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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Sun 28 Sep, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Any information available on the Persian Kardakes?         Reply with quote

I'm putting together a report on the Battle of Issus for one of my classes, and Arrian's account of the battle mentions a Persian unit called kardakes (cardaces in some translations). My primary translation of Arrian says it is unclear whether they were heavy, medium, or light infantry, but an older translation says they were heavy infantry.

That's it, unfortunately, and I'd like to clear this up, and figure out what their general purpose was. (I intend to knock my prof's socks off on this report.)

Does anyone have details available about this unit? Especially regarding their equipment?

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 408

PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably, they were all or part heavy infantry armed with spear and shield. Arrian calls them hoplites (it is funny how biased ancient writers like Arrian and Xenophon are more comfortable using the h-word about non-Greeks than some modern historians are). Two good sources are the Encyclopaedia Iranica article “Kardakes” (available online or in a scholarly library) and this page.
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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Sat 04 Oct, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Obliged, Sean.

Anyone else? The more responses the better.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 09 Oct, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've PMed you with Duncan Head's e-mail. Try checking with him for further details.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 408

PostPosted: Fri 10 Oct, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That said, its one of the topics where if you learn the few hundred words of ancient sources, and half a dozen modern arguments, you know all there is to know on a subject, because evidence is so sparse. The Iranica article and Duncan's letter on that wargaming page give a good overview, but there could be something newer out there. Duncan Head would be a good contact, and he was friendly the one time I talked to him.
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