History Department - Courses


Teaching Staff: Mataraga Kalomira
Course Code: ΙΑΕ204
Course Type: Compulsory Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: In the classroom
Semester: 6

Short Description:

The course provides an examination and overview of the manifold phenomenon of war in Classical Greece. By employing a variety of sources, we shall explore issues surrounding developments in the art of war and changes in strategy and tactics. Special attention is given to the social and political aspects of war.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

It is expected that the students will become acquainted with the issues surrounding the conduct of incessant wars in Classical Greece and their manifold aspects. On successfully completing the course, the students should be in a position to understand the ways in which the study of the complex aspects of this phenomenon contributes to an understanding of the history and life of ancient Greeks as a whole. Through the examination of a variety of different sources the students will become aware that war in classical Greece is not merely a regular occurrence but it is intertwined with the social structures, social and political organization. One of the fundamental aims of the course is to foster analytical thinking and develop those skills that enable a critical analysis of the sources.


Week 1: Introductory lecture. War: an ever present reality in Greek life - Sources - Modern Scholarship.

Week 2:  Ancient Greeks: Neither militarists nor pacifists? - War and Peace.

Week 3: The causes of war in classical Greece - The decision to declare war. Decision – making process in waging war.

Week 4: The dynamics of land warfare- The hoplite phalanx (equipment and tactics) – The koina nomima of war (common customs, conventions and rules of war).

Week 5: Light Armed Troops – ‘Peltasts’ - Cavalry – Elite troops.

Week 6: Naval Warfare - The Athenian Example: the Athenian navy and sea-power (“thalassocracy”).

Week 7: War and Economy: economic resources and military expenses.

Week 8: The conduct of war - Military and political authority and accountability in classical Greece.

Week 9: New tactics and military developments in the fourth century BC. - The Art of siege & siege tactics - Aeneas Tacticus and the defense of a besieged city - Mercenaries: their role in warfare.

Week 10: Internal Strife (“stasis”) in the Greek city-states.

Week 11: War and international relations.

Week 12: War and Politics. War and the ideals of “polis”: freedom and “autonomy”.

Week 13: The consequences of warfare.

Suggested Bibliography:
  1. Cl. Amouretti. & F. Ruzé, Les sociétés grecques et la guerre à l'époque classique. V. D. Hanson, The Western Way of War. Steinhauer G., War in Ancient Greece [in Greek]. A. M. Snodgrass, Arms and Armour of the Greeks. K. W. Pritchett, The Greek State at War, 5 Vols. H. Van Wees (ed.), War and Violence in Ancient Greece. J. K. Anderson, Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon. F. Adcock, The Greek and Macedonian Art of War. M. Sage, Warfare in Ancient Greece: A Sourcebook. J. P. Vernant (éd.), Problèmes de la guerre en Grèce ancienne. F. Prost (ed.), Armées et sociétés de la Grèce classique: Aspects sociaux et politiques de la guerre aux Ve et IVe s. av. J. C. P. Brun, Guerres et sociétés dans les mondes grecs (490-322). P. Ducrey, Guerre et guerriers en Grèce ancienne. Y. Garlan, La guerre dans l'Antiquité. A. Chaniotis, War in the Hellenistic World. M. F. Trundle, Greek mercenaries: from the Late Archaic Period to Alexander. P. Brulé - J. Ouhlen (eds.), La guerre en Grèce à l´époque classique. C. D. Hamilton - P. Krentz, Polis and Polemos: Essays on Politics, War, and History in Ancient Greece. J. Rich & G. Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World.

Teaching Methods:

The course is lecture-based, but it also involves critical discussion with the students and an analysis of audiovisual material and written sources. Additional material (maps, literary texts, inscriptions) relating to the particular issues analyzed will be distributed in each lecture.

Evaluation Methods:

Written/Oral examination.

Academic Calendar 2019-2020
Posted: 18-04-2019 18:05 | Updated: 26-08-2019 15:56