Rächer und Gerächte
Vengeance in ancient Greece – how did it look like? Who took revenge, why and for whom? Using the example of Attic tragedy texts, the book investigates these questions by analysing patterns of thought and practice. Starting with an exploration of the Greek vocabulary of revenge, Bernadette Descharmes shows that revenge can be perfectly defined as justice as well as punishment, protection or obligation of honour. She inquires the rules of revenge, emotional and religious implications and different acts of violence as presented in tragedy. The book not only illuminates the fatal consequences resulting from betrayal and violence within families and friendship ties, but it also enlightens obligations of loyalty among kin and friends. After all, in ancient thought, revenge is not only a practice generating hostile relationships. “Help your friend and harm your enemy” is also a guideline that defines revenge as an act affirming kinship and friendship.