Elphas maximus versus loxodonta cyclotis. Porównanie gatunków słoni bojowych stosowanych w armiach hellenistycznych.

Daniel Budacz


Divisions of war elephantus used to be one of the main type of military formations used in the Hellenic ststes. During the Mediterranean wars two species of the animals were used: the Asian elephants and the African forest elephants. Due to a kind of monopoly on Asian elephants, possessed by the Seleucids, the Ptolemies were forced to look for their own source of the animals in Africa. Physically, African elephants differed significantly from the Asian ones, and the differences affected their military value, which made the Lagids the weaker side in battles fought against the Seleucids. It is evidenced by the battle of Raphia, description of which is crucial in this paper. Apart from this issue, the author also discusses the question of physical differences between the two species, identifies the period in which war elephants appeared in Hellenic armies, and determines the type of weaponry,  organization, and tactics in fights conducted by elephant divisions, until the point of their disappearance from the Hellenic ststes' armies.

Słowa kluczowe

słonie bojowe; wojskowość epoki hellenistycznej

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