on 15 February 2010
At last, Tutmoses III lives again via the skillful pen of Richard A Gabriel. This book is packed with facts and pertinent observations of the Pharaoh by the author, written with obvious enthusiasm for his subject. Gabriel's knowledge of ancient warfare combined with the logistics of feeding and supporting an army in the field, is fascinating and informative, as are the descriptions of weaponry and battle formations. I am glad to say the prose style is easy to read and not at all stuffy. Being a fervent admirer of Tutmoses III, I was delighted to find the author is too. He delves into the personality of his subject, bringing him to life realistically. For an avid student of Egyptian history this is definitely a book to read again and again. Fantastic.
on 19 August 2010
I began reading this book after I had mentioned to a friend that I was working on some military aspects on the campaigns about Thutmose III and the Egyptian military in general. They lent this book to me and I cannot simply believe that this was ever published.
There are scores of factual errors - practically one on every page. I will point form some highlights (or rather, lowlights):
-Gabriel claims that although Thutmose III did not introduce the khepesh sword, he was the one to introduce it on a large scale to the Egyptian military (page 4). There is no evidence of this taking place and I haven't found anything the inscriptions to say otherwise. There are only 6-9 examples in the world and the artistic evidence doesn't support this either.
-Gabriel claims that the Walls of the Prince were constructed as a series of fortresses along the isthmus of Suez (29). Not really and there's no concrete evidence for such. He goes on (30) to say that it was to protect against "hit and run" raids by Canaanites. This is completely false - the logistical matters in the Sinai would have prevented any sort of sortie into this area not to mention that there's no archaeological evidence for it.
-Gabriel claims that chariots acted like a screen for infantrymen. The chariots would cover the advance while firing arrows. When infantry clashed then archers would retire to the flanks or back through the infantry ranks. He sees chariots as attacking any exposed point, with the option for dismounting and fighting as infantry (64). There's no evidence for how ancient armies at this time fought - it's completely speculation.
I could add a lot more to this list but I think you get the point by now. This book has all the hallmarks of an amateur; in research and execution. I feel sorry for those who do not look further into this fascinating topic. If you want something worth while, see D. Redford's book on Thutmose III (expensive but its worth it).
In short, do not buy this book as it only will leave you with a misinformed view of the Battle of Megiddo and the subsequent campaigns.