The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

Book IV opens with yet another revolt from allies of the Athenians, this time the city of Messana. Syracuse encouraged the revolt to prevent Athens from a clear path to Sicily. Additionally, Athens is again invaded by the Spartans under King Agis, son of Archidamus. Meanwhile an Athenian fleet builds a fort as an outpost … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

The Dangers of the Poets in The Bacchae

The Bacchae (Bacchantes) is Euripides's greatest play. It tells the story of Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry, as he jealously rebukes Pentheus, ruler of Thebes (the latter city of Oedipus), for his lack of faith in Dionysus's sovereignty. Pentheus's impiety ultimately costs his city and family their nobility -Dionysus, in disguise, persuades Pentheus … Continue reading The Dangers of the Poets in The Bacchae

Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Known in Latin as the Troades, Euripides's The Trojan Women was said by Aelian's Varia Historica (published in the third century A.D.) to have been performed for the first time in 415 BC at the 91st Olympiad. Ultimately, he won second place, losing to Xenocles, a now lost Athenian tragedian. The Trojan Women was part three of a group of three tragedies … Continue reading Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Initial Thoughts on Plato’s Laches

In Plato's short dialogue called the Laches we encounter the question of courage. Lysimachus and Melesias are seeking guidance from some of Athen's older and more experienced on the best way to raise their sons so they will become good. Both Lysimachus and Melesias are ashamed because they did not fight in battle the way their forefathers did against … Continue reading Initial Thoughts on Plato’s Laches