Download Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Harry Sidebottom PDF

By Harry Sidebottom

Greek and Roman conflict used to be in contrast to that of the other tradition earlier than or in view that. the major distinction is usually held to be that the Greeks and Romans practiced a "Western means of War," during which the purpose is an open, decisive battle--won by way of braveness instilled, partly, via self-discipline. right here, Harry Sidebottom seems at how this Western manner of warfare used to be developed and maintained via the Greeks and Romans and why this idea is so regular today.

All facets of historic battle are completely examined--from philosophy and technique to the technical abilities had to struggle. Sidebottom examines conflict within the wider context, displaying how wars have been in a position to form classical society, and the way an individual's identification was once occasionally built by way of struggle, as relating to the Christian soldier battling in God's identify. He additionally explores the ways that historical society thought of clash: Can a conflict be simply? Why was once siege battle really bloody? What function did divine intervention play within the final result of a conflict? Taking interesting examples from the iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom makes use of arresting anecdotes and remarkable visible photographs to teach that any realizing of historic warfare is an ongoing means of interpretation.


`I am hooked on this sequence of pocket-portable introductory lectures. Harry Sidebottom rather presumes that you simply wouldn't understand a hoplite if one thrust a spear at you, and that you simply grasped legionary strategies from gazing the DVD of Gladiator. The ebook manages to hide functional combating from the Iliad to Islam's problem to Byzantium; conflict as own and kingdom metaphor in Greece and Rome; procedure and motivation on sea and land; after which nips rapidly directly to historians' re-evaluations of the above - in 128 neat pages plus additional examining record and a depraved chronology. acquired that? correct, then. Fall in.' mother or father Review

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Additional info for Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Sample text

The (for the moment) living captive has been interpreted variously as being stunned, resigned, contemplative, or shamed. Caledonian culture is thought about here only in terms of war, and specifically failure in war. It is interesting that these potent symbols of Roman power appear from the circumstances of their discovery to have been carefully buried when the Antonine Wall was abandoned. Ancient Warfare It has been interpreted as an intelligence report, or a memorandum for a new commander referring to enemy tribesmen.

They fight with undisciplined ferocity, which then gives way to complete panic. Ammianus’ picture of close combat is a timeless expression of Roman ideology. [The Germans] had the advantage of strength and height, the Romans of training and discipline. One side was wild and turbulent, the other deliberate and cautious. Our men relied on their courage, the enemy on their prodigious physique. 47, tr. W. Hamilton) Here changes in either Roman armies or their opponents are for the most part written out of history.

But several have taken a ‘revisionist’ position. They tend to see ‘proto-hoplites’ on the Homeric battlefield. In their readings of the Iliad the impact of individual heroes is minimal, and the decisive factor is massed fighting by ordinary warriors. There is thus no room for a military ‘revolution’. Instead, at most, there was a gradual adoption of new items of equipment, and a slow trend towards uniformity. With the forefathers of the hoplites already playing the vital role in battle, the final ‘formalization’ of the hoplite phalanx could not have inspired important political and social changes.

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