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.

chapter |8 pages


ByAndromache Karanika, Vassiliki Panoussi

part Part 1|1 pages

War trauma

chapter 1|18 pages

Aspects of violence, trauma, and theater in Sophocles’ Ajax

ByTrigg Settle

chapter 2|16 pages

Combat trauma in Vergil’s Aeneid

ByVassiliki Panoussi

part Part 2|1 pages

Women and trauma

chapter 3|20 pages

Repetition, civic status, and remedy

Women and trauma in New Comedy
BySharon L. James

chapter 4|19 pages

Subaltern women, sexual violence, and trauma in Ovid’s Amores

ByJessica Wise

part Part 3|1 pages

Collective trauma

chapter 5|15 pages

The Acropolis burning!

Reactions to collective trauma in the years after 480/79 bce
ByMarion Meyer

chapter 6|12 pages

Historiographical trauma

The case of Polybius
BySusan C. Jarratt

part Part 4|1 pages

Natural disasters, exile, captivity

chapter 7|16 pages

Non est facile inter mala magna consipere

Trauma, earthquakes, and bibliotherapy in Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones
ByChristopher Trinacty

chapter 8|15 pages

Ovid and the trauma of exile

BySanjaya Thakur

chapter 9|13 pages

Philo’s Flaccus

Trauma, justice, and revenge
ByPhilip R. Bosman

part Part 5|1 pages

Communicating trauma

chapter 10|13 pages

Learning to bear witness

Tragic bystanders in Sophocles’ Trachiniae
ByErika L. Weiberg

chapter 11|14 pages

Oedipus’ lament

Waking and refashioning the traumatic past in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus
ByLaurialan Reitzammer

chapter 12|15 pages

Troy as trauma

Reflections on intergenerational transmission and the locus of trauma
ByAndromache Karanika