Collections: On the Reign of Alexander III of Macedon, the Great? Part II
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
5d ago
This is the second and final part of our look at Alexander III of Macedon (Part I), who you almost certainly know as Alexander the Great. Last week, we looked at the sources for Alexander’s life, the historiography (that is, the history-of-the-history) of his modern reception and then he abilities as a military commander, both on his own and in the context of the army and officers that Philip II, his father, had built for him. This week, we turn to Alexander the King rather than Alexander the General. After all, being a king meant more than just commanding armies in the field: it demanded the ..read more
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Fireside Friday, May 10, 2024
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
2w ago
Fireside this week! Next week, with luck, I’ll have my ‘On the Reign of Alexander III of Macedon’ up as an addendum to our discussion of Hellenistic armies. But in the meantime, it is a fireside, and I thought, since it was just recently May the Fourth, we might talk some Star Wars (and history). So this is going to be a bit silly this week. The completed Lego Star Destroyer. For this week’s musing, over the last week, as part of my May the Fourth celebration (and some enforced post-semester relaxation), I went and built the Lego Star Destroyer my better half bought for me (about a year ago ..read more
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Collections: Phalanx’s Twilight, Legion’s Triumph, Part V: Epilogue
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
3w ago
This is the fifth part of our four(ish) five part1 (Ia, Ib, IIa, IIb, IIIa, IIIb, IVa, IVb, IVc) look at how the Roman legions were able to overcome the Macedonian sarisa phalanx in the third and second centuries BC. We have covered the decisive battles in the story, although after 168 it is not entirely clear if everyone understood the magnitude and implications of Rome’s astounding run of military success in the first half of the second century. Indeed, we’ll see that the Greek poleis most certainly did not, to their great misfortune. Nevertheless, while the Romans will fight in the East aft ..read more
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Collections: Phalanx’s Twilight, Legion’s Triumph, Part IVc: Perseus
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
1M ago
This is the third part of the fourth part of our four(ish)1 part (Ia, Ib, IIa, IIb, IIIa, IIIb, IVa, IVb) look at the how the Roman military system and its manipular legion were able to defeat the Hellenistic military system and its Macedonian sarisa phalanx in the third and second centuries BC. Last time, we looked at the largest of the great Roman wars against the Hellenistic successor states, the Roman-Seleucid War (192-188) and the decisive action of that war, the Battle of Magnesia (190). We concluded that, once again, the Romans seem to have a clear tactical edge, but what makes that so ..read more
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Gap Week: April 19, 2024 (Manor Lords First Impression)
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
1M ago
Hey folks, this week is a bit of a gap week as I am heading out to the annual meeting of the Society for Military History (and, indeed, by the time you read this, I will be there). Normally, I post the abstract of my conference talk for these sorts of things, but since I am moderating a roundtable, I don’t have an abstract or paper to share. I should add the game, while still very much early access, is already very pretty. The large walled structure in the center is my modular little wooden castle. However, I have been able to play the upcoming medieval city-builder-strategy hybrid Manor Lords ..read more
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Fireside Friday, April 12, 2024
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
1M ago
Fireside this week! Apologies for having so many of these so close together, but the recent car troubles I’ve had have eaten into my time quite a lot. At the same time I am getting ready for the annual Society for Military History conference coming at the end of next week. In an effort to make a virtue of necessity then, I’ll muse a bit on the topic of the roundtable at SMH that I am moderating, “Warfighting other than Battle in the Late Classical and Hellenistic World.” We seem to have gotten more Percy pictures lately, so here is Ollie resting a bit after a hard day’s worth of resting a bit ..read more
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Collections: Phalanx’s Twilight, Legion’s Triumph, Part IVb: Antiochus III
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
1M ago
This is the second part of the fourth part of our four(ish) part (Ia, Ib, IIa, IIb, IIIa, IIIb, IVa) look at the context between the Roman military system based on the manipular legion and the Hellenistic military system structured around the Macedonian sarisa phalanx in the third and second century BC. Last time we discussed the first major clash of these systems outside of Italy, the Second Macedonian War (200-197), concluding that while the Roman system of fighting does seem to have provided a tactical edge, the larger operational and strategic advantages provided by Rome’s broader military ..read more
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Fireside Friday, March 29, 2024 (On Roman Values)
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
2M ago
Fireside this week! Apologies for having two of these in a row, but as I noted last week, I’ve had some unexpected (but good) travel, which has made a bit of havoc in my schedule and I am still trying to catch back up. Nevertheless, I wanted to use this week’s fireside to muse a bit on a topic I think I may give a fuller treatment to later this year, which is the disconnect between what it seems many ‘radical traditionalists’ imagine traditional Roman values to be and actual Roman cultural values. Percy was not thrilled that I had to be out of town for several days. He is, in fact, quite a cre ..read more
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Fireside Friday, March 22, 2024
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
2M ago
Fireside this week! The ACOUP schedule might end up being a little unstable for the next few weeks as the coincidence of illness, the dense part of the teaching semester and unexpected travel are playing havoc on my schedule. I can only promise that we will finish the series on the failure of Hellenistic armies, but that it may be a bit before we do. Percy would like to know why you are so close to his window, which he uses to keep guard against the birds outside. For this week’s musing, I want to muse briefly on the seemingly perennial ideology of isolationism, in the context of the United St ..read more
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Collections: Phalanx’s Twilight, Legion’s Triumph, Part IVa: Philip V
A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry Blog
by Bret Devereaux
2M ago
This is the first part of the fourth part of our four(ish) part (Ia, Ib, IIa, IIb, IIIa, IIIb) look at why the thing to use to beat a Macedonian sarisa phalanx is, in fact, a Roman legion in the third and second century BC. Last time, we finished our look at the third-century successes of the phalanx with the career of Pyrrhus of Epirus, concluding that even when handled very well with a very capable body of troops, Hellenistic armies struggled to achieve the kind of decisive victories they needed against the Romans to achieve strategic objectives. Instead, Pyrrhus was able to achieve a set of ..read more
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