Monday 4 December 2023

ProjectSeleukid - Kappadokian thureophoroi

The next unit for my Seleukid army comes in the form of a small unit of Kappakokian thureophoroi. Ariarathes IV, king of Kappadokia and son-in-law of Antiochos III, sent 2,000 Kappadokian foot to aid the Seleukid cause in the run-up to Magnesia. Appian and Livy both place them on the left flank where they are said to have been equipped in the same way as the Galatians. I have taken this to mean that they were equipped with large thureoi - said to have been adopted by Hellenistic states after their contact with Galatians in the 280s and 270s BC.

The coins of the earlier Kappadokian kings (including Ariarathes III above) show the kings wearing the Iranian bashlyk, a legacy of the Achaemenid empire.

However, from the reign of Ariarathes IV (above), the portraiture conforms wholly to Hellenised norms, showing the king as a diademed Greek-style ruler - a format that was to continue until the end of Kappadokian autonomy in the first century AD.

For the unit, therefore, I have combined Hellenistic helmets with a few bashlyks mixed in, and a real mix of weapons, spears, javelins, swords and axes along with the thureoi. Here, next to the Phrygian thureophoroi, the units look quite distinct despite both being made from the Victrix Achaemenid spearmen kit.