I may not be the most objective reviewer of this month’s issue of Ancient Warfare: I know the editor-in-chief well and sometimes contribute to this magazine. (This issue contains a notice I wrote on the museum of Tongeren.) Yet, I like to introduce Ancient Warfare to a general audience, because it always contains interesting articles and attractive artwork. On this issue’s cover is a splendid cavalry standard bearer by Johnny Shumate, and inside we can find a reconstruction of a scene in a Mycenaean palace by Igor Dzis: a work of art. Other illustrations are by Angel García Pin and Andrew Brozyna, and the maps are by Carlos de la Rocha.
This issue’s theme is “classical heroes” and deals with the influence of ancient (Homeric) exempla on later warfare, a theme made popular by J.E. Lendon in his Soldiers and Ghosts (2005). This theme, of course, needs an explanation about the values and the type of warfare we encounter in Homer‘s Iliad and Odyssey, an explanation that is offered in two articles by Josho Brouwers and Michael J. Taylor. Christian Koepfer is the author of an essay on the Shield of Achilles and Arnold Blumberg describes how Philip and Alexander picked up clues from the bard when they reformed the Macedonian army. The way soldiers can go berserk and experience divine battle frenzy, like Homer’s Ajax and numerous other warriors, is the subject of a contribution by Sidney Dean.
An article by Andrea Salimbeti and Raffaele D’Amato on warfare in the Mycenaean age, centered on the Seven against Thebes, tries to reconstruct the Late Bronze world that Homer is evoking. I have always neglected this age, so I learned a lot from this article.
Rome is represented by an article by Ross Cowan, who describes legionaries and auxiliaries who received military decorations. Unrelated to the theme of heroism is Duncan Campbell’s article on Hyginus’ essay on constructing camp fortifications: Campbell tries to find out which campaign may have been the subject of Hyginus’ account. Flavian, Trajanic, and Antonine are possible, but Campbell does not rule out the possibility that the text is a product of fourth-century antiquarianism. Murray Dahm’s article on Athenaeus Mechanicus’ On Machines and the usual reviews conclude this issue.
In sum, it was an interesting read that I like to recommend. You can subscribe here.