"Simplify me when I am dead.” War heroes in Hellenistic funerary epigrams

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In spite of the abundance of sources of various nature on the Hellenistic period, the dynamics of most of the military events which took place then are still obscure. Numerous, however, are the epigraphic poems commemorating individual soldiers who fought in the said battles, and often died in action. Rich in literary topoi and imagery derived from the previous epic, epigrammatic and elegiac tradition, Hellenistic epitaphs, not unlike court poetry of the same period, offer a representation of contemporary wars through the lenses of the literary conventions and in the light of the poetic reinvention of the previous historical and mythical wars. Some of the traditional literary images here discussed also resurface, unexpectedly, in modern war poetry (the paper is specifically focusing on English language WWI poetry). This contribution is one in a series of articles proposing a survey of the contents of Hellenistic epigrams on soldiers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-239
Number of pages57
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Greek epigraphy
  • Hellenistic
  • Wold War I
  • encomium
  • epic
  • epigram
  • epitaph
  • soldier


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