- Series: Smithsonian History of Warfare
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: HarpPeren (December 12, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061142085
- ISBN-13: 978-0061142086
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,268,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Smithsonian History of Warfare) Paperback – December 12, 2006
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has written or edited thirteen books including Mexifornia, Ripples of Battle, and Carnage and Culture. He lives near Selma, California.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Hanson, for those who somehow have missed him until now, is a professor of Classics at California State and also is a part time farmer, both of which have contributed to his writing as a military historian. As a classicist, Hanson is well versed in the sources in their original Greek, and as a farmer he understands how agriculture affected the experience of the Greeks at war. For it was the farmers of the early Greek polis who developed modern western warfare. Unlike other cultures, the Greek farmers couldn't afford to support professional armies or hire mercenaries, and they couldn't spend a great deal of time away from their farms campaigning. The Greek way of war was to gather up the militia, which comprised all the able bodied men of property who could afford the armor and equipment of a hoplite, march out to a convenient flat field to meet the men of the polis they were warring with, and in a matter of hours, get it over with in quick, brutal, decisive battle. Expounded at greater length in Hanson's ground-breaking "The Western Way of War," Greek battle is covered well here, from its earliest heroic developments in the Bronze Age, through the classic Greek era of the democratic polis, the Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars, and finishing with Alexander, the misnamed "Great." Important battles, including Marathon, Plataea, Delium and Gaugamela, are covered in depth.
Anyone interested in the ancient Greeks owes it to themselves to read this and, if possible, "The Western Way of War." It is utterly impossible to properly understand Hellenic culture without understanding how and why they fought. I recall with some hilarity the introduction to a book of poems by a well-known feminist writer who proclaimed that America must choose to be either Sparta or Athens, her obvious thesis being "Sparta - Warlike! Bad! Athens - Peaceful and Artistic! Good!" It's not that simple. Sparta admittedly was fascist, but pretty much stayed at home oppressing the helots, while Athens became a predatory imperialist democracy, bringing tragedy on itself and the Greeks in the process. It's also important to remember, as Hanson points out, that the great artists, writers, and philosphers were warriors at need. It may be hard to imagine Socrates or Aeschylus in the bronze panoply of a hoplite, but it happened.
This book is a great value in this format and at this price. It needs to be in the collection of anyone interested in military and/or classical history. And here's hoping that Cassell releases the rest of this series in this format!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author of The Futility of Vengeance: Doggerland Reimagined