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Ancient Greece

  • Military History Magazine

    Troy’s Night of the Horse

    The Trojans got tricked, but did the Greeks need a wooden horse? He is the last Greek at Troy. Pale in the morning light, he looks like a weak, ragged runaway. But looks can deceive. Sinon, as he is called, claims to be a deserter— the...

  • Military History Magazine

    Can We Trust the Ancient Texts?

    Some were found lying alive with their thighs and hams cut, laying bare their necks and throats, bid them drain the blood that remained in them. Some were found with their heads plunged into the earth…having suffocated themselves by...

  • Military History Magazine

    What We Learned: from Cynoscephalae

    Cynoscephalae was the first battle in the campaign of Roman imperialism against Macedonia and the eastern Mediterranean. It was also the first clash of two rival military systems: the Greek spear phalanx and the Roman sword legion. For 300...

  • Military History Magazine

    Interview: Paul Cartledge- East vs. West at Thermopylae

    Cambridge classicist Paul Cart- ledge has spent more than three decades studying the civilization of ancient Greece, lately focusing on the unique culture of Sparta. He considers the Spartans’ “last stand” at Thermopylae a pivotal...

  • Military History Magazine

    Decision at Plataea, 479 BC

    For the Greeks, victory would secure autonomy— defeat would mean Persian domination. Marathon and Miltiades, Salamis and Themistocles, Thermopylae and Leonidas—such names resonate in the annals of the 5th century BC Greco-Persian Wars....

  • Military History Magazine

    Military History Review: Great War Nations

    Great War Nations: The Spartans by Dreamcatcher Interactive, 2008, $39.99. Great War Nations: The Spartans draws on campaigns from two historic periods—Sparta’s decline as the dominant Greek city-state and the unification of Greece...

  • MHQ Magazine

    The Athenian Century

    For the better part of a hundred years, Athens commanded an empire to be reckoned with. But the Parthenon and every other emblem of the polis's greatness rested on a watery foundation: the navy...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Citizen Tyrants

    Athenian generals, elected to their positions, found that appeasing citizen overlords can spell disaster in the field. The Sicilian expedition of 415–413 BC proved disastrous for the Athenians. They had undertaken the venture during what...

  • Military History Magazine

    Birth of an Empire

    In 168 BC Roman legionaries and Macedonian phalangites fought to decide once and for all who would rule the ancient Mediterranean...

  • Military History Magazine

    The Genius of Philip II

    Western warfare that united Greece and enabled his son Alexander to conquer the world. The full moon cast long shadows across the 3,000 dead and wounded sprawled in grotesque piles throughout the meadow. Moans disturbed the night’s...

  • Military History Magazine

    What We Learned: from the Battle of Salamis

    In the spring of 480 Xerxes led 180,000 soldiers over a pontoon bridge across the Hellespont BC, Persia’s King and invaded Greece. Accompanied by 1,207 warships and 3,000 transports, Xerxes intended to destroy Athens to avenge the defeat...

  • Military History Magazine

    Military History Review: Heroes

    “Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece” Through Jan. 3, 2010 Walters Art Museum 600 N. Charles St. Baltimore, Md., (410) 547-9000, www.thewalters.org Heroes—mortal and mythological— garnered godlike reverence in ancient...

  • MHQ Magazine

    The End of Athens

    A demagogue, a treacherous ally, and a brutal Roman general destroyed the city-state—and democracy—in the first century BC. Two scenes from Athens in the first century BC: Early summer, 88 BC A cheering crowd surrounds the envoy...

  • Military History Magazine

    The Great Greek Turncoat

    During the 431–404 BC Peloponnesian War, the unscrupulous Alcibiades was a victorious general—for all sides. In one of his lesser-known plays, Timon of Athens, William Shakespeare put a speech in the mouth of a supporting character...

  • Military History Magazine

    Military History Book Review: Song of Wrath

    Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins  by J.E. Lendon, Basic Books, 2010, $35 For more than a generation Peloponnesian War studies have been an educational staple for diplomats and soldiers alike. Readers of Thucydides’...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Marathon Men

    The conventional wisdom is that the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon were amateur soldiers who won by chance. In reality, they were the Israel Defense Force of their day—smart, highly trained, and merciless. Before dawn on September...