This is not the age of the amateur. There is every inducement for the specialist to remain a specialist, and if he strays beyond the limits of his particular field, he will be mistrusted, and perhaps rightly. But there are times when he has no choice but to do so, and to risk the consequences; there are some fields which are so untrodden that the amateur will find himself in good company, or perhaps in no company at all. And there are times when the classicist, the Old Testament scholar, and certainly the Egyptologist will need to remind themselves that the world of the eastern Mediterranean was never a large one, and that communications in the first millennium B.C. were not so rudimentary. A month's journey could have covered much ground, or sea: and some people had the courage to travel far longer than this.
Herodotus (5.115) records how, shortly after the outbreak of the Ionian revolt, the Persians launched a counter-attack, retook Sardis in Lydia, and turned south across the river Maeander into the thickly-wooded areas beyond. It was no time to be a defender. Two disastrous engagements are recorded, together with some Herodotean numbers of dead, but the few survivors succeeded in laying a night ambush for the invading Persians, and cut them to pieces. All three Persian commanders perished. As it happened, it was no time to be a Persian.