Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans.

Today, we of the Novus Ordo Mundi team are proud to present the sixth preview of our late period mod.

Malkt Nabtu

The Kingdom of the Nabataeans

Faction Description

Shlam Aleikm, Malk Nabt

We have come a long way since our humble origins amidst the red rocks of 'Edom, since we harassed and fled our enemies while relying on the cisterns we cleverly buried in the sand. No, now we have built ourselves a state deserving of the name. Truly now, we may call ourselves rabayy madbr, the Lords of the Desert.

We have long grown from the trade that has flowed through our hands, taxing the merchants that stop in the great trade-cities of Rekem and Bostra, with our own merchants bringing back goods from the lands of Ksh, Himyar, Hazarmt, and Barat. With this wealth, we have built great cities, and have raised an army to compete with the Hashmona'n, the Armenians, or, Dushara help us, the Romans.

The most most immediate threat lies to the west, in Isra'l; there, King Alexandros Yannai seeks to rebuild the kingdom of Dawid, albeit in a more Hellenistic fashion. He has already seized the port of Gaza, and has amassed an invasion force in the Negev. We must halt him here, or he will block our routes and starve us of gold - we must hold Obodat, at all costs!

While that may be the most prominent threat, there are others, particularly the one looming to the north. His name is Tigran, and he has made himself Lord of Syria and Armenia, and while his priorities may lie in Cilicia and with his Pontic allies, he has his eye on Dammasq and the rich lands of Syria Koile.

Most of the merchants would be happy with us simply retaking Gaza and restoring the route to the sea. However, a more ambitious king may seek to use our wealth to expand and further our domain. Should that be you, Lord Aretas, the best targets beyond the kingdom of the Maqabn would be Palmyra (to the north) and Yathrib (to the south). Both of these are rich trade-cities, and controlling them would further expand our dominion over the desert routes. Further afield, the kingdoms to the far south are embroiled in conflict, with the once-dominant Sab being eclipsed by the aggressive kingdom of Himyar. Perhaps we could take advantage of this situation; we may need to if it disrupts the flow of incense. Above all, we must take care not to disturb the powers that be, until we have the power to do so.

Perhaps, one day, our diplomats will enter the halls of Rome as equals.
Perhaps, one day, the thunder of Arabian hooves will echo across the plains of the Tigris.
Perhaps, one day, the herdsmen of Hauran will march in lockstep to where glory calls.
Perhaps, one day, the waters of the Nile will wash on Nabatean soil.
Perhaps, one day, it will be us who all lesser realms seek to emulate.
And perhaps, one day, your realm will be more than a Malkt - an Arch.

New Skins and Old Favorites

As a Hellenistic faction, the Nabatu field many of the same units as the Hasmoneans and Ptolemies, and as such merit their own skins for these troops. Some of these merit discussions of their own, due to development history.

Some of the tribal troops of Arabia will be reworked, with new models and units to more accurately represent ancient Arabs. These will be focused on in a later preview, highlighting the units of Nubia, Ethiopia, and the other parts of Arabia.

Euzonoi and Thureophoroi

While we have limited records of the Nabatean army, the friezes we do have depicting well-armored troops, the Euzonoi and Thureophoroi are in many ways just Hellenic versions of already existing Arabian troops - light, multipurpose troops not incredible in melee combat, but capable of filling multiple roles including skirmishing with javelins. Should you wish to field a more traditional Arabian army, they would be right at home.

Thureophoroi Bareis - The armor worn by these men is something of a "quiltothorax," a sort of armour that seems to have also been employed by the Persians. While Nabataean Thureophoroi also wore linothorakes, we have decided to depict this unique form of armor on the Nabataean Bareis to give them a distinct flavor from their Hasmonean rivals.

(You saw these guys fighting the Ekatonamachoi in the Hashmonayim vs. Nabatu video)


In earlier concepting, the Nabatu had their own North Arabian Thureophoroi unit, armed and equipped similarly to Machairophoroi, but not with Machairai. However, the model that unit was based on already had several other units using it, and it seemed a little silly to create a new one when we had a perfectly serviceable Hellenic unit that could fulfill the same role.


A natural evolution of the Thureophoroi Bareis, the Thorakitai were a reflection of definite Roman influence in the Hellenic ranks. Similar troops would compose much of the urban militias of North Arabia, with wealthy merchants equipping themselves as heavy urban militia in desperate times, when typical slyness and bribery wouldn't get the job done. Equipped with heavy mail and well-made helmets, they are excellent heavy infantry, if a bit expensive.

Spathaphoroi - The Spathaphoroi originally began as a Nabatean unit, a sort of "Urbanite Infantry" concept. This idea was later rejected, as the Thorakitai would better represent the sort of heavy urban miltia fielded by North Arabian cities; but the model was kept around, and new concepts grew around it, including the original Ekatonamachoi. Eventually, the Spathaphoroi were kept as a unit representing mostly Galatian troops armed in a Hellenic manner - and for the Nabatu, they include a number of urbanite militia-troops who have chosen to go into battle wielding a straightsword, be it one of traditional Arabian make or of Galatian design and Hellenic forge. (We haven't been able to integrate them into the game yet)

Hippotoxotai - Horse-archery seems to have begun in Arabia with the Assyrians, who were the first "civilized" state to field them in significant numbers. From there, it seems to have taken root among the Qedar, a nomadic confederacy that controlled much of North Arabia during Achaemenid times. Horse archery was a natural step from camel archery, and ideally suited the nomadic Arabians, though javelins seem to have remained the preeminent ranged weapon.

Times have passed, with conical helmets giving way to Hellenistic ones in North Arabia, and linothrakes becoming the armor of choice; but horse-archery remains, and has only become more prominent among the various Syrian states with the coming of the Parthians. The Hellenes, however, employ their mounted archers in a different way than the Parthians. They are used as Akrobolistai, a mix between missile and melee cavalry. Their job is to ride up to the enemy flanks and unleash arrows, breaking the cohesion of the enemy, before closing in for melee with their longswords (most likely after the infantry clash had begun).

As the first to engage the enemy, they also serve as scouts and a screening force, distracting and disrupting the enemy. Well able to both discover and perform ambushes, they are useful strategically. With enough armor to withstand a decent beating, yet enough speed to cover the battlefield and relieve the infantry when necessary, they are a good all-purpose force, and a Nabatean general who can is advised to make use of them often. (We haven't been able to integrate them into the game yet)


More heavily armored and durable than traditional Arabian nobles, though not as fast or strong in the charge. They could still find a home in a more traditional style army, though, if that is your preference.

New Units

Qeshat Gaml (Nabatean Camel Archers)

Perhaps the iconic troop of the Nabataeans, they are only mentioned in two battles we have records of - at the Battle of Magnesia, and under the command of Obodas I near Gadara, where he used them to great effect against Alexander Jannaeus, exacting revenge for the Hasmonean capture of Gaza.

Muqrab Saif (Arabian Swordsmen)

While the tribesmen of the north Arabian desert are poor in material goods, they are rich in two main things - oral traditions and experience with the harsh realities of the desert. Accustomed to raids, living off animals, and intense heat, they make excellent caravan guides, using their skills to earn something to supplement their paltry income. Over the years, they acquire things one might not expect common tribesmen to carry - namely, swords.

Among the tribal armies of Arabia, these men are the veterans. Equipped with helmets, a buckler, and a sword, they are able to deal effectively with most of their desert brethren and the lighter troops in contemporary Hellenistic armies. However, they are poorly equipped to deal with heavier troops or missiles, and are thus best deployed once such enemies are appropriately dealt with.

Parashn Khiarn (Arabian Noble Horsemen)

In the South of Arabia, horsemen are a relatively recent phenomenon, but they have been a mainstay of warfare in East and North Arabia since Achaemenid times. Since the arrival of Hellenism, most have adopted the two-handed lance style and some even wear linothorakes, but they remain the light and swift lancers they have been for centuries.

While they may not look like much, they are the best troops that most Arabian tribes can field. Composed of chieftains and their retainers, they wear a helmet, a thorax, and their clothes for protection. While they do carry straightswords if they should come to close quarters, they would be better off not doing so, instead using repeated charges and mobility to defeat their enemies.

Qestnarn (Nabatean Elite Infantry)

(They've had a few changes since this screenie was taken, they now look better)

The elite infantrymen of Hellenistic Arabia were armoured much the same way as the crack troops of their western rivals; in an iron cuirass, helmet, and greaves, highly effective protection for the most vital areas of the body, or those not covered by a shield. But they seem to have differed somewhat in weaponry - for example, we find a fine axe depicted alongside a thureos in one frieze from Petra. Axes were not common among the Hellenistic soldiers of the time, but were a traditional weapon among the Arabs of the Red Sea.

From their carrying such a weapon, it can be inferred that they were assault troops, whose job it was to storm fortresses and walls. For this task, they would probably have carried several javelins and an aspis shield, much like the Peltastai Makedonikoi fielded by the Seleucids and Antigonids.

But don't confuse these men for the nimble assault troops of old; these men have heavy weapons and armour, and are best suited in a slugfest with the best of their enemies, where their armour-crushing axes can give them an edge - don't waste them on light enemies, where a troop of desert swordsmen or Euzonoi will get the job done. Rather than exploiting gaps, the Arabikon Agema create them.


As would any nation that could afford them, the Nabatu would field contingents of cataphracts; though, as a Hellenistic faction, their equipment would be of a decidedly more Greek bent. Should you conquer the lands of Syria and Mesopotamia, you will be able to add these monsters to your armies.

Khavarn (Nabatean Elite Cavalry)

With more and more wealth flowing into their hands, the rulers of Hellenized Arabia saw fit to outfit units of heavy horsemen as bodyguards. The resulting units were a mix of Arabian, Hellnistic, and Parthian traditions and equipment. While in the cities near Parthian lands the equipment of such units reflected more of a cataphract bent, the units fielded by the Nabataeans and Palmyrans were of a more Hellenistic style, and are depicted as such in friezes and murals.

As most Hellenistic elites of their time, these horsemen wear iron cuirass, helmet, and greaves for protection, and have armor for their horse as well. In a more traditional manner, they wield their lance two handed, and carry an Arabian straightsword instead of the conventional kopis; but in function they resemble their western rivals - to protect and serve the king wherever he may set food. It is for this reason they are called Khavarn, companions, and they will live up to their name to the best of their ability.

Qestnar Malk (Nabatean Bodyguard)

The Nabatean bodyguards, much like those of the Hasmoneans and Ptolemies, are composed of a collection of affluent elites and a few resolute warriors who have earned their place through gallantry rather than birth. Regardless, these men are the king's most trusted men, many having grown up alongside him in the court. In peaceful times, they relax, cajole, and even joke with the princes they serve, sharing wine and women in luxury. Yet should the war-horn sound, they are at the beck and call of their master, by his side throughout the campaign, and as long as the war should last, they will continue to be so.

(They use the same model and skin as the Khavarn)