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.