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War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica

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Overview

A unique, multi-authored social history of war from the third millennium B.C.E. to the tenth century C.E. in the Mediterranean, the Near East, and Europe (Egypt, Achaemenid Persia, Greece, the Hellenistic World, the Roman Republic and Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the early Islamic World, and early Medieval Europe), with parallel studies of Mesoamerica (the Maya and Aztecs) and East Asia (ancient China, medieval Japan). The product of a colloquium at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, this volume offers a broadly based, comparative examination of war and military organization in their complex interactions with social, economic, and political structures as well as cultural practices.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education Supplement

Thucydides and his contemporaries knew war from bitter experience. Peace to them was an illusion, war the true constant...War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval World shows how and why Thucydides's vision prevailed throughout pre-industrial times in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Because of the omnipresence of war or its specter within ancient Greek—and Roman—culture, editors Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein recognize the real need to explore in theoretical terms how war (including military technology and organization) affected ancient society (including economic and political systems) and vice versa.
— Thomas Palaima

Scholia Reviews

The editors have sought to produce a book about the social history of war in the pre-industrial age. They have encouraged their contributors to write not about army organization, battles, tactics, and so on, but about the social and political context of war, and about the interrelationship between war and the institutional structures of the various states which are surveyed. The result...is a volume of broad scope with much potential for comparison and cross-fertilization. It certainly comes across as a work of solid scholarship and interesting insights which should appeal to a wide audience.
— Tom Stevenson

Times Higher Education Supplement - Thomas Palaima
Thucydides and his contemporaries knew war from bitter experience. Peace to them was an illusion, war the true constant...War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval World shows how and why Thucydides's vision prevailed throughout pre-industrial times in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Because of the omnipresence of war or its specter within ancient Greek--and Roman--culture, editors Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein recognize the real need to explore in theoretical terms how war (including military technology and organization) affected ancient society (including economic and political systems) and vice versa.
Scholia Reviews - Tom Stevenson
The editors have sought to produce a book about the social history of war in the pre-industrial age. They have encouraged their contributors to write not about army organization, battles, tactics, and so on, but about the social and political context of war, and about the interrelationship between war and the institutional structures of the various states which are surveyed. The result...is a volume of broad scope with much potential for comparison and cross-fertilization. It certainly comes across as a work of solid scholarship and interesting insights which should appeal to a wide audience.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kurt A. Raaflaub is Professor of Classics and History at Brown University, and Joint Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C..

Nathan Rosenstein is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University.

William Wayne Farris is Professor of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

John Haldon is Professor of Byzantine History and Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.

Robin D. S. Yates is Assistant Professor of Chinese History, Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Introduction

Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein

2. Early China

Robin D. S. Yates

3. Japan to 1300

W. Wayne Farris

4. Ancient Egypt

Andrea M. Gnirs

5. The Achaemenid Empire

Pierre Briant

6. Archaic and Classical Greece

Kurt Raaflaub

7. The Hellenistic World

Charles D. Hamilton

8. Republican Rome

Nathan Rosenstein

9. The Roman Empire

Brian Campbell

10. The Byzantine World

John Haldon

11. Early Medieval Europe

Bernard S. Bachrach

12. The Early Islamic World

Patricia Crone

13. Ancient Maya Warfare

David Webster

14. The Aztec World

Ross Hassig

15. A Paradigm for the Study of War and Society

R. Brian Ferguson

16. Epilogue

Victor Davis Hanson and Barry S. Strauss

The Contributors

Index

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