A Landscape of Conflict? Rural Fortifications in the Argolid, (400-146 BC)

9781789699708  c 16 72

This offers the first systematic study of Late Classical and Hellenistic rural fortifications in the territories of ancient Argos and the city-states of the Argolic Akte (northeastern Peloponnese). Based on one of the largest regional corpora of Greek fortified sites to date, the volume investigates the function of rural fortifications by placing them in the context of their surrounding landscape. This approach – combining ‘traditional’ methods of ancient history and landscape archaeology with GIS-based data analyses – helps to readdress the long-standing tension between ‘military-strategic’ and ‘non-military’ research agendas in Greek fortification studies, and highlights that Classical and Hellenistic rural fortifications are neither a priori fortified farmsteads nor parts of military-strategic networks of territorial defence. Instead, rural fortifications emerge in this monograph as multifunctional and multifaceted sites, which open a new window into different forms of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ conflict in the ancient countryside and bear witness to a remarkable degree of local motivation and agency. The study thus demonstrates how ancient fortifications can provide an unexpected and so far much under-appreciated opportunity for writing local or regional Greek histories – political and military as well as social and economic – from archaeological sources.


“empirically rich, analytically rigorous… it asks and answers important and interesting questions…deserves a wide readership of ancient historians and archaeologists, especially those with interests in military history, ancient landscapes, and rural life.” Dimitri Nakassis, University of Colorado Boulder, Bryn Mawr Classical Review.

Published by Archeopress,Oxford.