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Famous battles and their after-life: a framework

Leoussi, A. (2018) Famous battles and their after-life: a framework. In: Heuser, B. G. and Leoussi, A. S. (eds.) Famous Battles and How They Shaped the Modern World c.1200 BCE - 1302 CE: From Troy to Courtrai. Pen and Sword, pp. 1-19. ISBN 9781473893733

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Abstract/Summary

Why are some battles remembered more than others? Surprisingly, it is not just size that matters, nor the number of dead, the 'decisiveness' of battles or their effects on communities and civilisations. It is their political afterlife-the multiple meanings and political uses attributed to them-that determines their fame. This ground-breaking series goes well beyond military history by exploring the transformation of battles into sites of memory and meaning. Cast into epic myths of the fight of Good against Evil, of punishment for decadence or reward for virtue, of the birth of a nation or the collective assertion against a tyrant, the defence of Civilisation against the Barbarians, Christendom against the Infidel, particular battles have acquired fame beyond their immediate contemporaneous relevance. The epic battles of European history examined in this first volume range from the siege of Troy and the encounters of Marathon and Thermopylai, to the wars of the Israelites which inspired the way many later battles would be narrated; and from the triumphs and defeats of the Roman Empire, to Hastings, the massacre of B ziers and the battle of Courtrai. This chapter offers a framework for understanding the history of interpretations of historical battles and their underlying political agendas.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > French
ID Code:80505
Publisher:Pen and Sword

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