Said to have been built on the East side of the River Tigris by King Vardanes (or Vardanus), Ctesiphon served as the administrative capital of both the Parthian and Sassanid Empires and attracted scientists, architects and writers from all over the Middle Eastern world. It was located twenty miles south of the location where Baghdad would be founded by Muslims in the 7th century.
For five hundred years, Baghdad, the modern-day capital of Iraq, shone as the gem in the Muslim world. Founded during the Golden Age of Islam, Baghdad quickly expanded, becoming a sprawling metropolis of houses, markets, hospitals and schools.
Maces, or as they were otherwise known, bludgeons, became extremely popular in the Middle Ages in Eastern Europe, where the poorer soldiers could arm themselves cheaply with an easy-to-produce weapon with deadly potential.
One of the best known stories of the Macedonian King Alexander’s reign, is the tale of the striking of the Gordian knot, a tightly twisted and bound bundle of rope connected to a wagon. Not only is it a nice story, it is also a possibly example of Alexander’s mentality and attitude towards solving problems, which plays largely into his Persian invasion.
With no defeats in his campaign, Alexander was prepared to turn his army and march to Babylon, where he hoped he could take over the city and be crowned King of the Persian Empire. But before he could do so, Darius III sent a letter asking for his wife and children to be given back. Additionally, he attempted to form a treaty with the Macedonian king, allowing him to control half of the Persian lands whilst Darius controlled the other half. Unfortunately for the Persians, Alexander did not want shared leadership. He wanted it all, and absolutely all of it.
“On Ancient Warfare”, in my opinion, should be used as a general reference book on the topics of fighting in antiquity, rather than a cover-to-cover read. Thank you to Pen and Sword who sent these books out to review. This is the third episode of Reviewing History Products.
Maybe I should be doing these chapter summaries more frequently so we can get into the more interesting chapters of Livy, but I want to keep the balance right. In this section, we see Amulius killed and Numitor placed rightfully back on the throne.
With Memnon of Rhodes’ forces destroyed at the first major battle of the Persian invasion by the Macedonians, Alexander led his blood-thirsty army – which had little need for any recovery time – along Anatolia’s Aegean Coast, bribing, frightening and besieging the ports into submission. Consequently, he had diminished Persian naval dominance around the Greek homelands, but had not gained full control of the Eastern Mediterranean.
After crossing the Hellespont from homeland Greece to Asia Minor – the Western half of the mighty Persian Empire – with an army of approximately forty-thousand men, Alexander gathered his men and headed for the Aegean coast and Persian naval bases. It was extremely important that he captured or took out these coastal cities otherwise he ran the risk of the Persians attacking Greece by sea whilst he was on campaign.
Upon inheriting his father, Philip II’s, armies, Alexander aided the unification of the petty Greek states that had for so long warred against each other to fight a common enemy – Persia – and led his men, as a general, into an invasion of Asia. Not only was Alexander titled “great” by modern historians, but by the writers of Ancient Times, such as Arrian, Curtis and Diodorius. Born in 356 BC, Pella, Greece, “Alexander, being then about twenty years of age, marched into Peloponnesus, as soon as he had secured the regal power”.
1. Did the Romans really control a quarter of the world?
No, they didn’t. They conquered the majority of Europe, a slice along the North of Africa and mostly dominated the east. This map shows the extent of the Roman Empire in the year 117AD, at around the height of its landmass and power. It is true that at one point a quarter of living humanity were Romans, but they had not conquered a quarter of the world.
The sheer fighting skill and discipline of the Templars depended on complete obedience to instructions, and it was the duty of any of these Knights to carry out the commander’s orders to the best of his ability. No matter the circumstance, the Templars would always have to act like fighting machines that would follow blunt commands.
For centuries, humans had believed that there would be a way to move quicker and more easily without the use of animals such as horses or donkeys. They knew that mechanics and scientific innovation would lead to the invention of a carriage which was powered by nature and working parts rather than biological life. But it was not until the Late Medieval era that educated individuals began to look more closely at how this dream could be achieved. Leonardo da Vinci was one of these creators, and was possibly the first to design and draw up plans for vehicles such as flying machines and tanks. Despite the sophisticated and potentially viable ideas da Vinci came up with, according to modern research, most of them would not work if they were actually attempted. It was a nice try, however.
In the fifth chapter of Livy’s work, we see Romulus escape capture, Remus taken for punishment to the King, and the assassination of the treacherous usurper Amulius. Here is my brief summary of chapter 5 of the first books – enjoy 🙂
Romulus and Remus were celebrating the festival of Lupercalia – founded by Evander, an Arcadian who had previously occupied the area – on the Palatine hill
Remember the brothers were fighting and stealing? Well, the brigands came to take revenge and managed to capture Remus. Romulus is not caught.
Remus had been raiding his grandfather, Numitor’s lands, and had not realised who he was attacking as he had never grown to know his exiled grandfather.
Fastaulus, the farmer that had found the boys with the wolf and cared for them through their childhood, knew that the boys were of royal blood
So Fastaulus told Romulus that he was descended from royalty
At about the same time, Numitor realised that the one boy he had in custody and his brother (Romulus) were his long-lost grandsons
Rom and Reme didn’t stand a chance in a pitched battle against Amulius, so they grouped their soldiers…
…and built a trap…
I hope this helped you! Oh, and Merry Christmas. Not sure why I am doing this on Christmas Day, but oh well.
In the oldest, darkest of Ancient Times, there existed a period of great celebration stretching from around late December to the first days of January, known to the pagans and druids of the cold and icy North.
We’ve seen it all, in movies, books, exaggerated but unhistoric illustrations and oftentimes our imaginations. But the question is, did swordsmen ever really pull a sword from a back scabbard, and how practical would it have been to carry your weapon out of your view – and potentially out of your reach?
The 13 unlucky ways you could be put to death for your crimes in the Dark Ages. These include medieval ways of public and private execution, and certainly some of the most painful and brutal methods in history.
Studying? Working on a project? Or are you a blogger like me researching for your next post? Using the correct research techniques is the best way to save yourself time and effort when studying. Here are my favourite ten tips for tripling the efficiency of your learning and finding what you need to know quicker. Hope you enjoy the post…
The food of Ancient Rome is often called the “most rounded and balanced diet of the ancient world”. And if you know the variety of different meats, vegetables and cheeses they ate, it’s not hard to see why. Although it is debatable whether they were better fed than their surrounding Mediterranean neighbours, we can be certain that if you had money, you had food – and talented chefs that could cook it.
During the Imperial Period, the Romans constructed hundreds of thousands of miles of paved and unpaved roads to connect provinces, towns and ports and enable widespread military mobilization within and outside the Empire’s borders.
The longbow, a devastatingly powerful long range weapon, was highly popular with English armies in the Middle Ages, although it was the Welsh who designed such a practical and deadly device. English Kings brought it into common use following defeated attacks on Wales.
Following his ascending to the throne in 1413, Henry V planned to assert his dominance over the French and possibly take the throne. As they had been engaging in smaller scales skirmishes on the English coast as well as supporting their enemies – including Scotland – Henry decided to transport his army of around 12,000 men from Southampton to Normandy (Northern France).
Hello, second episode of “Reviewing History Products”! It is thanks to my kind donor, James at History Gear, that I am able to continue doing these; he has sent me a package of different things to inspect and write upon. I’ve had a look at what has arrived, and it’s fair to say that I’m pleased!
This is the very first post in my new series, “Reviewing History Products”. I am really grateful to Pen and Swords Publishing who kindly sent me a set of books to review and it is because of their generous donation that I have decided to make this into a series. As of yet, I’ve been in touch with a couple more companies, so expect to see more!
Archaeologists excavating around Stockholm in Sweden stumbled upon a treasure trove of various military equipment, including “hundreds” of cannonballs dating back to the great age of Newton, Elizabeth I and Bach.
What do we have to look forward to this December? Here I’ve compiled a list of posts which I’ve either planned to start or have already begun researching. I hope you find something that you are interested in!
Welcome, Knight Errant! I see you want to be talked through the steps in the process of forging your own medieval sword! We won’t be making no flimsy wooden swords here – grab your swordsmith and we can get to work blacksmithing a new weapon!
… and much more in the rise of this glorious Empire. This is The Augustus, and today we’ll be talking about the industrialisation of a small Latin community into an thriving urban superpower, and what it was like to live in the “city of marble”.
Here are some of my most interesting pictures from the many historical places I have visited. I hope you enjoy them. I’m slowly expanding my territories of exploration 😂 so you’ll probably see more from me as time goes on…. can you identify some of these places??
Titus Livius’ incredible work, The History of Rome, details everything from the inhabitation of Italy by Trojans until the rise of Augustus as the first Emperor. I’ve only just started reading this mammoth work – and here is a quick summary of the first chapter of the first book which I’ve already finished:
I’ve decided that seen as I’m relentlessly writing blog posts on my own website, I may as well use my enjoyment of researching and writing about all aspects of history to help people that are interested in getting an article written for very cheap.
Also, the Emperor was particularly interested in architecture, which probably inspired his organised design of the wall. Other walls built during the slow decline of the Roman Empire didn’t match to Hadrian’s Wall.
Bonfire night is celebrated by communities all over the UK, but only recently has there been a growth in popularity for a new conspiracy theory about the plot. In today’s blog post, we look at the 400 year old tale and examine “gunpowder, treason and plot”.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about all topics of history – I’m going to try and answer them in the best way. Please keep in mind some answers may be written with my personal opinion, but it will still be facts.
These are some pictures I took whilst looking around the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The exhibitions are actually surprisingly large; there are lots of historical artifacts to blow your mind, as well as an Ancient Egyptian mummy. Hopefully you like the photos I took 🙂
17th Century Civil War armour, used by the soldiers defending Exeter castle.
Any blunder in war, big or small, is bound to fine tune our perception of fighting forever, but it is the greatest upsets in military history that truly turn the world in an entirely new direction. Furious encounters like the Battle of Stalingrad and nation-changing conflicts such as the Battle of Hastings will be remembered in the books for years to come.
As we draw every closer to Christmas, Bonfire Night and the anniversary of Armistice Day, you’ll be seeing a lot more awesome articles from me about a range of interesting topics that I’m sure will make you stop and read.