Alexander in Italy, 317 B.C.

When he died in Babylon in 323 B.C., Alexander the Great of Macedonia had plans to continue his career of conquest, and these included Italy. The first century B.C. Roman historian Livy contemplated what might have happened had Alexander fought the Roman Republic. Livy had a strong opinion as to the outcome of a confrontation that never actually happened, and I have mine. Will you agree with my take on this extraordinary “what if?” Read my article, “Alexander in Italy, 317 BC,” in the May/June 2021 issue of Ancient Warfare magazine to find out. It’s on the shelves of bookshops now.

Breakaway Empires

Third-century Rome was beset by many problems, including foreign invasions and internal rebellions. So bad did its security crisis become that huge chunks of the empire, east and west, broke off to temporarily form their own states. How and why did this happen? Why did these mini-empires ultimately fail? Find out by listening to the latest episode of Ancient Warfare podcast.

AW146 – Breakaway empires of the third century AD

Simulating Ancient Warfare

Wargaming is older than you might think. If you have ever played chess, you’ve played an ancient and highly abstract wargame. Other, more recently-produced wargames are more attentive to the specifics of the battlefield, and just about every period from ancient to modern has been turned into a game of one kind or another. The question arises: How much of a “game” is a wargame supposed to be, and how much instead is it to be a simulation of actual events? That was one of the many questions that the gentlemen-scholars of the Ancient Warfare Magazine podcast and I tackled in the latest episode. Give it a listen and see if you agree with our conclusions!

Black Saturday: The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

England and Scotland have a long history together, and it includes a number of wars stretching back to the Middle Ages. Among the most famous Anglo-Scottish battles is that of Pinkie Cleugh. Fought on September 10, 1547, it was a resounding victory for the English. Scottish losses were so heavy that it came to be known as “Black Saturday” among them. Want to read the whole story? Give my article, “Black Saturday” a look in the December issue of Military History Monthly, out now in the U.K. It will be a couple more weeks or so before it hits the shelves in North America. I hope you enjoy it!

Bookazine!

Two of my earlier articles have been judged worthy to find their way into All About History’s Annual bookazine! The first is ‘Roman Mystery Cults’, a look at several religious cults of the ancient world that are not as well known as those dedicated to the more familiar Olympian deities. The second is ‘Hannibal Barca: Enemy of Rome.’ Yes, it really is about Hannibal of Carthage, and right again, he also did not like ancient Rome, not even a little. Look for the Annual on the magazine rack of your local bookstore if you’re in there soon.  

Through the Dimensional Gates!

Big news! I’ve just had a short story, “Yesterday’s Battlefield,” appear in the science fiction anthology Dimensional Gates! Published by ZMOK Books, Dimensional Gates is set in the same universe as the miniatures battle game Beyond the Gates of Antares, the latest masterpiece from the legendary designer, Rick Priestley, who is also the creator of the famed Warhammer 40,000.
Here is the background of Antares: In the far future, six ages have come and gone, and in the current, Seventh Age, humanity has built an ultra-high-tech galactic civilization tenuously linked by transdimensional gates clustered around the red giant star Antares. Antares, however, is actually not a star, but is rather a massive alien machine that allows faster-than-light travel through space. Intrepid explorers, merchants, and military men go through these star gates seeking riches and lost technology. The result of their efforts is anything but peaceful, and Beyond the Gates of Antares is all about their conflicts. “Yesterday’s Battlefield” is about one such explorer who transits a gate to an unknown star and bites off more than he can chew.
Thank you to ZMOK Books for publishing my story, and thank you also to Rick Priestley for conjuring up such an extraordinary universe in which to set it.