Writing on War

Here we list what Palaima has written about the experience and conduct of wars through time in connection with his longstanding teaching, scholarly and public intellectual research and thoughts about how and why human societies and human beings use violence and how they respond to experiences of violence, culturally sanctioned or not, and what results from their responses.

This page is continually added to with content as it becomes available. Articles without URLs are currently unavailable. Please let us know about non-working links or any other problems at: garrettbruner@utexas.edu.

Tom Palaima’s recorded lectures and interviews on war and violence

Thinkery & Verse present AFTERSHOCK / La Réplica, featuring Tom Palaima. A podcast on machismo and Latinx military service:

Episode Two explores how the cultural condition called “Machismo” (toxic masculinity) can influence soldiering and trauma associated with war. Tejana Host, Karen Alvarado, shares audio-adapted Latinx stories from the 2019 stage play AFTERSHOCK / La Réplica. Alvarado then interviews combat veterans/artists Victor Inzunza and Dr. John Meyer, as well as MacArthur Fellow/Professor of Classics Dr. Thomas Palaima about the historical ties to military masculinity.

Bonus Podcast presented by Thinkery & Verse with Spotlight on Tom Palaima. This podcast expands on the Episode Two (above), focusing on Latinx military service and highlights Homer, Ovidio Garcia, Rolando Hinojosa, Bill Ehrhart, and Michael Lesy.

In a Bonus Episode, Tejana Host Karen Alvarado interviews Dr. Tom Palaima, MacArthur “Genius” and Classics Professor. They discuss ancient warrior culture including burial practices, and they unpack the Greek virtue called “Arête” and its relation to Latinx “Machismo” behavior.

When War is Performed, What do Soldiers See and Hear, Think and Say – or Not Say? – Lecture by Tom Palaima
Debating the cultural evolution of war. Stephen Sonnenberg and Thomas Palaima discuss war trauma and how our views on war have changed throughout history.
“What Does the Iliad Tell Us About War and Why?” presented at the National Hellenic Museum. Also includes an interview with Tom Palaima.
Word and Action: What effect expressions of thoughts, ideas and values have on the lives we live. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin Public Affairs Forum #1549 – December 6, 2015.
British Studies Seminar UT Austin “The War Poetry of Robert Graves,” September 7, 2012. (Requires UT-EID)
Poetry on the Plaza Reading from Homeric passages (from Lombardo, Oswald, Peterson-O’Hare) April 12, 2017
Corruption and Reconstruction in Iraq. | On Point — WBUR. December 6, 2005. Hear about reconstruction and corruption in the Iraq war and recently introduced legislation calling for greater accountability and transparency in Iraq contracting. Tom Palaima, professor of classics, University of Texas at Austin.
Need for a Modern-Day Iliad on program Counterpoint, Radio National Australia. October 24, 2005. American Academic Thomas Palaima has an unusual passion: he thinks the West desperately needs a modern equivalent of the Iliad, Homer’s great epic about the siege of Troy.
Discussion of violence in America on Wisconsin Public Radio: Conversations with Joy Cardin. December 9, 2004
Commentary on ancient Greek warfare on NPR Morning Edition. August 25, 2004
Ancient Troy and the movie ‘Troy’” On Point WBUR Boston and NPR affiliates nationwide. May 21, 2004

Tom Palaima Articles, Book Chapters, Feature Pieces on War and Violence

“Warfare in Homer,” in S. Lupack, C. Pache, C. Due and & R. Lamberton eds., Cambridge Guide to Homer. Cambridge University Press 2018 || PDF Download
Basileus and Anax in Homer and Mycenaean Greek Texts,” in S. Lupack, C. Pache, C. Due and & R. Lamberton eds., Cambridge Guide to Homer. Cambridge University Press 2018 || PDF Download
“Koiranos Among Power Titles in Linear B and Homer: What Power Flows and Where are the Faucets?” in S. Allen, M. Lee, R. Schon and R. Angus K. Smith eds., Power and Place in the Prehistoric Aegean and Beyond (INSTAP Press)
“War Stories Told, Untold and Retold from Troy to Tinian to Fort Campbell,” Arion 23:3 (2016) 1-33. || PDF Download
“Billboards and Moving Boxes Cowardice: A Brief History by Chris Walsh Princeton U Press 2014),” in Essays in Criticism 65:4 (2015) 455-463.
“The Sorrowful History of The Half-Life of War” on-line essay on the documentary film by Kyle Henry, The Half-Life of War. It discusses how war memorials in the US are situated and whether or not Americans notice and react to them. || PDF Download
“Masters of War: Virgil, Horace, Owen, Pound, Trumbo, Dylan and the Art of Reference,” in Peter Knox, Alex Sens, Hayden Pelliccia eds., They Keep It All Hid: Augustan Poetry, its Antecedents and Reception Papers in Honor of Richard Thomas (Trends in Classics – Supplementary Volumes, Walter de Gruyter: New York 2018) 147-168 || PDF Download
 “Faces and Attachment in Homer and Later War Writing,” In Lawrence A. Tritle and Jason W. Warren eds., The Many Faces of War (Marymount Institute Press: Los Angeles 2018) pp. 69-94. || PDF Download
“La Grecia micénica: Una sociedad marcada por la guerra,” Desperta Ferro Historia Militar y Politica de la Antigüedad y el Medievo 30 (June 2015) 20-25 || PDF Download
“Robert Graves at Troy, Marathon, and the End of Sandy Road: War Poems at a Classical Distance?” in A.G.G. Gibson, ed., Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition (Oxford University Press 2015) 233-254 || PDF Download
“The Foundations of Violence in Ancient Greek Literature” in S. Peebles, ed., Critical Insights: Violence in Literature (Salem Press 2014) 3-22 || PDF Download
“When War Is Performed, What Do Soldiers and Veterans Want to Hear and See and Why?” in P. Meineck and D. Konstan eds., Combat Trauma and the Ancient Greeks (Palgrave MacMillan 2014) 261-285 || PDF Download
“Robert Graves’s War Poems,” in Wm. Roger Louis ed., Irrepressible Adventures with Britannia (2013) 137-150. || PDF Download
(co-written with Larry Tritle), “The Legacy of War in the Classical World,” in Brian Campbell and Larry Tritle eds. The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World (OUP 2013) 726-742 || PDF Download
“The First Casualty” Times Higher Education December 20/27, 2012, pp. 32-37 || PDF Download
“Security and Insecurity as Tools of Power in Mycenaean Palatial Kingdoms,” Études mycéniennes 2010. Actes du XIII[e] colloque international sur les textes égéens, Sèvres, Paris, Nanterre, 20-23 septembre 2010, édités par Pierre Carlier, Charles De Lamberterie, Markus Egetmeyer, Nicole Guilleux, Françoise Rougemont, Julien Zurbach, 2012, pp. XXVIII-616 Pasiphae Pisa-Rome 2012, 345-356. || PDF Download
“1984: It’s Coming,” Times Higher Education September 3, 2009 || PDF Download
“Stories of War on the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Circuit,” The Key Reporter Fall 2008, pp. 8-9 || PDF Download
About Willie Nelsons’s Anti-war songs “Alive and Singing the Truth,” Texas Observer. January 11, 2008 || PDF Download
“Civilian Knowledge of War and Violence in Ancient Athens and Modern America,” in Michael Cosmopoulos ed., Experiencing War: Trauma and Society from Ancient Greece to the Iraq War (Chicago 2007) 9-34. ISBN 0-89005-606-4978 || PDF Download
“Why Do Wars Begin?” H. Swain ed., Big Questions in History (London: Jonathan Cape 2005) 129-134 || PDF Download
“Epic Tale of Facing Up to Achilles Heel,” THES 06/11/2004, pp. 20-21 (with Lt. Col. Ted Westhusing USMA) || PDF Download
“The Texas Professoriate and Public Political Discourse Before and After 9/11,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 1:1 (2004) 89-99 || PDF Download
“The World Has Not Changed,” THES 10/26/01, p. 13 (on free speech and higher education after the WTC-Pentagon attacks) || PDF Download
“Courage and Prowess Afoot in Homer and the Vietnam of Tim O’Brien,” Classical and Modern Literature 20/3 (2000) 1-22 || PDF Download
“Mycenaean Militarism from a Textual Perspective. Onomastics in Context: lawos, damos, klewos,” in R. Laffineur ed., Polemos: Warfare in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 19: Liège and Austin 1999) 367-378 || PDF Download
“The Last Days of the Pylos Polity,” in R. Laffineur and W.-D. Niemeier eds., Politeia: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum 12 (Liège 1995) 623-633, plate LXXIV || PDF Download


Tom Palaima’s Book Reviews on war and violence literature

Don McCullin, Unreasonable Behavior: An Autobiography (London: Jonathan Cape 2015). Michigan War Studies Review. May 1, 2020 || PDF Download
W.D. Ehrhart, Thank You For Your Service: Collected Poems (Jefferson NC: McFarland Press 2019). Michigan War Studies Review. July 31, 2019 || PDF Download
The Long March: Xenophon and the Ten Thousand (2005) by R. Lane Fox ed. THES June 10, 2005, p. 28 || PDF Download
Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq by Katovsky and Carlson (Lyons Press 2003).  Times Higher Education Supplement January 30, 2004 || PDF Download
The Language of War: Literature and Culture in the U.S. from the Civil War through World War II by J. Dawes. Harvard University Press 2002. In the London Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), p. 24. April 12, 2002 || PDF Download
War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe and Mesoamerica by ed. Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein. Harvard U Pr: Cambridge MA, 1999. In The London Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), p. 34 December 1, 2000 || PDF Download


Tom Palaima’s commentary and essays on war and violence

“Despite World’s Reminders, We Still Don’t Know Terrorism,” Austin American-Statesman. September 16, 2003.
Palaima & Martinich : “Trump’s Foreseeable Coup Attempt.” Common Dreams. December 24, 2020 
Palaima, “Sniper’s War and Anti-Terrorist terrorism.” Common Dreams, June 25, 2018.
Commentary: Why straight talk is hard to deliver but so necessary“, Austin American-Statesman. June 6, 2017 || PDF Download
“Poetry Is One Way to Make Sense of War’s Horrors,” Austin American-Statesman. September 12, 2014
“Take Time to Heed Stories of War,” Austin American-Statesman. March 18, 2014
“The Ongoing War in Our Time and in Aristophanes’,” Austin American-Statesman. September 1, 2012
“Pre-empted by the War in Iraq,” Austin American-Statesman. April 19, 2010
Once, Cleveland capitalists weren’t predators,” in The Plain Dealer, August 3, 2008.
As a Matter of Honor Troops Shouldn’t Bend the Rules of War,” Austin American-Statesman. August 13, 2007 || PDF Download
The Evil Men Do Lives After Them,” Austin American-Statesmen and History News Network. October 25, 2006 || PDF Download
“What’s the Truth of War?” Austin American-Statesman. May 27, 2006
“A Grieving Mother Asks an Impossible Question,” Austin American-Statesman and The Sacramento Bee. August 23, 2005 || PDF Download
“The Human Toll Behind the Iraq Statistics,” Austin-American Statesman. October 4, 2004.
“War is our reality, and we shouldn’t turn away from it,” Austin American-Statesman. January 12, 2004.
“With Saddam Caged, the Collective Human Emotion Moves from Fear to Elation,”
Austin American-Statesman. December 17, 2003.
Casting the First Stone,” Los Angeles Times November 10, 2003 (with John Friend) || PDF Download
“The Worst Thing We Can Do Is Forget,” Austin American-Statesman. August 8, 2003
Some plagiarism serious enough to diminish our faith,” Austin American-Statesman. September 28, 2003 || PDF Download

“Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Winner, a Lefty Hero, & a Plagiarist,” The New Republic. By Christopher Ketcham. June 11, 2014.

Remember the Soldiers Who Have Labored in Our Fields,” Austin American-Statesman. September 2, 2003
“The Worst Thing We Can Do Is Forget,” Austin American-Statesman. August 8, 2003
“Pausing to remember others’ sacrifice,”Austin American-Statesman. May 29, 2003. 
“The war that was, and the war that we saw,” Austin American-Statesman. April 30, 2003
“Be mindful of the real casualties of war ,” Austin American-Statesman. April 12, 2003 
“The Only Constants in Iraq’s War-Ravaged History Are Change, Uncertainty ,”
Austin American-Statesman. March 20, 2003
“In the Final Analysis There is But One Truth: War Is Stupid,”
Austin American-Statesman. February 20, 2003
“A Lesson About Darkness and War in the Middle East,” Austin American-Statesman. October 11, 2002
“2,500 Memorial Days and Counting,”Austin American-Statesman. May 27, 2002
“Where’s Our Iliad?”Austin American-Statesman. March 31, 2002
“Driving SUVs and Flying B-24s in Times of Reverence,” Austin American-Statesman. November 14, 2001
“When Will the Terrorists Have Won?,” Austin American-Statesman. October 23, 2001
God Bless Greece, God Bless the USA,” Kathimerini Greece’s International Newspaper. October 2, 2001
“American Ideals and the Rights of Others,” Austin American-Statesman. September 25, 2001
”Old Wounds of Vietnam Still Haven’t Healed,” Austin American-Statesman. May 6, 2001
“The Century of Violence,”Austin American-Statesman. December 12, 1999
“Engaging Our Minds Before We Engage Our Troops,” Austin American-Statesman. May 19, 1999
“Is corporate model right for higher education?,” Austin American-Statesman. Feb. 17, 1999 || PDF Download
TEXAS PERSPECTIVES Tom Palaima, “On Memorial Day, Let’s Prove General Logan Wrong,”May 24-28, 2018 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Austin American-Statesman, McAllen Monitor, San Antonio Express-News
“Our Wounds, Our Duty War’s Harm Touches Every Citizen,” with Stephen Sonnenberg. Austin American-Statesman Insight Feature. December 9, 2009
“Stories of War on the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Circuit,” The Key Reporter Fall 2008, pp. 8-9
“Why Peace Is a Conjuror’s Trick,” Times Higher Education Supplement. December 12, 2003.

Tom Palaima’s Poetry on War

“Temporary Like Achilles #2 (for Leon Golden),” Minerva 1:2 (Spring 2019) 30-32 || PDF Download
“As Told To Wallace Terry,” War, Literature and the Arts 15 (2003) 171-172 || PDF Download


Warrior Chorus:


2018-19 Season

10 weeks June-August 2 x per week immersion in classical literature, writing or constructing performance pieces

September 15- rehearsals and performance November 15 and 20


2016-17 Season

The Untold Stories of Modern Warriors

1. Austin History Center Performance March 5, 2017

2.-3. The Trojan War: Our Warrior Chorus Aquila Theatre Performance at McCullough Theatre with Pre-Performance and

Post-Performance Talks and Talk-Backs March 22-23 2017

4. Performance at Safe Haven Veterans Shelter (ATCIC) May 20, 2017