Greek Hoplites, Warrior Culture, and Indirect Bias

  • Runciman W
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Abstract

The frequency and persistence of Greek hoplite warfare in a distinctive and largely unchanged form over the period from the mid-seventh to the mid-fourth century BC is best explained by reference to a distinctive warrior culture which was undermined when, and only when, citizen soldiers came to be displaced in Greece itself by mercenaries. The process is analysed in terms of a model drawn from Boyd and Richerson's Culture and the evolutionary process, and alternative sociobiological and cultural-materialist hypotheses rejected.

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Authors

  • W. G. Runciman

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