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Document Details :
Title: Taktikè technè
Subtitle: The Neglected Element in Classical 'Hoplite' Battles
Author(s): ECHEVERRÍA REY, Fernando
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 41 Date: 2011
Influential and widespread approaches to archaic and classical Greek warfare maintain that pitched battles were simple and straightforward clashes of heavy infantry, fought according to a set of highly ritualized protocols that ultimately entailed the rejection of any kind of tactical refinement. Thus, this denial of tactics is supposed to be the result of the agricultural and agonistic nature of Greek warfare. Literary evidence, however, shows that Greek commanders had a constant concern about tactical issues and multiple tactical choices at hand. Therefore, what will be suggested here is a revision of the concept of ‘tactics’ applied to archaic and classical Greece. The idea of ‘cultural tactics’, the set of pragmatic decisions taken on the battlefield according to the ideological and cultural framework of the polis, will be put forward. This concept entails that all tactical decisions were guided by the cultural principle of favoring and protecting the citizen body.