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Joan of Arc’s Capture, Trial, and Death


Blog Post 5

Joan of Arc’s Capture, Trial, and Death

After several months of not being allowed to fight, the Maid was able to rush north to repel the English as much as she could. The duke of Burgundy was expected to arrive with troops to crush her campaign, but he never appeared. Instead, he ventured to Compiegne to claim it. The citizens however, did not want to surrender themselves to him. They fortified the city with a moat and guns and stocked up on supplies so they’d be ready for whatever happened.

Joan of Arc felt confident in her ability to rescue Compiegne, just as she had Orleans. During the night of May 22, the Maid led her soldiers to the besieged city and attacked the Burgundians. Her enemies retreated farther and farther back from her barrage, the Armagnacs chasing them at their heels. Then suddenly, Joan looked over her shoulder to see that not all of her opponent’s forces were in front of her. She and her men could not fight a battle with two fronts. Her army began to retreat toward Compiegne, but the gate was closed before the Maid could get inside. Surrounded by Burgundian soldiers, Joan was forced to surrender. Her captor, Jean de Luxembourg, took her to his castle at Beaulieu-les-Fontaines to await the next move.

King Charles, other politicians, and theologians of his court had trouble deciding what to do regarding Joan. Now that she had been captured and not miraculously spared, it seemed that God had completely abandoned the Maid, so they determined to let her meet the end God had prepared for her. The English-controlled French believed Joan’s failure was in the failure of her mission. The theologians at the university of Paris wrote to the duke of Burgundy, asking him to release her to them to be tried (and condemned) for heresy. Jean de Luxembourg wanted a sizeable ransom for his prisoner, which he got from the English.

Instead of being tried at the university of Paris, King Henry VI’s counsellors moved her trial to Rouen, the English capital of Normandy under Bishop Pierre Cauchon. The understanding was that if she were found innocent by the church (which was highly unlikely), the Maid would be returned to the English. She represented herself bravely in court, but the church had decided her fate before the trial had even opened. Her first examination, as in Poitiers, was to determine if she were still a virgin, which she was. Then, again, her spiritual integrity had to be determined by interrogation. The Maid was told to place her hand on the scriptures and swear to tell the truth, which she refused. She would gladly tell of her journey and actions, but she would not speak about her revelations she claimed were from God. She eventually swore to tell the truth about the Catholic faith, so the trial could resume.

On the second day of her trial, Joan was asked about her home life and childhood, and eventually, to everyone’s amazement, she spoke about her revelations.Two days later, she was asked when she had last heard a voice to which she said she had heard one that morning and three times the previous day. The days spent in trial turned into weeks, and Joan knew her end was near. The Maid’s trial lasted over three months, but ultimately, she was accused of heresy for wearing men’s clothing (an abomination in the Old Testament) and spreading false doctrines among the people of France. She was sentenced to death and was burned at the stake May 30, 1431.

Joan of Arc’s Death at the Stake, by Hermann Stilke (1843)(Wikipedia Contributors)

In the end, Joan of Arc was unsuccessful because she no longer had the support she needed. King Charles VII lost faith in his extraordinary warrior and sent his troops home (after the failed attack on Paris). Others questioned her authority and holiness, which led to doubt being spread across France. Her capture at Compiegne seemed to prove her blasphemy (because God, if he had ever been on her side had forsaken her) and sealed her fate.


Castor, Helen. “I Will be with You Soon.” Joan of Arc: A History. New York, NY: Harper, 2015. 149-180. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. “Joan of Arc.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Yeatts, Tabatha. Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

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The Maid’s Failures


Blog Post 4

The Maid’s Failures

The city of Paris had been more thoroughly fortified than any other fortress the Maid had encountered. The walls had slits for arrows, fortified towers on top,  and “gun placements” (Castor 140). The six gates were all protected by boulevards, and a deep ditch surrounded the entire city. The duke of Bedford had called upon his forces in Normandy to join him in defending the capital. Joan and her army were in for a struggle.

The Palais de la Cite and Saint-Chapelle, viewed from the left bank, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (month of June) (1410)

On September 8, on the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, Joan rode with her banner into battle. She started on the western side of the city by the Louvre. She led her men into the ditch with showers of rocks and arrows falling on them. She called out to the Burgundians above commanding them to surrender to her army, or they would force their way in. Given her history of success, perhaps her command wasn’t completely cast aside, but her efforts at this point had been futile. Neither she nor her men had been able to scale the fortified walls, let alone penetrate them. She was then injured by a crossbow lodged in her leg, and her standard-bearer was killed right next to the Maid. The Burgundians sneered at her. When night fell, her men retreated, dragging Joan behind them. She refused to leave, but her injury and loss of blood had made her weak.

The next day, the Maid was determined to continue, but King Charles had decided otherwise. He knew the duke of Bedford’s troops would arrive at any moment to help defend the city, and his warrior had failed. He sought peace with the Burgundians to unite France once and for all against the English. The Burgundians had agreed upon a truce that would last through Christmas. Charles VII was strapped for cash and thought it useless to pay soldiers during times of peace, so he sent them home. Joan was distressed and saddened. She no longer had her king’s full support, and the Burgundians spun this to their advantage. They claimed that she had failed because she was not inspired by God but by the devil. The Maid had committed abomination after abomination, and thus could not receive holy inspiration from the divine.

Now that God had stopped intervening on behalf of the French, Joan was seen as a liability on the battlefield, not a source of inspiration. Her strength had come from God’s interference in previous battles, but it would seem the French would have to rely on military strategy, something Joan was untrained in. The king’s counsellors prevented her from fighting, even when other commanders had wished for her to join them. She was instead taken to Saint-Pierre to confront Perrinet Gressart, a mercenary who technically allied with England and Burgundy but truly acted in his own self-interest. She won the town, but still had Gressart’s city of La Charite-sur-Loire to conquer. She tried to lay siege to the city, but failed after only a few weeks due to a lack of supplies and money.

Meanwhile, Henry VI of England had been crowned at the age of eight and was traveling to France, heading a massive army, for his second coronation there. The university of Paris had written to Rome to accuse the Maid of heresy, and others still did not believe in her. Joan had nothing to show for her efforts and could only hope for good things to come which would turn back the tide to her favor. But that would take a miracle.


Castor, Helen. “A Creature in the Form of a Woman.” Joan of Arc: A History. New York, NY: Harper, 2015. 140-149. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. “Paris.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Dec. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Yeatts, Tabatha. Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

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Peace Agreements between King Charles and Philip of Burgundy


Blog Post 3

Peace Agreements between King Charles and Philip of Burgundy

Duke Philip of Burgundy and King Charles VII, after the Maid’s victories, had made a truce: the duke would relinquish Paris (which was the French capital even at that time) into Charles’ hands after fifteen days. This was a ploy to avenge the duke’s father John the Fearless, the former duke of Burgundy, who had been murdered while making peace agreements and taking the holy sacrament with Charles VI. Duke Philip and the duke of Bedford began fortifying the city and called for loyalty from its subjects.

Joan of Arc suspected this truce was too good to be true. She wrote a letter to the people of Reims warning them to be watchful of their city and to have faith in her plan. She would not enter Paris quickly and would only remain peaceful to preserve the honor of her king. If she could have her way, however, she would attack the English once more.

The duke of Bedford began to be anxious. He couldn’t determine (himself) if his ally, Philip of Burgundy, was loyal. The duke of Bedford did have to pay Philip for his service and alliance. John (the duke of Bedford) sent spies, including his wife, to observe Philip’s behavior and report back to Bedford. John was also shorthanded. The Maid had captured a few of his lieutenants, including the duke of Suffolk and commander John Talbot, and had driven away Sir John Fastolf (who had fought against the Armagnacs at Patay). When he became desperate, John of Bedford took matters into his own hands. He called upon Charles to face him in Paris and reminded his Burgundian ally of his father’s death.

The armies met north of Paris at Montepilloy. There were skirmishes, but neither side was successful in luring the other to battle. The next day, the English forces marched back to Paris without so much as a direct word to the Armagnacs. John went to Vernon (between Paris and Rouen) to keep an eye on both those threatened cities. Charles, however, began retaking cities near Paris, which further intimidated the English.

King Charles, now that he had his crown, sought to bring peace to the region thereafter. He was admitted to Duke Philip’s court in Arras to begin negotiations. Charles was willing to give Philip the lands he had been given by the English, exempt Philip from paying homage to the French crown, and pardon the duke. Philip, still angry about his father’s murder, could not convince himself to accept any permanent negotiations from his father’s killer (even if Charles VII had been too young to stop it). They made a temporary truce for all lands north of the Seine river except for the city of Paris. The French now had a chance to reclaim their capital.

Charles VII by Jean Fouquet 1445 1450.jpg

Portrait of Charles VII, by Jean Fouquet, tempera on wood, Louvre Museum, Paris, c. 1445–1450 (Wikipedia Contributors)

Philip the good.jpg

Philip the Good, wearing the collar of firesteels and of the Order of the Golden Fleece he instituted, copy of a Rogier van der Weyden of c. 1450

Unfortunately for Joan, the euphoria of her triumph was starting to wear off as the negotiations took place, and people all over the country, again, began to question her authority and power. She had little patience for the political skirmishes, but the Maid desperately needed her people’s confidence (and resources) to fulfill the rest of her mission. Her men, thankfully, still believed in her power and followed where she went. The Maid’s forces were able to retake Saint-Denis, a town dedicated to France’s patron, with little to no resistance, and this put them just four miles outside Paris.

Luck (and resources) had seen the Maid through to this point, but her aid seemed to abandon her with her attack on Paris. She would not be majorly successful in battle again.


Castor, Helen. “A Creature in the Form of a Woman.” Joan of Arc: A History. New York, NY: Harper, 2015. 127-140. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. “Charles VII of France.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Dec. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Wikipedia contributors. “Philip the Good.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Yeatts, Tabatha. Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

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On to Battle


Blog Post 2

On to Battle

Joan of Arc was sent to battle in Orleans, the besieged city, with a full suit of armor tailored to her petite figure and a banner. The Maid’s standard had golden fleur-de-lis on a white field, the words “Jhesus Maria,” and a painted image of Christ on judgement day. She also had what is said to be Saint Catherine’s sword (that she carried and was killed by). The Maid sent for this sword from the church in the town of Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois, and many theologians thought it fitting she should receive assistance from Saint Catherine, the patron saint of young virgins. Joan also had the companions a military leader at the time would have: a squire, two pages, and a chaplain.

Joan of arc miniature graded.jpg

Artist’s Interpretation of Joan of Arc, 1485: Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, AE II 2490 (Wikipedia Contributors)

Instead of commencing battle immediately upon her arrival, the Maid, along with food and other provisions, snuck through the English blockade. The Orleanais, having seen the Maid, attacked the one English fortification, the bastille of the Saint-Loup so Joan could make her way through. Over the next few days, she began to familiarize herself with the terrain and strategies employed there. The Bastard of Orleans, the town’s commander, rode to Blois to rally Joan’s soldiers to come to Orleans to fight. When they returned, battle begun.

The Maid’s forces first attacked the bastille of Saint-Loup and burned it. Joan did not fight but carried her banner to embolden her men. With the Saint-Loup in French hands, the Maid and her troops were able to cross the river to attack the bastille of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc. The English soldiers that had been protecting that fortification fled to another: the bastille of Augustins and the Tourelles. These areas were “the key to the town’s safety” (Castor 109). The Maid led a charge to the bastille and forced her enemies back. By the end of the day, and after much bloodshed, the bastille of Augustins was under French control.

The English in desperation fought with their lives to protect the Tourelles as well as their honor, position, and the hope that God was still on their side. The French felt inspired because it seemed God had finally sided with the Armagnacs. Battle that day was still exhausting, and almost stopped when the Maid had been struck by an arrow between her neck and her shoulder, but she refused to quit and raised her standard. Her men became reenergized and fought with renewed vigor. The Englishmen panicked and within a few hours lost the Tourelles. The remaining English force retreated the next day. Joan had freed Orleans in just four days of fighting!

The Maid then rode to Chinon to see the dauphin and request more supplies and money. She also insisted he go to Reims to be crowned and that she would lead him there. It seemed an ambitious statement since Reims is farther away from Orleans than Paris, but Charles agreed.

She and the prince had to wait a month until she received the troops she needed, but when they came, they cleared the route of English forces (in cities such as Jargeau, Patay, and Troyes) and reached the city July 16, 1429.

When the royal procession entered Reims, the townspeople cried ,“Noel!” The archbishop reclaimed his seat which had been in Burgundian control for years. The next day, July 17, the dauphin was crowned King Charles VII, forty-nine years after his father’s coronation. The Maid had fulfilled her mission to restore the prince to the throne, but her battles were not yet over. She would not rest until the war was over and the king of England and the duke of Burgundy honored Charles as king of France.


Castor, Helen. “Like an Angel from God.” Joan of Arc: A History. New York, NY: Harper, 2015. 100-127. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. “Joan of Arc.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Yeatts, Tabatha. Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

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Joan of Arc and Her Mission


Blog Post 1

Joan of Arc and Her Mission

Joan of Arc (d’Arc) was born to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romee in 1412 in Domremy, an Armagnac town in France. Her family, along with the rest of the country, was Catholic, and her mother was determined to raise Joan to be devout. Isabelle once described her daughter as pious and said that “Because the people suffered so much, she had a great compassion for them in her heart and despite her youth she would fast and pray for them with great devotion and fervor.”

France, before, during, and after Joan of Arc’s time was caught up in the Hundred Years’ War between the English, the French, and the Burgundians, a Vandal group that allied with the English forces. When Joan was eight years old, French King Charles VI and his wife Isabeau made a treaty with the English King, Henry V, that their daughter, Princess Catherine, would marry Henry V and he and his future son would rule France once King Charles VI died (instead of their son Charles VII). King Henry V died before King Charles VI, and Henry’s son was only an infant. Charles VII couldn’t fully claim the throne because of the Treaty of Troyes, so he and Henry VI were both named king. The prophecy had started to come true: a woman had lost France, and now a maiden had to save it.

In 1425 at thirteen years old, Joan started to hear voices and receive revelations from God. She associated the voices with the Archangel Michael and Saints Margaret and Catherine. The Archangel Michael originally told her to behave well and go to church (perhaps so she’d be prepared and pure for more heavenly visitations). Eventually her voices told her that she needed to help the dauphin (prince) Charles become king of France and unite the land. She felt overwhelmed being so young and untrained in any battle techniques, but she knew what she had to do to please her God.

Her first step was to journey to Vaucouleurs, another Armagnac town, to visit Robert de Baudricourt who could send her to see the dauphin. She, being a woman, had to assemble an entourage to travel to Vaucouleurs, without the help of her father. When she got there, de Baudricourt was not convinced by her story and sent her away. But Joan was persistent. Within the year, she won his support (perhaps because her influence carried more weight at this time), and he sent her to Chinon to see the prince. She was given a horse and men’s clothes to wear including a tunic, doublet, and hose and breeches. With her hair cut short, she was quite a sight in Chinon.

The Château de Chinon, and the Vienne river

The Chateau de Chinon, and the Vienne River (Wikipedia Contributors)

The royal court was wary of Joan, since the people couldn’t know beforehand if she were from God or Satan. If she were Satan’s messenger or a false prophet and Prince Charles sent her to war on France’s behalf, it would lead to disaster and ruin his reputation. However, the court was also inspired and hopeful that she could finally put the rightful heir on the throne. It would’ve been equally damning to not listen to a true prophet of God who could finally put an end to their misery.

To assess Joan’s integrity, two ladies of the court were ordered to examine Joan’s physical body. If they found her a virgin, which they did, it would be a sign that she was pure and undefiled by the devil. Next, her spiritual integrity was put to the test. She was interrogated about her faith and habits. Several more inquiries by clerics and theologians in Poitiers were required before any other course of action were decided; however, the theologians agreed to test her by sending her to the besieged Orleans to test her claims. If her attack were successful, it would provide strong evidence that she had spoken right. If she failed, the French would have nothing to lose: Orleans would still be under siege (as it currently was) and it would look well on the clerics for having tested her.

Joan began to be perceived differently at this point. She was called the Maid, and she began to own that persona herself. When she had a wider audience listening to her message, she claimed the title without hesitation. She was sent back to the dauphin in Chinon (whom she had to find amongst others who claimed to be king) and then on to Orleans, Saint Catherine’s sword in hand.


Castor, Helen. “The Maid.” Joan of Arc: A History. New York, NY: Harper, 2015. 89-100. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. “Chinon.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Aug. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Yeatts, Tabatha. Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

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Leisure in Imperial Rome (1-150 CE)

The Roman Empire of 1-150 CE was at its greatest. It had conquered much to the east, and under Emperor Claudius, the empire seized land in Britain and the rest of the west. But the Romans knew other skills besides fighting and conquering. In their spare time, the Roman soldiers would view the imperial games (gladiatorial battles and chariot racing) and gamble. We chose this time period because we wanted to know more about iconic Rome. We chose this topic because we wanted to know what the soldiers spent their time doing.

Gladiator Contests

The reason why we choose gladiator contests as one of our subtopics is because it is probably the most iconic type of roman activities.  They were probably the most popular type of Roman entertainment.  Everyone has heard of the gladiators and automatically associates them with the Romans and the Colosseum.


The gladiators were professional fighters that provided entertainment for thousands and thousands or Romans by fighting to the death in large arenas.  They estimate that gladiator battles took place for over 500 years in Roman society. (Cartwright) The most famous arena in which these battles took place was the Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre.  Up to 50,000 people could fit into this arena to watch the battles. (Lendering) I’m sure many roman soldiers attended these events regularly on their free time.  

There were usually around 10 to 12 gladiator battles a year in Rome.  These battles provided regular entertainment for all types of Roman citizens from the poor to the rich and the soldiers to the civilians.  Soldiers that were on leave were sure to attend such events and relieve stress from their daily lives in the legion.        

    (Photo: Dennis Jarvis, published on 02 November 2012)

Chariot Races

We chose the subtopic of chariot races because it is also a common and famous Roman activity.  Chariot races is one of the first things I think of when I think about Ancient Rome. 


The Romans loved participating in large public events such as chariot races. In the races they usually divided up the racers into four factions- Blues, Greens, Reds, and Whites- and the people followed these teams similar to sport fans today. (Cartwright) Roman soldiers on there free time or leave were sure to participate in such social events and also have their own favorite team.  The most famous arena in which these races took place is called the Circus Maximus.  It could hold up to 250,000 spectators.  As you can see in the image to the left, there were center dividers in the arena and the chariot racers would race around those in a big loop.  I would imagine that Roman soldiers would be big fans of these races and love to go to these events and cheer on their favorite faction.  

(Photo: B. Fletcher,  published on 12 June 2013)



We chose gambling because it isn’t something we normally associate with Roman life and wanted to explore its hold on their society. Participation in this activity happened in every class in Ancient Rome. School kids as well as emperors enjoyed this form of entertainment. Emperor Claudius enjoyed it so much that he attached a gameboard to the side of his coach so he could play on the move. Gaming tables were carved into practically every flat surface in the area including sites such as the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Basilica Julia, and the entrances to the temples of Venus and Rome. Gaming tables were “particularly abundant in barracks” (Toner). Soldiers in Christ’s time are said to have cast lots on his clothes (St Matthew).

Soldiers and peasants, along with enjoying the imperial games, placed bets on them against their friends and neighbors. They would look at advertisements and programs to determine the fighters’ capabilities and found the pedigrees of horses to decide whom to bet on. Participants (in the games) were divided into four groups, each represented by a color, as mentioned previously. The red and white teams were on the same level, while the blues and greens were deemed superior (but equal to each other). The red and white teams could have odds of 6:1 where the blue and green teams could have odd of 2:1.

Gambling was as much a financial matter as it was a social one.  J.P. Toner said “the size of each wager in relation to individuals’ social position and wealth reflected the degree to which they were prepared to risk their control over their lives.” In this honor/shame society, unfortunate bad luck could quickly ruin your reputation and lead to exile. One example of gambling’s all-consuming presence was Emperor Augustus. During the Sicilian War when Augustus was facing military defeat, he is said to have gambled “all the time in the hope of winning one victory.”

In short, gambling was an activity enjoyed by many in Imperial Rome. It pervaded social class and occurred at many levels of play. From the Roman Colosseum to the military barracks, one person’s success was another man’s failure.

In conclusion, the Roman soldiers (and other people for that matter) loved their glory and their bloodshed. In their free time, soldiers flocked to the imperial games to view and bet on the gladiatorial battles and the chariot races. Once leave was over, it was time to conquer.


(marathonblogger2016 wrote the intro, the gambling paragraph, and the conclusion. Philippedes26 wrote about the gladiators and the chariot racing.)


Mark Cartwright. “Roman Games, Chariot Races & Spectacle,” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified December 04, 2013. /article/635/.

Lendering, Jona. Rome, Amphiteatrum Flavium. 21 July 2010. 4 November 2016. <;.

Toner, J. P. “Gambling.” Leisure and Ancient Rome. Cambridge: Polity, 1995. 89-101. Print.

The Holy Bible. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979. Print. King James Version.

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Alexander the Great


Alexander the Great followed major geographic markers to find his way around the known world. The most notable landmarks were the Indus River, the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, the Amu Darya River, and the Mediterranean Sea (as seen in the map below). He did this because civilizations rise near water, and he and his men would need water on their journey.

Map of Alexander's journey through the Persian Empire to India and back


As Alexander’s army became less Macedonian and more Asian, he could have relied on his new recruits to point him in the right direction. They would know the surrounding areas much better than the invader did.

The battles themselves also pushed Alexander the Great in different directions. The Persian commander Mazaeus pulled the Macedonian army northward to the east of the Tigris River.

Alexander III crushed opposition by force. He and his men stayed in the city Persepolis during the winter of 330 BCE and pillaged the city, particularly the palaces, the following spring. When Spitamenes incited rebellion among the Sogdians and attacked the Macedonians using guerilla warfare, Alexander ordered mass deportations. Eventually Spitamenes was killed (approximately 328 BCE).

Alexander also made political connections to win over supporters. He married Roxane, a Sogdian princess and arguably “the loveliest woman they had seen in Asia,” and hired Dahae, another Sogdian, to fight for him. When Darius was assassinated, possibly by Persian noblemen, Alexander sought to punish the murders. This would gain him support from the Persian aristocracy.

Alexander also tried implementing traditions and beliefs from his Asian troops to win their respect. He had previously accepted Persian garments, which his Macedonian soldiers had allowed. The introduction of proskynesis, “the Persian court ritual,” however crossed the line. His European troops felt that that type of behavior should be reserved for worshipping the gods.



Arrian trans. Aubrey de Selincourt. “Alexander captures the Sogdian Rock.”, 27 Aug. 2016. Web. 9 Oct. 2016. (

“Common Errors (16): Persepolis.” New at LacusCurtius & Livius. New at LacusCurtius & Livius, n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2016. (

Lendering, Jona. “Alexander the Great.”, 30 Jul. 2016. Web. 9 Oct. 2016. (

Map from

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Hannibal’s Route Across the Alps




Hannibal’s Route across the Alps


We believe that Hannibal crossed the Alps by passing over the Col de la Traversette.

It may have been one of the highest passes and one of the most difficult ones to cross but for that reason we think he crossed there.  The 3 reasons as to why we belive he crossed through this pass is that it is one of the highest so that it is the most likely to have snow on it year round, it has a steep difficult decent on the Italian side, and Polybios said that Hannibal marched toward the highest passes of the alps.

  1. The Col de la Traversette has an elevation of 2,950 meters. (Lendering) This is one of the highest passes in the Alps so it would be the pass that would be likely to have snow on it possibly year round.  This is important because it was said that they encountered snow from the previous year on the descent. (Lendering)  The higher the elevation the more snow there is. Image result for col de la traversette    (
  2. The second reason that we believe that Hannibal crossed here is that Poybios mentioned that it was very difficult to descend. (Brown) The Col de la Traversette has a very steep descent on the Italian side so it would fit the description.
  3. The third reason is that Polybios also said that Hannibal marched toward the “highest passes in the Alps”. (Brown) In the section of the Alps where Hannibal could have crossed the Col de la Traversette is one of the highest passes.

In addition to these reasons, Pompey wrote to the Senate and said that he passed through the Alps later on and took an easier and more convenient route that was near the sources of the Po and Durance Rivers.  This pass was most likely the Mont Genevre which was much lower and not as steep. (Brown)

Now that we have decided on which pass they took, the question is how did they get all their elephants over that pass?  We believe that the 3 most plausible ways that Hannibal got his elephants over the Alps are that he either trained all the elephants from a young age to obey him, or he tamed the lead elephant to obey him and all the other elephants followed, or he continually fought with the elephants to keep climbing by beating and whipping them.

  1. One of the possible solutions as to how he did it is that he trained his army of elephants from a young age and they were all very obedient to him and his elephant wranglers. It is possible to tame an elephant if you captured it while it was young and began its training early. (Deekeswar)

Works Cited

Deekeswar, Harshavardhan. Quora How to Train a War Elephant. 15 September 2014. Web Page. 4 October 2016.

Lendering, Jona. Hannibal in the Alps. 6 April 2016. Web Page. 4 October 2016.


Brown, J. E. T. “Hannibal’s Route across the Alps.” Greece & Rome 10.1 (1963): 38-46. Web.



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The Battle of Marathon

The first of the Greco-Persian Wars, the Battle of Marathon, was fought approximately 490 BCE  on a plain in Marathon, Greece. The Greeks (Athenians and Plataeans) were led by the general Miltiades, and the Persians were led by Datis and Artaphernes. At dawn, Miltiades and his men, the hoplites, ran two kilometers to meet their enemy.

The Persian Empire was the most impressive empire at the time. It spanned the area between Egypt and India and had a population of approximately 35-50 million people, all ruled by a secluded monarch. To gain authority, the empire respected non-Persian traditions; the leaders knew that forcing assimilation to Persian culture would incite revolution in the people. Therefore, the empire consisted of many different languages and cultures. Herodotus said, “There is no nation which so readily adopts foreign customs. They have taken the dress of the Medes and in war they wear the Egyptian breastplate. As soon as they hear of any luxury, they instantly make it their own.”

The Classical Greeks were the antithesis of the Persian Empire. Because of the mountainous terrain, populations were sporadic and separate. These groups formed fiercely independent and politically active city-states which frequently engaged in combat with their neighbors. The Greeks did have some unifying factors: language, gods of worship, and the Olympic Games every four years, but these were not enough to quell the political rivalries between the larger city-states. These Hellenes were expansive people due to their nature and growing populations, yet they didn’t conquer other lands; they settled in them.

The Greek army consisted of Athenians and Plataeans. The Athenians had assisted Ionia in its rebellion against the Persian empire which sparked the Greco-Persian Wars. The Plataeans came to the Athenians’ aid because they were subjects of Athens and felt loyalty to its citizens. The Athenians had “often in the past spared no effort on Plataea’s behalf” (Herodotus).

The Greeks won this battle as well as the others because of the strategy implemented and the superiority of their armor. They fought in a phalanx, parallel lines of soldiers (hoplites) closely packed together. The soldiers wore breastplates, tunics, and greaves (metal shin guards), and carried a hoplon (a large round shield). These shields covered the carrier’s left side and the right side of the person next to him. In their right hands, the hoplites carried long spears (in the first stage of battle) and swords (in the second stage).

In this particular battle, Miltiades reinforced the sides of his phalanx and left the middle weak. This allowed the phalanx to fold in on the Persian army and encompass them. The Persians suffered heavy losses, while the Greeks had a minor number of casualties.Ancient_Greece_hoplite_with_his_hoplon_and_dory

Greek Hoplite

Works Cited

Herodotus. The Histories. Trans. Robin Waterfield. Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.

Lendering, Jona. “Marathon (490 BCE).”, 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Sept. 2016. (

—. “Phalanx and Hoplites.”, 27 July 2013. Web. 27 Sept. 2016. (

Nelson, Eric W., and Robert W. Strayer. Ways of the World: A Global History with Sources. New York: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2016. Print.

Shumate, Johnny. Greek Hoplite. (

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