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Warfare in the Ancient World Hardcover – December 1, 2005

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Warfare in the Ancient World + WARFARE IN THE MEDIEVAL WORLD + 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penn & Sword Books (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844151735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844151738
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,555,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is an interesting work with a lot of clearly presented information and will be useful to history students in military schools and to amateur military historians."

-Anthony J. Papalas, Professor of History, East Carolina University,
Journal of Military History

"This first work of a two-volume set (see also Warfare in the Medieval World) serves as a solid introduction to ancient warfare. Carey analyzes the main tactical systems in light of Archer Jones's tactical matrix.... Nice selection of key battles. Excellent diagrams and maps."

-Steven D. Fratt
Oxford Bibliographies

About the Author

AUTHOR--Brian Todd Carey is an Assistant Professor of History and Military History at the American Public University System, where he teaches ancient, classical, medieval and early modern military history. He is the author of dozens of history articles in numerous magazines and journals, including Aviation History, Command Magazine, History Magazine, Marine Corps Gazette, Medieval History Magazine, Military Heritage, Military History, Strategy and Tactics, World History Bulletin, World at War, World War II, and WWII Quarterly: The Journal of the Second World War and seventeen articles on ancient, classical and medieval Eurasian warfare for the twenty-one volume ABC-CLIO-World History Encyclopedia. In 2007 he was the recipient of the American Public University System's Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award for the School of Arts and Humanities. He is the author of Warfare in the Ancient World, Warfare in the Medieval World, Hannibal's last Battle: Zama and the Fall of Carthage, and Road to Manzikert: Byzantine and Islamic Warfare, 527-1071.

TACTICAL/STRATEGIC MAP ILLUSTRATOR--Joshua B. Allfree is a US Army Sergeant Major currently serving as a recruiting information technology program manager at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He has over thirty years of military experience divided between the combat arms and recruiting systems and operations. He holds a BA in world military history from American Military University, a MS in applied information technology from Bellarmine University, and several professional certifications in project management, network engineering, and IT service management.

REGIONAL MAP ILLUSTRATOR--John Cairns is a professional software developer with eighteen years of industry experience. His special emphasis on computer cartography includes the development of the mapping system used on a popular travel site. John is a proud husband and father who enjoys the many flavors of living in the Chicago area.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
Highly recommended for anyone interested in history and military history.
Stanislav Stanchev
The author uses him as a reference quite a bit and you can see Ferril in a lot of what is written in this book.
T. Hanna
I would have liked more on cavalry and why it didn't get really dominant until the Mongols.
Bob of gulf point

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anibal Madeira on September 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a competent survey of warfare in the ancient western world, their tactical and weapon systems and how they combined throughout civilizations ranging from the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Myceneans, Greeks, persians, Hellenistic kingdoms and Rome. Its systematization is interesting although very simplistic - useful for a general model (the division beteween Heavy and Light cavalry and Infantry as exclusively Shock and ranged) - being interesting how diferent civilizations used and combined their weapon and tactical systems.

Congratulations are in order for the two map illustrators: joshua Allfree and John Cairns made unforgettable battle sequences and maps that explain even very confusing battles (although I personally don't agree with their interpretations of Caesar's 4th line at Pharsalus); please, continue to publish material!

The plates are adequate, but should be less portrait intensive on a work of this nature.

For a beginner this book is at least a four star...maybe even a 5 star book. A really good introduction.

The problem is that this book is written by a military history Professor, to an universitarian audience! There are unforgivable mistakes, sometimes stated twice like the lorica segmentata being introduced by Caius Marius in the 2nd Cent BC! Anyone that knows a little about the roman army knows that the author made a more than a 100 years mistake! That armour was popular in the 1st and 2nd century AD.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Darius III on March 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found WARFARE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD to be an excellent one-volume introduction to the history of warfare in western civilization. It provided a foundation fo an understanding of ancient and classical strategy and tactics and also introduced me to important generals and military theorists which shaped the history of warfare. I found its multiple tactical maps to be very useful in understanding how battles were fought and won, and the author does a great job explaning the various technologies and how they were employed. A gem of a book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Manning on April 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In Warfare in the Ancient World, Brian Todd Carey has produced a collection of 26 ancient battles, which serve as a fine introduction to the topic. In between the battles, Carey mixes in descriptions of the rise and fall of empires and the evolution of open-field battle strategies, tactics, and equipment. Carey's primary focus is the continuing changes between light and heavy flavors of infantry and cavalry, and the various combinations of the four. From Mesopotamia through the fall of Rome, Carey shows how civilizations and sometimes individuals influenced shifts in warfare.

The book details the battles using what it calls "tactical maps." These wireframe maps provide a bird's eye views of the positions and movements of troops and their commanders. In addition, they clearly indicate the various tactical systems (e.g., light infantry). Many books posses great content, but are plagued with maps that are painful to decipher or they possess no maps at all. Though Carey's maps are in black and white, their content is very clear. These represent one of the most useful features of the book. Carey does a good job of explaining the troop movements in battles, but these pictures are truly worth a thousand words as the reader can easily visualize how Hannibal enveloped a larger force of Romans at the Battle of Cannae (216 BC).

Depending on the complexity of the battle, the book may provide two maps showing the different stages of the battle or as many as six maps (e.g., Marathon in 409 BC has two and Hydaspes in 326 BC has six). The battles include the major ones from ancient history such as Alexander's three major victories against Persia, Hannibal's brilliant victory over Rome at Cannae, and Scipio's victory over Hannibal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Colin Platt on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting book that the author states is used for one of his classes as he could not find anything that precisely filled his needs.

So, presumably the book is for a limited audience, of either those who are doing the relevant course, or who want an overview of how warfare developed over the millennia.

For that, it does it's job well.

A number of caveats:

The book appears to be based heavily on Archer Jones book 'Art of war in the Western World', if you have read this book (and it has been about 20 years since I have) there is probably little new here, although this author widens his basis to include the development of military doctrine in the Near East as well as the West.

When I buy a history book, one of the first things I check is the bibliography. The bibliography for this book is interesting in that all the works cited are either secondary sources in English, or original works translated into English. As such, do not expect any astonishing new insights into history, that is not the authors intent. The author is largely content with history as it has been written, but is drawing your attention to certain underlying factors that may not be apparent to the casual reader of history.

Another thing I look for when reading military history is the quality of the maps included (which is usually appalling). Thankfully this time the maps are quite reasonable in general terms, and while I would classify the 'battle' maps, more as multistage diagrams, they are far better than one usually has to help understand the progress of battles.

I note one of the earlier reviewers says that he could learn more from 'DBM'. For those who do not know what 'DBM' is, it is a very popular set of wargames rules.
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