Ancient Warfare in the Greek and Roman World – School of Humanities Ancient Warfare in the Greek and Roman World – School of Humanities

Ancient Warfare in the Greek and Roman World

Ancient Warfare in the Greek and Roman World

Course Details: Four consecutive Saturdays (10am-1pm) from 7 to 28 September 2019 (inclusive).

This course explores warfare in ancient Greece and Rome. The course will take us from the Bronze Age battle fields of the Trojan War to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. It will examine the key equipment, fighting tactics and major battles of the Classical World, including the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, Alexander’s conquest and the rise of Rome. We will survey the conflicts between Greece and Rome and Rome’s sometimes disastrous ‘barbarian’ encounters.

This course charts over 1,000 years of military history and we will witness the evolving nature of warfare over this vast time scale.

Series Presenters

The series will be presented by Dr Yvonne Inall and Mr Adam Carr.

Yvonne is an archaeologist whose research has been focussed on Iron Age weaponry in the Mediterranean, Northwest Europe and Britain. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Hull (UK) and a Master of Philosophy in Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney. She has taught archaeology and history at the University of Hull and currently lectures at the University of Sydney.

Adam holds degrees in Archaeology and Ancient History from the University of Sydney. He has had a life-long interest in military history and is an active Roman military re-enactor.

Both Yvonne and Adam are passionate about their study of warfare in the ancient world and are looking forward to sharing their interest with you through this boutique course.

Weekly sessions:

Week 1: Age of Bronze Heroes and The Rise of Hoplite Warfare

This session will examine the archaeological evidence for warfare in the Bronze Age Mediterranean with a particular focus on the Trojan Wars. We will explore Homeric descriptions of warfare and the emergence of hoplite warfare, including the evolution of equipment and tactical development. We will examine who was fighting and how this relates to the rise of the polis.


Week 2: The Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War and Conquests of Alexander

The second session of this course will explore three key conflicts of the ancient Greek world: the Persian Wars of 490-479 BC, the Peloponnesian War and Alexander’s campaign of 334-323 BC. The session will include focus on key battles on land and at sea and the cultural impact of the Persian Wars for Greek, and particularly Athenian martial identities.

The Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (431-404 BC) pitted the Greek poleis against one another. We will explore the changes in tactics and fighting style, such as greater use of cavalry and the employment of mercenaries.

At the end of the Classical period we witness the rise of Alexander the Great, and we will examine the logistical challenges and key battles of his campaign to conquer the Achaemenid Empire.

Week 3: Greece and Rome at War

In the third session of this course we turn west to Rome and chart the development of the Roman army from its earliest form to the more familiar legion. We will give an overview of the Roman conquest of Italy, with a focus on the Pyrrhic War – the first major conflict between the emerging state of Rome and the armies of the Hellenistic state – and the Macedonian Wars of 214-148 BC. Meanwhile, Rome also fought a series of wars against Carthage from 264BC – 146 BC. Both the Macedonian and Punic wars culminated in the sack of Corinth and Carthage in 146 BC, which resulted in the annexation of Greece and North Africa into the growing empire of the Roman Republic.

Week 4 Romans and ‘Barbarians’

The final week of our course will examine Rome’s interactions with peoples to the west of Rome through Caesar’s conquest of Gaul and early forays to Britain. We will explore instances where the ‘barbarians’ got the upper hand, especially in the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 and the Boudiccan Revolt of AD 61.

We will explore the evolution and increasing Germanisation of the Roman army from the Marian reforms of the second century BC through to the De Re Militari of Vegetius in the fourth century AD.

Course Presenters: Dr Yvonne Inall & Mr Adam Carr


Each week’s session will commence with tea and coffee, and we will break for a morning tea interval offering tea, coffee and light refreshments.

Link to registration:


Sep 28 2019


10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Venue: AAIA Boardroom
Venue: AAIA Boardroom
Madsen Building F09

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