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Warfare in the Ancient World Hardcover – 30 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leo Cooper Ltd (30 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844151735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844151738
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This first work of a two-volume set (see also Warfare in the Medieval World) serves as a solid introduction to ancient warfare. Carey analyzes the main tactical systems in light of Archer Jones's tactical matrix.... Nice selection of key battles. Excellent diagrams and maps."
-Steven D. Fratt, Oxford Bibliographies

Review

"This is an interesting work with a lot of clearly presented information and will be useful to history students in military schools and to amateur military historians."
-Anthony J. Papalas, Professor of History, East Carolina University, Journal of Military History

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Luke A. Sinden on 1 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Carey's book is a superbly crafted work on the ancient strategy of war, and the maps created by his previous students, Allfree and Cairns, are indispensably critical. I wish this book had been available when I took my first semester of History of Western Civilizations. I've always felt such a vague understanding of what actually transpired during certain key battles, and this book put in my grasp a clear understanding of precisely what weapons, people, strategy and consequence were witnessed by the civilizations of the western ancient world during war. This book would make an excellent supplemental text for first level Western Civ courses, especially for Military History courses. I'm anxious to read the upcoming volume II, Warfare in the Medieval World, by this team of historians and cartographers, which I understand should be available summer 2006.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a bad book in so far as it goes. I enjoyed the chapters on how the Romans and Greeks waged war although I didn't really learn anything new. The glossary of weapons and military terms at the end was excellent with just about the right amount of detail. However I was less impressed by the description of warfare in the period between 1200 BC and 500 BC. There was very little information about the battles and campaigns involving the Babylonians, the Cimmerians, the Assyrians, the Scythians, the Medes, the Persians and the Egyptians during the important period between 800-600 BC. The battle of Carchemish is not mentioned. Ashurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar II were great generals but we don't learn how they achieved their victories. We discover little about the siege tactics of the Assyrians. All in all, the author(s) gloss over this important period of history. I would have found it helpful if they could have at least defined the limits of our knowledge on the subject and maybe given a few educated guesses about what happened.

Overall this is book could have been a lot better. I bought the kindle version and much of the text was broken up in places, such as the glossary, so that it was hard to read. Perhaps it could be cautiously recommended as an introduction to Greek and Roman warfare. But if you want to find out about war in more ancient times, I'd advise looking elsewhere.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Major Wetterau on 29 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was required to read Professor Carey's "Warfare in the Ancient World" as a reader for his Ancient Military History class at the American Military University. This book proved to be a splendid companion to his class, providing me with cogent battle analysis and an outstanding overview of strategy, tactics and martial technologies over a 3,500 year period. I highly recommend this monograph to anyone wanting to understand how war was waged on the ancient battlefields of the Near East and Europe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. W. Davies on 23 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disapointed with this title, and in the end gave up on it. A big problem is the rather pompous and jargon-filled writing style, generally with no definition of terms. He regularly uses the phrase "articulated infantry", and states, with no explanation nor justification that the phallanx is less articulated than the legion. Well, OK, we can guess what he's getting at and that this is something to do with tactical flexiblity, or perhaps it's just manoeuverablity, or perhaps just poorer command structure - the term is never defined so you see the difficulty. There is also no real analysis of what is meant. Another example, is the use of "syncretistic" to describe how the Persians took on ideas from other cultures (I think?) - a word I've only ever seen once before in my life, and even after looking it up, found it is usually used in a specific context of religous debates - using this term is pure pretension and conveys no information to the poor reader. More charitably, perhaps he had a bet with his publisher as to which unlikely words he could work in. In another place he states that the Sarissa (spear used in the Phallanx) was "double-pointed" - what on earth is that supposed to mean? Perhaps it's that there's a point on the back end to stick in the ground to better deter cavalry in defence - but that's not explained - or perhaps the front end has a forked point - unlikely but who knows? The explanation of battles and exactly what happened when are very detailed - where's he getting this level of precision from. No references to source, no "perhaps", "we could speculate that", he just knows. These events happend thousands of years ago so this level of certainty is just not plausible.

In mitigation, there is a general narrative summary of events in there somewhere, but still...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book that is systematically organized around the four tactical systems of antique warfare: licht infantery, heavy infantery, light cavelry and heavy cavelery. It is explained how these four systems are developed over time in combined arms battle deployment
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