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Wars, Warfare, and Battles

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Sometimes reading history may seem like the story of war after war after war. While there is much more to the ancient world than warfare, countries expended energy, time, manpower, and money training and fighting, inventing technology to further war's ends, and making medical advances to tend to its casualties. Here you'll find information on major wars and battles.
  1. Greek Wars and Battles
  2. Roman Wars and Battles
  3. Egyptian Battles
  4. Roman Warfare
  5. The Trojan War
  1. The Persian Wars
  2. The Peloponnesian War
  3. The Punic Wars
  4. Books on the Greek and Roman Military

Greek Wars and Battles

Greek history is marked out by the major battles and wars. The first of them, the Trojan War, preceded the historical record.

Roman Wars and Battles

Roman Legionary From Trajan's Column

Roman history was punctuated with almost yearly campaigns. Some of these were like gang turf wars, but others were significant. Over time Rome developed its fighters into a well-oiled machine that dominated the Mediterranean by the end of the second century B.C.

Egyptian Battles

Tuthmosis III basalt statue in Luxor Museum

The Egyptians recorded in great detail a battle they may not have won. We know about their battles from boastful inscriptions about the pharaohs.

Roman Warfare

Marble 1st century A.D. Roman Naval Soldier

The Roman fighting style started like the Greeks' and developed, incorporating lessons learned from its enemies. They fought in groups called legions whose size changed over time. To get the armed and weighted down men from place A to B, they perfected the Roman road.

The Trojan War

Trojan War Heroes

Although the Trojan War is known mostly through myth and legend, it was an important starting point for the history of Greece.

The Persian Wars

The Immortals of Persian King Darius

The Greeks fought the Persians under two kings in a series of battles. One of the most famous of the battles is the Battle at Thermopylae, the basis for the movie "300".

The Peloponnesian War

Pericles

The Peloponnesian War was fought between the allies of Athens and the allies of Sparta. Between the war and its aftermath, the Peloponnesian War left Greece sufficiently weakened for Philip of Macedonia and his son Alexander the Great to take control.

The Punic Wars

Hannibal Crossing the Rhone

The Punic Wars featured war elephants, the crossing of the Alps, catastrophic Roman defeats, and perhaps a punitive salting of the earth when Rome, inevitably, won.

Books on the Greek and Roman Military

Barry Strauss - The Trojan War

Military and ancient historians continue to study ancient warfare. Even though the major battles were fought millennia ago, writers continue to interpret events anew. Here are some reviews and lists of books to read on topics in Greek and Roman warfare.

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