The Children of Athena: The Armed Forces of Democratic Athens.

Ancient history

Octobre 2022 à juin 2023


David M. Pritchard is Associate Professor of Greek History and Discipline-Convenor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Queensland (Australia). He has obtained 14 fellowships in Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In 2019-20 Associate Professor Pritchard was Research Fellow in l’Institut d’études avancées de l’université de Lyon. He has published 3 sole-authored books, 2 edited books, and 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Cambridge University Press is the publisher of 3 of his 5 books. Associate Professor Pritchard has an h-index of 18 and more than 1200 known citations. In recognition of his research, he has obtained the equivalent of 1.2 million euros or 1.8 million Australian dollars in research funding. Associate Professor Pritchard speaks on the radio and regularly writes for newspapers around the world. His 38 op-eds have appeared in, among other outlets, Le Monde (France), Le Figaro (France), Die Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Kathimerini (Greece), Scroll.in (India), The Age (Australia), The Australian and Politike (Brazil). Associate Professor Pritchard obtained his PhD in Ancient History from Macquarie University (Australia) in 2000.

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The Children of Athena: The Armed Forces of Democratic Athens.

Ancient Athens developed democracy to a higher level than any other state before modern times. It was the leading cultural innovator of the classical period. It is famous for these political and cultural successes. Much less well known is the other side of this success story. This ancient Greek state transformed warfare and became a superpower. It was responsible for raising the scale of Greek wars by ten times. The armed forces of this ancient democracy were simply unmatched in size and professionalism. In spite of this striking military success, there is no book-length study of how the classical Athenians waged their almost nonstop wars. In 431 BC, their famous political leader, Pericles, spoke about the numbers in each branch of their armed forces. This IAS-Nantes project fills this significant gap in the Athenian story by going behind Pericles’s famous numbers. It studies the history of each of the corps that Pericles mentioned as well as the legal and social background of its members. The project considers how they were recruited and what they thought about their soldiering. It reveals for the first time the common practices that the classical Athenians employed to manage their armed forces.

  • David M. Pritchard 2019, Athenian Democracy at War, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press).
  • David M. Pritchard 2015, Public Spending and Democracy in Classical Athens, Austin (University of Texas Press).
  • David M. Pritchard 2013, Sport, Democracy and War in Classical Athens, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press).
  • David M. Pritchard (ed.) 2010, War, Democracy and Culture in Classical Athens, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press).
  • David M. Pritchard and David J. Phillips (eds.) 2003, Sport and Festival in the Ancient Greek World, Swansea (Classical Press of Wales).