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Andreas

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  1. Andreas

    about libyan city

    I would recommend you to read Mattingly's "Tripolitania" and Di Vita's "Lost Cities of the Roman Empire" as those were the two most informative books on the subject of that particular region in ancient times. Can't remember exactly whether Tarhuna itself is mentioned much but it would be within a couple of days' march of more famous sites such as Lepcis Magna and Oea. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tripolitania-David...y/dp/0713457422 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Libya-Lost-Cities-...4566&sr=1-1
  2. Andreas

    Carthaginian Sacrifices

  3. Andreas

    Top ten Roman Atrocities?

    The genocides inflicted upon the Gauls by Caesar and upon the Dacians by Trajan were both pretty bad and solely done on grounds of military adventureism and for stuffing the pockets of said commanders. Most other peoples they conquered were spared for the most part except main centers of resistance but Gaul and Dacia were positively laid to waste by losing large parts of their populace to combat casualties, enslavement and famine.
  4. Andreas

    Carthaginian Sacrifices

    "Our results show that some children were sacrificed, but they contradict the conclusion that Carthaginians were a brutal bunch who regularly sacrificed their own children." Very interesting statement that he doesn't elaborate upon... But in the whole article they only seem to not discount the possibility of sacrifice but in no way give physical evidence of sacrifice. Which is frustrating. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10...al.pone.0009177
  5. Andreas

    Hannibal

    http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=9955 This is a fascinating topic debated in depth in the link above. I tend to agree with you that whilst Hannibal was a brilliant battlefield tactician, he was strategically left wanting. Having said that, the ancient world was very different to that of the last few hundred years. Ancient commanders did not stand over maps and compose grand strategies and battlefield communications were inefficient. There was no "academic" destinction between strategy, operations and tactics, but a much more ad hoc approach to warfare where rudimentary expectations would form the objective. Hannibal expected the Roman Republic to come to terms after Cannae and why wouldn't he! That he failed to understand the singular character of the republic, its massive manpower and indomitable spirit is not too much of a criticism of the man, but more a testament to the unique fortitude of Rome herself. But seeing as in the time of his father the Romans had willingly sustained the losses of two whole fleets but kept on trucking he should have been aware of their remarkable ability to suck it up when needed and had a plan B for the eventuality of them not surrendering. The Romans' durability was indeed remarkable but not unknown at that time so his lack of grand strategic contingencies lost him a war which he won tactically on all counts until Zama. This is a good point. I would only say that Roman losses at sea - barring the defeat at Drepana - were inflicted by Mother Nature and bad seamanship and they only, if our available sources are accepted, suffered one defeat in a set piece battle at the hands of Xanthipus during the African campaign. The huge losses at sea attributed to storms, assuming Hannibal knew about them, would certainly have told him that Rome was resilient and had huge manpower reserves, but would not have necessarily given him the clues needed to predict how they might react after three enormous land defeats. Having said that, there should have been enough evidence to show Hannibal that he should not expect a conventional reaction. There may have been further clues available in his studying of Pyrrhus derived of his experience of the Roman "hydra". The most extensive evidence, however, was available to Hannibal. Cannae, as we all know, was sheer carnage and that the Republic did not come to terms. Hannibal had already inflicted two great defeats on Rome at the Trebia and Trasimine and therefore after Cannae should have been aware that you could destroy whole Consular armies without the Republic throwing in the towel. Hannibal had a strategy, that of reducing Rome to a regional power and detaching her from her allies. The first of those objectives could only be reached by forcing the Republic to concede defeat and accept terms. In this he simply did not understand that the combination of massive human resources and, whichever way you read it, something indomitable in the character of the people and the state. The second objective was based on an assumption that the Latin, Italian and Italiote Greeks allies were waiting for some sort of liberation. Whereas some capitulated, it was not because they welcomed Hannibal in particular, but because they felt there was no option. Enough of the important coastal communities stood with Rome to deprive Carthage of disembarkation points for reinforcements. All in all, I think that we are both saying that there were in the first place available clues as to the singular nature of the Republic. That he did not heed those clues led to him being unable to fulfill that first component of his strategy. It seems to me, that he missed the fact that the Roman opponent was different but so was her relationship with her allies. Kinda like how Napoleon beat everyone in his path heading into Russia but failing to realize Russia's will to fight despite horrendous suffering and losses. Which makes Napoleon a great general but a poor strategist overall too.
  6. Andreas

    Hannibal

    http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=9955 This is a fascinating topic debated in depth in the link above. I tend to agree with you that whilst Hannibal was a brilliant battlefield tactician, he was strategically left wanting. Having said that, the ancient world was very different to that of the last few hundred years. Ancient commanders did not stand over maps and compose grand strategies and battlefield communications were inefficient. There was no "academic" destinction between strategy, operations and tactics, but a much more ad hoc approach to warfare where rudimentary expectations would form the objective. Hannibal expected the Roman Republic to come to terms after Cannae and why wouldn't he! That he failed to understand the singular character of the republic, its massive manpower and indomitable spirit is not too much of a criticism of the man, but more a testament to the unique fortitude of Rome herself. But seeing as in the time of his father the Romans had willingly sustained the losses of two whole fleets but kept on trucking he should have been aware of their remarkable ability to suck it up when needed and had a plan B for the eventuality of them not surrendering. The Romans' durability was indeed remarkable but not unknown at that time so his lack of grand strategic contingencies lost him a war which he won tactically on all counts until Zama.
  7. Andreas

    Roman Cavalry.

    Grumble-grumble. Ok, you make some fair points. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kosovo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bouvines I found two battles ( from a quick search ) where cavalry charges made an important impact on the course of the battle but of course we cannot know whether the infantry actually held firm or if the charges in question had them panicking.
  8. Andreas

    Carthaginian Sacrifices

    I've heard mention of a Tunisian tophet having traditional burials as late as the 2nd century CE. Unfortunately those findings were yet to be published back when I was doing my thesis on the period and I haven't kept up to date on it really. Would not surprise me one bit however. Roman Africa was still a country unto itself even in late Antiquity.
  9. Andreas

    Roman Cavalry.

    http://www.caerleon.net/history/army/page9.html I'm sorry, I just can't see how adding two more solid points of contact with the horse won't give you way superior balance in the saddle? Thereby enabling you to stay mounted through even harder impacts, making charges into enemy formations much safer both as far as employing lances in a charge and as far as engaging the enemy up close with swords etc. A trotting horse will still give the tip of the lance enormous penetrating power.
  10. Andreas

    Carthage

    I found an interesting website which already is revising Biblical History: http://phoenicia.org/jezebel.html Yeah. They have some interesting articles and bits of information I've found but I recommend a healthy dose of sceptiscism towards some of the more loose assumptions. http://phoenicia.org/jefferson.html
  11. Andreas

    Roman Cavalry.

    The most devastating use of non-archer cavalry was the mass charge with lances which could both psychologically and physically break most infantry formations outside of the most disciplined ones. There wasn't anything wrong with the Roman saddle as such but the introduction of better saddles, spurs and most importantly stirrups meant that the cavalry could perform such maneuvers since they could brace themselves much better for the heavy impact. This made them shock troops which could break the core sections of an opposing army instead of merely supporting/enveloping unit like the Roman cavalry was.
  12. Andreas

    Roman Cavalry.

    http://historymedren.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi...remilitari.org/ Quote: "In 1898, C. W. C. Oman described the period from 1066-1346 as the age of "the supremacy of feudal cavalry."14 Recently, some scholars have attempted to dispute this conception, arguing that "cavalry was never militarily superior to foot soldiers" and that infantry played an equal or greater role on the medieval battlefield.15 It is true that Oman, Delbruck, and other earlier authors failed to acknowledge the significant role of infantry in the High Middle Ages, but the fact remains that "medieval warfare was characterized by the dominant role of the heavy cavalry."16 At Tinchebray in 1106, Bouvines in 1214, Dunbar in 1296, and Falkirk in 1297 (to consider only battles cited by authors who emphasize the role of the infantry), it was a cavalry charge that decided the battle. Throughout this period, infantry on the battlefield generally acted in a purely defensive role, using a tight formation "like a great wall" of pole-arms and crossbowmen to protect the cavalry while it formed up for a charge. The importance of this "wall" derived in part from the men-at-arms' practice of riding from place to place on palfreys and mounting their chargers only immediately before battle, making it critically important for them to be protected while changing horses and forming up. To use the metaphor of single combat, the infantry served as a shield to the cavalry's sword.17 Infantry could be very important, but it could not defeat an enemy unless he bashed his head against it. The effectiveness of the cavalry is not hard to explain. The medieval knight, supported as he was by the labor of others, had plenty of time to train for combat.18 His better diet made him larger and stronger than most of the commoners who formed the infantry.19 Most importantly, the capital he had invested in horses, arms, and armor magnified his capabilities. Mail armor, reinforced by a leather cuirass or a padded gambeson, made him nearly invulnerable on the battlefield. The mobility afforded by his horses, in addition to its obvious strategic value, enabled him to pursue a defeated enemy effectively, to flee rapidly if himself defeated, and to avoid unwanted battles with slow-moving infantry forces. The combination of armor and mobility made him particularly effective as a forager, giving him a critically important role in extended sieges, which were more likely to be broken by lack of food than by enemy action.20 Of course, the extremely high cost of this equipment, which in the mid-thirteenth century cost about
  13. Andreas

    Carthage

    Josephus claimed to use the Tyrian Chronicles as a source and they supposedly went back a thousand years. Even if they were brief and sparse on detail they would be a treasure trove as they'd detail an era and region where the Bible is the only significant literary source. Imagine the whirlwind of theological debate if they were ever recovered!
  14. Andreas

    Roman Cavalry.

    I thought the lack of stirrups, albeit controversial, was a major drawback for Roman cavalry since the lack of it made massed charges and anything but missile combat extremely costly in terms of casualties as they were easily knocked off their horses? And their lack of a horsenomad or heavily horse-based culture meant that mounted archers, unlike in the case of the Parthians and Sassanids, which required nearly life long experience in the saddle for any real efficiency as that tactic was founded on large numbers maneuvering expertly were virtually impossible for the Romans themselves to achieve outside of their auxilliaries.
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