All Greek to Me: Hellenism, War and the War Trophy

I thought I would put this on the Blog, it was an assignment for Keele University for an MRes (History). The dissertation it refers to will be added at some future date.


This purpose of this assignment is to introduce the subject that is the basis of my dissertation. There is a problem: the public display of war ordnance is a very narrow field and as there is so little written about it I have, with agreement of my supervisor, opened the assignment to discuss a wider issue – that of the complicated and evolving nature of the war trophy.

The concept of the war trophy emerges in Greece, certainly by the fifth century BCE. Using evidence predominantly from ancient writers, it will be argued that their purpose was specific, and the first aim of this essay is to offer an explanation as to the need they fulfilled in those Greeks that erected them. It will go on to explore their origins and a reason for their ultimate demise in their original form.

The second purpose of this essay is to examine the reasons behind the Roman move away from the Greek understanding of the trophy and, with the help of later European and American examples of an increasingly wider definition of the trophy, [1]  to show that while these examples would be not recognisable to the Greeks as a part of the trophy concept, they would, by and large, be understood as a part of the art of war.[2]

Defining War

A war trophy needs a war by definition. In modern parlance a war is seen as a military conflict between at least two factions, which generally lasts a period of time, involves casualties, and has more than an element of destruction.[3] This war epithet easily fits within British cultural memory of the conflicts we term as the First and Second World War, but also covers the more recent, localised and limited conflicts in the Falklands and Middle East.

It is not that simple. Sometimes it is difficult to be conclusive over what a war is – for example, just how much military action has to be involved? A series of fishing disagreements from the 1950s to the 1970s between Iceland and Britain is not seen as a military conflict and yet has entered cultural memory as the Cod Wars; in fact, it did see one albeit indirect fatality, shots fired at British trawlers, the belligerent cutting of fishing nets, and a number of Icelandic patrol vessels rammed by British naval warships.[4]

Similarly, one side can see it differently from another. Few Britons would take seriously the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1898, which consisted of a single engagement that lasted around forty minutes and saw one wounded British sailor, however, the population of the then Sultanate of Zanzibar could see it differently: they were the ones occupied, the Sultan’s palace was shelled with high explosives and the province lost five hundred people in the process.[5]

While it still is not clear if these are considered wars, they are nevertheless events that are extraordinary and, unlike a major conflict which is ingrained into the national psyche (hence Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington have been represented on the Bank of England five-pound note), still promote emotive responses from those involved.

Tom Watson, interviewed by the BBC World Service in 2016, remains angry with the British government over the Cod Wars;[6] he personifies how war is viewed differently by the state and the individual and, as his experience as a participant is different to that of a then nine-year old non-participant like myself, how individuals see such things differently. If war can be subjective, what constitutes a trophy can certainly be. Tom Watson may view a piece of fishing net as a hellish reminder, whereas to me it is just a bit of fishing net.

The War Trophy: From Greece to Rome

Greece in the classical period, universally acknowledged as the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, was not a unified nation but an amalgam of independent city-states (called a polis). These states had separate identities with regard to politics, but remained bound by a common language and religion (polytheism).[7] This did not stop them from warring on each other as the Peloponnesian Wars show.

The origin of the word trophy – tropaion – is from classical Greek and translates to ‘monument of an enemy’s defeat (routing or ‘turning’)’.[8] There were two kinds of trophy, which Jutta Stroszeck calls primary (immediate, temporary structures) and secondary (permanent, but later constructions).[9]

Secondary war trophies were not peculiar to classical Greece, they are in fact built today only they are not given that name. They are sanitised, retrospective structures that are intended as permanent reminders and so are built of sustainable materials. They are deliberate military, political, and cultural statements, possibly religious, made by the victorious (state or individuals) in order to advance their own narrative of an event.[10]

A modern example would be the aggrandisement of his house and nation by the king of the Netherlands, who raised a mound (itself, a Greek idea) topped by a lion memorial (his heraldic symbol) on the site at Waterloo where he believed that his son had been wounded.[11] The Dutch and Belgians had a significant presence at the battle, but are often overlooked by the British and the Prussians. There was no British memorial (secondary trophy) until 2015.[12]

There was a permanent trophy erected at the battle site of Marathon where the Athenians, with Plataean support, routed the Persians in 490 BCE. Marathon, perhaps because of the significance of the victory, was ingrained into Athenian identity as the Battle of Britain has been into British identity: evidence for this comes from Pausanias, writing in his Description of Greece in the second century CE, who states that the fallen of Marathon were worshipped as gods,[13] and the self-composed epitaph of the playwright Aeschylus mentions his involvement in the battle but not his literary works.[14]

Pausanias describes the monument as a ‘trophy of white marble’,[15] which has been reconstructed from fragments found during excavations in 1966.[16] It takes the form of a column with an Ionic capitol, which may have been capped with a sculpture; however, Pausanias also mentions ‘slabs’ on the grave of the Athenians, giving the names of the dead. This would mean there are two forms of monument on the site: a victory trophy celebrating the achievement, but also one mourning the fallen. What Pausanias would have seen if he had visited was seemingly pure Athenian theatre, a narrative that glorifies the polis through military achievement and, by naming the dead, raises democracy as governing ideal.

Spartans saw loyalty to the polis as more important than even family, however, this does not mean that there was no room for the individual.[17] It has to be remembered that the hoplite, who formed the backbone of the classical Greek war machine, was in fact a citizen of the polis (non-citizens did fight, too) and so a monument to the polis is also arguably, at the same time, a monument to the citizens that fought there.[18]

This would fit with the psychological approach to Panhellenic war of the classical period: the solidity of the phalanx formation, used by all city-states, was only created through the individuals protecting each other and remaining in place.[19] Plutarch, writing in the first century BCE, in his Moralia, attributes to the Spartan Demaratus that it was acceptable that hoplites return without helmets or breastplates, as they were put on for self-protection, but not shields as they protected others.[20]

It is not clear as to when the Marathon memorial was erected as Herodotus only mentions the battle in his work,[21] but it is likely that it replaced a temporary form of trophy. Replacement, if there was an original trophy, could have happened anytime over the next eighty years, and in fact may have less to do with immediate Athenian pride than Athens becoming enriched and beautified at the expense of the Delian League.[22] Although not seen by the Greeks as such, tribute is a symbol of success in war and today would be classed as a war trophy. It is exacted by a victorious state and can be in any form. Athens took a financial payment from the League states, whereas Germany annexed the industrial area of Alsace-Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 (although it finally reverted back to France in 1945).[23]

To Romano-Greek writers the primary trophy was, according to Greek tradition, the only form of acceptable trophy and deliberately intended to be a transient marker. Sicilian historian Diodorus, writing over three centuries later in his Library of History, said: ‘For what reason did the ancestors of all the Greeks ordain that the trophies set up in celebrating victories in war should be made, not of stone, but of any wood at hand?’[24] The Roman author Cicero, writing around the same time, pens that Thebes was summoned before the common council of Greece over their secondary trophy erected at Leuctra, scene of the Theban defeat of Sparta in 371 BCE: ‘it was a nearly universal custom among the Greeks, when they were waging war against one another, for those who were victorious to erect some trophy on their borders, for the sake only of declaring their victory at present, not that it might remain for ever as a memorial of the war… it is not right for Greeks to erect an eternal memorial of their enmity to Greeks.’[25]

The primary tropaion takes the form of body armour, helmet, greaves and shield, raised on a wooden stake or tree stump. There are a few representations of trophies on Greek coins, which in itself is symbolic of how a polis sought to promote itself militarily and politically in the wider Greek world: figure one shows a Syracusan tetradracham where Nike (Greek goddess of victory), as the actual focus of the scene, is crowning a trophy. What is interesting is that the coin does not show a cache of arms under the armour as it often does in later Roman representations.

Fig 1: Syracusan tetradracham, featuring a tropaion crowned by Nike 305 – 295 BCE.

The depiction suggests that the trophy was meant to be a statement of a military victory that had divine blessing or was closely linked with faith. War often is: William the Conqueror would build Battle Abbey on the site of his victory at Hastings.[26] The destruction of religious symbols (under the modern concept of war trophies) in occupied states, as Nazi Germany and did with Jewish synagogues during World War Two, is something the Greeks would have understood as the Persians sacked Greek temples during the Persian Wars of which Marathon was a part.[27]

Thucydides, in his ‘History of the Peloponnesian War’, makes several references to the trophy in his work. These citations not only support the victory symbol translation but are suggestive that the trophy was erected within the main battle area in possession of the victor, and as a part of the process immediately after the battle that saw the dead stripped of arms and buried.[28]

It is not clear as to whose dead were stripped of arms, but the assumption is that while the defeated force would request their dead back (unless abandoned, as the Persians did at Marathon), they would, if granted access, have to leave the weapons as the Spartans did at Pylos.[29] The assumption is then these arms would be used as a part of the trophy, and although coin evidence suggests that the trophy was simply a scarecrow kind of structure, Thucydides does refer to one instance when a shield was left as a part of a trophy.

Thucydides’ account shows one major difference between the Greek concept of a trophy and a modern one: the shield belonged to the Spartan General Brasidas and was captured at Pylos, however, it was left on a trophy a Pylos and presumably recovered by Sparta after the Athenians left and so what would today be a wider propaganda opportunity was lost.[30] While it is true that General Burgoyne was symbolically allowed to keep his sword by the Americans after the orderly British surrender at Saratoga,[31] Brasidas lost his shield in battle and is akin to Napoleon dropping his hat as he retreated from Moscow for it to be given back to him at Waterloo.

Jennifer Wellington makes the point in her book on exhibiting the First World War that arms and armour that have been in battle can be viewed as having special properties – a connection to a specific soldier or to a specific battle – to other warriors (contemporary or anachronistic).[32] Miltiades, hero of Marathon, donated his helmet after the battle to Zeus at the Sanctuary at Olympia,[33] and while we can’t be sure, it must have invoked powerful memories in Marathon veterans like Aeschylus if they got to see it. Alexander the Great swapped his own armour at the Temple of Athena at Troy for that he believed to be of Greek heroes from the Trojan War.[34]

If there is little evidence about major figures in ancient Greece, there is practically nothing about the rank and file. The question of whether there is a history of ‘emotions’ is academically debated:[35] a society may seek to control the acceptable emotive reaction of its citizens – Sparta being a good example in the ancient world – but ‘each man’s soul is his own’ as Shakespeare says.[36] As it is not recorded, the question as to whether a Theban hoplite picked-up a piece of a Spartan cheek-guard at Leuctra is perhaps a question better suited to the philosophers and psychologists than historians. The question of are we that different to people of the past is a moot point, but it is difficult to believe that no Theban ever took a keepsake of his experience, as a First World War soldier picked-up a tunic button, or that somewhere in Syracuse a proud mother of a city-warrior never used her son’s captured Athenian helmet as a plant pot.

Wellington goes on to expand her point to cover the need of non-combatants to seek the war experience through primary military material. When UC5, a German mine-laying submarine, was captured by the British in 1916 it was exhibited to large crowds, many of whom were non-combatants, in both London and America.[37] Similarly, the fact Miltiades’ helmet was accepted by the Sanctuary and that the temple at Troy kept alleged war weapons for a millennia, it can be argued perhaps that the ancient Greeks were of the same mind-set.

The seizure of armament is the traditional view of a trophy and likely comes from the original concept, as to surrender arms was shameful – an act of emasculation. Thucydides states that there was surprise that the Spartans surrendered their arms at Pylos, as ‘the general impression… [was] they would keep them to the last and die fighting.’[38] While not considering it a trophy, the Athenians would have fully appreciated the Allied terms as part of the Great War armistice in 1918, where the Germans were required to surrender their fleet and heavy armaments to remove their military threat once hostilities were halted.[39]

Thucydides is also clear that trophies were not under divine protection, it was far more prosaic than that: if the victor surrendered control of the battlefield at any stage a trophy was liable to be destroyed. This was shown when the Milesians pulled down a recently erected Athenian trophy in 411 BCE.[40] A comparison could be made here between the Milesian act and that of Adolf Hitler when France capitulated during World War Two. Hitler symbolically used then destroyed the site in Compiegne where Germany had capitulated in the First World War.

Thucydides’ references also make the point that the practice of erecting trophies was truly a Panhellenic one and not confined to Athens alone. The Sybota reference sees both the Corinthians and Corcyraeans (Corfu) erecting rival trophies after a disputed victory in 433 BCE,[41] while after the Battle of Amphipolis, where the Athenians were routed by the Spartans in 422BC, he mentions a Spartan trophy had been erected.[42]

In his Hellenica, Xenophon gives reference to the Ephesians raising trophies after defeating Athens in 411 BCE, however, the city-state also respected the contribution and bravery of their Sicilian allies by offering them prizes and citizenship.[43] It is possible then that the trophy was a combined one. Modern war trophies could also be ‘shared’: during the First World War the allied nations swapped medals so British soldiers that were awarded the Military Medal as a sign of martial success could in fact receive a War Cross (French) or Cross of Saint George (Russia), for example, and the Crimean War saw Turkey offer ceremonial cannon to Britain as a symbol of alliance.[44]

A further reference is suggestive that the culture of the trophy was an established tradition in Greece, perhaps dating back to at least the eighth century BCE, if not considerably longer. Thucydides describes how both the Athenians and the Syracusans erected trophies at Epipolae in 413 BCE, which means that the polis of Syracuse was also familiar with the practice. Syracuse was originally a Greek colony, founded by Corinth in 734 BCE, and would have seen itself as Greek.[45] The Sicilian Greeks had fought both the then indigenous Sicels and the Carthaginians (North Africa) intermittently since their arrival. If Syracuse was erecting trophies in the later fifth century BCE then it suggests that the practice was either acquired out of the blue, or a shared cultural memory from the eighth century BCE.

To look for evidence of an older tradition we need to turn to archaeology, literature and the concept of the Trojan horse. The earliest archaeological evidence of the ‘horse’ is its depiction on the Mykonos Vase, which dates dated to around 700 BCE.[46] On the literary side, the earliest references are from predominantly the Little Iliad and the Odyssey. Peter Jones, in his companion to Lattimore’s translation of the poem, believes the Odyssey was composed in the late eighth century BCE (although transcribed later), but the oral tradition of which the poem is a product dates back to the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BCE).[47]

The principle here is that it doesn’t matter if the horse was ever built, what matters is the story and the date of its composition. If it is accepted that Corinth took the cultural practice of the trophy with them to Syracuse in the eighth century BCE, then by the time the poems were finalised, also in the eighth century BCE, the audience would have understood the concept that the horse was, in effect, the reverse of a war trophy.

Macedonia, Rome and the Changing Nature of the War Trophy 

The primary trophy likely fell out of practical use with the Greeks for a combination of reasons. It is possible that the changing nature of warfare under the Macedonians – an increasing use of cavalry by Alexander the Great in his Persian campaign – removed the dependency on the hoplite and gave greater mobility which, coupled with the increasing size of armies, widened the battlefield area making a ‘turning point’ difficult to place. There are problems with this: at the Battle of Issus, cavalry likely comprised of only around a seventh of Alexander’s army and the symbol of the trophy would surely have been more important than the precise location of it?[48]

As Cicero said, it is more likely that it was a symbol recognised by Greeks and meant only for Greeks, so made redundant when Greece was forcibly unified under the Macedonians by 336 BCE – thus ending internal conflicts.[49] The Romans then absorbed Greece, bringing it into the Pax Romana in 146 BCE. Further, when the Macedonians and Romans campaigned outside of Greece, where the symbol had no meaning to the opponent, it may have meant little to the Macedonian and Roman armies as they pulled troops from their wider empires.

Primary trophies are depicted on Roman coins (and coins from the empire) and suggest they culturally absorbed the practice either from the Greek colony states founded in southern Italy in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE,[50] or through later cultural interaction. It is very possible that by the time Rome really came under the sway of Hellenistic cultural influence, after their conquest of mainland Greece in 146 BCE, the practice had stopped.[51]

Republican Rome used the symbolism of the primary trophy in much the same way as the Greeks, only through art and coinage. One such coin was a gold aureus produced under Marcus Brutus (figure two) after the fall of Julius Caesar and the breakdown into civil war.[52] It shows the prows of what are likely Roman war galleys, so it was possibly struck as a celebration of his victories in Lycia and Thrace, or as late as after the first battle at Philippi (a naval victory over the Mark Anthony) on 3 October 42 BCE, but prior to his death at the second battle on 23 October.[53]

Figure 2: Marcus Brutus Trophy Aureus, Classical Numismatic Group:

The coin shows a trophy on the reverse. It is a set of Greek or Roman body armour, it is unclear as to which. This military attire is raised by being displayed on a tree trunk (likely ‘planted’ there), with what appears to be a cross beam of wood placed through the sleeves (to symbolically act as human arms, or just to give it shape). Around it are placed military accoutrements indicating a land victory, while at the base are the ships prows and a rudder that indicate a naval victory.

It is the military accoutrements that make this aureus a curious fusion of tradition and chronology – and what could well be an appeal to both the Greco-Roman province that Greece had become and to the wider Roman world to resist the legacy of Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. First, there are two spears. These could be Roman, although the legionnaire used the long, thin pointed pilum and, after discharging these, fought with a short stabbing sword called a gladius.[54] Artistic licence granted, but the spears on the coin appear with a leaf shaped head, which were the staple for several centuries of the Greek hoplite prior to the Roman subjugation.[55] The sabre like curved sword was also a favourite of the Greek cavalry.[56] To be clear, these symbols, like the war galleys, could be interpreted equally by a Greek, Roman and Greco-Roman audience.

It is the helmet and shield that appear to be more anachronistic. It is possible the helmet is the ‘cap of freedom’,[57] however, this looks less like that cap, a traditional Roman officer’s or legionnaire’s helmet (galea), or a classical Greek helmet, than that of a multi-type tower helmets from the Achaean bronze age period that is synonymous with the fabled Trojan War (Mycenaean period, c1200 BCE).[58] This interpretation is strengthened when the shield is taken into account: the shield is not a rectangular Roman legionnaire’s scutum, or a rounded Greek hoplite shield, but a figure-of-eight design. This design was, according to D’Amato and Salimbeti, a ‘cult symbol’ that appeared in Mycenaean grave goods dating to around 1500 BCE and on pottery for centuries after.[59] If these are Achaean symbols, harnessing the legend of the Trojan War, then this supports the cultural use of the trophy symbol, by the fact that it is clearly recognisable, for political advantage.

Suetonius, in his Twelve Caesars, writing around eighty years after the death of the Roman emperor Caligula, records his use of a primary trophy; although disturbingly it was misused and degraded by him, becoming a personal plaything that the Greeks would not understand. Caligula, he claims, set up a fake skirmish and then celebrated it as a victory, ‘cutting the branches from some trees and adorning them like trophies’.[60] Caligula’s insanity was highlighted when he took an army to the coast and, as a part of his disagreement with Neptune: ‘he suddenly bade them gather shells and fill their helmets and the folds of their gowns, calling them spoils from the Ocean, due to the Capitol and Palatine.’[61] Whether a primary trophy was erected to this victory and seizure of tribute wasn’t recorded.

Rome had, in perhaps a very modern view of a war trophy, exhibited the prows of captured ships at the Rostra in the city from as early as 338 BCE, with Augustus carrying on the tradition after Actium in 31 BCE.[62] The emperors were keen to celebrate victory with triumphs in Rome,[63] use its symbolism through art and coins,[64] and erect secondary trophy monuments to further their own narratives.[65] Caligula had used fake primary trophies for a self-indulgent purpose, but other than a pure symbolic meaning, such anachronistic devices were surely now irrelevant in a cosmopolitan empire that didn’t share the Greek tradition? A scarecrow in a distant field could hardly compete politically or militarily with a marble column like Trajan’s.

With the loss of the primary trophy, the Greeks could only look to what they would understand in later cultures. While ideas are not physical symbols of victory, they manifest themselves in a physical way. After the Peloponnesian War the Athenians set-up a puppet government ‘subservient to Spartan wishes’, although later resisted and rejected it.[66] The Athenians would have understood the Dutch resistance to the slow Nazification of their state under Hitler’s governor, Seyss-Inquart.[67]

Burial on the field of battle was a practical way of dealing with the dead to the Greeks, with the seizure of the land of a foreign polis being acceptable to do this. A similar practice can be observed during the American Civil War, when Unionist forces took possession of the Arlington estate in 1861 as a war prize. In 1864 it became a cemetery for Unionist soldiers (and is now the American war cemetery, with the fallen from earlier wars re-interred there). The house was a trophy as it was seized from Robert E. Lee, who had become the field commander of the Confederate forces. While the estate was strategic, the fact that it was Lee’s likely made Unionist use of the site as much a political gesture as practical one.[68]

The Greeks would have accepted that loss in war would or could have resulted in catastrophe for the population of a polis. When Thebes refused to submit to Alexander the Great in 336 BCE, the city was destroyed and the surviving inhabitants, some thirty thousand people, sold into slavery.[69] The Greeks wouldn’t understand the concept of a prisoner of war with rights under international agreement, but the forced-working and treatment of Allied prisoners by Japan during World War Two is not far removed from the fate of the Athenian expedition to Sicily in 415 BCE, which ended with the remains of the army being worked to death in the mines of Syracuse.[70]

Athens had a symbol – it used Athena’s owl on their coinage for example – but the concept of the polis flag or military standard, which is protected at all coast, is alien. The Romans identified with a legionary standard or eagle, instituted by Marius around 102 BCE.[71] If these were lost in battle it was a dishonour, and their return was eagerly sought.[72] With modern communications flags and banners have lost their use on a battlefield, but even in 1879 the last desperate act of the British at Isandhlwana was to try and save the colours.[73]

The stripping of a state of its culture is again not something the Greeks would see as a trophy, but fully expected as a part of war. Rome destroyed Corinth in 146 BCE,[74] as they finally did with another ancient culture Carthage in the same year, and after the final fall of the Greek states, Rome plundered Greece of many art treasures.[75] After his successful invasion of Italy, Napoleon took large amounts of Italian art to France although his looting was written into peace treaties and as such, after Napoleon’s fall and the Congress of Vienna, much of the art work remained in France.


The concept of the war trophy could go as far back as the eighth century BCE (if not earlier). It has shown that the ancient historians viewed the trophy as a raised symbol, with a cache of captured arms under, set-up on a specific part of the field of battle by a victorious army. While the classical sources are clear that they were public statements made by Greeks to Greeks over the power of a polis, it also seems likely they also acted as a memorial to the dead. Temple evidence also shows they were entwined with the ethereal. The ancient sources are also adamant that the symbol was Panhellenic and intended to be transient, but to the disdain of classical writers – and this is the first evidence of their evolving – they did in some cases become permanent and communicated more widely through coinage.

It is argued here that the original purpose of the trophy likely died out due to the end of inter-Greek war, with and Alexander and the Romans taking warfare beyond Greece to cultures where it meant nothing. The symbol remained in use politically by the Romans, to support the narratives men like Brutus and the later Emperors, but the transient nature of the mannequin figure was lost as secondary, permanent trophies took over. They had the same symbolism as the mannequin but were meant to be permanent, whatever feelings it may have in induced in those that saw them, and were not necessarily tied to the battle landscape as Trajan’s column shows, although his memorial at Adamklissi did.

The Greeks would have understood much of what we now can call war trophies, looting art, for example, but would have seen it simply as a consequence of conflict – as the trophy was something specific to them. What we cannot tell, as there just is not the evidence, is how individual hoplites would have viewed not only the mannequins, the shield of Brasidas or helmet of Miltiades, but the mundane items that would mean something just to them: a fallen friend’s lucky charm, or an arrow-head that stuck in his breastplate. It is possible that there was a wider meaning to war trophies in ancient Greece, it is that it is not recorded.



I Books

Blag, T. 2002. The Roman World: Society and the Artist. Routledge: London

Brannigan, K. 2002. The Roman World: Hellenistic Influence on the Roman World. Routledge: London

Coupland, R. 1991. Zulu Battle Piece. Tom Donovan: London

Foster, M. 1974. The World at War. Book Club Associates: London

Grant, M. 1986. History of Rome. Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London

Hart, J. 1976. The Anglo-Icelandic Cod War of 1972–1973. University of California: Berkeley

Herodotus. Histories: Waterfield, R (tr) & Dewald, C (ed). 2008. Oxford University Press, Oxford

Hornblower, S. 1995. Greece: The History of the Classical Period, Greece and the Hellenistic World. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Jones, P. 1998. Homer’s Odyssey: A Companion to the English Translation by Richard Lattimore. Bristol Classical Press: London.

Milns, R. 1968. Alexander the Great. Wheaton & Co: Exeter

Sealey, R. 1976. A History of the Greek City States: 700-338BC. University of California Press: Berkeley

Sear, D. 1974. Roman Coins and their Values. Seaby: London

Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Graves, R (tr). 1979. Penguin Classics, London.

Thucydides. 1972. History of the Peloponnesian War: Translated by Rex Warner. Penguin. London.

Wellington, J. 2017. Exhibiting War: The Great War, Museums, and Memory in Britain, Canada and Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Xenophon. Hellenica: Volume I: Books 1-4. Brownson. C.L (tr). 1918. Loeb Classical Library 88. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Wood, M. 1986. In Search of the Trojan War. Guild: London

Winter, J. 2014. Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Yalouris, A. & Y. 1995. Olympia: The Museum and the Sanctuary. Ekdotike Athenon SA: Athens

II Classic Texts Available Online

Cicero. De Inventione. Translated by Yonge, C.D. undated. Available at [Accessed 12 March 2019]

Diodorus of Sicily. Library of History. Translated by Oldfather, C. H. 1950. Loeb Classical Library Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Available at*.html . [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Pausanias. Description of Greece. Translated by Jones, W. H. S. and Omerod, H. A. 1918. Loeb Classical Library Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Available at [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Plutarch, Moralia. Translated by Heinemann, W. 1931. Loeb Classical Library Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Available at*/main.html [Accessed 17 March 2019]

III Articles

Bartlett, R. &. Payne. R. 2014. ‘Britain’s Crimean War Trophy Guns: A Case of Ludlow and the Marches’. History: the Journal of the Historical Association, 99: pp. 652-669. Available at: [Accessed 16 November 2018]

Craig, J & Schnitzer, E. undated. What Happened to Burgoyne’s Sword? Available at [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Niebuhr, R. 1968. The Career of Artur Seyss-Inquart. MA Thesis for Rice University. Available at [Accessed 19 March 2019]

Stroszeck, J. 2002. ‘Greek trophy monuments’, Myth and Symbol II. Symbolic phenomena in ancient Greek culture. pp303-323. Available at:  [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Rosenwein, B. undated. ‘Problems and Methods in the History of Emotions’. Available at [Accessed 17 March 2019]

IV Websites

Ancient History Encyclopaedia: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Ancient World Magazine: [Accessed 19 March 2019]

British Broadcasting Company: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

British Pathe: Accessed via Youtube: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Cambridge Online Dictionary: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Classical Numismatic Group: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Coins Weekly: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Encyclopaedia Britannica: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

English Heritage: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

The Greek Age of Bronze: Weapons and warfare in the late Helladic time 1600-1100 BC:

History Learning Site: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

National Army Museum: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

National Park Service: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Online Etymological Dictionary: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Oxford Online Dictionary: [Accessed 17 March 2019]

Oxford Reference Library:  [Accessed 17 March 2019]


[1] The Cambridge dictionary definition: ‘something used as a symbol of success from war’, words such as ‘something’, ‘used’, ‘symbol’ and ‘success’ are vague. See:

[2] European and American examples are used to keep it as relevant to the dissertation as possible.


[4] Hart, J. 1976. The Anglo-Icelandic Cod War of 1972–1973. University of California: Berkeley


[6] Tom Watson interviewed about the Cod Wars:



[9] Stroszeck, J. 2002. Available at p303.

[10] See: Winter, J. 2014. Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. p78.



[13] Pausanias. Description of Greece 1:32:4, available at


[15] Pausanias. 1:32:3-5

[16] Stroszeck, J. p307.

[17] Sealey, R. 1976. A History of the Greek City States: 700-338BC. University of California Press: Berkeley. p81

[18] Hornblower, S. 1995. Greece: The History of the Classical Period, Greece and the Hellenistic World. Oxford University Press: Oxford. p136.


[20] Plutarch. Moralia 220*/main.html

[21] Herodotus. Histories: Waterfield, R (tr) & Dewald, C (ed). 2008. OUP, Oxford. Book 6:107-117


[23] Foster, M. 1974. The World at War. Book Club Associates: London. p2.

[24] Book 13:24*.html

[25] Cicero, De Inventione Book 2:23


[27] Herodotus: Book 8:53, as example

[28] Ibid 5:10

[29] Thucydides, 1972, History of the Peloponnesian War: Translated by Rex Warner. Penguin. London: Book 4:14

[30] Ibid 4:12


[32] Wellington, J. 2017. Exhibiting War. Cambridge University Press: London. pp26-27.

[33] Yalouris, A. & Y. 1995. Olympia: The Museum and the Sanctuary. Ekdotike Athenon SA: Athens. p93.

[34] Milns, R. 1968. Alexander the Great. Wheaton & Co: Exeter. p56.


[36] William Shakespeare: Henry V: Act Four, Scene One.

[37] British Pathe newsreel, available on Youtube.

[38] Thucydides Book 4:40


[40] Thucydides: book 8:24

[41] Ibid Book 1:54

[42] Ibid Book 5:10

[43] Xenophon. Hellenica: Volume I: Books 1-4. Brownson. C.L (tr). 1918. Loeb Classical Library 88. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: Book 1:2:10

[44] Bartlett, R & Payne. Britain’s Crimean War Trophy Guns: The Case of Ludlow and the Marches

[45] Sealey, R. 1976. p32.

[46] Wood, M. 1986. In Search of the Trojan War. Guild: London. p80.

[47] Jones, P. 1998. Homer’s Odyssey: A Companion to the English Translation by Richard Lattimore. Bristol Classical Press: London. pxi.

[48] 333 BCE:

[49] Milns, R. 1968. pp17-32.

[50] Sealey, R. 1976. p32.

[51] Brannigan, K. 2002. The Roman World: Hellenistic Influence on the Roman World. Routledge: London

[52] Sear, D. 1974. Roman Coins and their Values. Seaby: London. Coin 314, illustrated p11.

[53] See

[54] Grant, M. 1986. History of Rome. Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London. p154.


[56] ibid

[57] Brutus used the device, along with two daggers and the legend EID MAR (Ides of March) on a denarius coin struck after the assassination. See Sear, D. 1974. Coin 320.

[58] D’Amato, R & Salimbeti, A: available at

[59] Ibid: available at

[60] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Graves, R (tr). 1979. Penguin Classics, London. Suetonius: Gaius 45

[61] Suetonius: Gaius 46

[62] Oxford Dictionary of the Ancient World: see

[63] Example of Augustus’ five triumphs. See Suetonius: Augustus 22

[64] The ‘Egypt captured’ denarius c27 BCE: See Sear, D. 1974. Coin 373 and 386

[65] Trajan’s column in Rome is an obvious example, as are the ubiquitous triumphal arches. Augustus also erected the Temple of Avenging Mars in the Forum of Rome to act as a ‘repository for all triumphal tokens’: see Suetonius, Augustus: 29

[66] Sealey, R. 1976. p382.

[67] See: p63.


[69] Milns, R. 1968. p41.

[70] Thucydides: Book 7:87

[71] Grant, M. 1986. p154.

[72] Three Eagles were lost in 9 BCE after the defeat of Varus by the Germanic tribes. Tacitus and Dio Cassius chart the eventual retrieval of all three by CE 41.

[73] Coupland, R. 1991. Zulu Battle Piece. Tom Donovan: London. pp96-97.

[74] Grant, M. 1986. p124.

[75] Blag, T. 2002. The Roman World: Society and the Artist. Routledge: London. p719.