Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece

ISBN-10: 0520215966
ISBN-13: 9780520215962
Edition: 2nd 1999 (Revised)
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Description: The ancient Greeks were for the most part a rural, not an urban, society. And for much of the Classical period, war was more common than peace. Almost all accounts of ancient history assume that farming and fighting were critical events in the lives  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/20/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

The ancient Greeks were for the most part a rural, not an urban, society. And for much of the Classical period, war was more common than peace. Almost all accounts of ancient history assume that farming and fighting were critical events in the lives of the citizenry. Yet never before have we had a comprehensive modern study of the relationship between agriculture and warfare in the Greek world. In this completely revised edition ofWarfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece, Victor Davis Hanson provides a systematic review of Greek agriculture and warfare and describes the relationship between these two important aspects of life in ancient communities. With careful attention to agronomic as well as military details, this well-written, thoroughly researched study reveals the remarkable resilience of those farmland communities. In the past, scholars have assumed that the agricultural infrastructure of ancient society was often ruined by attack, as, for example, Athens was relegated to poverty in the aftermath of the Persian and later Peloponnesian invasions. Hanson's study shows, however, that in reality attacks on agriculture rarely resulted in famines or permanent agrarian depression. Trees and vines are hard to destroy, and grainfields are only briefly vulnerable to torching. In addition, ancient armies were rather inefficient systematic ravagers and instead used other tactics, such as occupying their enemies' farms to incite infantry battle.Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greecesuggests that for all ancient societies, rural depression and desolation came about from more subtle phenomena--taxes, changes in political and social structure, and new cultural values--rather than from destructive warfare.

Victor Davis Hanson is the military historian who is a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno. He has written several popular books on classic warfare, including "The Other Greeks", "Who Killed Homer?", & "The Western Way of War". He lives in Selma, California.

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction
The Attack on Agriculture
Military Organization
The Methods of Agricultural Destruction
The Defense of Agriculture
Fortification
Evacuation
Sorties
The Effectiveness of Agricultural Devastation
The Devastation of Attica during the Peloponnesian War
Conclusion
The Vocabulary of Agricultural Devastation
Select Bibliography
Updated Commentary and Bibliography
General Index
Index Locorum

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