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Classical Greek Warfare Under Discussion

Dec. 2, 2013

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Stephen O'Connor

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Stephen O'Connor, assistant professor of history at Cal State Fullerton, will discuss the how and why of classical Greek land warfare Tuesday, Dec. 10, as part of the Fullerton Public Library's Town and Gown Lecture Series.
O'Connor, who started studying Latin when he was 13, has focused his research on how Greek sailors and soldiers got their food on a day-to-day basis, and what this reveals about both military strategy and regional economies in the classical Greek world.
The historian joined Cal State Fullerton in fall 2012 after a year as a visiting professor at Bowdoin College. He earned his doctorate in ancient history at Columbia University. His dissertation was titled "Armies, Navies and Economies in the Greek World in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.E."

"There is an ongoing debate on why Greek armies devastated the lands of their enemies, especially when that didn't have the effect, in terms of economic pressure, the Greeks sought," O'Connor said.
"I am going to argue that they devastated their enemies’ territory because they had no other option. Unlike, say, Roman armies, no Greek army was ever supported by supply lines, which meant that armies in classical Greece had to be constantly on the move and forage for their food. "
In addition to his doctorate, O'Connor holds masters of philosophy from Columbia and the University of Oxford, and a bachelor's degree in classics from Yale University. His article, "The Daily Grain Consumption of Classical Greek Sailors and Soldiers," was published earlier this year in Vol. 43 of Chiron, a publication produced by the German Archaeological Institute.
The Dec. 10 public talk will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the community room of Fullerton Public Library's main branch, located at 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 92832.

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