This volume examines emotional trauma in the ancient world, focusing on literary texts from different genres (epic, theatre, lyric poetry, philosophy, historiography) and archaeological evidence. The material covered spans geographically from Greece and Rome to Judaea, with a chronological range from about 8th c. bce to 1st c. ce.
The collection is organized according to broad themes to showcase the wide range of possibilities that trauma theory offers as a theoretical framework for a new analysis of ancient sources. It also demonstrates the various ways in which ancient texts illuminate contemporary problems and debates in trauma studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Andromache Karanika and Vassiliki Panoussi
Part 1: War Trauma
1. Aspects of Violence, Trauma, and Theater in Sophocles’ Ajax Trigg Settle
2. Combat Trauma in Vergil’s Aeneid Vassiliki Panoussi
Part 2: Women and Trauma
3. Repetition, Civic Status, and Remedy: Women and Trauma in New Comedy Sharon L. James
4. Subaltern Women, Sexual Violence, and Trauma in Ovid’s Amores Jessica Wise
Part 3: Collective Trauma
5. The Acropolis Burning! Reactions to Collective Trauma in the Years After 480/79 BCE Marion Meyer
6. Historiographical Trauma: The Case of Polybius Susan C. Jarratt
Part 4: Natural Disasters, Exile, Captivity
7. Non est facile inter mala magna consipere: Trauma, Earthquakes, and Bibliotherapy in Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones Christopher Trinacty
8. Ovid and the Trauma of Exile Sanjaya Thakur
9. Philo’s Flaccus: Trauma, Justice, and Revenge Philip R. Bosman
Part 5: Communicating Trauma
10. Learning to Bear Witness: Tragic Bystanders in Sophocles’ Trachiniae Erika L. Weiberg
11. Oedipus’ Lament: Waking and Refashioning the Traumatic Past in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus Laurialan Reitzammer
12. Troy as Trauma: Reflections on Intergenerational Transmission and the Locus of Trauma Andromache Karanika.
Andromache Karanika is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of California, Irvine, U.S.A. She is the author of Voices at Work: Women, Performance and Labor (2014) and has co-authored a textbook on Modern Greek.
Vassiliki Panoussi is Professor of Classical Studies at William & Mary, U.S.A. She is the author of Vergil’s Aeneid and Greek Tragedy: Ritual, Empire, and Intertext (2009), and Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women’s Rituals in Roman Literature (2019).