Archers from Creta

They have travelled quite some distance to reach Syria, but nevertheless they have made the journey in hopes of better pay than elsewhere. Their reputation has reached all corners of Mediterranean by now.Cretan archer1


Not unlike Balearic and Rhodean slingers, Cretan archers were famous mercenaries and their services were bought by Alexander, his successors as well as Romans and other mediterranean powers until middle ages. Cretan fame is interesting question. Did they really became in prominence because of excellent archery? After all, Rhodean slingers are said to outrange Cretans. Of course range of short bow may depend on many aspects and is not sole feature to judge wether archer is good or bad.

Cretan archer2It is interesting thought if Cretans were renown and famous because they were genuinely good, or because everyone else was really bad in comparison. Perhaps Cretans were just very good in marketing and exploiting the opportunities of squabbling neighbors? In any case, it is doubtful that Cretans fought for any higher ideals, it was all too good business venture to be employed in foreign land. Cretan archer3


I have hired few to serve in Seleucid army (of course, a bit of clarification is in order if anyone is reading Extra Impetus 4. Seleucids mostly rely on Asiatic archers, but at the moment I have only little use for them, hence Cretans for now). As usual, will not look away from the opportunities to utilize their services for other Mediterranean powers. Rome and Syracuse would welcome and appreciate ranged weapons. There is little coming to their way as of reinforcement cavalry but on the other hand, they are not going to venture in Parthia as long as Seleucids are standing in their way. So what’s the hurry?Cretan archer4 Originally I ordered 3 bases worth of archers – just sufficient numbers to field standard non-elephant, non-chariot BI army for Seleucids. It is doubtful that I would use all three for them since alternatives look more entertaining, but there are other uses for the extras.

That said, before building the third base , one missing strip, and another which is damaged beyond repair need to be replaced.Cretan archer5

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One Response to Archers from Creta

  1. Once again smashing work and good background info. The red stripes on the tunics really add something.

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