Warfare in the Ancient Near East
Schwartz, Mark - Grand Valley State University

2009-11-09 12:14:24-05:00
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - 1636 School of Social Work Building
Duration: 00:36:11

Mark Schwartz, Anthropology Department, Grand Valley State University
The region of the Middle/Near East and North Africa has witnessed numerous wars and armed conflicts since ancient times up to the present. Some were a result of territorial expansion by imperial states or nomadic invasions; others were triggered by local competition for resources between two or more countries of the region. Still others were intended or unintended outcomes of broader geopolitical confrontations, such as WWI and WWII and, later on, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Western world. Military technology evolved from the first use of camels and chariots to gunpowder and canon, more recently, also to chemical weapons. Slave armies and feudal military have been replaced by the mass conscripted armies of modern nation states. On the ideological plane, wars and military conflicts have been justified by reference to a wide variety of causes, from the "liberation" of the Holy Land from an "infidel" enemy to Europe's "civilizing mission"; from establishing the homeland for a people that did not have one to stopping the proliferation of WMD, to the spread of nationalism, Socialism, Islamism, democracy, and so on.

 

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