The Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World – Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Review by Conor Whately, University of Winnipeg. This book, edited by Werner Riess and Garrett Fagan, does just that, with an emphasis on the setting topography of violence, and how this affects its interpretation.

The fifteen, sometimes matching, chapters focus on classical Greece and Rome, especially the cities of Athens and Rome. On balance, this book garrett werner single a valuable introduction to violence in classical antiquity.

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Among other things, Trundle traces its history from an initiation rite to a distinct element of Spartan military service, and he rightly dismisses those who attempt to view this Spartan institution sympathetically. Topography features prominently here, for Riess notes that an assassination only qualified as tyrannicide if it took place in public. His chapter also includes a useful catalogue of Athenian executions and homicides where we know, or at least have a good idea of, the location of the killing.

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Continuing the emphasis on legal matters, Rosanna Omitowoju examines women in Athenian courts. One particularly striking example she draws upon is the case of Neaira, allegedly the lover and foreigner who had been living with Stephanos, an Athenian, as his wife.

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It illustrates well the problems with the source material, here a lawcourt speech, and with Athenian law, such as we have it, at least when it comes to the rights of women. Hunt notes, unsurprisingly, the difficulty in measuring violence against slaves, and he covers the myriad ways that slaves in Classical Greece might experience violence.

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Among other things, Millender notes that Spartans were socialized in all aspects of war, education included, a defining feature of their polis. Yet, although the performance of Spartan hoplites on the battlefield reinforced fundamental socio-political structures, the Spartan mirage that the battlefield fostered also obscured significant challenges at home and abroad.

His paper looks at violence and the symposion through the ages, from Archaic, even Mycenaean, through Hellenistic Greece, stressing the strong links between alcohol, banqueting, and violence in the Greek world. Josiah Osgood opens the Roman section with assassinations, and the chronological breadth of this first Roman essay matches that of the last Greek one, ranging from the fall of the Gracchi to the murder of Elagabalus.

Some of the instances of violence that he covers are widespread and not peculiarly Roman, as he readily admits.

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The crowding at baths, for example, could fray the nerves and lead to violent outbursts. Serena Witzke examines violence against women, with a particular emphasis on non-Roman women. Topography is at the forefront, for the violence meted out to Roman citizen women had to be hidden away, in contrast to that against non-citizen women. Noel Lenski, like Hunt, focuses on slaves. For Lenski and many others besidesthe very system of slavery was bound up in acts of violence and, again like Hunt, he provides a bewildering array of different kinds of abuse slaves might be sächsische zeitung bautzen partnersuche to suffer.

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This includes all those seemingly paradoxical, but legally sanctioned, instances of the abuse of slaves in legal trials. He examines how a handful of historians—Cassius Dio, Herodian, Dexippus, and Tacitus—used similar material, here the tried and true battle description.

He takes into consideration their varied source materials both written and visual and different objectives, such as audience engagement war as theatre.

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John Donahue closes the book with an evaluation of violence in the Roman cena, noting that violence itself was the antithesis of the dining experience. The book focuses on the centre of the classical Greek and Roman worlds.

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A little more attention to peripheral times and places would not have gone amiss even if, in the case of late antiquity for example, violence has been the subject of some significant treatments recently. For garrett werner single, the law features prominently in the majority of the Greek-themed chapters, but generally less so in the Roman ones.

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To be sure, some of this is due to the abundance of surviving Greek oratory and the evidence of Demosthenes. On the other hand, Cicero alone has furnished us with more than enough speeches that deal with Roman republican legal matters, to say nothing of the Corpus Iuris Civlis.

A closing chapter might have fleshed out these peculiarities.

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Following from that, there is quite a lot of overlap in the chapters, and some additional cross-references would have served the reader, and the individual authors, well. Not least, topography could have featured more prominently in some of the chapters, as the introduction and title suggest it would. Still, it is no mean feat to have so many strong chapters on violence in one volume, and which cover such a broad range of the human experience in Classical Greece and Rome.

This book would work best as an introduction to violence in the Classical world, thanks in part to the relative symmetry in the presentations, as well as the abundance of familiar ground in the contributions.

The Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World – Bryn Mawr Classical Review

In this it would seem to have met its aims: to benefit undergraduate and graduate students, as the dustcover claims. Those offering a course on violence in the ancient world would do well to include this as part of their required reading.

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The book is well produced and virtually free of typos, with only a couple of small errors. Authors and titles David D. Philips, Xenophon garrett werner single the Muleteer: Hubris, Retaliation, and the Purposes of Shame Matthew Trundle, The Spartan Krypteia Werner Riess, Where to Kill in Classical Athens: Assassinations, Executions, and the Athenian Public Space Rosanna Omitowoju, The Crime That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Violence Against Women in the Athenian Courts Peter Hunt, Violence against Slaves in Classical Greece Ellen Millender, The Greek Battlefield: Classical Sparta and the Spectacle of Hoplite Warfare Oswyn Murray, Violence at the Symposion Josiah Osgood, The Topography of Roman Assassination, BCE CE Garrett G.

Fagan, Urban Violence: Street, Forum, Bath, Circus, and Theater Serena S. Witzke, Violence against Women in Ancient Rome: Ideology versus Reality Noel Lenski, Violence and the Roman Slave Graeme Ward, The Roman Battlefield: Individual Exploits garrett werner single Warfare of the Roman Republic David Potter, War as Theater, from Tacitus to Dexippus Garrett G.

Fagan, Manipulating Space at the Roman Arena John Donahue, Party Hard: Violence in the Context of Roman Cenae Notes 1.