Author Topic: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD  (Read 1313 times)

nikgaukroger

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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2021, 09:30:37 AM »
Ah, the ever-green question of catafracts and clibanarii  ;D

I'd suggest you leave the old WRG classifications of SHC and EHC as one or the other behind as no longer really useful, information has moved on a bit from then - there is no simple catafract = classification X really partly as different words appear to have been used for the same troops at different times. I'd also suggest that the Osprey refer to is dated, although there is really no up to date replacement.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2021, 11:37:02 AM »
... what the Romans meant by cataphractii and clibanarii. I was brought up to consider that the former were SHC and the latter EHC, but may be apparently not.
If anything, recent discussions suggest it is the other way round - "clibanarii" tends to mean complete armour and fully armoured horses, "cataphract" is much more flexible in meaning. I am reminded of the two Ptolemaic papyri Johnstono cites, with Ptolemaic cavalry troopers acquiring "kataphrakta" in the third quarter of the 3rd century BCE, probably the first mention of anything cataphract in the Hellenistic Near East (OK, except for ships), when the word just seems to mean heavy body-armour.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2021, 02:29:33 PM »
... what the Romans meant by cataphractii and clibanarii. I was brought up to consider that the former were SHC and the latter EHC, but may be apparently not.
If anything, recent discussions suggest it is the other way round - "clibanarii" tends to mean complete armour and fully armoured horses, "cataphract" is much more flexible in meaning. I am reminded of the two Ptolemaic papyri Johnstono cites, with Ptolemaic cavalry troopers acquiring "kataphrakta" in the third quarter of the 3rd century BCE, probably the first mention of anything cataphract in the Hellenistic Near East (OK, except for ships), when the word just seems to mean heavy body-armour.

I've been pondering the Ptolemaic cavalry
would they be worth upgrading in some way, but then would they have worn more armour than a Norman Kn(F)   :-[
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Duncan Head

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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2021, 02:56:37 PM »
In some rulesets, yes. In DB*, I don't see how you can.

Plus of course for all we know Seleucid and other cavalry may have been no different - we just don't have the same sort of  individual-level documentation.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 02:58:17 PM by Duncan Head »
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nikgaukroger

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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2021, 03:32:45 PM »
In some rulesets, yes. In DB*, I don't see how you can.

Plus of course for all we know Seleucid and other cavalry may have been no different - we just don't have the same sort of  individual-level documentation.

I think instinctively I'd feel that as the Seleukids appear to have been fighting more often that they may have been more likely to have it.
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dwkay57

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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2021, 08:11:28 PM »
Yes Nik, I thought the Osprey publication might have been dated, hence the trawl for more recent publications. Warwick Ball's book seems to have had a revision recently and Kevin Butcher's was printed not too long ago. Prices seem to be about £35-£45 each so I'm weighing up what to spend next month's pocket money on.

My guess is that neither will give that much detail but might provide some pointers that might enable me to build some small and unique armies, rather than the general purpose pre-Islamic Arab type, to support the bigger players.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2021, 05:54:31 PM »
Whilst skimming through the Internet searching for information on Hatra, as one does especially when one's other half thinks you are doing some useful, I kept coming across references to the Battle of Shahrazoor (238AD). Unfortunately, all that seems to be known is that fixture took place, the names of the teams and the overall result.

Does anyone know anymore details, such as team captains, whether it was five-a-side or a full game, and who scored the goals?
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2021, 06:19:17 PM »
The main source would appear to be Arabic tradition as retailed by Tabari, crediting the victory to a ruler of Hatra called Dayzan, regarded by some later Arab sources as an Arab, but possibly Syriac:

Quote
We encountered them [in battle] with a host of the [Banu] Ilaf and with [a troop of] strong-hoofed stallions.
The Persians received at our hands exemplary punishment and we massacred the herbadhs of Shahrazur.
We advanced towards the Persians (al-A'ajim) from afar from afar with a host from al-Jazirah as in a blaze of fire.

I suspect that is all you are going to find.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2021, 08:47:17 AM »
Thanks Duncan,

As you say not much of a battle report!
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2021, 09:32:55 AM »
Now that I have a copy of the DBMM army lists (book 2) and read Robert Hoyland's "Arabia and the Arabs - from the Bronze Age to the coming of Islam" (pdf download from academia.thingy...) I understand and appreciate Jim's article on the Charcene a lot more.

The Hoyland book is quite useful in explaining the development of the states by geographical area. Again it is limited in precise wargamers information although there are descriptions of the tactics used in Arab raids and a description of a campaign (page 226) where the "Sabaean Royal Army" is mentioned along with the use of militia troops.

Most of the generic army lists covering these states seem to be dominated by irregulars. Depending on what your definition of "regular" is I might have assumed rulers would have had some form of permanent standing force rather than relying entirely on volunteer / pressed callouts. May be their troops weren't drilled as such but would have been full-time soldiers and so might warrant a slightly different classification.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2021, 10:06:28 AM »
The Sabaeans and the other South Arabian kingdoms are a bit different from the more northerly Arab states. Have you read http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=2151.0 on this Forum?
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2021, 08:42:09 AM »
I have now, thanks Duncan.
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2021, 02:14:45 PM »
Whilst skimming through the Internet searching for information on Hatra, as one does especially when one's other half thinks you are doing some useful, I kept coming across references to the Battle of Shahrazoor (238AD). Unfortunately, all that seems to be known is that fixture took place, the names of the teams and the overall result.

Does anyone know anymore details, such as team captains, whether it was five-a-side or a full game, and who scored the goals?
Having been rereading Fergus Millar and Benjamin Isaac, a belated thought - apologies if the following is a statement of the obvious!

Anyway, the three Latin inscriptions found at Hatra are thought to indicate a Roman presence in 235 and 238/239/240 .  One inscription, the dedication of an altar, is very clearly 235 from the consular dating.  That does not of course necessarily equal a Roman military presence, but may do.  The other two inscriptions are both by a Roman officer, tribune of Legio I Parthica and tribune of Cohors IX Maurorum.  Since said auxiliary cohort has an honorific of Gordian, and Hatra was sacked by the Persians in either 239/240 or 240/241 according to the Cologne Mani Codex, that means the inscriptions must date between the accession of Gordian in 238 and the end of Hatra in early 241 at the latest.

Thus, if your battle really did happen and was not a figment of Tabari's imagination, there would seem to be the following options for Roman involvement:

1) None at all, if there was no presence between that apparently attested in 235, and that attested circa 239; in other words, maybe the Mauri cohort was only sent there as a reaction to a battle in 238, but was not enough to save the city from Ardashir a year or two later.

2) Said Cohort, plus perhaps other Romans on a limited scale: I Parthica after all was in garrison at Singara just over 100 kms away - too far if it was a Persian cavalry raid, but close enough just possibly if it was a more deliberate probe.

One wonders whether there are any parallels with events at Dura a decade later?  After all, the famous tribune commanding the XX Palmyrenes (he of the wall painting) was killed in battle according to the epitaph written by his widow, but the fact that she had time to get such an inscription in place suggests that he was killed in action some time before the siege that led to the city's fall.  Now, she does not say that he was killed by Persians, but they would seem the most probable culprits unless he was unlucky enough to cop it during a police action against naughty local nomads.  So do we also have here a probe or raid, followed by a full on siege?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 10:30:12 PM by DBS »
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2021, 02:49:17 PM »
In the case of Dura, some scholars have been arguing for a while that the Persians took the city twice. If so, Terentius could have been killed in the first attack, leaving time for his widow to set up an inscription before the second and final siege four years later.

See for instance https://poj.peeters-leuven.be/secure/POJ/downloadpdf.php?ticket_id=6031246a8a874 p.19 of the pdf (paginated p.173).
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Re: Near East Armies 1st 2nd Century AD
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2021, 04:47:20 PM »
Thank you for that, an interesting article.  He references James' report on Dura as the best summary of the debate about two possible conquests of the town - I have a copy of that and will look that bit up, as I have obviously missed it previously.
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