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Thread: Bithynia or Syracuse??

  1. #1
    Member Member Dutchhoplite's Avatar
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    Default Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Hi guys,

    Besides the Seleucid campaign i┤m now playing i want to try something different ..

    Playing Syracuse with the Koinon or play Bythinia with Epeiros..

    Getting them there will not the main problem but i┤m thing of army composition ;)

    Syracuse will be mainly Greek with some regional units but Bythinia?? Hellenistic/Thracian??

    Any tips or suggestions??

  2. #2
    memristor fan Member keravnos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Personally I picture Bithynia with Greek elites on top med Trhaikians (as according to all sources they were a Thraikian tribe which migrated from Thrace to Asia minor) and low level units Anatolian+Thraikian mix (dressed like anatolians). This kingdom was never really subjugated, and never really did become hellenistic, but only his kings and nobles would be, and do so by choice.

    Galatians... Love/hate affair, as it was them who invited them over, but then fought many wars against them. Your choice as to whether to have them in your army's roster.


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  3. #3
    Member Member MeinPanzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Unfortunately, for the Bithynian army we only really have information from the 2nd c. BC, but we actually have quite a bit. Bithynia was totally Hellenized by the 3rd c. BC at the latest, and by the end of the 3rd c. there was pretty much not a trace of their Thracian origins beyond names used (and Greek names were becoming more popular).

    The primary source for Bithynian troops are a number of funerary stelae from Bithynia depicting soldiers. The types seen include your standard heavy Hellenistic cavalrymen (lance, large round shield, helmet, cuirass, sword), thureophoroi, and peltastai (one of the clearest depictions of late Hellenistic peltasts comes from a Bithynian stele: a man is shown standing at ease wearing a cuirass and helmet and carrying a small, rimless pelte, two javelins, and a sword). There's also a depiction of an infantryman carrying a large round shield like the cavalry carry but wearing only a helmet and carrying only a sword for a weapon, so that could indicate that they employed light hoplites, too. It seems very likely that the Bithynians didn't employ the phalanx.

    So, for proper Bithynian troops, if you're going with Epeiros, your best bet would be maybe one unit of Hoplitai Haploi, a whole bunch of Thureophoroi, maybe one unit of Thorakitai (we don't have direct evidence for them in the Bithynian military, but a stele depicting one has been found in niehgbouring Mysia), and a few Hetairoi Aspidophoroi. Sprinkle in as many generic light troops as you'd like (slingers, archers, akontistai).

    As for auxilliaries, the Bithynians, of course are famous for their connection to the Galatians, and a healthy dose of Galatian mercenaries would round out an army nicely. All the peoples other than the Galatians that the Bithynians lived near seem to have been thoroughly Hellenized themselves, so any neighbouring units would pretty much look like the Bithynians.

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    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Wasn't..Bithynia eastern?
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    Member Member MeinPanzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Quote Originally Posted by Hax View Post
    Wasn't..Bithynia eastern?
    What do you mean, exactly? If you mean culturally, then you'd have to define what you mean by "eastern," but the Bithynians were basically a Thracian group that settled in northwest Anatolia probably in the Bronze Age. Being right across the Hellespont, they had close contact with Greeks but were known for being quite barbaric up until the late fifth century, when the different tribes began to coagulate into one kingdom under Doedalsos. However, it wasn't until Zipoetes came to the throne in 297 BC that the Bithynian kings began to pursue a program of Hellenization, and this reached its apogee under Nikomedes I in the 280s-260s BC. They established Greek cities, major trading contacts, and began to become benefactors of Greek poleis. Bithynia was very much a Hellenized kingdom, right down to the individual level, where many people gave their children Greek names.

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    memristor fan Member keravnos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Thanks for that clarification, MP, I was under the impression that the Hellenization of Bithynia occured at early CE. In your debt.


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    Satalextos Basileus Seron Member satalexton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    If you do Syracuse, u'll have a tough start. The Carthies will literally come for your head, shipping troops from all over. Group your FMs together as an army of it's own and go straight for the carthies.
    Push them off Sicily asap, and build up your 3 cities there. Take the other 2 islands as soon as you can afford lemboi-ships. DO NOT move onto Rhegion until you can support a decent strength army, the moment you take Rhegion, the Romans will get pissed off at you.

    Preferably, take Taras AFTER the romans have pushed the Epirotes out, you're going to fight the romans anyways, might as well tie their forces down in a city.

    Btw, use Syrakousai hoplitai as your main line, 4 men deep. Those guys are wonderful line-holders. Use peltasts along with your general to flank and surround.




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    Member Member MeinPanzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos View Post
    Thanks for that clarification, MP, I was under the impression that the Hellenization of Bithynia occured at early CE. In your debt.
    Glad I could help. In fact, the aristocracy was Hellenized enough that at least two stelae from the 2nd c. BC have been found with long epigraphs in good Homeric Greek.

    I've also forgotten something: there is only one episode which illustrates any kind of Thracian mercenaries serving in the Bithynian army, and that was in 149 BC when Prousias II, under siege by Attalos II, received a bodyguard of 500 Thracians from his Thracian relative Diegylis. However, this was obviously quite an exceptional circumstance, and so does not really indicate any regular use of Thracians in the Bithynian army. Nonetheless, Thracian mercenaries would not be out of place in the Bithynian ranks.

  9. #9
    memristor fan Member keravnos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Since we have started this conversation, how would you perceive the Syracusan military MeinPanzer?
    Especially so, as "Basileion Syrakoson", meaning the time of Hiero II and Hieronymos. The 5th republic period that succeeded them was too short to make a difference and ended under the Romani gladius.

    Personally I see them as having a "hetairoi" like cav. as depicted in Hiero's coins, other cav. levy thureophoroi, thorakitai deffinitely, celtic and Iberian mercs, deffinitely Sikanoi, Sikouloi in the ranks. Not Elymioi as they would probably side with the Carthagenians.


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  10. #10
    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Since we have started this conversation, how would you perceive the Syracusan military MeinPanzer?
    Especially so, as "Basileion Syrakoson", meaning the time of Hiero II and Hieronymos. The 5th republic period that succeeded them was too short to make a difference and ended under the Romani gladius.
    Weren't the Syrakousans also famed for their marines and naval power?
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  11. #11
    Member Member MeinPanzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos View Post
    Since we have started this conversation, how would you perceive the Syracusan military MeinPanzer?
    Especially so, as "Basileion Syrakoson", meaning the time of Hiero II and Hieronymos. The 5th republic period that succeeded them was too short to make a difference and ended under the Romani gladius.

    Personally I see them as having a "hetairoi" like cav. as depicted in Hiero's coins, other cav. levy thureophoroi, thorakitai deffinitely, celtic and Iberian mercs, deffinitely Sikanoi, Sikouloi in the ranks. Not Elymioi as they would probably side with the Carthagenians.
    I unfortunately am not all that knowledgeable about Syracuse, nor do I know all that much about the militaries of the west in general. However, I am familiar with a few Syracusan stelae that depict soldiers. A few depict cavalrymen, but unlike those on the coins of Hiero II, the cavalrymen are armed in the usual Hellenistic manner with large round shields (some seem to be like the 'popanum' type used by the Romans, with a central boss). The only depictions of infantry that I know of are, IIRC, simply hoplites - armed with hoplite shield, cuirass, and sword.

  12. #12
    Member Member Dutchhoplite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Interesting!

    Here┤s one of Hiero┤s II coins:


  13. #13
    Member Member higold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    I know that this thread is super dead, but I have to know, how is it possible to play as Syracuse in Europa Barbarorum? I am checking out EB right now and I am absolutely in love with it; however, my only major pet peeve is the fact that they made the city of Syracuse a simply rebel settlement(I know I'm weird). If someone could explain how it is possible to play as these lesser factions in Europa Barbarorum, I would be enternally grateful. Thank you
    Last edited by higold; 12-23-2014 at 09:11.

  14. #14
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Hello higold, welcome to the .Org and to EB .

    There's no "Syracuse" faction in EB, and it's not possible to create one without major changes to the mod. However, you can sort-of play as Syracuse by "migrating" another faction to the island. For example, you could move the armies of Epiros to Syracuse, take the city and designate it as the faction capital. Then you can give away the original provinces via diplomacy, let them revolt, or simply pretend they are a separate faction.

    A faction migration campaign will require some imagination (as your faction will still use its old name and heraldry) and preferably some knowledge of console commands (it's easier to use the console to teleport your armies than it is to move them by land/ship), but it can be done. Just make sure that the "migrating" faction is compatible with the destination. Migrating Carthage to Syracuse may not work so well, as Carthage's recruitment options in Syracuse are very limited.
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    Member Member higold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bithynia or Syracuse??

    Oh... now I understand, like that idea, starting a Koinon Hellenon campaign right now. Thanks for the help.

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