The History Network

A fortnightly military history podcast looking at all aspect of war throughout the ages.

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episode 4: The ubiquity of the Cretan Archer in Ancient Warfare - Part 1


When a contingent of archers is mentioned in the context of Greek and Roman armies, more often than not the culture associated with them is that of Crete. Indeed, when we just have archers mentioned in an army without a specified origin, Cretan archers are commonly assumed to be meant, so ubiquitous with archery and groups of mercenary archers were the Cretans. The Cretans are the most famous, but certainly not the only ‘nation’ associated with a particular fighting style (Rhodian slingers and Thracian peltasts leap to mind but there are others too). The long history of Cretan archers can be seen in the sources – according to some stretching from the First Messenian War right down to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Even in the reliable historical record we find Cretan archer units from the Peloponnesian War well into the Roman period. Dur: 14mins File: .mp3


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 2020-04-19  13m