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It is generally thought that that the peoples of the Greek Dark Age did not use chariots for warfare. This theory is based on the assumption that the Greek Dark Age (ca. 1100 B.C.E to 750 B.C.E.) was too impoverished for people to own, much less use chariots. It is also often argued that the Homeric description of war-chariotry represents a distorted memory of the proper way to use chariots on the battlefield. Because of this, the Homeric evidence shows that chariots had not been used in Greece for a long time prior to the traditional date of the Iliad. The purpose of this thesis is to oppose this commonly held theory. In order to do so, I will examine various types of evidence, including chariot- related artifacts as well as textual and pictorial documentation for chariots. The evidence that will be examined dates to the Bronze Age, Dark Age and the eighth century. It is my contention that when looking at all of the evidence for chariotry in Greece diachronically, a continuum in the design of Greek chariots as well as how chariots were used militarily is established. This continuum, in turn, shows the plausibility that chariots were used for warfare throughout the Dark Age.
Homeric Warfare, Mycenaean Warfare, Ancient Warfare
Date of Defense
October 23, 2003.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Classics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Includes bibliographical references.
Chistopher A. Pfaff, Professor Directing Thesis; Daniel J. Pullen, Committee Member; Kathryn B. Stoddard, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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