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Religion & Classical Warfare: The Roman Republic (Hardback)

Ancient History Rome Military

By Dr Matthew Dillon, Christopher Matthew
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 336
Illustrations: 30 black and white
ISBN: 9781473834316
Published: 30th July 2020

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Religion was integral to the conduct of war in the ancient world and the Romans were certainly no exception. No campaign was undertaken, no battle risked, without first making sacrifice to propitiate the appropriate gods (such as Mars, god of War) or consulting oracles and omens to divine their plans. Yet the link between war and religion is an area that has been regularly overlooked by modern scholars examining the conflicts of these times. This volume addresses that omission by drawing together the work of experts from across the globe. The chapters have been carefully structured by the editors so that this wide array of scholarship combines to give a coherent, comprehensive study of the role of religion in the wars of the Roman Republic.

Aspects considered in depth will include: declarations of war; evocatio and taking gods away from enemies; dedications and ceremonies; the cult of the legionary eagle; the role of women in Republican warfare; omens and divination; live burials of people in times of military crisis; and the rituals of the Roman triumph.

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About Dr Matthew Dillon

Dr Matthew Dillon is Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. His previous works include The Ancient Greeks in their own Words (2002).


About Christopher Matthew

Christopher Matthew has just completed his doctoral thesis on hoplite warfare at MacQuarie University in Sydney, where one of his assessors has said he 'singlehandedly advanced the whole field'. He has also been invited to lecture on the subject at other Australian universities. This book, closely based on his doctoral thesis, will be his first, although he has already had several articles published in academic journals. 'He is currently working on a new translation of Aelian's work on tactics and co-editing (with Dr Matthew Trundle) Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae, both of which will be published by Pen & Sword.

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