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Author Topic: Neo-Babylonians  (Read 32 times)

IanN

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Neo-Babylonians
« on: November 22, 2020, 03:15:26 PM »
In the WRG book "Armies and Enemies of the Ancient Near East", under the Neo-Babylonian figures in diagram 160, three figures are shown. 160a is an Chaldean archer, 160b is an archer with spear, and 160c a spearman with a large shield. These figures may represent the Babylonian "archers behind long-shield spears" (or may indicate separate units of spearmen behind large shields (as used by contemporary Assyrians) These troops are an option in the Neo-Babylonian list from 626BCE onwards.  Such troops were testified as used by the Elamites as early as 660BCE - at which time the Elamites and the Babylonians were allied.  There is also reference to cavalry dressed identically to 160b (ie unprotected cavalry with spear and bow - similar to that listed under later Elamites.
After the collapse of the Assryian Empire, the Babylonians undertook an expansionist policy and campaigned vigorously, conquering most of the old Assyrian territory, Phoenicia, Israel, Palestine, Asia Minor and Arabia (these campaigns are detailed in the Babylonian Chronicles); and is is frequently stated that they adopted many of the military systems of the peoples they conquered. Indeed Babylonian cavalry are also indistinguishable from Assyrian ones; whilst references to Babylonian infantry reforms are scarce to non-existent.  Figure also specifies the figures as Chaldean (whereas those from Babylon are referred to as Akkadian).
In the Neo-Babylonian list the "archers behind long-shield spears" are listed as a separate troops type from Chaldean archers. This is not the case, these troops are referred to as Chaldean.
I propose that
- Chaldean archers may be upgraded to "archers behind long-shield spears"  : any or all (fwiw I believe these should be the default mandatory troop type, rather than the tribal archers; and non-upgraded Chaldean archer may be redefined as Skirmishers.
- there may be an argument for spearmen with large shild (figure 160c). These would be similar to Assyrians (ie FL, Loose, Prot, Short Spear, Shield cover), with a max of 8
- the Greek mercenaries in the list are insufficient, at Carchemish they were said to be in substantial numbers. (Increase to 12 ??)

It is interesting that the Babylonian Chronicles detailing this period refer attacking with spearmen, but never mention archers.  Go figure