Did Ajax and Achilles ever suffer from Post-traumatic stress syndrome?
In this absorbing account, Vietnam veteran and classics scholar Lawrence A Tritle offers an incisive analysis of war and its impact upon the soldier and civilian from the classical age to the present day.
Tritle discusses the links between battlefield experiences that affect the participants and victims of war in every age, drawing examples from sources as diverse as the Iliad, Michael Herr's Dispatches, Thucydides' account of the Pelopenesian Wars, and the Oliver Stone film Platoon. Each instance sheds light on some of the most puzzling phemonena of war and shows how the heroes of epic responded to battle with their own forms of "shellshock," battle-madness and bonding. Tritle examines such issues as:
How can ordinarily decent men can commit acts of extraordinary savagery?
Attitudes toward the "enemy"
The impact of war on waiting wives, lovers and civilian bystanders
Remembering the fallen soldier: from the classic Athenian funeral speech to the Vietnam Wall
How veterans live with physical and psychological injury
This memorable book is for readers who wonder about the meaning and experience of battle, about the impact of war and violence on our culture, and for anyone interested in the culture of ancient Greece.
"This narrative of how an intelligent and reflective person can articulate so violent and disturbing an experience, and consider its meaning, is is finely expressed...has many layers of interest for those who think about continuing Classical Tradition.."-"International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Summer 2002 ..."very fascinating perspectives."-Choice "This is a tough, uncompromising, and provocative study. Recommended for public and academic libraries."-"Library Journal, July 2000