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War in Archaic Athens: polis, Elites and Military power

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The paper argues that Cleisthenes' military reforms were not improvised. The general view of war in Archaic Athens as a series of skirmishes between small contingents recruited on an almost private basis must be qualified, as there are indications to suggest a greater and more regulated involvement of the polis of Athens in the organisation of collective war. This was not entirely effective since it depended on "private" channels, the aristoi from different districts, who fought each other ( stasis ). Despite this, they were "institutionalised" as part of the common political and institutional framework. The sources seems to indicate that the existence of "Hoplites" in Peisistratid Athens was more widespread than is usually believed.
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Keywords: AEGINETAN; ARCHAIC MILITARISED INSTITUTIONS; ARISTOI AND POLIS; MEGARIAN WARS; WARFARE IN PEISISTRATID ATHENS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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