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on 23 January 1999
In the same way as John Keegans "Face of Battle" revolutionaised the way we looked at military history Hanson's work changes our view of Greek Hoplite warfare. Focusing on the "classical" hoplite period (c. 700-400 BC) Hanson examines what actually happened when phalanx met phalanx. Drawing on the evidence from art, literature and archaeology, as well as practical reconstruction this readable account covers everything from why they fought as they did, the practicalities of the arms and armour down to the terrifying and bloody clash of the front ranks. He also shows how this experiance was common to all men of militaty age, and forms the background to much of the way they lived. Finaly he draws out how our image of the "decisive battle" comes from the Greek experience, and how we have distorted the Greeks ideas. If you have an interest in ancient warfare, classical Greece, or just how men react under pressure this book is for you.
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on 2 February 2002
This is a grim yet fascinating book. It starts with the simple premise of describing the Greek experience of war in the classical period. The author then begins to show how the hoplite tradition was intimately bound up with civil society across the generations. I found this book both clear and readable with the knack of empathising with a common foot soldier during an infantry battle. It also emphasises that the Western world derives it's innate view of how war such be waged from the Greek tradition.
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on 22 September 2013
Victor David Hanson gives a good explanation why and how the Western Way of War and the supremacy in warfare by the West started with the Greeks.
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on 30 January 2016
fascinating description of classical warfare
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