“They sent forth men to battle.
But no such men return;
And home, to claim their welcome.
Comes ashes in an urn.”
— Ode from “Agamemnon,” Aeschylus
Aeschylus—who had actually fought at Marathon in 490 BC, the battle that defeated the first Persian invasion of Greece—had few illusions about the consequences of war. His ode is one that the candidates for the U.S. presidency might consider, though one doubts that many of them would think to find wisdom in a 2,500 year-old Greek play.
And that, in itself, is a tragedy.