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
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
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
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
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...
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".
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.
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?
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?
Jasper, Lindsay and Michael are joined by Mark Schwartz.
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.
Jasper, Murray, Mike and Lindsay take a trip down memory lane and revisit Ancient Warfare magazine I.III "
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.
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
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.
Jasper, Murray, Michael and Lindsay discuss a the post Alexander Hellenistic world looking at uniforms (or lack of) and the colours they might be, Ross Cowans article sticks and stones and the use of low tech improvised weapons. Michael elaborates on his piece covering the Amphipolis regulation, disciplinary measures of the Macedonian army. And other issues such as Gigantism that the last issue of the magazine touched upon.
Warfare and Religion
Jasper, Lindsay, Murray and Mike tip toe through warfare and religion, a fitting topic for this time of the year!
Jasper and the gang with special guest Mark Schwartz discuss the end of the bronze age and the coming of the Sea people raiding in the Mediterranean.
Belisarius & The Byzantine Empires
Jasper and the team are joined by Ian Huges, author of “Belisarius: The Last Roman General”, to discuss Ancient Warfare issue IV-3, and further explore subjects brought up in the magazine.
Belisarius was one of the greatest Generals of the Eastern Roman Empire, under the Emperor Justinian. He was key to a revival of Roman fortunes.
Jasper and the team discuss issues brought up in the Ancient Warfare special for 2010, The Core of the Legions: The Roman Imperial Centuria. Dur: 1hr 04min
Jasper and the team discuss issues brought up in Ancient Warfare magazine issue IV-2 around the topic of sieges in the ancient world.