There are countless examples of military technology advancing or promoting a civilization. One such example is when the Greeks adopted hoplite warfare (involving warriors using a shield and spear). These hoplites eventually used a phalanx formation that became distinctive to the Greeks. This formation involved the infantrymen locking their shields together and advancing as an impenetrable unit. This allowed the Greeks to beat the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae. The Greek victory in the Greco-Persian Wars allowed for the development of the Athenian city-state, with its artistic and political legacies of tragedy and democracy, respectively (to say nothing of the advancements in science and mathematics centuries later in the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece).
The short-range phalanx and the long-range bow and arrow were the two primary styles of fighting in the classical world. It is thought that the Greeks (even dating from Homer’s world, several centuries before the Persian Wars) thought that warfare at close range was more honorable than shooting one’s enemy at a distance.