Remember Their Names: The Women Who Almost Saved Troy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Authors since Antiquity have told the heartwrenching tale of the Trojan women who survived the war to meet a fate of slavery and death in servitude, among them Euripides, Jean-Paul Sartre and most recently British novelists Natalie Haynes and Pat Barker. However, there were also other women at Troy, who had the skill, opportunity and training to fight for their lives. While Homer glosses over them, the Ancient author Quintus of Smyrna tells the story of Penthesilea, the Amazon warrior queen who arrives to defend the city after Hector's death, and her fateful duel with Achilles outside the gates of Troy. Although she is killed in battle, she inspires the Trojan women to action, giving them, from a modern reader's perspective, voice and agency. A feminist memory culture would do well to remember these stories.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntigone Journal
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Classcis
  • Penthesilea
  • Ancient Greek literature
  • Memory Studies
  • Feminism
  • Amazons
  • Troy
  • Trojan war
  • historical fiction
  • Literature
  • Literature and society

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