What was the Claw of Archimedes?

Introduction The Claw of Archimedes (Ancient Greek: Ἁρπάγη, romanised: harpágē, lit. ’snatcher’; also known as the “iron hand”) was an ancient weapon devised by Archimedes to defend the seaward portion of Syracuse’s city wall against amphibious assault. Background Although its exact nature is unclear, the accounts of ancient historians describe it as a sort of crane… Read More

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What was the Trojan War (1260-1180 BC)?

Introduction In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta (1194-1184 BC, traditional datinancieng and 1260-1180 BC, modern dating). The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been… Read More

What is War?

Introduction War is an intense armed conflict [see note below] between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterised by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars… Read More

What was the Battle of White Tunis (310 BC)?

Introduction The Battle of White Tunis was fought between Carthage and the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse in 310 BC. It was the first large battle of the Agathocles’ military expedition to Libya. Even though heavily outnumbered by the Carthaginian army, the soldiers of Agathocles were far more experienced in warfare than the Carthaginian citizen soldiers.… Read More

What was the Siege of Syracuse (311-309 BC)?

Introduction The Siege of Syracuse by the Carthaginians from 311 to 309 BC followed shortly after the Battle of the Himera River in the same year. In that battle the Carthaginians, under the leadership of Hamilcar the son of Gisco, had defeated the tyrant of Syracuse, Agathocles. Agathocles had to retreat to Syracuse and lost… Read More

What was the Battle of the Himera River (311 BC)?

Introduction The Battle of the Himera River was fought in 311 BC between Carthage and Syracuse near the mouth of the Himera river (the modern Salso river). Hamilcar, grandson of Hanno the Great, led the Carthaginians, while the Syracusans were led by Agathocles. Agathocles initially surprised the Carthaginians with an attack on their camp, but… Read More

What was the Battle of Crimissus (339 BC)?

Introduction The Battle of the Crimissus (also spelled Crimisus and Crimesus) was fought in 339 BC between a large Carthaginian army commanded by Asdrubal and Hamilcar and an army from Syracuse led by Timoleon. Timoleon attacked the Carthaginian army by surprise near the Crimissus river in western Sicily (originally it was thought that it was… Read More