History Podcasts

Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble

Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble

Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble

Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble

The most impressive weapon of pre-classical antiquity was the war chariot, used in large numbers by many of the major powers of the time, and present in many items of monumental art. The image of the victorious ruler crushing defeated enemies below his chariot occurs again and again.

The author of this book is an expert horseman, and also an experimental archaeologist who has been involved in a number of reconstructions of ancient chariots. As a result he has a great deal of practical knowledge of the performance limits of the chariot and how that would have affected its military usefulness. This is combined with a detailed knowledge of the ancient sources to give a good idea of the role of the chariot in ancient warfare. Sources include the remains of actual chariots, depictions of chariots in various art forms, written accounts of battle and even some more theoretical writings on the correct uses of chariots. The book is organised by culture, an approach that allows the author to bring out the differences between different types of chariot.

There are some moments where the author goes a bit off course. We really don't need a page and a half discussing the reasons why he refers to the Indian Subcontinent as the Indian Subcontinent. He also has some pet theories that get repeated several times, in particular about the spread of chariot technology into China. Cavalry doesn't get too much coverage, other than an examination of when and why it replaced the chariot in some of these armies. More illustrations would also have been nice, although those that are present are useful.

Overall this is an interesting read, and provides a good overview of the development and use of war chariots across two and a half millennium.

Chapters
1 - The Domestication of the Horse
2 - Central Asia
3 - Wheeled Transport before the Sumerians
4 - Sumer
5 - Mesopotamia Between the Sumerians and the Assyrians
6 - The Early Assyrian Empire
7 - The Later Assyrian Empire
8 - Elam
9 - Egypt
10 - Palestine, Syria and Cyprus
11 - Anatolia
12 - Europe: The Mycenaeans
13 - China
14 - The Indian Sub-continent

Author: Duncan Noble
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 176
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2015



Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble - History

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The domestication of the horse revolutionized warfare, granting unprecedented strategic and tactical mobility, allowing armies to strike with terrifying speed. The horse was first used as the motive force for chariots and then, in a second revolution, as mounts for the first true cavalry.
The period covered encompasses the development of the first clumsy ass-drawn chariots in Sumer (of which the author built and tested a working replica for the BBC) takes in the golden age of chariot warfare resulting from the arrival of the domesticated horse and the spoked wheel, then continues down through the development of the first regular cavalry force by the Assyrians and on to their eventual overthrow by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians, wild semi-nomadic horsemen from the Eurasian steppe. As well as narrating the rise of the mounted arm through campaigns and battles, Duncan Noble draws on all his vast experience as a horseman and experimental archaeologist to discuss with great authority the development of horsemanship, horse management and training and the significant developments in horse harness and saddles.

Domestication of the horse revolutionized warfare by giving the military strategic and tactical mobility unprecedented armies could now move with great speed and attack the enemy
by surprise. We first used the horse to tackle the chariots, and a second time as mount armed horsemen.

The author recounts the development of the first war chariots drawn by donkeys in Sumer based on
experimental archeology, before describing their golden years. He continues his story with the appearance of the cavalry regular among the Assyrians and the development of this weapon among the nomadic Scythians. Palestine to
Egypt, from Europe to China, this study encompasses all aspects of the use of horses in the wars of antiquity.

Pretorien No.40

Overall this is an interesting read, and provides a good overview of the development and use of war chariots across two and a half millennium.

History of War Web

Not a difficult read, but one that requires you to pay attention in class. The tendency to read more like a summary of archeological discovery than a detailed treatise of ancient warfare isn't such a bad thing. In fact the appendices are useful in their own right.

UNRV.com

This book is the work of an archaeologist who is also a skilled horseman, which comes across strongly when reading.

VaeVictus No.125

This book discusses horsemanship, horse management and the significant development of saddles and harness in considerable detail. This is a book for anyone interested in the cavalry arm because it explains its earliest origins and helps to put later troops (and much of their equipment) into context.

Classic Arms & Militaria - Feb/March 2016 - Bill Harriman

'A fascinating read that takes a look at the ancient warfare from a different perspective, this book is sure to appeal to both horse and history enthusiasts alike.'

Hereford Times

Before becoming a full-time writer, Duncan Noble was an archaeologist whose specialization was in horses in the ancient Middle East. He collects swords and is a keen rider, currently training his fourth war horse on the Welsh moors. He lives in Herefordshire.


Books received (April 2016)

This entry was posted on April 4, 2016 by Josho Brouwers .

While not as impressive as our stack of books dealing with Medieval matters, I do have a few books here on my desk that focus on the ancient world that need to be reviewed. Here’s a list of the books available:

  • Michael Livingston, The Shards of Heaven (an advanced reading copy of a novel that mixes history and magic) - gone!
  • Paul Chrystal, Roman Military Disasters: Dark Days & Lost Legions (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • John S. Harrel, The Nisibis War: The Defence of the Roman East, AD 337-363 (Pen & Sword 2016) - gone!
  • Christopher Matthew, An Invincible Beast: Understanding the Hellenistic Pike-Phalanx at War (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Richard Evans, The Fields of Battle: Retracing Ancient Battlefields (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Duncan Noble, Dawn of the Horse Warriors: Chariots and Cavalry Warfare, 3000-600 BC (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Dwight C. McLemore, The Fighting Gladiator (Paladin Press 2014) - gone!
  • Ian Hughes, Stilicho: The Vandal Who Saved Rome (Pen & Sword 2010/2015) - gone!

The last book looks like something that we should have already reviewed back in 2010 or 2011, but as far as I have been able to figure out, it hasn’t yet been reviewed for some reason. Perhaps we never got the hardcover version: who knows?

Anyway, if you’re interested in reviewing one or more of the above books, just email me at [email protected] and briefly explain why you’re the one to review the title(s) in question. After approval, please be prepared to send me your review within two months after receiving it. Books are sent out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also, note that you don’t get paid for a review, but you do get to keep the book that we send you. Reviews should generally be between ca. 400 and 1200 words in length, with an average of around 650 words (about one page in the magazine), though the length of the review is also dependent on the nature of the book.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2016 by Josho Brouwers . &larr Previous Post Next Post &rarr


DAWN OF THE HORSE WARRIORS Chariot and Cavalry Warfare, 3000-600 BC

In this interesting book we can learn a great deal about chariot warfare and the beginnings of cavalry. As well as narrating the rise of the mounted arm through campaigns and battles, Noble draws on all his vast experience as a horseman and experimental archaeologist to discuss with great authority the development of horsemanship, horse management and training and the significant developments in horse harness and saddles.

Description

The domestication of the horse revolutionized warfare, granting unprecedented strategic and tactical mobility, allowing armies to strike with terrifying speed. The horse was first used as the motive force for chariots and then, in a second revolution, as mounts for the first true cavalry. The period covered encompasses the development of the first clumsy ass-drawn chariots in Sumer (of which the author built and tested a working replica for the BBC) takes in the golden age of chariot warfare resulting from the arrival of the domesticated horse and the spoked wheel, then continues down through the development of the first regular cavalry force by the Assyrians and on to their eventual overthrow by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians, wild semi-nomadic horsemen from the Eurasian steppe.


Bulletin 401

April, 2016, Collection of Mystery Items presented by Alan Stoyel

This was really an archaeological ramble – examples ranging from Mediaeval China – a Ming jar, to Canon Pyon – an animal pound, via Spain, and from Roman times up to yesterday.

First off was a French acorn grinder, to produce a type of flour, with the Ming jar for ginger, then a picture of a series of spaces in a brick wall for skeps for honey bees, and a North Country barn next to a horse drawn threshing mill for grain, and for those reaping the grain with a sickle – a pair of protection sheaths (wooden) for the vulnerable left-hand.

For building purposes, we saw a triple brick mould for hand prepared bricks, and a neat mortar flasher for use later on, and a picture of a factory site in Cornwall – not for tin mining, but for brick making, and then even a lime kiln – in Pembrokeshire. On a more homely scale, we saw a tinplate candle mould, for making a series of tallow candles (with wicks).

Various weaving activities were demonstrated by an actual Roman loom weight, a set of tenterhooks for stretching newly prepared cloth, and a picture of the large upstairs windows needed by cloth workers, for their activities. Of similar interest, was a Spanish grass (esparto) crusher – as the flattened grass was used for woven productions.

Industry through the ages, was demonstrated by showing a North Spanish site of an extensive gold mine, where material was washed out by water brought to the site by a leat of c. 50 mile long – built by the Romans. Underground work was shown by a drill bit used in a tin mine, and a neat instrument for measuring angles in the depths of the mine, and of our own times now – a pressure gauge for a steam engine, and another for measuring hydraulic pressure, when water was being supplied over an area under high pressure, some being used to operate machinery. Very decorative, was a large square tile, neatly perforated all over, to allow drying of newly made malt in a kiln.

Pictorial reminders of British history, were demonstrated by one of a large Georgian naval victualling depot, in Plymouth dockyard, and by another of a Victorian fort casemate, as part of the proposed defence around Plymouth, provoked by the arrival of another Napoleon across the Channel! Review JR.

Programme Dates from Nancy

Friday 15th April 7-30pm at Kington Primary school “Water! the most precious substance on earth” talk by Dr Noel Meeke from the Hereford waterworks Museum. This should be a fascinating and inspiring talk about something we all take for granted. All welcome Non members £2 with free refreshments afterwards.
This is our last indoor meeting before we break for the Summer recess So if you have not done so yet please put your names down for our May and June visits.
Sunday May 1st 3pm Tour of Dunfield House & grounds £5 includes afternoon tea
Friday June 17th 12.30 Tour of Brecon Cathedral Donations please 3pm Cruise on the Brecon canal £6.80 Cream tea extra at £3.70 Booking for both outings is essential so please contact Nancy Wheatland.

We now have a date for our July venture which is a Picnic and map display up on Bradnor hill, Kington
Saturday 23rd July 3pm No charge open to all. If you wish to come along please let us know in advance so we have an idea of numbers. Hope to see you all in the Summer. Best wishes from the Programme committee and thank you for your support.

We return for our indoor talks on Fri 16th Sept. with a fascinating talk by Roger Curtis about “The old picture house” in Kington.

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

The Kington History Society will be moving from the library very soon and will be taking up quarters at the Kington Museum. We are most grateful to the staff there for their good endeavours on our behalf.

The Museum staff are always looking for good friends who will assist with the manning of the Museum. Please help if you can the job is not onerous and you will soon fit into it perfectly.


Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble - History

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Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble - History

The domestication of the horse revolutionized warfare, granting unprecedented strategic and tactical mobility, allowing armies to strike with terrifying speed. The horse was first used as the motive force for chariots and then, in a second revolution, as mounts for the first true cavalry.

The period covered encompasses the development of the first clumsy ass-drawn chariots in Sumer (of which the author built and tested a working replica for the BBC) takes in the golden age of chariot warfare resulting from the arrival of the domesticated horse and the spoked wheel, then continues down through the development of the first regular cavalry force by the Assyrians and on to their eventual overthrow by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians, wild semi-nomadic horsemen from the Eurasian steppe. As well as narrating the rise of the mounted arm through campaigns and battles, Duncan Noble draws on all his vast experience as a horseman and experimental archaeologist to discuss with great authority the development of horsemanship, horse management and training and the significant developments in horse harness and saddles.

About The Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, Duncan Noble was an archaeologist whose specialization was in horses in the ancient Middle East. He collects swords and is a keen rider, currently training his fourth war horse on the Welsh moors. He lives in Herefordshire.


Flint And Feather Contact

The Kickstarter will have over 50 new miniatures, a 64 page rulebook and some other goodies! Stay tuned for the preview link.
New English and French settlers and soldiers make up the bulk of the new figures but we will also take the chance to fill out some of other items that our fans have been waiting to see in the Flint and Feather range.
The Kickstarter will last for thirty days dropping payment in before the Christmas rush.
Stay Tuned for more details!


Recommended Reading

If you’d like to dig further into any of the horse-related topics in my series on writing horses, these are some books and websites that I’d recommend looking at as sources. I’ve split them into groups according to the topic, so you can use this menu to jump to any section of the reading lists:

Horse Behavior | Horses & Humanity | Traveling by Horse | Horses in Ancient History | The Medieval Horse | Native Horses & The Old West | The Modern Cavalry | Horses at Work | Interesting Horses in History

Some of these are free online resources others are books that you would need to purchase or borrow through your library system. (I have added an extra FREE marker to resources that are available online completely for free.) Many of these links are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase any of these books through my links, I’ll get a small commission for pointing you toward that resource. This helps to support my work here, pay my web hosting fees, and keeps me bringing you quality content, so please do use those links, I definitely appreciate it. Most of the book descriptions given here are the official summaries from the publishers or authors if I have specific notes on any volume, I’ll include an “ed. note” notation.


Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble - History

The domestication of the horse revolutionized warfare, granting unprecedented strategic and tactical mobility, allowing armies to strike with terrifying speed. The horse was first used as the motive force for chariots and then, in a second revolution, as mounts for the first true cavalry.

The period covered encompasses the development of the first clumsy ass-drawn chariots in Sumer (of which the author built and tested a working replica for the BBC) takes in the golden age of chariot warfare resulting from the arrival of the domesticated horse and the spoked wheel, then continues down through the development of the first regular cavalry force by the Assyrians and on to their eventual overthrow by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians, wild semi-nomadic horsemen from the Eurasian steppe. As well as narrating the rise of the mounted arm through campaigns and battles, Duncan Noble draws on all his vast experience as a horseman and experimental archaeologist to discuss with great authority the development of horsemanship, horse management and training and the significant developments in horse harness and saddles.

About The Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, Duncan Noble was an archaeologist whose specialization was in horses in the ancient Middle East. He collects swords and is a keen rider, currently training his fourth war horse on the Welsh moors. He lives in Herefordshire.


Watch the video: Shapur IIs Arab Campaign 325 AD. Total War Cinematic Documentary (January 2022).