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Title: The Military Trade: Soldiers as Wage Labourers in the Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Periods
Authors: Van Regenmortel, Charlotte
Supervisors: Shipley, Graham
Stewart, Daniel
Award date: 28-Jun-2019
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis addresses the relationship between the military and economic developments that engulfed the ancient Mediterranean in the late Classical to early Hellenistic periods, and attempts to combine them into a single explanatory framework. It does so by applying a labour history perspective to the changing nature of military service in the armies of Philip and Alexander, the Successors, and the early Hellenistic kingdoms. The thesis contends that soldiers who fought on a voluntary basis in exchange for remuneration should not be viewed simply as ‘mercenaries’, as they are often labelled, but rather as the Greek world’s first large-scale instance of wage labour. In order to evaluate the applicability of this conceptualisation, the thesis provides an analysis of the armies’ military labour relations, discussing forms of initial enlistment and ensuing terms of service, as well as an overview of the forms and extent of remuneration offered. Crucially, it also asks whether military labour power was bought and sold on a labour market. From this analysis, it emerges that the hallmarks of the wage labour relationship are present from Philip’s military reforms onwards, but that they culminate during the wars of the Successors, when military service becomes increasingly contractual and a military labour market develops. While both formalist and substantivist scholars of the ancient economy acknowledge the fundamental importance of wage labour as a catalyst for the development of market economies, its potential emergence in the military sphere has thus far not received full consideration. By conceiving of paid military service as an instance of wage labour, this thesis puts the armies centre stage in discussions of Hellenistic economic developments, and adds an important variable to the debate on the nature of the ancient economy. Simultaneously, it offers a social history of military service in the armies surveyed.
Embargo on file until: 28-Jun-2022
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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