I’m excited that Assassin’s Creed Origin’s setting is ~49BC Egypt, during the tail end of the Ptolemaic Dynasty.
This Egypt is going to be vibrant and diverse- an ancient crossroads of trade, science, art, cultures, religions, peoples etc.
This Diadochi state had a military that was composed of a foreign core- Hellenic/Greek settlers and mercenaries from Galatia (the Ptolemies were especially fond of these Celtic warriors and hired them en masse to serve as their shock troops), Thrace, Nubia and Ethiopia, Arabia, the Levant, etc. While at this late stage of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, native Egyptians were much more integrated into the Ptolemaic socio-military hierarchy, it sets up that interesting history of tension between the Greek foreign rulers/elites and the native Egyptians (which Bayek, as a Medjay, likely represents).
To add onto this interesting setting is the political situation. Ptolemaic 49BC should involve the conflict between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII Philopators’ rule of Egypt. Furthermore, Ptolemies had been longtime allies of the Roman Republic and, at this point, was very intertwined with the Roman military and trade. What was happening with Rome in ~49BC? It’s the start of Great Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar’s Populares and Pompey Optimates.
I just… I really love ancient history. AC chose a really cool setting that’s really vibrant and complicated that they can get super creative with. I’m hype.
The rightful One and the girl with the violet eyes. The One, who walks through fire and does not burn. The girl, born of the twelve. Their fates mapped together become the fate of the Circle. Through their union, the birthright of the Diadochi is uncovered. The riches of Iskander, the power of Zeus, the means to vanquish the greatest enemies. The One, when it is his, becomes invincible.
I like to imagine that the Nohrian army has a more regimental organization than its Hoshidan counterpart. In particular, I like to think that the army operates similarly to European armies from the late 1400s to the early 1600s (Renaissance, Wars of Religion, etc).
For the rank and file Nohrian, battles are probably formational in nature. Imagine pike and shot warfare- Swiss pikemen, landsknechts, Spanish tercios, etc. Picture rows of halberds and lances interlocked in a tight phalanx, marching and turning in unison. This would be supported by the equivalent of rodeleros- Mercenaries and Fighters- who would form a flexible offensive supporting arm of the infantry corps. Similar to a tercio, fighting blocs would also include a handful of embedded ranged troops- likely Dark Mages and maybe the odd Outlaw (though they’re probably deployed as irregular scouts and spies tbh).
While disciplined infantry presents an indomitable core, the real killing arm of Nohr is it’s mighty cavalry. Swift and heavily armored, they are the hammer to the infantry’s anvil. In a single, well placed charge, they could plow through and crush the enemy between the weight of their charge and the immovable wall of spears of the Nohrian infantry. (In a way, I guess this form of warfare is also similar to that of the Hellenic Diadochi but Nohr’s aesthetic and armament is clearly late Medieval/early modern).
This might be the reason why Leo and Xander seem to be so obsessed with army drills, unit positioning, and formations. The Nohrian army is an efficient killing machine but it breaks down if it’s mishandled. Without discipline and clear command, the Nohrian phalanx breaks down. Without correct support, the pike line is too slow and inflexible and will get cut to shreds by missile fire or get outflanked. Too far outside of the phalanx, and Nohrian mages and Outlaws are vulnerable and outgunned. The cavalry are a mighty and decisive force, but a badly timed charge will get them bogged down and cut into pieces.
In short, Nohr’s military is an army of soldiers run by strict discipline, careful planning, and regimental synergy.
Next time: Hoshido and Muromachi/early Sengoku Jidai warfare (though this’ll prolly take a while and might change because i still need to play Birthright)
If we mean specifically the generals, then I’d say they were astute, capable and (overly) ambitious.
The Successor States in general… they grew complacent, and weak, and never tired of in-fighting. Even Ptolemaic Egypt was pretty useless eventually. The eventual dominance - in wealth, manpower, culture, stability - of the East under Rome seems to prove it was the Hellenistic dynasties that were themselves petty and unstable, not the region or peoples themselves.
Hii :) Do you have any recs for books on the Seleucid empire or the Diadochi and Epigoni in general? I'm a history student, and I studied Ancient Greek history for 2 semesters last year, but my course profs gave us only one good book for the whole post-Alexander epoch. Thanks in advance :)
hullo! okay so conveniently i spent a semester doing a course called after alexander which was literally just diadochi all day every day and i can still get at the course materials, so i’m just going to throw a bunch of titles harvested from the course bibliography at you to see what sticks - it’s been a while since i read literally any of these, though, so if anyone who’s actually looked at this stuff recently has recs plz chip in. it was mostly primary-source-based, which was super fun and involved heavy use of the hellenistic world: from alexander to the roman conquest - a selection of ancient sources in translationby michael austin, which is basically every primary source on the post-alexandrian empire you could ever want. the other textbooks we were assigned (one totally-coincidentally edited by my lecturer lmao erskine u transparent fuck) were a companion to the hellenistic worldand shipley’s the greek world after alexander 323-30bc, which isdown in the handbook as “the best single author synthesis of scholarship on the Hellenistic World”, so
some other general stuff which i remember looking at:
that’s a few titles from the bibliography - it’s broken down by topic so if there’s anything aside from seleucus that interests you i can look for more, but that’s what looks like it might be the most helpful to you for now!