after thermopylae the oath of plataea and the end of the graeco persian wars emblems of antiquity

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After Thermopylae

Author : Paul Cartledge
ISBN : 9780199911554
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 80 MB
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The Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE is one of world history's unjustly neglected events. It decisively ended the threat of a Persian conquest of Greece. It involved tens of thousands of combatants, including the largest number of Greeks ever brought together in a common cause. For the Spartans, the driving force behind the Greek victory, the battle was sweet vengeance for their defeat at Thermopylae the year before. Why has this pivotal battle been so overlooked? In After Thermopylae, Paul Cartledge masterfully reopens one of the great puzzles of ancient Greece to discover, as much as possible, what happened on the field of battle and, just as important, what happened to its memory. Part of the answer to these questions, Cartledge argues, can be found in a little-known oath reputedly sworn by the leaders of Athens, Sparta, and several other Greek city-states prior to the battle-the Oath of Plataea. Through an analysis of this oath, Cartledge provides a wealth of insight into ancient Greek culture. He shows, for example, that when the Athenians and Spartans were not fighting the Persians they were fighting themselves, including a propaganda war for control of the memory of Greece's defeat of the Persians. This helps explain why today we readily remember the Athenian-led victories at Marathon and Salamis but not Sparta's victory at Plataea. Indeed, the Oath illuminates Greek anxieties over historical memory and over the Athens-Sparta rivalry, which would erupt fifty years after Plataea in the Peloponnesian War. In addition, because the Oath was ultimately a religious document, Cartledge also uses it to highlight the profound role of religion and myth in ancient Greek life. With compelling and eye-opening detective work, After Thermopylae provides a long-overdue history of the Battle of Plataea and a rich portrait of the Greek ethos during one of the most critical periods in ancient history.

Beyond The Gates Of Fire

Author : Christopher Anthony Matthew
ISBN : 1848847912
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 43 MB
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The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC is one of the most famous battles in history. The heroism of the 300 Spartans who opted to remain behind to face the full might of the Persian host while their Greek allies made good their escape has become the stuff of legend. The story still inspires novelists and film-makers today (Frank Miller's fanciful 300 was a huge hit in 2007 and the film rights to Steven Pressfield's more historical novel Gates of Fire were bought by George Clooney, the film expected to finally surface in 2011 or 2012). But what is the truth behind the legends and why was this bloody defeat immediately accorded a halo of glory that has endured for nearly two-and-a-half millennia? Beyond the Gates of Fire brings together experts on the classical period from Australia, New Zealand and the United States to take a fresh look at various aspects of the battle. A substantial introductory section by the editors outlines the background to the conflict as well as the arms, armor and fighting styles of the opposing sides. The following chapters (9 of them) then discuss such questions as whether the defense of the pass really was a suicide mission; the exact topography of the battlefield itself in 480 BC, using the latest geological research and core samples; the impact of the battle on the Greek psyche; commemoration of the war dead; the impact of the original battle on the conduct of later battles in the pass, right up to the German invasion of 1941. For the classical scholar or the general reader whose interest has been piqued by the popular books and films, this book is sure to shed refreshing new light on the most famous last stand in history. REVIEWS ...competent presentation of issues pertaining to this famous battle and its subsequent memory...a more nuanced view of how the memory of the battle was shaped and transmitted. Bryn Mawr Classical Review provides new insight into one of antiquity's greatest battles Strategy Page Matthew Trundel Matthew Trundel A

Thermopylae

Author : Paul Cartledge
ISBN : 9780330475624
Genre : History
File Size : 86. 25 MB
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'Go tell the Spartans, Passerby, That here, obedient to their laws, we lie' Thus did the poet Simonides remember the three hundred elite Spartan warriors who, led by their king, Leonidas, faced the vast, inrushing Persian army at the ‘hot gates’ of Thermopylae and fought to the death for an ideal dearer to them than life itself – the ideal of freedom. Paul Cartledge’s offers a compelling re-examination of this crucial moment in history, a epic clash of civilizations that helped shape the identity of Classical Greece and our own cultural heritage. ‘Our greatest living expert on Sparta tells the story of that fearsome city’s finest hour. The result is a book that wonderfully demonstrates the capacity of profound scholarship to thrill, to move and to inspire’ Tom Holland, author of Rubicon and Persian Fire ‘The world's leading authority on ancient Sparta’ Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

The Amazons

Author : Adrienne Mayor
ISBN : 9781400865130
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 10 MB
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Amazons—fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world—were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons. But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China. Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons—Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China. Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.

A Storm Of Spears

Author : Christopher Anthony Matthew
ISBN : 161200119X
Genre : History
File Size : 43. 75 MB
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The backbone of classical Greek armies was the phalanx of heavily armored spearmen, or hoplites. These were the soldiers that defied the might of Persia at Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea and, more often, fought each other in the countless battles of the Greek city-states. For around two centuries they were the dominant soldiers of the Classical world, in great demand as mercenaries throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Yet, despite the battle descriptions of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon etc, and copious evidence of Greek art and archaeology, there are still many aspects of hoplite warfare that are little understood or the subject of fierce academic debate. Christopher Matthew's groundbreaking reassessment combines rigorous analysis of the literary and archaeological evidence with the new disciplines of reconstructive archaeology, re-enactment and ballistic science. He focuses meticulously on the details of the equipment, tactics and capabilities of the individual hoplites. In so doing he challenges some long-established assumptions. For example, despite a couple of centuries of study of the hoplites portrayed in Greek vase paintings, Matthew manages to glean from them some startlingly fresh insights into how hoplites wielded their spears. These findings are supported by practical testing with his own replica hoplite panoply and the experiences of a group of dedicated re-enactors. He also tackles such questions as the protective properties of hoplite shields and armor and the much-vexed debate on the exact nature of the 'othismos', the climax of phalanx-on-phalanx clashes. This is an innovative and refreshing reassessment of one of the most important kinds of troops in ancient warfare, sure to make a genuine contribution to the state of knowledge. Christopher Matthew has just completed his doctoral thesis on hoplite warfare at MacQuarie University in Sydney, where one of his assessors has said he 'singlehandedly advanced the whole field'. He has also been invited to lecture on the subject at other Australian universities. This book, closely based on his doctoral thesis, will be his first, although he has already had several articles published in academic journals. 'He is currently working on a new translation of Aelian's work on tactics and co-editing (with Dr Matthew Trundle) Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae, both of which will be published by Pen & Sword. REVIEWS "...groundbreaking reassessment combines rigorous analysis of literary and archaeological evidence with the new disciplines of reconstructive archaeology, reenactment and ballistic science...painstakingly examines and reconstructs details of hoplites' equipment, tactics and capabilities...Both experts and laymen can gain fresh knowledge from reading this well written analysis of ancient warfare..." Toy Soldier and Model Figure Magazine "The author has taken a fresh look at old evidence of ancient Greek writers and artists and coupled that with modern research. . . . In the process, some interesting and groundbreaking developments emerge that shed new light on just what the ancient writers meant and how much artistic license was used in creating the vase paintings we envision when we think of this period of history. This is a serious work of intellectual pursuit."--IPMS/USA "...indispensable reading for anyone interested in ancient warfare." NYMAS "...practical and thought provoking...a well-argued, well-written and well-illustrated chance to think about the problem anew." The Historian a significant contribution to the field of ancient military history...will force historians to re-evaluate the pertinent primary sources and their own reconstructions of the equipment and tactics employed on ancient Greek battlefields. A Storm of Spears is now must reading for all military historians, classicists, and serious students interested in a reconstructive archaeological approach to ancient infantry warfare Michigan War Studies

Nothing Less Than Victory

Author : John David Lewis
ISBN : 9781400834303
Genre : History
File Size : 86. 53 MB
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The goal of war is to defeat the enemy's will to fight. But how this can be accomplished is a thorny issue. Nothing Less than Victory provocatively shows that aggressive, strategic military offenses can win wars and establish lasting peace, while defensive maneuvers have often led to prolonged carnage, indecision, and stalemate. Taking an ambitious and sweeping look at six major wars, from antiquity to World War II, John David Lewis shows how victorious military commanders have achieved long-term peace by identifying the core of the enemy's ideological, political, and social support for a war, fiercely striking at this objective, and demanding that the enemy acknowledges its defeat. Lewis examines the Greco-Persian and Theban wars, the Second Punic War, Aurelian's wars to reunify Rome, the American Civil War, and the Second World War. He considers successful examples of overwhelming force, such as the Greek mutilation of Xerxes' army and navy, the Theban-led invasion of the Spartan homeland, and Hannibal's attack against Italy--as well as failed tactics of defense, including Fabius's policy of delay, McClellan's retreat from Richmond, and Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler. Lewis shows that a war's endurance rests in each side's reasoning, moral purpose, and commitment to fight, and why an effectively aimed, well-planned, and quickly executed offense can end a conflict and create the conditions needed for long-term peace. Recognizing the human motivations behind military conflicts, Nothing Less than Victory makes a powerful case for offensive actions in pursuit of peace.

The Spartan Way

Author : Nic Fields
ISBN : 1848848994
Genre : History
File Size : 79. 50 MB
Format : PDF
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The Spartan Way examines how Spartan society, through its rigid laws and brutal educational system, was thoroughly militarized and devoted to producing warriors suited to the intense demands of hoplite warfare - professional killers inculcated with the values of unwavering obedience and a willingness to fight and die for their city. The role of Spartan women, as mothers and wives, in shaping the warrior ethic is considered, as are the role of uniform and rigorous training in enhancing the small-unit cohesion within the phalanx, and the psychological intimidation of the enemy.

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