The Gods of Battle: The Thracians at War, 1500 BC-150 AD. (Hardback)

Chris Webber

Published by Pen Sword Books Ltd, 2011
ISBN 10: 1844158357 / ISBN 13: 9781844158355
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Language: English . Brand New Book. Herodotus described the Thracians (who inhabited what is now roughly modern Bulgaria, Romania, the European part of Turkey and northern Greece) as the most numerous nation of all apart from the Indians and said that they would be the most powerful of all nations if they didn t enjoy fighting each other so much. There may have been a million Thracians, divided among as many as 40 tribes. Ancient writers were hard put to it to decide which of the Thracian tribes was the most valiant, and they were employed as mercenaries by all the great Mediterranean civilisations. Thrace had the potential to field huge numbers of troops, and the Greeks and Romans lived in fear of a dark Thracian cloud descending from the north, devastating civilisation in the Balkans. The Thracian way of warfare had a huge influence on Classical Greek and Hellenistic warfare. After Thrace was conquered by the Romans, the Thracians provided a ready source of tough auxiliaries to the Roman army. Chris Webber gives an overview of Thracian history and culture, but focuses predominantly on their warfare and weapons. The latest archaeological finds are used to give the most detailed and accurate picture yet of their arms, armour and costume. He identifies and differentiates the many different tribes, showing that their weapons and tactics varied. The resulting study should be welcomed by anyone interested in the archaeology and history of the region or in classical warfare as a whole. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Herodotus described the Thracians (who inhabited what is now roughly modern Bulgaria, Romania, the European part of Turkey and northern Greece) as the most numerous nation of all apart from the Indians and said that they would be the most powerful of all nations if they didn't enjoy fighting each other so much. There may have been a million Thracians, divided among as many as 40 tribes. Ancient writers were hard put to it to decide which of the Thracian tribes was the most valiant, and they were employed as mercenaries by all the great Mediterranean civilisations. Thrace had the potential to field huge numbers of troops, and the Greeks and Romans lived in fear of a dark Thracian cloud descending from the north, devastating civilisation in the Balkans. The Thracian way of warfare had a huge influence on Classical Greek and Hellenistic warfare. After Thrace was conquered by the Romans, the Thracians provided a ready source of tough auxiliaries to the Roman army. Chris Webber gives an overview of Thracian history and culture, but focuses predominantly on their warfare and weapons. The latest archaeological finds are used to give the most detailed and accurate picture yet of their arms, armour and costume. He identifies and differentiates the many different tribes, showing that their weapons and tactics varied. The resulting study should be welcomed by anyone interested in the archaeology and history of the region or in classical warfare as a whole.

Review: I was very surprised by the amount of interesting material in the book. I had initially passed on it, as I have no Thracian Army and wasn't planning on one. However, some good reviews and a chance encounter in a bookshop whilst slightly hungover soon persuaded me. There is a very interesting discussion of the development of the Peltast from its Thracian origins - including a worthwhile section on Iphicrates (in all his interpretations) too. All in all, a book with more to offer than the title suggests, and very interesting to read. - Lead Astray

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Title: The Gods of Battle: The Thracians at War, ...
Publisher: Pen Sword Books Ltd
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: Hardback
Book Condition: New

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