Warriors' Wives: Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Experience

Bridges, Emma (2023). Warriors' Wives: Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198843528.001.0001


Warriors’ Wives: Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Experience compares the representations of soldiers’ wives in ancient Greek epic poetry and tragic drama with the experiences of modern-day military spouses. In examining the figures of Penelope, Clytemnestra, Andromache, and Tecmessa–as represented by Homer and the fifth-century-BCE Athenian tragedians–alongside contemporary evidence for the lives of women who are married to service personnel, it sheds fresh light on the effects of war on those who are left behind. It traces significant aspects of the lives of the women who are married to soldiers from the moment of farewell, through periods of separation and the challenges they bring, to the reunion and in some cases the traumatic aftermath of war. In doing so it considers the ways in which key elements of the experience of the waiting wife are shaped, today just as much as in the ancient world, by expectations about gender roles, and it renders visible the stories of military spouses who have traditionally been given less attention than their serving partners.

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