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Battle of Gaugamela: Alexander Versus Darius

On Sept. 30, 331 BC, the fate of the Greek and Persian empires was decided on a plain 70 miles north of present-day Irbil, Iraq. Alexander the Great faced King Darius III, also called Darius Codomanus, in battle near the hamlet of Gaugamela.
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The Guns of Constantinople

History's first great artillery barrage, in 1453, allowed Mehmed to capture Constantinople when all previous Ottoman attempts had failed. Ironically, his cannon were created by a Hungarian named Orban who had once been employed to defend the city.
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Rome’s Craftiest General: Scipio Africanus

Scipio Africanus learned the art of war in the hardest and bloodiest of all forums—on the battlefield against Hannibal. At Zama, he applied his lessons, giving Rome victory in the Second Punic War.
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Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet

Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was also a truly great general. In the space of a single decade he fought eight major battles, led eighteen raids, and planned another thirty-eight military operations.
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Julius Caesar’s Triumph in Gaul

Caesar completely misread the situation in Gaul in 52 BC, leading to a military crisis. He overcame this failure through his own talent as a commander, the skill of his army, and a good deal of luck.
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Dorchester: A Step Back

Surrounded by some of England’s most beautiful scenery, the town of Dorchester is a pleasant step back in time.
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Rome’s Barbarian Mercenaries

The transition from a citizen’s army to a very nearly mercenary one did not go smoothly. To many Romans, the same barbarians so admired for their military prowess were also the enemy.
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Ancient Chepstow: Gateway to Wales

Whoever controlled Chepstow controlled access to South Wales. Once protected by Chepstow Castle from invaders, today the town happily welcomes hoardes of tourists.
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Mark Antony’s Persian Campaign

On June 9, 53 bc, hard-riding Parthian horse-archers from the Persian heartland lured a Roman infantry army into open country at Carrhae and surrounded it. Darting swiftly across the plains, the Parthians...
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Weaponry: Greek Phalanx

The phalanx dominated Greek warfare for three centuries, but fell before combined-arms forces.

By Brian Todd Carey

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Arms and Men: The Trebuchet

The trebuchet was the first war engine to employ the principles of gravity and leverage to hurl a projectile. Not until modern times did the cannon eclipse it.
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Second Punic War: Battle of Zama

The Carthaginian and Roman commanders Hannibal and Scipio both had a solid string of victories to their credit when they met in 202 bc. Only one of them would emerge victorious this time.

By Daniel A. Fournie

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Assyrian March Against Judah

Christianity, Judaism and Islam exist today because of Assyrian warrior King Sennacherib's decision to strike a deal with besieged Jerusalem.

By Philip Stern

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Peloponnesian War: Battle of Pylos

A storm at sea set the stage for a siege, a naval battle and an island assault whose outcome astonished all of ancient Greece.

By Richard M. Berthold