Soldiers and Ghosts

Soldiers and Ghosts : A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity

By (author) J. E. Lendon

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This study of military changes across Greece and Rome is designed to appeal to the general reader. Soldiers and Ghosts seeks to explore why changes in warfare took place set against the backgrounf of a slow process of technological change. Lendon emphasises the role of discipline, heroism, patriotism, military obedience, loyalty, and recollection and emulation of a heroic past in the history of warfare and discusses how both Greeks and Romans built on the 'ghosts of tradition', the cultural traditions and heroes of the past. From Homer's Iliad , the origins of the phalanx, hoplite warfare, the Persian Wars, Alexander the Great, Hellenistic warfare, through to Roman warfare up until the 4th century AD, the book covers a wide period of history.

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  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 166 x 236 x 40mm | 798.34g
  • 03 Jun 2005
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven
  • English
  • 31 b/w illus, maps
  • 0300106637
  • 9780300106633

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Author Information

J. E. Lendon teaches history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Empire of Honour: The Art of Government in the Roman World.

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Review quote

"Soldiers and Ghosts is a stunningly original contribution to our understanding of ancient warfare, written with great style and verve. It is one of those rare books that powerfully challenges received opinion and demands attention. At the same time, it is a wonderful read that should hold appeal for any layman with an interest in the Greeks and Romans or simply in the history of warfare." Donald Kagan, author of The Peloponnesian War; "Soldiers and Ghosts offers a wholly original cultural history of Greek and Roman warfare. The book is hugely impressive in scope and ambition, often brilliant in interpretation, elegantly constructed and wonderfully written." Hans van Wees, author of Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities"

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