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"Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi", how they would look like.
#1
Josephus writes...
Quote:He had, moreover, eight thousand front-line fighters, whom he called " hundred-
fighters," carrying long shields covered with bronze.

The original text calls them, "?????????????" or hundredfighters which, transliterated in Greek would be read as "Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi"

The "long shield covered with bronze" would probably appear like this, which the greeks at the time called "Thureos" or "door" shield. This one is a thureos covered in bronze, definitely a long shield. Found in England, I forget its name. Apologies.
[Image: FullbronzethureosfoundinBritain.jpg]

I think that the "Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi" or hudredfighters as their name means, would look something like the following pictures. Both those depictions have thureoi shields very close to the one found in Britain and are close both geographically (From Sidon) and chronologically to the battle described by Josephus.
[Image: PtolemaicThorakitesfrom145BCESidon.jpg]
or this,
[Image: PtolemaicThureophorosfrom145BCESido.jpg]
sword... a Celtic one per Ruben's suggestion, which is evidently correct.
[Image: AH4303%20Celtic%20Sword.jpg]

but his shield would be bronze faced like the one above. They would be clad in Linothorax or mail as those were the preferred body armor of the time and place. I guess scale could be used as well, but I would bet on either Linothorax or mail.

What do you think?
Kostas Papadopoulos
History fans like myself should keep these wise words in mind
When in doubt about sources, trustworthiness or what the writer of what you read about is really after, I \'d advise Ktesias test after that Münchhausen of ancient Greece.
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#2
Quote:Josephus writes...
Quote:He had, moreover, eight thousand front-line fighters, whom he called " hundred-
fighters," carrying long shields covered with bronze.

The original text calls them, "?????????????" or hundredfighters which, transliterated in Greek would be read as "Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi"

The "long shield covered with bronze" would probably appear like this, which the greeks at the time called "Thureos" or "door" shield. This one is a thureos covered in bronze, definitely a long shield. Found in England, I forget its name. Apologies.

I think that the "Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi" or hudredfighters as their name means, would look something like this,
or this,

but his shield would be bronze faced like the one above. They would be clad in Linothorax or mail as those were the preferred body armor of the time and place. I guess scale could be used as well, but I would bet on either Linothorax or mail.

What do you think?

Looking at the "War Rule" scroll, or the scroll of the "War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness," which is thought to reflect 2nd c. BC Hasmonaean military practice, these guys were very likely similar to the main close combat infantry: armed with a shield 2.5 by 1.5 cubits long (c. 110 by 68 cm), 1.5 cubit-long sword, and 7 cubit-long spear. In other words, elite thureophoroi.

We have no way of knowing whether they wore body armour or not; the scroll mentions no body armour being worn by infantry, despite the fact that it is explicitly mentioned for cavalry. If they did, it could have been any kind that thorakitai are depicted wearing: organic tube and yoke cuirasses, muscled cuirasses, or perhaps mail, though mail seems to have remained rare for quite some time during the Hellenistic period.
Ruben

He had with him the selfsame rifle you see with him now, all mounted in german silver and the name that he\'d give it set with silver wire under the checkpiece in latin: Et In Arcadia Ego. Common enough for a man to name his gun. His is the first and only ever I seen with an inscription from the classics. - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
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#3
Thank you for your comments.

Indeed the mail was very rare in the Hellenistic period with that stele from Sidon being one of the few that actually portray Hellenistic troops clad in mail.

1.5 cubit in length for the sword, this would mean the sword the second one is carrying or the Prodromi kopis, which is one of the largest found close to that in length, if I am not mistaken.
[Image: PIC_3198-1.jpg]

Of course the sword could also be a xiphos (not aware of such large xiphos' samples) or an oriental sarmatian like sword. It could very well have been an arabian sword. The time and location, however, seem to indicate that the Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi must have worn something like this.

As for helmets, I think the most likely candidates would be Sidon helmets (seeing that both those stelai are from Sidon) and Askalon ones.

What would be interesting to ask ourselves is why there are people to this day who consider that they couldn't possibly have been carrying a bronze coated thureos, when enough examples have been found of coated thureos shields in all of Europe. Thureos shields mostly replaced old Aspis shield after the Celtic invasion of S. Greece. Of this there is no doubt. Therefore, why shouldn't some thureoi be bronze coated, given the exact same treatment that an aspis would have gotten? I don't know about the number (8.000 bronze coated thureoi would indeed sound like a lot) but in theory it could definitely be done.
Kostas Papadopoulos
History fans like myself should keep these wise words in mind
When in doubt about sources, trustworthiness or what the writer of what you read about is really after, I \'d advise Ktesias test after that Münchhausen of ancient Greece.
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#4
Quote:Thank you for your comments.

Indeed the mail was very rare in the Hellenistic period with that stele from Sidon being one of the few that actually portray Hellenistic troops clad in mail.

1.5 cubit in length for the sword, this would mean the sword the second one is carrying or the Prodromi kopis, which is one of the largest found close to that in length, if I am not mistaken.

Of course the sword could also be a xiphos (not aware of such large xiphos' samples) or an oriental sarmatian like sword. It could very well have been an arabian sword. The time and location, however, seem to indicate that the Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi must have worn something like this.

Any sort of steppe sword seems extremely unlikely. They could have been Celtic-style swords with multilobate pommels, like those which come into use after the 3rd c. BC (Diouskourides wields one on his stele), or even gladii, like the 2nd c. BC example found at Jericho.

Quote:As for helmets, I think the most likely candidates would be Sidon helmets (seeing that both those stelai are from Sidon) and Askalon ones.

They could be any kind, really. The Sidon stelae feature Attic helmets and other regular Hellenistic helmet types alongside the Sidon kinds.

Quote:What would be interesting to ask ourselves is why there are people to this day who consider that they couldn't possibly have been carrying a bronze coated thureos, when enough examples have been found of coated thureos shields in all of Europe. Thureos shields mostly replaced old Aspis shield after the Celtic invasion of S. Greece. Of this there is no doubt. Therefore, why shouldn't some thureoi be bronze coated, given the exact same treatment that an aspis would have gotten? I don't know about the number (8.000 bronze coated thureoi would indeed sound like a lot) but in theory it could definitely be done.

Who is denying it? It certainly is possible, but there isn't much evidence for it beyond this passage. Those bronze thureoi which have been found in Britain, like the Chertsey shield you posted above, are miniatures, or votives, or both, and not the remnants of actual shields. As for aspides, there is good evidence to suggest that a significant proportion of hoplite shields weren't faced with bronze, but simply had bronze rims, if that. Some representations of thureoi show them as having yellow facings, but whether that is meant to represent bronze, some material like leather, or simply yellow paint is impossible to tell.
Ruben

He had with him the selfsame rifle you see with him now, all mounted in german silver and the name that he\'d give it set with silver wire under the checkpiece in latin: Et In Arcadia Ego. Common enough for a man to name his gun. His is the first and only ever I seen with an inscription from the classics. - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
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#5
You are right, again, Ruben. The sword held in the second picture is definitely Celtic.

On the subject of armor/non armor: The vast majority of the thureos carrying troops depicted in both Sidon finds and Palestrina ones are unarmored.
In the case of "Ekatontamachoi", however, I don't believe that this would have been the case. Seeing that these men (or their king) went the extra mile and had their wooden thureoi covered with bronze, they would have at least spend some money first getting some sort of armor.

Other armies of the area and time did also have that distinction.

Hastati/Principes
Thureophoroi/Thorakitai.

The same one would exist on the "Army of the Sons of Light" I believe.

First slingers, then 3 lines of unarmored javelineers who would hurl their javelins at the enemy and then...

Quote:The final line, of older "men of the rule", comprises two ranks/lines of infantrymen, the first with shield and spear, the second with shield and sword.11 The description of the infantryman given above most probably applies to these men then, either the first or possibly both ranks. These men are to fight in close order (4Q491 - 13.7), and deliver the final blow to the enemy battle line. Once it has been routed, the trumpets sound the signal for all 7 ranks/lines to advance together to inflict as great a slaughter as possible
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/luke/ueda-sarson ... Light.html

While these "men of the rule" are not mentioned to be wearing armor, I think that at least some if not most of them are. It doesn't make sense for a ruler to not arm and equip his men in the best possible way, since if anyone can win the battle, they can. They should live to fight another day, therefore they would need to have some sort of wearable armor.

In the hastati/principes order of battle weren't the principes the veterans, old and grizzled, and almost all of them clad in mail or other armor?
Kostas Papadopoulos
History fans like myself should keep these wise words in mind
When in doubt about sources, trustworthiness or what the writer of what you read about is really after, I \'d advise Ktesias test after that Münchhausen of ancient Greece.
Reply
#6
Quote:On the subject of armor/non armor: The vast majority of the thureos carrying troops depicted in both Sidon finds and Palestrina ones are unarmored.
In the case of "Ekatontamachoi", however, I don't believe that this would have been the case. Seeing that these men (or their king) went the extra mile and had their wooden thureoi covered with bronze, they would have at least spend some money first getting some sort of armor.

Other armies of the area and time did also have that distinction.

Hastati/Principes
Thureophoroi/Thorakitai.

The same one would exist on the "Army of the Sons of Light" I believe.

First slingers, then 3 lines of unarmored javelineers who would hurl their javelins at the enemy and then...

Quote:The final line, of older "men of the rule", comprises two ranks/lines of infantrymen, the first with shield and spear, the second with shield and sword.11 The description of the infantryman given above most probably applies to these men then, either the first or possibly both ranks. These men are to fight in close order (4Q491 - 13.7), and deliver the final blow to the enemy battle line. Once it has been routed, the trumpets sound the signal for all 7 ranks/lines to advance together to inflict as great a slaughter as possible
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/luke/ueda-sarson ... Light.html

While these "men of the rule" are not mentioned to be wearing armor, I think that at least some if not most of them are. It doesn't make sense for a ruler to not arm and equip his men in the best possible way, since if anyone can win the battle, they can. They should live to fight another day, therefore they would need to have some sort of wearable armor.

In the hastati/principes order of battle weren't the principes the veterans, old and grizzled, and almost all of them clad in mail or other armor?

I think it's probable that they did wear armour, but we have to be careful that we don't let our conceptions of what makes a unit most effective colour our view of the past- most heavily armoured was not always equated with most effective in combat. Perhaps they thought that with an up-armoured shield, it wasn't necessary for them to wear body armour, allowing them to be more agile in combat, or some other reason. Compare the fact that we sometimes find depictions of soldiers wearing body armour, but no helmets; to most nowadays, a helmet would probably seem higher priority than a cuirass, but evidently that wasn't always the case in ancient times.
Ruben

He had with him the selfsame rifle you see with him now, all mounted in german silver and the name that he\'d give it set with silver wire under the checkpiece in latin: Et In Arcadia Ego. Common enough for a man to name his gun. His is the first and only ever I seen with an inscription from the classics. - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
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#7
Keraunos wrote:
Quote:On the subject of armor/non armor: The vast majority of the thureos carrying troops depicted in both Sidon finds and Palestrina ones are unarmored.
In the case of "Ekatontamachoi", however, I don't believe that this would have been the case. Seeing that these men (or their king) went the extra mile and had their wooden thureoi covered with bronze, they would have at least spend some money first getting some sort of armor........While these "men of the rule" are not mentioned to be wearing armor, I think that at least some if not most of them are.

The army of the "Sons of Light" is probably meant to be an idealised version of a Jewish Army, such as those of Judas Maccabaeus and his successors. In the early stages of any of the various revolts, arms and armour were in very short supply, and we have a number of hints of this, e.g. I Maccabees where Judas' men were very short of weapons - "who nevertheless had neither armour nor swords to their minds". Without the resources of Rome, or even the Seleucid Empire or Ptolemaic Egypt, it is highly unlikely that a significant number of men would have had armour - other than what the rebels could capture ( e.g. Judas Maccabaeus using a sword captured from a Seleucid General).
Significantly too, while helmets are mentioned for cavalry in the "Rule", none are mentioned for Infantry and we may take it that the vast majority probably had no armour whatsoever.

That the leaders/senior Officers at least had some armour is inferred by Josephus. In one instance, at the siege of Machaerus, an Egyptian soldier performs a 'snatch', picking up bodily a Jewish leader called Eleazar "armour and all". In a similar incident during the siege of Jerusalem, a Roman cavalryman, pursuing fleeing Jews from an unsuccessful sortie, siezes a prominent Jew, "...a young man of sturdy build and in full armour too..." In yet another incident at the siege of Jerusalem, a select group of 11 Jews under a man called Castor delayed matters by pretending an argument about surrendering, during which some of them "..struck their own breastplates and fell down pretending to be run through...". This armour is likely to have been captured from the Romans in earlier defeats at the beginning of the revolt. That most did not have armour is illustrated by many incidents where Jews are slain by blows to the face, or transfixed through the side.
In a battle on lake Gennasareth, Josephus describes how the Jews "...stones merely rattled on the Roman armour while they themselves were targets for Roman arrows..." - clearly these men are un-armoured. When Cestius with the twelfth Legion and a vexillations of the sixth and other Legions withdraw from Jerusalem, he was pursued by the rebels, and his Roman troops are 'heavy armed' and contrasted with 'the Jews were lightly armed'. The Romans lost heavily, including their baggage train and artillery,largely because they are pelted with missiles by the lightly armed Jews, whilst the Romans were unable to get to grips with them because they are 'heavy armed', illustrating Ruben's point that 'Heavy/Armoured' Infantry are not always best, and armour can be a positive handicap in some situations.
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
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#8
You are talking about the period of the Jewish revolt. There is no doubt that in impoverished Israel of the time, under Roman occupation for a century, not much could be had in the way of arms or armor. The period I am talking about is the Hasmonean kingdom.

In it, (copying from wikipedia)
Quote:Sidetes defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora[1] and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus[2] the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_VII_Sidetes

Antiochus VII then, used the money along with a Jewish contigent led by Hyrcanus to briefly restore Seleucid power over Messopotamia, which ended with his death. Had that money been used to equip the Jewish soldiers instead, almost all of the army would be armed and armored in the best fashion.

Alexander Jannaeus, the most succesful ruler of Hasmonean Israel, would also be able to arm his men in the fashion mentioned by Josephus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Jannaeus
Kostas Papadopoulos
History fans like myself should keep these wise words in mind
When in doubt about sources, trustworthiness or what the writer of what you read about is really after, I \'d advise Ktesias test after that Münchhausen of ancient Greece.
Reply
#9
Keraunos wrote:
Quote:In it, (copying from wikipedia)
Sidetes defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora[1] and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus[2] the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_VII_Sidetes

Antiochus VII then, used the money along with a Jewish contigent led by Hyrcanus to briefly restore Seleucid power over Messopotamia, which ended with his death. Had that money been used to equip the Jewish soldiers instead, almost all of the army would be armed and armored in the best fashion.
....this is not quite right. According to Josephus, of the 3,000 Talents which Hyrcanus robbed from the tomb of David...." With a tenth of this sum he bribed Antiochus to raise the siege. With the balance he did what no Jew had ever done before; he maintained a body of mercenaries." ( these were probably Pisidians and Cilicians)

Evidently spending the money on a large number of trained troops was more important than having armour/first rate equipment.......

Furthermore, according to Josephus, when Antiochus was away in Mesopotamia, trying to restore Seleucid power against the Parthians, Hyrcanus seized the opportunity to expand his power in Northern Palestine and Samaria (Wikipaedia has this very wrong)..... :roll: :roll:
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
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#10
Quote:(Wikipaedia has this very wrong)..... :roll: :roll:

But Wikipaedia is never wrong :wink: Tongue D
Scott B.
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#11
I must apologize, it seems. I should have read the appropriate text on Josephus. I was operating under the impression that whoever wrote the wikipedia article had done so in advance.
Kostas Papadopoulos
History fans like myself should keep these wise words in mind
When in doubt about sources, trustworthiness or what the writer of what you read about is really after, I \'d advise Ktesias test after that Münchhausen of ancient Greece.
Reply


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