This volume brings together a group of interdisciplinary experts who demonstrate that Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes is a text of continuing relevance and value for exploring ancient, contemporary and comparative issues of war and its attendant trauma. The volume features contributions from an international cast of experts, as well as a conversation with a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col., giving her perspectives on the blending of reality and fiction in Aeschylus’ war tragedies and on the potential of Greek tragedy to speak to contemporary veterans. This book is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in Aeschylus, Greek tragedy and its reception, and war literature.
Table of Contents
List of figures
1 Aeschylus and War: Comparative Perspectives on Seven Against Thebes
2 Aeschylus and War: A Conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Kristen Janowsky
Moderated by Olivier Morel and Isabelle Torrance; prepared for publication by Isabelle Torrance.
3 Aeschylus, Gangland Naples, and the Siege of Sarajevo: Mario Martone's Teatro di Guerra
4 Thebes as High Collateral Damage Target: Moral Accountability for Killing in Seven Against Thebes
5 Greek Armies against Towns: Siege Warfare and the Seven Against Thebes
6 Eteocles and Thebes in Aeschylus
7 The Music of War in Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes
8 Fathers and Sons in War: Seven Against Thebes, Pythian 8, and the Polemics of Genre
The Destruction of Thebes, Ancient and Modern
9 Aeschylus and the Destruction of Thebes: What Did Apollo's Oracle Mean?
10 The Destruction of Thebes in Brecht's Antigone (1948)
Isabelle Torrance is Associate Professor and Research Fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark. She has published numerous articles on Greek tragedy and its reception and is author of Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes (London, 2007), Metapoetry in Euripides (Oxford, 2013), and co-author of Oaths and Swearing in Ancient Greece (Berlin, 2014).
Civil war, fratricide, a city under siege and women in mortal terror – these are the themes of Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes, a tragedy that Aeschylus himself (or at least his persona in Aristophanes’ comedy, Frogs) boasted was "full of Ares" or martial spirit. This volume takes account of recent research on ancient warfare and of the intimate connection between war and Greek tragedy, which continues to speak to veterans’ experiences today. The chapters bring important new perspectives to this undeservedly neglected masterpiece.
- David Konstan, Professor of Classics, New York University, USA
Aeschylus and War is a salutary reminder that Seven against Thebes must be understood in the martial context from which it draws its inspiration. Moreover, it is to be hoped that this useful and thought-provoking collection of papers will help to rekindle critical interest in a great and difficult work, which has for too long been condemned to brood sublimely in relative neglect.
- N. J. Sewell-Rutter, Oxford, UK, in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review