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Ancient Warfare Podcast

Discussions from Ancient Warfare Magazine. Why did early civilisations fight? Who were their Generals? What was life like for the earliest soldiers? Ancient Warfare Magazine will try and answer these questions. Warfare minus two thousand years.
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Now displaying: December, 2023
Dec 29, 2023

Responding to several comments on recent podcasts which have looked at heavy infantry, especially the Macedonian phalanx, Murray looks at the issue of light armed troops in ancient battle accounts.

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Dec 22, 2023

Mark wants to hear Murray's thoughts on comparing the Roman wars against the Vandals vs the Punic Wars. Mark writes, 'both the Roman-Vandal and Roman-Carthage wars occurred roughly in the same geographic area and included naval and land-based fighting. However, within 26 years the Vandals had conquered North Africa, the major islands of the Western Med and sacked Rome. 

In the 3rd/2nd centuries BCE the 1st/2nd Punic wars lasted over 60 years, and even then, neither side could capture each other's capitals. Granted, the Roman Empire was exhausted and fighting multiple enemies for much of the 5th century CE- but the Roman Republic also fought on multiple fronts during the 2nd Punic War. 

Then, in the 6th century CE, Belisarius was able to conquer and annex the Vandal Kingdom in less than a year. Why did these later wars seem to happen at a much faster pace? Did smaller armies and a more depopulated Mediterranean in late antiquity shorten wars? Were logistics better with better ships or Roman roads? Did later armies and navies use different tactics or technologies so that wars were much shorter?'

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Dec 15, 2023

Murray answers this question from Jsoth, 'during the battle of Issus, it's my understanding that the Macedonian phalanx struggled and even lost ground against Darius' mercenary Greeks. I was under the impression that if facing off directly, the sarrisa-wielding phalanx would be at an advantage with their longer spears, but here, that doesn't seem to be the case. Do historians believe this is accurate, and if so, why or how?'

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Dec 8, 2023

'King at just 20, Alexander of Macedon spent two years securing his northern borders and Greece. In 334 he crossed the Hellespont to begin the campaign his father had prepared: the invasion of Achaemenid Persia.'

The Ancient Warfare team discuss issue XVI.6 of the magazine Alexander versus Darius

 

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Dec 1, 2023

John asks 'What are your thoughts on the news that we are starting to be able to read some of the carbonised scrolls from Herculaneum. What do you think will be found when we can read them? What would you love to be located, rediscovered?'

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