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Abstract

In the eighth century BCE, the Greek world changed. In the field of warfare, these changes are represented by the contexts in which weapons are found, the reappearance of pictorial decoration including scenes of combat on pottery, and the emergence of poetic accounts of mythological wars. In order to understand how, why, and what was changing in warfare at this time, it is necessary to take a long-term view and understand the development of Greek warfare in the centuries preceding the eighth.

This chapter sets the stage by beginning with the changes in warfare in the post-palatial Aegean Bronze Age, ca. 1200, and moving into the Early Iron Age and early Archaic period. It looks at the re-emergence of a ‘warrior’ identity through iconography and burials, its limitations, and how it changes over the centuries and across several regions within the Aegean. It then examines how the evidence for warfare changes in the eighth and seventh centuries, with the rise of Panhellenic sanctuaries and the re-emergence of literary and iconographic evidence.

Finally, these changes are placed in the overall context of the Greek world in the eighth and seventh centuries, with rising population, political developments, and the increasing interconnectivity of the Mediterranean. This chapter also takes the perspective that change is on-going and constant, and that how we understand change needs to be kept in focus as we examine it.

In: Brill's Companion to Greek Land Warfare Beyond the Phalanx

Abstract

Greek warfare has long been understood to be ‘hoplite warfare’, focusing on the armoured spearmen who fought in the tight-knit phalanx formation. In introducing this volume, we trace the idea of the ‘hoplite’ and his essential ‘Greekness’ in popular media and modern scholarship, while also showing this understanding of the hoplite is distinct from that of the ancient world. We explore why, and how, this focus came about and how we aim to move beyond it in this volume.

In: Brill's Companion to Greek Land Warfare Beyond the Phalanx

Abstract

Greek light-armed forces have been the subject of numerous studies, but they are poorly integrated into the full narrative of Greek warfare. In this chapter, we look specifically at the role of light-armed fighters from the tenth to the fourth century, the social status of those who fought with light arms, and, where possible, their significance on the battlefield.

In: Brill's Companion to Greek Land Warfare Beyond the Phalanx
After decades of controversy, there is now a growing consensus that Greek warfare was not singular and simple, but complex and multiform. In this volume, emerging and established scholars build on this consensus to explore Greek warfare beyond its traditional focus on hoplites and the phalanx. We expand the chronological limits back into the Iron Age, the geographical limits to the central and eastern Mediterranean, and the operational limits to include cavalry, light-armed troops, and sieges. We also look beyond the battlefield at integral aspects of warfare including religion, the experiences of women, and the recovery of the war dead.