Old Testament Warriors

The Clash of Cultures in the Ancient Near East

Simon Elliott

A short history of warfare in the age of the Old Testament including many ancient cultures from the Middle East such as the Sumerians, Akkadians, Philistines, Hittites and Hebrews.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
No associated books available.


The age of the biblical warrior was one of both great technological development and innovation in warfare, and clashes between competing cultures in the ancient Middle East. The Sumerians were the first to introduce the use of bronze into warfare, and were centuries ahead of the Egyptians in the use of the wheel. The Assyrians developed chariot warfare and set the standard for a new equine-based military culture. The Babylonians had an army whose people were granted land in return for army service.

Beginning in approximately 3000 BC with the Sumerians, this authoritative short history gives a masterly overview of warfare and fighting in the age of the Old Testament, including Akkadians, Early and Middle Kingdom Egypt and their enemies, Mycenean and Minoan Greece and Crete (including Homer), Assyrians and New Kingdom Egyptians, the Hittites, the Sea Peoples who gave rise to the Philistines, the Hebrew kingdom, the Babylonian kingdom, the Medes and later Persian Empires, finishing with Dark Age and early Classical Greece.

Simon Elliott explains what light archaeology can shed on events in the Bible such as the famous ‘walls came tumbling down’ in the battle of Jericho, David the boy warrior who later faced the Philistines in two crucial battles, and Gideon whose military skills enabled him to defeat an army that vastly outnumbered his own. He also elucidates facts that still have resonance today, for instance the Philistines were originally the Peleset, who settled in Palestine. Peleset evolved to Philistine to Palestine today.

About The Author

Simon Elliott is an historian, archaeologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent where he studied for his PhD in Archaeology on the subject of the Roman military in Britain. He also has an MA in War Studies from KCL and an MA in Archaeology from UCL. For a day job he runs his own PR company, and is a former defense and aerospace journalist at titles including Jane's Defence Weekly and Flight International. He frequently gives talks on Roman themes and is co-Director at a Roman villa excavation.


Sumerians and Akkadians; Early and Middle Kingdom Egypt and their enemies; Mycenean and Minoan Greece and Crete; Assyrians and New Kingdom Egyptians; the Hittites; the Sea Peoples who gave rise to the Philistines; the Hebrew kingdom; the Babylonian kingdom; the Medes and later Persian Empires; Dark Age and early Classical Greece.

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