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Paying the dues and reading about infantry warfare - Chronarchy

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December 7th, 2006


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01:02 pm - Paying the dues and reading about infantry warfare
Crap: I have to re-buy the Pals book now. He added a theorist.

Eight Theories on Religion

What used to be "Seven Theories on Religion" is now "Eight Theories on Religion". Personally, I liked the flow to the title better when there were only seven theorists, but whatever, right? I found out about the change when updating my Amazon.com wishlist this morning. (Figured if I posted it yesterday, I should bring it up to date.)

I paid my OSU parking fine today. $25 they charged me for being at an expired meter just before I left for Walking With Fire this year. I consider it the cost of doing research, because the OSU Center for Epigraphy Studies was so helpful. They even let me make several hundred copies at no charge, so escaping with only a $25 parking fine is well worth it, I think.

I spent some time this morning remembering, which is what one is supposed to do today.

I have recently been re-reading The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece by Victor Davis Hanson, a man I heard speak about the battle of Delium, one of the most horrific battles in history and the first recorded example of fratricide in battle. I still shudder thinking about his description of the Athenian realization that they were killing each other.

The thing about Hanson's book (and others like it) is that it does not focus on strategy or tactics, but on what the individual experienced: why he fought, how tactics and strategy influenced the experience of battle, and the way these things focused themselves directly into theory of war that the west embraced and still holds as the highest form of combat.

It's books like this that got me into military history. Well, books like this and Stan Czaplak, but that's a whole other story.
Current Location: South
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown", -JB

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From:zylch
Date:December 7th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
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A War Like No Other (also by Hanson) is an excellent book on the Peloponessian War, and I think a much better approach than the standard rehashing of Thucydides. It's organized by different aspects of warfare (Walls, Armor, Horses, etc), but still manages to communicate a narrative of the war as a whole.
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 7th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
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*nods* I gained a real deep appreciation for his work after hearing him speak, and hearing that he has a fondness for dressing up himself and his grad students in armour and trying out the tactics for himself using passages from Thucydides and Herodotus as guides.
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From:tesinth
Date:December 7th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
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The thing about Hanson's book (and others like it) is that it does not focus on strategy or tactics, but on what the individual experienced: why he fought, how tactics and strategy influenced the experience of battle, and the way these things focused themselves directly into theory of war that the west embraced and still holds as the highest form of combat.

Ah, very hermeneutical in an Wachian sorta way... I've always liked this line of investigation, and although many journalists have attempted to do this with the current wars, something always seems to be off.

On a lighter note, we should certainly limit the allowable theories of religion in a single volume, enough is enough! Although I am intregued by the idea of an author trying to come up with another theory just so she can publish an updated book. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 7th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
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Max Weber appears to be the new theory in this book. I have to say, including him? Crazy.

And I think you'd like this particular book. If you'd like to borrow it, you can.

I have a feeling that the reason that journalists can't get at this sort of thing is because they're still going at it from the "what do viewers want to think war looks like" angle, rather than the "this is what war is like" angle.
From:ceolnamara
Date:December 8th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Fascinating stuff, isn't it. I find that the course I most enjoy this term is 'A History of Strategic Thought' and my favorite book to work with is Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. That was the best resource I had when writing my Schleiffen Plan essay (which you are welcome to see if you want - it's not my best writing, but I support my thesis statement).
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From:lillassea
Date:December 10th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
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the battle of Delium, one of the most horrific battles in history and the first recorded example of fratricide in battle. I still shudder thinking about his description of the Athenian realization that they were killing each other.

That's dreadful.

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