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6 - Warfare

from Part I - Global developments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2015

Benjamin Z. Kedar
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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This chapter examines why wars were fought, by whom, and how, including questions of recruitment, equipment, and organization of armed forces as well as strategy, tactics, and logistics. It introduces an early example of steppe empire building, followed by examination of three civilizations that had to address the problem of attacks from the steppe: China, Persia, and Byzantium. The chapter examines the history of the two great agro-urban empires of the West and the Middle East, Rome and Persia. In the mid-thirteenth century, Europeans met two strong new adversaries who proved fully a match for them: the Mongols, who won crushing victories in Hungary and Poland, and the Mamluks, who defeated Louis IX's great effort to seize Egypt, beat even the Mongols at 'Ayn Jalut in 1260 and finally eliminated the last remnants of the Frankish States in the Levant.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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