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Textual Strategies in Ancient War Narrative

Thermopylae, Cannae and Beyond


Edited by Lidewij W. van Gils, Irene J.F. de Jong and Caroline H.M. Kroon

In this collected volume fourteen experts in the fields of Classics and Ancient History study the textual strategies used by Herodotus and Livy when recounting the disastrous battles at Thermopylae and Cannae. Literary, linguistic and historical approaches are used (often in combination) in order to enhance and enrich the interpretation of the accounts, which for obvious reasons confronted the authors with a special challenge. Chapters drawing a comparison with other battle narratives and with other genres help to establish genre-specific elements in ancient historiography, and draw attention to the particular techniques employed by Herodotus and Livy in their war narratives.


Lidewij van Gils, Irene de Jong and Caroline Kroon


Suzanne M. Adema

In Speech and Thought in Latin War Narratives, Suzanne Adema offers linguistic and narratological tools to analyse and interpret narratorial choices in speech and thought representation in Latin narratives. Her approach combines insights from (cognitive) linguistic and narratological theories and has been tested and adjusted through corpus based research (Caesar, Vergil, Sallust).
The approach is a useful tool to unveil rhetorical uses of speech and thought representation in Latin war narrative by means of close readings of Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum 1 and 7, and Vergil’s Aeneid 11 and 12. Focusing on the attitudes of the narrators towards war, Adema provides new insights into these texts and offers linguistic and narratological contributions to literary and historical discussions about the Bellum Gallicum and the Aeneid.


Tara L. Andrews