The Historical Significance of Fortification in Archaic Greece

Anthony Snodgrass

in Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653577 | DOI:
The Historical Significance of Fortification in Archaic Greece

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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This chapter explores the historical significance of fortification in archaic Greece and deconstructs the simple concept of ‘fortification’ by showing that, even within a single period, its nature could change radically, and that the building of defensive circuits could serve radically different ends. It considers the notion that the earliest fortifications of archaic Greece are to some extent an independent response to circumstances that were often temporary. It also argues that the pre-archaic and early archaic fortifications of the Greek islands and Ionia differed from their successors in every way: their geographical distribution, their purpose, their durability, and above all their independence of any influence from earlier Aegean, or contemporary Oriental, practices. It was only in the advanced archaic period that the familiar fortified enceintes and towers of the Greek landscape first came into being.

Keywords: Greece; fortifications; Ionia; Aegean; enceintes; towers; archaic period

Chapter.  4764 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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