rclESe to obey the Athenians
sible' for their' nation's $'ar crimes, the orld becomes a complicated flnd when the Athenians begin to take military action against them, they
terrifying place, in $rhich un-understood social forces move men llnd themselves .forced to go to wat" (anankasthentes pabmein, 3.i.
lik to perform terrible acts in which guilt is at once universal (;iven ihe delay ofth Lacedaemonians (plural) in sending supportforces
meaningless."15 Hol,, then, do we assess responsibilitl when talking {r, the M}tilenians, the Mfilenians conclude that they must surrcnder to
a.tions taLen bycitis or nations or states? As the trials that took I hc powerful Athenians. The Athenian general Paches sends off to Athens

Nuremberg or as life in post-apartheid South Africa with its trrth cr lhc Lacedaemonian Salaithos and anyone h thought "io be responsible
missions make cleat we care about issues ofresponsibilitybecause we (irllios) for the rebellion'(3.35). Th Athenians immediately execure
Salaithos who had helped fon,ent the rebellion aDd"in anget (hupa orgas)
14. Cited lrom the hanslarion i, KaSo (196r.
ri. d &iicLe ertilled "The ResPonsibihy oI thc Ll scemed best lto the Alhcniaosl to kill not only those who had been
Quoled in Moore (2o1o: 344) from
lrruught bacL but ihc wholc adu ll nrrlc |opulalion ofMyrilene and to sell
176 I our Ancient wars Deciding to Go to War r77

the children and women into slavery (3.36)l'So, off goes the ship to carry cizes is the Athens where the demos is swayed by those who speak well and
out the execution, but the next day there was a change of mind. (metarloia, thus would allow for the division of responsibility rvhere the dEnros only
3.16). It is at this point that the Mltilenian Debate takes place and it is at
folloi{s and thus is not responsible for the actions taken. He would agree
this poirt that Thucydides rnoves us beyond costs and beneits to a in this sense lrith Grote inhis assessment ofthe Sicilian Campaign, though
of responsibility and Justice, away from the terrifyirg place that he i\rould blame the people, as Grote does not for letling themselves be led.

ald ervisions, where there is no guilt. The democracy Cleon urges on the Athenians (despite tle consequences
Cleon, the "leader/demagogue" Thurydides is eager for us to hate, ofwhat such a regime would mean for CleoE himselO is one in which the
described by the historian as "th strongest of the citizens and the people themselves make the decisions and thus would be responsible for
persuasive by far among the people at that timel claims that the Puni those decisions.rT
ment decided on the previous day to kill the men and enslave the The vision thal he holds out for $,hat Athenian politics should be he
and children is both just and necessary fu.39-+o). Cleon wa stosee lhen imposes on the city of Mltilene, where he suggests the people were
city-any city-as a unifred body, as Fearoni undifferentiated billiard rot simplypuppets in the hands ofthe leadersi they thercforc arc respon-
capable ofmakjng its own decisions where lhere is no division sible for the decision that led to the revolt against Athenian power As
theleaders andled. He sees the cityasa comnunity ofequals where all Cleon's speech reachesits shrill crescendo, hesays: "Let the Mltilenians be
responsible for the actio,ls of the city. For him M)tilene is a billiard ball punished as their crime requires and the cause (ftd alria) does not stand
relations betweenpolels. It collided with Athens. Although Cleon plays with the few but execute the people. For all (parrtes) equallywent egainst
role ofthe demagogu in Athens, his speech is 6lled with criiicisms of you when it was possible for them to turn the city back ro us" (3.19.6).rr
Athenians for how they allow demagogues into their democratic life. When they debated on the fftt day, the Athenianshad shared Cleont view
urges the Athenians to imagine their ciq'as leaderless and chastises ofMytilene as an undivided whole, the unitary decision maker They un-
for being sr.ayed by the rhetoricians among them, for being in derstood the city as being like Fearon's billiard balli thus, rhe whole city
alds language "puppetlikel' or jn Socrates' like "a wild beastl' to be chose to rebel and the whole city should be destroyed, jusrly puDished for
by the smooth talking orators. "You are easyvictims of ne$'-fangled lhe city's resistaDce to Athens' rule over them. There was no division be
rnents;'he says to them, ".. . slaves (dorloi orles) to everynewParadox, lween leaders and those manipulated, h this case, the Mltilenians were
Dot just putty in the hands of skillful rhetoricians.
[the] very slaves to the pleasure ofthe ear, and rrore like the audience
rhetorician than the council of a city" (1.38).16 FIe tells them that That's the speech by the skillful rhetorician, one of the strongest of
racy works better when citizens act without the guidance of those Athenian citizens at the time, the one who wants to emphasize the role of
"want to appear wiser than the laws, and overrule every lhe ordinary man in the processes ofself,rule, rhe one who appears not to
bmught forward. . . . Ordinary men usually manage Public affairs want to yield to Socratei portrayal ofthe people as a h.ild beast, subject to
than their more gifted fellows" 0.37) this he say6 to a group ofordi lhe soothing and controlling words ofthe olator

1/. we ,eed to !membe. that Cleon lad begun his speecl with the clair: "t hale often
The Athenians living in a democracy do not really deliberate ab lirlore no{ been coiviled thar a demociacl is lns!.bh of empiie, dd nerr morso than
theirpolicies; they are simplyled and this, accordirg to Cleon (though hy your preent change ofmind" (r.37). No one ever accused cleon olbeing entileryconsl$
maybe the 8rat beneficiary ofthis), is bad and leds to their l.!t, but the th.n. of demo(acy 6 a hildrmce to foreig! altafs corlinues to resonate in
rute over an empire. Ignoring th enormous irony behind his sPeech, wririDgs roday: "Quircy wrigli [one of the found.6 of hodern inremarionat r.tations th.-
ory I rgnet thot fi. d.Ddds ofpublic delibeFtio, and paniciparr@ male demo.htic atats
should note that Cleon wants to deny the importance ofleadershiP in
'lll.adapl.d b th succerstur ue of thftars dd violnce s instmentr of fotign poliq'
city, something that would distinguish the parts of the city and i
who is responsible for the dcisions the city makes. The Athens he r 8. I hav modified Cawlcy! tr&slrtion. Cl@n ir actually misstating the 6iiu.tion at Mlt-
ll4e sine al the tinc ofthe rbellion Ml,liler. wN an olig chy, rhou*h the brck rnd fonh
16. I use cfrvley's translation from hee on except wheE noted (ftucydids and Irrn demo ocy 1o rhd 'nucydldcs r.ords certainly cd lave eren the r.ader

r78 | Ou Ancient Wars Deciding ro Go towar 1ry9

As passionate as Cleon is, his opponent in this debate, Diodotus, is re- held accountable for the actions to which they urge the city. The ordinary
strained. Diodotus, the son of Eucrates (or the gift of Zeus, son of good men who onl)'listen and vote are not subiect to the eurfiura and thus not
po$r), is most likely not a historical character and elsenhere I have sug- nccountable. The division in Diodotus' mind between leaders and led, be-
gested that he is the one chalacter in the History, $'ho ma, be a spokesPer- tu'een responsibility and unaccountability, is sharp; therefore, punishment
son for Thucydides.r' )n this marvel of speeches, Diodotus argues that the need not be shared, due only to those held accountable.:,
whole city does not deserve purishmenq only the leaders ofthe Diodotus argues, however, that it is the people themselves who are re,
do. He reamrms the importance ofseeingthe city as acomplexbody sponsible for the di\.ision between theleaders and led that he finds in Arh
not all are implicated in the decisions takeD by the leaders ofthe city- cns. The people themselves have reenforced the inegalitadan elements of
in a dernocracy. The state is not an undifferentiated whole, a billiard lheir polity by remoying themselves frcrn accountability for the actions of
and thus recognizing lhe distillctions between leaders and led is critical lheir own city: "For ifthe ones persuading and the ones pe$uaded were
the nature ofthe engagements thatAthens has with other cities. lrarmed alike, you would judge more moderately (sdphroilesteran)"
In an efort to poini to thepo$'er ofleaders inthe city and thus (3.43).'?3But as it is, those who are persuaded, those to whom h is speak-
ate the whole city, Diodotus warns his audience ihat performances in8, when they suffer any misfortune blame the one who has persuaded
Cleont will drive out the advic of the wise, and he says to them: "lt rirther than acknowledge their complicityin the decisions to act.
necessary that !!e Ii.e.. the leaders otthe ciq., those 1$o speak in the Thus, Diodotus not onlytetls his audience that they should not blame
semblyl are responsible (rr,orr) to speak looking further than you lhe people-all the M)'tilenians for the decisions ofthe city, but he also
consider things briefly li.e., those listening and being prepared to be rcminds ihem that in fact that is precisely how they themselves behave,
especially since we who address you are accountable (h Peuthunon),\N i.e., they themselves do not accept the responsibility for the decisions of
you who hear us are not accountable (aneuth non\" (:.+f).10 While lheirleaders. Given that the Athenian dimos insists on the distinction be
rected to the audience ofthe Athenians, Diodotus offrs a perspective r lween the leaders and the led in their own behavior, they should not treat
points to the difference between the ordinary man who "considers the Mytilenians differently than they treat themselves. His audience does
briefly" and thus is not responsible and those r1,ho lead and who, not consider the AtheniaN responsible for the actions taken by their city;
"wisei'are responsible and to be held to accoufit.ln the modernworld, lherefore, they should not find all the M)'tilenians responsible for the re-
might think in terms of electors and the actual decision makers of l)elliol1 and thus worthy ofpunishmeDt. Though the Athenians have pre-
temporary democracies. lcnsions to self-rule, in their own behal.ior theypracticejust those distinc-
The language Diodotus uses here in his atiributions ofresponsibility lk)Ils that should mean punishing only the leaders and not harming the
that of lhe euthufia, of Athenian democracy whereby nranywho acted under the influence of their leaders.
ers we(e held io accourt afler fulfilling their term in ofice.'?' He In the end, the Athenians accept Diodotus' argument and distinguish
shows the Athenians that his argument for leniency toward the whole lhe leaders ftom the people. By a small margin they vote to pr.rnish only
the Mltilenian city exists within the contextoftheir democracy. While the leaders and not the whole city. The readers of Thucydides' tlirfoljy
lar,gnale ol the euthunc poiflh to the sharing ofoflices and th equality share in Thucydided uncharacteristic sigh ofreliefwhen he writes that the
rule among citizens, Athenian democracy nevertheless also disti sccond ship sent to rcscind the original decision to kill al1 the men and
bet*'een leaders (ofliceholders) and others when in oflice; when in cnslave the others, aided by favorable r'lnds, passes the first ship that had
there was an inequality of responsibility and accountability. Those llccn making no haste on "so horrid a missionl'And so the massacre does
speak and persuade are like the oficeholders in Diodotus'view; they not happen

19, See Suonhoue (1996: zr. I o(er an extetrire discssion ofDiodolu' sPe.h
quit ditrercnl perspectiv. in S onhoN(2@6; rt6-63)- ,!. I do not.ddJe$ here Diodotd qustioningofrctriburivejsti.e, s,hich isa part ofthe
20. I hare modin.d lh. Cdsley translatio..
2r. Fo. a full disc!$io, ol ihit practic c P@be.ts ( re32)-
r8o I oft Ancient wars Deciding to co to War iSI

Conclusion done,']4 then we need to address the issues ofthe collective resDonsibilities
or c l ie. a\ a h l-o e. t don t wanl rhe dele(ldbre Cleon to !1 in lhe deodre and
I recall these elements of the M}tilenian Debate a debate far richer have ail the men of Mlrilene killed and the women anal children senr into
theoretical corcernsthan I have indicated here becnuse lbelieve it slavery, but if I side with Diodotus am I cordoning a view in which the
the questions that are implicit, but not explicit, in the approach people simplylet those with more energy oi who are more persuasive ma_
scholars in the 6e1d of intrnationnl relations when they consider rlipulate them? Aln I letring the people abdicate responsibiliry for the ac
qriestioll ofwhy states go to war. fte language in which they analyze lions taken by their cities?
Nrite may aim at predictive power but it avoids the perspective that ma TI_e .ta.( drcnoromre. . rJt mdrl. lhr, pdper are. of co.r-,e. roo .rark
us consider the questions ofresponsibility. Predictions, by looking to hherLer he look to rhe an.:ent \\.o.,o or .odai. f pec:dll\ roday. lhouSl .
futur, a\-oid that backward glance thai assigns culpability. in our representation and the size ofthe modern state move citizens farther and
life, though, 1{,e care about culpability and the justice that attends it. hrther a*'ay from the actual decision making process involveil in decid
debate about M)'tilene indicates the sorts ofassumptions that 1te ing to go to war and the infornation necessary to make informed deci-
make about the practice of state decisior making*whether the city/ sions. And so l\re can escape responsibility (and perhaps purlishment)
is composed of individual actors prjmarily attentive to their private the dgree that $'e can as the Old Oligarch imagines-say .,we $,eren1
living in the modern liberal state lvith its representative dernocracy lhere" or "we didnt krowl'rs BLlt we are not then the passive marionettes
from the decision makers and manipulated by them, or existing as a lhat Socrates imagines or Grote implies in his reading of the Sicilian cam
munity of actors bound io each other by more than self-interested l)ai8n. To separat ou$elves from our leaders in order to escape responsi
tions and thus collectivly rsponsible for the foreign policy choi bility as a community is to turn democracyi[to an empty ideal. We may
their states. Contefiporary scholars of international relations Ior be .ir.p., .he \vild be",r lan ed b) lhe (ooh,.r. ot So.ra.e, r-elaphor
with models ofthe billiard-ball stare do not attend to the complexities rnd thus exonerated in crotei! reading ofthe decision ro go to 1,ar, bur ro
such assumptions night introduce into our analyses ofpolitical rl.. deSree lhdr he rroid .rdt re,ponsrbilil he ac.epr an aLd,<ar.on ol
between states. The M)tile ai Debate highlights ho$'those co l, eogagemenr ard be.ome-perhap. no, rhe pupper or rhe rheate,
are at the core ofour understandings ofpolitical responsibility and jus gojDg dupe that Cleon imagines the Athenians to be but the apathetic
and ho\! dimcult it is to identify who acts. .itizen. The apaihy enabled by represntation in the modern rorld be-
\{e also care about democracy, $'hich, for my purposes here, is romes the analogy ofSocrates tamedwild beast.It may enable us to escape
tured by d1e ideas of equalily and self rule. If$e mo1.e to a world in rcsponsibility, bur it does so only by depriYing us ofpolitjcal agency.
the people are not held accountable for the actions ofthe city wlle Thankfully, rve do not face the punishment of killing all the men and
because one could sayinthe $rcrds ofthe Old Oligarch "Iwas not s.lljngthe $.omen and children inro slavery called tor by Cleon for the city
the assemblyi'or in more modernlanguage, "it was my representative lllat weDt to war with Athens, but his harsh language thar in its contradic
distant bureaucracy who acted, not me" a world in $,hich rve would
,1. ftere has been much wrtlen on rhh by rhoF h.horn r cal the ,hpatbr theoristsl,
with Diodotus who separates the leaders from the people rather who see poprlar apath)' as endeoic and/or good for tne democratic;egimes. sonte of rhe
Cleon who unites them, a rsorld in whiclr ve would thus 6nd ours ( l,sic t$entieth centut,rorks nr this motd are .ited in foor.ote I 5, It w;s dplicftly in reac-
able to avoid punishirg the whol city for the decisiolls of the ciq., llon to dese works i.lenrifying (@d pelsjng) the apathetic etectohle that r;le), Mites his
then condoning the view that simply turns the people into l)t\ratuq| Ancie t afld Maden, See chapter 1 $,here Ie specincaU), addreses Schunperer
responders to the strings pulled by their manipulators? If that is hcc rbove lote r, dd orh* theorists $.ho deftnd or argue for rl1e ,e.essjtj. of an alarhetic

mocracy can be, should rve care so much about it? About
. Anorher of the debates in hucydides, thal between Hennoclates h.l Arteragoras nr
About sending our young io 6ghi and die to deftnd it? If on the lhc Syracusm a$etubl, lelore rle advalofrte Athaians (6.r,-ar), er"lores
hand we want to thinkolthe people as a coliective age[t, as active ,,rr people! deperds(e on rhcn hade6 tor intormatioi an.l coddbe frtritnn\.slu;ied
simp\. passive as much of tlventieth-century democratic theory ,fphtult10 the issues mlseltn lhh lrpdl
r82 Our Ancient Ware
Decidine to Co to war I r8l
iory way finds the entire city ofMltiiere responsible ryhile accusing Compeative Poljrics and Internationat Retarjons Tho.ies:' Cokporatire patiths
Atheniaos ofbeing controlledbythe clever speakers brings the
challenges of assessing responsibility for polit jcal decision making to (dBrr..Donald 1965 Sorresih c,eek pa,)Mt tha,Eht: pabat.,
t,oq Haht to NeN
\\'e should desire not to see ourselves as passive marionettes, but thai
Mansfield, Havey C.,lr 197r. "Hobbes ed n\e Science oflndirct covernmenrl,Aner
tajls the escape from apathyand the ackDowledg,reni ofresponsibility
i@t Politi@l Science Reliew 6t197-to.
the actions of the states within which we live. Again, the stark Moore, Michaela Hoenike. :oto. Knoe you Enehy: me Ame can D.bate
that mark this paper may be too stark, but it is just thir starkness
ot Nazk,,t,
rorj ,o{(. CmbridS: Cnbridse UnileNry pr$.
from the readings ofthe arcient texts that helps to higt ight oul need Plato, andAlld Bloom. 1968.The Republtc oJ pfuo. \ew\ork Book5.
recognize and address how responsibility cannot be easily shrugged Powell.Robcrr,006."warasaCommrtmentp,obtem."/ntemanonalOtgdn,rationbo:
without denying ourselves that portion ot our humanity that comes
Putnm, Roblr D. 1988. "DiptomacI and Do@estic potftics: Th Logic of T$rc Level
our ability to act, to choose, the portion ofour humanitythat
Games: lnternatio al O/ganization 42:427-60.
h there to fostet and that must acknowledge, not abandon, respons Roberts, Jennifer Tolbe rgSz. Accoufttabjlitt ik Atheniah Goysrrlrrrr MadisonrUni
Tlucydidcs, who has so oiien beer seeD as thc dispassionate observer,z6 verity of Wiscon!in press.
the aocient historianwho appears (like Dlodotus)to speakintheobj Ro-'o. seb&rirn.:oor. " flr Ftaked Logic ofDenocratr p eace
rhea\:. Ahrn" po
laDguage of the scientist, nevertheless is the one who forces us to litial pnre Rerft w 97:585-6a2.
saxoniouse, Adene \4: !996. Atheniah Democtucy: Maderh Mtthmakers
flecl-as coDtemporary international relations scholars do not-on a d Arcient
fteoliers. Not.e Dame, IN: UDiversity of Notrc Dme pres!.
questions of justice and responsibility that lie at the heart of decisions suoil1ollJe, Aden W. ,006 . Free Speed, anA Detucruq in Aneied Athens.
80 tO war. Cmbridge Univenity
schafea Mark, dd Scon Crichlop. zoor. "Ihe.proces Ourcome,
Conneclion in for
etgi Policy Ddsion MakinS: A euanrirarile Srudy Buitding on crcuprhink," Irre,-
iational Studies Qud e ) 46:4r-68.
Schattschnjder L 8. 1945. Parry Goyerru ert New york Rinhart and Cofr.anv
r(rulz. Kenneth. )ooj D.aacruc. and.r"t ivp D,ato-a.u Cambridge: Cmbridge
Alistolle. 1944.,{rir?orle ir23 yol"ftes. Loeb Classical Library. Cmbridge, MA:
ljntrerqito Pr.((
Schunpeter, joseph A. r9a:. Capitalkh, Sacialism, antl Desocrar). New york
Arislolle, and Carn$ 1ord.1985. TrePoliri.s. ChicaSo: Unive$iq, ol Chicago Pre$. Harper
Berelson, Bernard, et al. 1966. yatingt A Studt ol Apinian Fa natian in a P$ide
hucvd ide.. B c,, wjey ei dt. I9s2. The p.tapaaap\iar wat. \)ek yo, k:
ibr \
Cd-rap. Chiclgo: Universit) ofChicago Pre$. ri, ne.. Dina A. :ooa. "Con$!ucung pot, ,og,.. fte Democmrk
Modern I
Buolo de Mesqu ita, Bruce, et al. leee. AD lDstinrtional lxpiaratioD ol the peace przl;;
Lauthal oJcanlrct R\oluuan a{:ato 5a
Peace:' Aneicnn Palitkdl Scien.e Rerieq 9!:791-8a7-
Connor, W Robert. 1984. Iftr.,drder P.incton: Princeton Unive6ity Pr6s.
Doyle, Michael \r1 1986. "Liberalism and \4rorld Politi6l' Politxal Scieta

Iearon, lames D. 199r. "Rationalist Expldations for Wa{ lnte anonal Orga

Finleli M. 1 1962. Atheni@ Demalogres: Past ahd Prcs.nt 21:r-24.

Finley, M 1198r. Ari.rian D e,nocncy Aheient and Madern. New Brunswick, NJr
8eN Uuiversity Pres6.
Eorde, Staen 1989. 'Ihe Atubition to Rulet Alcibiades a d Politics oJ lnpetia
Tft&/d,ldr. ttha.a: Cornell Universiq, lress.
Jacobsen, John Kurt. 1996. Are All Politics Dornestic? Perspective6 on the

26, 'Ihouth th revision ofthis lis ir.vident in th wo.k of.cholds witingon

Mr sinc! W Roben Conoor! b@k on 'Ihuqdides ( re8a).
(irrlDl lirutrD aDd iheTragic Stage r85

ln this essay, i
sugSest thrt Athenian tra8edy offered a form of
|]c brmance based collective 'tatharsis" or 'tultural therapy' by provid
tr8 a place u/here the traumatic experiences faced by the spectators were
rcllected upon the gaze ofthe masked characters performing before them.r
My focus here will be on the ootion of rortos, or "homecoming;'as per-
ccived by combat veterans, their families, and the society to which they
Combat Trauma and the Tragic Stage have returned.
As we possss no critical or anecdotal responses to tragedy from the
Ancient Culture and Modern Catharsislr
fifth century, mymethodologyis to compare the presentation of violence
nd its effects in tragedy with ancient accounts ofsoldiers' experiences in
Peter Meikeck
combat. While this can rcveal a great deal about the social, ethical, and
political aspects of a play, it cannot, however, reconsttuct how the ,rork
itself functioned in performance. As performance theorist Peggy Phelan
has noted, '?edomancet only life is in the presert. Performanc canDot
be saved, recorded, documented, o! otherwise participate in the circula,
The effects ofcorlrba! traunra are well
described in the dramatic literature lion of representations of reprcsentationsi once it does so, it becomes
ofth ADcient Greeks: the madness ofHerakles, ttre
rage ofechilles, tie sometling other than performance" (Phelan 46). While the originalper-
suicide of Ajax, the isolation ofphiloctetes,
and rhe trtai of Odysseus, to lbrmance can never be recaptured, a "re-performancel' even in a different
namejust a few Much of the narrative conte,rt
of atheniun t.lgeaf re_ cultural milieu, can still offer important information on how an ancient
fle.led a preo(cupation with rhe conseqLrencer o[
\.ol"nc. , nd ,r,r'r these play may harr been received.
Plryr were produced at a tinle of almost (onstanl conflict rn lhe Greek As lonathan Shay has pointed out, Athenian drama l{as 'a theater of
world,where warfare was.rn ever-preseDt
threar. ln Athens, where poiiti_ combat vetemns, by combat veterans to and for combat veteransi and has
(al.en,ranchisemenr wa\ dependent
on mililary sen i<e. rhe development suggested that it may have oIfered a form of "cultural therapy" for an audi-
or clo.ely linked \airh rdpid .o(ial change rn potrricit
,l,d8ed),wr. ancl ence traumatized by the effects of rrar (Shay zooz, r53). Tnerefore, per-
mr'rtar) Lulrurc thdt \\a\ re.ponding 1,, horr e),re,naland
inrern.rl nanial lorming Greek drama for an audience of moderq combat vetemns who
quenlly l.mir: thr.
lh,*]' disturbing r, rvhy aLhen-ian traged, a deep ard fre,
arxiety abo.rt warfire,. ornbar and
have undergone similar experinces might reveal a good deal about the
cmotional effect of the work. Though warfare has changed considerably in
thepast 2,joo yars, as have the culturesthat generatedthe lvats, basic hu
. { ot l, .s.d r a, pr$oned rt! rrrli A-.r_r, Compaidltre.
er. on
1erdture.onJer. man emotional rsponse to war h6s not. Shayaryues that the symptoms of
e,, e ar ne u 1<. ry o (orrh Crotina d \eaupnrt) pJbt .\eo .n / 1a,.)r
\plnB ror_ hcnk\ lo qurkr Cddnr r6. no I combat trauma may manifest themselves it] different ways acrcss cultures
for htr hetplut sug8eaonr.
) \ bler_,rve, orrh. su,\ !rn8 phq j) relljng e*.r, t,, p.,,^ deJrud.on p*- but that the psychological dy:arnics of and reactions to battle have also
'", ":, ,8",:,, anacrr oi 'fteb$. s"ppr,, r r\ oa{ ,ns hubhdsj
fundamentally noi changed. We might cali rhis then a "bio-culrural" ap
v.psp'd. bh'u, murdrtr:1"16.p,on.rte,r aorn4 vrorrnr punr,t-enr. ^
ropl-t" r,,.i,.,a,, proach, with the understanding that whereas rhe brain's basic biology,
sun rde ,nd rll rmnolarion: r drgo,.:
6ukide5: ,4&r: suddei Ocd]pb rr,dnnB ,unde and whether ancient or modern, is exactly the same, the culture is certainly
nt(ha: ,;ntti^t mu,der: prro.,r6 (omb ait\
o::T edlcrol dl tu'urc rafr,Iatdeath. Euripides. Aiav6. porrnrL,rotdi?6 dt cobnb:
:::11,,,,1'..ll, different.
suide;,v?,lp.: r.-
mudel\ Hrdllprlm. ui.,d. and (apirat pu$tunent:
Hrpro4,tus suiode and dNin milial murdri Pr,o,",sari: ombat daths.nd suicid.r OEndr: lamilial nude( ra..ha.: h
uunB anlrronar..potenrictsui(rde.cap,tatpunjshment.
dhuder:Htrlr,.murd &d nili,nl nunq; Iphegenio ot Auhi f@ilial murdr/suicidc; Srsrlt: combat death.
huLratDn:,\"ppri,n tyou tu sarf e. bunatofsr dead:
F/.."a. faniXrt kiflin8 H.,at;j r. HeE, I m inllun@d by the work of Jonath.n Sh.n who viss Arhenid theatr a a
kdral dd potirldl mdde,: Ircld, Wou?{ murder dd pojrw"
nnrde\ lphige a in tau/i.: porenthl hniljal murdrj
a**",-., r"-. pr-*i otds of helpiog to reintegfrte lh. cohb.t v.t.6n back into rheir civic rcls, Shay (2@2,
Hek,: poshtu sents, porential fa- r5:-53). Se also Meineck dd KoNte (2or4),

186 | wars (i,rrrIrr liru,ra aDd lheTr'agic Stree I ,87

A recent highly successful application of tllis ldnd oftwo-pronged cog, tlcmocratic participntion, separation [rom family group, loya]ty conflicts
niti\.e theoretical approach can be found in Garrett l_lgan\ rvork on thc bctween family and siate, to name just a few.7 Thus, the modern combat
Roman Circus. Fagan applies studies iD modern crowd psychology to ana- vctcran brings us closer to the average Athenian audience member (han
lyze Roman responses io organized spectacles of violence. He terns his somebodywho has neverbeen affected by the emotionally heightened ex-
approach "psychobiological" and writes,'in interdependence between
contextual stimulus and psychological p ropensity shapes behavior" (Fagan It should also be remembered that a live theatre performance is a mul-
2orr,4o). He makesth important point that ifthere were not basic human tisensory event and that an audience's relationship to the play is more mul-
universal psychological functions across different cuhures then "alien soci. tifuceted than that ofa reader to a text, as jn the lheatre the heard lvord js
eties ought to remain virtually impenetrable to an outsider;' and with thid nol processed in isolation frcm oui other sensory systems. fhe original
in mind "it is possible for modernmindsio comprehend, analyze aud even (;rcek audience experienced the performance in a multisensory environ
empathize with the actions ofpeople in other historical eras" (46). This ig Dlent consisting ofolfactory (taste and smell); haptic (movement, touch,
certainly t rue of ancient drama; Nhile modern udiences may not grasp the nd kinesthetic empathy); auditorjr (the sound of music, ilords, meter,
significaDce ofcerlain ritual actions, religious beliefs, or cultural practice, .rnd rhlthm); and visual inputs (masks, costumes, props, staging effects,
theycan still be moved by the incident$ that arise froln thrn-r olher audience members, and the environmental yier, of city, country, sea,
In the lield ofcognitiv archaeology and ethnography the practic rnd sky). Also, processing speech is a totally differcnt cognitive process
comparative social modeling has been used to learn more about ancient rhnn the far more ontempiative and personally controlled act ofreading.
artifacts and the cultures (hat produced them.i \{hat has been termedthc ln faci, the act of reading a play would have been quite alien to the fifth
general comparaiive approach atternpts to reconstruct indirect p..rcepts- ccntury audience. Rosalind Thomas (rggi, Sg-7d has suggested that
perceptual information that is influenced by environment and con "lunctionalliteracf'was at best extremely basic in the mid-fifth centuly,
stored in working memory. Such studies have been utilized to compare rnd more recently, Anne Missiou has argued that although new demo-
the Paleolilhic rock painting ofanimals with similar paintings mad .ra(i. institutions in the early fifth century, such as the tribal reforms of
hunter gatherer groups in Australia and to then analyze ihe conceptual (lleisthenes that organized both military recruitment and choral partici
informatiou that produced ihem in the existing cuiture to suggest ethno- putio[ in the Dionysia, he]ped promote increased literacy, it was probably
graphic correlates. The basic premise ofthe general comparati\c approach still possible to function quite well within Athenian society with either
is that human groups sharing certain basic societal characterisl ics will also very limited or even no literacy at all (Missiou 2o1r, r43-49).
share certain similar perceptual characteristics.6 Hence, a modern veteran We have no evidencefor an authodaltext untilperhaps4o5 rcr,where
who has experienced conbat and been part of An organized l)ionysos in Aristophanes' FroSs (52-54) says that he was moved by read
structure shares certain indirect percepts with his or her ancient illg Euripides' Andromeda, and even here the tetfi anagignaska co|
part. Much modern warfare still involves formations of troops on tho t ranslated as "reciting fiom memory''with no text involved at all.3Isabelle

ground fighting in infantry patterns learned in training, moving 'lbrrance has shown how the implements ofwriting do not appear in any
as a unit wiih a planned objectiye, frequentl), irvolving the killing or oI the extant plays of Aeschylus and sophocles and that all references to
naiming ofan enemy combatant (and frequently noncombatants). writing are related to the recording ofmemory. In this way rvriting is the
are ethnographic correlates ofvalue here betl\,een the ancient Greek hop- inscribing ofan important speech actthat is enacted again byspeakingthe
lite and the modern funerican infantryman both in terms ofenvironment written Eords. This changes with the plays of Euripids at the end of the
and societal percepts, such as conceph ofnationalisln, interpersonal rela- lifth century, !\,here letters and inscriptions become agents within the plot
PAtllq Ced bymilitarytraining ard the shared experience ofcombat,
7. Ford oploslng vlerv see Crcwle7 (ro4, 1or-3o).
a. See also (onstin(1006, j-4o). 8.EB Arirlotle'3 lDos D.Alion of perfomoce in farcr of 'tading: in Poerirs
t see llai.fourismd RenareN {20,o r ,21. ( | a6ar5-18) should be re@Gi&rcd, d the tm h u*d is @j dr,r eluchln.160 de.n
6. See Abrahiuk (:o12,95-,24) ''Ecitiog" or "e.dint .loud:
188 Our Ancient Wars (:,)lnhrL Ir!!tu ind ihe Tragic Stage I r89
structure of the plays ('lorrance 2or3, r52). This reflecrs the first time rlnd Afghanistan veterans are likely to sufer from some form of post-
Greekcultur that we have evidence ofwriting "internalized as text" lrrlLmatic strcss (PTS) and an additional 32o,ooo may hav expriencd
than being rcad aloud as a record of speech.e I raumatic brain injuries.rr The issue of ,osros as it pertarns to the warrior

With this in mind, Philip Auslander has coined the term "liveness" has a particula+ timely and urgent relevance.
describe a performance in its original social, political, and Th Theatre of Dionysos itself was, in many wayq a locus for the stat-
context. Auslander challenges the supremacy ofthe play script by ing of retums. The festival of the City Dionysia where tragedy was pre-
ing it as "a blueprint for performance" and does not consider writing to scnted, was established to help define the city as a place where the dispa-
a form capable of recording the totality of the live eve (Auslander rate inhabitants of Attica would return at the same time every year to
Any attempt to examine the impact oftragedyin performance must celebraie the annual arrival of Dionysos in spring. This new festival was
take the concept of"liveness" into account. lf ancient Atheni an drama created in the mid-sixth century and \^'as modeled on the older ribald
iDdeed attempt to address the psychological concerns ofa, audience traditions ofthe various rural Dionysian public celebrations held through-
iDcluded a significant number ofcornbat veterans, then some Yaiuable out the towns and villages ofAttica.l']It soon developed into a mass pro-
sights into the reception ofthe plays in artiquiiy might be gleaned by cessional, sacrificial, and performative celebration of Aihens as the center
sNing them in performance to atl audience ofcombat veterans today. oF Attic cultu-ral life. In effect, the City Dionysia offered Attic citizens a
This approach is encapsulated in the basic prmise ofAquila ritual "homecoming" by drawing them to the southeast slope of the
and the National Endowment for the Hrmanities' Ancient Greeks/ Acropolis-the heart ofAthenian national identity, described by Aeschy-
ern Lives publi. prcgram, which from 2oro to 2or3 used staged i\s ln the Euneflides 0025-26) as the "eyd' (heart) of the entire land of
from epic and tragedy to create a public discourse on the issues 'lheseus (Atiica).B Reinforcing the concept of rosroq the idol ofDionysos
ing the homecoming ofthe warriorro These readings, by both actors was removed from its sh ne in the sanctuary prior to the festival and
veterans, were followed by a "town-hall" style meetingled bya scholar taken outside the city limits, to be then paraded back inside, in a reenact-
were presented at performing artsenters, public libraries, and orher ment of the Dionysian return. According to some sources, the returned
cultural institutions in one hundred sites all over the United States. $tatue may have been placed in the ,lreafrofl (theatrical "viewing place") as
live performarce is thus contextualized within its original ancient a divine spectator.ra
and then placed alongside thc conlemporary experiences ofthe Many ofthe tragedies staged at the Theatre of Dionysos explored the
and their family members in the audience. Ofcourse, in any such concept ofrorrot from conflicts and wars, portraying the devastatiry af-
parative stud)., differences nrust be taken into consideration; lermath and its effects on womerr, children, households, and the commu-
ertheless, the pamllels between ancient play, primary source material! Dity at large. For example: Aeschylus' Persia,6 tells of the homecominS of
modern responses are frequently strildng. Darius after his defeat by the Athenian led forces at Salamis (861-862);
Although a modern combat veteran may noi be cognizant ofthe Srp?lldrrs relates the rtrrrn ofthe daughters of Danaus, a descendent of
ture of fifth-century Athens, he, and now more frequendy, she, often has Io, to their ancestral land ofArgos threatening a war between Eg)?t and
visceral understanding ofthe situations nnd emotional responses to Greece (t5 t6): Aga/kefirofl depicts the effcts ofthe Trojan War on Ar-
acters such as Ajax, Philoctetes, Herakles, or Tecmessa. 8os and the disastrous ,oJlos ofAgamemnon himself(8ro-854)l in Sere,
million Arnerican men and women have served in lraq and A