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A Greek Army on the March
Soldiers and Survival in Xenophon's Anabasis

  • Author: John W. I. Lee, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521870689

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About the Authors
  • Professor Lee provides a social and cultural history of the Cyreans, the mercenaries of Xenophon's Anabasis. While they have often been portrayed as a single abstract political community, this book reveals that life in the army was mostly shaped by a set of smaller social communities: the formal unit organisation of the lochos ('company'), and the informal comradeship of the suskenia ('mess group'). It includes full treatment of the environmental conditions of the march, ethnic and socio-economic relations amongst the soldiers, equipment and transport, marching and camp behaviour, eating and drinking, sanitation and medical care, and many other topics. It also accords detailed attention to the non-combatants accompanying the soldiers. It uses ancient literary and archaeological evidence, ancient and modern comparative material, and perspectives from military sociology and modern war studies. This book is essential reading for anyone working on ancient Greek warfare or on Xenophon's Anabasis.

    • Provides a uniquely detailed account of everyday life in an ancient Greek mercenary army
    • Offers the first book-length study of the experiences of the Cyreans in a particular campaign
    • Uses a wide range of evidence, from ancient texts and archaeology to comparative examples
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Lee's engaging voice and well-documented research brings the officers and their men alive; on each page, readers accompany this intrepid group on their adventures, encountering exotic villagers and customs, unfamiliar food sources, urgent searches for water, conflicts with hostile forces, and struggles to survive in rugged terrain and extreme weather. … Anyone interested in ancient warfare and military logistics will find this an accessible, exciting, and original narrative of a dramatic, celebrated episode in ancient history.' The Anglo-Hellenic Review

    'A Greek Army on the March is a remarkable book and one that the author should be proud of. … I … marvel at what Lee has achieved here. I am sure that students of ancient warfare in particular, but also those interested in ancient society more generally and the issues relating to the formation of community, will find this book of immense value.' John Dillery, University of Virginia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521870689
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 1 map 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The march route
    3. Portrait of an army
    4. Unit organization and community
    5. The things they carried
    6. Marching
    7. Resting
    8. Eating and drinking
    9. The soldier's body
    10. Slaves, servants, and companions
    11. Beyond the battlefield.

  • Author

    John W. I. Lee, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
    John W. I. Lee is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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