- The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies
- List of Contributors
- Editors' Introduction: Changing Themes in the Study of Genocide
- Raphael Lemkin, Culture, and the Concept of Genocide
- ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ versus Genocide?
- Gender and Genocide
- The State and Genocide
- Genocide and Memory
- The Law and Genocide
- Sociology and Genocide
- Political Science and Genocide
- Anthropology and Genocide
- Social Psychology and Genocide
- Philosophy and Genocide
- Genocide in the Ancient World
- Early Medieval Europe: The Case of Britain and Ireland
- Central and Late Medieval Europe
- Colonial Latin America
- Rethinking Genocide in North America
- Genocide and Mass Violence in the ‘Heart of Darkness’: Africa in the Colonial Period
- Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire
- Mass Deportations, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocidal Politics in the Later Russian Empire and the USSR
- The Nazi Empire
- Twentieth‐Century China: Ethnic Assimilation and Intergroup Violence
- Political Genocides in Postcolonial Asia
- State‐Sponsored Violence and Secessionist Rebellions in Asia
- National Security Doctrine in Latin America: The Genocide Question
- Genocide and Population Displacement in Post‐Communist Eastern Europe
- Genocidal Warfare in North‐east Africa
- War and Genocide in Africa's Great Lakes since Independence
- The United Nations, the Cold War, and Its Legacy
- Military Intervention
- Punishment as Prevention?: The Politics of Punishing Génocidaires
- From Past to Future: Prospects for Genocide and Its Avoidance in the Twenty‐First Century
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines genocide in the ancient world, by examining European literature and comparing the atrocities committed during the events of the Trojan War. The massacre of all Troy's male inhabitants and the enslavement of its women and children were fictional, but it had many counterparts in ancient history. It was almost the normative form of genocide in ancient Greece and some other parts of the ancient world, although mass enslavements and mass executions which made no distinctions of gender or age are also widely attested. The Greeks' reasons for treating the Trojans so brutally were typical of the motivations for genocide in antiquity: it was usually an act of ‘conspicuous destruction’, a display of force designed to assert the power and status of the perpetrator in the face of a perceived challenge. Ancient genocide sometimes had a religious dimension.
Hans Van Wees is Professor of Ancient History at University College London. He is the author of Status Warriors: War, Violence and Society in Homer and History (1992), and Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities (2004), as well as numerous articles on aspects of war and peace in the ancient world. He has edited, among other things, a volume on War and Violence on Ancient Greece (2000) and the Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare (2007).
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