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Advent calendar December 22nd, and AW's first Christmas

Here's a story you can tell your grandchildren about, and mighty bored they'll be. Wrong era for this movie? You're probably right. For the final contribution from AW to the Karwansaray advent calendar, I thought I'd look back at the early history of the magazine. I believe I have told the story before as a guest on a podcast, but surely not all of you have listened to that. So here goes...

Ancient Warfare has its origins in a happy confluence of circumstances in, well, me. I had been an active member of RomanArmyTalk (RAT) since its very early days at the beginning of this century, as a newly graduated history student. By 2005, I was its webmaster while in my day-job, I worked for a Dutch business magazine publisher, editing a magazine about conferences and meetings. Content-wise, it wasn't spectacular, but it did get me some free dinners and nights at fancy hotels. And over the years I learned a lot about the practical side of putting a magazine together and getting it published.

Within the RAT-community, the idea to launch an academic journal about warfare in the ancient world had taken root over time. We had reached out to a prestigious academic publisher, who was interested, but it just didn't get going. Moreover, it would've become a yearly journal at a truly eye-watering price. Not something that would appeal to the community. And then, at a meeting with some RAT-members at Niagara Falls of all places, someone suggested a 'popular' version of JAMS. That idea stuck in my head.

Fast-forward another year or so to the summer of 2006, and I found myself in the very fortunate position of working for someone with a love of history and the financial resources to make my ideas become a reality. So I pitched this idea: what if we started a magazine about warfare in the ancient world? It would not be cheap, but we had a large community at RomanArmyTalk, some of whom would likely be interested. To my great joy at that moment, he went for it! On the way home, I realized that there was now a lot of stuff to be done and figured out. About nine months later, appropriately, we published a free brochure and mailed it to several thousand people who'd indicated their interest. The rest, as they say, is history.

***This was the Karwansaray Publishers Advent Calendar post for December 22nd. Any special offers are only valid on the day the door is opened. Check back tomorrow!***

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