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Non-theme articles

Most of each issue of Ancient Warfare has been devoted to a single theme since issue I.1. The theme covers about 2/3rds of the magazine and the rest is filled out with one or two specials, debates, reviews, etcetera. As of issue XI.1, there'll be more unrelated articles with the introduction of 'Tactically Speaking', 'Grave Matters' and the almost brand-new 'Roman Army in Detail', but there's still space for one, maaaaybe, two 'special' articles.

Those special articles that don't fit the theme or a series have always had a sort of ambiguous place in AW. They're an excellent way to touch upon a topic that's too small for its own theme and give authors a place to write about nearly anything they want.  Perhaps because the special article category is so broad, the stack of proposals is also pretty substantial, which makes a plea for more (which this is, see below...) seem a bit strange.

Of course, we could change the setup of the magazine so the theme takes all available space apart from the pre-defined series, or conversely, shrink the theme so there's more space for other articles. That's certainly one reason the question about theme size appeared in the recent reader survey. Unfortunately, for every reader expressing a desire for 'more theme', there's one who states a desire for the opposite... In such cases, the editor is obviously supposed to know the readership best and make up his mind, but I haven't done so yet. So that debate will rage on for a bit more at Karwansaray HQ

In the meantime: I'm very well supplied with 'non-theme' proposals about Roman subjects of all flavours, but I have very few such articles dedicated to Bronze Age, Archaic and Classical Greek, Hellenistic, and especially non-Mediterranean topics. So if you have something in mind, and you're qualified, an accomplished writer and patient (sorry...), please let me know!

9 thoughts on “Non-theme articles”

  • Ian Joseph

    Dear Mr. Oorthuys,
    I would like to propose an article about the increase in tactical sophistication of the Classical Greeks and Macedonians from the beginning of the Peloponnesian War through the Theban hegemony to the rise of Macedon. Among the tactical issues dealt with would be increasing professionalism (the Spartans), concentration of force (the Thebans) and these factors added to increasing mobility (the Macedonians). Please let me know if you have any questions.
    Ian Joseph

  • Jasper Oorthuys
    Jasper Oorthuys March 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Hi Ian
    Happy to discuss such proposals - please get in touch via the Submissions page. It's big topic you've got there!

  • Gary

    Not sure if it would fit completely in to AW format.
    But how about the difficulties of a large organized Armies have with dealing with(gaming) against a smaller disorganized force. Romans vs Gauls in the forests of northern Europe, French vs Guerrillas in Spain, German vs Partisans/Resistance in Poland/France/Norway in WW2, and lastly Coalition vs Insurgents in Iraq/Afghanistan. And I am sure there are hundreds more examples of where the larger force dealt with(or didn't!) with the problem in ancient times.

    • Jasper Oorthuys
      Jasper Oorthuys March 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Gary
      Presumably you're not putting yourself forward as a prospective author, but this is an idea for an article? We've dealt with the topic a bit a looong time ago in AW I.4 - - but you could probably think of more...

  • Mike Thomas

    Sorry Jasper, but this is Roman as well.

    Personally, I have always been fascinated by the information that can be obtained concerning the Roman Army from inscriptions. The Roman just seem to have loved sticking an inscription on just about anything. There are tombstones, of course, but also public buildings, discharge diplomas and so on. How can they be read? What information can be obtained from them? How reliable are they as a source of information? Tombstones don't just give a soldier's service history but can also give insights into equipment and things such as armour and horse harnessing. It seems to me that there might be scope for someone to write an article on this?

  • Justin

    Hi Jasper,

    Does Republican line relief interest you ;-)

  • Joel Haas

    As a free lance metal sculptor for the past 37 years, I have picked up a fair amount of knowledge about ancient metal working. The northern Chinese had white iron, much harder than gray iron, white iron was the hardest known metal at the time. How did they work it? Broadswords are NEVER simply cut out of a piece of steel. At least 6 bars or more of forged wrought iron have to be joined before any steel is used. Hey, without oxy acetylene and/or electricity, how did people weld metals together? Do you even know the difference between wrought iron and steel and what is sold today as wrought iron? Why would that even important? AN old blacksmith's saying, "A fool can forge iron, but only a master forges steel." Why would they say that? And what the heck is "antique bronze? Is it close to brass? Why would you care? Modern bronze cannot be mixed with Greek or Roman bronze. (And that is a real problem with art restoration.) The Damascene Veil, a style or a type of metal? Why were the Crusaders so intrigued with it? What gave it its supple and edge holding qualities? It's still made today and you can buy some right here in the USA or the UK! To sharpen a blade a smith would "let the colors run." What the heck did the colors on metal mean?

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