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Warfare in Antiquity: History of the Art of War, Volume I (Contributions in Military History #9)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Hans Delbrück’s four-volume History of the Art of War is recognized throughout the world as the definitive work on the subject. Appearing in an English-language paperback edition for the first time, volume 1 analyzes in vivid detail the military tactics and strategies used by the great warriors of antiquity. Delbrück disputes some points in classical history and separates ...more
Paperback, 604 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by University of Nebraska Press (first published 1975)
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one of those more or less indispensable tomes that, for all its faults and obsolescences, said something that needed said, and very persuasively. basic thesis is that traditional reports of ancient battles (such as found in herodotos or arrian, say) tend to overemphasize the quantity of the enemy and underemphasize the quantity of the protagonist. the Persian invasion of several millions, or the many millions who defended against alexander, for instance, are the paradigmatic examples of exaggera ...more
Oct 01, 2007 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
A most enjoyable book. One which corrected misconceptions of some history I had learned, and really provided a better backdrop for ancient european history than I've had in the past. That may speak as much to the quality of education as quality of book. It is layed out strangely, with each chapter lasting about a 1-1.5 pages, followed by several pages of "excursis", followed by a page or two of foot notes. The translation is a little bit strange also (originally german), and you can definitely h ...more
May 18, 2009 Alex rated it liked it
Brilliant scholarship. Delbruck demonstrates the use of archaeology and quantification to reveal the truth behind ancient histories. I read this book without knowing anything about military history or the backgrounds for these war but still found the recounting thrilling sometimes. It's difficult to follow if you don't have the background though.
Mark Dunstan
Aug 18, 2011 Mark Dunstan rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-history
A great book, though to be honest, I only read the section on the first and Second Punic Wars, and as such, can't offer my opinion on the other sections detailing other ancient warfare periods... but from what I read, this supplied excellent information, particularly on the aftermath of Cannae and Hannibal's reasons for not marching on Rome.
Mar 20, 2015 BrosifBallin rated it it was amazing
Very good even if you don't know much about the subject and there is enough old prussian academic dick waving in this thing that parts become hilarious.
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Oct 04, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing
Still excellent. None better about this era.
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German historian who looked at military history in the context of world history.

Sat in the Reichstag, was Professor of History at the University of Berlin and was a member of the German delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference after the First World War.
More about Hans Delbrück...

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