Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | December 14, 2004

byHarry Sidebottom

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Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part bydiscipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and why this 'Western Way of War' was constructed and maintained by the Greeks and Romans, why this concept is so popular and prevalent today, and at whether or not this is an accurate interpretation.All aspects of ancient warfare are thoroughly examined - from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. He looks at war in the wider context - how wars could shape classical society, and how the individual's identity could be constructed by war, for example the Christiansoldier fighting in God's name. He also explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict: Can a war be just? Why was siege warfare particularly bloody? What role did divine intervention play in the outcome of a battle? Taking fascinating examples from the Iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom uses arresting anecdotes and striking visual images to show that the any understanding of ancient war is an ongoing process of interpretation.

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Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part bydiscipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and ...

Dr Harry Sidebottom is Fellow of Greyfriar`s Hall, and Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. He had written for and contributed to many publications, including Classical Review, Journal of Roman Studies, and War and Society in the Roman World.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:188 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.47 inPublished:December 14, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192804707

ISBN - 13:9780192804709

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Table of Contents

1. 'On my command unleash hell!' The Western Way of War?2. Thinking with war3. War and Society4. Thinking about war5. Strategy, Campaigns, and Logistics6. Fighting7. 'Some people don't know when they are beaten.' Imagining war.

Editorial Reviews

`I am addicted to this series of pocket-portable introductory lectures. Harry Sidebottom fairly presumes that you wouldn't know a hoplite if one thrust a spear at you, and that you grasped legionary tactics from watching the DVD of Gladiator. The book manages to cover practical fighting fromthe Iliad to Islam's challenge to Byzantium; war as personal and state metaphor in Greece and Rome; strategy and motivation on sea and land; and then nips briskly on to historians' re-evaluations of the above - in 128 neat pages plus extra reading list and a wicked chronology. Got that? Right,then. Fall in.'Guardian Review