Cross-Post: Books on Ancient Warfare 2005-2020

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Categories: Ancient

Over on closed social media, someone asked for books published between 2005 and 2020 which readers of Ancient Warfare Magazine should know about. I thought the list was too interesting to get lost on closed social media, so I copied it here, deleting the things which were published too early and the ones which summoned pushback and ones which cost more than about $150.

A question mark ? notes books which I have not flipped through (or been recommended to me by someone I know and respect), and an obelus † marks books which I could not recommend without warnings.

  • Armstrong, Jeremy “Early Roman Warfare: From the Regal Period to the First Punic War” (2016) / “War and Society in Early Rome: from Warlords to Generals” (2016: the ‘full scholarly apparatus’ version) ?
  • Bishop and Coulston, “Roman Military Equipment” (2006, 2nd ed.)
  • Brouwers, Josho (2013) Henchmen of Ares: Warriors and Warfare in Early Greece (Karwansaray Publishers: Rotterdam)
  • Chaniotis, Angelos (2005) War in the Hellenistic World: A Social and Cultural History (Blackwell: Walden, MA)
  • Clark, Jessica H. “Triumph in Defeat: Military Loss and the Roman Republic” (2014)
  • Cole, Myke “Legion versus Phalanx” ?
  • D’Amato, Raffaele / Sumner, Graham”Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier: From Marius to Commodus, 112 BC–AD 192″ †
  • Darnell, John / Manassa, Colleen (2007) Tutankhamun’s Armies: Battle and Conquest During Ancient Egypt’s Late Eighteenth Dynasty (Wiley: Malden, MA)
  • Eckstein, “Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome” ?
  • Erdkamp, Paul (ed.) “A Companion to the Roman Army” (2007) ?
  • Fischer “Army of the Roman Emperors” ?
  • Fischer-Bovet, Christelle “Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt” (2014)
  • Guédon, Stéphanie “La Frontiere romaine de l’Africa sous le Haute Empire” (2018) http://books.openedition.org/cvz/6597 ?
  • Hanson, Victor Davis “A War like No Other” †
  • Haynes, Ian “Blood of the Provinces: The Roman Auxilia and the Making of Provincial Society from Augustus to the Severans” (2013)
  • Halsall, Guy (2007) “Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376–568” ?
  • Heather, Peter “Empires and Barbarians” ?
  • James, Simon “Rome and the Sword” (2011) ?
  • Karunanithy, D. “The Macedonian War Machine” (Pen & Sword 2013)
  • Konijnendijik, Roel “Classical Greek Tactics: A Cultural History” (2018)
  • Lee, A. Doug “War in Late Antiquity” (2007)
  • Lee, John “A Greek Army on the March” (2007)
  • Lendon, J.E. “Soldiers and Ghosts” (Yale 2005)
  • Matthew, Christopher “An Invincible Beast: Understanding the Hellenistic Pike Phalanx in Action” (2016) ?
  • McNab, Chris (ed.) “The Roman Army: The Greatest War Machine of the Ancient World” (2012) ?
  • Murray, William M. “The Age of Titans: The Rise and Fall of the Great Hellenistic Navies” (2012)
  • De Souza, Philip (ed.) (2008) The Ancient World at War. A Global History (Thames & Hudson: London)
  • Rawlings, L. “The Ancient Greeks at War” (2007)
  • Rusch, Scott M. “Sparta at War: Strategy, Tactics and Campaigns, 950-362 BC.” (2011) ?
  • Ruzicka, S. “Trouble in the West: Egypt and the Persian Empire” (2012)
  • Sabin, Philip “Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World” (2007)
  • Sim and Kaminski, “Roman Imperial Armour: The Production of Early Imperial Military Armour” (2012) †
  • Spalinger, Anthony J. (2005) War in Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom (Wiley-Blackwell: Malden, MA)
  • Tritle, Lawrence A. “A New History of the Peloponnesian War” (2009)
  • Waterfield, Robin “Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great’s Empire” (2011) ?
  • Wittke, Anne-Maria / Olshausen, Eckart / Szydlak, Richard (2012) Historischer Atlas der Antiken Welt (J. B. Metzler: Stuttgart-Weimar)

What books would my gentle readers add to the list?

5 thoughts on “Cross-Post: Books on Ancient Warfare 2005-2020

  1. russell1200 says:

    The Scythians: Nomad Warriors of the Steppe Nomad Warriors of the Steppe
    – Barry Cunliffe, [Oxford University Press 2019] is not a “military’ book per se, but does cover one of the most important/influential groups of the ancient period and is very recent.

    There are some obscure, but interesting, titles on the Alexandrian Successor states (beyond Pike vs Sword stuff) out there. I have a little of it, but not in front of me.

    I take it that China/Eastern Eurasia was intentionally not included.

    1. Sean Manning says:

      Yes, their list is a bit Greek and Roman-centric (and a bit centred on texts over archaeology), but it is all up to the people who replied to the list of suggestions. I did not know there was a Barry Cunliffe book on the Scythians!

      I did not suggest any of the big German archaeological reports because of the price. I am hoping to talk one of the German archaeologists into writing a popular version with lots of illustrations.

  2. Pavel Vaverka says:

    Yes, Russian, Ukrainian stuff is missing (I have here terrible gaps in knowledge this area and sadly, when I know the books, no one would translate them into different language. Perhaps Nefedkin would be willing to give an overview!). From my point of view at least some Dezso (Assyrian Army) should be there https://elte.academia.edu/Tam%C3%A1sDezs%C5%91/Books Top notch work, which is real eye opener for Greek conduct of warfare is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Politics-Early-Hellenistic-Athens/dp/0199283508 Some collective monograpy is necessary https://brill.com/view/title/15773 https://www.amazon.com/Men-Bronze-Hoplite-Warfare-Ancient/dp/0691168458 Krentz and Marathon is certain choice https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Marathon-Library-Military-History/dp/0300177666/ Greek work for theme is bit heavy for reading (yet thrilling), full of notes, but it is superb piece scholarship with newest knowledge https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Who-Really-Won-the-Battle-of-Marathon-Hardback/p/16501 My personal favorite for cavalry warfare is this book https://www.amazon.com/Horsemen-Israel-Chariotry-Monarchic-Archaeology/dp/1575062046/ (despite Willekes superb Ph.D. and monography).

    I still haven’t read some of the new books (like Hoyos Carthage’s Other Wars, etc.), but Your list is very solid, especially for Hellenistic era (my original specialization), to which I can go back as soon as I write book about Achaemenid Persian army. Then I will be in much more knowledgeable position to write again about Greek warfare, Hellenistic era, history (Byzantine war manuals, special monographs awaits me, like https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-byzantine-military-tactics-in-syria-and-mesopotamia-in-the-tenth-century.html). Also I didn’t read several works about late antiquity, I love reneacting, knowledge from weapon making, testing, so this looks interesting https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Battle-of-the-Catalaunian-Fields-AD451-Hardback/p/15699 It seems Syvanne is doing very admirable job https://www.amazon.co.uk/AGE-HIPPOTOXOTAI-MILITARY-REVIVAL-DIASTER/dp/9514459180 Yet I wasn’t able to read his books (only articles). Mike Loades was thrilled from this title https://www.amazon.de/Pfeil-r%C3%B6mischen-Kaiserzeit-Holger-Riesch/dp/3938921501 again, I wasn’t able to read it.

    1. Sean Manning says:

      I think I would say that if you have read WWoW, “Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities,” and some of Peter Krentz’ articles, “Men of Bronze” is not essential for someone with a general interest in ancient warfare. It showed that the California school was drifting dead in the water, but the Krentz / van Wees school did not offer anything groundbreaking either in that volume, just more bricks in the wall.

      I can’t find any reviews of Evan Schultheis’ book on the battle of the Catalaunian Fields, maybe Pen and Sword forgets to send their books to reviewers?

      I think he is on birdsite these days.

    2. Sean Manning says:

      There should be something on the Neo-Assyrians but I am not sure what. The three candidates which come to mind are:

      Barron, Amy E. (2010) Late Assyrian Arms and Armour: Art versus Artifact. PhD Thesis, University of Toronto. http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24677

      Dezső, Tamás (2012) The Assyrian Army. I. The Structure of the Neo-Assyrian Army. Two volumes
      (Eötvös University Press: Budapest)

      Fales, Frederick Mario (2010) Guerre et paix en Assyrie: Religion et impérialisme (Les Éditions de Cerf: Paris)

      But I have not read Fales 🙁 The New Kingdom Egyptian stuff has the same problem, about three candidates but I am not sure which one I would put on a short list.

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