The Business of War

Matthew Trundle

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Business of War

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This chapter investigates the mercenaries in the Greek world. Mercenaries became stained with the brush of tyranny. The connection of tyrants and mercenaries continued into the Hellenistic age. Xenophon's Anabasis offers invaluable data on almost every aspect of Greek mercenary life, but it represents a landmark moment in Greek mercenary activity. Mercenaries were priceless in giving specialists to those in need and demonstrating the success of such specialists in war. The mercenary service was alleviated by personal relationships, guest-friendships, and friendship between ordinary Greeks and the powerful men of the eastern Mediterranean. Mercenaries in the ancient world displayed a high degree of military honor and spirit, despite their mercenary nature. It is shown that mercenaries played a central role in the Greco-Macedonian wars.

Keywords: Greek mercenary; Greek world; tyrants; Xenophon; Anabasis; military honor; Greco-Macedonian wars

Article.  9871 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies

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