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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Recent research on Greek warfare often explores not the battles and campaigns themselves, but the relationship between warfare and other aspects of ancient life. The topic of ‘war and society’ in ancient Greece is an enormous and complex one. Works on this subject have played an important role in the study of Greek history for more than a generation. This article focuses on two exemplary cases: attempts to explain the development of Greek land forces exclusively in terms of military advantage, which have been succeeded by theories that place more weight on cultural or social factors; and the notion that military service often brought political power in its wake. The idea is an appealing one, but the theory of the ‘hoplite reform’ highlights the difficulties of such explanations.

Keywords: Greek warfare, military advantage, political power, hoplite reform, ancient Greece

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