This chapter concentrates on the contribution of archaeology to understanding aspects of ancient warfare, archaeological methodology, and its achievements and problems in the context of explaining how men fought and armies were organized in the ancient world. A central aspect of archaeological evidence—arms and armor—is dealt with. Roman Europe has acquired the most extensive and intensively explored archaeological data for ancient campaigns, conquests, and military occupation. The data may sometimes build year-by-year campaign maps, but most often they demonstrate the shape of conflicts, conquests, and military occupations. Roman martial culture, and especially the archaeology of arms and dress, reveals how intimately associated Roman soldiers were with the peoples against whom they fought. Moreover, it is noted that archaeology is important for evaluating the martial culture of the antagonists of Greco-Roman societies.
This chapter explores the Greek armored infantrymen and the weapons they carried. The hoplite shield is called Argive. The Boeotian is a shield that appears on seventh- and sixth-century
Duncan B. Campbell
Lee L. Brice
This chapter discusses the Sicilian Expedition by Athens. Athens sent a large military force to Sicily in what has come to be called the Sicilian Expedition. The expedition, which grew into a massive military effort led by multiple generals, began with multiple leaders, one of whom, Nicias, had opposed it from the beginning. It is noted that the Athenian withdrawal in Sicily initially appears to have been ridiculous given their success, but as Thucydides explained, it was based on the late season and the lack of cavalry, money, allies, and supplies. The final phase of the expedition began with a naval battle. The expedition that had begun in 415 with a grand send-off in Athens ended in 413 with a tortuous retreat and pursuit.
This chapter investigates the mercenaries in the Greek world. Mercenaries became stained with the brush of tyranny. The connection of tyrants and mercenaries continued into the Hellenistic age. Xenophon's Anabasis offers invaluable data on almost every aspect of Greek mercenary life, but it represents a landmark moment in Greek mercenary activity. Mercenaries were priceless in giving specialists to those in need and demonstrating the success of such specialists in war. The mercenary service was alleviated by personal relationships, guest-friendships, and friendship between ordinary Greeks and the powerful men of the eastern Mediterranean. Mercenaries in the ancient world displayed a high degree of military honor and spirit, despite their mercenary nature. It is shown that mercenaries played a central role in the Greco-Macedonian wars.
John W. I. Lee
This chapter introduces the diverse troops, equipment, formations, and tactics that characterized the period from about 500–350
Thomas R. Martin
This chapter describes the ideas of Demetrius Poliorcetes on Hellenistic warfare, specifically taking the conventional position that Hellenistic warfare designates warfare as conducted and conceptualized in the aftermath of the lifetime of Alexander the Great. It also presents the salient events in Demetrius's riches-to-rags history as a commander, king, and god. His career contributes several examples of the momentous scale that Hellenistic battles could attain and also provides evidence for the propensity for large-scale battles to occur in Hellenistic warfare. In addition, it offers notable data for changes in the possible political and religious meanings of war. It is shown that over the long term, the divinization of a living human being who promised liberation was the most enduring and most consequential result of the changes in the meanings of war in the Hellenistic period.
This chapter addresses the time of Theban general Epaminondas at Leuctra, specifically reviewing his battle in Leuctra. Leuctra in 371
This chapter analyzes tactical intelligence, following a division by posture: offensive and mobile, and defensive or localized. There was an increase in the use of vanguards among the Greeks after the fourth century