TTC - Great Battles of the Ancient World 24 lectures of 30 minutes - 500 mb - mp3 by Garrett Fagan
Great Battles—Crucibles of History
"Battles, for all their madness, are worthy of study if for no other reason than that they are the crucibles of history," says Professor Fagan, who notes that a few hours of hard fighting can determine the fates of entire empires. Among the many fateful battles you study are:
* Marathon: This clash between Athenians and the invading Persian army in 490 B.C.E. demonstrated the fearsome effectiveness of Greek hoplite phalanxes against Persian arms. Later European history would have looked very different had the Greeks lost at Marathon.
* Gaugamela: In 331 B.C.E., Alexander the Great crushed a vastly superior Persian force in a classic hammer-and-anvil battle, in which his cavalry (the hammer) outflanked the enemy to drive it onto the spear-wielding phalanx (the anvil). When the dust had settled, King Darius III was in flight, and Achaemenid Persia, which had dominated Asia for three centuries, was at an end.
* Masada: The Romans showed their mastery of the difficult art of siege warfare by breaching the virtually impregnable Jewish fortress of Masada, which fell on April 16, A.D. 73. The defenders took their own lives rather than surrender, ending the last chapter of the Jewish Revolt against Rome.
You also follow celebrated confrontations between commanders of ancient times, including Hannibal versus Scipio, the 3rd-century B.C.E. equivalent of Lee versus Grant during the American Civil War, or Rommel versus Montgomery during World War II. At the head of a Carthaginian army, Hannibal nearly broke the back of Roman power in Italy, inflicting the worst Roman defeat ever at the horrendous Battle of Cannae in 218 B.C.E. But he met his match in P. Cornelius Scipio, who lured him to Africa for a killing blow at the Battle of Zama. Scipio was known ever afterward as Scipio "Africanus."
Other generals include:
* Alexander the Great: Arguably the greatest general ever, Alexander was heir to the tactical innovations of his father, Philip II of Macedon, who, in turn, had learned new battle techniques from Epaminondas of Thebes. Alexander's stunning victories are marked by his maximally efficient use of military tools.
* Julius Caesar: A brilliant tactician and master chronicler of his own exploits, Caesar won battles against barbarian armies and Roman rivals alike. He was preparing to conquer the Parthian Empire when he was struck down in the Roman Forum on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.E.
* Xenophon: Elected general after the massacre of his commanding officers, this soldier of fortune led a beleaguered army of 10,000 Greek mercenaries on a daring retreat from deep within Persian territory.
Course Lecture Titles 1. Why Study Battles? What Is War? 2. The Problem of Warfare’s Origins 3. Sumer, Akkad, and Early Mesopotamian Warfare 4. Egyptian Warfare from the Old to New Kingdoms 5. The Battles of Megiddo and Kadesh 6. The Trojan War and Homeric Warfare 7. The Assyrian War Machine 8. The Sieges of Lachish and Jerusalem 9. A Peculiar Institution? Hoplite Warfare 10. The Battle of Marathon 11. The Battle of Thermopylae 12. Naval Warfare and the Battle of Salamis 13. The Athenian Expedition to Sicily 14. The March of the Ten Thousand 15. Macedonian Military Innovations 16. Alexander’s Conquest of Persia 17. The Legions of Rome 18. The Battles of Cannae and Zama 19. Legion versus Phalanx—Six Pitched Battles 20. The Sieges of Alesia and Masada 21. Caesar’s World War 22. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest 23. Catastrophe at Adrianople 24. Reflections on Warfare in the Ancient World