Siege of Pallantia, 74 BC

Siege of Pallantia, 74 BC

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Siege of Pallantia, 74 BC

The siege of Pallantia (74 BC) was a rare success for Sertorius in the later stages of the Sertorian War and saw him prevent Pompey from capture the town of Pallantia, in his Celtiberian heartland.

By 74 BC the morale of Sertorius’s army was beginning to collapse. This allowed Metellus to successfully capture several of the Celtiberian towns that had been supporting him, undermining his position. Pompey appears to have been less successful. He besieged Pallantia (Palencia), in the north-west of Spain, a city that appears to have been protected by wooden walls. Appian reports that Pompey’s troops were slinging logs of wood along the foot of the walls of the city, ready to set them on fire and burn down the walls. Sertorius arrived just in time to save the city, forcing Pompey to retreat, but not before he set fire to the walls, causing some damage. Sertorius repaired the damage, and then followed Pompey to Calagurris, where he defeated him (and possibly Metellus), inflicting 3,000 casualties on them.

Although Sertorius had saved Pallantia, he was unable to stop Metellus and Pompey from capturing many of the towns that had supported him, eroding his power base across Spain.

Archaeology in Israel: Masada Desert Fortress

Masada (Hebrew for fortress) is a place of gaunt and majestic beauty that has become one of the Jewish people's greatestsymbols as the place where the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood. Next to Jerusalem, it is the most popular destination of tourists visiting Israel.

More than two thousand years have passed since the fall of the Masada fortress yet the regional climate and its remoteness have helped to preserve the remains of its extraordinary story.

Masada was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.


Masada is located atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.

On the east side, the rock falls in a sheer drop of about 450 meters to the Dead Sea and on the western edge it stands about 100 meters above the surrounding terrain. The natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult.


The only written source about Masada is Josephus Flavius&rsquo The Jewish War. Born Joseph ben Matityahu into a priestly family, Flavius was a young leader at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Rebellion against Rome (66 CE) when he was appointed governor of Galilee. Calling himself Josephus Flavius, he became a Roman citizen and a successful historian.

According to Flavius, Herod the Great built the fortress of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. Herod, an Idumean, had been made King of Judea by his Roman overlords and &ldquofurnished this fortress as a refuge for himself.&rdquo It included a casemate wall around the plateau, storehouses, large cisterns ingeniously filled with rainwater, barracks, palaces and an armory.

Some 75 years after Herod&rsquos death, at the beginning of the Revolt of the Jews against the Romans in 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (70 CE) they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem. There, they held out for three years, raiding and harassing the Romans.

Then, in 73 CE, Roman governor Flavius Silva marched against Masada with the Tenth Legion, auxiliary units and thousands of Jewish prisoners-of-war. The Romans established camps at the base of Masada, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall. They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress and, in the spring of 74 CE, moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.

Once it became apparent that the Tenth Legion's battering rams and catapults would succeed in breaching Masada's walls, Elazar ben Yair - the Zealots&rsquo leader - decided that all the Jewish defenders should commit suicide the alternative facing the fortress&rsquos defenders were hardly more attractive than death.

Flavius dramatically recounts the story told him by two surviving women. The defenders &ndash almost one thousand men, women and children &ndash led by ben Yair, burnt down the fortress and killed each other. The Zealots cast lots to choose 10 men to kill the remainder. They then chose among themselves the one man who would kill the survivors. That last Jew then killed himself.

Elazar&rsquos final speech clearly was a masterful oration:

"Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice . We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom."

The story of Masada survived in the writings of Josephus but not many Jews read his works and for well over fifteen hundred years it was a more or less forgotten episode in Jewish history. Then, in the 1920's, Hebrew writer Isaac Lamdan wrote "Masada," a poetic history of the anguished Jewish fight against a world full of enemies. According to Professor David Roskies, Lamdan's poem, "later inspired the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto."

The heroic story of Masada and its dramatic end attracted many explorers to the Judean desert in attempts to locate the remains of the fortress. The site was identified in 1842, but intensive excavations took place only in the mid-1960's with the help of hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from Israel and from many foreign countries.

To many, Masada symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to be free in its own land.

Herodian Fortress

The rhomboid, flat plateau of Masada measures 600 x 300 m. The casemate wall (two parallel walls with partitions dividing the space between them into rooms), is 1400 m. long and 4 m. wide. It was built along the edge of the plateau, above the steep cliffs, and it had many towers. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates. The water supply was guaranteed by a network of large, rock-hewn cisterns on the northwestern side of the hill. They filled during the winter with rainwater flowing in streams from the mountain on this side. Cisterns on the summit supplied the immediate needs of the residents of Masada and could be relied upon in time of siege.

To maintain interior coolness in the hot and dry climate of Masada, the many buildings of various sizes and functions had thick walls constructed of layers of hard dolomite stone, covered with plaster. The higher northern side of Masada was densely built up with structures serving as the administrative center of the fortress and included storehouses, a large bathhouse and comfortable living quarters for officials and their families.

King Herod's Residential Palace

On the northern edge of the steep cliff, with a splendid view, stood the elegant, intimate, private palace-villa of the king. It was separated from the fortress by a wall, affording total privacy and security. This northern palace consists of three terraces, luxuriously built, with a narrow, rock-cut staircase connecting them. On the upper terrace, several rooms served as living quarters in front of them is a semi-circular balcony with two concentric rows of columns. The rooms were paved with black and white mosaics in geometric patterns.

Remains of the Masada bathhouse

The two lower terraces were intended for entertainment and relaxation. The middle terrace had two concentric walls with columns, covered by a roof this created a portico around a central courtyard. The lowest, square terrace has an open central courtyard, surrounded by porticos. Its columns were covered with fluted plaster and supported Corinthian capitals. The lower parts of the walls were covered in frescos of multicolored geometrical patterns or painted in imitation of cut marble. On this terrace was also a small private bathhouse. Here, under a thick layer of debris, were found the remains of three skeletons, of a man, a woman and a child. The beautifully braided hair of the woman was preserved, and her sandals were found intact next to her also hundreds of small, bronze scales of the man&rsquos armor, probably booty taken from the Romans.

The Storehouse Complex

This consisted of two rows of long halls opening onto a central corridor. The floor of the storerooms was covered with thick plaster and the roofing consisted of wooden beams covered with hard plaster. Here, large numbers of broken storage jars which once contained large quantities of oil, wine, grains and other foodstuffs were found.

The Large Bathhouse

Elaborately built, it probably served the guests and senior officials of Masada. It consisted of a large courtyard surrounded by porticos and several rooms, all with mosaic or tiled floors and some with frescoed walls. The largest of the rooms was the hot room (caldarium). Its suspended floor was supported by rows of low pillars, making it possible to blow hot air from the furnace outside, under the floor and through clay pipes along the walls, to heat the room to the desired temperature.

The Western Palace

This is the largest building on Masada, covering over 4,000 square meters (one acre). Located along the center of the western casemate wall, near the main gate towards Judea and Jerusalem, it served as the main administration center of the fortress, as well as the king&rsquos ceremonial palace. It consists of four wings: an elaborate royal apartment, a service and workshop section, storerooms and an administrative unit. In the royal apartment, many rooms were built around a central courtyard. On its southern side was a large room with two Ionic columns supporting the roof over the wide opening into the courtyard. Its walls were decorated with molded panels of white stucco. On the eastern side were several rooms with splendid colored mosaic floors. One of these, the largest room, has a particularly decorative mosaic floor with floral and geometric patterns within several concentric square bands. This room may have been King Herod&rsquos throne room, the seat of authority when he was in residence at Masada.

Stronghold of the Zealots

Remains of the Masada Synagogue

The synagogue, part of the Herodian construction, was a hall measuring 12.5 x 10.5 m., incorporated into the northwestern section of the casemate wall and oriented towards Jerusalem. This synagogue also served the Jews who lived in Masada during the Revolt. They built four tiers of plastered benches along the walls, as well as columns to support its ceiling. This synagogue is considered to be the best example of the early synagogues, those predating the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

An ostracon bearing the inscription me'aser kohen (tithe for the priest) was found in the synagogue. Also, fragments of two scrolls, parts of Deuteronomy and Ezekiel 37 (including the vision of the "dry bones"), were found hidden in pits dug under the floor of a small room built inside the synagogue.

Among the many small finds of artifacts &ndash most from the occupation period of the zealots &ndash were pottery and stone vessels, weapons (mainly arrowheads), remnants of textiles and of foodstuffs preserved in the dry climate of this area also hundreds of pottery sherds, some with Hebrew lettering, coins and shekels.

Of special interest among the postherds of amphora used for the importation of wine from Rome (inscribed with the name C. Sentius Saturninus, consul for the year 19 BCE), is one bearing the inscription: To Herod King of the Jews Several hoards of bronze coins and dozens of silver shekels and half-shekels had been hidden by the zealots the shekalim were found in superb condition and represent all the years of the Revolt, from year one to the very rare year 5 (70 CE), when the Temple was destroyed.

In the area in front of the northern palace, eleven small ostraca were uncovered, each bearing a single name. One reads "ben Yai&rsquor" and could be short for Eleazar ben Ya&rsquoir, the commander of the fortress. It has been suggested that the other ten names are those of the men chosen by lot to kill the others and then themselves, as recounted by Josephus. Evidence of a great conflagration were found everywhere. The fire was pobably set by the last of the zealots before they committed suicide. Josephus Flavius writes that everything was burnt except the stores &ndash to let the Romans know that it was not hunger that led the defenders to suicide.

UNESCO World Heritage Designation

Criterion (iii): Masada is a symbol of the ancient Jewish Kingdom of Israel, of its violent destruction in the later 1st century CE, and of the subsequent Diaspora.

Criterion (iv): The Palace of Herod the Great at Masada is an outstanding example of a luxurious villa of the Early Roman Empire, whilst the camps and other fortifications that encircle the monument constitute the finest and most complete Roman siege works to have survived to the present day.

Criterion (vi): The tragic events during the last days of the Jewish refugees who occupied the fortress and palace of Masada make it a symbol both of Jewish cultural identity and, more universally, of the continuing human struggle between oppression and liberty.


Due to its remoteness, and the harsh climate of the southern end of the Judean Desert, following the dissolution of the Byzantine monastic settlement in the 6th century the Masada site remained untouched for more than thirteen centuries until its rediscovery in1828. The property encompasses the remains of the site on its natural fortress and the surrounding siegeworks.

Of equal importance is the fact that the setting of Masada, the magnificent wild scenery of this region, has not changed over many millennia. The only intrusions are the lower visitor and cable car facilities, which in their new form have been designed and relocated sympathetically, to minimize visual impact, though the siting of the summit station, is still controversial.


This is a site that remained untouched for more than thirteen centuries. The buildings and other evidence of human settlement gradually collapsed and were covered over until they were revealed in the 1960s. There have been no additions or reconstruction, beyond an acceptable level of anastylosis, and inappropriate materials used in early conservation projects are being replaced. Limited restoration works have been carried out to aid visitor interpretation with original archaeological levels being clearly defined by a prominent black line set in the new mortar joints. Certain significant archaeological elements, such as the Roman camps and siegeworks, remain virtually untouched. The authenticity is therefore of a very high level.

Protection and management requirements

The Judean desert remains a sparsely settled area, with the harshness of the environment serving as a natural barrier against modern urban and rural development pressures.

The property and buffer zone are owned by the State of Israel, and the archaeological sites are protected by the 1978 Antiquities Law. Since 1966 the entire Masada site, and its surroundings, have been designated a National Park, updated by the 1998 National Parks, Nature Reserves, National Sites and Memorial Sites Law. The National Park is further protected through being entirely surrounded by the Judean Desert Nature Reserve, also established under the 1998 Act.

The property is managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority. An important aspect of the current management plan is the decision to carry out no further research excavation on the main site "in the present generation", although limited excavation will be permitted when required by conservation, maintenance or restoration projects.

Almost entirely invisible from the summit, a new visitor centre was opened on the plain beneath the eastern side of Masada in 2000. Providing all the anticipated facilities, the centre was designed to accommodate the 1.25 million visitors per annum. The cable car, originally installed in the 1970's, was replaced by a new, less intrusive, and heavily used system to connect the visitor centre with the summit. It is also still possible to undertake the arduous climb to the summit by the two historic pedestrian access routes.

The policy of prohibiting commercial activities of any kind, and picnicking on the summit, is rigorously maintained.

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry
Joseph Telushkin Jewish Literacy, NY:
William Morrow and Co., 1991. Reprinted by permission of the author

Masada photo courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. All rights reserved to Itamar Greenberg and to the Ministry of Tourism.

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First Century Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Jesus knew nowhere near resembled the city David conquered in the tenth century BC. At that time, it had been a small, isolated hill fortress, valued more for its location than its size or splendor. Yet from that time on it was known as the City of David, and the kings of David's dynasty, especially his son Solomon, had enlarged and beautified it.

In the sixth century BC, the army of Nebuchadnezzar leveled Jerusalem and drove its citizens into exile. During the long years of captivity in Babylon, the Jews in exiles' prayers and longings focused on the distant Holy City. But the city rebuilt by the Jews who returned a century later was far inferior to its former splendor. It was, ironically, the hated tyrant Herod the Great who restored Jerusalem to its former grandeur.

In the 33 years of his reign (37-4 B.C.), Herod transformed the city as had no other ruler since Solomon. Building palaces and citadels, a theatre and an amphitheatre, viaducts (bridges) and public monuments. These ambitious building projects, some completed long after his death, were part of the king's single-minded campaign to increase his capital's importance in the eyes of the Roman Empire.

No visitor seeing Jerusalem for the first time could fail to be impressed by its visual splendor. The long, difficult ascent from Jericho to the Holy City ended as the traveler rounded the Mount of Olives, and suddenly caught sight of a vista like few others in the world. Across the Kidron Valley, set among the surrounding hills, was Jerusalem, "the perfection of beauty," in the words of Lamentations, "the joy of all the world."

The view from the Mount of Olives was dominated by the gleaming, gold-embellished Temple which was located in the most holy spot in the Jewish world and really God's world. This was the Lord's earthly dwelling place, He mediated His throne here and raised up a people to perform rituals and ceremonies here that would foreshadow the coming of His Messiah kinsman redeemer who would be the lamb of God, slain for the sins of the whole world.

The Temple stood high above the old City of David, at the center of a gigantic white stone platform.

To the south of the temple was THE LOWER CITY, a group of limestone houses, yellow-brown colored from years of sun and wind. Narrow, unpaved streets and houses that sloped downward toward the Tyropean Valley, which ran through the center of Jerusalem.

Rising upward to the west was THE UPPER CITY, or Zion, where the white marble villas and palaces of the very rich stood out like patches of snow. Two large arched passageways spanned the valley, crossing from the Upper City to the temple.

A high, thick, gray stone wall encircled Jerusalem. It had been damaged, repaired and enlarged over the centuries, and in Jesus' day it was about 4 miles in circumference, bringing about 25,000 people into an area about a square mile. At intervals along the wall were massive gateways. Just inside each gate was a customs station, where publicans collected taxes on all goods entering or leaving the city.

9 The Second Punic War Sightings218&ndash201 BC

There were many sightings of strange aerial phenomenon during the Second Punic War between 218 and 201 BC. [2] Rome&rsquos Annales maximi would tell of several of them.

In 218 BC, there were reports of ships which gleamed in the sky coming out of the clouds. Two years later in 216 BC came a similar sighting of &ldquogleaming round shields&rdquo traveling through the air. Each of the descriptions given of these two sightings can easily be imagined as the common UFOs described in the modern era.

Many such sightings took place during times of war, which is a point carried over into modern conflicts. Many researchers believe the chaos created in conflict acts as a conduit for increased UFO activity. These sightings are also quite often seen by multiple witnesses. Both of these details are the backdrop to our next entries.

The Roman Siege of Masada

In 72 CE, the Roman governor of Judaea ordered the siege of Masada to eliminate the last remnants of the Great Revolt. At the time, 960 rebels were living in the Masada fortifications.

Flavius Silva led 15,000 men and women to the area surrounding Masada. This group included about 8000 fighting men. The Roman legion surrounded the plateau and built many camps and a large circumvallation wall.

The wall and the camps kept the Sicarii trapped on the mountain. However, the Romans still did not have a method for breaching the fortification. The isolated Masada was difficult for anyone to reach, including a Roman legion under constant attack from defenders.

The Assault Ramp

To reach the fortification, the Roman legion needed a ramp. The ramp took several months to complete as it required the Romans to move massive amounts of earth and stone.

The assault ramp was built on the western slope of the cliff of Masada. The ramp was reinforced with timber, providing the support needed to move a large ironclad siege tower with a battering ram.

The ramp was completed by the spring of 73 CE. After completing the construction of the ramp and siege tower, the Roman forces moved the tower into position and used the battering ram to breach the defences. Archaeological evidence of the ramp exists to this day. When the Romans finally breached the fortress, they discovered only a handful of survivors out of the 960 men and women believed to be inside Masada.

Eleazar ben Yai’ir

The trapped Zealots hoped to inspire the rest of the nation to join together in an insurrection against the Roman Empire. However, trapped on Masada, the Zealots realized that they had nowhere to run.

The Zealots decided that it was by the will of God that they were to die on the mountain. Instead of becoming slaves, they chose to die. As Judaism prohibits the act of suicide, the Zealots killed each other .

The account of what happened at Masada comes from two women and five children who survived the mass killing by hiding inside a cistern. According to Josephus and based on testimony from the last Masada survivors, Eleazar ben Yai’ir, the leader of the Zealots, commanded the remaining rebels to destroy everything in Masada except the foodstuffs. By leaving the food and storehouses, he wanted to show the Romans that they chose death over slavery.

Siege of Masada

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Siege of Masada, (73 ce ). After the fall of Jerusalem Emperor Titus returned to Rome and received a triumphant welcome. At the same time, the Romans began to restore order in Judaea by putting down any final resistance and regaining control of the last few strongholds held by Zealots. The last and longest of these final encounters was the Siege of Masada.

Only a small number of Zealots escaped the massacre of men, women, and children when Jerusalem fell in 70 ce . Some of those who escaped—members of the extremist Sicarii sect—settled in the apparently impregnable mountaintop fortress of Masada.

The Romans, commanded by Lucius Silva, laid siege to Masada, building a circumvallation wall around the mountain. A blockade would have been lengthy, however, because the defenders had plentiful food and water supplies. So the Romans also set about building a massive earth ramp on the western side of the fortress. Built under constant fire from the defenders, the ramp was 1,968 feet (600 m) long and rose 200 feet (61 m) to the fortress walls. The Romans then pushed a siege tower up the ramp. Equipped with a ram, this soon battered a breach in the wall. When the Romans entered the fortress, however, they discovered that its 960 inhabitants had committed mass suicide, preferring death at their own hands to slavery or execution. Jewish historian Josephus claimed to have been given a full account of the siege by two women who survived by hiding inside a drain. The witnesses claimed that, because suicide was against Jewish belief, the Sicarii had drawn lots to kill each other, with the last man the only one to take his own life. Masada was the last act of the Jewish war. The Jews became scattered into areas around the Mediterranean with many thousands being sold into slavery.

The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World. Oxford handbooks in classics and ancient history

The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World covers the history of war in antiquity from the beginning of the classical period in Greek history down to the end of the Roman principate, with some essays exploring even later issues, though late antiquity clearly is not the focus of the volume. It begins with a long introduction focussing on the sources for the study of war in the ancient world (pp. 3-139). This is then followed by a second part looking at Greek and Roman societies at war (pp. 143-276). The third and by far largest part (pp. 279-620) offers thematic discussions on a wide array of topics related to the different facets of fighting a war in the Greek and Roman world one focus here is on operational and technological matters, while issues of strategy receive less coverage. A number of selected case studies form the fourth part (pp. 623-725), while an epilogue on the legacy of war in classical antiquity (pp. 726-742) concludes the volume.

The first part of the volume opens with two essays by Louis Rawlings (pp. 3-28) and Randall S. Howarth (pp. 29-45), each giving general overviews of war and warfare in Greece and Rome and highlighting current trends in scholarship on the subject. P. C. Millett (pp. 46-73) and Michael Lovano (pp. 74-90) then cover the literary sources for the history of war in Greece and Rome, not limiting themselves to historiography and military writers proper but also taking other literary genres into account, while Simon James (pp. 91-127) provides a thoughtful and excellently illustrated introduction on the use, potential and limitations of archaeological evidence, even covering experimental archaeology. The final essay in the introductory part of the volume by J. Donald Hughes (pp. 128-139) offers a slightly unusual yet highly stimulating approach by looking closer at how warfare could affect the environment, for example by one or more of the parties involved in a military conflict laying waste to the countryside.

The first essay of the second part by John W. Lee (pp. 143-161) covers troop types, equipment and organization, formations and battle mechanics in the classical Greek world usually associated primarily with hoplite warfare. Waldemar Heckel’s essay (pp. 162-178) concentrates on the development and history of a specific “unit” and sketches the development, equipment and operational history of the Macedonian infantry guard. John Serrati (pp. 179-198) provides a general overview of warfare in the Hellenistic period explaining how the era was characterized both by change as well as technological innovation and by considerable continuity. Nicholas V. Sekunda focuses (pp. 199-215) on the impact of military organization and war on Greek society from the archaic period down to the Hellenistic era. With Michael Sage’s essay (pp. 216-235) the second part of the volume turns to Roman military history. Sage gives an overview of the history of military technology, tactics and organization from early Rome to the development of the semi-professional army of the late Republic, while Phyllis Culham (pp. 236-260) continues this overview into the Roman principate. Colin Adams (pp. 261-276) explains how the professional Roman imperial army had a profound influence on Roman society, stressing particularly the role of the army in the provinces.

The first essay of the third part by Lawrence A. Tritle (pp. 279-293) focuses on the individual experience of the soldier before, during and after combat in the Greek and Roman world. Inevitably, this involves talking at some length about various forms of bodily harm that could be inflicted upon someone on an ancient battlefield it is rather fitting, then, that the following essay by Christine F. Salazar (pp. 294-311) gives an extremely useful overview over Greek and Roman military medicine. Stefan G. Chrissanthos (pp. 312-329) discusses the development of military discipline from the Homeric era down to the Roman imperial period. Matthew Trundle’s essay (pp. 330-350) covers the rise of mercenaries in the classical and post-classical Greek world and looks at how mercenaries were hired and paid, whereas the role of mercenaries in Roman military history is only briefly mentioned while mercenaries are certainly much more obvious in Greek military history it might have been interesting also to take a closer look at developments in the late Roman military. Donald Engels (pp. 351-368) provides a brief overview over the logistical challenges faced by ancient commanders, taking examples from the Hellenistic and Roman imperial periods. Philip de Souza’s essay (pp. 369-394) focuses on the history of war at sea in the Greek and Roman world, turning his attention not only to the “usual suspects” – technological and tactical development – but also to the equally important yet often neglected issue of naval infrastructure. Eero Jarva (pp. 395-418) and Duncan B. Campbell (pp. 419-437) provide a two-part essay of the individual soldier’s arms and armour, beginning with the Homeric period down to the high principate Jarva’s overview of the development of hoplite armour is particularly useful and well illustrated. Angelos Chaniotis’ (pp. 438-456) excellent essay on siege warfare in the Greek world concentrates not only on technology and logistics, but also on issues like military leadership and the psychological impact of siege warfare. Rosemary Moore (pp. 457-473) discusses how the overall command function developed from Homeric times to late antiquity her stimulating essay focuses on the highest level of military decision making, mostly leaving out the issue of command and leadership lower down in Greek and Roman chains of command. Frank Russell (pp. 474-492) turns to military intelligence, covering both the gathering of operational intelligence and its role in the surveillance of military frontiers. A two-part essay by Ann Hyland is dedicated to the importance of the horse for ancient military establishments. While the first essay (pp. 493-511) concentrates on the animal itself, its breeding, upkeep, equipment and related issues, the second essay (pp. 512-526) focuses on its employment on the battlefield, focusing mainly on the history of Greek and Roman cavalry. Daniel P. Tompkins (pp. 527-541) and John Rich (pp. 542-568) provide valuable introductions into the ritual aspects of Greek and Roman warfare, covering a wide array of issues ranging from pre-combat rituals to burying the dead and dedicating war booty. The final three essays of the third part turn to the enemies of the Greeks and Romans. Bruce Laforse (pp. 569-587) covers how the Greeks interpreted their conflict with the Persians, while Peter S. Wells (pp. 588-600) describes the ever changing tribal environment beyond the Rhine and Danube river frontiers during the Roman empire, and Scott McDonough (pp. 601-620) gives a brief overview over the evolution and history of the Sasanian army, going down right to the very end of the Sasanian empire in the 7th century. While providing only a small sample, these three essays nevertheless serve well to contextualize some of the Greek and Roman military developments described at length in the handbook.

Six case studies covering specific campaigns or even single actions make up the fourth part of the handbook. Lee L. Brice (pp. 623-641) describes in considerable detail the Sicilian expedition of 415 – 413 BC, while Michael Seaman (pp. 642-656) gives an overview of siege warfare in the Peloponnesian War, stressing that the usually rather robust treatment of a defeated population had its origin well before the conflict two useful appendices list sources for sieges undertaken during the pentekontaetia and the Peloponnesian War. John Buckler (pp. 657-670) analyzes the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, taking a closer look at how recent scholarship has evaluated Epaminondas’ generalship. Thomas R. Martin (pp. 671-687) turns to another well-known Greek general, Demetrios Poliorketes, using his example as an introduction to various aspects of Hellenistic warfare. Dexter Hoyos (pp. 688-707) covers the Second Punic War in his essay focusing mainly on strategic questions. Finally, A. D. Lee (pp. 708-725) gives an overview of Roman-Persian warfare from the early 3rd until the early 7th century, his article making an excellent companion piece to McDonough’s introduction to Sasanian warfare.

The final essay by Thomas Palaima and Lawrence A. Tritle (pp. 726-742) serves as an “Epilogue” and covers briefly the legacy of ancient warfare in the modern world, ranging from Hemingway’s famous anthology “Men at War” to recent experiences of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A useful chronology (pp. xv-xxiii), a list of emperors from Augustus to Heraclius (pp. xxv-xxvii) and eight maps (pp. xxxiii-xxxviii) precede the essays, a number of which are illustrated with further maps a comprehensive general index is located at the end of the volume (pp. 743-783). Each essay is followed by a bibliography some of these are more extensive than others, and many display a certain tendency of focussing nearly exclusively on Anglophone literature. While this may well be intentional and due to the handbook targeting primarily English-speaking audiences, in some case this choice seems to be slightly less than fortunate. Thus it is, for example, a bit unsettling not to find Ritterling’s seminal article on the Roman legions or any of Yann LeBohec’s important studies in a standard reference work covering war in the Roman world. Also, as is generally the case with works of such a wide scope, the specialist could find himself in disagreement with one or the other detail.

Nonetheless, the Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World is a major scholarly achievement. As a handbook it offers an excellent starting point for anyone studying the history of war in antiquity in all its variety – but the volume edited by Campbell and Tritle is more than that. Innovative and stimulating, it stands out as an important contribution to the study of war in Greece and Rome.

The History of Ireland

A range of important historical events have taken place in prehistoric Ireland over the centuries. Ireland, as an island lying out on the north western fringe of continental Europe was settled by humans civilisations relatively late in European prehistory terms with the first human settlements taking place around 6000 BC.

Since that first human settlement in 6000 BC Ireland has had many periods of invasion and change in its civilian populations. This rich history and heritage has helped to shape Ireland (both north and south) into the unique country it is today.

Here is a look at some of the major influential moments that helped shape Ireland&rsquos heritage and culture, helpful if one wants an overview of the country before your vacation in Ireland. Click on the links below for a more in-depth history of each pivotal moment.


Herod was born about 73–75 BC. [1] He was the son of Antipater the Idumaean and his wife Cyprus, the daughter of an Arabian sheik. [1] Both Herod's grandfather and his father were political officials in Judea. Both had close ties to the Romans. When Antipater came to the aid of Julius Caesar after the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, Caesar made Antipater the governor of Judea. [5] In 47 BC Antipater made his oldest son, phasael, the governor of Jerusalem. [6] He made Herod governor of Galilee. [6] As governor, Herod won favor with the Romans by his dealing with hostile revolts. [6] At the same time his actions were censured by the Great Sanhedrin. [7]

Herod was friends with Octavian and Mark Antony who in 40 BC had the Roman Senate designate Herod as the next king of Judea. [8] Herod traveled to the Temple of Jupiter to give thanks to the gods of Rome. [8] When the king of Judea was beheaded in 37 BC, Herod became the de facto king. [8]

During Herod's early years as king, Mark Antony's relationship with Cleopatra allowed the Egyptian queen to keep taking small parts of Herod's kingdom. [2] When Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Herod made a new alliance with Octavian. [2] He gained a reputation for his harsh taxes but was able to keep the peace in the region. He sent expensive gifts to Rome but did not have to pay tribute. [2] By 30 BC, he had regained all the territory Cleopatra and the Hasmoneans had taken. [2] He expanded his rule into northern Galilee and resettled several areas. By giving extravagant gifts to Athens and supporting the Olympic Games he increased the status of Judea in the Mediterranean world. [2]

Achievements Edit

Herod saw himself as the perfect example of a refined king even if Bible writers saw him as a tyrant. [9] He became completely involved in Greco-Roman history, culture and philosophy. [9] At the same time he began neglecting the affairs of state and the study of Halakha (Jewish law). [9] He needed the consent of the Pharisees in order to rule so he kept trying to gain their approval in a number of ways. [9] He never won them over completely. [9] When he built the Caesarea Maritima (22–10 BC) in honor of his patron Caesar Augustus, the pagan symbols decorating his cities upset the Jewish leaders. [9] He organized fights between gladiators every five years and celebrated with orgies, which further upset the Jewish leaders. [9] In 20 BC, Herod turned his attention to building the renovations for the Second Temple, also called Herod's Temple. [9] While Herod wanted the temple to be the crowning monument to the Jewish faith, he used Greek architects. [9] He allowed moneylenders to operate in the temple courtyard which angered many Jews. [9]

His greatest religious scandal was digging up King David's Tomb to find the treasure it was rumoured to contain. [9] He had spent great sums of money on his other projects and thought that by secretly robbing the tomb he could profit from any treasure he found there. But on opening the tomb, there was no treasure. [9]

He rebuilt the fortresses at Masada and Herodium. [9] After a severe earthquake in 31 BC, he built a new market, a new amphitheater and a new building for the Sanhedrin. [1] He built a new royal palace for himself. [1] He also improved the water supply for Jerusalem. [9]

Domestic life Edit

Herod is thought to have had as many as nine wives and may have been married to more than one at a time. He had a large number of concubines. Herod seems to have been plagued by paranoia. [10] He continuously thought there were conspiracies and plots to overthrow him as king. He may have married too often and produced too many sons. Herod worried each one was plotting to take his place. [10] In all he had three of sons killed. [10] He became suspicious of the brother of his favourite wife, Mariamme, and had him drowned in a game of water polo. [10] He ordered Mariamme's grandfather killed and finally, Mariamme herself. [10]

As Herod realized he would die soon, he ordered all the leading men in Judea to be brought together in a large arena. [10] As soon as the king died, they were all to be put to death. [10] This was to keep others from celebrating his death. [10] Herod had probably been suffering from chronic kidney disease, gangrene and possibly other diseases that left him mentally unbalanced. [10]


Captain Krosh guards the Ango'rosh Attack Plans. These plans consist of filtering down from the northern mountains, then sending Boss Grog'ak and a band of ogres to make the Ango'rosh "mushroom-cutting operation", which consists of cutting off the mushrooms to the north of Zabra'jin, Β] and then sending an attack to the Horde's outpost. Γ] As a consecuense to this plan, the bog lords are no longer going the the Hewn Bog for mushrooms and instead attack the sporeggar, Δ] even the ogres are taking all the mushrooms to their base at Ango'rosh Stronghold. Ε] Their massive cutting of mushrooms is severly damaging the ecology and economy. Ώ]

Ikuti ΐ] wants their leader dead beacuse he believe that the centerprice of a tribe is the leader. While Shadow Hunter Denjai doesn't want only him dead, but his followers as well, Α] he also wants the head of Boss Grog'ak. Β] However, if their chieftain is killed, they could choose another in an unknown amount of time. Α]

Shadow Hunter Denjai asked Nekthar to send reinforcements from Thunderlord Stronghold, but the orcs in Bladge's Edge Mountains have also problems with the ogres they hope to send an offensive form the rear in a two-prolonged assault alongside Zabra'jin. Η]

Watch the video: Battle of Sentinum 295 BC. Pugna Sentinas 458. secundum Titum Livium (May 2022).