The Horsemen of Athens

The Horsemen of Athens

Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 304
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    The Horsemen of Athens
    Book Description:

    Glenn Bugh provides a comprehensive discussion of a subject that has not been treated in full since the last century: the history of the Athenian cavalry. Integrated into a narrative history of the cavalry from the Archaic period through the Hellenistic age is a detailed analysis of a military and social organization the members of which came predominantly from the upper classes of Athens. Bugh demonstrates that this organization was not merely a military institution but an aristocratic social class with political expectations and fluctuating loyalties to the Athenian democracy.

    The last major work devoted exclusively to the subject appeared in French in 1886 and predated the publication of Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians, which provides valuable information not only on the administration of the Athenian cavalry but also on the democracy that financed it. Furthermore, since the 1930s the American excavations of the Athenian marketplace and the German excavations of the ancient cemetery have yielded unparalleled epigraphical evidence pertaining to the Athenian cavalry, particularly in the areas of personnel and administration.

    Originally published in 1988.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5975-7
    Subjects: Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)

    First of all, let me state what this book is not. It is not a study of the various equestrian competitions dominated by the upper classes of Athens; fortuitously, a very recent book by D. G. Kyle (Athletics in Ancient Athens,1987) covers this ground, at least for the Classical period. And it is not really a study of battlefield tactics or campaign strategies, although some discussion appears where appropriate, nor is it a study of military equipment; very fine books by Anderson, Pritchett, and others have dealt with these matters at great length. My interests lie elsewhere, in people,...

    (pp. xv-2)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Aristocratic Horsemen of Archaic Athens
    (pp. 3-38)

    No single piece of evidence can prove, incontestably, the existence of an Athenian cavalry before the mid-fifth century B.C. That there werehippeiscannot be denied, but that these “horsemen” belonged to a cavalry corps still eludes unanimous consent. A. Martin, in his monumental study,¹ attributed the creation of an Athenian cavalry corps to Solon in 594 B.C. W. Helbig replied² that, on the basis of the literary and ceramic evidence, an Athenian cavalry did not exist until after the Persian Wars. He argued that vase paintings depicting men on horse-back in a military context represented one of three possibilities:...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Cavalry of Empire
    (pp. 39-78)

    Sometime between 479 and 431 B.C. the Athenians chose to create a cavalry that was radically different from that of the Archaic period. For one thing, the size of that cavalry is attested variously at 300,¹ 600,² and 1,000 men (with an additional 200 mounted bowmen).³ One thing is clear: after 431 B.C., at the latest, the canonical size of the Athenian cavalry was 1,000 men for the rest of the Classical period. The most logical (and surely correct) explanation is that the Athenians increased the size of the cavalry in stages during the period commonly referred to as the...

  9. CHAPTER THREE The Peloponnesian War
    (pp. 79-119)

    In his Funeral Oration Perikles extolled the efficacy of the Athenian military system. According to Thucydides (2.39.1–4) he claimed that Sparta and her allies had yet to encounter the unified land forces of Athens because her troops were always scattered on many expeditions. This explanation was intended primarily for domestic consumption. Perikles had a healthy respect for the Spartan hoplite and was very reluctant to risk the outcome of the war on a single pitched battle. The Spartans would be allowed access to Attic territory, while the Athenian fleet would carry on offensive campaigns against the shores of Lakonia...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The Year of the Thirty Tyrants
    (pp. 120-153)

    In the following narrative I will trace the role of the Athenian cavalry in the events of the year of the Thirty Tyrants.¹ I will argue that the enthusiastic support of the cavalry for the two oligarchic regimes in Athens in 404/3 B.C. initiated a decline of that body in the fourth century B.C.

    When Lysander destroyed the Athenian fleet at Aigospotami in 405 B.C., the Athenian cause was lost. While Lysander removed the last vestige of Athenian control from the Aegean, the Athenians prepared themselves for the expected siege. Agis marched out from the Spartan stronghold at Dekeleia, camped...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE The Athenian Cavalry in the Age of Philip of Macedon
    (pp. 154-183)

    In his treatisePoroi,Xenophon speaks of the benefits of peace following the Social War (357–355 B.C.). He explains that with the money not squandered in war with recalcitrant allies, the Athenians will be able to celebrate their festivals with more splendor, restore the temples, repair the walls and docks, and restore to the priests, councillors, magistrates, and “cavalrymen their ancestral honors,”hippeusi ta patria apodôsomen(6.1). Although it is not absolutely clear what is implied byta patria,¹ Xenophon believes that there has been a decline in the state and its cavalry and that it is linked with...

  12. CHAPTER SIX The Horsemen of Hellenistic Athens
    (pp. 184-206)

    The third century B.C. marks a very difficult and confused period in Athenian history. In foreign policy, the Athenians had to deal with the ambitions of a succession of Macedonian dynasts and the presence of Macedonian garrisons on Attic soil. In domestic politics, never unrelated to foreign policy, democracy, oligarchy, tyranny, and even a disguised monarchy each took a turn at ruling. It serves no good purpose to record all of these machinations; there are many excellent works, some quite recent, which do.¹ In this chapter we rather concentrate our efforts on the fortunes of the Athenian cavalry, to illuminate...

    (pp. 225-262)
  15. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 263-271)