Ancient Warfare

Barbarian Invasion on the Danube

Ancient Warfare 28 Min Read

In the winter of 375/6, rumour reached Rome’s Danube frontier that heavy fighting was under way in eastern Germania north of the Black Sea. Ammianus Marcellinus reports: ‘In the beginning the news was viewed with contempt by our people because wars in those districts were not ordinarily heard of by those living at a distance until they were either over,…

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Ancient Warfare Biography 21 Min Read

Demosthenes of Athens I

The Master of Surprise Demosthenes and His Military Challenges In 432–431 BCE, the Spartans called an assembly of their allies to discuss going to war with Athens. According to historian Thucydides, the delegation from Corinth forcefully argued that Sparta should take immediate action. Among their means of persuasion was contrasting…

Ancient Warfare Biography 29 Min Read

Demosthenes of Athens II

Astonishing Success in Pylos Demosthenes’ greatest victory was at Pylos, on the Messenian coast of southwestern Greece. There, in the face of adversity, he displayed personal courage, excellent planning skills based on good military intelligence, and a perseverance that was not one of his enduring virtues, as we shall see.…

Ancient Warfare Biography 24 Min Read

Demosthenes of Athens III

Sneak Attack on Megara Demosthenes’ next scene of operation involved the city of Megara, which occupied one of the most strategic locations on the Greek mainland, a narrow isthmus separating the Peloponnese from Attica and Boeotia. Megara also had two important military and commercial harbors, Pegae on the Corinthian Gulf…

Ancient Warfare Biography Naval History Siege 29 Min Read

Demosthenes of Athens IV

The route the Athenian fleet took to Sicily Map of the siege showing walls and counter-walls Disaster in Sicily The last and most fateful chapter in Demosthenes’ career took place on the island of Sicily, and he himself was largely to blame for it. In 415, the Athenians sent a…

Ancient Warfare Navies Roman 23 Min Read

Roman Success at Sea in 260–257 BC

In the 3rd century BC, Rome was not a naval power, and had little or no experience in war at sea. Before the First Punic War, the Roman Republic had not campaigned outside the Italian Peninsula. The Republic’s military strength was on land, and her greatest assets were the discipline…

Ancient Warfare Battle Roman 16 Min Read

Battle of Frigidus River, 5–6 September 394

Arbogastes’ continual high-handed treatment of the emperor Valentinian II caused the latter to give him publicly a letter that terminated his command. Arbogastes, however, after having read the letter simply tore up it and stated that Valentinian had not given him his command and therefore could not sack him. Now…

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CARTHAGINIAN ARMIES

Hannibal and his staff at the battle of Zama – art by Giuseppe Rava The…

The Frankish Way of War

The kingdoms and peoples of Europe and North Africa just before the East Roman Emperor…

SUMERIAN TROOPS

The almost constant warfare among the Sumerian city-states for 2,000 years spurred the development of…

Etruscan Warriors

1. EARLY VILLANOVAN CULTURE, 9th–8th CENTURIES BC.(1) Leader with war-chariot, Tarchuna area. The early example…