The Spike
The Middle Realm
The God's Plane
The Bard's Corner
Herald's Cry
Cross Roads
Links to Other Glorantha Resources

Martin's Bibliography

This bibliography is of the most relevant works from my library that I used as source material for my thinking on the military of Glorantha. The range of subject and period is wide but then so is the military spectrum of Glorantha. I would recommend almost all the books on this list for purchase by those interested in the field, as I have found them all useful to one degree or another. The only way to truly absorb the principles of war is to immerse oneself in as many different views and periods as possible in my view. If you wish more information on any of these books, please write to me at

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, Onasander, translated from the Greek

The great ancient work on sieges and defending a city against attack by Tacticus, plus the dull and theoretical treatise on phalanx tactics by Asclepioduts and the more interesting work on Generalship by the Roman Onasander. Good source history, for those who don’t read Greek.

“The Age of the Galley” part of the Conways History of the Ship collection

No better book on galleys, their uses, their crewing, speed, methods of rowing, war, cargo etc etc. They even have details of the calorific intake of the average rower depending on the speed of the boat!

“Alexander the Great and the logistics of the Macedonian Army” by Donald W. Engels

This slim work contains a cornucopia of details on logistics that are applicable for any army of ancient or medieval means. Due to the travels of Alexander across all types of terrain it is a full source for anyone running a military campaign and a wonderment to read due to the difficulties they overcame crossing Asia.

“Alexander to Actium” by Peter Green

A wide scoped book on the Hellenistic world after the death of Alexander. It dwells at length on the resulting struggles with the Successors. A fine source for the Hero Wars collapse of the Lunar Empire.

"Ancient Siege Warfare" by Paul Bentley Kern

This book is brand new and the only one I could find in one volume on this subject. To say that it is revealing is to do it an injustice. He covers the growth of fortification and siege techniques, the careers of various famous besiegers and the nature of the siege itself, its total war aspects and the commonality of atrocity in such warfare.

“The Art of War” by Machiavelli

Written in the style of an argument between an inquiring mind and a man of genius, this is a fascinating look at warfare in the renaissance period in Italy. Machiavelli is well versed in his subject and his method is entertaining as well as informative.

“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu

A classic. Brief, but so full of clear concepts, common sense and sound advice that it seems a bigger work.

“The Art of War in the Middle Ages, Volumes I & II” by Charles Oman

Though a bit dated in places and plainly wrong in others, this is still an excellent source of info and written in typical Oman fashion. The range of the period covered and the types of warfare shown is good for the light reader and for RPG material.

“The Art of War in Spain – the conquest of Granada” by William H. Prescott

Though somewhat dated and partisan against the Muslims, the book gives a feel for the epic nature of the Reconquista and its final victory at Granada. Some interesting comparisons of tactics and organisations for the two sides.

Bloodtaking & Peacemaking:Feud, Law, & Society in Saga Iceland by William Ian Miller

The definitive book for those interested in Viking style legal wrangling, duels and feuds. Great source for Orlanthi clan adventures.

Byzantium & Its Army, 284-1081 by Warren Treadgold

A brilliant study of a complex subject. Most interesting is his valuable work on army strengths during the various periods of Byzantine rule. In chapter two he considers the three main sources for figures for the army in the time of Diocletian and Constantine. Many of the figures were ridiculed by early historians as being simply too large, given the change in size from the early Principate. However, he makes a very, very strong argument that three independent contemporary writers from a range of history of a hundred years or more all wrote the same figures for absolute strength during the time period. This figure was based upon a military census conducted by Diocletian and others. Treadgold points out that the main reason why these numbers were disbelieved was that the field armies of the time were not 100,000 strong. He contends that the vast majorities of troops were static and only around 1/3 were available for field army duty most of the time.

"Byzantium and the early Islamic Conquest" by Walter E. Kaegi

Interesting book that details the defeat of the recently victorious Byzantine Empire at the hands of a new and vibrant religious conquest. A useful book to model the collapse of empires under dynamic attack on.

"The Late Byzantine Army - arms and society 1204-1453" Mark C.Bartusis.

This work is excellent and fills in much of the time after Treadgolds book. Very useful for anyone wanting to examine the way an army grows and changes over centuries. I applied much of this to the Imperial Dara Happan army when thinking about its evolution.

“The Byzantine Revival” by Warren Treadgold

This concentrates on the return to power of the Empire after its long decline, to become a leading nation in the medieval era. Good history.

“Caesar Against the Celts” by Ramon L. Jimenez

Basically Caeser invades Britain. Its a good read on the tribal actions against the Roman incursion and shows the power of their arms and the versatility of the Roman army (and Caeser). The political tools he used to gain advantage are interesting. Divide and conquer. Ideal for Lunar Army commanders.

"Crusader Warfare" by Smail

Descriptive and thorough, he captures the difficulty of Crusader style combat against an elusive foe, and their methods for dealing with such an enemy.

"Command in War" by Martin Van Creveld

One I'd recommend to get a feel of strategy in the ancient or medieval period, though Creveld contends that there really wasn’t a strategy to speak of till the 1700s or even the early 1800s.

“An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire” by Halil Inalcik

A huge, and expensive book on the Ottomans. Worth it just for the sections on the economy alone, which I think are excellent source material for the Lunar Empires economy.

“The Empire of the Steppe – a history of Central Asia” by Rene Grousset

One big volume covers the whole of steppe history. Good read on a area poorly understood by many other authors.

“The End of the Bronze Age – Changes in warfare and the Catastrophe of 1200 BC” by Robert Drews

This book presents a military explanation for the decline of the chariot empires around 1200 BC. The author argues that chariot using empires dominated till this period and in a few decades were destroyed. He accounts for this via a radical shift in the way various aggressors outside these Empires coped with chariots and eventually developed ways of defeating them with ease. I used this as a source for my work on the decline of the Jenarong period chariot armies.

“Exploratio – military and political intelligence in the Roman world from the Second Punic War to the battle of Adrianople” by N.J.E. Austin and N.B.Rankov

A new book on a poorly researched subject (prior to this work). This is simply a wonderful source on the inner workings of communication and intelligence for the Principate and is a idea filled book for writing about any fantasy empire.

“The Face of Battle” by John Keegan

Though annoying in his hatred of all things Clausewitz, this book is excellent. Keegan shows what its like to be in a battle well and with much empathy. The section on Agincourt is very good for fantasy source material.

“The First Punic War” by J.F. Lazenby

A better work than his Hannibals War in terms of layout and style, though is history is as good in both. Interesting clash between superpowers of different means and goals.

“The Frontiers of the Roman Empire” by C.R. Whittaker

Less military, more social and economic, its concentrates on the way the frontiers worked and dealt with the barbarian and his activities. Interesting but lacking a detailed military element in my view.

“The Generalship of Alexander the Great”, “Julius Caeser” by J.F.C.Fuller

Strong analysis of the two greats in these two books. Fuller is a good thinker and is less grandiose than his contemporary – Liddell-Hart.

“The Goths” by Peter Heather

One of the Peoples of Europe series. Very useful books and the one on the Goths is great for modeling a barbarian people.

"The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire" by Edward Luttwak

This is my favourite for general reading on Roman strategy and its core concepts of the evolution of Rome from a state that exercised power through political and military coercion to became a hegemony with fixed borders and rigid defences. An excellent book full of incisive analysis and ready breakdowns of complex subjects. His methodology is so good and clear that it makes and easy read of a complex subject.

“Greece and Rome at War” Peter Connolly

Though it is simplistic and lacking in detail in places, this colourful book is a wonderful intro to all things Greek, Roman and Warlike. The art work is superb and his writing is easy and clear.

The Greco-Persian Wars by Peter Green

A short book on a long subject. A good overview with a flowing style. Clash of the mighty Empire and the hardy individualists. Useful for getting the feeling of the Lunar Empire against the Orlanthi.

“Greek and Roman Naval Warfare” by W.L.Rodgers

Though an older work, this is still packed with naval battles in the age of the galley. It covers tactics, strengths, admirals and all forms of galley warfare during a very naval period, before the entrenchment of the Principate.

“Hannibal Crosses the Alps” by John Prevas

He offers an alternative route and backs it up by climbing it himself, comparing the various spots to his photos and to the story of the crossing.

“Hannibal's War” by J.F.Lazenby

Good history, poor layout. Maps at the back of the book and not many of them. Dodges work, though a hundred years earlier is superior. However, Lazenby is knowledgeable on his subject and is therefore a good read next to the older Dodge text.

"Hannibal", "Caesar", "Alexander" by Theodore Ayrault Dodge

Three books that are fine studies on these leaders. Though written in the 1800s, they are still vibrant with feeling and understanding of the men, the leaders and the bloodshed, partly I think, due to Dodges own veteran status in the American Civil War, where he was severely wounded.

“A Historical Geography of the Ottoman Empire” by Donald Edgar Pitcher

Expensive but worth it. Though an old work, the colour fold out maps of the Ottoman Empire, its expansion, contractions and main regions are beautiful. The complimentary overview history is good too.

“A History of the Byzantine State and Society” by Warren Treadgold

A thick book of great scholarship. I liked this book, feeling that it was a more scholarly tome than that of Norwich but then I admired his work on their army so much, I may be biased.

“A History of Byzantium Vol I-III” by John Julius Norwich

Easy to read, fully detailed and humorous at times, a good work to start reading about Byzantium in. Some good maps, especially of Constantinople.

“A History of the Crusades Vol I-III” by Runciman

The seminal works on the crusades.

“The History of the Persian Empire” by Olmstead

One volume history of the Achaemenid Empire. It’s old (1940s) but good. Well written, descriptive and insightful.

The Huns by E.A.Thompson

One of the Peoples of Europe series. Best info in one book on the Huns. Great detail for any nomad culture. In Glorantha, they are perfect for modeling the Pentans.

“The Imperial Roman Army” by Yann Le Bohec

A nicely written source on the Roman Army, from a structural rather than warfighting sense.

“The Landmark Thucydides” edited by Robert B.Strassler

The best copy of Thucydides from a military point of view you can by. Maps and notes on all the key moments of the Peloponnesian war and a fine translation of the master historian himself. Probably the ultimate story of a naval power clashing against a land power.

“Latin Siege Warfare in the Twelfth Century” by R.Rogers

A good adjunct to Smails book, it also has a nicely detailed account of the Siege of Antioch, its defences and the methods of the crusaders in assaulting it.

“The Logistics of the Roman Army at War” by Jonathan P. Roth

A very rare and expensive book that is worth the $200. Very detailed analysis of Roman logistics, administration, rations, march rates and campaign planning.

“The Making of Byzantium 600-1025” by mark Whittow

A book that focuses on the early Empire, but best of all, has some sections on the neighbours of the Empire that are often only seen at a glance in other works.

"The Making of the Roman Army - From Republic to Empire" by Lawrence Keppie

A fine study of the growth of Roman military power from a tribal institution to a full scale professional army ready for world conquest. Used a lot for my work on the Empire as a source.

“The Making of Strategy” by Murray, Knox and Burnstein

An anthology of essays on strategic thought with an excellent piece on the Peloponnesian War and a fine study on Chinese strategic failings against the nomads on their borders.

“Masters of War” by Michael I. Handel

A comparison and review of the great military thinkers. Handel takes quotes from each and compares their thinking on many issues. The thinkers in question are Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Jomini and Machiavelli.

“The Monks of War” by Desmond Seward

Short but succinct review of the Military Orders, their campaigns and defeats.

“On War” by Carl Von Clausewitz

I’d recommend the Parret Princeton edition. This is without doubt the most important work on military theory ever. More thoughtful than Sun Tzu, more enduring than Jomini. In any era the thinking of Clausewitz on war works and explains the mysteries of friction and chaos better than any other work. Warning to those who attempt this book. It needs several readings and much mulling to get and even then you’ll miss things. Much quoted, rarely read.

“The Prince” by Machiavelli

Very thin classic on how to rule. Ruthless, efficient and wise, the great statesman pulls no punches in a work that would give modern politician a heart attack if they read it.

Riding for Ceasar:The Roman Emperor's Horse Guards by Michael P.Speidel

A good work on the Horse guard of the Emperor. Very useful when I was thinking about the evolution of the Imperial Lunar bodyguard. Most impressive is his descriptions of the way the bodyguard became almost fashionable, while still remaining effective.

“The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane” by Beatrice Forbes Manz

A slim book spending much time on the politics and internecine squabbling of the many tribes of the transoxiana region. Though lacking military details, the sheer plethora of tribes, khans, armies and enemies is a great model for the Pentans.

“The Roman Cavalry” by Karen R. Dixon & Pat Southern

A compact reference source on the Roman cavalry 1st – 3rd century, its recruitment, training, mounts, methods of fighting (without stirrups) and equipment.

“The Roman Imperial Army” by Webster

A good source on the army of the Principate.

"Rome and the Enemy - Imperial strategy in the Principate" by Susan P. Mattern

A thought provoking book that considers Roman strategy to be far more emotionally controlled than some sort of Clausewtizian rational policy system. Also useful for military strengths and some general history.

“The Roots of Strategy, Volume I”

Though all 4 volumes are worth buying, the majority of the works deal with the modern period. The first volume has Sun Tsu and most importantly, a copy of Vegetius, which was the pocket book of every Medieval commander for centuries.

"Scipio Africanus – greater than Napoleon” by B.H Liddell-Hart

Though I don’t agree about him being greater than Napoleon, the study of the great Scipio's campaigns is good reading and done in typically grand Liddell-Hart fashion.

"The Seleucid Army" by Bar-Kochva

This is about the only book on the subject in the work and is hard to find, but the Seleucids are a very close analogy to the Lunar Empire and it is useful to see their multiple and divergent sources of manpower and the sheer size of their armies.

“The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China” by Sawyer

Includes the Art of War by Sun Tzu. These translated works are interesting reads, sometimes amusing, sometimes horrifying but all are useful for gameable material.

"Sowing the Dragons Teeth - Byzantine Warfare in the tenth century" by Eric McGeer

A definitive book that includes the original Greek Strategicon and Praecepta and their translations plus a detailed analysis of Byzantine tactics. He covers Kataphracts, the infantry and formations, as well as strategums for defeating various foes, march order and deployment methods.

“Supplying War” by Martin van Creveld

Though mostly a modern era review of logistics, its still a worthwhile read for understanding the importance of logistics and the impossibility of the vast fantasy armies we are so used to seeing in poorly researched works.

“Trial by Battle”, “Trial by Fire” by Jonathan Sumption

Two thick, thick books on the Hundred Years War. And while this is the beginning of the firearms era, the books still give great insight into the politics and quarrels in a divided state, with a King attempting to gain full power (or two kings attempting to gain full power). In Glorantha and the Hero Wars, this is a good source for the Seshnelan HW story arc.

The Viking Art Of War by Paddy Griffith

Paddy's work is always good and this is no exception. He covers sagas, feuds, clans fighting and kings at war in his entertaining read.

“War and Society in Renaissance Europe 1450-1620” by J.R. Hale

Though the War and Society series tends to follow the modern history trend of only being able to look at war as a social institution, without being called a warmonger, the sections on recruitment, social impact of wars, professional soldiers, the church and nobility etc are good and useful for any renaissance style region or even for any place where there are significant mercenaries or professional wandering soldiers of Condottieri ilk.

“Warfare in Ancient Greece – a sourcebook” by Michael M. Sage

A great source for all things Greek and military. If you want a book that has all the military quotes from Herodutus, Thucydides or Xenaphon in one place, then this is it.

“Warfare in Antiquity”, “The Barbarian Invasion” and “Medieval Warfare” by Hans Delbruck

All three are classic reads. Though a little dated today, Delbruck was revolutionary in his day, particularly suggesting that Frederick the Great was a master of attrition rather than Napoleonic style Annihilation strategies. His willingness to attack old material and take the razor of logistics and common sense to the historical info is refreshing and much copied.

“Warfare in Roman Europe 350-425AD” by Hugh Elton

A decent work on the subject that fills in the banks left by other authors and continues in much the same vane as Keppie or Webster.

“Warfare in the Classical World” by Warry

Similar to Connollys work but concentrates on enough different areas to make owning both a must. The art in this book is also excellent and its layout and style matches or exceeds Connellys.

Warriors of the Steppe by Erik Hildinger

A military look at the great nomadic peoples, their campaigns, methods of war and achievements. He covers the Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Magyars, Seljuks, Mongols, Mamluks, Timerlane, Tartars of the Crimea and the Manchus.

“Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades” by John France

A decent source on the period of 1000-1300, that concentrates a lot on the crusades but dwells on the other parts of Europe at war too. Nice section on army size.


September 6, 2000

All graphics and articles on this site are the property of their respective owners. Glorantha, Hero Wars, and Issaries are Registered Trademarks of Issaries Inc. No infringement on these trademarks is intended.