Ancient History Magazine Vol V Issue 6: Clad in gold and silver: Elite units of the Hellenistic Era

Ancient Warfare Vol V Issue 3: The last great enemy: Rome and the Sassanid Empire

Ancient History Magazine Vol V Issue 6: Clad in gold and silver: Elite units of the Hellenistic Era

The main theme of this issue is the elite units of the Hellenistic period, from Alexander the Great to the defeat of Mithridates of Pontus. Five articles and the introduction are on this topic, mainly focusing on the three successor kingdoms (Macedonia, Egypt and the Seleucid Empire). We take a look at the elite guard in Macedonia, the development of armoured heavy cavalry in the Seleucid Empire, and the role and fate of the 'Friends' of the diodochi involved in the battle of Gaze (the first generation of successors to Alexander the Great).

The article on Mithridates is interesting, although the title doesn't quite fit - the article is actually a brief history of Mithridates' reign and his wars with Rome, with the army examined in the first part of the article.

Opening the Lid takes a look at a decorated box probably showing Trajan and some of his troops, and that supports the argument that Roman soldiers wore a mix of different types of armour even when close to the Emperor (rather than uniformly wearing the most up-to-date design).

Of (almost) local interest to me was the article on a possible Roman siege at Burnswark, in southern Scotland. This was either the site of a Roman attack on a defended hill fort or the site of practise manoeuvres. The author sides with the first argument, and does a good job of justifying his position. 

Also including a look at the earliest use of the composite bow in the ancient Near East, this is another interesting issue of the magazine, with a wide range of articles, both in time and in topic.

Chapters
The Source: A political statement
Specialists of a Polyglot Army: Mithridates' elite units
Hypaspists to Peltasts: The elite guard of the Antigonid Macedonian Army
Doomed Men of Distinction: The battle of Gaza, 312 BC
Origins of Armoured Cavalry: The Seleucid Cataphract
The Find: Opening the Lid
Hill fort under Attack: Training at or siege of Burnswark
The Debate: Stave, compound and composite bows


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