In the ancient world, the Greek world encompassed a far larger area than that currently occupied by the modern country of Greece. In the first half of the first millennium BC, they spread to the western coast of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Spain, southern France, and the coast of the Black Sea. By the fourth century BC, the Athenian philosopher Plato was able to state that the Greeks had spread around the Mediterranean Sea “like frogs around a pond” (Phaedo 109b).
What is it that makes warfare in the ancient world such a fascinating and rewarding subject of study?
Fortifications seem to have had an obvious defensive purpose. But how effective were they in keeping the enemy at bay?
Anthony Snodgrass associated changes in fortifications with the rise of the so-called polis. Does that idea have merit?
Inspired by my postdoctoral research, I wonder whether walls were constructed primarily out of fear of attack.