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Origins of War : From the Stone Age To Alexander the Great (97 Edition)by Arther Ferrill
Synopses & Reviews
When did war begin? Standard military accounts tend to start with the Graeco-Persian wars, laying undue emphasis on the preeminence of Greek heavy infantry. But, as this strikingly original and entertaining book shows, the origins of war can be traced back not to the Iron Age, or even to the Bronze Age, but to the emergence of settled life itself nearly 10,000 years ago. The military revolution that occurred then—the invention of major new weapons, the massive fortifications, the creation of strategy and tactics—ultimately gave rise to the great war machines of ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Persia that dominated the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great.It is Arther Ferrills thesis that in the period before Alexander there were two independent lines of military development—a Near Eastern one culminating in the expert integration of cavalry, skirmishers, and light infantry and a Greek one based on heavy infantry. When Philip and Alexander blended the two traditions in their crack Macedonian army, the result was a style of warfare that continued, despite technological changes, down to Napoleon.This newly revised edition presents detailed and copiously illustrated accounts of all the major battles on land and sea up to the fourth century b.c., analyzes weapons from the sling to the catapult, and discusses ancient strategy and tactics, making this a book for armchair historians everywhere.
Book News Annotation:
Using analyses of major battles on land and sea from a period roughly 10,000 years ago, up to the fourth century BC, the author suggests that war can be traced back to the emergence of settled life, and that the military developments that began there both led to the tactically integrated army of Alexander the Great, and laid the foundation and shaped the practice of modern warfare to the time of Napoleon.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"When did war begin? Standard military accounts tend to start with the Graeco-Persian wars. But this book shows that the origins of war can be traced back, not to the Iron Age, or even to the Bronze Ag"
The origins of war can be traced back to the emergence of settled life nearly 10,000 years ago. This newly revised edition of Professor Arther Ferrill's thesis presents detailed and copiously illustrated accounts of all major battles on land and sea up to the fourth century B.C., analyzes weapons from the sling to the catapult, and discusses ancient strategy and tactics, making it a book for armchair historians everywhere.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-235) and index.
About the Author
Arther Ferrill is professor of history at the University of Washington. He is a contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and the author of The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation and Caligula: Emperor of Rome.
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