Elly McDonald

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Ancient Warfare: A very short introduction by Harry Sidebottom

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Accurately subtitled “A Very Short Introduction’, Ancient Warfare is ambitious in that it attempts to summarize a range of academic perspectives and to critique their main premises. This makes for a genuinely helpful overview for students new to the formal study of warfare in the Classical worlds of Rome and Greece. The first four chapters do assume some ability to engage with academic theory but general readers will find the writing accessible. The final three chapters – including chapters on ‘Strategy’ and ‘Fighting’ – are enthralling.

The Further Reading list at the back of the book is an invitation to explore in more depth how different historians have interpreted Classical warfare; I found the diagrams, reproduced art and Chronology useful too.