Talk:Ancient warfare

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Age of Empires 1 and potential plagiarism[edit]

I recall that the "chariots" section and the first paragraph of the "Egypt" section had also been present, word for word, in the computer game Age of Empires 1, which was quite popular in its time. As Age of Empires 1 precedes Wikipedia, I have to ask whether this article plagiarizes it or whether they both originate from the same source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anvilsmith (talkcontribs) 13:37, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

"Ancient"[edit]

The definition of "ancient", which refers to the fall of Rome, seems suitable only for the Mediterranean. How would you define ancient with regard to China, for instance? Burschik 06:42, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In fact, I believe that the Ancient period even in the Mediterranean is significantly earlier than Rome, which if I recall correctly belongs in the Classical, Post-Classical or Hellenic periods. However, in common usage beyond the textbook definition "ancient" is used to refer to anything before 600-700 AD and the start of the Dark Ages. Zrut (talk) 06:13, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Need a section on Archers & Skirmishers — various bows, javelins/pilum, & slings. RJH 18:10, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • might want to avoid sounding like recounting units from various gaming systems (& yes I know some are based on actual historical army divisions) --ZayZayEM 02:57, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Removing headings[edit]

I'm removing the headings that have no information.

  • Strategy, tactics, and weapons (changing to "Tactics and weapons")
    • Armies
    • Strategy
  • (Removing from "Cultures")
    • Sumerian
    • Israel, Judea, and Samaria
    • Korean
    • Etruscan
    • British Islander
    • Celtic
Maurreen 01:59, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Rwemoving some culture sections[edit]

Adding detail and corrections on the Vikings and moving it to Medieval warfare. Vikings are after Roman Empire so Medieval Warfare article is a better fit.

Some editing on the Vikings-- the usual spelling edits (no doubt I have some mispellings somewhere as well) but qualifying some more questionable statements. For example it is said "The Vikings also possessed another quality that was unheard of at that time. They were both sailors and soldiers." It was also said "raids for profit, something totally foreign to European civilization." In fact there have been numerous people who approached from the sea and fought on land, from the "Sea Peoples" invading North Africa, to the profit-seeking Mediterrean pirates liquidated by the ruthless campaign of Roman general Pompey the Great. Still whoever started the section deserves credit for at least getting the ball rolling.

Still to come (sometime) Mention of the Celtics should be made since they figure in Caesar's Gallic War. I am combining them with the Germans since they were all classified "barbarians" by many Romans, with few attempts to separate them.


Enriquecardova 03:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Proportions of Greek warships[edit]

There seems to be some disagreement as to how to describe Greek triremes - either that they were "ships with long oars" or "long ships with oars". I favour "long ships with oars" because Triremes were about as long and thin as physics and the technology of the time would allow; the oars, while hardly short, were no longer than they needed to be given that there was one man to each oar.

I agree they were long ships, but I think the original intent was directed at general readers who don't know what a trireme is. Their most striking feature is their oars, which aren't like any modern oars of only a few feet in length. Especially for the upper-most deck of oars, these were of incredible length. If a modern person looked out and suddenly saw a trireme, I doubt the first thing they'd exclaim is "what a long ship!"
The article Trireme is the right place for details, such as their beam.
(By the way, it helps to sign your comments by adding ~~~~ at the end. See the "Your signature and timestamp" button above the edit box.)
--A D Monroe III 1 July 2005 20:10 (UTC)

Chariots confusion[edit]

The use of chariots is much older than the Assyrians of the 7th century BC.

This paragraph was removed:

While useful in the Middle East, chariots were not used everywhere. In some areas, most notably Egypt, chariots were used to transport nobles, but the army's core was still the infantry. The Nile allowed for easy transportation of massed infantry by ship, making chariots' speed far less of an advantage. Egypt's main enemies were the Saharan nomads and the southern Nubians, who could be repulsed by the superior numbers of the Egyptians. By abandoning chariots Egypt made itself vulnerable to any outside invaders, such as the Hyksos or Persians, who did reach them.

  • Below is written: "The flat and open land of Egypt also provided good conditions for wheeled vehicles." Self-contradictory.
  • Above is written how chariots were used during a battle. I doubt the Egyptians used ships instead of chariots in land battles, especially not against the Sahara nomads.
  • So "by abandoning chariots Egypt" was overrun by the Hyksos? Hyksos is generally thought to have introduced the chariot into Egypt. Is the author familiar with the Battle of Kadesh?

--JFK 20:00, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


Cultures section - add 'Steppe nomads'/'Horse peoples'?[edit]

Does anyone else think that the Eurasian horse-riding steppe nomads deserve a mention here? Some of them did feature in a number of ancient conflicts, notably the Parthians (nomadic before they took over Persia), the Huns, the Scythians/Sakae and their offshoots (Sarmatians, Roxolani, etc) and the various tribes who harried at China's borders (the White Huns and Yuezhi, amongst others). A lot of the warfare was endemic raiding, but in the case of the Parthians and Huns, could also be large scale invasions of settled urban peoples. Their evasive mounted-archery style of fighting was quite distinct from other contemporary ways of fighting too. Thoughts? Doctor Atomic 02:11, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Bible Times[edit]

I know many of you might not think the Bible is all-out true, but it is still a historical document. The very first "battle" or "war" recorded in It is in Genesis 14. Take a look or ask me if you're interested. Colonel Marksman 17:53, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Severe lack of information on ancient Chinese warfare weapons and strategies[edit]

There is a severe lack of information on Chinese military warfare and weapons. This is curious since developments in this part of thr world were unusually well documented in contemporaneous historical texts that have existed down to the present day. It is also curious given the lengthy cultural continuity that has permitted the documentation, transmission and dating of development in its ancient military technologies and strategems.

In my view, this is a significant omission even in an "overview" article such as this. I suspect this is indicative of a lack of input from Chinese scholastic sources. Chinese warfare and contributions during the "Ancient" period (up to 476 AD as this article defines it) are by no means scant and a balanced world view should take into account these contributions.

The article looks skewed because of the attention it gives to Greek, Roman and Near Eastern military history - possibly because of the classical Western focus that continues to bedevil historical analysis in the English language.

A few examples of significant Chinese developments in ancient warfare include the following:

(1) The abandonment of chariots in favour of the integrated horse mounted cavalry and infantry tactics arose during the Warring States Period, culiminating in strategies involving the co-ordinated infranty and cavalry operations that led to the success of the Qin under Qin Shih Huang and the formation of first empire in the 3rd century BC. The Macedonians are, strangely, portrayed as having been innovators in this regard. Given that the Qin had quasi-nomadic origins, and that Macedonian military tradition was based in part on the hill-bound Greek culture, it seems counter-intuitive to suggest that the Macedonian use of cavalry was novel.

(2) The invention of the cross bow which can be dated to the "Ancient" period (approx 4th BC).

(3) The invention (or at least earliest known implementation) of the stirrup in the 4th century AD in China.

(4) The development of a sophisticated quasi-philosophical strategic school of thought and study of warfare that was not surpassed by any other culture in terms of its scope and depth and rivalled by only a few. Eg. the works of Sun Tze's Art of War (6th and 5th centuries BC), Zhuge Liang's 36 strategems from the Three Kingdoms Period (3rd century AD). Indeed, the Chinese were one of the first to institutionalise the study and development of warfare strategems.

Any balanced account of this should be properly reflected in this article.

(61.8.238.50 09:53, 2 October 2007 (UTC))

A good point. But the lack of balance is not just isolated to references to Chinese warfare. I believe the article has other significant gaps. Overall, I find the quality of east asian articles in wikipedia to be uneven.

(Brandythefox 17:20, 3 October 2007 (UTC))

No cavarly tradition for the Greeks, how so?[edit]

I am almost astonished by the following statement "...did not have any cavalry tradition" and the separation of Greeks from the (Ancient) Macedonians! The leading scholars' opinions clearly state that Ancient Macedonians were a greek tribe. And from the latest evidence uncovered in the macedonians tombs reconfirm that they were a greek tribe.

please see the following references:

  • In the Shadows of Olymbus: The emergence of Macedon, by E.N. Borza
  • Eugene N. Borza, Philip II and the Greeks, Classical Philology, Vol. 73, No. 3. (Jul., 1978), pp. 236-243.
  • Pomeroy, S., Burstein, S., Dolan, W., Roberts, J. (1998) Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-509742-4
  • Hammond, N.G.L., (1989) The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions, and History, pp. 12-13, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-814883-6A.Cython (talk) 10:27, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Macedonian army used hoplites along with sarissa phallanx and thessalian cavalry.There should be not separation ,they were ancient Greeks in the sources.Megistias (talk) 10:30, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
From 700 BC up to Phillip of Macedon they fought like the rest of the Greeks and with Phillip they added Sarissae phallanx to the already existing army.Include them in the Greeks and add the variant.They still used hoplites along with sarissa's.Megistias (talk) 10:34, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you :D A.Cython (talk) 10:47, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Cut it short[edit]

Can someone cut the Illyrian [1] section short? I am making a main article.Megistias (talk) 13:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Can someone cut it short?Megistias (talk) 14:03, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Someone make it brief please.Megistias (talk) 17:19, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Could someone trim this part?Megistias (talk) 20:39, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Tactics[edit]

This section reads like a guide to Rome: Total War. For a start, it suggests that most battles from the period were decided by flanking cavalry. In early ancient conflicts this would rarely have been the case, and where the Roman army was concerned cavalry only gained such significance towards the end of the Empire.

It also claims that armies were routed by attacking lightly armed skirmishers. This might be a common occurance in the online gaming community, but is hardly an informed comment on the tactics employed by pre-medieval armies.

I suggest this section be removed unless any of it can be supported by citations other than those that can be gleaned from gaming FAQs. --82.7.58.26 (talk) 21:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


I came across this page after reading about it in the EB forums and can see it is in need of a lot of editing. Anyone else want to help me with the work needed to do this?71.179.255.228 (talk) 05:10, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

No Battle of Carchemish?[edit]

Is there a reason why this article omits the important battle of Carchemish? I couldn't see it in the battles list, so I've added it to the listing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carchemish — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.85.46.26 (talk) 15:23, 23 November 2011 (UTC)