Download Judas Maccabaeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids by B. Bar-Kochva PDF

By B. Bar-Kochva

This booklet is an account of the battles fought through Judas Maccabeus among 166 and one hundred sixty B.C. opposed to the forces of the Seleucids in the course of the insurrection of the Jews opposed to domination by way of the Seleucid empire. It reexamines the approved checks of Judas Maccabeus' actions and achievements and seeks to reconstruct the process the army and political occasions of his time. half I examines the composition and energy of the armies on either side, their armaments and working tools, and discusses the level of Judas Maccabeus' luck. Following an advent comparing the Jewish writings from all issues of view, half II offers specific debts of the battles, together with the terrain and the strategies hired, analysing and commenting at the proper narratives from the booklet of Maccabees. quite a few appendices talk about person difficulties important to the reconstruction of the ancient advancements.

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14 The task of the skirmishers was to try and disrupt the phalanx formation and produce gaps in it by sniping from afar, in what would today be termed a ' softening up' operation by artillery, and make it possible for cavalry or semi-heavy infantry to penetrate and crumble the phalanx from within. The disruption of the phalanx was also designed to impede it in its forthcoming clash with the opposing phalanx. However, since the Hellenistic armies were all deployed similarly, the skirmishers did not generally succeed in accomplishing their task, for they had to face the skirmishers of the other side.

They frightened the enemy and at times led to terror-stricken flight without a fight, and if they were required to attack, they shattered any dense formation of cavalry or infantry in their way. In battles between Hellenistic armies, the value of the elephant in an attack was, however, quite limited. Just a few years after elephants were first employed in the Hellenistic battle array, the armies learned how to combat them by setting various types of traps such as pits, fires, and especially barbed chains that wounded the soles of their feet, and particularly by aiming for the mahout.

24 See p . 4 1 6 - 1 7 below. 25 26 See Bar-Kochva 1979: 68-73. ^ n t m s s e e PP- IOO ~3 below. 2 and Appian, Syr. 5. On the reconstruction of the text in the last excerpt see in detail below, p. 417 n. 21. Five thousand argyraspides ( = bearers of silver shields) mentioned in the same paragraph were half the Royal Guard (see p. 417 below). The bearers of bronze and 'gold' shields were phalanx reserve soldiers from the military settlements. 21 The military force at Daphne 37 empire that could normally be mobilized for one-time missions did not take part in the battles of Raphia and Magnesia in entirety.

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