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Warriors of Ancient Greece (Trade Editions) Paperback – 1 Jul 1999

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; Reprint edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855329360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855329362
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 934,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Nicholas Sekunda was born in 1953. After studying Ancient History and Archaeology at Manchester University, he went on to take his Ph.D. in 1981. He has taken part in archaeological excavations in Poland, Iran and Greece, participated in a research project on ancient Persian warfare for the British institute of Persian Studies. He has published numerous books and academic articles, and is currently teaching at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Torun, Poland.

Angus McBride is one of the world's most respected historical illustrators, and has contributed to more than 70 Osprey titles in the past three decades. Born in 1931 of Highland parents but orphaned as a child, he was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School. He worked in advertising agencies from 1947, and after national service, emigrated to South Africa. He now lives and works in Cape Town.

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By A Customer on 13 April 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a useful book in that it offers a well researched description of the appearence of Hellenic warriors from c.490 BC until c.350 BC. It was however very difficult to read in that it revolved around the colour plates, and as a result was a very disjointed and inadequate read. It also lacked detailed analysis of armour and weapons. I was looking for a more accurate and updated version of Peter Connolly's "The Greek Armies", this book definitely did not fit the bill. On the other hand the illustrations are informative and beautiful. It is probably the second best available source of information in one book on the appearence of Greek warriors for the General Reader. Its follow on, "The Spartans", is an excellent book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A survey of Classical Greek Ancient Battle Dress based on Archaeological Evidence 5 Dec. 2010
By Yoda - Published on
Format: Paperback
Any review of this book would have to start with what the book is and is not. Based on the title, front and back covers, one could easily be misled into thinking the book is intended to provide an overview of ancient Greek warriors and hence would provide information on fighting tactics, armaments, training, backgrounds, etc. Instead the book covers the subject or uniforms of these troops during the Classical Greek period (from the Greco-Persian Wars until the death of Alexander the Great).

With respect to this topic it fulfills its function well. The author starts off with a discussion of uniforms before the Classical Period (basically that troops dressed pretty much as they liked) and discusses their development over the course of the development. He provides considerable archaeological evidence from coins, statues, pottery and other physical evidence over the time period to show how the uniforms developed. One weakness, however, is that he does not incorporate any description of ancient Greek authors (i.e., Xenophon, Thucydes, etc.) of battle dress. Did none exist? The author should at least have made mention of whether or not this was the case. The author concentrates primarily on the battle dress of Athens and Sparta with other city states receiving little attention.
Based on the author's description, the reader follows how uniforms were gradually introduced over the time period. Not just the major topics such as the application of homogeneous cloaks, shields and symbols but also relatively minor things such as helmet adornments (these were used to indicate officer ranks). The book's illustrator, based on the archaeological evidence the author discusses, incorporates the author's views into about 10 plates in the middle of the book that provide an excellent set of illustrations. These are perfect for the figurine and model builders.

The main weakness of the book is, and why this reviewer grants it only four instead of five stars, its lack of analysis as to why the universal uniforms and adornments such as the ones mentioned above indicating rank, developed the way they did. Was it because the numbers of troops were increasing dramatically on the battlefield? Was it due to the adaption of new military tactics that required greater command and control from above? Was it for political or social reasons (i.e., to reduce the differentiation of different segment of society on the battle field)? Unfortunately the author does not even make an attempt to answer these underlying causal questions.
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