Parallels in warriors and war

Today we remember D-Day and honor those who fought on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. This was the largest air, land, and sea invasion in history and led to the liberation of Europe. Over the vast span of time and cultures, we continue to see parallels in warriors and war.

This vase in our collection, depicts Greek army heroes Ajax and Achilles playing a game during the siege of Troy, when the ancient Greeks launched a sea invasion against Troy. The heroes have left their arms and armor nearby while Athena, the Goddess of War, stands in the background.

According to Homer, the Trojan War lasted ten years. This scene reminds us that during many great wars, soldiers are forced to find ways to fill the hours of boredom between battles. And just as not all war is fighting, not all wounds are physical. Ajax famously succumbs to a fit of rage when he feels the other Greek warriors insult his honor and eventually commits suicide.

In this video from the New York Times, U.S. Veterans use the Greek tragedy Ajax by Sophokles to tell us about soldiers and the wounds they continue to endure.