Warfare and Society in Ancient Greece Lecture 20 The ideology of the polis’ army  i



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Warfare and Society in Ancient Greece
Lecture 20

The ideology of the polis’ army

i. The rules of hoplite warfare


  1. The state of war ought to be officially declared before commencing hostilities against an appropriate foe; sworn treaties and alliances should be respected.

  2. Hostilities are sometimes inappropriate (sacred truces, religious festivals etc…).

  3. Violence against certain places and persons was inappropriate.

  4. The erection of a trophy indicates victory.

  5. After a battle it is right to return enemy dead when asked; such request is tantamount to admitting defeat.

  6. A battle is prefaced by a ritual challenge and acceptance of challenge.

  7. Prisoners of war should be offered for ransom, not summarily executed.

  8. Punishment of surrendered enemies should be restrained.

  9. War pertains to the warriors only, civilian population should not be affected.

  10. Battles were to be fought in the course of the fighting season only.

  11. Use of non-hoplite armies should be limited.

  12. Pursuit of enemies should be limited.

See Ober, Josiah, The Athenian Revolution, Princeton 1996; Krentz, Peter. "Fighting by the Rules: The Invention of the Hoplite Agôn", Hesperia, Vol. 71, No. 1. (2002), pp. 23–39.



ii. The nautikos ochlos and empire



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