Blome, David A.
Greek Warfare beyond the Polis
Defense, Strategy, and the Making of Ancient Federal States
Aims and Scope
Greek Warfare beyond the Polis assesses the nature and broader significance of warfare in the mountains of classical Greece. Based on detailed reconstructions of four unconventional military encounters, David A. Blome argues that the upland Greeks of the classical mainland developed defensive strategies to guard against external aggression. These strategies enabled wide-scale, sophisticated actions in response to invasions, but they did not require the direction of a central, federal government. Blome brings these strategies to the forefront by driving ancient Greek military history and ancient Greek scholarship "beyond the polis" into dialogue with each other. As he contends, beyond-the-polis scholarship has done much to expand and refine our understanding of the ancient Greek world, but it has overemphasized the importance of political institutions in emergent federal states and has yet to treat warfare involving upland Greeks systematically or in depth. In contrast, Greek Warfare beyond the Polis scrutinizes the socio-political roots of warfare from beyond the polis, which are often neglected in military histories of the Greek city-state. By focusing on the significance of warfare vis-à-vis the socio-political development of upland polities, Blome shows that although the more powerful states of the classical Greek world were dismissive or ignorant of the military capabilities of upland Greeks, the reverse was not the case. The Phocians, Aetolians, Acarnanians, and Arcadians ca.490–362 BCE were well aware of the arrogant attitudes of their aggressive neighbors, and as highly efficient political entities, they exploited these attitudes to great effect.
- 168 pages
- 5 maps 5 Fig.
- CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Antiquity, Warfare, Greece, Federalism, Ancient Warfare
"David Blome's military experience distinguishes the book from others, and is described in a refreshingly direct and succinct way."
Jim Lacey, Marine Corps War College, author of The First Clash and The Washington War:
"Greek Warfare Beyond the Polis tackles a topic given too little attention from scholars, and does so in a series of captivating stories that take the reader directly into the midst of the thoughts and actions of Greek hoplites and soldiers fighting for to save their cities and themselves."