Ancient warfare, bireme, Clusium, Cumae, Etruscan, Etruscan civilization, Greek, Latium, naval history, Naval warfare, pentekonter, Trireme
By Periklis Deligiannis
The prow and ram of the modern trireme Olympias.
After the Etruscan defeat in the land battle of Cumae (524 BC), the Cumaeans and the Etruscans (or Tyrrhenians or Tyrsenians) did not come into heavy fighting until 505 BC. That year, the Latins of the small city-state Aricia called for help the Cumaeans against the Etruscans. In 505 BC the Aricians, the Romans and the other Latins revolted against the Etruscan rule, gaining their independence, but the Tyrrhenians had returned under the leadership of Larth Porsena, the powerful warlord of the city-state Clusium (Etruscan Clevsin). Porsena was sent by the Etruscan Confederacy (‘Dodekapolis’) and managed to recapture rebellious Rome. Then he returned to Clusium to deal with other enemies of the Tyrrhenians, leaving Larth Aruns, his son, to reconquer the other cities of Latium.
The Aricians called the Cumaeans for help, who acceded to their request in order to accomplish a preventative blow to their Tyrrhenian enemies. The aristocratic rulers of Cumae dispatched a military expedition to Aricia under Aristodemos, a veteran hero of the battle of Cumae. The Cumaeans knew that sooner or later the Etruscans would again march against them. The Greek ships sailed to the Latin coast and landed in the territory of the Laurentes, the people of the city-state Lavinium. The Greek military force disembarked and marched to Aricia. The city was under siege by the Etruscans under Aruns. The Cumaeans joined forces with the Aricians and other Latins and confronted the Tyrrhenians in a hoplite battle (the main battle troops of the Etruscans, Greeks and Latins of this period were their Greek-style hoplite phalanxes). Continue reading
Ancient warfare, battle of Cumae, Capua, Cumae, Etruscan, Greek, Herculaneum, hoplite phalanx, hoplites, Italy, Magna Graecia, Naples, Oscans, Pompei
Italian lightly armed warrior (by Peter Connolly), the main type of lightly armed Italian warriors who attacked Cumae in 524 BC. Especially for the peoples of the Apennines, the central mountain range of the Italian peninsula, this was the main combatant type. These hardy and stubborn warriors, mainly Oscan and Southern Umbrian, caused great problems in Rome in the coming centuries. The depicted warrior has a native Italian helmet with a Greek-type plume. He bears a protection plate on his neck and a pactorale – a circular disk to protect his chest. He holds two spears – one heavier and one lighter. He also has a Greek-type sword (copyright: Peter Connolly).
By Periklis Deligiannis
In 745 BC, the Euboean Greek settlers who had colonized years ago, the small island Pithekousai off coast of the Bay of Naples in Italy, founded Cumae (Cyme in Greek, Cumae in Latin) on the opposite coast. Cumae was the first ‘official’ Greek colony in the Italian peninsula. Pithekousai was actually the first, but ‘unofficial’ colony in Italy. Cumae took its name from the Euboean Cyme, rather as a neutral compromise between Chalkidean and Eretrian settlers, the most numerous among the Euboeans. Chalkis and Eretria were the most powerful city-states of the large island Euboea in the Aegean Sea.
Soon Cumae, enhanced by new colonists from Chalcis, Eretria, the Euboean Cyme, Tanagra (Boeotia), Cirinthos (Euboea) and Oropia (Boeotia), expanded in the fertile land of the Phlegraian Fields to the north. Later, further more Greek colonists arrived in Cumae from Magna Graecia, Samos etc. founding subsidiary colonies and thereby increasing the extent of the Cumaean territory. Among the Cumaean colonies, Neapolis (modern Naples) would become the most important. In other cases, the Greeks settled in existing villages o f the indigenous Ausones, turning them into Greek colonies, as it happened in Pompeii, Heraklion (Herculaneum), etc. Thus the boundaries of the Cumaean territory were approaching fast the river Volturnus, but soon they were confined by a powerful enemy: the Etruscans (or Tyrrhenians as the Greeks used to call them), the people of Etruria (modern Tuscany), mostly of Anatolian origins (from Lydia, Asia Minor).
The competition between the Greeks and the Etruscans was older enough. The mythographer Palaifatos (“On Unbelievers”) assures that the sea monster Scylla, which Odysseus encountered on his wanderings (“Odyssey”), represented the danger facing the Greek merchant ships in the Strait of Messina, from the Etruscan pirates.
Ancient warfare, Attic, Etruscan, Etruscans, Greek, Iapyges, Italo-Corinthian, Italy, Lucania, Military history, Oscan, Roman, Rome, Samnites, Tarquinia
By Periklis Deligiannis
An Osco-Attic helmet of the Lucanians with many characteristic Oscan novelties.
Etruscan hoplites of Tarquinia with Greek arms and armour, 4th century BC. The hoplite on the right wears a proper Attic helmet. The left one wears a mixed Phrygo-Attic helmet.
The peoples of ancient Italy, firstly the Etruscans and the Iapyges (later known as ‘Apulians’), used almost all types of the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Greek helmets: the Corinthian, the Chalkidean, the Attic (Athenian), the Boeotian (for the cavalry) and later the Thracian, the Phrygian and all the Hellenistic types. They had particular preference for the first three types. In this article, I will deal specifically with two types of helmets in Italy which originated from the evolution of the original Greek respective ones: the Italo-Corinthian and the Italo-Attic or Osco-Attic helmet (in fact, the Osco-Attic is the main variety of the Italo-Attic group of helmets).
The Italo-Corinthian helmet (also known as Pseudo-Corinthian, Apulo-Corinthian or Etrusco-Corinthian ) was born out of the habit of the warriors of Italy to wear their Corinthian helmet raised, even when the battle began. Because of this, the protective visor gradually evolved into a decorative ‘pseudo-visor’ while the helmet was manufactured in a manner that did not cover the face anymore. In the later centuries, Attic-type cheek-protectors were added in it.
Athenian, Athens, Attic, Attic helmet, Byzantine Empire, Carthage, Etruscan, Etruscans, Euboea, Military history, Roman, Sparta
By Periklis Deligiannis
The standard type of Attic/Athenian helmet of the Roman officers.
The Attic or Athenian helmet was an invention of the ancient Athenians, derived from a transformation of the older Chalkidean casque (or Chalkidian). The History of the Attic helmet spans to more than a thousand years and belongs paradoxically, more to the Italian-Roman rather than the Greek arsenal.
The ancestral Chalkidean helmet (6th century BC) was a “lighter” type of the even older and famous Corinthian or Dorian helmet (the typical helmet of the Classical Spartans). The Chalkidean helmet came from the attempt of the Chalkideans to solve the problem of the limited vision and hearing of the hoplite, because of his Corinthian helmet. The Chalkideans were the people of the city-state Chalkis in the island Euboea, famous for its weaponry during the Archaic Era (7th cent. – 479 BC). It seems that the Chalkidean helmet was popular in Athens and Attica, as we can see in the Athenian vase-paintings. This preference might be due partly to the Ionic ethnological affinities of the Athenians and Euboeans.