Soldiers and ghosts: a history of battle in classical antiquity

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Yale University Press,
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Sparta, Macedon, and Rome—how did these nations come to dominate the ancient world? What set their armies apart? Noting this was an age that witnessed few technological advances, J. E. Lendon shows us that the most successful armies were those that made the most effective use of cultural tradition. Ancient combat moved forward by looking backward for inspiration—the Greeks, to Homer; the Romans, to the Greeks and to their own heroic past. The best ancient armies recruited soldiers from societies with strong competitive traditions; and the best ancient leaders, from Alexander to Julius Caesar, called upon those traditions to encourage ferocious competition at every rank. Ranging from the Battle of Champions between Sparta and Argos in 550 B.C. through Julian’s invasion of Persia in A.D. 363, Soldiers and Ghosts brings to life the most decisive military contests of ancient Greece and Rome. Lendon places these battles, and the methods by which they were fought, in a sweeping narrative of ancient military history. On every battlefield, living soldiers fought alongside the ghosts of tradition—ghosts that would inspire greatness for almost a millennium before ultimately coming to stifle it.
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full_title soldiers and ghosts a history of battle in classical antiquity
author lendon j e
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:26AM

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physical xii, 468 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
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table_of_contents The Greeks. Fighting in the Iliad -- The last Hoplite -- Two stubborn Spartans in the Persian War -- The guile of Delium -- The arts of war in the early fourth century BC -- Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus -- Hellenistic warfare (323-31BC) -- The Greeks, conclusion -- The Romans. Early Roman warfare -- The wrath of Pydna -- Caesar's Centurions and the Legion of Cohorts -- Scenes from the Jewish War, AD 67-70 -- Shield wall and mask -- Julian in Persia, AD 363 -- The Romans, conclusion -- Author's note and acknowledgments -- Chronology of Greek and Roman warfare.
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title Soldiers and ghosts a history of battle in classical antiquity
title_display Soldiers and ghosts a history of battle in classical antiquity
title_full Soldiers and ghosts [electronic resource] : a history of battle in classical antiquity / J.E. Lendon
title_short Soldiers and ghosts
title_sort soldiers and ghosts a history of battle in classical antiquity
title_sub a history of battle in classical antiquity