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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Ancient Greek Warfare (ANHI10098)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFor the Ancient Greeks, war was the main theme of history. For us, the Trojan, Persian and Peloponnesian Wars are common ways into the Greek world. But what did war mean to them? How did it work? And was there a 'Greek' way of war?
Course description From poems and pictures to historical writing, war dominates the surviving sources for the Ancient Greek world. It was both a common experience and an existential threat to all inhabitants of this world; it affected all aspects of Greek life and thought. To understand Greek warfare, then, is to understand the Greeks better.

This course will explore how war fits into Greek society and culture in the Archaic and Classical periods. It will examine the way in which a set of martial values - courage, self-reliance, sacrifice for the community - produced sometimes strange military institutions and approaches to armed conflict. It will explore the roles of women, enslaved people, and migrants, not just as victims or resources to be exploited, but as agents in their own right. It will also consider differences between parts of the Greek world, and changes over time, to test the belief that there was ever a single, distinct 'Greek' method to the madness of war.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics, History or Archaeology (at least 1 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show detailed knowledge of the forms of Greek warfare and their development over time;
  2. Analyse different kinds of primary sources, especially literary sources, related to military practice and thought in Archaic and Classical Greece;
  3. Analyse different scholarly views critically, and explain their implications for our understanding of warfare as an aspect of Ancient Greek culture;
  4. Transfer the knowledge gained in this course to other eras of military history, and apply it to wider discussions of Greek society and political history
Reading List
B. Campbell and L.A. Tritle (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World (2013)

S. Hodkinson and A. Powell (eds), Sparta & War (2006)

P. Krentz, 'Fighting by the rules: the invention of the hoplite agon', Hesperia 71 (2002), 23-39

J. Ober, 'The rules of war in Classical Greece', in The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory (1999), 53-71

D.M. Pritchard, Athenian Democracy at War (2018)

L. Rawlings, The Ancient Greeks at War (2007)

J. Rich and G. Shipley (eds), War and Society in the Greek World (1993)

J.T. Roberts, The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece (2017)

P. Sabin, M. Whitby and H. van Wees (eds), The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare vol. 1 (2007)

A. Snodgrass, Arms and Armour of the Greeks (1967)

H. van Wees, Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities (2004)

H. van Wees (ed), War and Violence in Ancient Greece (2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical and analytical skills: you will learn to navigate a topic with a fraught source base and highly divergent scholarly interpretations
Autonomous research skills: you will engage in your own in-depth study of an element of the subject, exploring and evaluating primary sources and scholarship
Creative problem solving: you will write different forms of coursework that require different approaches to presentation and style (writing for non-academic audience)
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Roel Konijnendijk
Tel: (0131 6)50 4620
Course secretaryMiss Katy Robinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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