522 BCE was the year of death of Polykrates, the tyrant of Samos, famous for having assembled a navy of hundred pentekontoroi, by that time the greatest navy of Greece. In Athens, Hippias had succeeded Peisistratos as the tyrant of Athens. In 522, Darius I gained kingship of Persia. He would create an empire comparable to the Imperium Romanum; an empire without bounds in space, focusing on people and defendable… Read more

Phalanx Warfare Transformed: Innovation in Ancient Greek Warfare 431–331 BCE | Part 2: Leuctra and Gaugamela

Previously, Part 1 of this post discussed hoplite warfare and how the battle of Mantinea demonstrated the advantage of professionalism. Part 2 considers how the battles of Leuctra and Gaugamela continued the development of Greek and Macedonian warfare. Concentration of Force—Leuctra 371 BCE Location of Leuctra (Google maps) The end of the Peloponnesian War did not bring the promised “…beginning of freedom for all of Greece.”[1] Instead, Sparta provoked a… Read more

Gallery: Mesopotamia in the Louvre

Painting of the Organizer of the sacrifice (1780 BCE), Mari Herodotus is fascinating, and I have dreamed of Mesopotamia many times while reading his chapters about it. This gallery is going to take you through the rooms dedicated to Mesopotamia in the Louvre. Herodotus writes about Babylon, and Hit, a city near the Euphrates River in his Histories. Cyrus had made all the mainland submit to him, he attacked the… Read more