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Warfare in the Ancient World

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  64 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Warfare in the Ancient World explores how civilizations and cultures made war on the battlefields of the Near East and Europe between the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia in the late fourth millenium BC and the fall of Rome.

Through a exploration of twenty-six selected battles, military historian Brian Todd Carey surveys the changing tactical relationships between the fo
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Published January 19th 2006 by Pen & Sword (first published January 2005)
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Myke Cole
A lot of shade has been thrown Carey's way for writing this book. The crux of the critics' arguments is that the scholarship is "unsupported," mostly because of his extensive use of secondary sources in his bibliography.

This is certainly valid from a theoretical perspective. Primary source material is the bedrock of reliable scholarship. But Carey's survey is free from glaring errors, and his brief, referential style has produced an invaluable survey that, when combined with clear maps, battle n
Caleb Curry
Sep 01, 2015 Caleb Curry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2011 Marcus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's an OK introduction to the topic and covers in brief chapters first civilizations, ancient Egypt, classical civilizations of Middle East (Assyria, Persia), military developement in Greece (from proto-hoplites to fully developed phalanx) and evolution of Roman legion. Covered material is very eurocentric and ignores almost completely the so called barbarians (Celtic and Germanic nations), steppe people (such as Alans, Sarmatians or Huns) and developements in Parthian/Sassanid empires and Chin ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Great resource for those interested in the history of warfare, ancient civilizations, and classical Greece and Rome. I read it as a crash course in military history in order to prepare myself to write more convincing battle scenes. The focus is on battles and mid-level tactics, with some attention to individual commanders (like Hannibal, Caesar, Alexander, etc.) with less emphasis on grand strategy (as in a plan for the entire war) or individual fighting techniques. 26 battles are described in s ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I'm tossed between rating this two or three stars, and that's largely because the e-book publication is abysmal. Rather than display individual tactical maps that I would be able to actually see on my e-reader, these were instead presented as a composite image with four or more maps squeezed into the display. Rather than give in to some latent masochistic tendencies, I set aside the e-reader for this one and read it on a computer instead. But given how often I actually make the effort to read on ...more
C. Howell
May 26, 2012 C. Howell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Professor Carey's first volume of his two-volume history of warfare in western civilization does a great job exploring how civilizations and cultures made war in the period between the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC and the fall of Rome fifteen hundred years ago. This was a period when warfare became sophisticated, with strategies including shock and missile tactics and involving approaches still used today. Carey's tactical maps chart the development of tactics, while the in ...more
As a survey of military history meant for a classroom, it works. The formatting is not ideal, especially as an e-book, but the information gives a solid picture of how warfighting has evolved in Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa.
Josho Brouwers
This is a very general introduction to warfare in the ancient world. In order to write a treatise on ancient warfare, the author relied mostly on extant secondary literature (and often older titles to boot). The primary sources are seldom referenced and there are a few errors and curious omissions, perhaps borne out of a need to briefly summarize such a vast span of history. Nevertheless, it may serve as a useful introduction to the topic for someone who knows virtually nothing about it, and the ...more
This is a decent book. It was actually the first time I have seen a description of what differentiated the Macedonian army from the other Greek states or what made the Roman legions so effective. Where it lacks is the descriptions of the battles which are short with very little back story in some cases
It's a good primer on a very broad subject and huge span of years. I would say that this is best suited to someone looking for an overview in order to find a specific area of interest for further reading. All in all, not bad. Brian Todd Carey is a Professor at American Military University and this is a class text for Ancient Military History.
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