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p. 11. ‘At my signal unleash hell’: the Western Way of War?locked

  • Harry Sidebottom


Popular culture depicts the Romans fighting the ‘Western Way of War’ where the aim is an open, decisive battle, which is won with courage and discipline. The other side are portrayed as fighting a ‘skulking’ kind of war using ambush and a lack of discipline. This seems to make sense, but in fact the ‘Western Way of War’ and its opposite are cultural constructions. Where did this notion come from? Why was it constructed? Why is it continually being maintained? What was an ‘Eastern’ style of war? Art reflects thinking, and also shapes it. Many of the ideas around the ‘Western Way of War’ and its opposites come into focus if we look at visual images of conflict.

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