PDA

View Full Version : Preview: Mamleket haHashmonayim



gamegeek2
02-22-2012, 22:28
https://img718.imageshack.us/img718/7439/nommamleketsymbol.png

(Preview originally posted and written by keravnos)

Haire Basileu.
I was asked to prepare a summary of the state of the Kingdom this day. I have to give a dire warning before everything else. We will soon need to make a choice.

First, the Ptolemaioi. After the disgraceful reign of Ptolemaios XI Alexandros II who married and ruled jointly with Berenike III before murdering her, the Ptolemaic Kingdom was in disarray. This murdering scum didn’t last long after that. I don’t know if you could call it divine justice, yet he only ruled for 19 days prior to being killed. Then Ptolemaios XII the Auletes as they call him started to reign. The lack of a male heir after the death of Ptolemaios XI meant that the only available male descendents of the Ptolemaios I lineage were the illegitimate sons of Ptolemy IX by an unknown Greek concubine, with the eldest, Ptolemaios XII becoming the king. He is known to be a weakling, self-indulgent man, a drunkard, and a music lover. If Ptolemaic Egypt was an independent state, then I ‘d advise invasion, if only to avenge the dead children that the Ptolemaioi soldiers killed and ate in the beginning of your reign. Still, we must always remember that the Ptolemaioi, for all the impressive fašade you see, are nothing. They are the servants of the Romani, their subjects in everything but name. Be always mindful of the Romani. They are the overlords of the Ptolemaioi and if they would draw a line in the sand to fight against the Seleucids of the epikataratos (accursed) Antiochos IV, then they wouldn’t think twice before attacking us.

Then we have the Nabataioi. They are on the South and East. Now that the civil war is finally over, we can turn our attention towards the Nomad Arabs. Had it not been for the civil war we would have destroyed them already. In fact, they must be the first target for expansion because of their small numbers, not to mention that to get to the Ptolemaioi, we need to go through Nabataioi lands. Since they will not agree to that, we need to subjugate them, en route to Egypt and its wealth, if you agree that this is the direction we need to go. However, we must always remember that when in trouble, they will always ride their camels in the desert where we can’t pursue. Their present King, Arethas the third, is more interested in building a grand city for his kingdom, the one they call Petra, instead of fighting us. So far as our armies are concerned, we are better in infantry, while they are better in cavalry especially missile cav. Therefore prior to attacking them we need a missile cavalry of our own. Thankfully, our brothers in Babylon have learned the ways of horse archery from the Parthians and they along with some Parthians who elected to follow them will join our ranks very shortly.

Our Northern borders are a mess. We don’t know if we will be fighting the Seleucid remants or their Armenian Overlords. The Syrians, cowards that they are, offered the throne of their kingdom to Tigranes, who then conquered every part of the Seleucid remnant, other than a few cities who to this day recognize the Seleucid remnant, Seleukos VII Kybiosaktes for a King. Seeing that the Armenians are on the rise, it is wise to not attack them, at present. Their main strength seems to be on their imitation legions, their cataphracts and their armored horse archers.




Suggestions to the Basileus, based on the current strategic situation.

I don’t know if we can avoid conflict, not if we wish to remain an independent nation. If push comes to shove, we must have the vast resources of the Ptolemaioi. That’s the only way we can field enough armies to withstand the onslaught of the Romani, which we all know is coming sooner rather than later. Even if we are their friends and allies, like we are today, there is nothing for us in the future other than either complete subjugation or direct confrontation. If you elect to go that way, Basileu, than the only way to actually do that is to create Romani like troops with better weapons, if possible and to do that, only the vast resources of Egypt can allow us to do that. Remember, my King that one hundred and eight years ago, the Pharaoh of Egypt (that’s one of his titles, one that the native Egyptians call him by) sent Ptolemy had sent the Achaians "six thousand sets of bronze equipment for peltasts (hopla chalka peltastika)". That means six thousand helmets, armor, bronze greaves and bronze coated shields alongside six thousand long pikes for them to fight with. Can you see the power and wealth of their realm? Yet we managed to defeat the very force that had humbled them twice. The Seleucids of Antiochos 4 and his descendants. That should put to rest all the fears we might have of the Ptolemaioi, themselves. In fact it is only their overlords, the Romani we must tremble.
If we seek to attack Egypt, we need to destroy the Nabataioi first. That will be made easier with the acquisition of Horse Archers and other missile troops. Horse Archers will surely come in handy when dealing with the Ptolemaioi later. Should we manage that, we need to train and equip a big army able to withstand a Romani assault. Should we drive back the Romani, then we can invade Armenia, probably alongside Pontos, seeing that their kings are relatives and allies. After we have taken a significant part of Asia Minor, Basileu, we can turn our attention towards the Parthians or Pahlavan as they call themselves. We can use the Hellenic settlers of the Mesopotamia as allies alongside our own brothers living there. It is no secret that they loathe the Nomads rule over them. Using their own tactics against them, especially some Pahlavan innovations our spies have brought us, we can hope for a Kingdom to last the test of time.
Let’s be realistic. We have few chances of succeeding. Still, with unity and perseverance, we can accomplish a kingdom far greater than even Basileus David dreamt of. Besides, the only way to remain independent is to create an empire, as a kingdom like the one you currently rule Basileu, is just too small to remain independent. There is only one way we can go, and that is leading to either an Empire or to subjugation, death and destruction of EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR.
I have been to Epeiros, Basileu. It was destroyed by the Romani 86 years ago. 50 cities devastated, 150.000 slaves driven to Italia and Romani domains with most of them dying shortly after. It is now just cattle land. Goats and sheep graze where cities once stood. I hate to think of something like this happening here in Ierosolyma. So, we either become Romani vassals, that is to forget about our Kingdom and the only time we Jews were free after the destruction of Judah, or follow through on the road to Empire. Frankly Basileu, I see no other way.

Your humble servant,
Archisomatophylax Isaakios, son of Abramos


(Hellenized Jews used a “greekified” version of their Hebrew names.
Joseph became Iosippos or Josephus in its latinized version
Isaac became Isaakios
Abraham became Abramos
Eleazar became Eleazaros

Archisomatophylax- Chief Bodyguard, a title found in Ptolemaic Papyri, sure to have been used in a mostly Hellenized kingdom [so far as official titles were concerned] like Hasmonean Israel was.)

INFANTRY of Mamleket haHashmonayim
https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Hasmonean.gif

Sphendonetai (Slingers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Slinger_Hasm.jpg

Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
The Sphendonetai (slingers) of Hasmonean Israel are mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls speaking for the “Sons of Light versus the Sons of darkness”. Here is the text from the site of Ueda-Sanson speaking about them.
“According to 1QM - 5.3-4 and 5.16-17, the infantry are organised in divisions 1000 men across, and 7 ranks/lines deep. Evidently, each such formation comprises the infantry complement of one of the four "camps", since we are told (1QM - 9.4) that the total number of infantry in the army is 28000. Each division is divided into three lines, apparently separated, at least at deployment, by a 30 cubit gap. The first line ordered into battle is comprised of 2 ranks/lines of slingers. They are to deliver seven volleys before they are ordered to retire and take their station on each flank of the formation.”
One of the few weapons against horse archers was the sling. The Jewish would use it to defeat heavier armed opponents at a very safe distance. It was the preferred missile weapon of the day as it had the longest range and that would get even longer with the usage of led bullet slingshots, an invention that some credit to Phillip the father of Alexander the Great. I think it was even older than that. Still, it did make for a formidable weapon and I think that there were many Jewish slingers serving as missile troops in the armies of the Hashmonayim, as a direct continuation of earlier use in the armies of Israel, Juda and the region in general. A sling is the preferred missile weapon of choice, well attuned to the realities of life in Israel, especially the southern part. It needs little to no wood for either the weapon itself or the missiles expended. That means a lot in a part of the country where wood or even bushes are very few and far between.


Toxotai (Archers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Toxotai_hasm.jpg
Toxotai (Archers)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
Archery was very important in Jewish history as archers are mentioned many times in the Scriptures. From that point on, they are also mentioned in the scrolls of the Dead sea the ones concerning the “Sons of Light versus the Sons of darkness”. Even if they aren’t mentioned directly, in the notes of author Ueda-Sarson describing them is written that “The text is fragmentary, so that two ranks are not actually specified in any of the surviving texts. However, since 5 out of the 7 ranks in total are later accounted for by other troops, the slingers should comprise the remaining 2 ranks. However, given the position of a large lacuna in 1QM, it can not be ruled out that of these two ranks, only the second is of slingers and the first is instead of archers. Certainly infantry archers are mentioned in other sources describing Jewish forces”.
Along with the Slingers and the Euzonoi, their role was to fire away as many missiles as they possibly could (even if “Sons of Light versus the sons of Darkness” speaks of only 7 shots), realistically the number they were able to deliver couldn’t have been larger than that as they needed to be in short proximity to the enemy who was running toward them, in order to close up that distance without being hurt.
After the enemy closed in, they ‘d probably seep through the relaxed lines of the regular army who after they along with the slingers passed through closed ranks again. The Euzonoi wouldn’t go through the regular army like the Slingers and the Archers. It isn’t clear in the scrolls where they‘d go, they are only expected to join in the pursue of the enemy, once broken up and in full retreat. (More details on the Euzonoi definition). Before this happened, however, the archers would continue to let loose arrows at the enemy at an angle, shooting over the heads of the friendlies towards the enemy who attacked, killing them off as well as lowering their morale, before the rest of the army could drive them off.


Euzonoi (Javelin throwing elite skirmishers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Euzonoi-1.jpg
Euzonoi (Javelin throwing elite skirmishers)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
The javelin throwers of Hasmonean Israel are also mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls. Even though they are probably not the exact replicas of Hellenistic Euzonoi, they fight like Polybios' troops do "eis ton euzonon tropon kathoplismenoi (armed in the manner of euzonoi)". Here’s the text from the “Sons of Light versus the Sons of Darkness” describing them.
“The next line ordered forwards are 3 ranks/lines of javelinmen. The first rank is to hurl 7 javelins, then the second rank likewise, and then the third rank 7 more volleys, before they too are ordered to retire, though unlike the slingers they do not move to the flanks.”
Even if the number sounds too far fetched, from other sources Romani velites seem to have also carried around 5 to 7 javelins as Ueda-Sanson says. Once the final force, the “Men of the rule” armed with thureos and sword (probably Ioudaioi Spathaphoroi, Ekatontamachoi and Machairaphoroi) or with thureos and spear ( those probably were Ioudaioi Thorakitai, Thureophoroi Bareis and Makkabaioi Zelotai) broke the opposing army and they started to rout they were to join in hunting them down and killing them off. They are armed with an sword shaped like that of the Romani, although probably not so good. (Gladius Hispaniensis were probably using the best iron that existed at that time). They were expected to join in with the rest of the tactical troops in the pursuit of the enemy once it was routed.
Ueda-Sarson had this to say of their role in combat, “thureophoroi could replace their spear with javelins to operate in a peltast-like capacity. Such troops were then not called peltasts however, at least not by contemporary sources such as Polybios, since peltast meant a pikeman (or a hypaspist flank guard). When operating as light infantry, they were no longer heavy troops, but belonged to the class of troops known as euzonoi, or light infantry, a word that Polybios sometimes uses in a narrow sense to mean such re-armed troops rather than light infantry in general.
Rather confusing, still, we must deal with the fact that ancient writers used different terms for different things. A definition of one is different to the definition of others. That necessitates a large wall of text to try to determine the difference between each.
Returning to the Dead Sea Scrolls, when the enemy was near the Scroll mentions that the Archers and the Slingers would go through the enemy lines who would loosen up to let them through with the soldiers closing up ranks right behind them. The Euzonoi, however, wouldn’t go through the regular army like the Slingers and the Archers. It isn’t clear in the scrolls where they‘d go, they are only expected to join in the pursuit of the enemy, once broken up and in full retreat. It is possible therefore that they either joined in the fight (Other Hellenistic Euzonoi did exactly that, as the Achaian Euzonoi who in Polybios' account of the 3rd battle of Mantineia he refers to as being defeated along with the Tarantines in the front line, where they are supported by, but do not include, the Illyrians and the thorakitai according to Ueda-Sanson. That means that the Euzonoi fought alongside other front units like the Thorakitai. If the Euzonoi would fight in Mantineia, then it stands to reason that the tactics for their use suggested that they ‘d fight alongside their heavier armed brethren after having thrown all their javelins against the enemy. This in no way detracts from their role as “Akontistai” or javelinmen. Plutarch, when writing for the same battle reports that "Machanidas and his mercenaries beat the javelinmen (akontistas) and Tarantines whom Philopoimen had placed in front". This would indicate that the euzonoi of Polybios and the akontistas of Plutarch are one and the same, as per Ueda-Sarson.


Pantodapoi (Hellenic Native Spearmen)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/hasm_panda.jpg

The most basic and numerous of the infantry units used by the non-European Successor States were the Pantodapoi infantry. These men were called from a variety of nationalities and were usually settled in certain areas for garrison duties and the like. There were Jews, Syrians, Cilicians, Persians, Assyrians, Native Egyptians, and many other peoples counted among their number. They are not particularly reliable soldiers, but they are certainly better than their eastern counterparts. They can give a good account of themselves in battle if deployed properly. They wear no armor, and have only a light shield for protection, so most other infantry will slaughter them in droves. They can fend off light cavalry for a time, if need be.

Historically, the Pantodapoi were a group of various nationalities that were used as a militia levy and defensive group for towns and villages prone to raiding. While the name is conceptual (meaning, from everywhere), they were a standard fighting force of the day. They were trained rudimentarily, but had enough training to be counted as superior to many militia levies. They had some experience fighting off nomadic raiders, so they can be useful against light troops and some light cavalry.

This is how the Hashmonayim viewed the Pantodapoi however,

Ioudaioi Epistratoi (Jewish Levy troops)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/hasm_panda.jpg
Ioudaioi Epistratoi (Jewish Levy troops)
They are the levy troops of the Hashmonayim, who have had some sort of informal training in the past and who would join in the regular army in times of danger, knowing full well that the existence of the Hashmonayim Israel depended on them. Individually they are weak. As a unit, however, they were strong enough to oust the dreaded Seleucids from Israel under the leadership of the Maccabees. It is imperative to remember that the embedded Rabbis in their ranks as well as their number (They are thought to have been around 24.000 at their peak to the 8.000 of the regular army forces) were sure to dent every enemy they would fight, especially the neighbours of Israel. Within them are the descendants of the fellow warriors who under the leadership of Mattathias Makkabaios threw out the Seleucid yoke, along with the few Jews who wanted to turn Jerusalem into a Hellenistic city and destroy the very concept of Monotheism. Had Jerusalem fallen into becoming yet another Hellenistic pagan city with syncretic and synthetic deities, how long would it take for the diaspora and every Jew inside or outside Israel to conclude that if they had just abandoned Judaism that their forefathers had died for, then they could as well starting a rippling “abandon everything” effect that its consequences are simply unfathomable. Even so, at this terrible hour, a rebel emerged out of a village in Israel, Mattathias Makkabaios, who faced the greatest empire of his region, underarmed and undermanned and won. Because of him and his sacrifice, along with thousands of troops who were as light armed as the Jewish levy troops and the Euzonoi, the archers and the slingers could Hashmonayim Israel emerge, a free nation for the first time since 586 BCE.
Their shield is wicker with a menorah emblem on it, copied from a coin of that period. Their spears are not as good as that of the regular army. One thing is certain though. Those troops are there to fight. If they are united they can do wonders as in direct contrast to the levy troops of other nations, they have a very high morale. They knew who they are, what their laws were and exactly what was expected of them. The single biggest problem of Hashmonayim Israel was that it was never unified. There were too many factions within pulling it apart. EB NOM gives an opportunity to see a Hashmonayim Israel emerge, without the crippling effect that the disunity between the King, his entourage and his mercs and the vast majority of the Rabbis and the rest of Israelis who were opposed in many of the King’s excesses and downright lawlessness.



Thureophoroi (Light Spearmen)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Thureophoroi_hasm.jpg
Thureophoroi (Light Spearmen)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
Thureophoroi are essentially a light version of a thureophoros (He who carries a door like shield, details forthcoming), without significant armor sacrificing protection for mobility. They are mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls, even if without helmet and effort was made to keep as close to the historical evidence on how they would look like. Much of what they wear and how they are portrayed is based on finds of Stelai of a nearby city portraying Ptolemaic troops. The troops of the Hashmonayim weren’t all that different, especially when a big part of them were, like those of the Ptolemaioi, mercenaries.
Having said that, should Alexander Yannai ever institute a draft policy in his Kingdom, that’s how most of them would look like. His goal would have been to create a national army.
They probably looked like that in the time of Mattathias Makkabaios, the first of the Maccabees to take arms against the dreaded Seleucids and their force conversion to paganism efforts. In fact, there were bound to be a lot of helmets lying around after one of those Seleucid armies were destroyed.
There are various definitions for their name. One is that it comes from the Greek word of “door stop” stone. I am in complete disagreement to this. There are many known examples of Celts and Galtians carrying hunge thureoi close to the Scutum size or even larger at times. That’s what thureos shield took its name from. A "huge size, like a door" shield that or "shaped like a door" (as in the Liddle-Scott-Jones lexicon). Greeks at 279 BCE would use hoplitic shield or the smaller Macedonian shields –also called Peltastic shields by some historians of the time, some 63 cms in diameter-. Therefore to face a new enemy who would cover nearly all of his body in this way, using an oblong shield that effectively covered most of his body from his neck down to his knees or even lower was simply unheard of. This fact incited a revolution in shields and their use for the Greeks and all the Hellenistic kingdoms from Syracuse up to Baktria. The only way to describe such a shield was to give it a name of an everyday object that mostly reminded its shape and use. “Thureos” was that. Not only did it remind of a shape, it mostly described its function. It would seem like someone hiding behind a door, impenetrable, out of reach, impossible to beat, like someone who closes the door on you and you can’t reach him short of breaking into his house. When the Greeks compared that huge shield to their own puny ones, the peltai, that name makes sense, I think. There were of course different shapes of thureoi for different uses by different troop types. The word used for them however, that of a “door”, is exactly what the impression of the Celtic invasion of Greece at 279 BCE left for those unfortunate enough to face it. Even Livy (38.21) who describes the Galatians as having "insufficient protection from their shields, which were long, but not wide enough for the size of their bodies, and, besides that, were flat in surface", does so after comparing them to the scuta of the Romani, which are, in essence evolved thureoi, larger, more rectangular and curved in order to protect their owner.





Thureophoroi Bareis (Medium Spearmen)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Thureophoroi_bareas_hasm.jpg
Thureophoroi Bareis (Medium Spearmen)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
Thureophoroi Bareis along with the Ioudaioi Thorakitai and Makkabaioi Zelotai are the “Men of the rule” consisting of the last two infantry lines of the Jewish infantry as that is described in the Army of the Sons of light scroll found in eleven caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.
This is the name we gave the thureophoroi who would also have an armor on, one of linen. We don’t know of the materials used, it is quite possible that different materials or cloths to linen were used as well and probably were, however the “linen” thorax was used to describe them all. Despite the sound of that a “linen” armor, linothorax as its proper name had been, was actually quite durable, if perishable with time taking more of a toll in it than enemy action. In fact the vast majority of those who had armor on wore linothorax. It’s just that bronze survived through time whereas linothorax didn’t. Those thureos carrying, linothorax clad spearmen are actually a step above the rest of the thureophoroi in that they have more money to arm themselves with or the Hashmonayim kingdom and other powers of the time actually trusted them more to arm them better. The reason for this is quite simple. They were the trusted soldiers/settlers that the Hashmonayim kings would settle in various parts of the Kingdom (mostly in the newly conquered, non Jewish regions) with the obligation to both subdue revolts in the newly acquired territories, yet they would always be on call, should the need to quickly gather the kings’ forces ever arise.



Thorakitai (Heavy Spearmen)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Thorakitai_hasm.jpg
Thorakitai (Heavy Spearmen)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
Thorakitai along with the Thureophoroi Bareis and Makkabaioi Zelotai are the “Men of the rule” consisting of the last two infantry lines of the Jewish infantry as that is described in the Army of the Sons of light scroll found in eleven caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. They carry a thureos oval shield which is according to the War Scroll was 115 X 69 centimeters, with their spear at 3.20 meters. The size could be higher or lower, according to what the length of the cubit was.
Effectively the best spearmen of the Hasmonean Kingdom, their armor is taken from a nearby frieze, found in Palmyra, that is indicative of what a lamellate thorax (the Lorica Lamellata of the Romans, made of metal lames or strips, laced together) of the time looked like. Their shield is a remake of one depicted from the Pergamene Seleucid trophies depicted in the Pergamon agora, currently located in Berlin Archeological museum. Depictions of thorakitai include the tombstone of Salmas of Adada found in Sidon, variously date from the late 3rd century BC to the middle 2nd BC, showing a man carrying a spear wearing a mail shirt in addition to carrying his spear (seven other thureophoroi from the same site are unarmoured). They would wear a new iron helmet to the bronze of yore. There are excrepts from Syracuse as well as from mainland Greece about phalanxes training with thureoi and spear as if they would with the round aspis and spear. This in turn means that the Thorakitai would fight in very dense formations identical to a hoplitic phallanx, with the only difference of a thureos being in place instead of a rounded aspis shield.
However, it is prudent to suggest that alongside this “shieldwall” tactic (as it would be called later), the thorakitai and thureophoroi would definitely practice and fight in the new manipular style that the Romani brought forth, which was developed by their own arch enemies, the Samnites precisely to break the hoplitic phallanx that the Greek settlers in S. Italy (and the archaic Romani) had used. Whether successful or not is difficult to say, however the army manuals suggest that such tactics were used. Greek military thinking of the time, however, revolved around phalanxes, which is why Philopoemen of the Achaian league made his soldiers drop their thureoi for a pure pike phallanx like that of Macedonians.
This however is 80 BCE. Macedonia and Achaian League are long in the past along with the tactics they used. Therefore the most reasonable hypothesis is that the thorakitai and thureophoroi would fight using the manipular formation, with a provision made for them to close ranks and fight with spears in “shieldwall” which is what the Romani did in many cases themselves. In fact the only real difference that the Hellenistic style troops of 80 BCE and the Romani had, would be the insistence of the former to still use the spear instead of the gladius hispaniensis. To counter that, they created units that only fought with sword and to be better than the Romani they tried to fight them with longer swords.



Machairaphoroi

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Macairophoroi_Iudaii.jpg
Machairaphoroi. (Curve sword-bearers)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
They are first mentioned in Ptolemaic papyri as “elite sword fighting troops”. Their main difference with other Hashmonayim units is that they would use the Hellenistic machaira sword in stead of the celtic one. The curvy slasher machaira sword and its primary use over the spear that was the preferred primary weapon of all Hellenistic armies was their weapon of choice. There were few differences between them and the Spathaphoroi, the main one being of origin. There are few depictions of them. Ueda-Sarson says “The most notable is the Kampyr terracotta from Bactria showing a soldier wearing a cuirasse, carrying a thureos and wielding a sword. Sekunda interprets the figure, likely dating from 170 BC to 145 BC at the latest, as an imitation legionary; it seems much more likely it is simply a thorakitai using his sword rather than his spear”. There is a major disagreement here. First, there are other depictions showing thureos carrying troops fighting with sword first, second was that to have a soldier depicted; he’d probably want to be depicted with the prime weapon he’d go to war with, not with his sidearm, so to speak. To have sword armed thureos carrying troops, means that those troops fought with sword. Romani influence, here too, it seems.
The Machairaphoroi probably had few to little Germanics or Celtics in their ranks, whereas Spathaphoroi would have a large contingent of Hellenized Celts in them, who wouldn’t fight alongside their brethren “Of the Epigones” or of the (same) descent. They would march to battle in a Roman pattern, fight using the manipular system of the Romani, even if they ‘d probably call those maniples “speires” as their leader would probably be well versed in Hellenistic army terminology and would probably speak Greek well as a result. However, even if Spathaphoroi had a lot of foreigner mercs among them, Machairaphoroi were either Hashmonayim Jews or Ptolemaic Jews who returned in their homeland to fight alongside their brothers against the various enemies of the Hashmonayim Israel. An interesting concept to consider is whether they had any relation to the Sicarii mentioned in Josephus. Sica was a curved knife/sword that the gladiators used. To call someone a sicarii for the Romans would be to speak of someone who used a curved sword. However there can also be a relation between the Latinized word Askar meaning soldiers in Semitic-Arabic and the Sicarii mentioned in Josephus. Considered to have been terrorists at that time, the Sicarii fought long and hard against Romani rule and everyone they associated with it. There is absolutely no way to know for sure whether the Machairaphoroi who were elite curve sword troops either Israeli Jewish or Jewish of the Diaspora could have any relation whatsoever to the terrorists described by Josephus below.
“A different type of bandits sprang up in Jersualem, the so-called sicarii, who murdered men in broad daylight in the heart of the city. Especially during the festivals they would mingle with the crowd, carrying short daggers concealed under their clothing, with which they stabbed their enemies. Then when they fell, the murderers would join in the cries of indignation and, through this plausible behavior, avoided discovery.”
Whether the descendants of the Machairaphoroi could do those things in the name of a free and sovereign Israeli state, I don’t know. It’s something for the historians and archeologists to ponder over.



Makkabaioi Zelotai (Maccabean Zelots)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/maccabim_zelots.jpg
They are mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls and that’s exactly how they were portrayed. Wearing an armor (a scale one as historical finds in the area have shown) yet without a helmet to protect them, as per the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Romans called it Lorica squamata, made of iron or bronze scales on a fabric backing. They carry a thureos shield exactly like the one shown in the paintings of Dura Europos’ synagogue. Even if the painting is some hundred years after the Hasmonean Kingdom, the thureoi they portray are the single surviving pictorial piece showing Judean soldiers protected by thureoi shields marching to battle. Of them, some have helmets, some don’t.
Why this is the case is probably down to cultural reasons than anything else. Most of the troops of the Hellenistic world went to battle with bronze or iron helmets, even if they didn’t wear armor, the troops described in the Dead Sea scrolls went with armor but no helmets.
They probably were the richer among the descendants of the Maccabee Rebel troops, with the poorer becoming the Ioudaioi Epistratoi, or the Jewish levy troops. They would probably be a lot more observant in their everyday practices than the rest of the Jewish troops, trying to preserve with war what they so adhered to in peace. They would probably be descendants of those who actually took part in the rebellion and entrance to that select troop would be for only those who actually were descendants of those who fought and died in the war of Independence.



IDorkim 'Edomim (Idumaean Infantry)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/iudinf.jpg
Idoumaioi akontistai (Idoumean Skirmishers)
They seem to have been part of the Idumeans, a small people living in the side of what is now Israel. They were famous mercs, who fought for anyone who would pay for them. They fought for the Seleucids, then when Maccabees destroyed Seleucid presence in the proximity of Israel, they turned to fight for them. Later they would fight for the Romani as well, forming some auxiliary archer and light infantry detachments. They weren’t alone. As Ueda-Sarson notes, “Appian talks of these "peltasts from... Crete, Tralles and Cilicia, armed after the Cretan fashion"; likewise Livy records "1000 newly enlisted Cretans, 1500 Carians and Cilicians similarly armed"; the parallels are clear. What is this Cretan fashion of armament? Monumental evidence shows Cretans with javelin/small spear plus a small shield, and Polybios decsribes the Cretans at 10.29.6 as armed with small shields (Kretas aspidiotas).”
What’s different about those Idumeans is the fact that they were around and they were in large numbers and that they would probably work for whomever paid them. All those attributes were favorable to the Hashmonayim who bought their services. The most famous of the is Herod, who took over once the Hashmonayim fell to the most dreaded fault of Royalty, that of turning a brother against brother and destroying even the state for the sake of an empty throne.
Their loyalty to the state of the Hashmonayim seems to have landed them eligibility to settle in the various cities that Hashmonayim Israel founded in newly conquered and non-Jewish areas. A lot of them did convert to Judaism, many however didn’t, nor was it required of them. In EB NOM, Itureans would forgo primary use of their spear for a short sword, which was fast becoming the norm in all armies of the period due to the unmatched superiority of the manipular system that the Romani fought with. In fact, after the Marian reforms, even in Roman armies the spear was abandoned entirely. Only the gladius hispaniensis was used, along with the pillae that would hurt or kill enough of their enemies. Therefore it makes sense to suggest that most armies in the region at that time did the same.



Sebastenoi (Jewish Legionnaires)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Sebastinoi.jpg
Sebastenoi (Jewish Legionnaires)
A Herodian formation, modeled after a Roman Legion, numbering in the 3.000, they would either be carrying a gladius hispaniensis in battle or just a spear that they would or could fight with. They would be those who followed Herod’s legitimate heir, who was largely disliked, Archelaos, along with some other infantry, when everyone else of the rest of the army joined the Rebels.
The spear was chosen instead seeing that we have a great many of sword carrying units and the fact that the Roman style infantry would also fight with spears. They would be constantly trained all year round, and their position in battle must have been similar to that of the Triarii. The reserves put forth at the right time to win the battle.
Trained and ready to fight like a typical Romani legion, with Roman officers and most likely many Roman veterans too, as we know that many Romans after serving in the Legions would travel all over the Mediterranean and serve in other realms, either as troopers or more likely as non coms, since their hard earned experience was a commodity very much sought after.




Spathaphoroi (Swordmen)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/spathaphoroi_hasm.jpg
Spathaphoroi (Swordmen)
Keeping up with the times, it is important to use contemporary writers’ accounts for the EB NOM mod, specifically the Hellenistic tactical manuals of Asklepiodotos, Aelian and Arrian. Asklepiodotos especially, who was a student of Poseidoneios, whose work is lost, is thought to have lived at exactly the time that EB NOM starts in. Therefore it is important that we use the text that we have from that time in the best way to describe the fighting forces of the period. The Dead Sea Scrolls speaking of their contemporary or near past Hasmonean Army is one. While some fictitious elements have been introduced, probably by the religious zeal of the writers of the scrolls, a vast majority of the “War scroll” as it is known can be compared to what we know of the armies of the time and when shown through that light, provide accurate information. As a result a depiction of the Hashmonayim army can begin, and with that accurate depiction, the rest of the area can be accurately depicted as well. That’s why emphasis has been given on the “War Scroll” alongside Asklepiodotos and Aelian’s account. Aelian copied Asklepiodotos, writing around 100 CE, or they both copied the same manuscript, or so do critics of their work say
Asklepiodotos, however, wrote around 80 BCE so his work is much more important for EB NOM that starts then.
Spathaphoroi were an innovation of the time, when everything was tried to overcome the Romani might. One way was to study those who had beaten them. Theodor Mommsen a German historian describes their arms “the large sword was retained and the long narrow shield, along with which they probably wore also a coat of mail.” Two Germanic peoples had managed to inflict to Roma a bodycount of 150.000 people at the cost of being completely eliminated. The Galatians and Celts serving in Hellenistic armies would often yield such swords and archeology has provided a beautiful specimen found in present day Israel. Therefore we know that there were troops fighting using a thureos shield along with a celtic longsword. The vast majority of them were either Celts from Gaul or Galatians or even what they called “Celts of the descent” or in Koine Greek of the time “Keltoi tes epigones”. Like nations do today, after a war all the lessons learnt were analyzed by the military of all nations then their results were put to use. Thus we have the Spathaphoroi, wielding a large sword, a long narrow shield along with a coat of mail. Every military of the region needed all the help they could possibly get in order to fight against the Romani. A sensible rationale to have at that time must have been that if our army can stand up to the Romani, they can beat everyone else.
Roma initiated the Marian reforms in response to the Cimbri defeats, meaning that for those who joined the Roman army (who also had to carry all their gear along, earning the nickname “Marian mules”, drilling and training took place all year round, not just when they were urgently needed. A fully professional army developed in response, one that would earn Roma an empire.
Spathaphoroi had a mixed armament. They wore the coat of mail and the long celtic sword that both the Celts of the time as well as the Kimbri and Teutones of the Cimbric invasions had. Their units must have had a lot of celts and possibly even some Germans serving there as well, (A Germanic bodyguard alongside a Celtic and a Thracian one is attested in the funeral of Herod).





Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi (Jewish Hundred fighters)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/ecto_hasm.jpg
Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi (Jewish Hundred fighters)
Josephus in his “Jewish Antiquities” writes of them, being led by Alexandros Ionathan (Alexander Yannai), “He had, moreover, eight thousand front-line fighters, whom he called "hundred-fighters," carrying long shields covered with bronze.”. An effort was made to remain true to the exact meaning of that. They faced the Ptolemaic troops of Ptolemaios Lathyros in combat. Even if they lost, they still fought hard initially winning. They are definitely historical. Some may doubt the historicity of their bronze coated thureos. Well, I respectfully disagree. Influences tend to go both ways in history. While the Celts gave Greeks the Thureos, after their onslaught in 278 BCE (or environs) in Delphi, the Greeks changed it to their own liking in certain areas. Bronze coated round aspis shields influenced the plain wood surface thureoi shields that became bronze coated thureoi shields.
There are excrepts from Syracuse as well as from mainland Greece about phalanxes training with thureoi and spear as if they would with the round aspis and spear. That’s how I perceive the thureoi phallanx to have been like. That’s probably one way that the Thorakitai and Thureophoroi fought, alongside the manipular way. This (the thureos carrying spearmen shieldwall) wasn’t the case here, however. I believe that Alexandros Ionathan (Alexander Yannai) had his troops fight with swords and “long shields” meaning the thureoi, the Roman way, with swords and maniples (called Speirai in greek) utilizing the Romani prowess to break up the Ptolemaic invaders, like the Romani did earlier against Seleucids, Macedonians (both times) and the Achaian League. He was initially successful. It was only trickery that saw Ptolemaios Lathyros gain victory.
Ekatontamachoi are very versatile troops, ready to fight and win against superior forces, because of their own heavy armor, with Iron muscle thorax covered by a bronze coated thureos. Armed with a sword bigger than a gladius they stand ready to fight against anyone. They were among the best troops fielded by the Hashmonayim.



Ioudaioi Doryphoroi (Jewish Royal Foot Bodyguards)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/jewish_doruphoroi.jpg
Ioudaioi Doryphoroi (Jewish Royal Foot Bodyguards)
The unit is mentioned in the funerary procession of Herod the Great. This unit probably consisted of young men from the best families of the kingdom and distinguished veteran soldiers. The term probably meant the foot guards of the King and a special unit among the Jewish army along the tradition of the Hypaspistai of Megas Alexandros and the Peltastai of the Antigonids, meaning an elite round shielded force of spearmen who were trusted with the most difficult missions available.
It is very important to note that the elite forces of every realm at that time did went through a change from the Hellenistic fighting system (that of pikes and cavalry, hammer and anvil style) to that free flowing manipular style favored by the Romani. Still, it is also important to remember that there are always those who simply resist change because their role hasn’t yet been taken over by a new changed unit. One of those probably were the Ioudaioi Doryphoroi because their own role, to charge in the thick of battle and turn it around probably survived the demise of the pike phalanx, whose flanks they were supposed to guard. They are the hypaspistai of the Hashmonayim Israel, a unit of Israel’s class, who would be the Peltastai of the last Hellenistic kingdoms, a unit that used similar pre-pressed shields measuring up to 75 cm’s in diameter.
Their role was to serve either as the Jewish bodyguard of the King or to attack at a specific pressure point and in doing so, break the enemy up. It is possible that the sons of high ranking courtiers of the Hashmonayim served there. If the structure of the Hellenistic kingdoms was kept, they would be the Royal foot bodyguard with the Agema Hippeon Ioudaion being the Horse bodyguard. From them would the leaders of Hashmonayim Israel emerge, including the bodyguards of the king (Somatophylakes) and their own leader the “chief” bodyguard (Archisomatophylax).
Alas, the time when a brave soldier could advance from the levy to the Archisomatophylax level seem to have been long past. It was this attitude that allowed Hashmonayim Israel to counter foes much larger in size and wealth, the one that led to the current elite being formed. Hopefully the same trend will restart in the future and that is paramount if the Hashmonayim are to have a cadre of officers who are the best there are.


CAVALRY of Mamleket haHashmonayim
https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Hasmonean.gif


Kataphraktoi (Cataphracts)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/hellokata.jpg
Kataphraktoi (Cataphracts)
Kataphracts are the most armored cavalry of the period, possibly ever. They are affectionately called “Catatanks” and it is easy to see why. We must remember, however that the road to a fully armored horseman was long. A Kataphract didn't just happen, he evolved into being. The horsemen of the Steppes are credited with the invention of the “Kataphraktos” and with good reason. There were two kinds of horsemen in the Steppes. Horse archers and Lancers (who chased horse archers). The obvious target for archery, Lancers would need to be very armored in order to defend against the horse archers as well as other Lancers. Therefore they armed themselves in the best way that they could upgrading their equipment as newer techniques and materials became available. First they would arm themselves using scales for the full body of the horseman (as funerary evidence shows) then lamellae. The first mention of lamellate overlapping ring like guards for the hands and legs come from the”Hippika” of Xenophon when he advises that the horseman wears them (the “cheires” or overlapping ring lamellate bronze hand guards) in the hand that holds the reigns of the horse to protect it. The Massagetai that Megas Alexandros fought seem to have been wearing them, fielding proto cataphracts. Then the next major confrontation occurred during Antiochos III anabasis, when he fought and won a battle against 10.000 Baktrian horsemen, some of them must have been Kataphraktoi. That is shown in the next major battle of Antiochos III of the Seleucids, in Panion where nearly 1/3 of his mounted troops were Cataphracts. Then in Magnesia, nearly all his heavy horse were Cataphracts. Later on, much fewer were cataphracts as the force of the Seleucid state waned. Horse archers and Lonchophoroi were the norm, with Cataphracts forming a strong core of horsemen who would engage the enemy and fight them off until they broke, using blunt force weapons, aka sphyra (pickaxe), axes, maces and others that would harm their opponents no matter their armor.
The probably Baktrian and later Seleucid contribution was the facemask, that earlier adorned Phrygian helmets, now became the norm as the face tended to be the target for many of the strokes that a cavalryman might receive. The horse was lightly armored and it was only later that full protection was worn for the horse as well, even if there are mentions of a Ptolemaic horse entering a rebel town to subdue it, with the first line of those horsemens' stallions clad in a padded cloth armor that was intended to reduce blunt force strokes.
We know that Massagetai, Pahlavan (the Parthians), Bactrians and Seleucids fielded Cataphracts. We also know that a big part of the surviving Seleucid Cataphracts after Magnesia became part of the Pergamon's army. It is known that after Pompey dissolved whatever remained of the Seleucid kingdom, now largely a part of present day Syria, their cataphracts asked to join the Roman army and were accepted. Therefore it is only logical to deduce that an emergent Hashmonayim state would deffinitely field Cataphracts, if they would conquer the regions they came from. Therefore they have them, exactly like the Armenians, who at 80 BCE owned former Seleucid lands fielded them, much like anyone at that time with enough money to do so, did.





Babylonioi Hippotoxotai (Babylonian Horsearchers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Babylon_HA.jpg

Babylonioi Hippotoxotai (Babylonian Horsearchers)
They are the horse archers of Zamaris, one of the few precisely identified units of Herod, the military settlers (or Katoikoi) of Batanea ( Josephus AJ XVII, 24-26). They probably fought exactly like Parthians did. One of the Parthian Horse Archers way of fighting was the infamous Parthian shot, meaning that they “would feign retreat; then, while at a full gallop, turn their bodies back to shoot at the pursuing enemy. The maneuver required superb equestrian skills, since the rider's hands were occupied by his bow. As the stirrup had not been invented at the time of the Parthians, the rider relied solely on pressure from his legs to guide his horse” as defined in Wikipedia. Even though this way of fighting had been a mainstay of Horse Archers for hundreds of years, it was when the Romans met the prevailing Horse Archers of the time, the Parthians, that the name stuck. The Parthian shot, along with the Cantabrian circle was probably what they used mostly when fighting against sedentary opposition, like Arrian mentions when Alexander the Great fought against the Scythians (Probably the “Sakai” as they called themselves) “The Scythians met the challenge: their numbers were for the moment superior; they made circles round the small attacking force, shooting as they rode, then galloped off to a safe distance.” Arrian, Alexandrou Anabasis, 4.4.6-7. There is enough literary evidence to suggest that the correct way to interpret this is that they rode in a cantabrian way shooting against their opponents who were simply trying to ward off their missiles, not riding in circles around them, in agreement with Ueda-Sarson.
Asklepiodotos calls “Scythians” the horse archers, probably following an earlier name of them. The Ioudaioi Hippotoxotai weapons were probably armed with composite bow and the sword. They were quite unique among the rest of the troops of Herod. Knowing how the Jews of Mesopotamia returned to Israel during the Hashmonayim period, we can safely deduce that there probably were more that joined the ranks of the Hashmonayim, mainly because, so far as we can tell, one of the main adversaries of them, the Nabatu were using a lot of horse archers and camel archers, exactly as the Seleucids themselves did. Therefore it is safe to think that the Hasmoneans had to find Horsearchers themselves. One source would be the same horsearchers who fought for the Nabatu, Iturean mercs and others who would have the skills to effectively “shoot from the hip”. The very name “Skythopolis”, contemporary Beit She' an seems to suggest that some “Skythai” or Scythians were located there. From what has been shown earlier “Scythians” was a different name used for horse archers, exactly as “Tarentines” was used for javelin throwing horsemen. Therefore, they either were scythian horse archers who were settled there as cavalry Kleruchs, or horse archers mercenaries from throughout the area who did. The very fact that Herod did exactly the same with the Babylonian Horse Archers, settling them in frontier land outside of mainland Israel, in Transjordan, in order to pacify that region. Whether they were of native Scythian extraction, meaning from Central Asia or elsewhere is not known, however both the Babylonian Jews of Zamaris were a unified force that came from Babylon just as the Alans later on were settled from the Romans near border regions in Scotland and elsewhere to provide a cavalry force and help pacify those regions as well. Common background seem to have played a major role in unit cohesion in those times. Not many however, would undergo such a trip, unless forced to, just like the Romans did with the Alans/Sarmatians later on. Therefore I think that the Babylonian Jew Horsearcher of Zamaris were probably descendants of the Jews who were forcibly resettled on Babylon after the destruction of the first temple in 586 BCE, who themselves remained Jews and adopted the fighting methods of the Pahlavan. They would return to Hashmonayim Israel and take arms to defend Israel. Zamaris men must have been the ones we know of, there were deffinitely others earlier to do exactly that.


Tarantinoi Elaphroi (Tarentine skirmishers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/tarantinoi_bareas.jpg

Tarantinoi Elaphroi (Tarentine skirmishers)
According to Asklepiodotos I. 3, they are the Tarantines who after throwing their javelins at the enemy, proceed to attack with swords, rather than retreat. They are those called “Elaphroi”, meaning light, probably in contrast to Lonchophoroi, Agema and Kataphraktoi, who were the heavy cavalry.
The tactical use of them, according to the most contemporary writer of the time we know of, Asklepiodotos is the following: “Asklepiodotos VII-I “Exactly as the skirmishers, so are the horsemen placed according to what the needs are, especially so those kalled “Akrobolistai”-literally those who shoot from the sides or ends [either left end or right end] of the battle formation. (He calls earlier in his manual in I.3 akrobolistai the horsemen who are in between the pure missile cav and the pure melee (heavy) cav. They are those who either throw javelins or shoot arrows and after close in to engage in melee combat with the enemy and their name “Akrobolistai” means that they never lose contact with the sides while shooting at the enemy at the same time). They are very able to deliver the first blows to the enemy, provoke the enemy to fight, breaking the cohesion and battle line of enemy troops, investigate suspect and dangerous locations where the enemy could lie in ambush and even ambush the enemy themselves, prepare the battle (according to earlier orders obviously) and relieve the infantry wherever possible. In concluding, because of their speed and versality they are able to move throughout the whole battlefield, achieving significant results.
It seems like while earlier Tarentines were mostly just throwing missles then retreat to allow the heavy cavalry to charge, the later Tarentinoi troops were becoming more and more “elaphroi” meaning light cavalry in use. The fact that Athens at that time didn't have any other horse commander other than the “Tarantinarchos” seems that either those Tarantinoi just threw javelins and left or they would fight as well. As Ueda Sarson mentions, according to Polybios' account of the 3rd battle of Mantineia (11.12.7) over a hundred years later, the Tarantines serving Philopoimon the Achaian were ordered to engage the Tarantines serving Machanidas the Spartan who in turn ordered his to counterattack ( here 'synapheinai'; the word seems to have no particular connotation of charging into contact). Polybios goes on to relate (11.13.1-2) that "at first the Tarantines alone were engaged, fighting gallently, but as the light-armed infantry (euzonoi) gradually came up to the support of those who were hard pressed, in quite a short time the mercenaries on both sides were mixed up.
Therefore it seems that by 80 BCE the vast majority of the Tarantinoi were elaphroi, for light cav. Athens could not have just missile cav, and the 3rd battle of Mantineia that we have an account of shows Tarentines battleing in melee for both Achaian League and the Spartans. Seeing from the Asklepiodotos excrept that one of their duties in battle was to support infantry wherever needed, then it is safe to deduce that Tarantinoi Elaphroi were the vast majority of the Tarantinoi.




Tarantinoi Hippeis. (Tarentine javelineers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/tarantinoi.jpg
Tarantinoi Hippeis. (Tarentine javelineers)
According to Ueda Sarson quoting Diodoros, they served Antigonos “the one eyed” in his campaigns against Eumenes (19.29.2) mentioned as having "come up with him from the sea" (ie. with Antigonos from the Mediterranean). Later on in the battle at Gabene, they were instrumental in turning the sides against Eumenes when they conquered the camp of Eumenes, effectively making his own soldiers turn him over so that they keep their baggage and wages. Antigonos' son Demetrios used Tarantines in Greece (Polyainos 3.7.1). Strabo (6.3.4) mentions that when at its most powerful, ca. 450-350 BC, Tarantum could field 3000 horsemen and 1000 hipparchoi, literally "horse rulers" and thus used in the sense of "cavalry commanders". As 1000 cavalry generals is clearly nonsense, Duncan Head in his Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars interprets these as heavy cavalry, an account that seems to be accurate. Unfortunately, the ancient writers that we know of that wrote today, wrote about something they didn’t clearly understand, following old military manuals of the day, from generals who had served in different armies of the Hellenistic era. Each army could very well have their own military terminology and in attempting to ameliorate those, confusion arose that persists to this day. Hopefully comparative analysis of all available sources will allow the correct order of battle and the accurate hierarchy to be established.
Tarentines early on specialized on being 'experts in wheeling and retreating'. However, the provision of a shield both heavy and large is not normally a feature of skirmishing cavalry, so it may be that such men were also expected to be able to engage in close combat. This is not the case for the “pure” Tarantinoi, as Aelian calls them. They are expected only to shoot and then retreat. It is the Elaphroi (meaning light probably in contrast to the heavy cavalry of the day) that go ahead and engage in melee combat. Their use in 80 BCE was in retreat. They are mentioned as the only cavalry force of Athens prior to its destruction by Sulla, with one “Tarantinarchos” (leader of Tarentines) as their leader. These must have been Elaphroi, however, as in battles that we know of, they fought in melee.
Staying with the definitions of the most contemporary military writer of the time, Asklepiodotos I, 3 “Other (horsemen) are those who just shoot from afar, those are the ones called “Tarantinoi” ”. They weren't supposed to engage in close combat. That was job for the (Tarantinoi) Elaphroi.



Lonchophoroi (Lancers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/lonchoiphoroi.jpg
Lonchophoroi (Lancers)
Lonchophoroi are Lancers, however, it was only recently that Lonche, their arm was used instead of longer spears. Until recently, lonche had been a throwing spear, with “kontos” or “short pike” (in relation to the longer sarissa of the cavalry) being their primary weapon. They could also be called “Doratophoroi” or “Xystophoroi” and in fact that is how they are named in Asklepiodotos. Those who are described by that definition, in Asklepiodotos’ text however, are more alike the Kataphraktoi then the Lonchophoroi. This is another case of different units being called another thing by different authors most of whom simply copy what they see in a papyrus scroll before them without having first hand knowledge and experience in military matters of the time. To us, who can’t know firsthand what did happen things are even more difficult. Pictorial evidence, however, speaks of a different unit altogether, one with shorter spear, a large hoplitic shield and thorax for the horseman, not the horse. Their spear is much shorter than the kontos, therefore it was called a lonche and those carrying it Lonchophoroi. They are considered to have replaced the Hetairoi in the final years of Macedonian Kingdom. In relation to the Hetairoi they carry a smaller lance (now called Lonche, smaller than Kontos that itself was smaller than a sarissa pike) and a shield on the hand that holds the leash fastened near the elbow. Their shields while lighter than those of the hoplites of yore are still able to provide protection for the Lonchophoroi. They have fought in Magnesia as well as in later battles. One of the final cavalry types of the late Hellenistic years, some of them seem to have become the Lanciarii or the Cavalry auxilia of the Romani.





Hippotoxotai (Horsearchers)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/hippotoxo.jpg

Hippotoxotai (Horsearchers)
They were horse archers who according to Ueda Sarson, in the later Hellenistic period, from 147 and up to 80 BCE that EB NOM starts in, made up for an increasing part of the cavalry. In Seleucid cavalry especially, they seemed to make up 1200 of the 12000 Seleucid cavalry in Magnesia. In 147 BCE, in the much weakened Seleucid empire, due to the huge indemnities they forced to pay to the Romani and the loss of both Anatolian and their Eastern provinces, the cavalry had been reduced to 3000 horse, which included 1000 horse archers ( 1 Macabees, 10.79-89). From other sources of the period we know that those who served in the horse archers of the Seleucids included Baktrians, Dahae and Parthians. Knowing that the horse archers themselves were generically called “Scythians” and a city in present day Northern Israel is called Scythopolis, it is safe to conclude that some or many of them were actually horse archers settled to keep the peace in the region, settled there. In fact it is not difficult to deduce that some of the 1000 horse archers that are mentioned in the Macabees were based in there. Knowing that this land was later part of Hashmonayim Israel means that they probably fought for the Hashmonayim, being a large part of the cavalry that made Alexandros Ionathan expand his kingdom early on. The horse archers of the time were probably a big part of every Hellenistic kingdom that could field them in enough numbers, however it was a difficult skill to muster, that either meant learning from an early age or constant training to hone their skills and maintain their ability for war. To have a city that was in essence their base and training ground made sense then, just as a dedicated war training program for a specific and specialized arm within an army does now. Skythopolis was probably one of them. Coins and other depictions of them from that time show them as clad in decidedly Hellenistic war gear, wearing either a bronze armor or linothorax while carrying a scythian composite bow, riding an unarmored horse.
The tactical use of them, according to the most contemporary writer of the time we know of, Asklepiodotos is the following: “Asklepiodotos VII-I “Exactly as the skirmishers, so are the horsemen placed according to what the needs are, especially so those kalled “Akrobolistai”-literally those who shoot from the sides or ends [either left end or right end] of the battle formation. (He calls earlier in his manual in I.3 akrobolistai the horsemen who are in between the pure missile cav and the pure melee cavalry (heavy cav)). "They are those who either throw javelins or shoot arrows and after close in to engage in melee combat with the enemy and their name “Akrobolistai” means that they never lose contact with the sides while shooting at the enemy at the same time). They are very able to deliver the first blows to the enemy, provoke the enemy to fight, breaking the cohesion and battle line of enemy troops, investigate suspect and dangerous locations where the enemy could lie in ambush and even ambush the enemy themselves, prepare the battle (according to earlier orders obviously) and relieve the infantry wherever possible. In concluding, because of their speed and versatility they are able to move throughout the whole battlefield, achieving significant results.”




Agema Ippeon (Royal Horse Bodyguards)

https://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/Jegwettnorskbaralit/Hasm_bodyguards.jpg

Agema Ippeon (Royal Horse Bodyguards)
How has the language simplified. Earlier on they would have been called Agema Hippeon. It is 80 BCE however the date that EB NOM starts in, not 280. The millions of non native speakers of Greek have changed the language so much that even 2000 years later and as much as the language evolved, that's the Greek that now exist and how native Greek speak it. Exactly like the late Hellenistic era.
The Agema Ippeon are the best, most trusted Lonchophoroi whose main purpose is to guard their King with their lives. They stem from the richest and most loyal families of the kingdom, those rich enough to afford a horse, an armor and a shield, complimented by veteran Lonchophoroi whose value has been tested in combat along with trusted Diaspora horsemen. The name probably given to them would be “Basilike ile” for Royal squadron or the “Peri ten aulen hippeis” for “Horsemen of the court”. They would number in the 500 and would follow the king wherever he would go. They were among the most trusted men in the kingdom, so far as the King was concerned and would even cajole and joke with him, as they probably were raised alongside the king. They were always ready for war and would follow the king in campaign. They would probably be commanded by a “Hipparchos” who would train them at all times, especially since, if Macedonian tactics were used, they would be the King's horse, with the rest of the cavalry being called only in extreme emergencies. In case of dire emergency they just might be the only cavalry to fight as even the other cavalry on call might take some time to get the news and mobilize. Along with the Elite Royal Foot regiments they would form the “Royal squadron”, consisting of both Horse and Foot, where the most trusted and able men of the kingdom served. Most, were part of the ruling elite of the Kingdom, with a minor number being promoted in their places because of gallantry shown in the field of Honor.
Along with the Lonchophoroi and the Kataphraktoi they were the heavy horse of the realm. They belong in the first category of the Asklepiodotos' cavalry distinctions, three classes, those who fight in close proximity with the enemy, being the first. Asklepiodotos 1.3 “The Horsemen of the first class are clad in heavy armor both them and their horses, while the spears that they use are very long, which is why the cavalry is called “Doratophoron” or “Xystophoron”.


The king who they were sworn to defend until death, Alexander Yannai

Alexandros Ianneos, Alexander Yannai, Alexandros Ionathan, Alexander Jannaeus, Alexander Jonathan, however you want to call him, he was one of the greatest kings of Israel. Why? Well, it was during his reign that Hasmonean Israel reached the maximum extent. (Hasmonean or Hashmonayim in Hebrew is the name given by the Talmud to the Macabee Kings, descendants of Mathew Maccabeus, who successfully rebelled against the Seleucid rule of his homeland Israel during the reign of Antiochos IV. Alexander Yannai is compared to Biblical Kings like David and Solomon. The Hasmoneans before him had to contend with the title of “Ethnarch” or “National Leader” of the Jews, with the Seleucid Rulers holding a void, yet titular sovereignty over Israel. Alexandros Ionathan was the first to not have that title even just in paper. He was from the beginning both King and High Priest. However, he isn’t above criticism. His sacrilege in the Temple led to 6.000 dead Israelites who rebelled, playing into his hands. During a civil war that followed he is said to have crucified 800 of his own countrymen, among the 50.000 dead in a civil war during 6 years of bloodshed, according to some historians’ views.

A brief synopsis of the Jewish world at the time.

Hasmonean Israel was divided, with a third side, the Essenes, much smaller in numbers. On one side were the Hellenized Jews who were -for all intent and purposes- at home either at Jerusalem or in Alexandria and any city of the Hellenistic orient and on the other side were the vast majority of the Rabbis who were conservatively adhering to the scriptures exactly as they had been given to them. To give the two side names the Sadducees were the Hellenized rich minority with the Rabbis and the vast majority of the lower temple priesthood being their conservative opposition. Those would be the Pharisees. Hashmonayim Kings tried to play each side against the other in order to acquire or retain the throne. However, the realities of their day and age meant that only the Sadducees could effectively govern the state, because the Hasmonean state was a Hellenistic one in exactly the same sense that Pontos was a Hellenistic state or other minor states at the time used the Hellenistic system of governance. The Maccabee revolt succeeded in thwarting for ever the effort made by Antiochos IV and some Jewish sympathizers of his to effectively destroy Israel, however maintaining an effective state meant that a big part of the Jewish Hellenized officials would retain their place, therefore to rule effectively a Hasmonean King would have to rely on the Saducees, or a big part thereof.
The Jewish diaspora, was very much Hellenized as well, even if they were staunch and unwavering in their support of Israel. A lot of the wealth of the Hasmonean state was attributed to the Diaspora Jewry sending money home, including the expenses the Diaspora Jews would pay following the tradition to visit the Temple thrice per year. The third side mentioned in Josephus, (even if much smaller in numbers than the other two) were the Essenes and other very religious groups who would later start a Rebellion against Roma. They were very difficult to work with, because of their single minded devotion to only serve the LORD, not a ruler of this world. Josephus writes that there were thousands of them living all over Israel. They lived an ascetic life and according to some ancient writers renounced marriage, while others deny that pointing to the graves of women and children in places where they resided. They are believed to have written the “Dead Sea Scrolls” discovered in 1946.

Alexandros Ionathan favored the Saducees over the Pharisees (who never forgave him), he did fight against every enemy that Israel had, conquering lands which were never again part of Israel until 1967. It was the drain from those wars that drove many of his subjects to revolt against him, as a small agrarian country like Hasmonean Israel couldn’t hope to support a large army. Especially an army with many mercs embedded within. It was also the fact that he was both King and Cohen Gadol (High Priest of the Temple) that was considered false. Not to mention the levirate marriage with his brother’s widow, Salome Alexandra or Shlomtzion.
Still, despite heavy criticism and a civil war waged against him, despite his viciousness (which was the norm in his time, if a king was to retain his crown), there was a limit to how far he could go, because of the looming presence of Roma, a power which was going to destroy the temple 146 years after the end of his reign. He could only go so far, before the Romani military machine fell upon him and his kingdom.
There are many actions he took, that we can’t truly explain. Still, we must take into account the time he lived in. He lived in a time when nothing was sacred. A time when kings looted temples at a whim, they were paranoid that they might lose their throne and relied heavily on personal alliances to retain them. Let’s try to look at the environment of the Hashmonayim kings and array that into a proper historical perspective. The rebellion started when Seleucid Antiochos IV tried to rededicate the Temple to worship of Zeus (I Makk. 1:54) and tried to steal money from the Temple (I Macc. 1:20-24). It is also mentioned that Antiochos issued an edict in which Jewish religious practices were forbidden (I Makk.1:41). Several stories about Syrian mismanagement in general are related in both Books of Maccabees. According to jewishmag.com, quoting II Makk. 4:7-8, the conservative Jewish population of the time was very shocked to see the rich Hellenized Jews of the time practicing naked in the Gymnasium (The word in ancient Greek means “where they are (training) naked” and that’s exactly how the athletes of antiquity trained). To add insult to injury the title of Cohen Gadol (High priest) of the time was bought and sold in the courts of the Syrian King (that’s how the Seleucids were known at the time) in a bidding contest between the richest Jewish families The clergy of the temple especially the lower clergy had little toleration for such acts. Their best (Judah Macabee and his followers) started the rebellion, in order to save Israel, not because they didn’t share in the wealth of the richest, as a certain historian perspective suggests. They kept on fighting and won despite the overwhelming numbers of the Seleucid war machine. If they had fought just for money, then the Seleucid Syrians would just buy them off. That would be cheaper. I am sure the Syrians tried to do just that.
It is very easy to judge negatively Alexander Yannai after so much time has passed. Still, it must be done. I think that a valid criticism would be that he should have taken into account the religious obligation that his office required or even relinquish the High Priesthood. (David, nor Solomon, nor any other king of the united Kingdom or Judah had ever taken that title). To his defense what he did was common practice among the Hellenistic monarchies of the time, even in states that weren’t greek to begin with, only Hellenistic in the way of governance (like Pontos or Kappadokia or others). Some might even suggest that Hasmonean kings did that to stop the bribing process of the title of Cohen Gadol which was the norm and even to ensure that the title, even more prestigious than the King of Israel in the eyes of the vast majority of Israelis at the time, could not be used against them, for fear of a Cohen Gadol becoming a king maker, indirectly influencing who would rule Hasmonean Israel. Looking at the history of the Hashmonayim, when brother fought against brother, we must allow for some paranoid “they ‘re all out to get me” mentality. So far as Antiochos IV trying to confiscate all the wealth of the Temple is concerned, his father Antiochos III was killed trying to do the same in a pagan worship site in Media in order to pay for the reparations to the Romani after losing to them and the Pergamenes in Magnesia at 190 BCE. This was, according to the historians of that time the magnitude of opposition that the Jews were up against.
Therefore, knowledge of Alexandros Ionathans’ life and actions must be provided alongside that of his time and peers, in order to fully understand whether he was a great king who tried to keep his country united at any cost, (even if he could do better) within the limitations of the Hellenistic governing system he was born in, or a bloody power crazy tyrant who would slay his own people at a whim. Volumes could be written for any single incident of his rule, I only tried to provide a starting point based on my own knowledge of history, and the historical context he lived in.
However, Alexandros Ionathan’s (as he would probably be called in Greek) greatest failure was that he couldn’t unite his people. He managed to keep his country united at the cost of deepening the division within his people. Difficult as the effort might have been, this should have been his top priority. A united Israel could reach the historical boundaries of Davids’ Kingdom or expand even more. He could have united Israel if he had just retained his crown, focus on that area and instead of killing his own people, arm them and lead them against their enemies, exactly like David had done.
That may sound as an exercise in futility, knowing exactly what Roma could do or even worse what it was capable of (demonstrated with the destruction of the Temple, the enslavement and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jews, the refoundation of Jerusalem with a different name, even the disappearance of the Biblical names of Judaea, Samaria and even Israel, for a term which was NEVER before used for the region, Palaestina.).
Even so, the only state in the region powerful enough in numbers and strong enough in morale to take on the might of the Romani were the Hasmonean Jews. Rabbis embedded into army units created a religious fervor which allowed the Israelites to fight with relentless rage and enthusiasm. It is worth remembering that during the Macabee revolt, Kohanim, priests in the Temple, led the revolt that created the Hasmonean state. Rabbis leading untrained troops against seasoned veterans under trained officers and the Rabbis won. Judah Macabee himself was a Kohen, and the third son of Rabbi Mattathias. Luke Ueda Sarson writes “Indeed, the 1st century BC historian Diodoros went so far as to say that such a combination of religious and secular offices in the same men that has made the Jewish state so “incredibly powerful”. Half of 600.000 residents of Alexandria at the time were Jews. A big number of Jews resided in almost all of the coastal cities of the Levant and Asia Minor’s southern coast. A lot were still living in Mesopotamia, those who didn’t return after Cyrus’ edict. Those would be readily available to join a conquering Hasmonean army. A Hasmonean king who could create a national army (not just a merc. force), could easily invade and occupy Egypt (Ptolemaic control at that point was nearly non existent – they existed only because of Roman intervention.). It is worth noting that Ptolemaic Egypt was twice defeated by Antiochos IV and once by Antiochos III. Hasmonayim Jews defeated the Seleucids. Therefore it can be easily suggested that had Alexandros Ionathan united his people, he could invade Ptolemaic Egypt at the risk, of course, of bringing down on him the Romani, exactly like Antiochos IV did. If he took that calculated risk then the Hashmonayim could use the riches of Egypt (and its 33.333 villages according to historians of the time) to create strong legions and fight Roma using Roman weapons and tactics (exactly what Josephus wanted to do during the revolt of 66 CE), with the added fervor that the Israelites demonstrated in both Jewish-Roman wars and Bar Kohba’s revolt. If the Jews were united, there is no telling what they could have achieved. If.
Can you go where Alexandros Ionathan didn’t? Can you unite your kingdom, conquer Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor? Will you be strong enough to face the Romani?



Some reading for those so inclined


Josephus Antiquities, Greek text and English translation

http://pace.mcmaster.ca/york/york/showText?book=1&chapter=0&textChunk=nieseSection&chunkId=5&down.x=5&down.y=12&down=down&text=anti&version=&direction=down&tab=comm&layout=split


and some google books for good measure.

http://books.google.gr/books?id=t05okj1LB3QC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=He+had,+moreover,+eight+thousand+front-line+fighters,+whom+he+called+%22+hundred-+fighters,%22+carrying+long+shields+covered+with+bronze.&source=bl&ots=ioyAVexkHJ&sig=3VaMwRKsGz36ZMVC6wuBf6BR0o8&hl=el&ei=AwPjTMfzMIqDswa67aT7Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=He%20had%2C%20moreover%2C%20eight%20thousand%20front-line%20fighters%2C%20whom%20he%20called%20%22%20hundred-%20fighters%2C%22%20carrying%20long%20shields%20covered%20with%20bronze.&f=false

and then this,

http://books.google.gr/books?id=SIKuW_bl6LAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Judas+Maccabaeus:+The+Jewish+Struggle+Against+the+Seleucids&source=bl&ots=TAXtBgf9dE&sig=IBajGiNyrN2-h4ZRF6eV6u7CLj0&hl=el&ei=WAXjTMaoAs3AswarsJDYCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false



For those who want to add this to their signature
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5084/5226501229_0441ba5c7d.jpg[/QUOTE]

Blxz
02-23-2012, 02:44
Not being privy to the original conversation between you and abou it is hard to say much, but I don't think the jews are a 'heroic' faction. A faction, yes....but heroic? I may as well say that the Romans were heroic because they triumphed against Carthage (and Macedonia at the same time) during a series of wars. But saying something like that about Rome just seems inherently biased. To my mind I feel the same way about your stance on the Judean republic.

Still, great presentation. I look forward to having a game as them. Should be pretty hard with all these big empires surrounding them. They appear to have a GREAT selection of troops though.:2thumbsup:

gamegeek2
02-23-2012, 05:44
A reminder that keravnos wrote that preview, not me. I just re-posted it.

My personal opinion is that the Maccabees were rather uncivilized compared to the Hellenism they overthrew. The violently zealous Hellenization efforts of Antiochus can't be praised and the revolt was not unjustified, but the alternative to the Seleucids was far worse.

Moros
02-23-2012, 12:51
May I applaud you guys on using the War scrolls as a source. :yes:

Shadowwalker
02-23-2012, 17:35
Hm...
...I'm not sure if I should smile or cry here.
It is for sure interesting to have a faction in NOM that isn't available in many mods.
But at the same time I foresee problems because of a bias.
(I should mention that I am atheistic so I am in no way bothered by the belief of the presented faction's people. Furthermore I know firsthand - from long and rather impressive/frightening stories my grandmother told me - where racism, prejudice and xenophobia lead to (I'm german). I always considered tolerance to be a key virtue and have read "my" I. Kant as well so I'm not bothered by the fact that the faction is formed by a certain people either. It's simply "humans" to me - be it Sumerians, Greeks, Hopi or Norvegians. :yes:)

Reading the preview gives me the impression (and the long reply/discussion in the spoiler cements this) that the author/faction creator (?) seriously believes that this single faction is the most important faction ever and that without it, its predecessors and successors our whole world would be doomed.
Now while there is every right that he himself beliefs this in private I somehow feel it will be forced down my throat when I play NOM - and be it only because the Mamleket haHashmonayim will probably be by far the strongest faction in game. Just looking at the units list for them made me jaw-drop. There is - except falxmen and elephants - nothing they miss out.
And I'm at least puzzled to be honest how this goes along with the fact that they were - to quote the author - "[...]a small underhanded, unarmored, underarmed band of rebles [...]" and that "[...] they did form armies that mercs were a major part [...]"?
Why do they have access to all those elite units?

Furthermore they were sitting rather "peacefully" (when compared to the standards of that aera) in their land. There was not that much desire for expansion as far as I know. This again leads to the question why they have such powerful units at their disposal and furthermore to the question why they are implemented at all, if not for purely religious reasons (present religious reasons, that is, not ones valid in 80BC). These reasons can - as fas as I can see - simply be brought down to "This is the Sacred People".

What I want to say is quite simple in the end: I hope NOM becomes a historical accurate mod as well as EB is and doesn't evolve into a "My religion is better than all others!" advertisement game.

(Just to really make this as clear as possible: I don't aim to offend anyone with this post, it's just that this topic is difficult to adress correctly even in one's native language, much moreso in a foreign one. I am in no way angered, just really puzzled)

I should add however that the preview was a nice read nevertheless and that the units look really great. :2thumbsup:

anubis88
02-23-2012, 19:35
Hey Shadowalker,

This is how i see it. You may have noticed that in EB, every faction has such a description, that when you read it, you think this must be the best faction in the game. Every single one praises their leader, speaks of how unworthy they're opponents are, and they all claim that they can and should basically "conquer as much as possible because they deserve it".

We tried to mimick that in the other previews as well; but, not having the experience, knowledge, willpower and time that keravnos had, are previews weren't this deep and this thourougly described. Keravnos did a really great job here.

You also don't have to worry about the Hasmoneans being overpowered; they're elite units will be very expensive and recruitable in only a handfull of provinces. And starting with such a small area, hampered by the rising Nabatu, the still breathing Ptolemaioi, the powerfull Armenians and facing Rome soon, their future looks bleak.

Of course, the ingame balance will be a thing of trial and error; but rest assured, maximum effort will be taken to make EBNOM as historically accurate as possible, while still balanced.

Anubis88

Moros
02-23-2012, 23:47
I think the effect is a bit strengthened by listing some non factional units as well. The kataphracts for one are probably not recruitable in Judea, but are either mercenaries or regional right?

The native elites mentioned here are however reasonably historical. The Ioudaioi Ekatontamachoi for one are mentioned by Josephos. And thureos carrying infantry are very much attested in multiple forms. Most of these elites as their desciptions also indicate should be rare to very rare.

gamegeek2
02-24-2012, 00:45
Cataphracts will be a factional unit for all Hellenistic factions but they will only be recruitable in Hellenized regions of Syria and Mesopotamia. The Spathaphoroi are probably going to end up as a mercenary troop, mainly composed of Galatai; but these will also be recruitable from Kleroucheia buildings.

The strength of the Hashmonayim is in their melee infantry, particularly in their impressive selection of heavy troops. They have a wide selection ranging from imitation legionaries and thureophoroi to multiple elite guard troops. This advantage is especially pronounced over the Nabatu, who field fewer heavy units and a lot more light desert troopers. The Ioudaioi also have a fine cavalry selection, though it lacks in heavy shock horse for the most part (excluding the catas which aren't available locally). Indeed, their roster seems to have strong everything - what's lacking?

1. Missiles. The Hasmonean kingdom is completely lacking in effective foot archer units; in a campaign it would be very wise to expand to the north to grab Syrian Archers but this will require fighting against Hayasdan (a lack of foot missile units may prove to be a huge pain against horse archers and powerful Caucasian archers).
2. Numbers. This translates into high cost (which will be represented in the stat system by cost hikes for Hasmonean-unique high level units; this will carry over to the Agema Hippeon, who will also be very expensive for the Ptolemaioi and Hashmonayim alike). The Hasmonean kingdom is very small, and hence it relies on a well-led and high-quality army to deal with its opponents.

Lysimachos
02-24-2012, 03:06
It is probably too late for that, but I just wanted to say that for representation of historically little numbers I actually prefer smaller units instead of higher costs. Why? In every campaign comes the point where costs don't really matter much anymore. It isn't really important for the player if he can afford 60 or 80 units, but it always will be important - regardless of the royal purse's size and from the very start to the very end - whether he can control three or four thousand men on the field.

anubis88
02-24-2012, 15:01
The elite units will be small in numbers as well, don' worry :)

Shadowwalker
02-25-2012, 11:13
Heya there,

thanks for these clarifications/the additional informations.
It infact relieved me to read it.
(And I realized that I maybe should stop reading about the Merovingians/Carolingians for some time and read some more about earlier times again...)

As said - thanks, much appreciated.
With these statements I can comfortably go back to to "wait patiently, cross fingers and look forward"-mode. :2thumbsup:

P.S.: anubis, I wasn't talking about the faction description. That one is infact close to the ones we all know (and love) from "vanilla" EB. Which means it's good. :yes:
Oh - one last thing: I don't care too much about balance if the presented situation and/or the unit stats are historical (as far as possible; it's a pity that we never found an ancient source telling us the exact stats :laugh4: ). This is an EB mod and not some mass-appealing RTS-nonsense.

anubis88
02-25-2012, 11:37
Well, the trick is to balance things historically :) Don't worry, i think you are going to love the result. We are driven by EB standards, so worrying that we will balance things at the cost of reality is wrong. The Hasmoneans may have strong units, but they will be bloody hard to recruit and very few in numbers. Trust me, you won't have the time to build "superarmies" since you'll have a superpower on every border.

And imagine this. You start great, crush the Nabateans, hold the Armenians at bay, manage to raid a few Ptolemaic cities... And what's your reward? The superpowers Rome and Parthia come knocking on your border :clown:. So yeah, i wouldn't worry about the Hasmoneans being overpowered. They're elite units will be very expensive and very few in numbers, like it was said before, and they will probably have the toughest starting position of all.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)

Gaius Sempronius Gracchus
02-25-2012, 15:26
Hi. Firstly, well done to EBNOM for making such good (and good quality) progress. I have been following this mod for some time (and my apologies for not being able to help as I had wished, with real life taking a toll upon my time) and I am pleased to see that it is bearing fruit as I suspected it would.

I have to say that upon reading this faction preview my nerves became a little fraught. Thankfully Anubis and others have assuaged the fears that this faction might become ahistorically overpowered. I, like Shadowwalker, have no problem with the 'in-character' faction description, the 'Why the Hashmonayim?' section, however, is very..... jarring in places.

I believe that this faction ought to be in at this time because in terms of the political geography it is important. As to the why of that, I consider the reasons given here as a little too personal/biased - hence the worry engendered in some quarters.

This is not the place to address the issues regarding that section but it might have been better to have replaced that part of the preview with a more 'rounded' evaluation based upon the team's thoughts. But, if one simply sidesteps that section and understands that the new (and impressive) units will be implemented wisely (as it has been demonstrated that they will) then this is a welcome new faction.

Looking forward to this. Keep up the good (nah, let's be honest, great) work.

Blxz
02-25-2012, 15:46
Mr Gracchus makes a good point. I'll take it even further and suggest that removing that particular part completely is a good idea. It is really only directed at abou's comments and doesn't add much to the description for any other reader. It has already caused a little bit of concern among some people. Is it really needed?

anubis88
02-25-2012, 17:06
Well, keravnos clearly states that what he writes about is his own personal opinion. I also find the statement they were more important than the Romans completly untrue for example.

But i definetly agree that the Hasmoneans were a power to be reckoned with, and a very special faction as well, so they definetly deserve a faction spot in our timeframe.

And, like i mentioned before, don't be fooled by their great unit roster. They will probably be the toughest faction to play with in EBNOM

gamegeek2
02-26-2012, 00:53
Power to be reckoned with, maybe/maybe not. Recall that it was the Hasmoneans that were saved by Roman intervention, not the Nabatu.

I must say, though, I'm the guy who originally pushed for their inclusion :yes:

Blxz
03-03-2012, 05:01
Don't remove the faction; they look like a cool game to play. I mean that it might be worthwhile for gamegeek to go up to the preview and remove that particular section under the spoiler "Why the Hashmonayim?". It is pretty biased and I feel it detracts from your presentation without offering anything. Basically this entire preview has been spent talking about that one part rather than the benefits of this incredible looking faction.