Brill’s Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society


In Brill's Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society, Jessica H. Clark and Brian Turner lead a re-examination of how Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman societies addressed – or failed to address – their military defeats and casualties of war. Original case studies illuminate not only how political and military leaders managed the political and strategic consequences of military defeats, but also the challenges facing defeated soldiers, citizens, and other classes, who were left to negotiate the meaning of defeat for themselves and their societies. By focusing on the connections between war and society, history and memory, the chapters collected in this volume contribute to our understanding of the ubiquity and significance of war losses in the ancient world.

Prices from (excl. VAT):

Add to Cart
Jessica H. Clark (PhD Princeton, 2008) is Assistant Professor of Classics at Florida State University. Her publications include Triumph in Defeat: Military Loss and the Roman Republic (Oxford, 2014) and articles on the representation of war in Livy and Vergil.

Brian Turner (PhD UNC-Chapel Hill, 2010) is Associate Professor of History at Portland State University. His research interests include Roman warfare and ancient geography.

Contributors are: Craig Caldwell, Jessica H. Clark, Sviatoslav Dmitriev, Edith Foster, Max Goldman, John Hyland, Paul Johstono, Sarah Melville, Ida Östenberg, Amy Richlin, Nathan Rosenstein, Jeffrey Rop, Matthew Trundle, Brian Turner, Graeme A. Ward.

''In the requisite introductory essay the editors (who are also contributors) contextualize the problem in terms of historiography and adumbrate each contributor’s major point(s). Refreshingly for books of this type, an epilogue written by historian Nathan Rosenstein (who was one of the first to recognize the importance of the topic) lucidly discusses the major themes of the very different essays and indicates further avenues of research (readers may wish to read this section directly after the introduction). (...) In the present atmosphere of blame assignment and “fake news,” this book will provide insights on how ancient societies perceived, interpreted, and manipulated military failure.'' R.T. Ingoglia, Choice 2018.55.08

“The diversity of topics surveyed in this volume, in conjunction with the plethora of wide- ranging cultural comparisons, mean that it will be of interest not only to military historians but also to scholars of international relations, state doctrines, philosophical schools, and historiography (…) With the majority providing new insights into the differing ways in which defeat was experienced by the societies of the ancient Mediterranean, the volume is certain to become essential reading for anyone interested in military failure in antiquity. Overall, this is an important and engaging collection of essays which makes both a welcome and important contribution to an increasingly topical subject.” By Mark Woolmer in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019.02.07

"The volume leaves the reader with a better understanding of how ancient societies reacted to defeat. The contributions are generally stimulating and the volume as a whole is well-conceived and executed. Several contributions will be of interest to a wider readership, and this is in no small part to their success in engaging with some well-worn topics and somehow succeeding to say something new about them." Alun D. Williams in CJ-Online 2019.01.04

Preface List of Figures, Maps and Tables Notes on Abbreviations Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Introduction

1 Thinking about Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean SocietyBrian Turner and Jessica H. Clark

Part 2: The Ancient Near East

2 Ideology, Politics, and the Assyrian Understanding of DefeatSarah C. Melville 3 The Assassination of Tissaphernes: Royal Responses to Military Defeat in the Achaemenid EmpireJeffrey Rop 4 Achaemenid Soldiers, Alexander’s Conquest, and the Experience of DefeatJohn O. Hyland

Part 3: Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World

5 Military Defeat in Fifth-Century Athens: Thucydides and His AudienceEdith Foster 6 Demosthenes, Chaeronea, and the Rhetoric of DefeatMax L. Goldman 7 Spartan Responses to Defeat: From a Mythical Hysiae to a Very Real SellasiaMatthew Trundle 8 “No Strength To Stand”: Defeat at Panium, the Macedonian Class, and Ptolemaic DeclinePaul Johstono

Part 4: The Roman World

9 Defeat and the Roman Republic: Stories from SpainJessica H. Clark 10 The Ones Who Paid the Butcher’s Bill: Soldiers and War Captives in Roman ComedyAmy Richlin 11 Defeated by the Forest, the Pass, the Wind: Nature as an Enemy of RomeIda Östenberg 12 Imperial Reactions to Military Failures in the Julio-Claudian EraBrian Turner 13 “By Any Other Name”: Disgrace, Defeat, and the Loss of Legionary HistoryGraeme A. Ward 14 Recycling the Classical Past: Rhetorical Responses from the Roman Period to a Military Loss in Classical GreeceSviatoslav Dmitriev 15 The Roman Emperor as Persian Prisoner of War: Remembering Shapur’s Capture of ValerianCraig H. Cald well III

Part 5: Epilogue

EpilogueNathan Rosenstein Index
Ancient Historians, Classicists, Military Historians, and anyone interested in the military history of the ancient Mediterranean world, or the history of military failures.