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The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece

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The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Second Edition<

The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics--that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens--but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, maneuver, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century b.c. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government--an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute.



The Western Way of War draws from an extraordinary range of sources--Greek poetry, drama, and vase painting, as well as historical records--to describe what actually took place on the battlefield. It is the first study to explore the actual mechanics of classical Greek battle from the vantage point of the infantryman--the brutal spear-thrusting, the difficulty of fighting in heavy bronze armor which made it hard to see, hear and move, and the fear. Hanson also discusses the physical condition and age of the men, weaponry, wounds, and morale.



This compelling account of what happened on the killing fields of the ancient Greeks ultimately shows that their style of armament and battle was contrived to minimize time and life lost by making the battle experience as decisive and appalling as possible. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war.

Synopsis:

The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics--that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens--but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century B.C. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government--an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war. A new preface addresses recent scholarship on Greek warfare.

About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is Professor of Classics at California State University, Fresno, and author and coauthor of many books, including The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War.

Table of Contents

Ordinary things, ordinary people — A Western way of war — Not strategy, not tactics — The hoplite and his Phalanx: war in an agricultural society — Sources of inquiry — The burden of hoplite arms and armor — The old men — The dread of massed attack — A soldier's general — Unit spirit and morale: the origins of the regimental system — Drink — The charge — A collision of men — Tears and gaps — The push and collapse — Confusion, misdirection, and mob violence — The killing field — The wounded — Epilogue.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520219113
Subtitle:
Infantry Battle in Classical Greece
Introduction:
Keegan, John
Author:
Hanson, Victor Davis
Author:
Keegan, John
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley :
Subject:
Military - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Military art and science
Subject:
Infantry drill and tactics.
Subject:
Ancient - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
policy study no. 151
Publication Date:
20000310
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
303
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x .75 in 15 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Ancient and Medieval
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
History and Social Science » World History » Classical

The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece Used Trade Paper
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Product details 303 pages University of California Press - English 9780520219113 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics--that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens--but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century B.C. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government--an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war. A new preface addresses recent scholarship on Greek warfare.
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