Sources for ancient military studies

The Internet offers a wealth of resources to those who are interested in the ancient world. I recently wrote more generally on sources available online over on my other blog. For students of ancient warfare, a few of the links point out there can be listed again here, and I will point out some additional sources of information that will undoubtedly be of interest to writers and readers of Ancient Warfare (with thanks to Jona Lendering for the idea). 

An impressive array of original Greek and Roman military texts is available on Bill Thayer’s website Lacus Curtius. Here you will find texts written by Julius Caesar (Civil WarsAlexandrian WarSpanish War), Polybius, Cassius Dio, Frontinus (Strategamata), Florus, Procopius, Vitruvius, Aeneas Tacticus, and Onasander. It also features a detailed treatment of Trajan’s Column. Texts are generally offered in the original Latin or Greek, as well as in English translation. 

If you want to read good editions of Homer’s epics, there is no better place online than the Chicago Homer. Aside from the Iliad and Odyssey, the website also includes the poetry of Hesiod. Hesiod was active around 700 BC, like Homer, and a native of the small village of Ascra in Boeotia. In Antiquity, Hesiod was held to be equal to Homer, even if in modern times few people know who he was. His poems Theogony and Works and Days are available, as well the Hesiodic Shield of Heracles, in which the hero fights a duel against a champion of the war-god, Ares. The texts are available in original Greek, in transliterated and translated (English) form. 

The Perseus Digital Library also offers a large number of ancient texts in the original language and in translation, with explanatory notes and links to lexicons. It also includes photographs and descriptions of important sites. As such, it makes for a great study tool, though the wealth of information on offer might be a little intimidating at first. 

And while most readers will probably already be familiar with it, Jona Lendering’s own website, Livius.org, remains an invaluable source of accurate information on the ancient world. 

If you need a place to discuss ancient military matters, head over to the Roman Army Talk (RAT) Forum.

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