Contemporary and the ancient athenian military services.

Essay by magaskaweeHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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Ancient Athenian Military VS Contemporary Military

I believe that contemporary military services are most similar to the ancient Athenians. When you read about ancient Greece, you normally only read about its art, philosophy, music, mythology, medicine, farming techniques, manufacturing, commerce, and democracy. But you rarely ever read about the entity that held all of these great things together, their military. In this paper, I will talk about the ancient Athenian and contemporary military systems of draft, rules of war, prisoner's of war, good luck charms, qualifications to be in the military, battle dress uniforms and equipment, fighting techniques and weapons and how they are similar.

The ancient Athenian military, or hoplites (Davis 103), sacrificed countless lives and fought many wars to make sure that their people could have rights or freedoms to express themselves. We could also see this in the United States military today, whose troops were overseas fighting to insure that the Iraqis had the same freedoms and rights as we do.

I chose to do this topic not only because I am interested in the military myself, but also because I feel people should have a better understanding of how our military maintains order and stability in our society and where some of our ideas originated.

Some ideas that we borrowed from the ancient Athenians are the rules of war, or as Josiah Ober calls them, "common customs". The rules of war are not exactly the same but they still give off the same general idea. For instance, during war, some places should be protected. In Athenian times, armies tried to protect shrines and heralds (Ober 2). Now, we try to protect churches, schools, well-populated area, and the press. Another rule of war that is similar to our own today is that a prisoner cannot be executed...