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Thread: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

  1. #1
    EBII PM Member JMRC's Avatar
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    Default Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Hi.

    I've been making some research about the Seleucid armies and came to this French site: http://www.stratisc.org/partenaires/...82_BARRAL.html. In there, and noticed that the Seleucids used 3 levels of phalangites:
    1. Chalkaspides (Bronze Shields)
    2. Argyraspides (Silver Shields)
    3. Chrysaspides (Golden Shields)

    In EB, the first 2 levels are represented (although the Chalkaspides are only used by Pontus and in the Successor States and Makedonia they are replaced by the Pezhetairoi). However, the Chrysaspides are not represented at all. Also, it seems that the Seleucids adopted the name Chalkaspides instead of Pezhetairoi.

    Was this an intentional choice of the EB designers or their sources did not give enough importance to these phalangites? According to the French site above, the Chrysaspides were very numerous.

    Thanks for your comments.



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  2. #2

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Well, keep in mind your source is from one random internet site. It's hard to make decisions based on such flimsy evidence. I, for example, have never heard of the "Golden Shields" outside of this website you have.

  3. #3
    Member Member Thaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    I recall that RTR had all three of those for Seleucids, plus Pezhetairoi if I remember correctly. I once tried googling Chrysaspides but the only hits I got were in french, so there ended my crusade.
    Last edited by Thaatu; 07-04-2007 at 16:47.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Pah! That's RTR

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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Wow, that fellow is really stretching his sources...the only mention of that is from a passage in Polybius where he is describing a parade and games. I'll put up the passage (and the greek for the line in question).

    Quote Originally Posted by Polybius 30.25
    Games celebrated by Antiochus IV

    25 This same king when he heard of the games celebrated in Macedonia by Aemilius Paullus the Roman general, ambitious of surpassing Paullus in magnificence sent out embassies and sacred missions to the towns to announce the games he was about to give at Daphne, so that people in Greece were very eager to visit Antioch then. 2 The festival opened with a procession composed as follows: 3 It was headed by five thousand men in the prime of life armed after the Roman fashion and wearing breastplates of chain-armour. Next came five thousand Mysians, 4 and immediately behind them three thousand Cilicians armed in the manner of light infantry, wearing gold crowns. 5 Next came three thousand Thracians and five thousand Gauls. They were followed by twenty thousand Macedonians of whom ten thousand bore golden shields, five thousand brazen shields and the rest silver shields. 6 Next marched two hundred and fifty pairs of gladiators, and behind them a thousand horsemen from Nisa and three thousand from Antioch itself, most of whom had crowns and trappings of gold and the rest trappings of silver. Next to these came the so‑called "companion cavalry," numbering about a thousand, all with gold trappings, and next the regiment of "royal friends" of equal number and similarly accoutred; next a thousand picked horse followed by the so‑called "agema", supposed to be the crack cavalry corps, numbering about a thousand. Last of all marched the "cataphract" or mailed horse, the horses and men being armed in complete mail, as the name indicated. All the above wore purple surcoats in many cases embroidered with gold and heraldic designs. 11 Next came a hundred chariots drawn by six horses and forty drawn by four horses, and then a chariot drawn by four elephants and another drawn by a pair, and finally thirty-six elephants in single file with their housings.

    12 It is a difficult task to describe the rest of the procession but I must attempt to give its main features. About eight hundred young men wearing gold crowns made part of it as well as about a thousand fat cattle and nearly three hundred cows presented by the various sacred missions and eight hundred ivory tusks. 13 The vast quantity of images it is impossible to enumerate. For representations of all the gods and spirits mentioned or worshipped by men and of all the heroes were carried along, some gilded and others draped in garments embroidered with gold, and they were all accompanied by representations executed in precious materials of the myths relating to them as traditionally narrated. 15 Behind them came images of Night and Day, of Earth and Heaven, and of Dawn and Midday. 16 The quantity of gold and silver plate may be estimated from what follows. The slaves of one of the royal "friends," Dionysius, the private secretary, marched along carrying articles of silver plate none of them weighing less than a thousand drachmae, 17 and six hundred of the king's own slaves went by bearing articles of gold plate. Next there were about two hundred women sprinkling the crowd with perfumes from golden urns, 18 and these were followed by eighty women seated in litters with golden feet and five hundred in litters with silver feet, all richly dressed. 19 Such were the more remarkable features of the procession.
    Quote Originally Posted by QUOTE=Polybius 30.25.5
    epi de toutois Thraikes trischilioi kai Galatai pentakischilioi. toutois epeballon Makedones dismurioi kai chalkaspides pentakischilioi, alloi de arguraspides, hois epêkolouthei monomachôn zeugê diakosia tettarakonta.
    As you can see from the greek, Chrysaspides is a made-up word. In fact I don't see anything about people with gold shields at all, but my greek is pretty awful (i.e. nearly non-existent at this point) so there's a good chance I'm missing something. Second, considering that Cilician light infantry is showing up with gold crowns, I think we can safely assumes these folks aren't in battle dress. Argyraspides and Chalkaspides (at least in the case of Pontus) are mentioned elsewhere, so they have some corroborating evidence, but there is nothing about Chrysaspides here or anywhere else. Further, the hierarchy this guy created is pretty much completely without base. It sure as hell doesn't come from this passage.
    Last edited by QwertyMIDX; 07-04-2007 at 16:55.
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    Member Member Thaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by Polybius
    Next to these came the so‑called "companion cavalry," numbering about a thousand, all with gold trappings, and next the regiment of "royal friends" of equal number and similarly accoutred; next a thousand picked horse followed by the so‑called "agema", supposed to be the crack cavalry corps, numbering about a thousand.
    Polybius himself seems quite unreliable, trying to downplay the Seleucid elites. I bet the shield list is also downplayed. The real list probably went "gold shields", "platinum shields" and "rhodium shields".

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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by Thaatu
    Polybius himself seems quite unreliable, trying to downplay the Seleucid elites. I bet the shield list is also downplayed. The real list probably went "gold shields", "platinum shields" and "rhodium shields".
    That's mostly a product of the way the translator was rendering things. Here's a different english translation (you'll also note the absence of gold shields, just like I pointed out in the greek).

    Quote Originally Posted by Polybius
    When this same king (Antiochus Epiphanes) heard of the
    The grand festival held by Antiochus Epiphanes at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, sacred to Apollo.
    games in Macedonia held by the Roman proconsul Aemilius Paulus, wishing to out do Paulus by the splendour of his liberality, he sent envoys to the several cities announcing games to be held by him at Daphne; and it became the rage in Greece to attend them. The public ceremonies began with a procession composed as follows: first [p. 426] came some men armed in the Roman fashion, with their coats made of chain armour, five thousand in the prime of life. Next came five thousand Mysians, who were followed by three thousand Cilicians armed like light infantry, and wearing gold crowns. Next to them came three thousand Thracians and five thousand Gauls. They were followed by twenty-thousand Macedonians, and five thousand armed with brass shields, and others with silver shields, who were followed by two hundred and forty pairs of gladiators. Behind these were a thousand Nisaean cavalry and three thousand native horsemen, most of whom had gold plumes and gold crowns, the rest having them of silver. Next to them came what are called "companion cavalry," to the number of a thousand, closely followed by the corps of king's "friends" of about the same number, who were again followed by a thousand picked men; next to whom came the Agema or guard, which was considered the flower of the cavalry, and numbered about a thousand. Next came the "cataphract" cavalry, both men and horses acquiring that name from the nature of their panoply; they numbered fifteen hundred. All the above men had purple surcoats, in many cases embroidered with gold and heraldic designs. And behind them came a hundred six-horsed, and forty four-horsed chariots; a chariot drawn by four elephants and another by two; and then thirty-six elephants in single file with all their furniture on.

    The rest of the procession was almost beyond description, but I must give a summary account of it. It consisted of eight hundred young men wearing gold crowns, about a thousand fine oxen, foreign delegates to the number of nearly three hundred, and eight hundred ivory tusks. The number of images of the gods it is impossible to tell completely: for representations of every god or demigod or hero accepted by mankind were carried there, some gilded and others adorned with gold-embroidered robes; and the myths, belonging to each, according to accepted tradition, were represented by the most costly symbols. Behind them were carried representations of Night and Day, Earth, Heaven, Morning and Noon. The best idea that I can give of the amount of gold and silver plate is this: One of the king's friends, Dionysius his secretary, had a thousand [p. 427] boys in the procession carrying silver vessels, none of which weighed less than a thousand drachmae;1 and by their side walked six hundred young slaves of the king holding gold vessels. There were also two hundred women sprinkling unguents from gold boxes; and after them came eighty women sitting in litters with gold feet, and five hundred in litters with silver feet, all adorned with great costliness. These were the most remarkable features of the procession.
    The only mention of gold I see anywhere near the shield comment is here
    [6] toutôn katopin êsan hippeis Nisaioi men chilioi politikoi de trischilioi, hôn hoi men pleious êsan chrusophalaroi kai chrusostephanoi, hoi d' alloi argurophalaroi.
    but that is referring to the trapping of calavary, some of whom have gold plums others who have silver. The other mention is the Cilician light infantry with their golden
    crowns [4] sunecheis d' êsan Kilikes eis ton tôn euzônôn tropon kathôplismenoi trischilioi, chrusous echontes stephanous.
    In short though I have to say the translation I posted first is at best 'creative' and certinly not something to base a hierarchy of the seleukid army on.
    Last edited by QwertyMIDX; 07-04-2007 at 17:09.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    That's a strong case for EB's unit choice, but what sources do that internet site use? My French is rather poor, so it would take me forever to slog through all that.
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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    The only part where he refers to these 'gold-shields' is in a brief section on the Daphne parade, and he refers to Polybius. QwertyMIDX has posted the relevant passages, which does indeed show that there is very little basis for some kind of distinct unit named Chrysaspides.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  10. #10

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenic
    Pah! That's RTR
    RTR is a FINE mod. People over there don't tolerate EB bashing on their threads, and we don't tolerate RTR bashing either. People should play both and then decide which they prefer. Most like to play both. I have nothing but respect for people modding RTW, because I can see it from the inside. There are many differences between RTR and EB but there is No need to fight over anything. To each his own!
    Last edited by keravnos; 07-04-2007 at 21:49.


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  11. #11

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    a chariot drawn by four elephants and another by two;

    I dont care how unrealistic it is I wanna see one of these.

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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by QwertyMIDX
    Argyraspides and Chalkaspides (at least in the case of Pontus) are mentioned elsewhere,
    I haven't read primary sources, but in "In the Name of Rome" Adrian Goldsworthy mentions that the Macedonian phalanx at the battle of Pydna was divided in the agema, chalkaspides and leukaspides. He does not elaborate on the difference between the latter two. However, I imagine at least one of the two must be represented by the Hysteroi Pezhetairoi. This battle was the last gasp of Macedon, so the reforms must have taken place by then.
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    Celtic Cataphracts!!!! Member The Celt's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos
    RTR is a FINE mod. People over there don't tolerate EB bashing on their threads, and we don't tolerate RTR bashing either. People should play both and then decide which they prefer. Most like to play both. I have nothing but respect for people modding RTW, because I can see it from the inside. There are many differences between RTR and EB but there is No need to fight over anything. To each his own!
    Here here! I play EB now but before this mod came out RTR was there, and without RTR, we'd be stuck playing with mostly Vanilla units for the past few years.(I don't think anyone wants to go back in that direction. Not even CA.)
    So no mod-bashing please. The last time that was tolerated two years ago(three maybe?) it caused a big stink at TWC, and when the hackers attacked every mod team was almost at each others throats.(I was there, don't assume I'm making this up!) Lets not repeat that gruesome history. Please?



    Anyway, as to the gold shields judging by the quotes from Polybius seem to suggest that the "Chrysaspides" were probably decorated heroes from the ranks of the royal guard.(Like the Marines at a ceremony.)Just because they "might" have had gold shields during a parade doesn't mean they're gonna go running around looking all fancy on the battlefield. You have to take it with the context that it's being presented in. And even then, Polybius might be exaggerating again.
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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by The Celt
    Anyway, as to the gold shields judging by the quotes from Polybius seem to suggest that the "Chrysaspides" were probably decorated heroes from the ranks of the royal guard.(Like the Marines at a ceremony.)Just because they "might" have had gold shields during a parade doesn't mean they're gonna go running around looking all fancy on the battlefield. You have to take it with the context that it's being presented in. And even then, Polybius might be exaggerating again.

    Polybius himself actually doesn't say anything about people with gold shields, that just appeared in one particular translation. There's nothing about it in the original greek.

    As to the Macedonian chalkaspides, I don't have Livy around (and you can't get the later books online as far as I know) so I can't check what the primary source says. If someone can post the passage from Livy (there's a description in Plutarch too I think, but the Livy one is probably more useful here) we can take a look.
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    Pincushioned Ashigaru Member Poulp''s Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by JMRC
    Hi.

    I've been making some research about the Seleucid armies and came to this French site: http://www.stratisc.org/partenaires/...82_BARRAL.html. In there, and noticed that the Seleucids used 3 levels of phalangites:
    1. Chalkaspides (Bronze Shields)
    2. Argyraspides (Silver Shields)
    3. Chrysaspides (Golden Shields)

    In EB, the first 2 levels are represented (although the Chalkaspides are only used by Pontus and in the Successor States and Makedonia they are replaced by the Pezhetairoi). However, the Chrysaspides are not represented at all. Also, it seems that the Seleucids adopted the name Chalkaspides instead of Pezhetairoi.

    Was this an intentional choice of the EB designers or their sources did not give enough importance to these phalangites? According to the French site above, the Chrysaspides were very numerous.

    Thanks for your comments.
    well
    the site's content is in French
    if you guys want it, I can translate it
    it's going to take quite some time though, and I'm already faced with deadlines IRL
    Last edited by Poulp'; 07-05-2007 at 05:10.

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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Chrysaspides are only mentioned once, so the search function and a little bit of French should get most people through it.
    Last edited by Geoffrey S; 07-05-2007 at 08:16.
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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    I also think that that particular element of his position has already been fairly well disproved, despite the language barrier.
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos
    RTR is a FINE mod. People over there don't tolerate EB bashing on their threads, and we don't tolerate RTR bashing either. People should play both and then decide which they prefer. Most like to play both. I have nothing but respect for people modding RTW, because I can see it from the inside. There are many differences between RTR and EB but there is No need to fight over anything. To each his own!
    Calm, calm. It was a sarcastic remark. ;)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Original french version:
    Antiochos IV combla les pertes de la Phalange si bien qu’à Daphnè, lors d’une revue militaire en 166 av. J.C. 20 000 Macédoniens défilèrent devant le souverain. Parmi eux, il y avait 10 000 Chrysaspides (i.e. portant un bouclier doré) et 5 000 Chalkaspides (i.e. portant un bouclier de bronze) en plus des Argyraspides. La difficulté du texte de Polybe réside dans le fait qu’il existait sans doute un écart important entre l’armée qui combattait sur le champ de bataille et celle qui défilait.
    He says that during a military parade, 20 thousands soldiers where present, 10 000 of them where Chrysapides, 5 000 where Chalkapides and the rest where Argyraspides. He then state that the difficultie of Polybius' text is the fact that there was surely a big difference between the feild army and the parade army, wich lead me to believe that Chrysaspides where soldiers in "parade uniforms".

    His sources for that part is : Polybe, XXX.25.5.

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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    If you look at the original greek for Polybius though, there is no mention of any phalangites with gold shields, much less the word Chrysapides. It's posted in this thread above.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    I will take Polybius ancient text over ANY translation any time.

    Let me give you just an example...Hoplon means weapon.
    In many descriptions I found that it is considered a shield, the round shield of a hoplite.

    This shield is called an "Aspis". Yet someone wrongly assumed that "hoplon" must mean shield so it stuck. Chrysaspides is another example. Born out of either an honest mistake or a "different" translation, it stuck untill now, however ERRONEOUS it may be.


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    Asia ton Barbaron mapper Member Pharnakes's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    So what does hoplite mean then? Just soldier basicaly?
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Loose translation is "the one who carries weapons"


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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Well a Hoplogist is someone that studies arms and military equipment
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    Member Member mAIOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    An hoplofile is someone who has a deep aversion of weapons. Yeah that hoplon translation was something that stuck tough Erroniously but it stuck.


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  26. #26

    Default Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Well, changing the erroneous notions about history is the n.3 reason why EB is here, (according to my own "raisons d' etre avec EB"

    1. Make a great mod
    2. Learn History
    3. Correct errors that have "stuck" as time passes by.
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    4. check the last line of my sig... we know more about bigfoot than we know about IndoGreeks. then again, more people care about Bigfoot than they do about IndoGreeks.


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    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Quote Originally Posted by mAIOR
    An hoplofile is someone who has a deep aversion of weapons. Yeah that hoplon translation was something that stuck tough Erroniously but it stuck.
    I never heard the word "hoplofile" or "hoplophil", but it would surely mean "friend of weapons" then and not the opposite.

  28. #28

    Default Re: AW: Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    I think he meant to say a hoplophobe.

  29. #29
    Member Member mAIOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: AW: Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    Yeah Ravenic thanks for the correction.


    Cheers...

  30. #30
    Prodder of Stuff Member Musopticon?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: AW: Re: Chalkaspides and Chrysaspides

    This is nigh-englightening.

    So, can I call my sister hoplophone? It sure does sting when she sings.

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