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Men of BronzeHoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece$
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Donald Kagan and Gregory F. Viggiano

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143019

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143019.001.0001

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Farmers and Hoplites: Models of Historical Development

Farmers and Hoplites: Models of Historical Development

Chapter:
(p.222) Chapter 11 Farmers and Hoplites: Models of Historical Development
Source:
Men of Bronze
Author(s):

Hans Van Wees

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691143019.003.0011

This chapter critiques the grand narrative of Hanson's The Other Greeks and argues that it is wrong in important respects. The chapter presents the social and economic changes in the eighth century that took place with the rise of the independent yeoman farmer and his culture of agrarianism as the driving force behind the political and military history of Greece. From the middle of the eighth century there was a class of elite leisured landowners that did not work the land themselves but supervised the toil of a large lower class of hired laborers and slaves. This era of gentlemen farmers who comprised the top 15–20 percent of society and competed with each other for status lasted for about two centuries. When the yeomen farmers emerged after the mid-sixth century, they joined the leisure class in the hoplite militia.

Keywords:   The Other Greeks, social change, economic change, agrarianism, elite landowners, gentlemen farmers, yeomen farmers, leisure class

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