About this course

In ancient Greece, war was all around. Everyday pottery shows fighters departing for battle, or sparring over dead comrades’ bodies. Plays depict abused war brides and traumatised veterans. Homer’s Iliad immortalized both the heroes’ deeds and the lives lost. This course examines the mythologizing of war as well as the historical accounts of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, including the battles of Marathon, Salamis, and the disastrous Sicilian expedition. We study how the consequences of war on warriors, women, children, foreigners and slaves are addressed in Athenian literature, history and art, and finally consider how Athens and Sparta’s political decisions were influenced by their knowledge of the costs of war.

No knowledge of Greek or Latin languages is required: all texts will be in English.


Check with your home institution for specific information on fulfillment of major / course requirements.