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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Israel’s military success during the transitional stage (1380-1050 BC) resided not only in leadership, the heroic judges that acted as champion-saviors, but in a complementary force emanating from the population. Leadership in depth, master narratives animating the Israelites to fight, and military culture forged in a potent praxis of religious ideology and military art, all created a “bottom up” force structuring and supporting the judges. This paper analyses these tribal capabilities, and the cultural norms, values, and behaviours that shape a tribe’s ability to conduct war and affect the conditions that determine the outcomes of war.

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