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The Macedonian War Machine 359-281 BC (ePub)

Ancient History Colour eBooks Military

By David Karunanithy
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 25.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 356
Illustrations: 3 maps, 16pp colour plates, approx 30 b/w drawings
ISBN: 9781783469963
Published: 16th September 2013


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The army that emerged from the reforms of Philip II of Macedon proved to be without equal in the period covered and one of the most successful in the whole of the ancient period. Much has been written on aspects of Macedonian warfare, particularly the generalship of it's most famous proponent, Alexander the Great, yet many studies retread the same paths and draw conclusion on the same narrow evidential base, while leaving important aspects and sources of information untouched. David Karunanithy concentrates on filling the gaps in existing studies, presenting and studying evidence frequently overlooked or ignored.

The book is divided into four sections, each presenting a wealth of detail on various aspects: Preparation (including chapters on training techniques, various aspects of arms and armour production and supply and the provision and management of cavalry mounts); Support (eg non-combatant specialists, bridge building, field engineering, construction of field camps and little-known combat units in Asia); Dress and Battle Equipment (drawing on much neglected evidence and including such details as officers' plumes, wreaths and finger rings); Alexander's Veterans and Life on Campaign (the Silver Shields; baggage trains and personal kit, servants and families, camp life and recreation..).

In addition there are useful appendices summarising evidence for the appearance of troops.

David Karunanithy analyses this wealth of detail with real insight, for example suggesting that in some areas, such as the use of marching camps, the Macedonian influence on Roman armies has been underestimated. His meticulous research allows a much fuller portrait to be painted of this awesome war machine. This is an absolute must-have for anyone with an interest in the armies of Alexander and his Successors

The range of evidence collected around all these topics impressive, and indicates both the length of time over which the author has been collecting material, and the extent to which the book is a labour of love.
Literary evidence in particular is very comprehensively utilised, and I do not think even the best informed reader could fail to find some new and unfamiliar source of evidence uncovered in these pages - all backed up by excellent and comprehensive footnotes and references.
Anyone with an interest at all in the history of the period, or in how armies in antiquity actually operated should read this book - they are certain to learn something new from it.

Society of Ancients

The author clearly has an incredible knowledge of the written and archaeological sources. I feel confident that this work will become a standard text on the Macedonian army.

Miniature Wargames Magazine

Karunanithy's achievement is to draw together all the available evidence - artistic, numeristic, archaeological and literary - producing a thoroughly readable and coherent work. Highly recommended: it should be a mandatory acquisition for anyone with an interest in the history of ancient Macedonia and its military.

Ancient Warfare

Written in an accessible fashion and lavishly illustrated, David Karunanithy's scholarly treatise on The Macedonian War Machine succeeds in unifying the disparate archaeological and written sources into a coherent and convincing representation of this famed military force. He approaches the subject matter from novel angles by moving beyond the traditional themes of strategy and battlefield tactics to reveal the everyday life and social realities of the soldiers and officers in the service of the Macedonian king. This monograph is not only a welcome addition to the scholarly discourse on warfare in the ancient world – it is of valuable service to the interested reader.

Dr Alfred Hirt, MAVORS Institute for Ancient Military History

The Macedonian War Machine is a comprehensive and meticulous investigation into the organisation and logistics of the deadliest fighting force ever created in the Ancient Greek world. David Karunanithy's book is a splendid achievement. The prose is elegant, the analysis insightful, the plates superb and the work is set to become a standard treatment for scholars and military enthusiasts alike.

Dr Patrick Wheatley, University of Otago

This wonderfully multi-dimensional study uses an admirable range of archaeological and literary sources to bring the army of Alexander and his successors vividly to life. It is an indispensable reference work.

Professor Philip Sabin, King's College London

David Karunanithy has produced a meticulously researched and documented account of the workings of the Macedonian army. Not your standard discussion of organisation and deployment, this splendid and scholarly work tells us virtually everything we are capable of knowing about armament, training, logistics and the personal aspects of what the author aptly calls The Macedonian War Machine. For the author this has clearly been a long labour of love, and the results are stunning. Karunanithy's book is an essential guide for all serious students of military history and warfare in the age of Alexander.

Professor Waldemar Heckel, University of Calgary

About David Karunanithy

David Karunanithy has had a lifelong interest in ancient warfare and has written numerous well-recieved articles for specialist magazines, such as Slingshot. He is a researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary by trade, but has written one previous book on the use of dogs in ancient and medieval warfare.

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