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Cotterell: The Chariot: The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World's First War Machine. Hardback

  • The Chariot: The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World's First War Machine.
  • Arthur Cotterell 2004. 208 pages, 150 b/w illustrations, 241 x 162 mm.
The chariot changed the face of ancient warfare. First in Mesopotamia, then in Asia Minor and Egypt, charioteers came to dominate the battlefield. In c.

1286 BC at Kadesh in the Eastern Mediterranean - where the troops of Ramesses II overwhelmed the Hittites - 5,000 chariots were deployed. Its use is recounted in Indian epics and Chinese histories. Homer's Iliad tells of the attack on Troy by Greek charioteers.

When Alexander the Great descended into the North Indian plain in early 326BC, he found chariots as well as elephants in the armies ranged against him. After its disappearance from the battlefield, chariot racing attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Emperor Nero drove his own ten-horse chariot in the Olympic Games (he fell out but still won the prize).

In Constantinople in AD 352 a three-day riot, ignited by a chariot race, left over 30,000 people dead after the Emperor Justinian had to send in troops to restore order. This unique book traces the rise and fall of the chariot right across the Old World, from Ireland, through Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China. Illustrated throughout and exploring the chariot's legacy - not least as depicted in Hollywood films - it provides a broad-ranging and fascinating view of the world's first revolutionary war machine.
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