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Conference tackles reasons behind war

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As something so tied to our history, our present and our culture it's surprising that so many people know so little about war. The Many Faces of War conference hopes to educate and inform the public on the topic when it comes to campus this week.

Taking place October 2-3 at the University of Calgary, organizers Waldemar Heckel, professor of ancient history and expert on Alexander the Great, and Reyes Bertolin, associate professor and undergraduate advisor for the Greek and Roman Studies department, have both worked extremely hard to put the event together for its inaugural year.

Renowned speakers from across Canada and around the world are presenting at the conference on a range of topics regarding war.

It might sound like something nerdy history majors would go to ­-- and they're certainly invited-- but, spanning 26 centuries and addressing everything from the common soldier to the woman warrior to Alexander the Great, it promises something for everyone.

Most people's knowledge about warfare doesn't extend farther than discussions with parents, arguments regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or Braveheart.

Classics Students Society chair Marty Nadon said that the conference gives people the chance to evaluate the effect warfare has had on religious propaganda, feminism and cultural movements in different parts of the world, but even with all that history to cover, the modern perspective on war is also featured.

This conference focuses on the social aspect of war, specifically the common soldier-- a player often overlooked in history.

"I don't think there's a single person that won't learn something from this conference," said Nadon, whose club has been actively promoting this conference due not only to shared interest in the topic, but also the great potential the conference holds.

"Now that social history has taken off, it's acknowledged that war is much more than the movement of troops and supply lines," said Nadon.

The conference is an opportunity to learn about an aspect of life that has affected humanity for all of recorded history from some of the world's most knowledgeable war experts.

The Many Faces of War runs Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Social Sciences 1339, and Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cassio A and B in MacEwan Students' Centre.

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