Comparisons Over 1000s B.C of Years of Western and Asian Warfare War can be defined as organized violence, which is conducted between two rival groups that are well established. It is neither individual nor random and is prosecuted by a social group with a single purpose and resolve…
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In the ancient period, wars occurred for many reasons, some which were petty while others which had long term consequences. Some of the themes related to ancient warfare are the following: the ambitions of the various rulers of the time, the need to acquire scarce resources, wars in the name of religion, and finally the need to emulate the great empires or states that existed at the time. The personal ambitions of various rulers in the ancient world were a major factor behind the wars that occurred during that period. Rulers such as King Xerxes of Persia wanted to secure their positions at home. This was because when these rulers came to their thrones, their positions were very weak due to the fact that they had yet to prove themselves to be worthy of their positions. Very often, they had to go to as many wars as possible early in their reigns to not only to show their battle prowess, but also to prove to those that wanted to overthrow them that any sign of rebellion would be met with brutal force. Another way of proving their worth was by contributing to their forefathers’ legacy by adding to the territories which they had inherited. An example of this was when Xerxes who, within a few years of coming to the throne, embarked on the conquest of Greece which ended in the Persian defeat many years later. The same can be said of Alexander the Great of Macedon who within the ten years that he ruled Macedonia had conquered Persia, the largest and most powerful empire of the time. He did this not only to satisfy his ambition but also because he believed that his birth was divine and that he was therefore worthy of great deeds to prove that he was the son of a god. Until his sudden death at the age of thirty two, his greatest ambition had been to conquer the whole of the known world. A common theme closely related to the above was tyranny, especially in Ancient Greece which occurred mostly between the sixth and the fourth century. Fagan G G and Trundle M (229) state that the tyrants needed a constant supply of money to support not only themselves but also their regimes. These necessitated wars which if won would ensure a constant flow of tribute from the defeated foe. Mercenaries hired themselves to tyrants because of the good pay which they tended to receive, while the tyrants often hired them because their loyalty to their employer remained absolute so long as he kept them paid. The Persian Empire also had a long tradition of hiring mercenaries and this can be seen when one looks at the composition of the Persian army during the invasion of Greece. Soldiers from as far as India and Nubia in Africa were to be found within the Persian ranks and these, especially Nubia, were not even close to Persia. Ancient Egypt was and still is largely a desert with very few resources and heavily dependent on the River Nile as the source of its livelihood. The ancient Egyptians therefore had to look without to find those resources that could not be found in their country but which they really needed to make their lives more comfortable. It was with this in mind that the pharaohs, especially those of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twenty fifth dynasties embarked on a series of wars of conquest to bring other states with vital resources into the Egyptian sphere of influence. At its greatest extent, Egypt controlled Nubia in what are now southern Egypt and northern Sudan, and the whole of Palestine including the Phoenician city states. As a result, exotic goods from tribute
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