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The Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC (Hardback)

An Institutional and Operational History

Ancient History Military

By Paul Johstono
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 376
Illustrations: 20 illustrations
ISBN: 9781473833838
Published: 17th November 2020

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The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt and much of the eastern Mediterranean basin for nearly 300 years. As a Macedonian dynasty, they derived much of their legitimacy from military activity. As an Egyptian dynasty, they derived much of their real wealth and power from maintaining a secure hold on their new homeland. As lords of a far-flung empire, they maintained much of their authority through garrisons and the threat of military action. To achieve this they devoted much of their activity to the development and maintenance of a large army and navy. This work focuses on the period of the first four Ptolemies, from the acquisition of Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great to the great battle of Raphia more than a century later. It offers a study of the Ptolemaic army as an institution, and of its military operations, both reconstructed through a wide range of ancient sources, from histories to documentary papyri and inscriptions to archaeological finds. It examines the reasons for Ptolemaic successes and failures, the causes and nature of military change and reform, and the particular details of the Ptolemaic army's soldier classes, unit organization, equipment, tactics, and the Ptolemaic state's strategy to compile a military history of the golden age of one of the classical world's significant forces.

'This book rewards the reader by painting a picture of international politics and strife, particularly between Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms.'

Alan L. Jeffreys, 'Ancient Egypt' Magazine

Very little attention has been paid to Egypt after Alexander the Great, but this book explains how the Ptolemaic Army maintained Egypt’s position as a major power. The legacy of Alexander’s campaigns was a number of the significant nations of the Middle East being ruled by his successors and Egypt was an enduring part of that legacy. – Most Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

One of the most impressive things about this book is the level of detailed information that it reveals about the Ptolemaic army. The result is a book that should be of great value to anyone with a serious interest in Hellenistic armies.

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History of War

Book Of The Month

Ancient Warfare magazine, IX.5

Undeniably written for specialists, this book rewards the reader by painting a picture of international politics and strife, particularly between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms, portraying in detail how various leaders responded when conflict threatened their sphere(s) of interest. This is as much about the post-Alexandrian geographical era as it is about Ptolemaic Egypt, contextualising Hellenistic Egypt in the wider Mediterranean world. An excellent, detailed study of the evidence, with careful, reasonable deductions of lacunae.

Egyptology Scotland

About Paul Johstono

Paul Johstono gained his PhD from Duke University, North Carolina, USA, with a thesis on Hellenistic military institutions. He is an Associate Professor of Military History and Security Studies at the Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, where he designs and teaches leadership and ethics curriculum. He was previously Associate Professor for History of Warfare and Leadership Studies at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He was formerly lead project historian for the video game team, Europa Barbarorum. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on Hellenistic military history, Ptolemaic history, and ancient historiography, but this is his first monograph. He regularly speaks on ancient warfare, leadership, and strategy. He resides in Wetumpka, Alabama, USA, with his wife and three children.

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