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The Ancient Greeks at War$
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Louis Rawlings

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719056574

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719056574.001.0001

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War and peace in ancient Greece

War and peace in ancient Greece

(p.4) Chapter 1 War and peace in ancient Greece
The Ancient Greeks at War

Louis Rawlings

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the concept of war and peace in ancient Greece. It explains that the Greek word for war, polemos, often retained the physical resonance of fighting, combat or battle and that the Greeks thought of war as an activity that the gods themselves engaged in and approved of. The ancient Greeks invoked a range of justifications for their actions in order to persuade themselves and others to overlook any ties of kinship or any formal agreements that had been made with their erstwhile foes. Internal differences about whether violence was the right option, or even over the causes of conflict, were as common then as they are in today's societies.

Keywords:   war, peace, ancient Greece, polemos, god, kinship, internal differences, violence

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