This chapter describes the effects of warfare in the Hellenistic period, which influenced nearly every aspect of life for people living in the Greek East at the time. The phalanx remained the basic unit of the Hellenistic army. The Hellenistic world saw a proliferation of technical manuals concerning the art of war. The composition of armies included infantry, cavalry, auxiliary forces, siege warfare, and navies. The Macedonian cavalry was the main striking arm of the combined force. Cavalry in the Hellenistic world were organized largely as in Alexander's day. Hellenistic siege warfare featured its share of exotic weapons. It is shown that the sea became a venue for battle. There was a marked shift in the composition of both navies and armies during the Hellenistic period.
This chapter discusses the war in imperial Rome. The legions in the Principate were highly protected assets, even during an aggressive advance. It is observed that tactical victory on one field did not offer Romans control of the area. Few Roman opponents benefitted from the relatively infrequent battle, even when they picked the ground, often choosing hillsides for gathering momentum. Romans were only defeated by their own former auxiliaries who had broken their camp. Roman military deployment on the northern frontiers had to deal with immigration control, refugee management, river patrol, and prevention of crimes against property. Romans largely obtained resilience and avoided collapse at the strategic level after a tactical or even grand tactical defeat through a synergistic interaction of factors including a military culture of adaptability to local tasks, unit cohesion, and prior success.
Nicholas V. Sekunda
This chapter explains Greek warfare and society. The concept of the soldier-citizen was an important component in the Greek city-state or polis. The large-scale wars that took place throughout the Greek world from the death of Alexander until the battle of Corupedium in 281 deprived many of Greek city-states, whic had chronic problems with finances. The Greeks employed a bewildering range of words for payments in kind or cash. The mercenaries were vital in the Hellenistic period. If a city fell after a siege, the impacts on trade and prices were mostly local. The drastic human losses could have important social, political, and demographic effects. It is impossible to quantify the number of persons uprooted by war in the Greek world, but they must have been considerable.
This chapter describes the status of war and society in the Roman Empire. The bias of the upper classes and fears of the lower are shown. The influences of civil war and rebellion could be profound in the Roman Empire. Any army is designed to fight wars, surely in a militaristic society such as Rome. Soldiers were employed in a range of activities in support of local administrative officials. Their internal administrative duties included their role in the collection of taxes. The army also had direct demands in terms of food supply, equipment and weapons, and their transport and delivery, but also indirectly in that the presence of soldiers naturally provided trading opportunities for provincial inhabitants. In general, the Roman soldiers were at the center of both the physical and societal fabric of the provinces of the empire.