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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 1
Dec 1, 2023

John asks 'What are your thoughts on the news that we are starting to be able to read some of the carbonised scrolls from Herculaneum. What do you think will be found when we can read them? What would you love to be located, rediscovered?'

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Nov 24, 2023

Murray is asked, 'I am reading about Spanish Conquistadors. Since they were unfamiliar with the land, they would capture local tribe members and force them to act as guides. On many occasions, the guides would deliberately lead them astray to be attacked or direct them away from villages. Are there any notable incidents in ancient warfare where this occurred?'

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Nov 17, 2023

Negrisan George writes, 'I Read about how the Dacians imposed high tribute on the Romans in the first century AD. I'm not an expert, but I think the Dacians were the only ones who received tribute from Roman Empire. 

And then I read how the Daco-Roman wars started: how Trajan invaded Dacia with one-third of the army of the empire. A third can you imagine? And, of course they defeated the Dacians and robbed Dacia. 

Was the purpose of the campaign to get the gold from what is today Rosia Montana in Romania? After defeating the Dacians Trajan built Trajan's Column to depict the wars - it was a huge matter of pride for the Romans. Were the Dacians the most respected and feared enemy of the Roman Empire?' 

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Nov 10, 2023

Murray talks with regular AW contributor Jo Ball about her new book from Pen & Sword on the career of Publius Quinctilius Varus and the Teutoburg Disaster of AD 9.

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Nov 3, 2023

We got a Postcard! From Euchale in Heidelberg.  

Euchale asks two questions: "1. Have you ever played Age of Mythology. If so, how doyou like the depiction and speech of the various armies of the game? 2. How much of your research happens online, and how much from physical books? Any recommendations on how to find good books related to a topic? Any sources other than books and the internet?"

 

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Oct 27, 2023

"Why does Marcus Aurelius never take the blame for appointing his son his heir rather than the most qualified, like 3 of the 4 emperors before him? Maybe he should have spent less time philosophising and more time being a father."

Murray gives us his thoughts.

Oct 20, 2023

JSoth asks "Out of curiosity, if Crassus knew Caeser, then during Carrhae, why not build a heavily fortified camp the night after the first day as Caeser may have done? If the Parthians didn't fight at night, and the army was comprised of 10,000 all-mounted troops, that seems like it would have made at least some sense. In particular, if he would have been able to make palisades tall enough and simply encamped another day, thereby giving more time to come up with a proper answer to the situation."

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Oct 13, 2023

Augustus' reign started with a thorny problem. He was now the proud 'owner' of 50-odd legions, and no rivals to his power. For now. His solution was a system that lasted.

The team discusses the latest edition of the magazine issue XVI.5 The Roman Imperial Legions: The army of the Julio Claudians.

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Oct 6, 2023

Manos sent this in for Murray to chew over. 

'Having heard and read so much about Phillip & Alexander’s training of the Macedonian phalanx as to becoming flexible in manoeuvring difficult battle landscapes as well as proficient when encountering lateral attacks, I remain sceptical about the devastating results in both the battles of Cynoscephalae and Pydna. Was it hubris on the part of Phillip and later his son Perseus or lax training which resulted in both battles’ outcome?'

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Sep 29, 2023

Patron of the podcast, Mathew, sent this question in. 

Are there accounts of artillery specifically targeting leaders, for example, a Legatus or centurion? Or dedicated expert archers, etc., to do the same? Imagine a sniper-type scenario. This seems like a tactic that could have been used to demoralise a force and eliminate command and control quickly.

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Sep 22, 2023

Chris poses this question for Murray. 

'More Roman soldiers were killed in the civil wars against other Roman soldiers than any other adversary. Why was it so easy for usurpers to convince their soldiers to fight against their brethren? And why didn't emperors try to change whatever facilitated this kind of behaviour?'

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Sep 15, 2023

In this episode of the podcast, Murray answers two questions, both on the battle of the Hydaspes.

The first was sent in by @gregoriogariglio7750. How many Macedonian and Indian casualties were at the Battle of the Hydaspes?

The second question is from @jsoth2675. Is it possible, or likely even, that the battle of Hydaspes against King Porus was fabricated? Are there any Indian sources that agree a battle took place? 

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Sep 1, 2023

We are between issues of the magazine for this episode of the podcast. After casting around for ideas, Mark suggested the topic for Friday night's chat: the impact of weather on conflict.

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Sep 1, 2023

Murray ponders how little information we have on Aurelian, Probus etc. but Diocletian is well documented in the histories Augusta. Thanks to @Evocletian for sending this question in.

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Aug 25, 2023

Daniel writes, 'Plutarch mentions a letter to Alexander from Anaxarchus in his Moralia. It was stated that there were 'worlds innumerable' and that Alexander wept as he had not even conquered a single one. Firstly, could this be an early precursor to the 'multiverse' theory so popular in media at the moment? Secondly, would you be able to comment on the contrast between this statement and the usual notion that Alexander wept when 'there were NO more worlds left to conquer', as these both seem to contradict each other?'

Thank you Daniel for sending that in.

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Aug 18, 2023

Jsoth, wonders what account of the battle of Milvain Bridge does Murray find most convincing, and what supporting evidence is of the battle?

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Aug 11, 2023

'A general for his stepmother Hatshepsut from a young age, Thutmose III conducted dozens of campaigns into the ancient Near East and Nubia, leaving extensive records.'

In this episode of the Ancient Warfare Magazine podcast, the team discusses XVI.4 New Kingdom Empire Builder: Pharaoh Thutmose III goes to war.

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Aug 4, 2023

After recently rereading Thucydides, GC asks, "Fire-signals of an attack were also raised towards Thebes; but the Plataeans in the town at once displayed a number of others, prepared beforehand for this very purpose, in order to render the enemy’s signals unintelligible." 

I would have imagined that a fire signal was quite simple, fire or no fire. This implies much greater sophistication. 

What is known about this?'

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Jul 28, 2023

In this week's Any Warfare Answers, Murray answers this question sent in by Jamie. 'The rest of the guys on the podcast all have their areas of expertise and are each an expert in a different, very specific aspect of ancient history, whereas you seem to have a grasp of all of it.

How did you become such a generalist?'

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Jul 21, 2023

Kyle asks, 'What was the mechanism that Carthage (or really any ancient power) used to recruit mercenaries? Were there people whose job it was to travel Gaul, Iberia, Greece, etc., recruiting, or was the sending of mercenaries part of political negations?'

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Jul 14, 2023

Something slightly different for this episode of the Ancient Warfare podcast. Regular of the podcast Marc De Santis talks to Murray about his work, focusing on the books Murray has written for Osprey, specifically his four books for the Combat Series.

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Jul 7, 2023

In this episode, Murray muses on a question sent in by Nathan asking if, in the ancient world, there was some sort of volley fire such as we see in the 19th century with ranks of infantry.

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Jun 30, 2023

Andy has been listening to rival podcasts as points out that 'the term assassin does not turn up until after the crusades. My understanding is there were plenty of assassinations before this. What term did the Romans use? Where these people specially trained?' 

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Jun 23, 2023

Curt asks Murray, 'did Alexander The Great’s army introduce Pankration to India? If so could Pankration have contributed to the future expansion of martial arts from India to China & other Asian countries?'

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Jun 16, 2023

Jasper, the editor of Ancient Warfare Magazine, asked on social media what themes readers felt the magazine had not covered but should or themes it should revisit. The team look at what suggestions were sent in and give some thoughts of their own.

 

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