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T. Vijgen
The Cultural Parameters of the Graeco-Roman War Discourse

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724 p., 156 x 234 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58647-2
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 115,00 excl. tax
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This comprehensive study seeks to identify the interchange of ideas on warfare in the world of Classical Greece and Rome

What were the ideas that the ancient Greeks and Romans held about warfare? What do contemporary sources tell us about this? Is it possible to trace a development in the way of thinking about war in antiquity? These are the questions that are discussed (and answered) in this study. It combines a close reading of all the sources that we have – mostly written, like literary and historiographical, but also non-written, like art, monuments and coinage. The analysis of the discourse is accompanied by and contrasted with arguments raised by today’s specialists in the field of warfare and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.

The study treats recurrent cultural themes like courage, fatherland, or victory within a chronological framework, for discourse features cannot be isolated from the context of their time. For each specific period – Greek, Hellenistic and the six parts of the long and diverse Roman time – conclusions are drawn. The remarkable developments in time that can be observed, especially in Rome, are brought together in the final chapter.

Theo Vijgen (1949) studied English Language and Literature in the Netherlands and American Literature in the United States. He taught translation courses at the Maastricht School of Translation before turning to a study of ancient history, and completed his Ph.D. at Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) in June 2018.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction: Culture and War
2 The Greek Ways of War
3 Hellenistic warfare
4 Early Rome (c. 750-290 BC)
5 The Mid Republic (290-120 BC)
6 The Late Republic (120-27 BC)
7 The Augustan Period (27 BC- AD 14)
8 The Early Empire (AD 14-193) 
9 The third century and the emerging Christian discourse (AD 193-c. 360) 
10 Late Empire: The later 4th and the 5th centuries (c. 360-c. 500)



“(...) this lengthy book serves as a valuable synthesis of many of the varied sources essential to understanding war and culture in the ancient Mediterranean. (...) by incorporating such a vast array of material this book should serve as a valuable synthesis of much work on war and culture in the ancient Mediterranean. Though it will not be the last word on the subject, I suspect, and hope, that it will help spur new research on a still understudied subject (war and culture).” (Conor Whately, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2021.03.07)

Interest Classification:
Social Sciences
Classics, Ancient History, Oriental Studies
Ancient history & archaeology: Europe

This publication is also distributed by: Proquest e-books, ISD
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