Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Dire Escape From Lyncus Of Brasidas And His Peloponnesian Army



In the year 423 BCE, the Athenians and Spartans, who had been in the midst of the Peloponnesian War since 431 BCE, decided to observe an armistice that was planned to last for one year. Athens and Sparta did, indeed, halt the official war, yet smaller states on the periphery of their alliances kept fighting in their own minor feuds. As for the leaders of the war, Athens and Sparta, they also kept up their militancy in ways that would not break the armistice. For Athens, this was a time to crush rebellions and suppress dissidents. On the Peloponnesian side, a general named Brasidas (responsible for many of the aforementioned Athenian rebellions) decided to occupy his time by participating in a joint-invasion alongside his ally, King Perdiccas of Macedonia, against the Kingdom of Lyncus.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Tyrian Troubles Of Alexander The Great



From 336-323 BCE, Alexander the Great undertook a remarkable campaign of warfare and conquest, spanning from the Danube River in Europe, all the way to the Indus River on the edge of India. Interestingly, one of the most trying and frustrating conflicts that Alexander the Great endured during his travels took place relatively early on in his career. By the year 332 BCE, Alexander was advancing deep into Phoenicia, following the coastlines of the lands known now as Syria and Lebanon. Most of the cities in Phoenicia and Cyprus had surrendered to Alexander after news spread of his victories over the Persians at the Granicus River (334 BCE) and Issus (333 BCE). Despite this, the most powerful of the Phoenician cities, the island sea power of Tyre, staunchly kept its relationship with Alexander no warmer than neutral.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Failed Rebellion of The Illyrian King Cleitus Against Alexander The Great



In 335 BCE, Alexander the great campaigned against the hostile tribes along the Danube River in order to ensure the security of his European territory before invading the Persian Empire. Soon after enforcing peace on the Danube tribes, Alexander received troubling news—King Cleitus of Illyria, who submitted to Alexander’s father in 349 BCE, had launched a rebellion against Macedonia. Making maters worse, Cleitus was not alone; the Autariatae tribe gave its support to the Illyrian king, and Prince Glaucias of the Taulantians also raised an army to support Cleitus’ rebellion.

Around the time that Alexander received the news, he was staying with his ally, King Langaros, the ruler of the Agriania. Upon hearing of the rebellion, Langaros offered to personally invade the land of the Autariates, so that Alexander could march against Illyria without any distractions. While King Langaros ravaged the Autariatae, Alexander the Great quickly marched toward Cleitus’ headquarters at the city of Pelium. He made good time (as he usually did) and arrived at the city before Prince Glaucias was able to reinforce the town with his Taulantian troops. Even so, upon the arrival of the Macedonians, the Illyrian forces at Pelium pulled back to the safety of their city and both sides prepared for a siege.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Story Of Grettir And The Undead Glam—One Of The Greatest Medieval Horror Stories



According to the medieval Icelandic text, Grettir’s Saga, an unlucky 11th-century farmer named Thorhall had an extensive farmstead in the Vatnsdal region of northwestern Iceland. His land was called Shady Valley (Forsaeludal) and he had a very grim family—literally, his father and his son were both named Grim. As befitting a grim family living in a place called Shady Valley, Thorhall’s lands were notoriously haunted. His farmstead had such a bad reputation that Thorhall was constantly short on farmhands and herdsmen. Each year he traveled to the Althing, the governing body of Iceland, to beg for farmhands and to seek advice on how to keep his employees around for longer spans of time. Thorhall became so desperate that he sought out the wisest man on Iceland, Skapti Thoroddsson, hoping that the wiseman could find a solution to his problems.

Skapti did not know how to stop the hauntings, but he did know of a Swedish immigrant to Iceland who was hardy enough in strength and skeptical enough of spirits to thrive at Thorhall’s farm. The man Skapti had in mind was Glam, a blue-eyed, grey-haired giant of great size and strength. Glam happened to be at the Althing, so Thorhall interviewed him and determined that he would be a fine herdsman. With the interview over, they arranged for Glam to arrive at Shady Valley in October.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Battle For Delium In 424 BCE—Hillside Charges And Giant Flamethrowers



The Background
424 BCE was a momentous year in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE). Up until that point, the two warring factions, led by Athens and Sparta, had been trading blows for years, and Athens seemed to be gaining a strong advantage. Yet, in 424 BCE, the Spartan side was able to regain a great deal of momentum and morale. The Athenian general and historian, Thucydides (c. 460-400), attributed this shift of power to two men—the Spartan general, Brasidas, and Pagondas of Thebes, the commander-in-chief of the Boeotian League armed forces.