History of Warfare: The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell History of Warfare)

History of Warfare: The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell History of Warfare)

Victor Davis Hanson

Language: English

Pages: 228

ISBN: 2:00096636

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Ancient Greeks--who believed that war is the most important thing humans do--bequeathed to the West an incomparable military legacy that still influences the structure of armies and doctrine. Understand the reasons why their unique approach to fighting was so successful and so relentless, its role at the heart of classical culture, the rise of the city state, agrarian duels, the emergence of Athenian and Spartan power, the development of war as a specialized science, and the collapse of Greek warfare after Alexander the Great. 224 pages, 70 color illus., 80 b/w illus., 7 3/4 x 10 3/8.

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difficult transition from hereditary aristocracy to broader-based oligarchies of yeoman farmers. Just as we hear of early assemblies of property-owners and egalitarian land distribution schemes, so too we imagine that hoplite warfare emphasized the same uniform nature of the new citizen: as a voter he claimed an equal seat in the assembly hall, as farmer a piece of land of about the same size as his peers, and as infantryman a slot in his regiment identical to all others. The resulting mosaic

1,000 (1,600) - and well populated by Greek standards. Both states were the nominal centers of their respective Dorian and Ionic cultures, and so assumed a natural leadership over the populous Doric states in the Peloponnese and the Ionic settlements in the Aegean and on the coast of Asia minor. Each side could muster loyal allies for foreign campaigns. Athens and Sparta both had relatively tranquil political leadership in the seventh and sixth centuries which fostered economic growth and social

Socrates, and felt that had other Athenians emulated the philosopher's infantry resolve, the army would have been saved (over 1,000 Athenians died, most of them in the panicked stampede). We hear, too, that the 26-year-old Alcibiades rode through the disintegrated ranks looking to aid hoplites like Socrates, who were besieged by light-armed troops. Plato's stepfather, Pyrilampes, nearly 55 years old in 424, was wounded by a javelin and then captured when he fled to Mount Parnes. Military

Theban infantry remained nearby on both home fronts, and a growing Peloponnesian fleet was now sailing in the Athenian waters of the Aegean. Thucydides provides an ambivalent assessment of the enterprise (415-413), emphasizing the foolhardy ambition so typical of imperial democracy, and yet, as a military man, obviously impressed with the sheer scale of operations. He faults lack of support at home for the venture, but in fact the Athenians emptied their city, sending additional good men and

were used to record inventories and administrative decrees of an imperial elite. The script was a mixture of numbers, pictograms and syllabic signs and ran from left to right. Pictograms for chariots, soldiers, armor and horses are common, and suggest that most Mycenean weaponry was state-owned, stored in armories, and distributed to imperial levies only in times of hostilities. This particular tablet from the Mycenaean palace at Cnossus on Crete apparently records the issue of body armor, horse

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