The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course will examine, by means of case studies, a number of aspects of the prosecution of war in the ancient world. The course will consider the attitudes, roles and actions of the warring parties, and the impact warfare has on combatants and non-combatants alike. Where nations are involved in prosecuting war, the course will also consider the reasons for the outbreak of warfare, and it will consider the nature of the societies participating in such conflict.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Analyse texts relevant to ancient warfare

2. Compare and contrast relevant texts for accuracy and credibility and to appreciate and express the limits of ancient evidence

3. Assimilate the terminology of the discipline

4. Investigate the periods of history and major events under consideration, as well as major political and military figures

5. Evaluate, investigate and write about military problems in ancient history

6. Understand the place of warfare in different societies


Content includes: the methods of war of the society, state or city and the benefits accruing from war (e.g. booty, indemnity, territorial acquisition); the structure of the army, with attention to the commander; logistical considerations of the army and campaigning - supplies and movements, weaponry, training in tactics, morale; strategies employed by warring generals, including aggressive warfare, sieges of towns, use of terror and psychology; battle tactics based on reconstructions of important battles; depiction and treatment of the enemy as combatants, hostages, prisoners (slavery, torture, execution); treatment of non-combatants (brutalising, rape, slavery, execution).

Assessment items

In Term Test: In-class tests (x 3)

Essay: Long essay

Participation: Group/tutorial participation and contribution