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Ancient Warfare Podcast

Discussions from Ancient Warfare Magazine. Why did early civilisations fight? Who were their Generals? What was life like for the earliest soldiers? Ancient Warfare Magazine will try and answer these questions. Warfare minus two thousand years.
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Now displaying: Page 2
Mar 20, 2015

In this episode we look at Ancient Warfare Magazine VIII.3 "Swift as the wind across the plains". Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Owen Rees.

"Cimmerians. Sarmatians. Scythians. Horsemen of the steppes. They emerged from the fog of prehistory around the eighth century BC. Semi-nomadic, they dominated the Pontic Steppes for a millennium. Over centuries, pressure from one steppe people against another kicked off great migratory patterns. The mobile, agile and ferocious horsemen became a scourge upon their more civilized neighbours to the south. Other migrations took them west into Central and Western Europe and east as far as Mongolia."

Feb 13, 2015

In this episode we look at Ancient Warfare Magazine VIII.2 "War, trade and adventure: struggles of the Ionian Greeks". Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Cezary Kucewicz. 

"The ancient Greeks originally divided themselves into four major tribes, namely the Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans, and Ionians. Each of these tribes also spoke a distinct dialect (Doric, Aeolic, Ionic), apart from the Achaeans, who used a form of Doric. The Athenians believed themselves to be the original Ionians and spoke a variant dialect called Attic. The focus of this issue is on the Ionian Greeks. Outside of Attica, Ionians lived on the island of Euboea, on the Cyclades, and in colonies settled in the central part of the west coast of Asia Minor, as well as on the islands off its coast, such as Chios and Samos."

Jan 23, 2015

Angus Wallace (from the History Network) is joined by Josho Brouwers, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Murray Dahm to look at Ancient Warfare Magazine Volume 8, Issue 1Deserters, defectors, traitors: Betrayal in the ancient world.

"The ancient world had its fair share of brave and courageous men, who stayed the course despite profound adversity or who seemed to laugh in the face of death. However, our sources also include accounts of people who – out of fear, for personal gain, or some combination of these and other factors – decided to betray their friends, their country, or their principles."

Oct 31, 2014

Angus Wallace (from the History Network) is joined by Josho, Lindsay and Mark McCaffery to look at Ancient Warfare Magazine Volume 7, Issue 6The Reluctant Warlord: The Wars of Marcus Aurelius.

"With Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Empire was for the first time ruled by two emperors, both adoptive sons of the late Emperor Antoninus Pius (r. AD 138–161). Marcus had selected his nine-year-younger adoptive brother Lucius Verus to be his co-emperor. The two individuals could not have been more different in character. While the ascetic Marcus, whose main interest was philosophy, had been taught to “avoid the ways of the rich” (Meditations 1.3.), critics declaimed against Lucius’ luxurious lifestyle and his habits."

Jul 25, 2014

Josho, Murray and Lindsay are joined by Roel Konijnendijk to discuss Ancient Warfare issue VII.5

"The march of the Ten Thousand is one of the best documented campaigns in Greek military history, thanks to the detailed narrative of Xenophon. He was a young Athenian expatriate who eventually rose to a senior position of command among the Hellenic survivors of Cyrus’ mercenary army."

For more information Ancient Warfare Magazine visit ancient-warfare.com

Jun 13, 2014

Josho once more hosts this episode joined by Murray, Michael and Lindsay.

"Looking at ancient warfare through the lens of a logistician and discussing the army train provides a unique way of understanding combat operations. It is often said that amateurs discuss tactics and professionals discuss logistics. No combat operation would happen without the support of supplies, equipment, men, animals, and materiel to sustain those operations"

For more on this issue of the magazine visit ancient-warfare.com

May 16, 2014

With Jasper away Josho is joined by regulars Lindsay Powell, Murray Dahm and guest Mark McCaffery.

"The rise of Early Republican Rome, from leading city in Latium to imperial power dominating peninsular Italy, seems inexorable. The Romans' aggression, competitive nature and habit of annual campaigning -- for land, slaves, booty and glory -- are often cited as the stimuli for conquest."

Jan 31, 2014

Jasper, Josho, Murray and Lindsay discuss Ancient Warfare Magazine VII.2 Struggle for Control: Wars in Ancient Sicily

"Created by the gods and land of the giants, Sicily was a wealthy but deadly prize that dangled in front of many ancient powers. The unfortunate island would be subjected to a seemingly endless series of wars fought by people from all over the ancient Mediterranean. For centuries, the Greeks and Carthaginians would bludgeon each other to the point of exhaustion over a desire to dominate the island. Heeding the siren’s call, the power of Athens would be dashed against Sicily’s rocks. Like a lover forced to choose between two suitors, Sicily would choose Rome over Carthage and thus accelerate the demise of the latter." More

Dec 13, 2013

Jasper, Josho, Murray and Lindsay are joined by Egyptologist Arianna Sacco to discuss Ancient Warfare Magazine VII.1 Warriors of the Nile, Conflict in ancient Egypt.

"One of the earliest civilizations in the world, the culture of ancient Egypt blossomed along the banks of the River Nile. Around 3000 BC, the country was already a unified kingdom ruled by a single king. Its powerful rulers built impressive monuments in the form of the famous pyramids during the so-called Old and Middle Kingdoms, many of which still endure to this day. Egyptian civilization would reach even greater heights during the New Kingdom (1549–1069 BC), when its warrior-kings ventured more boldly beyond the safety of their own borders to forge an actual empire." more

Dur: 38min
Nov 8, 2013

Jasper, Josho, Michael and Lindsay discuss the meaty topic of the Celts in the classical world (issue VI 6).

"In 106 BC, a Roman army captured the Gallic stronghold of Tolosa and appropriated a vast treasure hoard. It was soon claimed that they had recaptured the spoils that a band of marauding Gauls had originally looted from the Greek sanctuary at Delphi in 279 BC. The claim, while dubious at best, nonetheless illustrates the ancient tendency to lump Celtic peoples together, treating separate raids by distinct peoples as part of a single menace. In the ancient retelling, both Rome and Greece were sacked by a chieftain named Brennus (albeit in different centuries), a neat onomastic coincidence that is likely too good to be true." More
Aug 2, 2013

Jasper, Josho and Michael are joined by Jason Klazmer to look at the the armies of Diocletian (Ancient Warfare Magazine VI-5)

"When Emperor Alexander Severus was assassinated in AD 235, the Roman Empire fell into an abyss that it would only crawl out of after almost fifty years. Roman armies clashed in struggles for the throne, with generals proclaimed emperor by their troops and then meeting violent ends a few months later – often at the hands of those same troops. Besides this internal power struggle, the Empire was also plagued by attacks from without." 

Dur: 40min 49sec

May 24, 2013

In this our first video / audio recording Jasper, Michael, Lindsay and Josho look at Pyrrhus.

Pyrrhus was the second cousin to Alexander the Great, and at only two years he began his career as a penniless exile after his father was dethroned. Pyrrhus would rise to become King of Epirus, King of Macedon and King of Sicily...

Feb 8, 2013

True cavalry with men mounted on horse back started to appear from the 9th century BC, as chariots were slowly replaced. Imposing they were used in shock charges, their rapid movement made them ideal for reconnoissance, screening an army and for chasing down the enemy. Though despite there usefulness they only remained a small part of a Mediterranean army, comprising of perhaps only some 10% of the total numbers. In the late Roman empire period cavalry drawn from Northern Europe became more prevalent.

The expense of the horse and equipment often made it the province of aristocrats, creating at times divisions in social and political status between that of the infantry and cavalry.

In this episode Jasper, Josho, Murray, Lindsay and Michael consider questions of the tactical roll of the cavalry, the logistics of providing for the cavalry and their weapons and equipment, and the social status of the cavalry and use of "Barbarians".

Dur: 50min

Jan 18, 2013

The Dacians lived in modern day Romania, they had long been a threat along the borders of the Roman Empire. In 101AD Trajan launched the first of two campaigns against Dacia, eventually it would become a Roman province. Though poorly documented the conflict is celebrated on Trajans column in the centre of Rome, providing a spiralling view of the campaign, and at Adamclisi (in modern day Romania) which depicts brutal fighting between Roman Legionaries and Dacian warriors.

Jasper, Josho, Michael and Lindsay discuss how these actions fit in with other actions along Romans frontiers, a look at arms and armour, the lack of sources when looking at the campaign and we take a look at Trajan himself.

Dur: 37min

Oct 19, 2012

Jasper and the team are joined by Josho Brouwers to discus warfare in archaic Greece. After Michael's summary of the period we go on to look at the phalanx, how it might function, the equipment the men carried, the suitability of the geography for this type of fighting and what that meant for the numbers of men deployed in the field.

Also touched upon is why the cities fought one another, was it just drunken Greeks tooled up and spoiling for a fight to assert their manliness?

Dur:48min

Jul 13, 2012
Jasper and the team discuss Ancient Warfare I.4, The Roman Conquest of Spain. It took over 200 years for Rome to pacify Spain, why did it take them so long? Did local fragmentation politically make it difficult for an all out victory that was so often achieved in the East? We look at issues of leadership in the Roman army, and recruitment.
Was Spain Rome's Vietnam? 
Dur: 41min
Apr 27, 2012
Jasper, Murray and Lindsay are joined by Michael Park to look at Elite units of the Hellenistic Era, the discussion revolves round what is elite and how do you define elite, which proved more troublesome that one may expect.
Dont forget if you want more information on the magazine you can find their website at www.ancient-warfare.com
Dur: 51min File: MP3
Apr 13, 2012

In the usual wide ranging discussion Jasper, Michael, Lindsay and special guest Jesse Obert look at the Roman Navy. Questioning the received view of the fleets being used in anti piracy duties, and were the fleets even standing forces or more of an adhoc thing brought together when needs must?

And the fleets what kind of shipping did they comprise of, and how did they make war?

Mar 9, 2012
In this episode we look at the Assyrians, 930BC to 630BC, their empire stretched from Egypt to Babylon, it was the first great iron age empire with resources to fund a standing army equipped with iron weapons. They excelled at siege warfare, something very difficult to successfully achieve in the ancient world. We delve into all these aspects plus look at the putting down of internal descent, propaganda, chariots and the use of specialised infantry. 

Jasper, Lindsay and Michael are joined by Mark Schwartz.

Dur: 43min
Feb 10, 2012

The Sassanid Empire would prove to be the last of the Persian middle-eastern empires, and would also be the last great ‘civilised’ rival of Rome. The Great Achaemenid Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, had displaced the Babylonians in the Middle-East. Ultimately, it sprawled from the Mediterranean to northern India. This empire, the largest in the world, had been overthrown by the meteoric career of a western ‘barbarian’ named Alexander of Macedon, but he did not survive to consolidate his conquest and it quickly split up with various parts being ruled by Alexander’s successors, who warred among one another with none succeeding in re-uniting the former Achaemenid Empire.

With Ian Hughes joining the regulars, they discuss the problem of gaps in the historical evidence that have to be negotiated when looking at the period, and the long lasting conflict with Rome.

Dur: 48min

Nov 4, 2011

Jasper, Murray, Mike and Lindsay take a trip down memory lane and revisit Ancient Warfare magazine I.III "Protect thyself. Shields, helmets and armor." 

Starting with why we need armour we take a trip through the ancient world covering arms and armour from the Greeks to the late Roman Empire.

Dur: 51min

Sep 30, 2011

Jasper, Lindsay, Murray and Mike discuss the use of bodyguards from Alexanders men having to prevent him from getting into harm through to being a symbol of power in Rome, and of course a long look at the Pretorian guard.

Jul 22, 2011

The team discuss the daily routine of troops in the ancient world when garrisoned. Through examples found at Vindolanda we investigate sickness rates of soldiers, the freedom they had whilst not on duty and what would happen to them if they could no longer serve.

Dur: 40min File: .mp3

May 13, 2011

Gaius Marius is credited with introducing wide ranging reforms which would transform the Roman Army into the professional machine of the Empire. Elected consul and unprecedented seven times, he authorised landless citizens to do military service (something that may have lead to the eventually down fall of the Roman Empire as troops became bound to their Generals to ensure their care), he gave them fixed duration of service and as such established a standing army.


But were all of Marius's reforms his own? What was there impact? And was he the great a leader as we are allowed to believe? In a lively discussion Jasper, Lindsay, Murray and Michael discuss Ancient Warfare magazine V-1, The 'new man' who saved Rome. Gaius Marius at War.
Mar 14, 2011
Jasper and team go back to the first Ancient Warfare magazine and discuss the career of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the issues of the sources such a Tacitus and his use of axillery troops among over things.

Gnaeus Julius Agricola was govenor of Britain from 77AD, he was responsible for much of the expansion of Roman terrioty in Britain and sent his army North into Caledonia, modern day scotland. After an unusually length period as governor he returned to Rome in 85AD.

Dur: 42min

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