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"The Battle of Callinicum, 531 AD" Topic

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timurilank20 Sep 2017 1:37 a.m. PST

I have posted to the blog a brief description of the battle between Belisarius and a Persian column led by Azarethes.
This was played as a big battle game with Arab allies on both sides.


Tomorrow, the full report with photos will be posted.

GurKhan20 Sep 2017 4:54 a.m. PST

Interesting. We played it as a Society of Ancients Battleday a few years ago – link

timurilank20 Sep 2017 6:30 a.m. PST

Thank you for the link.
I have not seen this before and found it fascinating.

Re-fighting the battle of Callinicum, I kept the DBA 3 army lists for both sides, including the Nomad Arabs. I am aware that both Lakhmid and Ghassanid fielded a cavalry force, but did not want to burden players with the purchase of additional figures above what is given for the Nomad Arab list; having some dismount to fight did not seem out of character.

Given that the Arab allies were identical in composition, the Persian player would need wear down his opponent and utilize his superior mobility at the right moment. Naturally, the Byzantine player is aware of this and would need to apply unrelenting pressure on the Persians.

As a matter of note, the description of the Persian encampment (khandaq) is a system later adapted by the Arab armies (H. Kennedy).

Battle report tomorrow.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

The flank away from the river is said by Procopius to rise sharply.
From what I remember of looking at the battle for the SoA day, there is still a sudden rise from the flood plain which is effectively a chain of low cliffs extending for miles.

timurilank20 Sep 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

Procopius, The Persian War, Book XVIII, 27 33 translation by H.B. Dewing describes the Byzantine deployment:

"He (Belisarius) then formed the phalanx with a single front, disposing his men as follows: on the left wing by the river he stationed all the infantry, while on the right where the ground rose sharply he placed Arethas and all his Saracens; he himself with the cavalry took his position in the centre. "

I have no doubt that the ground appeared to rise sharply, but nowhere is the actual distance recorded. In either case, the actual ground would need to be gradual so 10,000 Lakhmid and Ghassanid cavalry could effectively do battle.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 12:03 a.m. PST

The terrain today is a wide flood plain and then the escarpment. Enough space to deploy but with a sudden rise to their flank.
I don't think the Arabs were deployed _on_ the sharp rise any more than the infantry were deployed in the river.

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