Storm of Spears Understanding the Greek Hoplite in Action
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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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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $32.95
Publisher: Casemate Publishers & Book Distributors, LLC
Publication date: 10/19/2012
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
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.
|List of Illustrations|
|List of Tables|
|List of Plates|
|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|