Kozak ROLE OF THE AFRICAN CAVALRY IN THE BARCID ARMY
ROLE OF THE AFRICAN CAVALRY IN THE BARCID ARMY
A. I. Kozak
PhD (History) Independent Researcher email@example.com
The article analyzes the cavalry detachments, which consisted of the inhabitants of Africa, both directly from the subjects of Carthage, and from the tribes allied to the Punics, who formed the core of the Barcid army during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) and played a decisive role in the most major battles, the Libyphoenicians and Numidians. Such aspects as tactics, weapons, the status of horsemen associated with the above-mentioned military formations are considered. It is argued that despite the widespread stereotype of the Numidians and Libyphoenicians as mercenaries, they fought on a voluntary basis. On the one hand, this provided them with a high fighting spirit and motivation, and on the other, they, like any militia, operated only near the territories of their settlement, going on long military campaigns only in small numbers. Attention is paid to the peculiarities of the armament of the African cavalry. Among the Libyphoenicians, this was the Hellenistic manner with chain mail or cuirass, spear and shield. The Numidians used chitons and leather carapaces over which they wore cloaks, and the Thyreos – medium-sized round leather shields. The main offensive weapon of the Numidians was javelins, made entirely of wood, with iron laurel tips. It is proved that due to its set of weapons and professional training, the African cavalry was a universal type of troops. The Carthaginians used it for reconnaissance, foraging, exhausting the enemy and striking at decisive moments of the battle. Not a single military campaign of the Barсids was complete without the participation of these horsemen, who, despite popular belief, were not classic mercenaries, but associated with their commanders by personal loyalty.
Keywords: Carthage, Second Punic War, Hannibal, Numidians, Libyphoenicians, Hellenism, Art of war, weapons, tactics
Preislamic Near East 2021, (2):89-98
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