Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the Greek military ritual of war. It evaluates the recent interpretations of military ritual, indicating that the term “ritual” in the present day has taken on so many connotations as to reduce its analytic utility, and that the claim that rituals promote “social cohesion” requires careful review. Lunar festivals deeply affected Greek military behavior. Booty from war was traditionally tithed. The burial ritual followed elaborate rules for prothesis, lying in state; ekphora, carrying out to burial, and a feast. The Carneia festival and the temple of Phobos, “Panic Fear,” is then explained. The data presented reveal that the “ritual” offers a useful but often imprecise tool for understanding military behavior. It may be worthwhile to seek a finer-grained understanding of the link between the “rituals” of ancient warfare and “social cohesion.”

Keywords: ritual of war, Greek military ritual, social cohesion, lunar festivals, Greek military behavior, booty, burial ritual, Carneia festival, ancient warfare

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.