Help support TMP

"Ptolemaic marines n't" Topic

10 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Ancients Discussion Message Board

Back to the Galleys Message Board

Areas of Interest


679 hits since 14 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Plasticviking314 Jan 2019 8:32 a.m. PST

Ancient Warfare article on Ptolemaic marine reviewed.

GurKhan14 Jan 2019 9:35 a.m. PST

The reconstruction is presumably called a machairophoros because that title is found for a class of troops in the Ptolemaic inscriptions – see Fischer-Bovet at link (which also has a pic of the Kom Madi painting). What is not clear to me is why anyone should think that these machairophoroi have anything to do with naval service.

Machimoi is Greek for 'warrior'. It was used to differentiate between well-trained/professional troops and 'the rest' – the rest being non-Greek. In Ptolemaic Egypt 'the rest' means the nonethnic -Greek (or part-Greek) citizens.

Not quite? "Machimoi" seems to have been often used for lower-status armed men than "well-trained/professional troops". Also from Fischer-Bovet:

The machimoi's functions within the army were also ambiguous in the third century, since they were often guards sent with officials and paid one or two obols a day, rather than soldiers.

Plasticviking314 Jan 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

machimoi..'the rest'. I mean machimoi are the rest. Not well trained.
machairaphoros -machaira-armed. The figure is not but the fresco it is based on shows machaira – a bit contradictory.

I agree it is not demonstrated how the machairophoroi are to be assumed 'naval soldiers' or 'warrior sailors'….

Fischer-Bovets book is listed but not cited in the article.

evilgong Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 3:45 p.m. PST

I want a unit of lotusophori

Damion15 Jan 2019 12:47 a.m. PST

I'm still trying to work out why so many miniature manufacturers think Celtic cavalry had round shields. I suspect Osprey may be at fault.

Even though these publications give some references, they can be vague at times or things mentioned in passing like round shields given no supporting evidence.

GurKhan15 Jan 2019 2:24 a.m. PST

machairaphoros -machaira-armed. The figure is not

Don't get too hung up with modern usages. Greek writers use "machaira" to describe the Roman gladius (Polybios VI.23, for instance). So to a Ptolemaic eye, this figure is indeed machaira-armed.

GurKhan15 Jan 2019 2:34 a.m. PST

I'm still trying to work out why so many miniature manufacturers think Celtic cavalry had round shields. I suspect Osprey may be at fault.

I think it's down to Peter Connolly, and his reconstructions in "Greece and Rome at War" (originally in "Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome"). He identified the cavalry with spined round shields on the Aemilius Paulus monument as Celtic, for instance. And he based this identification, in part at least, on Bienkowski's "Les Celtes dans les arts mineurs gréco-romains" (1928); there are cavalry on Italian terracottas with spined round shields whom B identified as Celts – though they probably aren't. I followed Connolly in AMPW, which in retrospect was probably a mistake.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jan 2019 4:19 a.m. PST

Golly; I'm just about to stick some more round shields on some Celtic horse. :-) Had no idea.

GurKhan15 Jan 2019 6:38 a.m. PST

Well, I'm not saying that no Celtic cavalry ever used round shields; but there's not that much evidence for it.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jan 2019 11:32 a.m. PST

I won't lose too much sleep over it; but handy to know!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.