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Warfare in Ancient Greece by Michael M. Sage

By Michael M. Sage

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Such distributions played an important role as the amount given was a token of social standing. Further the successful completion of the enterprise created additional links through the distribution of booty between the leader and his men. The last passage given here is one of the most evocative in all Homer of the emotions that accompanied the fall of one’s city. 22. 39–42 Odysseus has just begun telling his audience on Phaeacia about his real identity and about his return from Troy. The treatment of the captured city has parallels elsewhere in the world of the poems.

If used solely for transport, the chariot would have been kept to the rear. It is difficult to envision a battlefield with chariots conveniently parked in the middle of the struggle. Certain passages show chariots used in a manner reminiscent of the Near East, as massed for the charge or fighting as a unit in the front rank. The Pylian king Nestor’s advice about massing chariots does explicitly hark back to this as an ancient practice. Yet there are other passages that appear to show chariots engaged individually in close combat in the course of the Trojan War.

The spearhead passed straight through and went under the bone into the bladder. He dropped screaming to his knees and death enshrouded him. The chariot One of the crucial indices of the reality of Homeric warfare and its relation to that of the Mycenaean period has been seen in the use of the chariot in the Iliad. It is clear that it was known in Greece at the beginning of the Mycenaean period around 1500 BC. It is often represented pictorially in the late Bronze Age, but the evidence about its use is far from clear.

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