Suppression and Punishment by Sortition: Decimation in the Ancient Roman Military

Decimation in Beaver’s Roman Military Punishments, by William Hogarth, c.1725 / Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons Punishment by lot for soldiers in ancient Rome. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.04.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Decimation (Latin: decimatio; decem = “ten”) was a form of military discipline used by senior commanders in the Roman Army to punish units or large groups guilty of[…]

A History of War as Culture

Image by Ancient Origins, Wikimedia Commons Ultimately, there is only one warrior culture. Its evolution and transformation over time and place, from our beginnings to arrival in the contemporary world, is the history of warfare. By Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan Military Historian Easter Island Easter Island is one of the loneliest places on earth,[…]

China’s Semilegendary Period: Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts

King Zhu of the Shang Dynasty Lights the Signal Beacons, a Perspective Picture / Museum of Fine Arts Boston Archaeological discoveries over the past several decades have suddenly infused life into previously shadowy remnants of ancient Chinese civilization. By Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer Senior Research Fellow University of Massachusetts Introduction When warriors battle over territory,[…]

Early Modern Islam-Christian Transfers of Military Technology, 1730-1918

Château de Coussac-Bonneval / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Virginia H. Aksan / 01.14.2011 Professor Emeritus of History McMaster University Introduction Contained after 1700, the Ottoman threat to Europe evolved into an Austro-Russian-Ottoman struggle for hegemony over the remaining frontiers of the Danube, the Crimea and the Caucasus. The era from 1700 to 1900 is generally[…]

Barracks and Conscription: Civil-Military Relations in Europe from 1500

By Dr. John Childs / 08.01.2011 Emeritus Professor of Military History University of Leeds Abstract To operate efficiently, armed forces require physical separation from civilian society, achieved usually through the employment of mercenaries, conscription and the provision of discrete military accommodation. War became more “popular” during the religious conflicts between 1520 and 1648 diluting civil-military[…]

Medieval and Early Modern Warfare and Cultural Transfer, 1450-1789

By Dr. Aaron Graham / 09.22.2015 Professor of History University College London Abstract Warfare was one of the few experiences between 1453 and 1789 that almost every European had in common. Although new causes and technologies emerged during this period there were also strong continuities, and although it caused death and destruction warfare could also[…]