The enigmatic three-mile-long Dema wall in the countryside outside ancient Athens has perplexed archaeologists and historians for decades. When was it built and what role did it play in Greek military history? In a tour de force of archaeological and historical argument, Mark H. Munn establishes the place of the Dema wall in the defense of Athens and offers a completely new perspective on the Boiotian War.
Since no ancient reference to the wall survives, scholars have contested the date and purpose of the wall's construction, placing it anywhere between the Geometric Age and Hellenistic eras. While directing the excavation of a watchtower above the wall, Munn's chance discovery of a datable sherd in the wall's remains fixed the date of the wall's construction at 378 B.C., the onset of the three-year Boiotian War. Munn offers an absorbing narrative account of the war, and his descriptions and effective use of literary extracts render a vivid portrayal of the opposing generals, military tactics, and battle scenes.
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