Lecture by Jennifer Martinez, Visiting Lecturer, Monmouth College
This investigation of ancient wartime atrocities committed against noncombatants, especially women, and ancient attempts at rationalizing such behavior, focuses on the wars of the Classical period and privileges historical authors (Herodotus, Thucydides, Diodorus) and archaeological evidence (sculpture, Greek vases). What is an ancient atrocity? How is ancient violence depicted in, and rationalized through, art? The philosophy of violence and how this is portrayed in art is the main subject of this talk. My paper offers a different archaeological and historical perspective in a field that often analyses mythical women and wars. This talk focuses on violence towards female suppliants, the killing of women and children, and the reasons ancient authors provided for this wartime behaviour. It will also analyze depictions of women in military scenes in both sculpture and Greek painted pottery.