Herodotus described the Thracians (who inhabited what is now roughly modern Bulgaria, Romania, the European part of Turkey and northern Greece) as the most numerous nation of all apart from the Indians and said that they would be the most powerful of all nations if they didnít enjoy fighting each other so much. There may have been a million Thracians, divided among as many as 40 tribes. Ancient writers were hard put to it to decide which of the Thracian tribes was the most valiant, and they were employed as mercenaries by all the great Mediterranean civilisations. Thrace had the potential to field huge numbers of troops, and the Greeks and Romans lived in fear of a dark Thracian cloud descending from the north, devastating civilisation in the Balkans. The Thracian way of warfare had a huge influence on Classical Greek and Hellenistic warfare. After Thrace was conquered by the Romans, the Thracians provided a ready source of tough auxiliaries to the Roman army.
Chris Webber gives an overview of Thracian history and culture, but focuses predominantly on their warfare and weapons. The latest archaeological finds are used to give the most detailed and accurate picture yet of their arms, armour and costume. He identifies and differentiates the many different tribes, showing that their weapons and tactics varied. The resulting study should be welcomed by anyone interested in the archaeology and history of the region or in classical warfare as a whole.
Drawing together historical sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Webber skilfully ressurects these vanished warriors, with particular emphasis in their distinctive armour and weaponry. His comprehensive text, complemented by drawings of friezes and photographs... [read full review]Current World Archaeology
I was very surprised by the amount of interesting material in the book. I had initially passed on it, as I have no Thracian Army and wasn't planning on one. However, some good reviews and... [read full review]Lead Astray
Claiming descent from Thrax, son of the war god Ares, the Thracians were feared throughout the Classical world and employed as mercenaries by Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Persia. With a territory covering modern Bulgaria, Romania,... [read full review]Current World Archaeology
I was very surprisedby the amount of interesting material in the book. I had initially passed on it, as I have no Thracian army, and wasnt planning on one. However, some good reviews... [read full review]Lead Astray
Overall, it's a compact but very thorough reference book. Just one example of how seful it could be to the modeller is that one page shows the known cloack designs taken from various bits of... [read full review]Military modelling magazine
Having read this book, it strikes me as one of those where, if you don't buy it now, in 20 years time you'll be struggling to find it and end up bidding even more on... [read full review]Miniature Wargames
I was so pleased when I read about this book's imminent publication (it has only been released in June 2011, not Feb. 2010 as per the blurb). There are precious few texts out there about... [read full review]Ben Kane via Amazon
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Mercenaries in the Classical Worldcirca 664-323BC
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About Chris Webber
Christopher Webber has always been interested in military history and wargaming. He studied Ancient History at the University of New England, New South Wales, and Journalism at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. He has published numerous articles in magazines and military history journals. He has been studying the Thracians for twenty years and has created a huge web site on the subject. He published the article ďOdrysian Cavalry Arms, Equipment, and Tactics ďin British Archaeology Reports International Series 1139, 2003.
He has an MA in Ancient History and is currently working towards his PhD. His first book, The Thracians 700 BC-46 AD (Oxford, 2001), challenged the accepted view of the appearance of Thracian warriors and the type of weapons they used.
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