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Military History at A Crossroads: the Behavioural Turn

13 Mar 2015
Military History at A Crossroads: the Behavioural Turn

Professor Gregory Hanlon

(University Research Professor, Dalhousie University)

"Military History at A Crossroads:  the Behavioural Turn"

ORB 1. 24 Monday March 16 at 14. 30


War is an important human universal, selected for in the species over thousands of generations, and it is probably older than humanity itself. Neo-Darwinian thinking sheds light onto why societies, and men in particular, wage war, and the theoretical principles it uses can be built into testable empirical hypotheses for historians working in archives.


Co-organized by the School of History and the School of Languages


Gregory Hanlon (University Research Professor, Dalhousie University), is a Canadian behavioural and military historian of early modern Europe, author of 6 books on various facets of behaviour in France and Italy from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.


Trained in France at the Université de Bordeaux when the Annales School was at its height, since 1989 he has taught at Dalhousie University with teaching stints at the University of California Berkeley, Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne and the Université Laval(Québec).[1] His textbook on early modern Italy was the first in any language to embrace all aspects of that country during a period long neglected by historians.[citation needed] His comprehensive bibliography of studies of early modern Italian history published in English and French similarly has similarly facilitated the rapid development of this field. Since 2000 he has been one of the pioneers of post-cultural history, also called deep history, emphasizing the way human universals operate throughout historical time. These historians combine insights from anthropology and sociology, but also from evolutionary psychology, human ethology, behavioural ecology and primatestudies. His major influences include Raymond Boudon, Eckart Voland, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.



1992: Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History [7]

1998: Marraro Prize of the Society for Italian Historical Studies [8]



L’Univers des gens de bien: Culture et comportements des élites urbaines en Agenais-Condomois au XVIIe siècle, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, Talence 1989, ISBN 2-86781-076-0 Confession & Community in seventeenth-century France; Catholic and Protestant coexistence in Aquitaine, ISBN 0-8122-3205-4 [9] The Twilight of a Military Tradition; Italian aristocrats and European conflicts 1560-1800 ISBN 978-1-85728-704-2[10] Early Modern Italy 1550-1800: Three seasons in European History ISBN 0-333-62003-8 PB [11] Storia dell’Italia Moderna 1550-1800 ISBN 88-15-08297-2 [12] Early Modern Italy 1550-1800: a comprehensive bibliography, free access at Dalhousie University Department of History, Gregory Hanlon Human Nature in Rural Tuscany: an early modern history [13] 2007, ISBN 978-1-4039-7764-9 Vita rurale in Terra di Siena nel Seicento: natura umana e storia ISBN 978-8876260605[14]

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