Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Misunderstanding of war 4: War of ancient Greece


< the Parthenon >
How did the ancient Greece that is the birthplace of democracy become a military superpower?

The country that once got to know the good taste of war would go toward the way of ruin.

The ancient Greece civilization represented in city-state Athens appeared in the 8th century B.C., and made the influence expand rapidly.

In the 6th century B.C., the Greek Allied Forces defeated the large army of Persia that invaded there.

Then, Greece bloom the flower of art, science, and philosophy, and reached to an extreme of prosperity.

However, it did not continue for a long time.

Soon, the 4th century B.C., Alexander and then Rome will rule over, and it will disappear from history.

Where is the cause of a downfall of the Greek race that was seen by the look of envy from Rome or Europe?

Ancient Greece consisted of a city state group of thousands.

Will the image of your ancient Greece be the chalky Parthenon and the democracy of Athens?

It may be able to be said that prosperity and civilization of Athens are based on trade and the progressive spirit born from there.

Furthermore, the democracy induced the strong army, promoted increase of the scale, became a champion of the Mediterranean soon, obtained many fortunes, and enabled construction of the huge shrine.







 密集方陣隊形、high density formation、phalanx, heavy-armed soldiers,Hoplite

< phalanx of Hoplite, Wikipedia >
The ancient Greece soldier's strength was in the high density formation "phalanx” by heavy-armed soldiers” Hoplite”.

The soldiers of this phalanx had a spear with right hand, and a pavis with left hand, and usually ranked with eight persons widthwise, and ten or more rows continued back.

On the flat ground, when the signal of the battle started, both armies progressed quickly and collided head-on and pushed one another, it battled by poking with a spear. This required high mutual reliance to soldiers.

At the time of the first stage, if the enemy collapsed and fled, they did not pursue.
And they didn't use a shameful jump toolssuch as stone throwing.

They were farmers who protect their land and were citizens.

Athens has distinguished itself soon. Athens had a admirable harbor and it aimed at the navy power which has an overwhelming number of ancient warships” trireme”.

Athens became a financial watchdog, and the leader due to had achieved the greatest distinguished services in the role of the Persian wars.

the first stage, although the oarsman of trireme was a slave, for arms buildup Athens carried out a mass recruitment by citizen qualification and the salary .

Then, the situation unexpected to democracy Athens occurred.

Although the civic council decided the start of the war, the voice desired the war increasingly increased.

The reasons were the compensation, tax collection and pillage from the defeated nation by victory, and the salary to the soldier.

Those days, tens of thousands of sailors were always rowing the warships for the patrol on the Greek surrounding ocean area.






 三段櫂船、trireme、ancient warships

< trireme, Wikipedia >
Two big societal changes were produced here. They considered that the war was just the greatest source of economic earnings.

Although Greece was proud of the same race, in practice,  somewhere, they repeated war every year and there plentifully were war continue for tens years also, like the confrontation of Athens and Sparta.

When it became like this, the faith in an old battle was no longer protected, the starvation of the citizen by sea blockade, the killed soldier by the flamethrower, and slaughter of the young-and-old-of-both-sexes civilian became a commonplace.

Although there was a form of the democracy of Athens, the politics was deteriorating.

Since only a small number of citizen fought in Sparta, the man's population was decreasing.

Athens carried out the reckless Sicily expedition, and they lost tens of thousands of soldier and hundreds of the warships. In this way, they fought mutually and exhausted.

When north Macedonia stood up, Greece had neither uniting volition nor military power.

Although this can also be called the end way of a mobocracy, the essence is being unable to slip out of the sweet trap of war.

during 100 yearsthe heavy-armed soldiers of the citizen whom Socrates was proud of became a cruel slaughter.






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