This is a module about war and peace in the Greek world from Homer to the dawn of the Roman empire.
It aims to give a full-scale narrative about the history of warfare in ancient Greece – how battles were fought, how they were won, how they were lost – but also about how war and peace had an impact on society and culture from the archaic age to the Hellenistic age: the heroic ethos, the citizen ethos, peace and prosperity, the blood-stained hero, etc.
Moving from an analysis of the relevant literary and material evidence – from the Iliad to the comedies of Aristophanes, from the Parthenon frieze to the Mausoleum of Pergamum – students will be encouraged to debate the shifting perceptions of war trough Greek history and of the role of soldiers within the political community.
There is one two-hour weekly lecture session, punctuated by a 10-minute break: Fridays 10-12 p.m., Room PS1.28. The lectures will present primary sources (texts and artefacts), providing guidance in assessing their relative strengths and weaknesses as historical evidence, and will highlight some of the main areas of debate.
The group will be divided into smaller groups for three seminars in each of the first two terms in weeks 4, 7, 10. Students will be asked to complete some preparatory reading, and come prepared to participate in informal discussion of the topics. Seminar worksheets will be distributed two weeks before each seminar.
Students are advised that attendance at every lecture and seminar is compulsory since the assessed essays and exam paper will draw upon the material covered in them. If you have to miss a lecture or seminar for some good reason, please let the lecturer and module convenor know in advance if possible, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Students are expected to do some consolidation work after each lecture, working from the weekly bibliographies. You should aim to read one general work, and then choose a couple of more specialized works.
Syllabus Term I Week 1
Lecture. Introduction: Thucydides’ Archaeology or the polis as an army
A.B. Lloyd (ed.), Battle in Antiquity (London 1996)
W.K. Prichett, The Greek State at War, vols. I-V (Berkeley 1971-1990)
K. Raaflaub, War and Peace in the Ancient World (Oxford 2007)
K. Raaflaub and N. Rosenstein (eds.), War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds
Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe and Mesoamerica (Washington 1999)
L. Rawlings, ‘Warfare’, in A. Erskine (ed.), A Companion to Ancient History (Oxford 2009)
A. Santosuosso, Soldiers, Citizens & The Symbols of War (Boulder/Oxford 1997)
H. Sidebottom, Ancient Warfare: a very short introduction (Oxford 2004)
H. Singor, ‘War and international relations’, in K. Raaflaub and H. van Wees (eds.), A Companion to Archaic Greece (Oxford/Malden 2009)
L. Tritle, From Melos to My Lai. War and Survival (London and New York 2000)
H. van Wees, ‘The city at war’, in R. Osborne (ed.) Classical Greece (Short Oxford History of Europe) (Oxford 2000)
H. van Wees, ‘War in archaic and classical Greece’, in P. de Souza (ed.), The Ancient World at War: a global history (2008), 100-117
J.P. Vernant, ‘City-State Warfare’, Myth and Society (London 1980), 19-445
J. Warry, Warfare in the Classical World (New York 1980)
E.L. Wheeler, The Armies of Classical Greece (Aldershot 2007)
Assessment Assessment for the module for all students is 50% for work submitted during the module and 50% for a 2-hour exam in the May/June session of examinations. Overlap should be avoided between pre-submitted essays and the questions answered in the exam. Lack of breadth may be penalised.
• The exam will be divided into two parts: students will be required to comment on two 'gobbets' (from a choice of six) – one text and one artefact - illustrative of different aspects of Roman culture and society; to write two essays (from a choice of seven titles).
• Students are required to produce TWO essays during the module (length 2,500 words, including footnotes, but excluding bibliography). The normal expected length for assessed essays is ‘c. 2,500 words’, which in practice means 2250-3000 words (including footnotes not including bibliography). Students are required to declare a word count on the cover sheet. Essays will be penalized for being too short and those who have written too much risk the end of the essay – e.g. your clever and sophisticated final paragraph - not being read at all.
Essays must include footnotes where appropriate, and a bibliography of works cited. They should be word-processed. Due attention should be given to literacy (both spelling and grammar). Titles and submission dates follow below. Please refer to the departmental handbook and the document ‘Advice on writing essays’ for further information about assessment criteria and marking.
General guidance on essay writing
Presentation: your essay should contain accurate use of English expression; you will be penalised for poor presentation, including poor grammar and spelling.
Clarity of analysis: your essay should be organised coherently on the basis of arguments; you will be penalised for work which is incoherent or which presents a mass of amorphous material. The case the student is arguing should be clear to the assessor in every paragraph - don't fall automatically into a chronological arrangement of your material, or a line by line examination of a text, unless you are making a specific point, narrowly argued, about development or change over time.
Primary data: your essay should show thoughtful use of a wide range of ancient texts and other material; unsubstantiated arguments and opinions will be penalised. Unless you engage directly with primary evidence (texts, objects), you will not get a good mark.
Secondary material: your essay should isolate the main issues and debates in modern scholarship on the subject. You will be penalised for overdependence on a single unquestioned authority.
Originality and sophistication: your essay should demonstrate thoughtfulness, well-founded scepticism and original ideas which attempt to surpass the issues and debates found in modern discussions in order to take the argument in a new direction.
Submission of Essays
Essays/dissertations for submission should be signed into the departmental office and a cover sheet filled in before 12 noon on or before the date posted. Anonymity of marking is an adopted principle of the University for both assessed essays and examinations. By University regulation, late essays will attract a penalty of 5% (i.e. 5 marks) for each day they are late.
The first essay should be submitted by 12 noon, Wednesday 17th November. You may not submit essays by email, but should hand them in to the departmental office.
Extensions to Essay Deadlines:
Applications for an extension of the essay-deadline are only allowed in exceptional circumstances – well-documented medical reasons etc. Any such application should be made to the Head of Dept (Prof James Davidson) or Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr Stanley Ireland) well before the deadline. Problems with e.g. printers, getting hold of books, bunching-up of essay-deadlines etc. are rarely considered acceptable excuses. When an extension is granted, students must ensure that the module tutor is informed and that the extension (with date limit) is recorded by the secretaries in the ledger in the Office. Only in exceptional circumstances will an extension be allowed beyond two weeks.
Essays should be returned to students within three working weeks or at the beginning of the following term. The marked copy of an assessed essay is retained by the Office. Copies of cover sheets and other comments can be made available to students once marks have been finalized and recorded. Essays will be handed back individually, when there will be a chance to discuss them. It is essential that students attend these tutorials.
Plagiarism, defined as ‘the attempt to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own’ is a variety of cheating or fraud. It is taken very seriously by the University and students who are caught can suffer penalties which are extremely detrimental to their career. Fortunately plagiarism has not been a problem in our Department and we fully anticipate that this situation will continue.
To avoid any confusion however you should take special care with two things:
Cite the sources you are using
Use quotation marks for the quotes you are quoting.
Assessment Assessed Essay 1
Write an essay of approximately 2,500 words on ONE of the following subjects, to be handed in to the departmental office (Room 222-4) by 12 noon, Wednesday 17th November. Make sure that your essay is only identified by your university number from your library card, and that a cover sheet is attached. Please ensure that your pages are numbered, and that you state a word count. See dept handbook for further advice about writing and presenting essays. These particular essays will not be set as exam questions in the examination paper at the end of the module. Overlap should be avoided between your pre-submitted essays and the questions you answer in the exam.
ESSAYS Term I
Is it possible to gain a coherent overall picture of how a battle works from the Iliad?
W. Donlan, ‘Chiefs and followers in pre-state Greece’, in id. The Aristocratic Ideal (1999) DF 78.D6
M.I. Finley, The World of Odysseus. Second edition (1977) PA 4037.F4
R. Fowler (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Homer (2004) PA 4037.C2
P. Greenhalgh, ‘Patriotism in the Homeric world’, Historia 21 (1972), 528-37
P. Greenhalgh, ‘The Homeric Therapon and Opaon’, BICS 29 (1982), 81-90
J. Griffin, Homer on Life and Death (1980) PA 4037.G7
G.S. Kirk (ed.), The Iliad: A Commentary. Vols. I-VI (1985-1993) PA 4037.K4
I. Morris & B. Powell (eds.), A New Companion to Homer (1997) PA 4037.N3
J. Redfield, Nature and Culture in the Iliad (1975) PA 4037.R3
L. Tritle, ‘Hector’s body: mutilation of the dead in ancient Greece and Vietnam’, Ancient History Bulletin 11 (1997), 123-36; also Tritle 2000, 34-54
C. Grayson, ‘Did Xenophon intend to write history?’, in B. Levick (ed.), The Ancient Historian and His Materials (1975), 31-43 DE 8.L3
R. Lane Fox (ed.), The Long March: Xenophon and the ten thousand (2004) PA 4494.A7
J. Roy, ‘The mercenaries of Cyrus’, Historia 16 (1967), 287-323
N. Wood, ‘Xenophon’s theory of leadership’, Classica & Medievalia 25 (1964), 33-66.
Why was the development of naval warfare so politically relevant?
L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World (Princeton 1971) VM 16.C2
G. Cawkwell, ‘Persian and Greek naval warfare; the diekplous’, in id. The Greek Wars (2005), 221-32
V. Gabrielsen, Financing the Athenian Fleet (Baltimore 1994) DF 90.G2
V. Gabrielsen, ‘The naukrariai and the Athenian navy’, Classica &Medievalia 36 (1985), 21-51
C.J. Haas, ‘Athenian naval power before Themistokles’, Historia 34 (1985), 29-46
J. Lazenby, ‘Naval warfare of the ancient world’, International Historical Review 9 (1987), 438-55
A. Momigliano, ‘Sea power in Greek thought’, Classical Review 58 (1944), 1-7;
C. Starr, The Influence of Sea Power on Ancient History (New York 1989) DE 66.S8
J.S. Morrison, J.F. Coates and B. Rankov, The Athenian Trireme. Second edition (Cambridge 2000) VM 16.M6
B. Strauss, ‘The Athenian trireme, school of democracy’, in Demokratia, eds. J. Ober & C. Hedrick (1996), 313-26
H. Wallinga, Ships and Sea Power Before the Great Persian War (Leiden 1993) VM 16.W2
In what ways and why were ‘international prestige’ and ‘profit’ causes and goals of Greek wars?
F.E. Adcock & D.J. Mosley, Diplomacy in Ancient Greece (New York 1975) DF 82.A3
R.A. Bauslaugh, The Concept of Neutrality in Classical Greece (Berkeley 1991) DF 82.B2
G. Herman, Ritualized Friendship and the Greek City (Cambridge 1987) DF 78.H47
P. Karavites, ‘Greek Interstate Relations... in the Fifth Century BC’, Parola del Passato 39(1984), 161-92
A. Missiou, ‘Reciprocal generosity in the foreign affairs of fifth-century Athens and Sparta’, in C. Gill, N. Postlethwaite and R. Seaford (eds.), Reciprocity in Ancient Greece (Oxford 1998), 181-98 DF 78.R3
L. Mitchell, ‘Philia, Eunoia and Greek Interstate relations’, Antichthon 31 (1997), 28-44
L. Mitchell, Greeks Bearing Gifts (Oxford 1997) DF 78.M4
K. Raaflaub, ‘Politics and interstate relations in the world of early Greek poleis’, Antichthon 31 (1997), 1-27
R. Sealey, ‘Thucydides, Herodotus and the causes of war’, CQ 51 (1957), 1-12
Why did the use of mercenary troops constitute a political liability?
H. Miller, ‘The practical and economic background to the Greek mercenary explosion’, Greece & Rome 31 (1984), 153-60