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yaujj48's avatar

How to name battles in the Antiquity Period?

Asked by yaujj48 (171points) 1 week ago

We all know that every battle have their own name, usually named after a location. However, how do historians name old battles during the antiquity when settlements are scarce and battle is usually in the open rather than near the settlement. One notable example is Battle of Teutonberg Forest where the battle take place in the forest.

So how do historians name battles?

Besides the purpose because I play Total War and I like to name every important battle, just like history

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12 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

As you implied, they are generally named for the geographical location.

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zenvelo's avatar

Although most are known by where they were fought, sometimes a battle or a war/campaign is named after the defeated side, such as the Punic Wars.

yaujj48's avatar

@Caravanfan But what if it take place in a grass plains, find the nearest settlement and name the battle?

elbanditoroso's avatar

I didn’t think they really got into named battles until around 1000 (Battle of Hastings). Prior to that, a battle was a battle.

The there was the War of the Weight Watchers, which was renamed to the Battle of the Bulge.

zenvelo's avatar

@yaujj48 They named it after the geographical feature, not a settlement. For instance, a battle near Quebec is called the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Custer was defeated at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, there was no permanent settlement nearby.

Caravanfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso There are famous battles that have names all the way to antiquity. Certainly every battle is not named but famous ones are. https://www.ancienthistorylists.com/ancient-civilizations/top-14-decisive-ancient-battles-history/

@yaujj48 It’s often the nearest town. Battle of Hastings was in a field by the town of Hastings

stanleybmanly's avatar

@elbanditoroso Of course people have always named battles. If you think about it, they would have to name them if only to keep track of them and distinguish them from one another. And since people have been fighting forever, they have been naming their battles for as long as they’ve had language just as surely as they named themselves and everything they encountered. With this in mind, logic would dictate that in referring to a battle, one would choose something unique to that battle that distinguishes it from the myriad of others. Perhaps geography, but just as easily “battle of the 3 tribes” or “battle of the Winter Solstice”.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Battle of Marathon was a plian nad not a sttlement. Part of the story on how the race Marathon was named and the distance.

yaujj48's avatar

@zenvelo Makes sense but how do we know the geographic region name?

kritiper's avatar

Name it after the person who started it.

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