War and peace in ancient Greece

Louis Rawlings

in The Ancient Greeks at War

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780719056574
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700839 | DOI:
War and peace in ancient Greece

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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

Chapter.  6818 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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