the archives

dusted off in read-only


Recomended Ancient Miltary History? posted 13 Nov 2005, 00:11 by H, Auditor

Following your suggestion for [i:2i4l41sj]Alexander The Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army[/i:2i4l41sj] (which is a fantastic little book), i was hoping you might have some suggestions on books about ancient weapons/tactics. I'm not looking for anything [i:2i4l41sj]specifically[/i:2i4l41sj] culture based, but i would be most interested in Roman, Greek, Turkish, Egyptian, Mongolian, Ottoman, or even Mesopotamian history. Feel free to suggest as many books as you like, i doubt there be any one that could over all that kind of stuff in reasonable detail. Basically, if it was anceint, and successful enough to conquer a decent area, i'd be interested. Thank for any help! BTW, suggestions by everyone else would also be quite welcome. :D view post

posted 14 Nov 2005, 16:11 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I've waded through quite a bit of forgettable stuff. [i:24ln3hlq]Ceasar's Legions[/i:24ln3hlq] comes to mind as memorable. But I'm sure there's others who have better recommendations than me. view post

posted 15 Nov 2005, 02:11 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

It's not exactly ancient history, and it deals mainly with Europe (one chapter on China), but I'm reading William H. McNeill's The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed force and Society since A.D. 1000. view post

posted 17 Nov 2005, 14:11 by Harrol, Moderator

Cesear's Legions was a great book and so was Nero's Killing Machine also written by the same author. He goes into detail of their training, weapons and tactics. Sorry I do not remember the authors name my books are at home. view post

posted 18 Nov 2005, 20:11 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

{i]Ceasar's Legions[/i] is by Stephen Dando-Collins. What did you think of that McNeill book, TH? Any good? view post

posted 19 Nov 2005, 03:11 by H, Auditor

Yeah, [i:1srhvce1]Caesar's Legion[/i:1srhvce1] was a great book. I'm waiting for [i:1srhvce1]Nero's Killing Machine[/i:1srhvce1] to be in paperback before i get it. Are there any similar type books about Greek warfare that anyone knows of? And thanks for the other suggestion too, i'm going to check out that McNeill book for my next Amazon order. view post

posted 19 Nov 2005, 19:11 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I only read the one chapter on the formation between 1000-1600 of what he calls "the military commercial complex" in Europe. He traces the developments of warfare, both offensive and defensive, from the crossbow to the gun, to different ways of building city walls to protect against the changing assault weapons, and ties these changes to economic and commercial shifts on a mundane, political and regional levels. I thought it was fascinating, although his long term historical analysis of Europe in relation to the rest of the world was highly problematic. He writes this anticipatory history where everything that happened in 1300 was a preordained beginning of the eventual military domination of Western Europe over the rest of the world. As if what happens 500 years later is inevitable and there is no historical contingency. His only non-European example is China, which he lets stand for the whole non-European world. He obviously has zero knowledge of the way the British took over Bengal, the financial and military base of what they later conquered in the East. Bengal was taken through the colloboration of Bengali bankers, by floating them capital and buying off a general for the British, who promised them trade concessions, they weren't getting from the Nawab of Bengal. It had nothing to do with British military prowess, which did not attain supremecy until the very end of the turn of the 19th century. In the middle of the eighteenth century, Nadir Shah of Iran had the most advanced and effective fighting force probably in the world (and the British sources who watched him invade India all agreed). But I digress. If you take the wider conclusions he draws, which rest of ridiculous generalizations of Oriental Despotism, with a rock of salt, it's fun to read. view post


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