Three Narratives of Civil War: Recurrence, Remembrance and Reform from Sulla to Syria

  • David Armitage


This chapter traces three historical narratives of civil war progressively across the centuries from republican Rome to the present. The first, “recurrence”, relates the seemingly eternal return of civil war; the second, “remembrance”, describes the place of historical memory–and of historical amnesia–in shaping expectations and experiences of civil war; the third, “reform”, imagines the amelioration, perhaps even the extinction, of civil war through the application of legal norms and constraints. These three narratives, when taken together, continue to inform understandings of civil war; when they are excavated and exposed, they can illuminate patterns in the history of civil war that might otherwise be inscrutable.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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