Our Ancient Wars: Rethinking War through the Classics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016. vi + 289 pp. $45.00. isbn 9780472052981 (pbk).There is a clear continuity between ancient and modern warfare. For the last three millennia, states, in one form or another, have fought each other in pursuance of their perceived interests, and for the people caught up in these myriad conflicts, the human experience of war has remained, in essence, broadly constant. Even the experience of combat, despite the endless evolution of weapons and tactics, demonstrates obvious similarities. As the psychological data gathered by Samuel Stouffer and his team after the Second World War reveals, men are generally terrified by the experience of battle. This fear, as Stouffer’s team famously demonstrated, manifested itself in a wide range of physical symptoms: modern soldiers experienced, for instance, dry mouths, pounding hearts, trembling limbs, loss of bowel and bladder control, all of which are similarly attested in a wide range of ancient evidence.1 Naturally, this broad diachronic continuity invites a comparative approach to the study of the human experience of war. Naturally, pushing this approach too far risks re-making the ancients in our own image, yet, a sensible application of
Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought – Brill
Published: Apr 12, 2018
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