Violence, emotions, and justice in the Hellenistic Period

Book chapter


Champion, Michael. (2023). Violence, emotions, and justice in the Hellenistic Period. In In Kiernan, Ben, Lemos, T. M. and Taylor, Tristan S. (Ed.). The Cambridge world of history : Volume 1 : Genocide in the ancient, medieval and premodern worlds pp. 257-277 Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108655989.012
AuthorsChampion, Michael
EditorsKiernan, Ben, Lemos, T. M. and Taylor, Tristan S.
Abstract

This chapter explores key episodes of extreme violence in the context of wars between Greek-speaking groups in the Hellenistic period. Case studies explore the phenomenon of destruction of Hellenistic cities and interrogate whether such destruction in warfare should be counted as genocide. The chapter identifies and compares conditions for extreme violence in the Hellenistic period, which was marked by continual warfare. It argues that competing discourses about justice, together with different emotional regimes related to justice, including anger, pity, and shame, serve both to moderate and intensify violence throughout this period. Where violence is taken to be just, views of justice as legitimate punishment and vengeance can ground acts of extreme violence, while view of justice as reasonable, equitable and gentle may moderate violence but could also be activated to justify extreme violence, if it is taken to be responding to extraordinary provocations or ethical and religious violations. These traditions of justice and emotional norms in the context of warfare in turn sit within a range of other cultural and political commitments which may both moderate and provoke extreme violence, including the development and maintenance of civic identity, legal and religious norms, and considerations of economic and political power.

KeywordsHellenistic violence; Hellenistic warfare; emotion; justice; ethics of war; genocide; rules of war; Cleomenic War; Social War; Polybius
Page range257-277
Year2023
Book titleThe Cambridge world of history : Volume 1 : Genocide in the ancient, medieval and premodern worlds
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationCambridge, United Kingdom
New York, New York
Port Melbourne, Victoria
New Delhi, India
Singapore, Singapore
SeriesThe Cambridge world history of genocide
ISBN9781108493536
9781108655989
9781108759731
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108655989.012
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All rights reserved
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jul 2023
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