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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: 2021
Nov 26, 2021

Josh sent this question in for Murray to ponder over. During the Roman period, we have evidence of reasonably specific units based on (original) area of recruitment, e.g. *Legio IX Hispana*, *Cohors Germanorum*, and so on. I was wondering if we have anything similar for the Hellenistic/Successor period. Outside of names that were originally geographic but likely became generic terms for a certain type of unit (Cretan archers and Tarantine cavalry), do we know of any specific recruiting grounds for the innumerable phalangites, thureophoroi, etc. who fought for the Diadochoi? 

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Nov 19, 2021

Untaxed, but burdened by Rome's demands for ever more infantry and cavalry from their small tribe, the Batavians use the chaos of AD 69 to revolt. It would take the combined effort of nine legions to quell.

The Ancient Warfare Magazine team fields listeners questions.

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Nov 13, 2021

Daniel asks, 'I was curious about Roman marines. I see them depicted in video games the same as a classic 1st century legionary, but with their red clothing and shield swapped out with blue. Did Marines fight, and were they equipped the same as a regular legionary soldier? Did they participate in land battles and were they seen as inferior or superior to the regular army? Did they have the same terms of service as their land bases counterparts?

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Nov 5, 2021

Murray answers this question, sent in from Manvir. Could Alexander have convinced his men to head further into India? Was one reason for turning back the fear of facing elephants? Was this reflective of poor morale?'

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Oct 29, 2021

Jasper tackles this question from one of our patrons.

‘Did Ancient Armies wargame in any fashion we would recognize? Either in the armchair sense, or practically in the fields or on the seas? Did the Romans have wargames exercises to counter barbarian armies or Persian fleets? On the armchair side watching ‘I Claudius’ episode 1 there Augustus is playing a board game he calls ‘Empire’ with Agrippa’s two young sons. I expect this is just a story telling invention of the author or TV adaptation, but is there any basis for such a wargame simulator having existed in Rome or other nation?’

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Oct 22, 2021

Thanks to Paul for sending this in, 'what is one battle where sources agree but you don't?' It is a great question and one we may revisit on a full episode of the podcast.

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Oct 15, 2021

Murray is flying solo again this week. He tackles the question 'why didn't the Persians react faster to the invasion of 336 BC?'.

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Oct 8, 2021
Ancient Warfare regular Myke Cole has a new book available, The Bronze Lie. In this episode of the podcast Murray and Mark discuss the book with Myke.
 
'The Bronze Lie' explores the Spartans' arms and armour, tactics and strategy, the personalities of commanders and the common soldiery alike. It looks at the major battles, with a special focus on previously under-publicized Spartan reverses that have been left largely unexamined. The result is a refreshingly honest and accurate account of Spartan warfare.
Oct 1, 2021

We got this question from Nathan, 'who were the Thureophoroi, where were they from and how did they fight?'

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Find the magazine at:
karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Sep 24, 2021

Patron of the podcast Anne asks, what do we know about how Hannibal supplied his troops during his campaigns, particularly through the Alps? With elephants!' Murray gives us his thoughts.

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Find the magazine at:
https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Sep 17, 2021

Murray answers this question sent in by Brian 'The romans took a lot of slaves when they won a battle but how did they turn an angry defeated warrior into a pliant slave?'

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Sep 10, 2021

'If ancient soldiers were trained at all, it was generally for fighting in a formation in the battle line. But on rare occasions, generals would train and use troops for special operations.'

The Ancient Warfare team consider Ancient Warfare Magazine XV.1 which focuses on Special Operations in antiquity.

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Sep 3, 2021

Patron of the podcast Joshua asks 'I often read about certain battles, sieges, or encounters being influenced through psychological warfare. How effective was psychological warfare in the ancient world? What were the most effective methods?'

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Aug 27, 2021

Patron of the podcast Ian asks 'which was the fastest army in the ancient world traveling over land? Herodotus mentions the Spartan relief force that raced to Marathon, travelling around 150kms in 3 days- is this a record?'.

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Aug 20, 2021
With the summer holiday season in full swing for all the team (except Murray in Australia), we thought we'd discuss everyone's favourite fiction books, which feature ancient warfare.
 
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Books Mentioned:
Banner, James M. The Ever-Changing Past

Breem, Wallace. Eagle in the Snow

Davis, Lindsay. The Falco Series
https://www.lindseydavis.co.uk/publications/

Duggan, Alfred.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Duggan

Cameron, Christian. The Tyrant Series
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Cameron

Graves, Robert. I, Claudius
Graves, Robert. Claudius the God
Graves, Robert. Count Belisarius

Harris, Robert. The Cicero Trilogy: Imperium
Harris, Robert. The Cicero Trilogy: Lustrum
Harris, Robert. The Cicero Trilogy: Dictator

Haynes, Natalie. A Thousand Ships
Haynes, Natalie. The Children of Jocasta
https://nataliehaynes.com

Holland, Tom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Holland_(author)

Homer. The Illiad
Homer. The Odyssey

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle

McCullough, Colleen. The First Man in Rome
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_McCullough

Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles

Moorhead, Sam. Stutard, David. The Romans who Shaped Britain

Pressfield, Steven. Tides of War
https://stevenpressfield.com

Renault, Mary. The Alexander Trilogy: Fire from Heaven
Renault, Mary. The Alexander Trilogy: The Persian Boy
Renault, Mary. The Alexander Trilogy: Funeral Games

Sidebottom, Harry.
https://www.harrysidebottom.co.uk

Sutcliff, Rosemary. Eagle of the Ninth

Vidal, Gore. Julian
Vidal, Gore. Creation

Yourcenar, Marguerite. Memoirs of Hadrian

 
Aug 13, 2021

Andrew sent us this question, 'I was wondering how the intertwining of heroic figures into people’s lineage, was viewed by the common people.' Murray gives us his opinion.

Patreon:
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Ancient Warfare Magazine:
https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Aug 6, 2021

Could Hannibal have won the second punic war? Jasper is busy putting the magazine together so Murray gives us his opinion.

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Ancient Warfare Magazine:
https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Jul 30, 2021

Alex, part of our patreon community asks 'how much do you feel that luck played a role in ancient combat? Theoretically luck would be more of a factor in the gunpowder age, but I can’t imagine worse luck than being a Roman at Cannae. Low chance of survival, no matter your martial skill. Thoughts?'

Jasper is busy this week so Murray is flying solo.

Patreon:
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Ancient Warfare Magazine:
https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Jul 23, 2021

Zoe on patreon asks, 'we know about the four horned saddles the Roman cavalry used but do we have any idea of what sorts of saddles might've been used elsewhere in the ancient world?'

Murray answers this one.

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Ancient Warfare Magazine:
https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/ancient-warfare-magazine

Jul 16, 2021

It's thanks to Alex who emailed in this question, what was the difference between Auxilia & Foederat? Is not why the different name?

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Jul 9, 2021

Famously warlike and imperialistic, the Neo-Assyrians cut a swathe across the ancient Near East. Surviving artwork and written sources give us clues as to how they accomplished this.

The team discuss Ancient Warfare XIV.6, the Neo-Assyrian Empire at war.

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Jul 2, 2021

Listener Rick wonders if there are there any other examples of gaining entry to a city using something like a Trojan horse? Or are there any other examples of using ingenious methods to get into a city?

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Jun 25, 2021

Jasper tackles this question from patron of the podcast Ken. How "useful" are the accounts of warfare as described in the Old Testament? I'm interested in a discussion about sources as much as anything (i.e. why were they written, to whom and which biases might have been present).

Are any of the Old Testament accounts helpful in triangulating sources?

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Jun 18, 2021

Patron of the podcast Louis asks, what were the impacts of the introduction and subsequent spread of Christianity on the Roman military's practices and that of its opponents? Were there any improvements in the treatment of the defeated, taking into account that most barbarians were also christians although of a different denomination? Or maybe changes in the way discipline was handled could be attributed to the new religious practices.

Murray mulls this one over.

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Jun 11, 2021

Murray and Mark talk to James Romm about his new book The Sacred Band: Three hundred Greek lovers fighting to save Greek freedom.

The Sacred Band highlights a monumental era in history, one marked by war, ideological divide, the rise of eros in Greek public life, and the end of freedom. Romm reintroduces the tale of the Sacred Band—previously suppressed by the Greek historian Xenophon, who deeply mistrusted male eros—to the historical record.

James Romm is an author, reviewer, and the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College in Annandale, NY.

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