Search Results: ancient-warfare-a-very-short-introduction-very-short-introductions

Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Harry Sidebottom

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577979

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 8141

Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part by discipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and why this 'Western Way of War' was constructed and maintained by the Greeks and Romans, why this concept is so popular and prevalent today, and at whether or not this is an accurate interpretation. All aspects of ancient warfare are thoroughly examined - from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. He looks at war in the wider context - how wars could shape classical society, and how the individual's identity could be constructed by war, for example the Christian soldier fighting in God's name. He also explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict: Can a war be just? Why was siege warfare particularly bloody? What role did divine intervention play in the outcome of a battle? Taking fascinating examples from the Iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom uses arresting anecdotes and striking visual images to show that the any understanding of ancient war is an ongoing process of interpretation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Eric H. Cline

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199760276

Category: History

Page: 130

View: 8879

This introduction considers whether the Trojan war actually took place and whether archaeologists have discovered the site of ancient Troy.

The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Robert J. McMahon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192801783

Category: History

Page: 185

View: 1377

How, when, and why did the Cold War begin? Why did it last so long? What impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, what difference did it make to the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century? This clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation.

The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Amanda H. Podany

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019970323X

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 1627

The ancient Near East is known as the "cradle of civilization"--and for good reason. Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia were home to an extraordinarily rich and successful culture. Indeed, it was a time and place of earth-shaking changes for humankind: the beginnings of writing and law, kingship and bureaucracy, diplomacy and state-sponsored warfare, mathematics and literature. This Very Short Introduction offers a fascinating account of this momentous time in human history. The three thousand years covered here--from around 3500 BCE, with the founding of the first Mesopotamian cities, to the conquest of the Near East by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE-represent a period of incredible innovation, from the invention of the wheel and the plow, to early achievements in astronomy, law, and diplomacy. As historian Amanda Podany explores this era, she overturns the popular image of the ancient world as a primitive, violent place. We discover that women had many rights and freedoms: they could own property, run businesses, and represent themselves in court. Diplomats traveled between the capital cities of major powers ensuring peace and friendship between the kings. Scribes and scholars studied the stars and could predict eclipses and the movements of the planets. Every chapter introduces the reader to a particular moment in ancient Near Eastern history, illuminating such aspects as trade, religion, diplomacy, law, warfare, kingship, and agriculture. Each discussion focuses on evidence provided in two or three cuneiform texts from that time. These documents, the cities in which they were found, the people and gods named in them, the events they recount or reflect, all provide vivid testimony of the era in which they were written. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Military Strategy

Author: Antulio J. Echevarria

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199340137

Category: Political Science

Page: 160

View: 2618

Since ancient times, poets, historians, and philosophers have contemplated warlords' exploits in battle and praised their ability to lead armies toward victory as the "art of the general." Today, this quality is designated military strategy. Military strategy plays a vital role in everyconflict, because, as the United States' involvement in the Vietnam conflict showed, when the overarching strategy is weak it is possible to win every battle but still lose a war.Taking inspiration from the greatest military theoreticians of history, such as Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Carl von Clausewitz, this Very Short Introduction highlights the dynamic relationship between the principal components of strategy: purpose, method, and means. Drawing on paradigmaticexamples, from Hannibal's war against Rome to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, from the Allies' campaign to overwhelm Hitler's fortress to the terror attacks of September 11, Antulio J. Echevarria II vividly illustrates the factors contributing to the success or failure of military strategy.Echevarria describes the major types of military strategy and their advantages and disadvantages: annihilation and dislocation; attrition and exhaustion; deterrence and coercion; terror and terrorism; targeted killing; and cyber power. He also explores the emerging nano- and bio-genetic technologiesand explains how they are affecting today's military strategy. Clear and engaging, this book shows that military strategy is essential for understanding major events of the past and becomes even more critical today, in a world increasingly threatened by weapons of mass destruction, terroristattacks, and new dimensions of conflict, such as cyberwar and space.

War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Alex Roland

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190605391

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 4951

The war instinct is part of human nature, but the means to fight war depend on technology. Alex Roland traces the co-evolution of technology and warfare from the Stone Age to the age of cyberwar, describing the inventions that changed the direction of warfare throughout history: from fortified walls, the chariot, battleships, and the gunpowder revolution to bombers, rockets, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and nuclear weapons. In the twenty-first century, new technologies continue to push warfare in unexpected directions, while warfare stimulates stunning new technological advances. Yet even now, the newest and best technology cannot guarantee victory. Brimming with dramatic narratives of battles and deep insights into military psychology, this book shows that although military technologies keep changing at great speed, the principles and patterns behind them abide.

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Morales

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192804766

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 7856

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Kelly

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803913

Category: History

Page: 153

View: 3938

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. With a population of sixty million people, it encircled the Mediterranean and stretched from northern England to North Africa and Syria. This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the empire at its height, looking at its people, religions and social structures. It explains how it deployed violence, 'romanisation', and tactical power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture from Rome to its furthest outreaches.

The Western Way of War

Infantry Battle in Classical Greece

Author: Victor Hanson

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0307831558

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 2588

The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics--that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens--but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, maneuver, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century b.c. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government--an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute. The Western Way of War draws from an extraordinary range of sources--Greek poetry, drama, and vase painting, as well as historical records--to describe what actually took place on the battlefield. It is the first study to explore the actual mechanics of classical Greek battle from the vantage point of the infantryman--the brutal spear-thrusting, the difficulty of fighting in heavy bronze armor which made it hard to see, hear and move, and the fear. Hanson also discusses the physical condition and age of the men, weaponry, wounds, and morale. This compelling account of what happened on the killing fields of the ancient Greeks ultimately shows that their style of armament and battle was contrived to minimize time and life lost by making the battle experience as decisive and appalling as possible. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war.

Introduction ;Introducing Assyria ;Assyrian places ;Assyrians at home ;Assyrians abroad ;Foreigners in Assyria ;Assyrian world domination ;Chronology ;Glossary ;References ;Further reading ;Index

Author: Karen Radner

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198715900

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 9060

Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. In this Very Short Introduction, Karen Radner sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium BC. Using archaeological records, Radner provides insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the kingdom, highlighting the diversity of human experiences in the Assyrian Empire. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Graham

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192803771

Category: History

Page: 175

View: 5890

This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the Spanish Civil war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. During this time, history writing itself became a battleground, and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. Graham has provided an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how the effects of this regime continue to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond.

The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Martin Bunton,Martin P. Bunton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199603936

Category: History

Page: 132

View: 3584

"The conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles of modern times, a dangerous tinderbox always poised to set the Middle East aflame, and to draw the United States into the fire. In this volume the author illuminates the history of the problem, reducing it to its very essence. He explores the Palestinian-Israeli dispute in twenty-year segments, to highlight the historical complexity of the conflict throughout successive decades. Each chapter starts with an examination of the relationships among people and events that marked particular years as historical stepping stones in the evolution of the conflict, including the 1897 Basel Congress, the 1917 Balfour Declaration and British occupation of Palestine, and the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan and the war for Palestine. Providing an exploration of the main issues, the author explores not only the historical basis of the conflict, but also looks at how and why partition has been so difficult and how efforts to restore peace continue today"--OCLC

Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jack A. Goldstone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199858500

Category: History

Page: 148

View: 9979

This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.

The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David M. Gwynn

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191642355

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 8723

The rise and fall of the Roman Republic occupies a special place in the history of Western civilization. From humble beginnings on the seven hills beside the Tiber, the city of Rome grew to dominate the ancient Mediterranean. Led by her senatorial aristocracy, Republican armies defeated Carthage and the successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great, and brought the surrounding peoples to east and west into the Roman sphere. Yet the triumph of the Republic was also its tragedy. In this Very Short Introduction, David M. Gwynn provides a fascinating introduction to the history of the Roman Republic and its literary and material sources, bringing to life the culture and society of Republican Rome and its ongoing significance within our modern world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

World War II: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Gerhard L. Weinberg

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019100877X

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 2169

The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come about that there was a Second World War causing twice the 30 million deaths and many times more destruction as had been caused in the previous conflict? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduction to the origins, course, and impact of the war on those who fought and the ordinary citizens who lived through it. Starting by looking at the inter-war years and the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he examines how the war progressed by examining a number of key events, including the war in the West in 1940, Barbarossa, The German Invasion of the Soviet Union, the expansion of Japan's war with China, developments on the home front, and the Allied victory from 1944-45. Exploring the costs and effects of the war, Weinberg concludes by considering the long-lasting mark World War II has left on society today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Alexander the Great: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Hugh Bowden

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191016365

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 4648

Alexander the Great became king of Macedon in 336 BC, when he was only 20 years old, and died at the age of 32, twelve years later. During his reign he conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest empire that had ever existed, leading his army from Greece to Pakistan, and from the Libyan desert to the steppes of Central Asia. His meteoric career, as leader of an alliance of Greek cities, Pharaoh of Egypt, and King of Persia, had a profound effect on the world he moved through. Even in his lifetime his achievements became legendary and in the centuries that following his story was told and retold throughout Europe and the East. Greek became the language of power in the Eastern Mediterranean and much of the Near East, as powerful Macedonian dynasts carved up Alexander's empire into kingdoms of their own, underlaying the flourishing Hellenistic civilization that emerged after his death. But what do we really know about Alexander? In this Very Short Introduction, Hugh Bowden goes behind the usual historical accounts of Alexander's life and career. Instead, he focuses on the evidence from Alexander's own time — letters from officials in Afghanistan, Babylonian diaries, records from Egyptian temples — to try and understand how Alexander appeared to those who encountered him. In doing so he also demonstrates the profound influence the legends of his life have had on our historical understanding and the controversy they continue to generate worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Byzantium: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Sarris

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191017639

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 6190

After surviving the fifth century fall of the Western European Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire flourished as one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe for a thousand years. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Sarris introduces the reader to the unique fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition and Christian faith that took place in the imperial capital of Byzantium under the emperor Constantine and his heirs. Using examples from Byzantine architecture, art and literature, Sarris shows how their legacy was re-worked and re-invented in the centuries ahead, in the face of external challenges and threats. Charting the impact of warfare with the Persian and Islamic worlds to the east, Sarris explores the creativity of Byzantine statecraft and strategy, as well as the empire's repeated (but ultimately forlorn) attempts to enlist aid from the Christian powers of Western Europe to ensure its survival. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Bynum

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019921543X

Category: Medical

Page: 169

View: 7408

This Very Short Introduction explores the history of Western medicine, examining the key turning points, discoveries, and controversies in its rich history from classical times to the present.

The Napoleonic Wars: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Rapport

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199590966

Category: History

Page: 149

View: 7004

The Napoleonic Wars left their mark on European and world societies in a variety of ways, not least from the radical social and political change they evoked in many countries. Examining the social, political, and institutional aspects of warfare in the Napoleonic era, Mike Rapport considers their significance and the legacy they leave today.

Theatre: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Marvin Carlson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191648612

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 6508

From before history was recorded to the present day, theatre has been a major artistic form around the world. From puppetry to mimes and street theatre, this complex art has utilized all other art forms such as dance, literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Every aspect of human activity and human culture can be, and has been, incorporated into the creation of theatre. In this Very Short Introduction Marvin Carlson takes us through Ancient Greece and Rome, to Medieval Japan and Europe, to America and beyond, and looks at how the various forms of theatre have been interpreted and enjoyed. Exploring the role that theatre artists play — from the actor and director to the designer and puppet-master, as well as the audience — this is an engaging exploration of what theatre has meant, and still means, to people of all ages at all times. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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