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The historiography of the Greek civil war has made significant progress during the past decade, but the origins, role and activities of paramilitaries remain under-researched. Most studies have focused on the period of the ‘white terror’ and explored the collusion between the state and the paramilitary groups. Although such studies have advanced our understanding of this turbulent period, they have not discussed important issues such as the motivation of the rank and file members, the sociopolitical networks used to recruit and mobilize support and the diverse conditions under which militias emerge. The article will address this lacuna and provide new insights into the origins, development and legacies of paramilitarism.
Geophysical survey and excavations from 2010–2016 at Lawrenz Gun Club (11CS4), a late pre-Columbian village located in the central Illinois River valley in Illinois, identified 10 mounds, a central plaza, and dozens of structures enclosed within a stout 10 hectare bastioned palisade. Nineteen radiocarbon (14C) measurements were taken from single entities of wood charcoal, short-lived plants, and animal bones. A site chronology has been constructed using a Bayesian approach that considers the stratigraphic contexts and feature formation processes. The village was host to hundreds of years of continuous human activity during the Mississippi Period. Mississippian activity at the site is estimated to have begun in cal AD 990–1165 (95% probability), ended in cal AD 1295–1450 (95% probability), and lasted 150–420 yr (95% probability) in the primary Bayesian model with similar results obtained in two alternative models. The palisade is estimated to have been constructed in cal AD 1150–1230 (95% probability) and was continuously repaired and rebuilt for 15–125 yr (95% probability), probably for 40–85 yr (68% probability). Comparison to other studies demonstrates that the bastioned palisade at Lawrenz was one of the earliest constructed in the midcontinental United States.
One hundred years ago, millions of British and Allied troops were fighting in the trenches of the Great War. With a tenth of soldiers losing their lives, hearing loss seemed a low priority; however, vast numbers of troops sustained significant hearing loss.
A review was conducted of literature published between 1914 and 1925.
Soldiers were exposed to up to 185 dB of sustained noise from new, high-energy weapons, which caused ‘labyrinthine concussion’. Traumatic injuries, non-organic hearing loss and malingering were also common. One source estimated that 2.4 per cent of the army was disabled by hearing loss. However, many British doctors viewed this ‘soldier's deafness’ as a temporary affliction, resulting in soldiers being labelled as malingerers or ‘hysterical’.
Today, one can recognise that a scant evidence base and misconceptions influenced the mismanagement of hearing loss by otolaryngologists in World War I. However, noise-induced hearing loss is still very much a feature of armed conflict.
Mules and other equine species have been used in warfare for thousands of years to transport goods and supplies. Mules are known for ‘braying’, which is disadvantageous in warfare operations. This article explores the fascinating development of surgical techniques to stop military mules from braying, with particular emphasis on the key role played by the otolaryngologist Arthur James Moffett in devoicing the mules of the second Chindit expedition of World War II.
The PubMed database (1900–2017) and Google search engine were used to identify articles related to devoicing mules in the medical and veterinary literature, along with information and images on the Chindit expedition.
This paper reviews the surgical techniques aimed at treating braying in mules, ranging from ventriculectomy and arytenoidectomy to Moffett's approach of vocal cordectomy.
Moffett's technique of vocal cordectomy provided a quick, reproducible and safe solution for devoicing mules. It proved to be advantageous on the battlefield and demonstrated his achievements outside the field of medicine.
Taxation is accepted as a fact of modern life, despite recurring political conflict over the nature and direction of fiscal policies. Most financiers regard obligations issued by the state as a safe investment option. Neither taxation nor state obligations were taken for granted during much of the history of public finance, however, at least not before the early 1800s. The ‘tax state’ developed in fits and starts, driven by the exigencies of warfare, which provided the main rationale for raising state income. Although wartime fiscal innovations eventually facilitated the rise of an efficient military state, the options available for implementing such improvements and preferences for specific fiscal or financial instruments varied greatly across early modern states. Focusing on the ‘long’ eighteenth century, this introduction presents a framework for assessing these differences and introduces the other articles in this special issue.
Whether upheld as heroic or reviled as terrorism, people have been willing to lay down their lives for the sake of their groups throughout history. Why? Previous theories of extreme self-sacrifice have highlighted a range of seemingly disparate factors, such as collective identity, outgroup hostility, and kin psychology. In this paper, I attempt to integrate many of these factors into a single overarching theory based on several decades of collaborative research with a range of special populations, from tribes in Papua New Guinea to Libyan insurgents and from Muslim fundamentalists in Indonesia to Brazilian football hooligans. These studies suggest that extreme self-sacrifice is motivated by identity fusion, a visceral sense of oneness with the group, resulting from intense collective experiences (e.g., painful rituals or the horrors of frontline combat) or from perceptions of shared biology. In ancient foraging societies, fusion would have enabled warlike bands to stand united despite strong temptations to scatter and flee. The fusion mechanism has often been exploited in cultural rituals, not only by tribal societies but also in specialized cells embedded in armies, cults, and terrorist organizations. With the rise of social complexity and the spread of states and empires, fusion has also been extended to much larger groups, including doctrinal religions, ethnicities, and ideological movements. Explaining extreme self-sacrifice is not only a scientific priority but also a practical challenge as we seek a collective response to suicide, terrorism, and other extreme expressions of outgroup hostility that continue to bedevil humanity today.
In 1905–1906 the Dutch colonial state ended the autonomy of the inland of West Timor, hitherto home to the prestigious but crumbling Sonba’i Dynasty. The article addresses the problems and possibilities of writing the history of this traumatic event, which is described in several colonial reports and memorandums, while the Timorese did not leave written texts. A number of oral accounts were recorded in the 1960s by local historian F. H. Fobia, some six decades after the event. The article discusses the possibilities of an oral history approach against a backdrop of recent research about such methods. The contemporary and near-contemporary Dutch reports are systematically compared with the recordings of oral versions. It is argued that the latter destabilize the colonial version in a number of ways regarding the causes of the conflict, the conduct of the colonial troops, and the circumstances of the capture of the Sonba’i lord. At the same time, the oral versions are likely to have been processed over the decades into a meaningful set of decisive events that make sense to “traditional” Timorese discourses as well as modern Indonesian ones.
Over the course of the Nigerian Civil War (1967–70), many people in the secessionist Republic of Biafra resorted to forgery, confidence scams, and other forms of fraud to survive the dire conditions created by Nigeria's blockade. Forgery of passes and other documents, fraudulent commercial transactions, and elaborate schemes involving impersonation and racketeering became common in Biafra, intensifying as the Biafran government's ability to enforce the law diminished. Using long-neglected legal records from Biafra's courts and tribunals, this study traces the process by which deception emerged as a practice of survival in wartime Biafra – a process with important implications for the growth of fraud (known as ‘419’ after the relevant section of the Nigerian criminal code) in reintegrated postwar Nigeria.
Widespread violence and military conflicts dominate many historical accounts of the Early Middle Ages in Europe, but archaeological evidence to corroborate such a picture has hitherto been scarce. Analysis of human remains from the Bohemian stronghold of Budeč offers a unique insight into one such event: a wave of violence that probably followed the removal of Duke Wenceslas from power by his brother Boleslav I in AD 935. A mass grave near the hillfort holds mainly male burials that show numerous injuries sustained from sword blows, testifying to the human cost of this disturbance and demonstrating the structure and reality of early medieval violence.
Boundaries are technologies of power and knowledge that shape spatial and social realities and our understandings of them. This article examines the effects of boundary-making between Kenya and Ethiopia, and investigates the effects of borders on states of peace and conflict among Turkana, Samburu, Borana, Gabra, and Dassanetch of northern Kenya. If borders divide people, people benefit nonetheless from the environmental, social, and political entropy that borders generate by using the energy of spatial differences to advance their own individual and collective life projects.
Ethnohistorical and ethnographic observations from around the world indicate that projectiles were often made differently for warfare and hunting. Using experiential archaeology and analysis of a thousand years’ worth of data from the middle Gila River in Arizona, the authors argue that side notched arrow points were produced for hunting large animals and were designed to be retrieved and reused, while unnotched points were intended for single use and for another purpose: to kill people. The data suggests furthermore that the region witnessed a steady increase in levels of violence during the period under study.
How violent was life in Neolithic society, and was there anything resembling organised warfare? Recent research has largely overturned ideas of peaceful farming societies. Spanish Levantine rock art offers a unique insight into conflict in Neolithic society, with images of violence, real or imagined, being acted out in scenes preserved in rockshelters. Combining this body of data with evidence from the archaeological record, a new way of understanding the imagery in rock art is here proposed. Ethnographic and anthropological methodologies allow the author to show how socio-cultural behaviours and individual social roles can be read from rock art.
The discovery of a crushed golden bowl in the remains of the Iron Age citadel of Hasanlu in 1958 attracted considerable media attention at the time. The circumstances of its loss have long remained unclear, but were clearly associated with the violent destruction of the site in c. 800 BC. Detailed review of the find context and the skeletons found nearby now suggests that the bowl was being looted during the sack of the citadel by Urartian soldiers from an upper room where weapons, armour and fine metal vessels were stored. The enemy soldiers carrying off the Gold Bowl died in the attempt when the upper floors of the building collapsed, plunging them to their deaths.
After decades of rule-of-law promotion in world affairs, international law and legality have regained scholarly imperative. Yet this has not dissolved disciplinarity between international law (IL) and relations (IR), but furthered a priori theorizing and the unilateral extension of disciplinary research agendas. A prime example is the influential ‘legalization agenda’ of IR scholarship, where an institutionalist doctrine has renarrated the ‘L word’ through a fetishizing of rules and a managerial focus on rule compliance. However, this approach confronts a problem of relevance as international struggles increasingly involve contests over how to legally characterize issues, actions, and events, and this engages juridical and normative dimensions of rule application which are beyond the managerialism of compliance. This article argues for greater sociological and critical engagement with the way in which the concept of law operates through juridico-political practices of legality, and the aim is to provide a theoretical and empirical discussion that revives the significance of the juridico-political world for scholarships which have habitually underplayed the constitutive significance of lawyering for rule application. To do so, this article, first, addresses the profundity of Kant's work and concern over law's application by a rule-applier and, second, claims this has long invited a more critical sociology. To initiate that social exploration, the paper draws on both Pierre Bourdieu's concept of the ‘juridical effect’ and the Foucauldian notion of ‘normative law’ to theorize the significance of juridical and normative practices in the making of international law's rule. In the final section, I introduce the empirical benefit of these critical sociologies by turning to the law of armed conflict (LOAC), and the ways juridical and normative power have enabled sophisticated militaries of the developed world to constrain the application of the LOAC in contemporary wars of asymmetric combat.
The Illerup Aadal weapon sacrifice mirrors the material world of a Germanic army from c. AD 210. Apart from the personal equipment and the weaponry of more than 400 warriors, it comprises four horses. The present paper gives the first conclusive analysis of the skeletal remains of these animals, involving osteological investigation and strontium isotope analysis. The results shed new light on the character of the sacrificial ceremonies which unfolded in the aftermath of Iron Age battles; on the nature of cavalry and its significance in Iron Age warfare; and on the much debated question as to where the army of Illerup Aadal had originally come from.
The increasing complexity of weapon systems requires an interdisciplinary approach to the conduct of weapon reviews. Developers need to be aware of international humanitarian law principles that apply to the employment of weapons. Lawyers need to be aware of how a weapon will be operationally employed and use this knowledge to help formulate meaningful operational guidelines in light of any technological issues identified in relation to international humanitarian law. As the details of a weapon's capability are often highly classified and compartmentalized, lawyers, engineers, and operators need to work cooperatively and imaginatively to overcome security classification and compartmental access limitations.