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 : 9780199747320
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 73 MB
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Like the World War II battles of Kursk and the Leyte Gulf, Plataea is one of those unjustly forgotten conflicts in military history. Its neglect is especially ironic since the Greeks' victory there in 479 BC brought a major war with the Persian Empire, a true clash of civilizations, to a conclusion. Plataea, located just south of Thebes, was a massive land battle involving tens of thousands of combatants on each side. To the Spartans, who provided the largest single contingent of the Greek forces, along with its overall command and leadership, the victory was vengeance paid for their heroic but wholesale defeat at Thermopylae the previous year. What exactly happened on the plain of Plataea, and why has this Spartan victory been relatively overlooked by history? Part of the answer to these questions can be found in a little-known oath reputedly sworn by the leaders of several Greek city-states prior to the battle. Paul Cartledge, a renowned authority on Greek history, uses this document to give as detailed an account as possible of the battle of Plataea. He resurrects the battle's significance in the Persian Wars and in Greek history more broadly. The oath, the wording of which survives in several versions from the fourth century BC and later, tells us much about the early Greek mythology of the wars, and even how the Greeks thought about memorializing these events for posterity. Although a significant number of Greek cities fought side by side against the invading Persians, a good number held aloof, and those that did nerve themselves to fight did not always agree about the meaning of these events or how they should be commemorated. As with much ancient Greek history, the Athenians and Spartans competed for control for this past, and judging from the fact that the Athenian victories at Marathon and Salamis have overshadowed the Spartan victory at Plataea we can see that Athens won this propaganda war. The oath of Plataea vividly illuminates Greekanxieties over historical memory and the Atheno-Spartan rivalry which would erupt fifty years after Plataea in the Peloponnesian War. Lastly, because the oath is ultimately a religious document sworn before the Olympian gods it offers insight into the role of religion in ancient Greek politics. After Thermopylae provides a long-overdue history of an important battle and offers a rich portrait of the Greek ethos during one of the most critical periods in ancient history.

The Spartan Way

Author : Nic Fields
ISBN : 1848848994
Genre : History
File Size : 75. 39 MB
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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.

Men Of Bronze

Author : Donald Kagan
ISBN : 9781400846306
Genre : History
File Size : 86. 83 MB
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Men of Bronze takes up one of the most important and fiercely debated subjects in ancient history and classics: how did archaic Greek hoplites fight, and what role, if any, did hoplite warfare play in shaping the Greek polis? In the nineteenth century, George Grote argued that the phalanx battle formation of the hoplite farmer citizen-soldier was the driving force behind a revolution in Greek social, political, and cultural institutions. Throughout the twentieth century scholars developed and refined this grand hoplite narrative with the help of archaeology. But over the past thirty years scholars have criticized nearly every major tenet of this orthodoxy. Indeed, the revisionists have persuaded many specialists that the evidence demands a new interpretation of the hoplite narrative and a rewriting of early Greek history. Men of Bronze gathers leading scholars to advance the current debate and bring it to a broader audience of ancient historians, classicists, archaeologists, and general readers. After explaining the historical context and significance of the hoplite question, the book assesses and pushes forward the debate over the traditional hoplite narrative and demonstrates why it is at a crucial turning point. Instead of reaching a consensus, the contributors have sharpened their differences, providing new evidence, explanations, and theories about the origin, nature, strategy, and tactics of the hoplite phalanx and its effect on Greek culture and the rise of the polis. The contributors include Paul Cartledge, Lin Foxhall, John Hale, Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Kagan, Peter Krentz, Kurt Raaflaub, Adam Schwartz, Anthony Snodgrass, Hans van Wees, and Gregory Viggiano.

A Storm Of Spears

Author : Christopher Anthony Matthew
ISBN : 161200119X
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 15 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

The Landmark Thucydides

Author : Thucydides
ISBN : 9781416590873
Genre : History
File Size : 56. 33 MB
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Chronicles two decades of war between Athens and Sparta.

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