The Psychology of the Athenian Hoplite
Throughout the Classical period, the Athenian hoplite demonstrated an unwavering willingness to close with and kill the enemies of Athens, whenever and wherever he was required to do so. Yet, despite his pugnacity, he was not a professional soldier; he was an untrained amateur who was neither forced into battle nor adequately remunerated for the risks he faced in combat. As such, when he took his place in the phalanx, when he met his enemy, when he fought, killed and died, he did so largely as an act of will. By applying modern theories of combat motivation, this book seeks to understand that will, to explore the psychology of the Athenian hoplite and to reveal how that impressive warrior repeatedly stifled his fears, mustered his courage and willingly plunged himself into the ferocious savagery of close-quarters battle.