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Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity
J. E. Lendon - Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity
English | 2005 | ISBN: 0300106637 | 481 pages | PDF | 6 MB


A classical scholar displays formidable scholarship and dense prose in this history of combat in the classical world from the Illiad to the fall of Rome. Because of the comparatively static technology-there was less change in weaponry, Lendon argues, during the whole period than between 1910 and 1940-the individual heroism depicted in the Illiad casts a very long shadow. When the Greeks invented the phalanx, the competition shifted its basis: now individuals competed to see who held his place in the formation best, and whole phalanxes competed to see which one presented the most solid wall of spear points.


In other highlights along this difficult journey, we find the Romans also had a tradition, whether Homeric in origin or not, of the individual commander engaging his opposite and stripping him of his armor as a trophy, which led to the future Emperor Titus performing heroic feats of arms in the siege of Jerusalem. The varying arrangements of cohorts (about three times the size of a maniple) involved makes the plethora of illustrations here essential. Witty, erudite and painstaking, this book rewards the serious reader who marches (in whatever formation) to the end.


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