Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies.

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies

It is nice to have an issue focusing on Ptolemaic Egypt in its own right, rather than as part of someone else's story (either as part of the collapse of the empire of Alexander the Great, the Rise of Rome, or a coda to the history of Ancient Egypt). Ptolemy I founded the most long-lived of the major Hellenistic dynasties, as well as the last of the Egyptian dynasties, and at its peak the Ptolemaic Egypt covered a vast area, including possessions in the Adriatic, large parts of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine and Libya as far west as Benghazi. The Seleucid Empire was larger at its greatest extent, but didn't last as long, and was often rather unstable.

Two articles from the theme stood out for me. The first is a look at Julius Caesar's campaign in Alexandria, looking at the problems even an experienced Roman commander and army faced when fighting in a vast urban area. The second looks at the larger Hellenistic warships, a major feature of the Ptolemaic navy. These are often dismissed as vanity projects, but the author here makes a good case for them as practical warships, of great value in the many sieges of fortified harbours of the Hellenistic period, as well as looking at the practical issues of their size and layout.

Away from the theme the article on Barbarian troops in the late Roman Empire makes a series of good points about their value to the Romans, their loyalty in warfare against external enemies, and the real proportion of Barbarian troops in the army.

Overall this is another nice issue of Ancient Warfare, focused entirely on Ptolemaic Egypt and the Roman Empire.

Kingdom of the Ptolemies - Historical Introduction
Ptolemy the Pharaoh - The Raphia Decree
Thorakitai ­- Armed after the Roman fashion
Stratiotes hos euergetai - Army and temple-building
Egypt's leviathans - The battle fleet of Ptolemy II Philadelphus
The road to Antioch - The beginning of the end
To the barricades! - Urban warfarae in Alexandria
War of words - Rome & Egypt in the age of Mark Antony
In the name of Rome - Roman military tombstones in Britain
Hollywood Romans - The Robe and more
Enemy within - Barbarians in the Late Roman army

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