About the talk:
The Hellenistic way of war was a true innovation: it literally changed the face of warfare in the ancient world forever. Hellenistic warfare was based upon the Macedonian heavy infantryman (the phalangite) armed with a long pike (the sarissa), and deployed in a dense formation of ranks and files (the phalanx). From the time of the rise of Macedon in the mid 4th century BC, through the age of Alexander the Great and the Successors, to the time of their defeat at the hands of the Romans in 168BC, the pike-armed phalanx formed the core of nearly every Hellenistic army on battlefields ranging from Italy to India. And yet, there remains some contention amongst scholars as to who first created the pike phalanx and when. This presentation will engage with these debates to examine how such a revolutionary form of warfare came into being, who created it, what this reform involved, and how this style of combat came to dominate the eastern Mediterranean world for nearly 300 years.
About the speaker:
Christopher Matthew graduated with first class honours from the University of New England in 2006 where he focused on the study of ancient Greek and Roman warfare and completed a research thesis on the impacts of the reforms made to the Roman military by the general Gaius Marius in the late second century BC. He then moved to Macquarie University in Sydney where he completed a PhD in 2009 which used physical re-creation, experimental archaeology and ballistics testing to examine the mechanics of warfare in ancient Greece - particularly how the equipment of the infantryman of the time dictated his role and functionality on the battlefield. This research has been very well received and he is now regarded as a leading authority on ancient Greek warfare.
Date:14 February 2013
Time: 6.30pm for cheese and wine 7.00pm 1 hour lecture
Please note the exhibition will not be open during this time
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