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Author Topic: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion  (Read 708 times)

Offline Wellington

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Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« on: June 28, 2021, 11:00:53 AM »
Hi!

Can anybody suggest a book about the armies of Mithridates VI. Eupator? the are not many book about him, and it seem none about the military aspects.

Cheers

Wellington
A life without Samurai is possible, but not desirable!

Online SJWi

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2021, 11:45:38 AM »
I don’t know of any specific book on his army. There is Philip Matyszak’s “Mithridates the Great” and I understand “Armies of the Hellenistic States” by Gabrielle Esposito covers Pontus. However the book is only c150 pages long so I suggest coverage could be sparse!

Offline Irregular Wars Nic

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2021, 07:32:00 PM »
I'm going to be 'that guy' and suggest you go straight to Appian's Mithridatic Wars. You'll find that most modern sources are based on that anyway.

Online SJWi

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2021, 08:02:07 PM »
Nic, good call. Must buy it myself! Would you recommend and particular edition?

Thanks.

Offline Muzfish4

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2021, 02:39:05 PM »
Nic, good call. Must buy it myself! Would you recommend and particular edition?

Thanks.

Loeb is usually a good bet. The translation may be a little dated but the text is complete (and usually has some useful notes). There is English on one page and Greek on the facing page which is handy if you have a little of the language but are not a fluent reader.

Offline OB

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2021, 01:19:02 PM »
Adrian Goldsworthy advised Philip Matyszak on the military aspects for his "Mithridates the Great" so it's alright on the battles and troop types.

There is also Alfred Duggan's biography of Mithridates"He Died Old".  Decades old but a nice read.

They both use the same sources and as you might expect come to pretty much the same conclusions-more or less.

Offline LazyStudent

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2021, 02:05:39 PM »
Hi Wellington,

I have not personally read it, but I have seen several good reviews about Richard Taylor's book, The Macedonian Phalanx. It looks to cover up to at least the start of the Mithridatic wars.

It is available from Berliner Zinnfiguren: https://www.zinnfigur.com/en/Books-Media/Books/Ancient/Taylor-Richard-The-Macedonian-Phalanx-Equipment-Organization-Tactics-from-Philip-Alexander-to-the-Roman-Conquest.html

Best,
LS
"History is a set of lies agreed upon.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte

Offline Irregular Wars Nic

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2021, 12:21:45 PM »
Loeb is usually a good bet. The translation may be a little dated but the text is complete (and usually has some useful notes). There is English on one page and Greek on the facing page which is handy if you have a little of the language but are not a fluent reader.

Yes, that would be my bet.

Offline Wellington

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2021, 12:25:32 PM »
Thx for alle the suggestions!

Offline Richard in Sachsen

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2021, 06:22:20 PM »
If you are looking for background, the above suggestions are great and I think Nic is right on with Appian although the autobiographies are good as well.

If you are (like I was) desperate to find something on uniforms and color schemes, etc. Good Luck! There doesn't seem to be much out there, and disappointing from Osprey that they have nothing.

The one book that I found helpful for getting my Pontic Army together (FoG army list), was Stéphane Thion's Le Soldat Lagide de Ptolémée Ier Sôter à Cléopâtre published by LRT Editions.

Don't worry that it's in French if you don't speak French because the whole book is full-frontal, computer-generated illustrations of Hellenistic troops (albeit Ptolemaic). It has a range of tunic colors and even answers what goes on standards - from this source, it seems that it is the first two Greek letters from the city the unit is from.

So, for my Pontics, I followed the uniform colouring and used sea-greens and sea-blues heavily in my palate because for some reason they seem to be the right colors in my own imagination for Pontus. And unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, there's no evidence to say otherwise.

Like I said, if you are just looking for background info, you can't go wrong with the above suggestions. If you have a lead pile and don't have the first clue on how to begin painting them (like me), then I cannot recommend Thion's book enough (and it's not expensive, about the size of an Osprey book).

If you are interested, this is how I ended up painting my Pontics: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=103308.msg1284302#msg1284302
You go to war with the figures you have, not the figures you wish you had!

Offline Easy E

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2021, 06:27:10 PM »
When it comes to uniforms and the like, Ancient armies are mostly a "bring what you got" look to them.  The idea that they all look the same and have a uniform is an illusion at best, and just flat out wrong at worst. 

Therefore, do not stress yourself out about it.  As long as it looks good to you, and your friends can tell which unit is which..... you will be fine.

I know..... a crazy opinion. 
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Offline OB

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Re: Mithridates VI. Eupator - book suggestion
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2021, 07:02:01 PM »
Here are a couple of suggestions.

Pontic coins use a Macedonian star adjacent to a crescent moon motif. It would make a good shield blazon for the troops Mithridates personally raised and equipped.  We should recall that Mithridates was very wealthy and wasn't shy of spending money in a good cause.

The phalanx of ex slaves who fought for Mithridates were very determined troops.  I think it likely that most of them had very recently been enslaved by the Romans.  Resisting Roman imposed slavery was a key aim of the Pontic war strategy hence the general massacre of Roman and Italian Merchants.

It is likely that Mithridates had to provide clothing as well as arms for his ex slave soldiers.  Possibly this was in a uniform-ish colour.  Macedonian red might be a reasonable guess.

That's a very nice looking Pontic Army Richard.

 

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