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Onward and Upward - Carthaginian reenacting
#16
Quote:As to the armor, I believe there is a spectrum. On the one side you would have a very Hellenistic appearence - most likely Thracian helmets, quilted linen armor, Macedonian pelta type shields - while on the other side you would have a more Republican Roman appearence - Montefortino helmets, lorica hamata, and perhaps Republican scuta.

No Thracian helmets or iconographic evidence of Thracian helmets has been found in a Carthaginian context, IIRC. There is no actual evidence for Hellenistic quilted linen armour in northwest Africa, either, so those would be out. The Romanized equipment would only be for the Liby-Phoenician phalanx which was reequipped with captured Roman equipment.

Quote:The change of shield type would depend on the answer to the spear/pike question. The pike is a two handed weapon and the Cathaginian infantry woudl not have been able to use a scutum type shield if they were using pikes. At any rate, at the start of Hannibal's campaign his Carthaginians would have looked very Hellenistic, after he had been in Italy for a time then his troops would have looked very Roman, and during the times in between the appearence would have been somewhere in between as well I imagine.

It's doubtful that his army adopted Roman styles of equipment much beyond captured arms. The Carthaginian army was thoroughly Hellenistic in appearance probably right down to 146 BC.

Quote:When I mentioned the Celts before I was only talking about swords. The Carthaginians had a number of different sword types to choose from: the Hellenistic xiphos or kopis, the falcata, or Celt-Iberian type sword along the lines of the hispaniensis. It would have depended on where and when the sword was acquired.

Once again, the gladius was probably just used by the reequipped phalangites, and the Celtic styles most probably just by Celtic and Spanish troops.

Quote:I've seen that shield design or one very much like it when I was searching for shield emblems. There are companies who make shield decals for wargaming miniatures who based some of their designs off the shield emblems from Chemtou. The only catch with those is that they might be Numidian rather than Carthaginian. All the designs do have a distinctive look and feel to them though.

Like the Pergamon reliefs, the Chemtou reliefs are clearly displaying captured arms, and so they are almost certainly Carthaginian.
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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#17
Quote:No Thracian helmets or iconographic evidence of Thracian helmets has been found in a Carthaginian context, IIRC. There is no actual evidence for Hellenistic quilted linen armour in northwest Africa, either, so those would be out. The Romanized equipment would only be for the Liby-Phoenician phalanx which was reequipped with captured Roman equipment.

I think I am going to have to disagree with you here. Both the Thracian style helmet and the quilted linen armor are Hellenistic style military equipment. Since the Carthaginians were a Hellenistic style army I think both the helmet and the armor are within the realm of possibility. I just found a refernce in Warry's Warfare in the Classical World in which he says Plutarch wrote of the Carthaginian troops wearing mail during the 4th century which might make mail a possibility for Hannibal's army as well.

The only problem with that is Hannibal reequipped his troops with Roman armor and it is unlikely he would have had them swap out one mail shirt for another. The reference from Plutarch claims the heavy mail of the Carthaginians bogged them down in the rain and they suffered serious losses as a result. The question is, would they have stuck with the mail after this defeat or would they begun using using the lighter armor of their opponents?

What were the Seleucids wearing or for that matter what were the Greek armies on Sicily wearing. If Carthage was going to imitate Hellenistic armies, then they would draw their inspiration from the Hellenistic armies closest to them.

Quote:It's doubtful that his army adopted Roman styles of equipment much beyond captured arms. The Carthaginian army was thoroughly Hellenistic in appearance probably right down to 146 BC.

This is contradicted by the ancient historians who tell us that Hannibal's Carthaginians became almost identical in appearence to the Romans.

Quote:Once again, the gladius was probably just used by the reequipped phalangites, and the Celtic styles most probably just by Celtic and Spanish troops.

Well, yes, after Cannae all those Roman swords had to go somewhere and the Carthaginians probably had first pick. The question is what swords were they using prior to Cannae? Hannibal put his army together in Spain and the local swordsmiths would have been much more familar with Iberian and Celt-Iberian sword designs than Hellenistic ones - although the falcata and kopis are certainly similiar enough. I would think that the Spanish sword the hispaniensis was based on would also be likely. The Romans reequipped their legions with this sword so can we really assume that Hannibal would not have done the same?

Quote:Like the Pergamon reliefs, the Chemtou reliefs are clearly displaying captured arms, and so they are almost certainly Carthaginian.

I haven't seen any pictures of these reliefs so I can only go by what others say about them and some people say they might be Numidian. I am always very dubious about anything I have not seen at least a picture of with my own eyes. A good example of this which has absolutely nothing to with the topic at hand involves a section of the tomb paintings from Kazanluk. I have read a description of the painting that says the two central figures are holding the same spear which supposedly is a peace gesture. When you look at the picture of that painting though it is pretty obvious that the two central figures are not holding the same spear at all - one of them is holding two spears/javelins and the other one is holding bladed weapon. In fact the positioning of their feet inidicates the guy on the right is in the process of taking a swing at the guy on the left - not particularly peaceful at all! :lol:
Dan Zeidler
Legio XX
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#18
Quote:I think I am going to have to disagree with you here. Both the Thracian style helmet and the quilted linen armor are Hellenistic style military equipment. Since the Carthaginians were a Hellenistic style army I think both the helmet and the armor are within the realm of possibility. I just found a refernce in Warry's Warfare in the Classical World in which he says Plutarch wrote of the Carthaginian troops wearing mail during the 4th century which might make mail a possibility for Hannibal's army as well.

Thracian helmets were Hellenistic, yes, but they were eastern Hellenistic, and they never travelled farther west, it seems, than Italy. It's not like all Hellenistic-era armies shared the same kinds of equipment; there were of course regional variations.

As for quilted armour, if you can provide evidence for it being worn in the Hellenistic period, I would be very interested to see it.

What is the citation for that Plutarch passage, btw?

Quote:The only problem with that is Hannibal reequipped his troops with Roman armor and it is unlikely he would have had them swap out one mail shirt for another. The reference from Plutarch claims the heavy mail of the Carthaginians bogged them down in the rain and they suffered serious losses as a result. The question is, would they have stuck with the mail after this defeat or would they begun using using the lighter armor of their opponents?

If this is the passage I'm thinking about, then I think the troops referred to here are thought to be the ones who received the captured Roman equipment, and so it makes sense that they would be wearing mail.

Quote:What were the Seleucids wearing or for that matter what were the Greek armies on Sicily wearing. If Carthage was going to imitate Hellenistic armies, then they would draw their inspiration from the Hellenistic armies closest to them.

The Seleucids were just about the farthest away a Hellenistic army could be from the Carthaginians, so they are hardly a good comparison. However, the Sicilians wore Greek style linothorakes and metal muscled cuirasses. I don't know of any evidence for Hellenistic Sicilian mail.

Quote:This is contradicted by the ancient historians who tell us that Hannibal's Carthaginians became almost identical in appearence to the Romans.

Which passages are you referring to?

Quote:Well, yes, after Cannae all those Roman swords had to go somewhere and the Carthaginians probably had first pick. The question is what swords were they using prior to Cannae? Hannibal put his army together in Spain and the local swordsmiths would have been much more familar with Iberian and Celt-Iberian sword designs than Hellenistic ones - although the falcata and kopis are certainly similiar enough. I would think that the Spanish sword the hispaniensis was based on would also be likely. The Romans reequipped their legions with this sword so can we really assume that Hannibal would not have done the same?

To be honest, I know very little about Carthaginian swords, so I can't really comment too much on it.

Quote:I haven't seen any pictures of these reliefs so I can only go by what others say about them and some people say they might be Numidian. I am always very dubious about anything I have not seen at least a picture of with my own eyes.

People say that the Pergamene reliefs show Pergamene arms, too. That kind of thinking is often drawn from older sources which did not have the information on arms and armour which we have available today.

Quote:A good example of this which has absolutely nothing to with the topic at hand involves a section of the tomb paintings from Kazanluk. I have read a description of the painting that says the two central figures are holding the same spear which supposedly is a peace gesture. When you look at the picture of that painting though it is pretty obvious that the two central figures are not holding the same spear at all - one of them is holding two spears/javelins and the other one is holding bladed weapon. In fact the positioning of their feet inidicates the guy on the right is in the process of taking a swing at the guy on the left - not particularly peaceful at all! :lol:

Yes, I agree with you that reading a description of something is no substitute for seeing it with your own eyes. And yes, I found that description in the Osprey Thracians title to be a little strange myself Smile .
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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#19
Carthagenians were neighbors to Cyrenaic Greeks that they might have converted to a more pike-like army. (The Ophella guy!)
Italiotic Greeks were laye style hoplites. Authors say that Pyrros army made an impression with its long pikes. Italiotic Greeks had become wimps who hated national service and hired various Italian hill tribesmen as peltasts and even probably mercenary cavalry.
If you accept Cyrenaic influence pikes are not ahistorical.
Cretan archers are an option too as they contracted to any one who could afford them.
Kind regards
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#20
Quote:Carthagenians were neighbors to Cyrenaic Greeks that they might have converted to a more pike-like army. (The Ophella guy!)

Only they were separated by a huge stretch of largely inhospitable and impassable barren land. The Cyrenaic Greeks were as much neighbours to Carthage as the Italians. Which is to say, they really weren't.

Besides, I don't think there's any evidence of Cyrenaic Greeks ever adopting the phalanx, anyway.
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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#21
Quote:Thracian helmets were Hellenistic, yes, but they were eastern Hellenistic, and they never travelled farther west, it seems, than Italy. It's not like all Hellenistic-era armies shared the same kinds of equipment; there were of course regional variations.

Ah! I just realized as I read this that my primary area of focus for this time in history has always been Thrace and the surrounding areas whch seems to have put a decidedly eastern slant on my idea of Hellenistic armies. Things like that make me greatful that there are people around who I can bounce these ideas off of!

Quote:As for quilted armour, if you can provide evidence for it being worn in the Hellenistic period, I would be very interested to see it.

Both Connolly and Wary seem to imply in their respective books that quilted linen armor came into fashion around the time of Iphicrates and remained in use at least until 200 BC.

The point might be somewhat moot however - while I was looking through my reference books I realized that in Greece and Rome at War, Connolly has two photos of some of the Chemtou reliefs (on page 147 to be specific). One photo shows a round shield and the other a cuirass which he feels is probably mail. I also found a picture of that Carthaginian standard in the back of the book.


Quote:What is the citation for that Plutarch passage, btw?

Warry does not give a specific citation, but he covers it on pages 98 and 99 of Warfare in the Classical World.


Quote:The Seleucids were just about the farthest away a Hellenistic army could be from the Carthaginians, so they are hardly a good comparison. However, the Sicilians wore Greek style linothorakes and metal muscled cuirasses. I don't know of any evidence for Hellenistic Sicilian mail.

Well, yes, I agree that it woudl be a very long walk from Carthage to Alexandria, but there are supposedly some similarities in religious practices that suggest a cultural link between Carthage and Egypt - most likely via trade. I haven't chased that one down any further though because my main focus at the moment is weapons and armor. :lol: They are close in the sense that they are both North African and would both made use of North African elephants for their armies. I have never seen a map that showed the eastern extent of the Carthaginian Empire but depending on how far east and west the Carthaginian and Seleucid borders respectively went it is possible they might have shared a border.

Unless you meant that the Seleucid Army was philosophically separated from the other Hellenistic armies?

Quote:
Quote:This is contradicted by the ancient historians who tell us that Hannibal's Carthaginians became almost identical in appearence to the Romans.

Which passages are you referring to?

Bah! I can't find it now, but I'll keep searching, however, one thing all my references agree on is that definitely after Cannae, and perhaps as early as after Trebbia Hannibal had all of his Carthaginians reequipped with Roman armor - possibly even Roman swords.


Quote: And yes, I found that description in the Osprey Thracians title to be a little strange myself Smile .

I hope they fix that in the next Thracian book! :lol:
Dan Zeidler
Legio XX
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#22
Quote:Both Connolly and Wary seem to imply in their respective books that quilted linen armor came into fashion around the time of Iphicrates and remained in use at least until 200 BC.

That's pure speculation. If you, or anyone for that matter, can provide me with any evidence of quilted armour being worn in the Hellenistic period, I'd be very happy to see it.

Quote:Well, yes, I agree that it woudl be a very long walk from Carthage to Alexandria, but there are supposedly some similarities in religious practices that suggest a cultural link between Carthage and Egypt - most likely via trade. I haven't chased that one down any further though because my main focus at the moment is weapons and armor. :lol: They are close in the sense that they are both North African and would both made use of North African elephants for their armies.

In other words, they're not close at all Big Grin .

Quote:I have never seen a map that showed the eastern extent of the Carthaginian Empire but depending on how far east and west the Carthaginian and Seleucid borders respectively went it is possible they might have shared a border.

Unless you meant that the Seleucid Army was philosophically separated from the other Hellenistic armies?[/

I think you are a bit mixed up here... the Ptolemies were in Egypt, while the Seleucids controlled roughly Syria, Mesopotamia, and Iran. But no, the Carthaginians and the Ptolemies shared a border or even borders close to one another, as they were separated by a huge swath of inhospitable desert.

Quote:I hope they fix that in the next Thracian book! :lol:

We'll see, as Chris Webber is working on a new one right now, but it won't be published with Osprey.
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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#23
Quote:
Quote:Both Connolly and Wary seem to imply in their respective books that quilted linen armor came into fashion around the time of Iphicrates and remained in use at least until 200 BC.

That's pure speculation. If you, or anyone for that matter, can provide me with any evidence of quilted armour being worn in the Hellenistic period, I'd be very happy to see it.

Connolly does show a drawing of an Etruscan urn from 200 BC showing a warrior wearing quilted armor with scales over the shoulders and chest and on a belt covering his stomach.

I want to say that at this stage I am speculating. I am trying to come up with a list of all the possibilities - even the remote ones - and then through research narrow that list down to the most likely options.

Quote:I think you are a bit mixed up here... the Ptolemies were in Egypt, while the Seleucids controlled roughly Syria, Mesopotamia, and Iran. But no, the Carthaginians and the Ptolemies shared a border or even borders close to one another, as they were separated by a huge swath of inhospitable desert.

Why yes, yes I was mixed up and now I'm rather embarassed. A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing! :oops: :roll: Ah well - that's why I started a thread to discuss this subject!

So then, while the Carthaginians certainly had access to just about anywhere in the Mediterranean through their merchant fleet, the closest land mass where they would have really been able to observe and perhaps be influenced by a land army is Sicily? Who was romping around on Sicily then?

Quote:
Quote:I hope they fix that in the next Thracian book! :lol:

We'll see, as Chris Webber is working on a new one right now, but it won't be published with Osprey.

It is supposed to be much longer than the Osprey book too - I haven't seen anything on when it is due out though, but it's already on the "Books I Need to Buy" list. :lol:
Dan Zeidler
Legio XX
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#24
Quote:Connolly does show a drawing of an Etruscan urn from 200 BC showing a warrior wearing quilted armor with scales over the shoulders and chest and on a belt covering his stomach.

I think he misdated that, and that it actually comes from the fourth century BC, when there is plenty of evidence of quilted armour being worn by Etruscans. However, it seems to have disappeared after this point. At any rate, I don't think there has ever been any evidence for Carthaginians or Carthaginian mercenaries wearing quilted armour from before the Hellenistic period or during it.

Quote:So then, while the Carthaginians certainly had access to just about anywhere in the Mediterranean through their merchant fleet, the closest land mass where they would have really been able to observe and perhaps be influenced by a land army is Sicily? Who was romping around on Sicily then?

Why, the Sicilians Smile . Unfortunately, the Hellenistic history of Sicily and the goings on east of Italy is are not really my strong point, so I can't provide much more information on that matter.

Quote:It is supposed to be much longer than the Osprey book too - I haven't seen anything on when it is due out though, but it's already on the "Books I Need to Buy" list. :lol:

Hopefully it should be a good one.
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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#25
I guess it's about time to make a contribution, and see if I can clear up a few outstanding points.
First, it should be remembered that Carthage was the centre of a vast mercantile empire,and its mother city, Tyre, was in the middle of the seleucid empire - only 10 days or so by sea away. Carthage was also so wealthy that it repaid crippling war indemnities to Rome, early, more than once. It could thus afford to arm its own troops with the choicest of imported arms, including thracian or any other Hellenistic equipment.Thracian helmets were particularly popular with Etruscans, with whom Carthage had long-standing trade/alliances.
The reference referred to in "Warfare in the classical world" is to the battle of Crimisus (Krimisos ) in Sicily-339 B.C.-3 years before Alexander became king of Macedon.It is from Plutarch's life of Timoleon 6.xxviii ,referring to the Carthaginian sacred band, leading the van across the Crimisus river; "But these withstood his (Timoleon's) first onset sturdily, and owing to the iron breastplates ( usually interpreted as mail, but just conceivably the iron corselets like Philip's or Demetrius' )and bronze helmets with which their persons were protected and the great shields (aspides - and apparently white) which they held in front of them repelled the spear thrusts. But when the struggle came to swords...." the noble sacred band were annihilated, which apparently cured Carthaginian upper classes from indulging in matters military .
From around 400B.C onward, Etruscans and Romans came into contact with Gauls and their Mail ( Varro tells us that the Celts invented it), and it quickly appears on Etruscan monuments etc
But all this need not concern Dan, who wishes to concentrate on Hannibal's war !!
It is this which led Connolly to interpret the relief in "Greece and Rome at War" as mail but this is highly unlikely - first because the shoulder fastenings are Hellenistic ties, and nothing like mail fastenings, and second because the reliefs at Kbor Klib and Chemtou, though they show Aspides, Hellenistic helmets and corselets, and were once dated on this basis to Hellenistic times actually date to late republican times (c.105 B.C -jugurthine war, orc.46 B.C. -Caesar defeats Pompeians ) because they are identical in style (to the point where they might have been done by the same sculptor) to late Republican sculpture in Rome.They are no guide at all to Carthaginian armour.
Livy, in his wonderful description of Cannae ( XXII,46 ) tells us;"To look at them,one might have thought the Africans were Roman soldiers -their arms were largely Roman, having been part of the spoils at Trasimene and some too at the Trebia. The Gallic and Spanish contingents carried shields of similar shape ( therefore thureos/scutum type ), but their swords were of different pattern..."
Because the Romans obliterated Carthage ( and Corinth in the same year - 146 B.C.- shades of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and like the U.S.A against Japan, after this frightfulness, Rome never needed to do it again in the mediterranean world ), we have no books or literature, or art, or sculpture to aid us regarding Carthage's native and Liby-phoenician African troops - other than a single tomb relief, the tomb of Abd-asart ( servant of Astarte), apparently a numidian with a Carthaginian name. We don't know which side he fought on, but his tomb shows his armament as thureos, simple helmet (like pilos, or Negau type - similar to the trophy 'Persian' helmet ar Olympia - which could be that of a phoenician marine)
He is armed with two longche/lancea -and we should lay a myth to rest here. Polybius refers to peltast-type troops in Hannibal's army called Longchophoroi which the translator in the Loeb edition mis-translated as "pikemen" !!! They are, in fact, armed with the short spear ( for throwing or thrusting ) called Longche - lancea in latin !
"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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#26
Quote:It is supposed to be much longer than the Osprey book too - I haven't seen anything on when it is due out though, but it's already on the "Books I Need to Buy" list. :lol:

Hopefully it should be a good one.[/quote]

All being well, Chris Webber's new Thracian book will be published by Pen & Sword in early 2009 and will include archaeological evidence found since his previous book and not previously published in English.

Phil Sidnell
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#27
Quote:Even the elephants used by Carthage are extinct.

Not your main point I know, but this may not actually be true. There still exists an African bush elephant, Loxodonta Africana Cyclotis, the males of which grow to 'only' about 8' feet tall, as compared to the 13' of the Africna savannah elephant. It thus fits the bill of an African elephant smaller than the Indian ones used in Hellenistic armies, as mentioned in the ancient sources. Now limited to a small patch of West Africa, it is likely its range was historically much wider and so available to the Carthaginians.

Although initially thought to be, and classified as a sub-species of the familiar African (savannah) elephant (Loxodonta Africana), further research and DNA profiling suggests that the differences between the two are actually almost as great as that between Loxodonta Africana and the Indian elephant (Elephas Maximus) and really warrants classification as a third species of elephant.

Not that any of this helps you with your reenacting conundrum since you are unlikely to find one on ebay.


Phil Sidnell.
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#28
Dang it, you had my hopes up for a moment there...

I suppose the Monty Python coconut routine wouldn't work for elephants...
Dan Zeidler
Legio XX
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#29
Hhhhh...mmmm.... given that elephants don't have hooves, maybe the coconuts routine "horse simulator" wouldn't work for elephants.

Maybe if you wore boxing gloves, and thudded them together to simulate the sound of a charging elephant............
"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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#30
Boxing gloves...perhaps...although I certainly would not be wearing them - I would be the Carthaginian officer after all and one must maintain one's dignity in front of the troops. It seems like a good job for one those Gallic mercenaries though... Big Grin
Dan Zeidler
Legio XX
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