Wolfson (Ancient) Warfare Wednesday - Greek Warfare and Historiography

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Dr Roel Konijnendijk MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University
Date 01/07/2020 at 18.00 - 01/07/2020 at 19.00 Where Zoom webinar

This webinar series showcases the latest developments in the field of ancient Greek warfare, providing weekly talks by experts focusing on the major areas of interest in recent scholarship. Register here.

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As a growing crowd of scholars and serious non-academic enthusiasts gets involved in debates about Greek warfare, the controversies of the field become more and more complex. It is difficult to keep up with all the new methods and forms of evidence that are brought to bear on the subject. However, surprisingly often, these are new approaches to very old questions. What did hoplite combat look like? What was the size of the Spartan army? How did the Greeks win the Persian Wars?

Scholars grappling with the vastness of the literature increasingly find themselves rethinking these intractable problems. Instead of trying to find yet another, better answer, they ask: where does this question come from? Why are we so interested in this particular aspect of the subject, at the expense of so much else? 

In his talk, Roel will focus on some of the longer trends in the academic study of Greek warfare to work out some possible answers to these questions. He will suggest that we are heirs to a strange militarist tradition that has narrowed our view and predetermined many of our conclusions. But Roel will also discuss the ways in which we are breaking away from this tradition, and the welcome change in direction that is shaping the field today.

More information on the webinar series main page.

Photo credit: J. M. Harrington (Nefasdicere at en.wikipedia.org), licensed under the CC Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

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