Storm of Spears Understanding the Greek Hoplite in Action

ISBN-10: 161200119X

ISBN-13: 9781612001197

Edition: N/A

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Description:

The backbone of classical Greek armies was the phalanx of heavily armored spearmen, or hoplites. These were the soldiers that defied the might of Persia at Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea and, more often, fought each other in the countless battles of the Greek city-states. For around two centuries they were the dominant soldiers of the Classical world, in great demand as mercenaries throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Yet, despite the battle descriptions of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon etc, and copious evidence of Greek art and archaeology, there are still many aspects of hoplite warfare that are little understood or the subject of fierce academic debate.Christopher Matthew's groundbreaking reassessment combines rigorous analysis of the literary and archaeological evidence with the new disciplines of reconstructive archaeology, re-enactment and ballistic science. He focuses meticulously on the details of the equipment, tactics and capabilities of the individual hoplites. In so doing he challenges some long-established assumptions. For example, despite a couple of centuries of study of the hoplites portrayed in Greek vase paintings, Matthew manages to glean from them some startlingly fresh insights into how hoplites wielded their spears.These findings are supported by practical testing with his own replica hoplite panoply and the experiences of a group of dedicated re-enactors. He also tackles such questions as the protective properties of hoplite shields and armor and the much-vexed debate on the exact nature of the 'othismos', the climax of phalanx-on-phalanx clashes. This is an innovative and refreshing reassessment of one of the most important kinds of troops in ancient warfare, sure to make a genuine contribution to the state of knowledge.Christopher Matthew has just completed his doctoral thesis on hoplite warfare at MacQuarie University in Sydney, where one of his assessors has said he 'singlehandedly advanced the whole field'. He has also been invited to lecture on the subject at other Australian universities. This book, closely based on his doctoral thesis, will be his first, although he has already had several articles published in academic journals. 'He is currently working on a new translation of Aelian's work on tactics and co-editing (with Dr Matthew Trundle) Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae, both of which will be published by Pen & Sword.
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Publisher: Casemate Publishers & Book Distributors, LLC
Publication date: 10/19/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 360
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.408
Language: English

He is the author of a dozen books including Diary of a Somebody & has contributed to the Daily Telegraph, the Observer & Vogue. He is married with three children & lives in London & Suffolk.

Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Plates
Abbreviations
Foreword
Preface
The Hoplite Spear
Wielding the Hoplite Spear
Spears, Javelins and the Hoplite in Greek Art
Bearing the Hoplite Panoply
Repositioning the Spear in 'Hoplite Drill'
The Reach and Trajectory of Attacks made with the Hoplite Spear
The 'Kill Shot' of Hoplite Combat
Endurance and Accuracy when Fighting with the Hoplite Spear
The Penetration Power of the Hoplite Spear
The Use of the Sauroter as Weapon
Conclusion: The Individual Hoplite
Phalanxes, Shield Walls and Other Formations
The Hoplite Battle: Contact, Othismos, Breakthrough and Rout
Conclusion: The Nature of Hoplite Combat
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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