Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In no other work will readers find the foremost experts on Greek political and military history, including Paul Cartledge, Donald Kagan, Hans Van Wees, and Peter Krentz, together."--Choice

"This book is geared to presenting the parameters of the hoplite debate in the clearest possible terms, a goal in which it succeeds. Anyone charged with teaching about hoplite warfare and its role in Greek history, let alone anyone doing original research on the subject, will find this book useful and necessary."--Matthew A. Sears, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Men of Bronze carries the debate forward brilliantly and, in the process, illuminates many other facets of the archaic and classical Greek world."--William Shepherd, Anglo-Hellenic Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691143019
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 6/9/2013
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 997,802
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Kagan is Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University. His most recent books are The Peloponnesian War and Thucydides: The Reinvention of History. Gregory F. Viggiano is assistant professor of history at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He and Kagan are the authors of Problems in the History of Ancient Greece.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures vii
Preface Donald Kagan and Gregory F. Viggiano ix
Introduction Donald Kagan and Gregory F. Viggiano xi
Chapter 1 The Hoplite Debate, Donald Kagan and Gregory F. Viggiano1
Chapter 2 The Arms, Armor, and Iconography of Early Greek Hoplite Warfare, Gregory F. Viggiano and Hans van Wees 57
Chapter 3 Hoplitai/Politai: Refighting Ancient Battles, Paul Cartledge 74
Chapter 4 Setting the Frame Chronologically, Anthony Snodgrass 85
Chapter 5 Early Greek Infantry Fighting in a Mediterranean Context, Kurt A. Raaflaub 95
Chapter 6 The Hoplite Revolution and the Rise of the Polis, Gregory F. Viggiano 112
Chapter 7 Hoplite Hell: How Hoplites Fought, Peter Krentz 134
Chapter 8 Large Weapons, Small Greeks: The Practical Limitations of Hoplite Weapons and Equipment, Adam Schwartz 157
Chapter 9 Not Patriots, Not Farmers, Not Amateurs: Greek Soldiers of Fortune and the Origins of Hoplite Warfare, John R. Hale 176
Chapter 10 Can We See the "Hoplite Revolution" on the Ground? Archaeological Landscapes, Material Culture, and Social Status in Early Greece, Lin Foxhall 194
Chapter 11 Farmers and Hoplites: Models of Historical Development, Hans van Wees 222
Chapter 12 The Hoplite Narrative, Victor Davis Hanson 256
List of Contributors 277
Index 279
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    All the hoplite (Oplites as we Greeks say) theories all in one.

    If you are an Ancient Greek history buff, student or academic, this book is a must. The emergence of the ancient Greek hoplite warrior has been linked with the development of the Greek Polis (city) State which led to Athenian Democracy; humanity's first even such political institution. But as academics go, they are apt to disagree on many points. After years of debate in publications, Yale University decided to settle the argument once and for all with a symposium on the topic. The most learned and authoritative academic on the topic attended and debated the topic. After the event, their positions were collected and this is the end result. You will not be dissapointed. Enjoy.

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