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Title: At the heart of loyalty : a comparative analysis of military loyalty in the armies of Greek city-states and Hellenistic kingdoms
Author: Herzogenrath-Amelung, Tristan Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 9403
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is a comparative analysis of the concept of military loyalty in the armies of Greek city-states and Hellenistic kingdoms, combining ancient evidence with the use of modern theories of organisational structures and combat motivation. It presents a basic contrast between Polis armies, which displayed high levels of loyalty, and Royal armies, which suffered from frequent cases of non-compliance and disloyalty, and argues that this contrast is a consequence of two fundamentally different ways of generating compliance and loyalty. Polis armies, it will be shown, predominantly exercised normative power, i.e. they relied on a combination of symbolic incentives and rewards, and a civic ideology of sacrifice for the common good; correspondingly, the soldiers, over whom this power was exercised, predominantly displayed moral involvement with their army, that is they complied voluntarily, out of a belief in the righteousness of their cause and in the alignment of their own benefit with that of their organisation. Royal armies, on the other hand, primarily utilised remunerative power, i.e. the allocation and manipulation of material rewards, which in turn was met by predominantly calculative involvement from the soldiers, i.e. a utilitarian assessment of risk and reward. These two compliance relationships - normative-moral and remunerative-calculative - lay at the heart of the different levels of loyalty we find in Polis and Royal armies. Nevertheless, at times this distinction broke down, revealing areas of overlap and a complex layering of motivations and types of power. The argument will be developed over the course of five chapters. Chapter 1 provides the theoretical framework. It explains Amitai Etzioni's Compliance Theory, detailing the three congruent compliance models organisations may use. These models are based on the type of power the organisational elites (generals and officers) apply, and the type of involvement present in the lower participants (soldiers): normative power and moral involvement, remunerative power and calculative involvement, and lastly, coercive power and alienative involvement. I will also stress the importance of the socio-political system over that of primary groups for the generation of compliance and loyalty. Chapter 2 presents the evidence for the different levels of loyalty in Polis and Royal armies, showing how citizen forces were robustly cohesive in the field, whereas the armies of the Successors and Hellenistic kings frequently succumbed to treachery, non-compliance, and disloyalty. I argue that one of the main reasons for this contrast lay in the powerful socio-political system that enveloped Polis armies, allowing them to develop a normative-moral compliance relationship. At the same time, however, it caused intense political infighting. Chapter 3 will explore one feature of the socio-political system: funerary practices. We shall analyse how armies and societies commemorated their soldiers, and witness the effects of civic ideology on the expressive content in soldiers' epitaphs. The evidence suggests strong normative elements for Polis armies, but does not allow us to draw firm conclusions regarding Royal armies. Chapter 4 will discuss the third type of congruent compliance relationship, i.e. coercive-alienative. I describe how neither army had access to, or need of, an effective coercive apparatus, as both had found other ways to create and maintain compliance. Chapter 5 will analyse the reward structures of Polis and Royal armies, and I will draw attention to the overall symbolic nature of rewards in citizen armies, and the largely material aspects of Royal army rewards, while pointing out ways in which Royal army elites strove to exert normative power through settling soldiers. This reflects the predominant types of power and involvement that characterised these organisations. Finally, a concluding section highlights the contrasts that were revealed in this thesis, but also discusses areas of convergence where the 'Polis army vs. Royal army' dichotomy broke down: creating and maintaining loyalty is a complex task, and military organisations employ more than one way to achieve it.
Supervisor: Erskine, Andrew ; Gray, Benjamin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: military history ; loyalty ; Hellenistic history ; classical Greek history ; compliance theory ; military loyalty