By Donald Kagan, Gregory F. Viggiano
Men of Bronze takes up the most very important and fiercely debated topics in historical historical past and classics: how did archaic Greek hoplites struggle, and what function, if any, did hoplite battle play in shaping the Greek polis? within the 19th century, George Grote argued that the phalanx conflict formation of the hoplite farmer citizen-soldier was once the driver at the back of a revolution in Greek social, political, and cultural associations. during the 20th century students constructed and subtle this grand hoplite narrative with assistance from archaeology. yet during the last thirty years students have criticized approximately each significant guideline of this orthodoxy. certainly, the revisionists have persuaded many experts that the proof calls for a brand new interpretation of the hoplite narrative and a rewriting of early Greek background. Men of Bronze gathers major students to improve the present debate and produce it to a broader viewers of old historians, classicists, archaeologists, and normal readers.
After explaining the old context and importance of the hoplite query, the e-book assesses and pushes ahead the controversy over the conventional hoplite narrative and demonstrates why it really is at an important turning element. rather than attaining a consensus, the members have sharpened their alterations, supplying new proof, causes, and theories in regards to the foundation, nature, process, and strategies of the hoplite phalanx and its impression on Greek tradition and the increase of the polis.
The individuals comprise 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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Extra info for Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece
Should a general detach a body of hoplites from the rest of the line to attack the flank of the enemy, he might expose the flanks of his own army. ”40 Therefore, Greek tactics throughout the fifth century demanded that armies place their most efficient elements on the wings. The Spartans were especially adept at using their best troops on the right, with the intent of rolling up the enemy’s line from left to right. . ”41 In addition to the nonemployment of a flank attack, Grundy found it remarkable that Greek generals at the time did not use a reserve force in battle.
The hoplite force relied on two qualities, solidity and weight. The men were placed very close together in the ranks, and that tendency which Thucydides notices for each man to shelter his right side under the shield of the man next to him would promote the closeness of the order in the phalanx. ”37 Besides the importance of maintaining a close order of men, the phalanx depended for its effectiveness on the sheer weight and thrust it could bring to bear in its initial collision with the enemy.
Andrewes builds on the idea of a hoplite revolution, which scholars had established during the previous century. The age of the tyrants marked the turning point in the political development of Greece, namely, the breakdown of the old political order of oppressive or inadequate aristocracies of the early seventh century; these regimes gave way before the establishment of more broadly based oligarchies. This change coincides with the introduction of new tactics in war. . ”78 The tactical and ideological underpinnings of the orthodoxy espoused by Andrewes are essentially the same since Grote more than a century earlier.
Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece by Donald Kagan, Gregory F. Viggiano