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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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The Hoplite Narrative

The Hoplite Narrative

(p.256) Chapter 12 The Hoplite Narrative
Men of Bronze

Victor Davis Hanson

Princeton University Press

This chapter defends the grand hoplite narrative, pointing out the inherent difficulties in studying the origins and nature of hoplite battle. In addition, over the last two centuries of classical scholarship the “grand hoplite narrative” has emerged in most histories of Greece. The chapter suggests that the success of the orthodoxy is due to the fact that it best reflects the evidence for phalanx fighting and the larger social, economic, and political role of the hoplite. It responds to the recent attacks on the view that hoplites formed a distinct middle class, the claims that hoplites fought in an open and fluid formation, and that the phalanx was a late development. In addition, the chapter examines the debate over the weight of hoplite equipment and key elements of the traditional battle narrative.

Keywords:   grand hoplite narrative, hoplite orthodoxy, hoplite battle, phalanx, hoplites, hoplite equipment

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