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Wolfson (Ancient) Warfare Wednesdays — Greek Warfare and Historiography

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  • UserDr Roel Konijnendijk (MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University)
  • ClockWednesday 01 July 2020, 18:00-19:00
  • HouseZoom webinar.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Julian Siebert.

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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.

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