Module Identifier HY31620  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert G Hughes  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Bjorn K U Weiler, Dr Jeffrey L Davies, Dr Robert G Hughes, Dr Sian H Nicholas  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours (3 x 2 hour seminars offered and students choose 2 from 3 seminars)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours CLOSED EXAMINATION  70%
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,500 WORD ESSAYS 2 x 2,500 word essays30%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will have:
knowledge of the history of war and its meaning to and effects upon society across a broad historical period.

knowledge of comparative perspectives of war and society.

an ability to read analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts including a range of contemporary media.

an ability to develop and sustain historical arguments, orally (non-assessed) and in writing

an ability to gather and sift appropriate items of historical evidence

an ability to work both independently and collaboratively and to participate in group discussions (non-assessed)

Brief description

This survey module will offer students an overview of the development and meaning of warfare over a long period of history, from the ancient to the modern period. Students will encounter a broad range of interpretations of war and will examine a spectrum of dynamics, as they change and evolve historically. The module is thematic, within specific periods of history. Major questions raised include the origins and meaning of war and its relationship to politics, culture and economics; changes in the ways wars of fought, both in terms of strategy and tactics and in terms of technology and organisation; and the relationship between civil and military society and the changing relationship between war and society in general.


The module aims to provide students with a clear understanding of the complexity of war, in terms of its meaning, methods and impact on wider society. The module will confront a broad sweep of history in order to chart changes and continuities in the nature and impact of war and highlight comparative differences both between nations and regions and between different periods of history.


1. Introduction

The meanings and impact of war
2. The ancient world.
3. The medieval and early modern world
4. The modern world
5. The contemporary world

The conduct of war.
6. The ancient world.
7. The medieval and early modern world
8. The modern world
9. The contemporary world

War and technological change.
10. The ancient world.
11. The medieval and early modern world
12. The modern world
13. The contemporary world

War and society.
14. The ancient world.
15. The medieval and early modern world
16. The modern world
17. The contemporary world

18. Conclusions

1 War and Society in the ancient world
2 War and Society in the medieval and early modern world
3 War and Society in the modern and contemporary world

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
J. Black (ed.) (2002) European Warfare 1815-2000
B. Campbell (2002) War and Society in Imperial Rome:31 BC to 284 AD
J. Dower (1986) War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War
J. France (1999) Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, 1000-1300
P. Fussell (1989) Wartime: Understanding and Behaviour in the 2nd World War
A. K. Goldsworthy (1998) The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200
M. Keen (ed.) (2002) Medieval Warfare. A History
J. A. Lynn (ed.) (1993) Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present
C. McInnes and G. Sheffield (eds) (1988) Warfare in the Twentieth Century
W.H. McNeill (1983) The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society Since A.D. 1000
P. Paret (1986) The Makers of Modern Strategy
M. van Creveld (2000) The Art of War. War and Military Thought


This module is at CQFW Level 6