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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does just what is says on the tin,
This review is from: New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (History of Warfare (Brill)) (Hardcover)
The contents are as follows. I have included section headings from the articles to give you a better idea of the contents:
P001: INTRODUCTION - Garrett G Fagan & Matthew Trindle.
P021: WEAPONS, TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM, AND ANCIENT WARFARE - Fernando Echeverria Rey: Introduction; "A hoplite is slave to his weapons" - Ancient Approaches to Technology; Technology and Superiority - the Myth of Determinism; Superior Tactics - Formations against Formations; Conclusions.
P057: CHARIOTRY TO CAVALRY: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EARLY FIRST MILLENIUM - Robin Archer: Introduction; Defining Chariotry and Chariot Warfare; The Rise of Cavalry; Chariots in the First Millennium - representation and reality; Concluding Remarks.
P081: "I FELL UPON HIM LIKE A FURIOUS ARROW": TOWARD A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ASSYRIAN TACTICAL SYSTEM - Garrett G Fagan; with 17 illustrations: Introduction; Previous Suggestions; Texts; Reliefs; Conclusions.
P101: ALL THE KING'S HORSE: IN SEARCH OF ACHAEMENID PERSIAN CAVALRY - Christopher Tuplin: Introduction; Iconography; Coinage; `Persian Riders'; Sculpture and Painting in the Western Empire; Seals and Bullae; Attic Vase-painting; Non-Greek Texts; Babylonia; The Imperial Heartland; Greek and Latin Texts; Texts Outside Straight Military Narrative; The General Incidence of Cavalry Episodes; The Place and Number of Cavalry in Itemised Military Forces; The Origin of Cavalry Forces; The Characterization of Persian Cavalry; Tactical Use; Performance Relative to Others; General Impression.
P183: A CUP BY DOURIS AND THE BATTLE OF MARATHON - Peter Krentz; with 9 illustrations: An Elegant Scene; A Possible Occasion; The Weight of Hoplite Equipment; The Feasibility of the Run [charge!] at Marathon; Back to the Cup by Douris.
P205: "THOSE WHO SAIL ARE TO RECEIVA A WAGE": NAVAL WARFARE AND FINANCE IN ARCHAIC ERETRIA - Hans van Wees: Introduction; The Letter of the Law - Text and Interpretation; The Spirit of the Law - Implications of Naval Pay; The Law in Context - Late Archaic Naval Warfare; Conclusion - The Development of Naval Warfare Revisited.
P227: COINAGE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF GREEK WARFARE - Matthew Trundle.
P253: THE CARTHAGINIAN NAVY: QUESTIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS - Louis Rawlings: Perspectives on Punic Thalassocracy; The Punic Naval Landscape; Thalassocracy and Resources; The Fleets and the Ships; Modes of Operation; Military Engagements; Conclusion.
P289: PHALANGES IN ROME? - Nathan Rosenstein.
P305: CAESAR AND THE HELVETIANS - David Potter: From Maniples to Cohorts - The Tactical Transformation of the Roman Army; The Move from Velites to Auxillia; Changes in Legionary Recruitment; The Transformations of the Centurionate; Changing the Battlefield;
Comments on some of the articles:
INTRODUCTION - Garrett G Fagan & Matthew Trindle: "War was central to ancient societies, as it is arguably to all societies" - a survey / introduction to the subject and the current literature. "The papers [in this volume] represent a cross-section of ongoing work that seeks to illustrate how current trends in ancient military studies are playing out... Matters usually given shorter shrift in the standard works - Assyrian tactical procedures, naval warfare in Archaic Greece, the Carthaginian navy, Achaemenid Persia's military system, or the influence of socio-political arrangements on military matters - take center stage here".
WEAPONS, TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM, AND ANCIENT WARFARE - Fernando Echeverria Rey: "...Questions the technological determinism so common in analyses of ancient warfare, usually manifested in the assumption that weapons shape the way warriors fight and determine the outcome of battles. Ray shows there is far more to it than that and insists that greater emphasis be put on the (admittedly more elusive) human factor in combat".
P26: "...Ancient writers were far more inclined to look for moral factors to explain victory, and weapons were relegated to a secondary role".
CHARIOTRY TO CAVALRY: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EARLY FIRST MILLENIUM - Robin Archer.
This is an excellent article on the development of cavalry. He gives a survey of the current view of chariot warfare, and then on the development of cavalry. Chariots were not able to operate in broken ground, so the chariot-armies developed a two-horse combat unit to go where the chariot couldn't; hence the contemporary illustrations of a pair of horsemen, one holding the reins of a horse bearing an archer, the chariot driver and his crew, but without the chariot. The early riders are depicted as sitting to the rear of the horse, further back than modern riders, in the position a donkey-rider would sit.
P72: "True cavalry only appears in the pictorial record in mid-eighth century BCE (meaning that it probably entered use only a short time prior to that), by which time riders of the Near East had developed the skills necessary to ride a horse effectively in combat... meaning that he does not need someone else to hold the reins for him. This meant that the firepower of the chariot unit it had evolved from was doubled overnight".
"I FELL UPON HIM LIKE A FURIOUS ARROW": TOWARD A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ASSYRIAN TACTICAL SYSTEM - Garrett G Fagan.
P83-84: "That the Assyrians, at least by the late eighth century, adhered to a tactical system that might be termed `standard' - in that there were established procedures in prosecuting battle - is made implicit in a passage in Sargon II's Letter to Assur, documenting the events of his eighth campaign in 714 BCE. As his army, exhausted from crossing mountainous terrain, confronts an alliance of enemies at Mt. U'aush, Sargon comments: "I did not send forth my (advance) warriors nor assemble my forces, I did not bring up my right and left wings, I had no care for my rear. I had no fear of his entire army..." The implication is that, under normal circumstances when the men were not exhausted, Sargon would have taken all of these measures. By further implication, any Assyrian commander would have done likewise. So in Sargon's words can be heard an echo of tactical procedures routinely employed by the Assyrian army".
P98-99: "...A number of plausible possibilities come to mind on the basis of inferences drawn from the equipment carried by Assyrian troops and comparison with other ancient armies. Large-shielded spearmen would best be used in the center [sic], or in whatever frontline position where the action was expected to be at its most acute. The archer-spearman combination noted above would imply that archers were initially deployed in close support, whether as a separate line behind the spearmen or paired up with individuals, as appears frequently in the reliefs (figs. 13, 15). It is not necessary to conclude from this... that Assyrian battles played out as missile exchanges conducted at a distance, with the shielded spearmen acting as a sort of human rampart to protect the archers... It also seems possible that many of these frontline troops were of foreign origin, for such is often the role of ethnic auxiliaries in the service of their imperial overlords. Cavalry and chariotry, staffed exclusively by Assyrians, were likely stationed on the wings, ready to swoop in for the pursuit. Other possibilities are that chariots screened the main force as it formed up, or adopted a rearward position, as cover in case of retreat (or possibly performed several such functions sequentially). Advance troops, probably light-armed, were most likely out front".
- This was an interesting read, although the conclusion seems to be what wargamers were doing thirty years ago with Assyrian armies. I don't know whether academics were behind the times then, or whether wargamers grew up to become academics... (I'm sure we all know several who did).
ALL THE KING'S HORSE: IN SEARCH OF ACHAEMENID PERSIAN CAVALRY - Christopher Tuplin.
There is no definitive (academic) study of the Achaemenid empire's military establishment. "The present chapter[s]... purpose is to look at one aspect of the military machine of the Achaemenid kings and among other things to illustrate some of the difficulties that attend its study... What I shall do is present some observations that are in one way or another relevant to the status and use of cavalry in the Persian military environment and therefore to its contribution to Achaemenid imperial history".
A CUP BY DOURIS AND THE BATTLE OF MARATHON - Peter Krentz.
"The interior of a cup by Douris... painted in the early fifth century BCE, shows two beardless warriors - one with chiton, greaves, corselet, helmet, and round shield, the other with a sleeveless shirt over a long-sleeved, long-legged garment, a pointed cap, with long flaps, and a quiver - running in step together... Perhaps most striking are the parallel spears they carry. Why is an archer carrying a spear and not a bow? What does this scene represent?"
- The author thinks it is a scene from the battle of Marathon, and goes on, via a study of the weight of hoplite equipment, to show that the sometime disputed claim that the Greeks could not have made the charge against the Persians did in fact happen. He notes that the main academic authorities for the weight of hoplite equipment basically just guessed, and he examines modern studies of museum pieces and re-enactor's manufactures using classical methods to show that the weight is in the region of a maximum of 50 pounds, and the figure on the Douris's cup would have likely only carried about 20 pounds, well within the carrying capacity of a running hoplite.
"THOSE WHO SAIL ARE TO RECEIVA A WAGE": NAVAL WARFARE AND FINANCE IN ARCHAIC ERETRIA - Hans van Wees.
This is a study of the introduction of pay for sailors in Archaic Greece. New evidence suggests this may have happened earlier than has been previously accepted.
COINAGE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF GREEK WARFARE - Matthew Trundle.
The author takes an almost Maurician view of the transformation of classical Greek warfare - as in the reforms of Maurits of Nassau - see Exercise of Arms: Warfare in the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648) (History of Warfare). Geoffrey Parker's five-point summary of the definition of the "Western Way of War" - Power to finance these changes - appears to be the theme of this article; also pay (which requires coinage) allows for discipline (no need for plunder) and "constant campaigning".
P239: "Money and empire were thus integral in the late fifth century BCE. Thucydides and Aristophanes both present a central ethos of imperialism as economic".
P241: "One consequence of monetisation of the Athenian imperial money economy was urbanisation, and with that the development of industries reliant upon coinage, dis-embedded from traditional economic activities and related specifically to empire. One such industry reliant upon a cash-holding free poor was the brothel - often simply called the factory..."
P244: "Coined money, empire, democracy, an urban centre and naval power were all interconnected. Money made empire possible, kept it safe by providing and funding ships and men and at the same time money was a symbol of the power of the Athenian empire and symbol of the subservience of the allies to Athens as the display of tribute... demonstrated".
P248: "The easiest way to pay for professional armies was to have them feed themselves from the lands in which they fought, pay them with coins yielded from plunder and to have the war pay for itself."
THE CARTHAGINIAN NAVY: QUESTIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS - Louis Rawlings; "This chapter considers both the institutional and operational aspects of the Punic navy, and argues that an appreciation of both is essential for understanding the nature of Carthaginian `thalassocracy'".
PHALANGES IN ROME? - Nathan Rosenstein - "...Questions the almost uncontested view that the early Roman army fought in a phalanx. He does so, on the basis of a war-and-society analysis that raises questions about the census and the suitability of early Roman institutions to sustaining a hoplite force". He discusses the dating of the adoption off the phalanx, why it was adopted, and the development of the manipular army.
P303: "...the likelihood that the manipular army ever evolved from a classical phalanx is very remote."
CAESAR AND THE HELVETIANS - David Potter: Caesar's military education and the tactical transformation of the Roman army in his day.
P329: "Caesar began his career as a Marian general, modelling his conduct in war upon that of his uncle. He very rapidly dropped Marius' old style tactics, and adopted [sic] himself to the practice of the post-Sullan age, possibly with the aid of the writings of Sulla and his generals, as well as with men like Lbienus and Sabinus at his side during the early years in Gaul, and with the aid of their subordinates".
I borrowed this from my local library via Inter-Library loan.
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New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (History of Warfare (Brill)) by Garrett G. Fagan (Hardcover - 31 July 2010)