Abstract: "Go tell the Spartans..." Representing War and the Warrior in Ancient Greece (ca. 800-450 BC)
This lecture explores some aspects of the representation of war and warriors in archaic and early classical Greece (ca. 800-450 B.C.). I begin by introducing the Greek warrior ethic, then discuss the phalanx and its representations, and then move to the popular but puzzling figure of the solitary hoplite. Since archaic Greek warfare was a mass affair where formation and discipline counted for everything, the solitary hoplite is both an anomaly and an anachronism. Or is he? Next, I address the ever-present specter of death and the warrior’s code of honor, with a side-glance at his memorialization in funerary sculpture. Finally, I turn to the Persian Wars (490-479) and the battle imagery generated in response to them.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Dover, K. 1978, 1989. Greek Homosexuality. Cambridge, Mass.
Hanson, V.D. 1989. The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece. New York.
Hanson, V.D. (ed.). 1991. Hoplites. The Classical Greek Battle Experience. New York.
Hornblower, S., and A. Spawforth. 2012. The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4th ed.) s.v. “Hoplites”, “Phalanx”, and “Warfare, Greek.”
Lendon, J.E. 2005. Soldiers and Ghosts. A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity. New Haven.
Pomeroy, S. B., Burstein, S., Donlan, W., and J.T. Roberts. 2004. A Brief History of Ancient Greece. Oxford. Pp. 36-137.
Stewart, A. 1996. Art, Desire, and the Body in Ancient Greece. Cambridge. Pp. 86-97.
Wees, H. van. 2004. Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities. London.