By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” But all the little streams higher up in the Forest went this way and that, quickly, eagerly, having so much to find out before it was too late.
Alfie Enoch as PC Peter Grant Paul McGann as DCI Thomas Nightingale Kerrie Hayes as PC Lesley May Sebastian Roché as Dr Abdul Haqq Walid Vincent Regan as DCI Alexander Seawoll Kiri Pritchard-McLean as DS Miriam Stephanopoulos Sophie Okonedo as Lady Tyburn Freema Agyeman as Beverley Brook Cynthia Erivo as Mama Thames Léa Seydoux as Molly David Morrissey as Frank Caffrey Toby as Himself
“Is Bruce in here?” Tim figured he might be— Bruce spent a lot of time in the children’s wing of Wayne Enterprises. There were a dozen or so kids in daycare most weekdays, and Bruce liked to hang out.
Tim liked to hang out too. They had nice snacks, and he’d known most of the kids since they were toddlers. And sometimes naps were mandatory.
“Conference call,” Damian told him. (For someone who claimed to hate naps, snackfood, kids, and humanity in general, Damian also spent a lot of time in the children’s wing.) “I don’t know where.”
He went back to what he was doing, which was arranging a set of pewter soldiers into a complex model of a battlefield, presumably for the benefit of the preschooler sitting next to him.
“The Battle of Issus, 333 BC.”
“Right, obviously.” Tim decided he was curious, so he settled down on the mats to watch. Damian finished his model; he pulled a marker from the art table and used it as a pointer.
“Okay. This is the Macedonian army, outnumbered but in the better tactical position, south of the Pinarus River. Their leader is Alexander the Great. And this—” He pointed to his enemy line. “—is the Achaemenid Empire. They’re about to lose.”
Damian tapped his marker on the Macedonian right. “This is the companion calvary, Alexander’s elite force, and they—” he cut off when he noticed his pupil digging in the toy bin, clearly distracted. The kid came up with a battered Transformer, which he set behind Damian’s lines.
“Elliot. Alexander did not have robots.”
“But,” said Tim, rummaging through the box himself, “did he have wizards?” He pulled a bearded magician out of the tub and held it up for Damian to see.
“You know he didn’t.”
Tim passed the wizard to Elliot. “But what if he did?”
“How would that go?”
“Abracadabra, Alexander!” Elliot yelled, gleefully smashing through Damian’s entire left flank.
“Damn it, Drake.” Damian sighed in frustration— not quite the rise Tim was hoping for, but still something. He dropped Elliot’s discarded robot back into the box.
“I don’t know what you were expecting,” Tim told him. “Elliot’s four. He’s too young for— what is this— military history?”
“He was doing fine before you showed up.” Damian started to re-erect his soldiers, but he gave it up after Elliot came in for a second pass. “Which is typical, isn’t it?”
“Thank you.” Damian crossed his arms. “Fine. I’ll bite. When is he supposed to learn this kind of thing?”
“High school? Maybe never.”
“That can’t be right.”
“Have I ever lied to you?”
“Frequently.” Damian rolled his eyes. “I’m getting a second opinion.”
Damian checked the room for potential allies. “Thomas?” he called over his shoulder, “You learned military strategy as a kid, right?”
Duke looked up from the book he was reading to a pair of kindergardeners. “Just you, man.”
“Told you.” Tim fished a bag of plastic ninja from the toy box and arranged them pointedly into a row. “How are you still surprised by this kind of thing?”
Damian glared at him. “Okay, first of all? I’m not a— hold on a second. Elliot!”
Elliot froze with a large, plastic dinosaur held aloft over the battlefield. He drew it sheepishly back to his chest. “Sorry.”
“Not in the calvary wing,” Damian told him. “You’ll scare the horses.”
“Here?” Elliot pointed to the front of the phalanx.
“Aim for his center.” Damian turned back to Tim. “Anyway. Why are you still talking to me? I thought we had an agreement about unnecessary contact.”
Alexander and the Thracian hill-men at Mount Haemus:
After Philip’s death, his son Alexander III (the Great) sought to quell rebellions and secure the Greek mainland and Balkans before launching his campaign against Persia. In 335 BCE Alexander marched toward the area of the sword-bearing hill-men known as the Dii or ‘Free Thracians’, those who remained out of the control of Philip II’s earlier Balkan campaign. Alexander arrived at a narrow canyon called the Trojan Pass where the Dii awaited them from the summit of the Haemus Mountains; here the Dii had assembled their carts into a stockade. If Alexander were to march uphill through a narrow and restrictive path against a fortified and entrenched foe his losses would be more than he would’ve thought acceptable. Instead Alexander assumed that the Dii would become impatient enough to force the carts downhill towards Alexander’s tightly formed phalanxes in attempt to disrupt them then rush downhill from their advantageous position to attack Alexander. Expecting this to occur, Alexander devised a plan.
“he ordered the heavy-armed soldiers, as soon as the wagons began to rush down the declivity, to open their ranks, and directed that those whom the road was sufficiently wide to permit to do so should stand apart, so that the wagons plight roll through the gap; but that those who were hemmed m on all sides should either stoop down together or even fall flat on the ground, and lock their shields compactly together, so that the wagons rushing down upon them, and in all probability by their very impetus leaping over them, might pass on without injuring them.” – The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian of Nicomedia, book 1.
It went as planned so with no injured soldiers Alexander ordered his archers to repel and cut down the Dii (Thracians) while his phalanx drove them away. In the end the Dii discarded their arms and fled.
“About 1,500 of them were killed; but only a few were taken prisoners on account of their swiftness of foot and acquaintance with the country. However, all the women who were accompanying them were captured, as were also their children and all their booty.” – The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian of Nicomedia, book 1.
Alexander and the Triballi:
Alexander then marched from the Haemus mountains into the land of the Triballi (Thraco-Illyrians) whose king (Syrmus), women and children sought refuge at Peuce island on the Danube River to the north. The Triballi who remained in their home territory marched south to a river Alexander had crossed that same day and encamped there. Alexander heard of their operations and led a surprise assault against the Triballian camp. Surprised, the Triballi fled to a nearby “woody glen along the bank of the river” (Arrian, II). Alexander, wishing to utilize his horsemen and phalanx which did better on open ground, sent his archers and stone-slingers to harass and lure the Triballi out of the wood. Again, just as expected, Alexander was able to lure the enemy out of their advantageous position. As the Triballi rushed forward to attack the archers, Alexander sent his cavalrymen to charge the Triballi on their left and right flank while he himself led his phalanx and cavalry forward to the Triballian center. This flanking formation forced the Triballi to flee into the wooded glen.
“at length they turned and fled through the woody glen to the river. Three thousand were slain in the flight; few of them were taken prisoners, both because there was a dense wood in front of the river, and the approach of night deprived the Macedonians of certainty in their pursuit. Ptolemy says, that of the Macedonians themselves eleven horsemen and about forty foot soldiers were killed.” – The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian of Nicomedia, book 2.
With the Balkans subjugated Alexander would go on to employ Thracians, Illyrians and the Paeonians (Thraco-illyrians). In his army these Balkan peoples took on the role of cavalrymen, scouts and skirmishers who would either defend his armies flanks and cavalrymen or harass and shred the enemies’ numbers.
“He excited the Illyrians and Thracians by describing the enemy’s wealth and treasures” – Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus by Marcus Junianus Justinus, 11.9.
“When Alexander had conquered and subdued Thrace and was setting out for Asia, fearing that after his departure the Thracians would take up arms, he took with him, as though by way of conferring honor, their kings and officials — all in fact who seemed to take to heart the loss of freedom. In charge of those left behind he placed common and ordinary persons, thus preventing the officials from wishing to make any change, as being bound to him by favors, and the common people from even being able to do so, since they had been deprived of their leaders.” – Stratagems by Sextus Julius Frontinus, 2.11.3.
During Alexander’s campaigns against the Persians and even after his death, the Thracians continued resisting Hellenistic rule. The resistance continued until the famed Eastern Gallic invasion of the Balkans where these Celts undermined and fractured Hellenistic rule while securing their dominion over Thrace. The Gallic grip on Thrace held until 212 BCE when the Thracian king Pleuratus led an assault on the Gallic capital of Tylis which resulted in the expulsion of the Gauls and the reestablishment of Thracian rule.
I cover this invasion and these eastern Celts in my posts:
GAULS OF THE EAST: PART 1 – BANDITS OF THE BALKANS. In this post I cover the rarely spoken of Gauls of southeastern Europe, their invasion of Greece, employment as mercenaries under Ptolemaic Egypt, their rebellious and warlike society as well as their little known kingdom of Tylis in Thrace. I will also cover their weaponry, armors and some archaeological finds.
GAULS OF THE EAST: PART 2 – HELLENIZED GALATIANS OF ASIA MINOR. In this post cover the Celts who migrated into Asia Minor, established a Greco-Gallic state, became renowned as warriors and mercenaries, played an integral part in the Hellenistic ‘Game of Thrones’ of the Diadochi (Alexander the Great’s successor), ravaged and terrorized the region, as well as forcing “tribute on the whole of Asia west of the Taurus” (Livy, 38.16.12). I’ll also speak about their armors, weaponry and how they may have inspired some Greek and Roman arms as well as some military units.
Head over to my post, ‘THRACIANS, REAPERS OF THE BALKANS’, to learn about their culture, religion, weaponry, armors, battle tactics, and their influence on the ancient world. Their history as well, from the tales in the Iliad to the era of the Greco-Persian Wars, the rise of Macedon under Philip II (Alexander the Great’s father), and the Roman conquests of the Balkans.