Modern Insights from Ancient Warfare
Background to Mind of War Project:
The Mind of War Project focusses primarily on the human aspect in warfare, drawing from the writings of ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine authors’ descriptions of battles, commanders and soldiers. By starting ‘at the start’ in terms of written histories of conflict, the aim is to identify and consider enduring insights for the modern battlefield. This is how the project started, in my interest in reading these texts – to go back to the source documents to read directly what these authors had to say about the human in war.
Polybius argues that there are two ways to learn – either from histories and learning from others or from direct experience – acknowledging that direct experience is the more costly approach. In the same way, these ancient texts offer the opportunity to reflect on what was a time where the human aspect of warfighting was more clearly distinguishable from the technological elements. This clarity helps to better appreciate the mind of war.
I have a passion for military history as an avenue towards better understanding current conflicts and preparing for future warfare. The argument is simply that the best way to understand warfare is the study of warfare itself. My hope is that, if you have not already, you will pick up copies of these texts and read them. Don’t just take my perspective on these writings but read them and see what insights you gain.