Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2005 - History - 468 pages
This book demands a response from its readers. It is impossible not to be drawn in to the provocative (often contentious) discussion that Harvey Mansfield sets before us. This is the first comprehensive study of manliness, a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious. Our 'gender-neutral society' does not like it but cannot get rid of it. Drawing from science, literature, and philosophy, Mansfield examines the layers of manliness, from vulgar aggression, to assertive manliness, to manliness as virtue, and to philosophical manliness. He shows that manliness seeks and welcomes drama, prefers times of war, conflict, and risk, and brings change or restores order at crucial moments. Manly men in their assertiveness raise issues, bring them to the fore, and make them public and political - as for example, the manliness of the women's movement. After a wide-ranging tour from stereotypes to Hemingway and Achilles, to Nietzsche, to feminism, and to Plato, the author returns to today's problem of 'unemployed manliness'. Formulating a reasoned defence of a quality hardly obedient to reason, he urges men, and especially women, to understand and accept manliness, and to give it honest and honourable employment.
 

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User Review  - janerawoof - LibraryThing

Not so much a history of battle in classical antiquity as why and how it developed as it did. Covers the millennium from the Age of Homer until Julian in Persia and Valens at Adrianople [300s A.D ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

"In the end, the soldiers did not overcome the ghosts of the past. In the end, it was the ghosts who won." It is with that epithet that Lendon passes judgement on the Roman military in this cultural ... Read full review

Contents

Fighting in the Iliad
20
The Last Hoplite
39
Two Stubborn Spartans in the Persian War
58
The Guile of Delium
78
The Arts of War in the Early Fourth Century BC
91
Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus
115
Hellenistic Warfare 32331 BC
140
The Greeks Conclusion
156
Scenes from the Jewish War AD 6770
233
Shield Wall and Mask
261
Julian in Persia AD 363
290
The Romans Conclusion
310
Authors Note and Acknowledgments
317
Chronology of Greek and Roman Warfare
321
Life of Abbreviations
331
Notes
335

THE ROMANS
163
Early Roman Warfare
172
The Wrath of Pydna
193
Caesars Centurions and the Legion of Cohorts
212
Glossary
389
Bibliographical Notes
393
Index
441
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