Ancient Warfare in Sweden

It’s Sunday and I’ve just prepared my suitcase. In less than 16 hours, I’ll be boarding a plan to go to Gothenburg in Sweden. The reason? I’m again taking part, for the third year in a row, in the International Ancient Warfare Conference. This is the first time it’s not being organized in Aberystwyth (Wales) and I’m curious to see how things might be different this time.

I originally wrote about the conference in 2013, the first time it was organized and the only time I didn’t attend. I wrote a brief summary of the conference in 2014 and reported again on the conference last year. Of the academic conferences that I’ve attended so far, the International Ancient Warfare Conference is probably my favourite. The atmosphere it’s relaxed and can best be summed up as specialists in ancient warfare geeking out about ancient warfare. What’s not to like?

As usual, there’s a small website where you can get more information about the conference. It will last three days (Tuesday to Thursday). There are so many speakers that a few sessions are organized in parallel and, once again, this means I’ll have to miss out on a few speakers that I was really hoping to see. Fortunately, drinks and dinner in the evening will mean that I should be able to speak to everyone anyway.

This year, I organized a panel to talk about ancient Greek fortifications and siege warfare, to be presented on Wednesday. Both Owen Rees – a regular contributor and guest editor on the next issue of Medieval Warfare – and myself are preparing books about the topic and so it seemed like a natural fit. Roel Konijnendijk (who’s also contributed to Ancient Warfare) and Matthew Lloyd will also be part of the panel. In the morning, Fernando Echeverria will kick things off with a talk entitled, ‘Epistrateia: rethinking Greek siege warfare in the pre-artillery era’. Coincidentally, Aimee Schofield’s giving a lecture on Tuesday on women’s roles in Greek siege warfare.

So if you like Greek siege warfare, this is pretty much the best conference to attend at the moment! I’m also feeling slightly nostalgic about it, since the earliest blog posts I originally wrote for this website dealt with Greek fortifications. I’d been working on Greek walls as part of a postdoctoral research project not too long before.

Anyway, I will be in Sweden next week. After the conference, I’m also having a bit of a holiday in Stockholm. I’ll probably have limited or even no access to my Karwansaray email, so if you don’t hear from me in the next two weeks, you’ll know why. Don’t worry, though, I’ll write back as soon as I’ve returned. After all, it’s full steam ahead then to finish up Medieval Warfare issue VI.4 and to get things in gear for Ancient Warfare issue X.4.

See you later! 

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