Shameless Plug: War and Soldiers in the Achaemenid Empire
One of my articles which has been in press for some time finally appeared: “War and Soldiers in the Achaemenid Empire: Some Historiographical and Methodological Considerations.” In Kai Ruffing, Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Sebastian Fink, and Robert Rollinger (eds.), Societies at War: Proceedings of the 10th Symposium of the Melammu Project held in Kassel September 26-28 2016... Continue reading: Shameless Plug: War and Soldiers in the Achaemenid Empire
Studies on Mounted Warfare in Asia
I am not writing new posts for this blog right now due to some personal emergencies, a summer I want to enjoy, and the death of my father. I have a post scheduled every two weeks until the end of September. But I seem to be getting some new visitors from Bret Devereaux’s blog.
So if you like big ideas about warfare before gunpowder, this week I would like to recommend a book by Eduard Alofs published as four articles in volumes 21 and 22 of the journal War in History in 2014 and 2015 (parts i, part ii, part iii and part iiii). Alofs did something which not many historians do which was write a general model of warfare from the Syr Darya to the Nile in the period 550 to 1350 CE. He sees two main military traditions in this region: the Iranian (the kind which the Strategikon of emperor Maurice describes, armies centred around armoured horsemen with bows and lances which come to the battlefield on foot, mule, or camel) and the Turanian (the kind which Frankish writers complain about Turks practicing, based on unarmoured horsemen with a string of spare horses and a few better-armed men with their own spare horses). To put this together, he read primary sources in Arabic, Greek, Persian, and Latin. Here is what he has to say about shields:Read more
New Article: Mountain Passes Ancient and Modern
In mid-September I got lost on my return from the Goldbichl and found myself between Patsch and the Brennerautobahn. If you spend time hiking in Tirol that happens frequently, even though the mountain peaks provide good points of references and there are networks of paved or gravelled paths dotted with nice yellow signs, some of which even point within 90 degrees of the actual direction. And if you think about why that happens, you will understand the topic of my latest article for Ancient Warfare, namely why armies in eastern Anatolia (modern Turkey) follow the same few routes for thousands of years.
Datini’s Wares in GURPS
Last spring I published a two-page article in Medieval Warfare VIII.1 talking about the kinds of concealed armour which were for sale in the Avignon of the Babylonian Captivity. As far as I know nobody else has talked about these sources in any language except Italian, so I hope translating them was helpful! Now, I am interested in the real things and how they were made … if I ever have money I might commission a few reproductions. But what if your interest is in gaming? How might you represent this armour, say in GURPS?
Cross-Post: Books Before Print
Erik Kwakkel, Books Before Print (Amsterdam University Press/ARC Humanities Press, 2018) EUR 34 (paperback), 105 (hardcover), 105 (ebook) (available on Biblio) Erik Kwakkel, excellent book historian and blogger, has a new book out on the medieval manuscript as a well-engineered tool shaped by readers’ habits and desires. This beautifully illustrated book provides an accessible introduction... Continue reading: Cross-Post: Books Before Print
Cross-Post: Doug Strong’s Armour Book in Preorder
Douglas W. Strong, Surviving Examples of Early Plate Armour (1300 – 1430) Volume I: Bascinets (Freelance Academy Press, 2018) 332 pages, hardcover with B&W illustrations ISBN-13 978-1-937439-12-5 (available from the publisher) Doug “Talbot” Strong, the author of An Analysis of 1300 Effigies Dated Between 1300 and 1450 has finally been able... Continue reading: Cross-Post: Doug Strong’s Armour Book in Preorder
The Cyrus Dossier
I am too tired to find some appropriate ancient picture, so how about this bird? One of my articles is out in Ancient History Bulletin 32.1-2, “A Prosopography of the Followers of Cyrus the Younger.” This one is about the forgotten Cyreans: the ones whom Xenophon classed as part of ‘the... Continue reading: The Cyrus Dossier
Bonus Content: Why do We Think Iron Shatters Bronze?
Most people interested in ancient weapons know that early iron swords were not any better than bronze ones. But they don’t always know where the idea comes from, or how we know about the properties of early edged weapons. If you want to find out, the article is available in Ancient Warfare XI.6 (The Decelean War) from Karwansaray.
But in a little magazine article, I was not able to include all the references which I wanted. So what if you want to learn more?Read more
Cross-Post: Historical Metalworking Courses in Saskatchewan
The cheekguard of a bronze Chalcidian helmet, in repoussé, by Jeffrey Hildebrandt. Horsey! Jeffrey Hildebrandt is offering several courses on historical metalworking techniques in Saskatoon, Sakatchewan this winter. Schedule for 2017 November 4 – Repoussé. Learn the basics of this venerable art form, creating fine relief work over pitch. $150 + tax... Continue reading: Cross-Post: Historical Metalworking Courses in Saskatchewan