The history of the Ancient world takes 3.5 thousand years and is the most interesting period of the formation of cultures and the formation of states. During this time, many wars and conflicts took place. The article presents the greatest battles of antiquity, in which the main cultures participated.
Egypt: Battle of Kadesh
Egyptian culture remains one of the most influential cultures of antiquity. It is famous for its scientific, agricultural and architectural achievements. Egypt tried to wage relations with neighboring countries through peaceful diplomacy, so there are not so many wars and great battles in Egypt’s long history. The greatest battles of antiquity of the early period coincided with the formation of the New Egyptian kingdom.
After the historical decline, the New Egyptian kingdom sought to regain lost territories and restore influence. In 1274 BC. er Ramses II led the army into the territory of the Hittite kingdom. The battle of Kadesh (modern Syria) was won by the Egyptians, but with such losses that it turned out to be more beneficial for the Hittites. Modern historians recognize it as a technical draw. After the attack, Ramses II and the Hittite king Mouvatalli II made peace. The battle of Kadesh is unique in that it is the first military campaign described in the historical documents of both states. That is what increases the historical interest in it.
Ancient Greece: The Battle of Thermopylae
The greatest battles of antiquity cannot exist without mentioning the great Thermopylae battle. The Persian kingdom (VI – V century BC.) Under the leadership of Darius had the power and almost absolute power in the region. After the demand of "land and water" from the scattered Greek states, which actually meant the recognition of the power of the Persians, only Athens and Sparta did not submit. The son of Darius Xerxes led an army of many thousands (200-250 thousand soldiers) with the goal of absolute capture of Greece.
In 480 BC the allied Greek troops with a total population of 5 to 7 thousand took up a defensive position in a narrow Fermopilskomu gorge. The battle lasted three days, two of which the Persians suffered defeat after defeat, none of their attacks did not succeed. On the third day most of the Greek soldiers left the battlefield for fear of encirclement. At Thermopylae there was only 300 Spartan warriors, led by king Leonidas and the loyal allies of Sparta and the soldiers of the Fespam and Thebes.
On the third day of the battle, the Persians went around the gorge, taking advantage of the betrayal of the Malian Ephialtes, and surrounded Leonid's small army. The remaining Spartans and Thespians bravely fought to the last breath.
Macedonia: Battle of Gaugamela
Alexander of Macedon had the reputation of a great conqueror during his lifetime. The greatest battles of antiquity, demonstrating courage, confidence and brilliant tactical thinking, were conducted by this commander. His campaigns expanded the personal empire of Alexander and put an end to the great empire of the Achaemenids. Alexander has repeatedly attacked the satraps of the Persian king Darius III, and even captured many of the cities in the subordination of the Persian empire.
The battle of Gavgamelah was the final battle of Darius III. Prior to this, the Persian king deliberately lured Alexander into the depths of his empire and at the same time collected a large army, intending to defeat the army of the Macedonians. According to Darius, the number of Achaemenids in relation to the Macedonians was 10 to 1, but, despite the superiority, the Persians could not cope with the tactical genius of the Macedonian commander. The greatest battles of antiquity and subsequent historical periods are hardly able to compare with this example of outstanding military art.
Ancient Rome: the sea battle of Actium
In the middle of the first century BC, Rome faced a wave of civil wars for the throne. After the assassination of Caesar, Octavian and mark Antony fought for control of the Republic. In 31 BC between the two armies when the Action took place the last great naval battle of antiquity, which marked the end of civil wars in Rome. Naval battles of ancient times before the invention of gunpowder and guns were more like land battles, where two opposing armies met in close conflict.
At the very beginning of autumn, Cleopatra and Mark Antony equipped several hundred heavy warships equipped with a large number of soldiers, heavy rams and wooden towers for archers. The Octavian fleet consisted mainly of a new type of light, maneuverable ships called liburns. In addition, the Octavian army was better prepared and was led by an experienced military commander - Mark Vipsania Agrippa. Octavian's maneuverable ships easily bypassed Cleopatra and Antony’s massive ships, throwing them at burning arrows and stones. In the heat of battle, realizing its futility, Cleopatra deployed the Egyptian fleet and led him into retreat. Marc Anthony followed her, thereby providing the Octavian full power over the Roman Republic, which later became the empire.