|Arrian, Flavius Arranus Xenophon||The Campaigns of Alexander||Pantheon Books, NY. 2010, 503 pgs., copious maps, diagrams of the major battles, chronology, elaborate annotations, encyclopedic index, 19 informative appendices, annotated sources, and extensive bibliography. The editor, James Romm, provides important information and Paul Cartledge provides an informative introduction.||Indeed a 'landmark' in the publishing business. This volume completes a set of these editions - Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon - covering the wars of ancient Greece from early times to the death of Alexander. My summary of Alexander's campaign as described by Arrian is here.|
|This is a marvelous book - the essential book now for the study of Alexander's campaigns. It is a complete new translation of Arrian's study of Alexander the Great's campaigns published with all the elaborate supporting material characteristic of these new "Landmark" editions. It joins the similar volumes of the works of Xenophon, Herodotus and Thycydides. Every place name in Arrian's text is shown on multiple maps keyed by a footnote to the text and included near the related text. In addition there are excellent general maps at the back of the volume. Every time an individual's name appears in the text there is a footnote identification. The appendices are written by experts and deal with many specific issues that expand the reader's knowledge of their subjects: such as, Arrian's sources, Ethnicity, Geographic notions, Macedonian army, Individual campaigns, Persian empire, and the like. Reference to these maps alone will be a great assistance to the reader of any other books on Alexander.|
|Arrian, Flavius Arranus Xenophon||The Campaigns of
||Penguin Classics, London, 1958, paperback, 430 pgs, index, bibliography, notes, preface||Probably the standard book for the popular reader prior to publication of the Landmark Edition.|
|Nothing wrong with this small paperback edition. It is convenient to carry and read at liesure. But the reader is confronted with endless mentions of names of persons and locations that soon become a blur without reference to other books.|
|Plutarch||The Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans||Modern Library, NY., n.d., 1309 pgs., translated by John Dryden, index, Alexander is pgs, 801 - 854.||Plutarch explicitly states that he is writing biography and not history - actually comparative biography with emphasis on his subjects' character.|
|Plutarch wrote a lengthy chapter on Alexander - pages 801 - 854 in the Modern Library edition. It is paired with Caesar. The account adds much about Alexander as a person and more details about his activities in camp and court. But it does not add anything significant about the battles He does mention force size for several of the battles. He quotes sources for Alexander's army after crossing the Hellespont as 30-43,000 infantry and 3-4,000 cavalry. He gives Arrian's rather than Diodorus' account of Granicus, including the bit about Parmenio giving advice. He gives Persian losses at 20,000 foot and 2,500 horse. Macedonian loss was under 43. Darius then marched from susa with 600,000 men. But at Issus Alexander 'overthrew' 110,000 enemies. At Gaugamela Parmenio is again accused of faults. And he states that Alexander started back through Gedrosia with 120,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry and only brought a quarter out.|
|Curtius Rufus, Quintus||The History of Alexander||Penguin Books, London, 1984, 337 pgs., translated by John Yardley, introduction, index, notes, maps, appendices, bibliography, abbreviations,||One of the three main classical sources available now. This is a convenient paperback edition. The introduction includes a good discussion of the sources and comparison of Curtius with others.|
|Unfortunately the first two books of Curtius' history were lost. For the Penguin edition Waldemar Heckel added a summary based mostly on Diodorus. He gives the strength figures for the Battle of Granicus from Diodorus. Curtius adds quite a bit of information about Alexander, his court and camp life and personality. But the descriptions of the battles are not as clear as those of Arrian. Curtius provides some details about the naval and other campaigns that were going on while Alexander was moving from Cilicia through Egypt and on to Gaugamela.|
|Bevan, Edwyn Robert||"Alexander the Great"||Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, 1910, vol 1, page 545-550 - The entire entry is found here.||This may be considered the standard, encyclopedia entry and thus fairly definitive of academic opinion about Alexander in 1910. It does not include more than brief mention of the military aspects including details of battles. Here I quote Bevan's comment about controvery relating to Alexander. Such controversy continues today despite a century of further study.|
|Alexander the Great is one of the instances of the vanity of appealing from contemporary disputes to " the verdict of posterity "; his character and his policy are estimated today as variously as ever. Certain features-the high physical courage, the impulsive energy, the fervid imagination - stand out clear; beyond that disagreement begins. That he was a great master of war is admitted by most of those who judge his character unfavourably, but even this has been seriously questioned (e.g. by Beloch, Grieck. Gesck. ill. (i.), p.66). There is a dispute as to his real designs. That he aimed at conquering the whole world and demanded to be worshipped as a god is the traditional view. Droysen denies the former, and Niese maintains that his ambition was limited by the bounds of the Persian empire and that the claim to divine honours is fabulous (Historische Zeitschr. lxxix., 1897, i f.). It is true that our best authority, Arrian; fails to substantiate the traditional view satisfactorily; on the other hand those who maintain it urge that Arrian's interests were mainly military, and that the other authorities, if inferior in trustworthiness, are completer in range of vision. Of those, again, who maintain the traditional view, some, like Niebuhr and Grote, regard it as convicting Alexander of mad ambition and vainglory, whilst to Kaerst Alexander only incorporates ideas which were the timely fruit of a long historical development. The policy of fusing Greeks and Orientals again is diversely judged. To Droysen and Kaerst it accords with the historical conditions; to Grote and to Beloch it is a betrayal of the prerogative of Hellenism.|
|Polyaenus||The Strategems of War||Reprint - Ares Publishers. Chicago, 1974, original London, 1793, Translation by R. Shepherd, 366 pgs.,||The author collected examples from Greek and Roman military history of 'stratagems' some rather fanciful. They are described in a series of chapters with titles of the actor.|
|The chapter on Alexander has more incidents than most, but some are doubtful, while others are clearly identified by reference to Arrian. However, Polyaenus is frequently included in bibliographies and cited in footnotes.|
|Bradford, Alfred, editor||Philip II of Macedon: A Life from the Ancient Sources||Praeger, Westpoint Conn., 1992, 199 pgs., index, biblography of ancient sources, maps, illustrations||This is a very unique and interesting book. Bradford has taken the ancient authors, sometimes lengthy and sometimes brief bits related to Philip II and integrated them into a flowing account of his life.|
|No biography of Philip survives nor any lengthy account of his reign from a primary source. Professor Bradford has scoured the ancient literature including plays and speeches as well as general histories to find anything that can be fitted into this pseudo-biography. For each section he provides the sources. Some of the lengthy histories that he draws from are those of Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, Herodotus, and Xenophon. There are many sections from Demonsthenes and Theopompos. The accounts include descriptons of many battles. Reading this book provides a great deal of information on the political, social and military background for the student of Alexander.|
|Delbruck, Hans||Warfare in Antiquity - Vol I of History of the Art of War||Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1990, 604 pgs., index||Delbruck was one of a group of German historians who studied ancient and medieval military history with a critical eye toward judging if the original sources made sense or not. His conclusion was that the reported size of armies was almost always greatly exaggerated.|
|They also studied the terrain and physical capabilities of troops. For instance he calculated the time it would require for a military formation to cross a river or march through a narrow mountain pass, then compared the times given in the sources with the unit strength figures to show that the latter were not possible. Thus he greatly reduced his estimates for Persians at Granicus, Issus and Gaugamela in comparison with Arrian's account. He generally accepted Arrian's description of the course of the battles, but not entirely.|
|Green, Peter||Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B. C.: A Historical Biography||Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1991 - originally Pelican Books, 1974. 617 pgs., extensive notes, illustrations||As the title indicates, this is a full scale biography, not a narrative of a military campaign nor analytic study of military strategy. But Professor Green has devoted years to the study of the original Greek sources and practically all the subsequent literature on ancient Greece.|
|For the battle at Granicus River he devotes a full appendix that he titles "Propaganda at the Granicus". He believes the typical view, the accepted wisdom, about this battle is fundamentally flawed. Taking Diodorus rather than Arrian as his source, he creates an entirely different account of the battle. Green refers to many ancient authors and prefers Diodorus to Arrian for some information. As a biographer he does not devote considerable space to the battles in comparison with discussion of Alexander's personal life. This results in his stretching things, in my opinion, when he describes Alexander's emotions and thought processes throughout. However, it is not the battles but rather Alexander's deportment in camp and court that is most controversial among historians and has been since his death. So Professor Green's focus on these issues is important. The sources are many - internal politics and ideology in Macedon itself - the hatred most Greeks had for their subjugation by Macedon - the controversy over Alexander's apparent effort to meld Greek and Persian into some sort of 'one world' outlook. It seems to me that in general the military historians today focus on Alexander as a military genius and play down these other issues, while the historians of Athens and Greek literature play up these issues and see Alexander as a destroyer of their favored Greek culture.|
|Hammond, N. G. L||The Genius of Alexander the Great||Univ. of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997, 227 pgs., index, chronology, maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography||Professor Hammond is a prolific author of books on Greek history and Alexander the Great.|
|Professor Hammond disagrees directly with Professor Greek about the battle of Granicus River. He states that Diodorus, on whom Green relies, is simply unreliable. He also disagrees with Engles about Alexander's crossing of the Kawak Pass. He writes that Alexander himself with his forward detachment crossed in the 16 days specified by Arrian but that it took more weeks for Alexander's full army and its trains to make the crossing. He also disagrees with the crossing of the Gedrosia desert. He includes valuable discussion of the events of the overall war that did not involve Alexander directly, such as the naval war and the war of Agis III of Sparta against Macedon in Greece.|
|Hammond, N. G. L.||A History of Greece to 322 B. C.||Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1967, 691 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, appendices, maps||Professor Hammond is acknowledged as an expert on an cient Greece and especially on Macedon and his work is frequently cited by more recent authors.|
|Professor Hammond places Alexander and his campaign in the full context of Greek and Macedonian history. He provides data on Macedonian and Persian battle strength and losses from ancient sources were available and his estimates as well. He follows Polybius rather than Diodorus for the battle at Granicus River. He devotes a full chapter to the Lamian war and Antipater's campaign in Greece against spartan King Agis III. He has an appendix discussing Greek mercenaries in Persian service and another on the army strengths of Sparta, Boeotia and Athens. Professor Hammond proposes that the Macedonian army suffered much higher losses not only from battle than do authors who list only specific numbers given by Arrian and others, but also that they received much larger contingents of reinforcements including from locals. He devotes more attention than most writers to the Alexander's reorganzations of his army as he moved east. He notes that the Greek soldiers, even the mercenaries eventually wanted to return home. He states that Alexandefr's army on its entrance into India was much larger than previously, with many Asian contingents and non-combatan ts including for instance ship builders. He estimates that Alexander entered the Gedrosian desert with 10,000 troops plus camp followers, a far smaller force than those who seek to disparage Alexander claim.|
|Tarn, William Woodthorpe||Alexander the Great||Beacon Press, Boston, 1956 (Cambridge 1948), paperback, index, map, some notes -||Tis paperback is a summary of the author's massive study published in 1948 that was for years considered the definitive work on Alexander. Apparently Tarn relied largely on Diodorus and Plutarch as well as Arrian.|
|Tarn's study of Alexander was for years considered the best, but more recently he has been criticized by some in academia. He is accused of being too much of a supporter of Alexander, ignoring the latter's faults. But these 'faults' are mostly not on any battlefield. This is only the bare narrative section - the student needs to read the other volume on sources and studies to find detail. In his forward to this edition Moses Hadas writes that Tarn "is certainly our century's greatest scholar of Alexander and his world;" He quotes Tarn in turn "he proclaimed for the first time the unity and brotherhood of mankind...." And this is a view that most enrages the anti-Alexander school of academics today. For instance, Tarn reckons that Alexander had only 8 -10,000 fighting men when he started across the Gedrosia desert and that the combined land and sea movement was well planned in detail. His comment on Alexander "He had extricated the army without much loss, but the mortality among the non-combatants was severe." Alexander's detractors focus on 'huge losses' during this march as one of his terrible shortcomings.|
|Marsden, E. W.||The campaign of Gaugamela||Liverpool Univ. Press, 1964, 80 pgs., maps, diagrams, index, appendices, strength tables||This is a detailed analysis of the battle at Gaugamela with sufficient detail of Alexander's campaign up to that time to provide continuity and assessment.|
|The tables of Macedonian army strength at various times up to and including Gaugamela are especially important. Marsden has included the numbers for reinforcements and detachments at garrisons as given in Arrian and Curtius. But one still wonders about losses from sickness. Hammond believes losses and reinforcements were both much greater.|
|Marsden, E. W.||Greek and Roman Artillery: Historical Development||Oxford at the
Clarendon Press, 1969, 218 pgs., index, notes, excellent illustrations including in color, diagrams, ancient references
|A faascinating book in which immense detailed scholarhip is deployed in a very readable style that makes for a kind of detective story as the author traces the development and spread of artillery and its use in sieges and fortifications.|
|I believe it is
well known that late medieval and Renaissance era fortification was changed
drastically in response to the development of gunpowder artillery. Dr Marsden
shows that the developmnt of mechanical artillery by the ancient Greeks also
resulted in significant changes in fortification design and siege warfare.
These machines were of two types depending on the missile - either arrows and
bolts or stone shot. And they were of two types depending on the means of
power, either torsion or non-torsion (that is tension) weapons (variations on
the compound bow). The non-torsion weapon developed first, being an obvious
extension of well-known bows. Dr. Marsden dates the invention of ancient
artillery to 399 B. C. and its location to Syracuse in Sicily. From this origin
Marsden tells the tale down to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire circa
As usual our ancient written sources were written in the first centuries A. D. but relied on now lost authors from as early as 3rd century B . C. Marsden has also translated and published these documents under title of 'Greek and Roman Artilleery Ancient Technical Treatises, Oxford press. Marsden also cites his own and other experts' practical experiments with construction of replicas of the ancient machines. The first artillery weapon was the gastraphetes (belly-bow) a very large development of the Scythian compound bow that was developed by the Greeks (the Persians also had compound bows from the Scytians, but not the huge gastraphetes). The key to this large bow was the method for pulling back the string on such a large and powerful bow and keeping it in tension until loaded and fired. This required the invention of a base, trigger mechanism and winch. Very soon the development of such powerful bows led to the development of types that could launch stones rather than arrows or bolts. Marsden provides a detailed technical description of both tension and torsion engines.
He ascribes the initial invention of artillery to Dionysius I, tyrant os Syracuse in 399 B. C. What is of special interest to students of Alexander is that once invented the concept spread remarkably rapidly eastward and Philip of Macedon suffered a defeat at the hands of one Onomarchus of Phocia in a field battle. Philip determined immediately to avoid such situations and hired experts to rapidly develop his own artillery. Then Alexander hired more experts and by the siege of Tyre had a full complement of the latest artillery. Arrian describes its use not only in sieges but in the field against the Scythians and in India (Aornos). In Hellenistic period, as with so much other scientific development, Alexandria in Egypt became a center for experiment and development of artillery.
|Pritchett, W. Kendrick||Ancient Greek military practices Part I||University of Calif. Press, Berkeley, 1971, 169 pgs., index of cited authors (in Greek) tables||This reference is cited by many other experts and it is indeed an expert's book for experts.|
|This book is not
for the casual reader. It is a detailed study of the texts of Greek authors and
inscriptions. The main topics are: military pay, provisioning, booty, legal
ownership of booty, the Athenian treasury, the marching paian, sacrifice before
battle, phases of the moon and festivals, scouts, depth of the phalanx and
width of the file in a phalanx. For the study of Alexander the Great all but
the Athenian treasury are relevant. Supply is a very important topic,
especially for the lengthy campaign of Alexander. The estimate of the width of
a file in phalanx formation can be based on two sources - ancient literature
and actual width of Greek shields from archeological remains. The depth of the
phalanx varried with the desire of the comanders but generally was 8 rows,
sometimes reduced to 4 or increased to 16 and rarely more. Also, it was
characteristic for different cities to form their own phalanx at their own
depth even when formed into a larger formation of allied cities. The two
authors of tactical drill manuels, Asklepiodotos and Aelian Arrian specify a
depth of 16 rows, but Pritchett notes that there is no description on Greek
literature of any theoretical or practical principles for such decisions.
The width of space occupied by each file is more significant as it determines estimates for the total width of a phalanx. Pritchett notes that Polybius states that this is 3 feet, but he is writing about a Macedonian phalanx. Askelepiodotus specifies half that width when formed in 'close formation'.
Archeological evidence is difficult to use since no full list of the sizes of various bronze shields has been published. Pritchett notes that a further problem may be that different cities used shields of different sizes. Moreover there are several different words for shield. His conclusion is that the 'standard' Greek shield of the 5th and 4th centuries was about 3 feet in diameter.One idea is that the formation was more dense, with files much closer when the phalanx was expecting to be attacked then when it was itself moving into an attack. His final conclusion is that the Greeks with larger shields occuplied a width of 3 feet, but the Macedonians with smaller shield probably stood closer together.
The paian - 'song' is of interest as Pritchett notes that on occasion it was hearing this song that alerted the oppoent that a still unsceen enemy was approaching. He comments that in general there was a lack of scouting and hence of reconnaisance, but this is not true for Alexander. The chapter on sacrifice is focused on Greek practice, but from Arrian we know that Alexander took this ritual very seriously.
|Engles, Donald W.||Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army||Univ. of California Press, 1978, index, maps, tables, footnotes,||This is an analysis of the time and distance factors involved in marching military units. It also is an analysis of the water, rations and forage requirements of army units. And it also includes study of the harvest times and availability of supplies along Alexander's campaign routes.|
conclusion is striking. "Alexander better understood the capabilities and
limitations of his logistic system than perhaps any other commander, before or
since." He notes that Crassus, Antony and Julian all failed due to the
impact of the formidable terrain on logistics in the same region that Alexander
surmounted. Engles shows that Alexander's campaign schedules were planned to
take advantage of the seasons in order to secure fodder and harvests. This
really is a unique contribution to studies about Alexander and all ancient
In Central Asia Alexander of course had to spend winters mostly in camp. Engles credits Alexander with superior attention to logistics and superior staff work. He also provides Macedonian army strength including the campaign in India. My only question is his assessment of numbers for the march through Geodosia and the losses during that march. He writes that Alexander had 120,000 combatants plus huge number of non-combatants prior to the return march. He is not counting large numbers of unrecorded losses, for instance at Aornos and especially during the bitter fighting along the southern Indus River. I think this is much too large a number. I believe he is mistaken that 30,000 Asian troops were added at the Hydaspes. But then he continues with an estimate for the march even after sending Kraterus by another route, of 87,000 infantry, 18,000 cavalry and 52,000 non-combatants - minus 20,500 on board the navy. But since non-combatants are no where mentioned in the sources it would be just as logical to presume they went with Kraterus. The cavalry and infantry is too large also, it would be more logical that the Central Asians added for the invasion of India would return via the northern route. Earlier for the crossing of the Hindu Kush via the Khawak Pass he develops a detailed analysis of the possibility for the army to cross a narrow pass in a given number of days. He estimates the army at that point at 64,000 troops and 10,000 cavalry horses. One wishes he would have applied the excellent ideas about logistics to estimate how large Darius' army could have been at Issus after crossing the Amanic Gates. Engles calculates that it takes 3 days for 12,762 horses to cross a narrow mountain pass and 50,000 infantry can march two abrest thruogh a pass in 6.5 days.
|Barker, Phil||Alexander The Great's Campaigns||Patrick Stephens, Cambridge, 160 pgs, tables, notes, diagrams, bibliography||The author is a student of military history with the desire to adapt analysis of campaigns and battles for replication in war games. Therefore he focuses on the tactical details of important battles, the strengths of both sides.|
|The book is
written for students who want to replicate ancient battles for 'table-top' war
games. He provides estimates of unit strengths and many other details. For
instance he believes the Macedonian 'companion' cavalry started the campaign
with 1,800 heavy and 600 light. Then they received 300 at Gordion, 500 more at
Kilikia and500 at Susa. Losses may have reached 100 for 3,000 entering Central
Asia. Then another 500 arrived. Before invading India he added Scythian,
Baktrian, Parapamisdae, Arachosian and Sogdian cavalry.
Barker's description of the order of battle for both armies is generally the same as Marsden but in somewhat less detail. For the Persians: they may have 250,000 total according to sources, but the great majority then were worthless peasant infantry. When Barker uses term 'extra heavy cavalry' he means armored. The right wing was composed of 5,000 Median, Parthian, Babylonian and Assyrian heavy cavalry, In front of these 3,000 Armenain and Kappadokian extra heavy cavalry. A bit to their left were 50 scythed chariots. Next were 2,000 Skythian horse archers and 4,000 other light cavalry armed with javelins. The center was Darius in his chariot protected by 1,000 horse guards, 1,000 foot guards and on either side a 1,000 strong unit of Greek mercenary hoplites. In front of these were the 15 elephants and two detachments of 20 scythed chariots. To the left of the hoplites were 1,000 Indian cavalry, 1,000 Karian javelinmen and 1,000 Mardian archers. Then on the army left wing were 1,000 javelin light cavalry, then 1,000 heavy cavalry from Susa, then 6,000 in a a mixed force of Persian cavalry and Persian light infantry, then another 1,000 javelin light cavalry, then 1,000 Skythian horse archers, then 8,000 Baktrian heavy cavalry on the far left. In front of this left wing were 100 scythed chariots. In front of the Baktrians 1,000 Baktrian and Massagetie extra heavy cavalry. Behind all this formidable line were the masses of worthless infantry.
Alexander's force totaled 7,000 cavalry and 40,000 infantry. They were deployed: on the right flank were 2,1000 Companian heavy cavalry, next to their left 3,000 hypaspists, then the 15,000 phalangites in 6 taxeis in echelon from the right with the rear 8 ranks separated by a space from the front 8 ranks. To their left were400 allied Greek cavalry, hen 2,000 Thessalian cavalry. In front of the companion cavalry were 1,000 archers and1,000 Agrianian and1,000 Thracian lightjavelinmen. In fron ofthe light infantry were 600 prodomoi and 300 Paionian lightcavalry and in front of these 600 Greek mercenary cavalry. Bheind the comapnions as a flang guard were 6,700 Greek peltasts. As a guard behind the army left flank were 700 allied and Greek mercenary cavalry, 300 Thracian light cavalry and 5,500 Thracian peltasts. Finally there were 7,800 Greek allied and mercenary infantry in a rear line.
|Griffith, G. T.||The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World||Ares Publishers, Chicago, 1975 - 340 pgs., index, notes, reprint of the 1935 edition||The title indicates the central subject of this book is the Hellenistic period subsequent to the life of Alexander the Great. However, the expanding role of mercenaries in Greek - Persian and Macedonian armies began already at the end of the Peloponnesian war and even more during the reigns of Philip II and Alexander III.|
|In his introduction the author sets the background in the years prior to Philip II. Then in chapter One he focuses on the reign of Philip and Alexander. The other chapters are each on a specific area or successor, such as Ptolemies, Seleucids, Greek Leagues, and others. The appendix to Chapter One is a very valuable note on the specific use of mercenaries by Alexander. Professor Griffith has compiled a listing of the numbers of mercenaries that joined Alexander's army at various times (including those joining from Persian employment) according to specific sources (mostly Arrian or Curtius) and totals the number at 59,180 + approximately 65,000. He notes that many of these were then left in garrisons in Asia. Griffith does not focus on it but his description matches Cartledge's point that Alexander purposely refrained from using Greek city 'allies'.|
|Wood, Michael||In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great||Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1997, index, table of dates, cast of characters, ssources and bilbiography, many illustrations and maps||This book was produced to go with a BBC TV filming on the same topic. Evidently BBC gets to go where lesser mortals fear to go. At least during wartime.|
|I consider this
to be a terrific book, well worth reading. The author even took a film crew to
the top of Arnos (Pir Sar) next the Indus, and for a long hike over the Kawak
pass in Afghanistan, and by helicopter into ancient Balkh and by river craft to
the delta of the Indus, plus practically the entire route of Alexander's
lengthy campaign from Macedon to Pakistan and back. Of course he has to liven
up the tale by recounting every scurilous bit of anti-Alexander propaganda that
eminiated from the Greek opponents. And lively tales they are. But to see that
someone these days actually walked onto Pir Sar and through the Kawak Pass
makes the read worth while in itself. The illustrations and maps are terrific,
as one would expect from a professional camera crew. I do question some of the
figures Mr Wood accepts for the size of Alexander's or the Persian army at
various places on the route, especially for the return across the Geodosia
desert. The author has done his homework, at least in the major sources, and
follows Arrian throughout.
I purchased the movie on 2 DVD disks. Or, if the BBC movie is available from one of the movie rental outfits, I recommend watching it. The visuals are stunning, especially as Mr. Wood tramps through the Kawak Pass and onto Pir Sar and other remote locations. Since he made the movie in 1997 one gets a view also of the war in Afghanistan.
It is unfortunate, but all too typical, that in order to liven up the story Wood not only follows Arrian exactly but also inserts most of the anti-Alexander rumors and propaganda in the movie that is in the book. This is much different from his excellent inclusion of the anti-Alexander local stories still being told and enacted in plays by the Iranians and Pakistani professional story- tellers. These are wonderful pieces that show how the memory of Alexander is still vivid in popular culture throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.
|Lane Fox, Robin||The Search for Alexander||Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1980, 453 pgs., index, bibliography, extensive illustrations||In this book the author follows Alexander's campaign routes|
|The book is organized as a travel tour along Alexander's route. The author describes the terrain (with illustrations) and the peoples. But it is not a limited travelog. Alexander's actions and the events that take place in each area are fully described as well.|
|Lane Fox, Robin||Alexander the Great: A biography||Dial Press, 1974, 568 pgss., index, detailed notes, select bibliography, illustrations, maps, but not battle diagrams||Despite the title, in the introduction the author writes that this is not a bibliography because there is not sufficent inforamtion from the conflicting sources to write one.|
|From the length
of this book one can see the author has scope for a detailed biography - much
more than the typical military analytical books listed here The author's use of
a huge number of sources beyond the few written texts is very impressive. He
does not go into much detail about the tactics in the 4 main battles, but does
discuss the conflicts between various main ancient authors. He basically
provides the strength and loss figures from the ancient sources and notes that
he does not necessairly believe them (especially the numbers for the Persians).
In particular he believes Diodorus' account of Granicus - namely that Alexander
did not launch his attack in the late afternoon upon arrival at the river, but
instead made a very early morning, surprise crossing, and then swept into the
relatively unprepared Persian lines. He notes the problem from the sources for
Issua battle comparing the strength figures with the known width of the
battlefield, but does not delve further. He considers the Macedonian strength
may have been as low as 25,000. He mentions Alexander had 47,000 at Gaugamela
versus possibly 1 million Persians (including 30,000 cavalry) and the Persian
loss might have been 300,000. He discusses the dangers Alexander faced from his
policy of attempting to counter the Persian naval war in the Aegean by
capturing their ports. He believes that Alexander may have taken as many as
40,000 troops onto the Gedrosia desert and brought only 15,000 out. This is
much higher than Tarn believes for the entrance and much lower for the exit.
He devotes much attention to analysis of the many 'scandals' involving Alexander - the plots and murders of other officers. He also discusses Alexander's relationship with the Macedonians in his army and their views about his relations with Persians.
|de Souza, Philip, et al||The Greeks at War: From Athens to Alexander||Osprey Publishing, London, 2004, 285 pgs., index, extensive bibliography, illustrations, maps, battle diagrams||The final chapter is about Alexander. The battles are described briefly with no strength or loss estimates.|
|The only battle diagram is for Hydaspes and it is different from those in the other references.|
|Dodge, Theodore Ayrault||Alexander||Greenhill Books, London, 1994 (the book was first published in 1890 by Houghton Mifflin), 692 pgs., maps and diagrams, no notes or bibliography||The author fought in the American Civil War and was a famous student and author of books on military history, such as Hannibal, and Scipio Africanus. This book actually is about much more than Alexander, as it includes warfare from ancient times to that of Alexander's successors|
|This is a study
of Alexander as a 'great captain' - a description and analysis of his campaign
from a military point of view. For today's reader the 'Victorian' writing style
may be enjoyable or otherwise. He initially includes a lengthy section
containing a detailed description of the structure of the Macedonian army,
number of men in each unit from a 16 man file up to many thousands in a full
phalanx with its supporting units.
One interesting point is that Dodge cites the ancient authors' data for Macedonian battle losses and then compares them with other battles including 19th century. He finds these seemingly low numbers to be reasonable. For instance he notes that Diodorus listed 500 Macedonians dead at the huge battle at Gaugamela, which, plus standard estimates for wounded, would bring the casualty rate to 12%. He quotes Diodorus' estimate for Persian loss at 90,000 and Curtius at 40,000 and Arrian at 300,000, but he comments that only Arrian's number is clearly wrong. However, he also generally credits the ancient authors' huge estimates for Persian strength numbers which most if not all historians today believe are impossibly too large. He quotes the Macedonian loss at Hydaspes at 230 cavalry and 700 infantry (which to me seems small) as over 6 1/2 percent and "is the heaviest loss in killed on record for an army of its size." When discussing the size of Alexander's military machine, especially for the later campaigns in Central Asia and India, he notes the huge increase in numbers is due to the addition of many non-combatants. At the Hydaspes battle Dodge comments that 'Alexander's dispositions in this batle were masterly". and 'his execution was brilliant.' He also believes that Alexander suffered huge losses in manpower from sickness and other causes outside of the battles, losses not reported by the ancient authorities.
Col. Dodge sticks to Alexander as a military genius and focuses on his military activities. Whenever he has to mention any of the 'scandals' reported by ancient authors dealing with Alexander's treatment tries some excuse or hopes it is not as reprehensible as reported. One added feature of the book is that the author provided small sketch maps for many of the lesser engagments that are only briefly mentioned by most authors today.-
|Fuller, Major General K. F. C.||The Generalship of Alexander the Great||Rutgers Univ Press, Brunswick, 1969, 336 pgs., index, maps, some footnotes, illustrations||This is another study of Alexander's campaigns from a military point of view. As the title indicates, General Fuller focuses his analysis on Alexander's generalship.|
|General Fuller sets out the limitatations presented by the lack of primary sources for Alexander and the conflict of opinion about the man found in the sources we do have. He claims to be no academic historian of Greece, but rather wants to focus on Alexander as a military leader. Fuller believes Sir Willam Tarn was correct in his appraisals and choses to follow his lead. His book is divided into two parts. The first begins with background prior to Alexander, continues with description of the Macedonian army created by King Philip, then Alexander's education and personality, then the 'theater of war' and finally a description of the campaign. The second part is analytical and divided by topic -the 4 great battles, three sieges, 'small' wars in Balkans, Central Asia and India, Alexander as a statesman and as a general. Throughout Fuller rates Alexander as indeed a 'genius'. In the chapter on Alexander as a general Fuller references Clauswitz and the standard 'principled of war' in assessing Alexander's ability. Biographies and histories of Alexander's campaigns written by academics tend to be light on military analysis, the strong point of this book.|
|Cartledge, Paul||Alexander the Great: The hunt for a new past||Overlook Press, NY., 2004,368 pgs., index, appendix, bibliography, identification of individuals, glossary, chronology, maps and battle diagrams, illustrations||The author combines biography, narrative, and extensive analytical chapters including his generalship, divinity and legends and legacies in a very interesting and important book.|
quite a few questions that others do not. For instance, he immediately asks why
Alexander took so few soldiers from the Greek League of Corinth of which he was
the claimed leader. He lists only 7,000 foot and 2,400 horse from the League
out of his total of about 43,000 at the crossing into Asia, when the League
could muster at least 200,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry. And the situation
persisted throughout the campaign. The Greek 'allies' were generally left as
garrisons along the way. (This does not pertain to the mercenaries.) He notes
that initially Darius III employed more Greeks than Alexander. By Gaugamela in
331 Alexander had sent for and received 14,000 more reinforcements, but half
Macedonians and half mercenaries - none League troops. He ties this to the
political relationship between Macedon and the Greek League. He continues with
analysis of Alexander's lack of reliance on the Athenian navy. He strongly
criticizes Alexander's naval policy for its daring and Darius for failure to
exploit his advantages. He cites the importance of Antigonus' defense of
Phrygia against Persian attempts to regain the Ionian coast (a part of the
campaign not usually mentioned). He then gives Alexander great credit for
tactical brilliance at Gaugamela - "These flank guards and the rear line
were master-strokes - unprecedented, probably, in all Greek warfare."
There is too much important analysis in this book to include it all in a brief comment. But the reader can relate the constant political and ideological antagonism between Alexander and the Greeks (and even between him and others in Macedon) to the subsequent vilification he received at the pens of Greek writers - whose opinions are now represented by academics who cite these sources in order to denegrate Alexander.
|Bosworth, A. B.||Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great||Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998, index, bibliography, footnotes, appendices, mapsH||This book is part bibliography (but not as much as Peter Green) and part campaign history and analysis. The author gives critical analysis of the ancient sources.|
|The book combines a lengthy section narrating the campaign with shorter analytical sections on specific themes. The author provides an appendix in which he analyzes that ancient source accounts of the size of Alexander's army from crossing the Hellespont on. he follows this with discussion of the various reinforcments cited in the sources, noting that probably there were more not counted. He refuses to estimate losses for either side at Gaugamela noting that the ancient authors cannot be believed. He believes that modern authors over estimate Alexander's losses when crossing the Gedrosa because they give too large an army prior to the crossing.|
|Sheppard, Ruth, editor||Alexander the Great at War||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2008, 258 pgs., index, chronology, glossary, bibliography, many fine illustrations, battle diagrams||The reason Ms Sheppard is listed as 'editor' is that the text material and illustrations have been assembled from a large number of the Osprey series publications on ancient Greek and Persian warfare, some of which I have also and have included in this list. The production is elegant, with many excellent color illustrations.|
|This book is a convenient assembly of material in many Osprey short books. It is probably the single best current book available for the general reader. This format enables Ms. Sheppard to expand and integrate the information beyond what is possible in the standard Osprey 48 page format. There is a detailed description of the Macdonian army and its staff procedures. The section on the Persian army provides information not included in many recent books. There are excellent diagrams of the main battles. The sieges of Tyre and Gaza are described. Ms Sheppard cites the detailed order of battle and strength figures from Arrian or Diodorus, which ever seems more accurate. And she fills in other details from Curtius Rufus. The color battle diagrams are fine.|
|Adcock, F. E.||The Greek and Macedonian Art of War||Univ of California Press, Berkeley, 1962, 109 pgs, index, ancient sources||This small paperback was a pioneering effort in analysis of Greek and Macedonian warfare.|
|This book stems from the author's presentations of Sather Lectures at Berkeley. It is still listed at the top of many bibliographies. The chapters are titled: City State at War, Devellopment of Infantry, Naval Warfare, Cavalry, Elephants and Siegecraft, means and ends of major strategy, and generalship in battle. The content is all analysis, not narrative or even descripton.In a few pages the author summarizes so much valuable thought that this book is still worth study.|
|Garlan, Yvon||War in the Ancient World: A social history||Chatto and Windus, London, 1975, index, bibliography, chronology, two maps||Ancient here means Greek and Roman warfare. There are four chapters - 1 on legal aspects of ancient war - 2 on military societies - and 3 on army organizations. plus 4 conclusions|
|As the title announces, this is social history. But there is nothing more 'social' than warfare. The two are highly integrated and this book indicates that. The subject themes include: the legal aspects of war including the laws of war, the role of military societies including the roles of various types of soldiers, and army organization. Within these topics Garlan presents general conclusions ased on integerating examples across the whole period of his study.|
|Hanson, Victor David||The Wars of the Ancient Greeks||Cassell, London, 1999, 240 pgs., published in both hard and paper back editions, index, further reading, battle diagrams, illustrations||This is another in Dr. Hanson's books on the 'western way of war' that 'starts out with the Classical Greeks as an ethical practice to preserve society; but its very allegiance to the free economic and political expression of the individual creates a dynamism that without care can lead to the destruction of western culture itself'. Sure and according to Dr. Hanson the 'West' has been at it ever since.|
|Dr Hanson has a
personal and political agenda. The chapter on Alexander is a diatribe. It
started with his congering up a theory of 'western way of war' (The Western
Way of War - Alfred Knopf, NY. 1989) and has expanded as he became a
popular political pundit. This 'way' was uniquely created by the ancient Greeks
and made vastly worse by that megalomaniacal butcher named Alexander. In this
book among other things he wants us to 'imagine' how Alexander massacred
millions of innocent civilians throughout the Persian empire and north west
India. Never mind that the sources tell us that Alexander founded dozens of
cities and populated them with these same local citizens. The reader already
wonders at the statements by Arrian and Curtis and the rest that each battle
was a horrendous, bloody massacre in which the Macedonians were fighting
desperately and barely surviving, Yet when the actual casualties are listed
hardly any Macedonians or Greeks are killed while tens of thousands of Persians
are dead. The same wonder is generated when these authors describe such huge
massacres of local inhabitants and in the next paragraph note the Alexander has
founded a new city on the spot. For instance Hanson takes the wild ancient
estimate for the Persian army at Issus as his basis to claim that "20,000
Greek mercenaries fell and anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 Persian recruits
were dead by the end of the day." But Delbruck three generations ago plus
many current analysts have proven that the time and space factors before and
during this battle make such claims for the size (not to mention the losses) of
the Persian army impossible. The same goes for the other battles and sieges.
But he expands on this wild fantasy by claiming 'that in the space of just
eight years Alexander the Great had slain well over 200,000 men in pitched
battle alone, over 40,000 of them Greeks."
But Hanson ignores this contradiction in his eagerness to depict Alexander as a mass murderer the equal of "Hitler" as he writes in this volume. He is the most rabid and extreme member of the 'bad Alexander' school. Naturally he denounces Sir William W. Tarn in particular by name, along with other unnamed authors who are of the 'good Alexander' school. Hanson embellishes on every discredited comment from ancient authors known for their efforts to denounce Alexander. Hanson's 'spin' throughout is beyond my listing here. To see where all this fits one has to read his other books and essays that systematically denounce this supposedly unique ' western way of war' that had so wrecked all other civilizations to this day.
|Montagu, John Drogo||Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds||Greenhill Books, London, 2000, 256 pgs., index, references, battle diagrams||Brief summaries of many battles listed in chronological order, some of the larger ones have diagrams - many have strength and loss data|
|Very interesting is the inclusion of some of Alexander's more obscure battles - Shipka Pass, 335 BC (identification of his battle with Thracians); Lyginus River, 335 (Another battle during Alexander's campaign through the Balkans, against Triballians)' Ister River, 335 (Crossing of the Danube during same campaign); Pelium 335 (against Taulantians in Ilyria later in same campaign); Thebes, 335 (campaign to control Greece, Thebes was destroyed); Granicus river, May 334 (First battle in Asia - Author notes Diodorus' version is different from Arrian's - Macedonians 32,000 infantry and 5,100 cavalry - Persians 20,000 cavalry, 20,000 Greek mercenaries; Loss reports are nor credible.; Issus November 333 (Author cites all the classic authors - Persian strength and loss numbers are incredible - good summary of battle action); Megalopolis 331, autumn (Greek revolt Agis III of Sparta , 20,000 foot, 2,000 horse versus Antipater of Macedon 40,000 total - cites Diodorus and Curtius for loss data); Gaugamela 331 October ( clear, brief summary, Persian strength and loss numbers incredibly large); Susian Gates, 330 winter (Persians 25,000 - Macedonians ?? - good description from all ancient sources); Jaxartes River, 328 (Alexander crossing the Syr Darya); Alexandria Eschate 328, (battle with Scythians); Hydaspes River, 326 July, (diagram, Porus 30,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry, Losses 12,000 to 20,000 - Alexander strength ?? - Losses 1000)|
|Montagu, John Drogo||Greek and Roman Warfare: Battles, Tactics and Trickery||Greenhill Books, London, 2006, index, glossary , notes, some battle diagrams||As the title indicates this book focuses on planning and tactical elements such as surprise, psychology, and deception organized topically. The second section uses descriptions of 22 battles to illustrate these concepts. The only Alexandrine battle is Hydaspes|
|The author cites Arrian, Curtius, Diodorus and Plutarch for various accounts and J. F. C Fuller for analysis of their differences. He comments that the most notable aspect of the battle was the deception created by Alexander to confuse Porus thereby making the river crossing successful. He also notes Alexander's tactical deployment of cavalry to deceive Porus. The battle diagrams are clear. He gives Porus 30,000 infantry and 3,600 cavalry plus 180 chariots and 200 elephants. He gives Alexander 23,000 infantry and 8,500 cavalry. He cites Arrian's report that Porus had 20,000 infantry killed while Diodorus wrote that 21,000 loss included 9,000 captured. - plus Arrian lists 3,000 cavalry lost. He prefers Diodorus' estimate of Macedonian loss at 700 rather than Arrian's estimate of 220 cavalry and 80 infantry.|
|Anglim, Simon, et. al.||Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World: 3000 BC - AD 500||Amber Books, 2002, 256 pgs., index, bibliography, illustrations, maps, glossary,||The book is organized topically, it has text and diagrams for Alexander's battles - Hydaspes, Gaugamela, - but not Issus or Granicus - text also on Persian and Macedonian armies and Alexander's generalship|
|The chapters are
about - role of infantry - mounted warfare - command and control - siege
warfare - and naval warfare. The book is valuable in that it provides a look at
the Macedonian army in the context of a broad discussion of warfare in the
Alexander is discussed in sections on Gaugamela, Hudaspes, in India, military strategies, as a role model and military training.The colorful 'bird's eye' view diagram of Gaugamela is a decent depiction of Alexander's tactical victory. The battle is discussed in the chapter on command and control as an example of Alexander's remarkable ability.The similar view of the Hydaspes battle also is a clear descripton. For some reason the battle is discussed in the chapter on infantry, but the battle was won entirely by Alexander's exellent planning and use of cavalry. However this chapter does have a good discussion of the development of the Macedonian army under both Philip and Alexander. It also has a summary evaluation of the main ancient sources. The authors provide the strength estimates for the Indian army of Curtius (30,000 infantry, 300 chariots) and Plutarch (20,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry) and Arrian (4,000 cavalry, 30,000 infantry and 300 chariots) plus 200 elephants. They write that this was the best army that Alexander faced, an appraisal I would dispute. They give Alexander the standard 7,000 cavalry and 40,000 infantry plus 5,000 Indian allies. But a very large part of these were left in the camp. They give the standard list of casulaties from Arrian.
|Ferrill, Arther||The Origins of War: From the Stone age to Alexander the Great||Thames and Hudson, London, 1985, 240 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations, battle diagrams, maps||The best general study of warfare in the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean from neolithic times to Hellenistic era.|
|This book is an
excellent antidote to Hanson's claims about a 'western way of war' in general,
the significance of the Greeks and especially his views of Alexander the Great.
All this from his description of the Assyrian war machine. The section on
Alexander the Great benefits greatly from the previous description of Greek
hoplite warfare and the extensive developments that took place between Marathon
and Alexander's time ,including training, intelligence and logistics. It also
benefits from the author's analysis and commentary. Ferrill titles this "
The Military Revolution". He gives considerable credit to the creation of
the Macedonian war machine to Alexander's father, Philip. His chapter on
Alexander is on 'the origins of modern war' - not 'western way of war' - a
serious study of all aspects of Alexander's claim to fame as a military genius
(rather than an assault on that claim).
Before Granicus Alexander had 40,000 infantry and 5,100 cavalry - but for the battle he employed only 13,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. The Persians had 20,000 cavalry and 20,000 Greek mercenaries. Ferrill describes the standard view, that the Persian cavalry occupied the stream bank and the mercenaries were on a hill to the rear (quoting Arrian). Alexander lost only 150 men. In his analysis of the apparently questionable Persian tactics he attempts to justify them and counter other historians such as Liddel Hart and Keegan.
At Issus Ferrill notes that Alexander was completely surprised by Darius' movement across the mountains to reach Alexander's rear (LOC). He dates the battle as probably on 12 November 333. The battle diagram depicts the order of battle on both sides. He mentions Arrian's claim that Darius had 600,000 men including 100,000 cavalry, but comments that no modern historian believes this. He believes possibly 100,000 total with 20,000 cavalry - but this is also much to large. Ferrill provides no estimate for Macedonian strength, nor of losses. He notes that both commanders had the same idea - a cavalry breakthrough followed by attack to the rear of the opposing infantry. Ferrill follows with discussion of the siege of Tyre.
Moving toward Babylon Alexander now had 47,000 soldiers. Gaugamela then took place on 1 October, 331. Again Ferrill rejects Arrian's number of 1,000,000 for Darius' army and instead offers 100,000 to 25,000 (again too large), and including 200 scythed chariots and 15 elephants. The battle diagram is the same as most other author's. His description of the tactical events is a summary.
On the Hydaspes Porus mustered 30,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry, 300 chariots, and 200 elephants to Alexander's 15,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. (Ferrill estimates Alexander had 75,000 total troops in theater. But after crossing the river Alexander had only 6,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. The battle diagram indicates that Porus' right flank cavalry crossed to the left in front of the infantry - elephant battle line with Koenus' cavalry following behind - rather than that both cavalry units crossed behind the Indian battle line, as most other authorities believe. Otherwise the description of the tactical battle is similar to that of other authors.
Ferrill's assessment follows: "After Alexander warfare would never be the same. He had carried the art to a level of sophistication that would rarely be equalled and even more rarely excelled for more than 2,000 years...." He then compares Alexander's art of war with that of Napoleon.
|Devine, Dr. Albert||"Alexander the Great"||This article is in Warfare in the Ancient World, edited by Sir John Hackett and published by Facts on File, NY., 1989, 256 pgs., index, maps, bibliography, excellent illustrations.||This 25 page article is an excellent summary, and should be studied in context with the other chapters on Greek and Persian armies. Dr Devine cites Arrian, Curtius, Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch and Aelian as references. The content is limited to the tactical military action, and does not discuss Alexander's political or social policies.|
|Dr. Devine provides a clear description of the organization, composition, tactics and armament of the Macedonian army including the various non-Macedonian components. Then he describes the campaigns and major battles - Granicus River, Issus, Siege of Tyre, Gaugamela and Hydaspes River - each with a schematic battle diagram. The text and diagrams provide very detailed order of battle with unit and commander names and strengths. They follow Arrian, especially for Granicus, for which Diodorus has a much different concept.|
|Anderson, J. K.||Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon||Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1970, 419 pgs., index, extensive notes, bibliography, excellent illustrations.||The author uses a wealth of ancient and modern authors to focus on the development of Greek military practice up to the battle of Mantinea. The organization is thematic.|
|Although the subject of this excellent book is developments in several hundred years of Greek history prior to Alexander, it is very relevant to study. Several recent historians have mentioned that Alexander studied Xenophon's works and incorporated his ideas into his organization and battle tactics. This is especially apparent at the battle of Gaugamela. Greek military practice was dynamic in its development under the very fluid conditions of change from prior to the Persian invasion in 490 to the expansion of Macedon around 370. And there were other authors of military theory, but Xenophon's work has come to us more completely than others. One major development was the increasing use of mercenaries, not only by Greek cities, but also by foreign powers, Persia and Egypt. There were major changes in weapons and armor. Tactical organizations became much more complex, incorporating various specialist light infantry units and cavalry. All this is discussed in these chapters.|
|Anderson, J. K.||Ancient Greek Horsemanship||Univ. of California Press, Berkelely, 1961, 329 pgs, index, extensive illustrations, notes, bibliography - the book includes an important translation of Xenophon's On Equitation||I believe most popular opinion about Greek warfare focuses on the armored infantry man - hoplite - and this is incouraged by such authors as Victor Hanson. No doubt the small Greek armies fielded by the cities prior to the Persian invasion were of this type, heavily armored infantry.|
|But with the expansion of Greek military concerns when they had to confront the Persian cavalry, first in Asia Minor and then in Europe interest in cavalry developed. Still, the main Greek cities, such as Sparta, Athens and Thebes did not and could not raise effective cavalry in sufficient numbers due to their terrain. Greek cavalry actually came from the northern, semi-Greek lands, Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace and nearby. Xenophon was by no means the only Greek military leader to experience personally extended conflict with Persian cavalry and also with the increasing role of the "Greek" cavalry, but he was the only one who was also an author who expressed his ideas about cavalry in writing. And successful cavalry starts with quality horses. Xenophon discussed all this plus also the proper arms and armor for cavalry men. He also recommended the mixed formation in which infantry would be concealed behind cavalry units ready to confront opposing cavalry.|
|Scullard, H. H.||The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World||Cornell, Univ. Press, Ithaca, 1974, 288 pgs., index, illustrations, diagrams||Professor Scullard has mined the ancient sources to compile this study of the use of elephants in warfare.|
|The author writes that before the battle at Hydaspes River Alexander already had about 40 elephants. If so it would have been possible to reduce the aversion of his horses to them but apparently he did not do this. This aversion is claimed by most modern writers as a significant factor in such battles as Hydaspes. Scullard writes that Porus had 50,000 infantry and 4-5,000 cavalry, 300 chariots and 200 elephants, the usual numbers quoted from ancient authors -Alexander crossed the river with 5,000 cavalry and at least 10,000 infantry. Professor Scullard follows Arrian in the standard description of the battle. He then describes Alexander's subsequent use of elephants all the way back to Babylon. And then he describes the use of elephants by the Successor generals. Seleucus was personally commander of a unit that faced these elephants. He was so impressed with them that he later bargained away whole territories to obtain hundreds from the Indian rajah.|
|Nossov, Konstantin||War Elephants||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2008, 48 pgs., highly illustrated, index, references, illustrations, tables||Text and illustrations of the military use of elephants in ancient and medieval times - shows the value placed on elephants by Indian and Persian rulers|
|Nossov, Konstantin||Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons||The Lyons Press, Guilford, 2005, 306 pgs., index, notes, glossary, appendices||The book includes discussion of Greek and Macedonian siege weapons|
|The first section of the book is a brief outline of the history of siege warfare from ancient Egypt on. The Greeks and Macedonians are only mentioned in a few pages. The second section is organized topically by system, such as mobile shed, battering rams, siege towers and the like. In this section Alexander's available machinery is included.|
|Warry, John||Warfare in the Classical World||St. Martin's Press, NY., 1980, 224 pgs., index, glossary, excellent illustrations, maps, battle diagrams.||The chapter on Alexander is only 15 pages in large folio and most of it is taken by the excellent illustrations.|
|Warry cites Arrian as the most reliable of the ancient sources. He notes that the previous authors that Arrian dismissed were 'unscrupulously slanderous". One wishes that Hanson would acknowledge that he knows this. He mentions also Plutarch. Quintus Curtius Rufus, he believes, wrote a 'garbled account' and he as well as Diodorus Siculus relied on Clitarchus, considered unreliable. Warry includes a clear graphic depiction of a Macedonian infantry unit of 256 men. His diagram of Granicus follows Arrian and not Diodorus. Two full pages are devoted to detailed drawings of siege artillery. and the siege of Tyre is described. There are large, clear diagrams of Issus, Gaugamela and Hydaspes with accompaning order of battle.|
|Head, Duncan||Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars 359 BC to 146 AD||Wargames Research Group, Sussex, 1982, 192 pgs., bibliography, illustrations||There are sections on army organization, tactics, dress and weapons. This is the most thorough, detailed reference available.|
|The author first
describes the Macedonian army of King Philip. Then he describes Alexander's
army from its initial formation until its return from India to Babylon. On
crossing the Hellespont Alexander had infantry composed of 12,000 Macedonians
(formed with 3,000 hypaspiests and 9,000 pezetairoi - phalanx men), 7,000
allied Greeks, 5,000 Greek mercenaries, 7,000 Thracians and Illyrians, and
1,000 archers and Agrianes, The cavalry consisted of 1,800 Macedonian
Companions, 1,800 Thessalians, 600 Greeks, and 900 light cavalry. To this
32,000 infantry and 5,100 cavalry should be added the remaining elements of the
10,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry sent ahead by Philip. Antipater remained in
Macedon with 1,500 cavalry and 12,000 infantry. Head cites Griffith's
calculation that at least 60,000 more mercenaries were added during the
campaign. However, many of these then served as garrisons of captured cities.
Head describes the tactical organization of the units and their weapons in
detail. After Gaugamela Alexander added a large number of Asiatic troops,
He describes troops from all the other ethnic and political subdivisions as well. The text is illustrated with line drawings of each ethnic type of infantry and cavalry and other soldier.
|Rodgers, William Ledyard||Greek and Roman Naval Warfare||Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1957, 557 pgs., index, notes, illustrations, maps||There are chapters on Marathon, Greek-Persian wars, Peloponnesian war and Alexander's naval war and those of his sucessors|
|Adniral Rodgers prepared elaborate estimates for the number of Persian forces in their Marathon campaign. Taking Herodotus' statement that the Persian fleet numbered 600, Rodgers allocates 300 for the horses at 5 horses per ship. He gives each other ship 30 infantry men. The totals come to 1,500 cavalry, 6,000 officeers, 30,000 rowers, 6,000 ship marines, 7,500 added infantry, 1,500 non-combatants for a grand today of 52,500 men and a combat landing force of 15,000 maximum (1,500 cavalry and 13,500 infantry). He then gives a very lengthy (for a book on naval warfare) and detailed descripton and analysis of the resulting battle. He believes the cavalry was on board with part of the infantry and sailing toward Athens when the battle took place. He notes that there were light armed Athenian infantry in addition to t he hoplites. He devoted much less space to a brief overview of the naval war that occured during Alexander's campaign. Probably this is because there was actually no big naval engagement during the war, rather it was raiding and use of naval force to capture or defend islands and ports.|
|Connolly, Peter||The Greek Armies||Macdonald Educational, London, 1977, 77 pgs., elaborate illustrations, index, glossary||The book includes Alexander's army siege equipment, naval equipment, tactical formations, elephants,|
|Sekunda, Nick||The Army of Alexander the Great||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK., 1984, 40 pgs., many color illustrations||A typical booklet in the Osprey series - this has brief summary text, some illustrations of actual artifacts and the excellent color plates by Angus McBride|
|Campbell, Duncan||Greek and Roman Artillery 399 BC - AD 363||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2003, 48 pgs., highly illustrated, index, references,||Excellent illustrations of
|Campbell, Duncan||Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399 BC - AD 363||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2003, 48 pgs., highly illustrated, index, references||Excellent illustrations of Alexander's siege machines|
|Cernenko, Dr. E. V.||The Scythians 700-300 BC||Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2003, 40 pgs., highly illustrated||Descriptive text and color illustrations. The book depicts the elaborate and heavy armor of the Scythians that Alexander faced first at Gaugamela and then in Central Asia.|
|Gorelik, Mikhael V.||Warriors of Eurasia||Montvert, Stockport, UK. 1995, 48 pgs., profusely illustrated with excellent paintings||Includes illustrations of Scythian, Saca, and other heavily armored cavalry from the Persian army|