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Ancient Warfare magazine Vol VII-5 - March of the Ten Thousand

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Ancient Warfare magazine Vol VII-5 - March of the Ten Thousand Introduction: Michael... mehr
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Ancient Warfare magazine Vol VII-5 - March of the Ten Thousand

Introduction: Michael Taylor, 'Historical introduction - The March of the Ten Thousand'.
Illustrated by Carlos García.

The march of the Ten Thousand is one of the best documented campaigns in Greek military history, thanks to the detailed narrative of Xenophon. He was a young Athenian expatriate who eventually rose to a senior position of command among the Hellenic survivors of Cyrus' mercenary army.

Theme: Patrick S. Baker, 'Hoplite training in the age of Xenophon - With spear and shield'.
Illustrated by Ganbat Badamkhand.

Greeks in Xenophon's time were of two minds regarding military training. One school of thought was best summed up in Pericles' funeral oration given at Athens in 431 BC: "while in education where our rivals (the Spartans) from their very cradles by a painful training seek after manliness, at Athens we live exactly as we want and yet are just as ready to encounter every legitimate danger" (Thucydides 2.6). While Pericles' oration is certainly propaganda, it suggests how many of the Greeks must have felt about the Spartan's training regime, viewing it with disdain. Still, Athenian hoplites refused to face Spartans in open battle.

The Reenactor: Stefanos Skarmintzos, 'Improvised horseman of the Ten Thousand - Dismount!'.

When one thinks of ancient Greek armies, the impressive image of the hoplite readily springs to mind. Often, auxiliary troops used in Greek armies are given short shrift. Even the Greek aristocrats serving as cavalrymen are mentioned in the sources only when infantry succesfully repulsed cavalry attacks. For example, Herodotus, in the eighth book of his Histories, describes how the Phocian infantry repulsed the famous Thessalian cavalry around 500 BC.

Theme: Sean Manning, 'Raising Cyrus' army - Preparing for war'.
Illustrated by Milek Jakubiec.

At the end of the fifth century BC, Cyrus, the son of King Darius II, raised an army to fight his brother for the throne. Revolts were as common in the Achaemenid empire as the Roman, and the revolt of Cyrus was suppressed after a single campaign. Yet Cyrus' revolt is exceptionally well documented, because Greeks on both sides became famous writers whose works survived the turmoil of Late Antiquity.

Theme: Matthew Beazley, 'Rhodian slingers among the Ten Thousand - Lead and stone'.
Illustrated by Angel García Pinto.

Although the Greeks prior to the fifth century BC had a low opinion of slingers and light infantry in general, slingers were nevertheless employed in large numbers throughout the armies of the Near East. The Greeks may have realized the effectiveness of ranged units like slingers when they encountered them during the Persian Wars. Classical Greeks began to employ ranged troops in large numbers to complement their hoplite forces.

Theme: Sidney E. Dean, 'The fighting retreat begins - Katabasis'.
Illustrated by Mikel Olazabal.

Immediately after Cunaxa the Greek mercenaries faced a stark choice. They were deep in enemy territory, and sorely outnumbered. Their camp had been plundered during the battle, leaving them without provisions. Persian King Artaxerxes II demanded they surrender their arms and submit to an uncertain fate.

Theme: Owen Rees, 'Clearchus the war-lover - Brutality and Discipline'.

What does it say about a man who was considered too extreme, even for Sparta? What does it say if his most dominant characteristic within the sources is his excessive love of war? And what does it say if this man, when recalled by Sparta to face charges, did not go back or run away, but instead attempted to make a stand and defeat them in battle?


The find: J. Albert Morales, 'Roman forts in Arabia Felix - Legionaries in the sea of Hercules'.

Imperial Rome maintained a series of forts surrounding Arabia Felix, the Roman name for the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. These forts secured a vital chokepoint for maritime trade and projected imperial power 2,000 kilometers beyond Rome's borders.

Special: Duncan B. Campbell, 'The ala Britannica in peace and war - Far-travelled Horsemen Pt. II'.

The Roman legions often marched hundreds of miles to participate in the emperors' wars of conquest, but they usually returned to the bases where their headquarters lay. By contrast, the auxiliary units - individually much smaller and, collectively, much more numerous - could find themselves permanently redeployed to a distant province. Many units made one or two such moves during their centuries-long history, but few appear to have moved around the empire in the same way as the legions. The far-travelled horsemen of the ala Britannica were one such exception.

The Debate: Michael Park, 'A war for Alexander's body? - Death and Succession'.
Illustrated by Pablo Outeiral.

In the early summer of 320 (all dates BC), the invasion of Egypt by the Macedonian royal army under its kings Philip III and Alexander IV and led by their regent, Perdiccas, met with disaster at the Nile opposite Memphis. In one of the best known events in the period immediately following the death of Alexander the Great (June 323) Ptolemy, a mere satrap with no great Macedonian army to speak of, triumphed over Perdiccas and the royal army.
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