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The Wars of the Ancient Greeks

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The Ancient Greeks--who believed war was the most important thing humans do--bequeathed to the West an incomparable military legacy that still influences the structure of armies and doctrine. Passing through a full millennium of war that begins with the rise of the city-state, this colorful portrait of Greek culture explains why their unique approach to fighting was so suc ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 28th 2002 by Cassell (first published January 1st 1999)
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Josho Brouwers
This is a very general introduction to ancient Greek warfare that will only be of interest to those who are completely unfamiliar with the topic. Hanson's first chapter deals with "Early Greek fighting", here dated 1400 to 750 BC, and is clearly out of his depth when dealing with Mycenaean and "Dark-Age" warfare. His treatment of Homeric warfare borrows liberally from Hans van Wees's seminal treatments of the topic.

Predictably, the second chapter, which focuses on the period between 750 and 450
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GoldGato
When reading the many myths of ancient Greece, one factor always stands out...constant battle. From Minoan to Mycenaean to Achaean to Dorian to Spartan to Macedonian, each tribe fought, fought, fought, fought. The Greeks felt that war, not culture or art, best symbolized civilization. This volume starts with the legendary wars of Troy and ends with the domination of Alexander the Great.

Well laid-out, with each chapter corresponding to a specific era, the reader never loses interest nor does the
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Rick Brindle
This is an excellent book that does exactly what it says on the tin. From 1400BC through to Alexander and beyond, this book gives a great insight into how the Greeks fought, and their impact on modern warfare. Many modern parallels are drawn, and the analysis of Alexander is interesting and unusual, flying in the face of popular opinion, but still balanced. An excellent, very informative read.
Tres Herndon
I learned a lot, which may mean nothing to some. If you're already conversant with Greek warfare, you won't learn much, except VDH's opinions. I would argue that they are worth the price of admission. I never expected him to compare Alex the Great to Hitler, but he did in a convincing way.

As to learn, I learned about Greek combat in the old times and in the Dark Ages, how things changed in the classic hoplite era, and how they changed again in the Hellenistic era. This era is most relevant now b
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Juliew.
An account of the wars of the ancient greeks starts with the collapse of Mycenaean greece and ends with the Roman conquest.The first chapter covers early greek fighting and includes Mycenaean warfare and tactics,armour, and the palace systems of the times.It also discusses the Homeric battlefield.Other highlights for me in the chapters were hoplite battle gear,tactics,the so-called nomima or rules of battle and background on Sparta.

The battles covered are too numerous to discuss here but mention
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Alain
If you have the time to read only two books on the nature of war, then you read this one and Keegan's "The face of battle".

This is concision, analysis, description and writing at its best. Most of Hanson's other books are repetitions of this one, with a bit more detail.
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Bruce
An extremely strong book analyzing the development and execution of military strategy and tactics in the Athenian and Spartan cultures. It should be a core work in anyones study of military culture.
Yago de Artaza Paramo
Very concise account of the military development of the Greek city-state.
Wanja
...pa i Grci se tukli!
Colin
Good, but too short.
Jeffry
I love Hanson ... he edits here. Kind of a Greek war 101.
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Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975), the American School of Classical Studies (1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He lives and works with his family on their forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953.
More about Victor Davis Hanson...
Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power A War Like No Other: How the Athenians & Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live & How We Think The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day

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