Did Ajax and Achilles ever suffer from Post-Traumatic stress disorder? 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 Peloponnesian War and the Oliver Stone film Platoon . Each instance sheds light on some of the most puzzling phenomena of war and shows how warriors of epic and real-life struggles responded to battle with their own forms of 'shell shock,' 'battle madness' and bonding. Tritle examines such issues as: * how ordinary decent men can commit acts of extrodianary savagery * attitudes toward the 'enemy' or other * the impact of war on waiting wives, lovers, and civilian bystanders * remembering the fallen soldier: from the classical Athenian funeral speech to the Vietnam Wall * how veterans live with phsical 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.