THIRD PRIZE: The Archaic Greek Way of War: Reassessing Martial Identities


  • Timothy Olinski Queen's University


The standing orthodoxy concerning Archaic Greek warfare had been that the phalanx, and the heavily-armoured Greek hoplite, had become standard practice long before the Persian Invasions. However, new interpretations of Herodotus’ descriptions concerning Marathan (490 BCE) have brought these old orthodoxies into question. The scarcity of the term hoplite from literary evidence before Thucydides and Xenophon has further cast doubt on when the hoplite-exclusive phalanx came to dominate Greek warfare fully. However, observing the martial identities of those warriors from the period before (Dark Age Greece (1100-650 BCE)) and comparing it to the values evidenced in Herodotus’ account of the Persian Wars can provide another avenue of approach. This paper seeks to shed further light on this topic by accessing it from this alternative perspective – by comparing the martial identities presented in the literary evidence available.

Author Biography

Timothy Olinski, Queen's University

My name is Tim Olinski, and I am currently a PhD candidate in the department of History at Queen’s University. I attained my BA in Arts at the University of Guelph (2012), and hold an MA in History from the University of Nottingham (2013), and an MA in Classics from Queen’s University (2016). My current thesis project is the perception of the Turk in Venetian Neo-Latin poetry after the battle of Lepanto.






Annual National Student Award Competition