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War Elephants

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6 hours ago, Nescio said:

How large are they now? In reality, Indian elephants between 2 m and 3.5 m tall; assuming only the largest specimens were chosen, then let's say they would be about 3 m tall on average, i.e. about two-thirds higher than a man (1.8 m).

I vaguely recall @Stan` stating a 0 A.D. human (e.g. slave) was 2.1 Blender units high; that means the maur/pers/sele elephants should have the top of their head at about 3.5 Blender units, if we want realistic ratios. Because Greek sources emphasize the African (cart, ptol) elephants are significantly smaller, maybe give those a height of about 2.8 Blender units then. Just a suggestion; what matters more is that things look good in game.

i don't follow too much blender units because some use Imperial Units and i use Metric Units, when i scale up things to be able to revert it if need i use Ctrl + S wich scales the object 0.1 or 1.0 depending on how much zoom the camera has with the enviroment.

I've only scaled 0.1 wich makes a little difference yet is more nociteable with ptolemy/carth elephants:

Spoiler

image.pngimage.png

So if unit is 2.04 Squares in blender 1.0000 Metric, that means Asian elephant is almost 2 units or 1.7 human units in game + 1 more on top for the turret.

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image.png

Notice the Z axis (height)

So actually would be

0.853 x 0.46 x 2.13m

 

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The US continues to use their modified Imperial system due resistance at a grass roots level as in it's #%%@$%^ Foreign though at the official federal level it has been law since 1978 that Metric is accepted but in practice only for international trade we in Canada went Metric before that but an lot on our built infrastructure is still in the Imperial system.

Enjoy the Choice :)    

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20 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Good article.

On the topic of African Bush Elephants being ridden:

Based on what i read i don't think there is much of a reason to use Bush Elephant for Ptolemies. 

Maybe for Kushites.

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian

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On 5/19/2020 at 5:27 PM, Alexandermb said:

So if unit is 2.04 Squares in blender 1.0000 Metric, that means Asian elephant is almost 2 units or 1.7 human units in game + 1 more on top for the turret.

 So the Indian war elephant is approximately 1.7 times as tall as men? That sounds about right, they shouldn't get higher.

On 5/19/2020 at 7:59 PM, Stan` said:

dimensions.png.7de355e9fc64986d52fcfe788a8b5d2c.png

Notice the Z axis (height)

So actually would be

0.853 x 0.46 x 2.13m

Where can I find that? Such a tool would be quite useful for determining appropiate footprint heights for the current animal templates.

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On 5/19/2020 at 10:52 AM, Genava55 said:

  Thanks, that's an interesting article. Elephant usage in antiquity is a subject that has fascinated me for years. :)

On 5/20/2020 at 7:25 AM, Ultimate Aurelian said:

Good article.

On the topic of African Bush Elephants being ridden:

Based on what i read i don't think there is much of a reason to use Bush Elephant for Ptolemies. 

Maybe for Kushites.

I may be a bit of an heretic, but I happen to disagree here. First a bit of context:

  • Modern taxonomy started with Linnaeus in the 18th C.
  • The recognized extant elephant species and subspecies are (thank Wikipedia):
    • Sri Lankan elephant: Elephas maximus (1758) → E. m. maximus (1940)
    • African (bush or savanna(h)) elephant: Elephas africanus (1797) → Loxodonta africanus (1824/7)
    • Indian elephant: Elephas indicus (1798) → E. m. indicus (1940)
    • Sumatran elephant: Elephas sumatranus (1847) → E. m. sumatranus (1940)
    • African forest elephant: Loxodonta cyclotis (1900/36)
  • Unaware of the existence of forest elephants, early-20th C scholars critized Polybius, because they knew from zoos and safaris that African elephants are larger than Asian elephants.
  • Now aware of their existence, mid-20th C scholars argued the North African elephants were actually forest elephants, because they knew those were the smallest species.
  • DNA-sequencing emerged in the late 20th C, giving biologists a powerful tool to determine species. Hybrids (forest × bush) have been discovered.
  • Most ancient historians focus primarily on the elephant size (height or weight); @Genava55's article is no exception.
  • However, size is certainly not the only criterion; elephant species also differ in the shape of their back, ears, tusks, trunk lips, etc. Here is an article listing the differences between bush and forest elephants:Living African elephants belong to two species_ Loxodonta african.pdf

All ancient depictions of African elephants I've seen resemble small African bush elephants (S-shaped back, curved, forward-pointing tusks), not really African forest elephants (straighter back, straight, downward-pointing tusks).

Moreover, size is not everything. Pygmies (<150 cm) are not less human than Bosnians (>180 cm). And chihuahuas and St Bernhards belong to the same subspecies (Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog).

Furthermore, forest elephants live in the equatorial forests of Africa, to the south of the Sudanian Savanna, where bush elephants are native; North Africa is much closer in distance, climate, and vegetation to the areas where bush elephants live; anyone arguing ancient war elephants were forest elephants ought to have an explanation how those ended up in North Africa.

Therefore I'm of the opinion that both the “Libyan” elephants, used by the Carthaginians, Numidians, and Romans, and the “Ethiopian” elephants, used by the Kushites, Ptolemies, and Axumites, were simply small bush elephants, not forest elephants.

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@Nescio do you know the Adoulis inscription?
 

Quote

 

This inscription, the text of which survives thanks to the copy made of it at Adoulis on the Arabian Gulf by the sixth-century monk Cosmas Indicopleustes, commemorates the campaign made by Ptolemy III at the opening of his reign. His opponent was Seleucus II, who had himself just come to the throne. The conflict, the Third Syrian War, is known also as the Laodikean war, after Laodike, whom Antiochus II had set aside in order to marry Berenike, daughter of Ptolemy II (cf. 24-25). After the death of Antiochus II, Laodike's son succeeded him as Seleucus II, and she forthwith saw to the murder of Berenike and her infant son at Antioch. Ptolemy, too late to save his sister (cf.а 27), immediately undertook a march into the Asian heartland of the Seleucid realm. This campaign is referred to also by Jerome in his commentary on the Book of Daniel (11.8): Уand he (Ptolemy) came with a great army, and entered into the province of the king of the north, i.e., Seleucus called Callinicus, who was reigning in Syria with his mother Laodice, and dealt masterfully with them and obtained so much as to take Syria and Cilicia and the upper parts across the Euphrates, and almost all Asia. And when he heard that a rebellion was afoot in Egypt, plundering the kingdom of Seleucus he took. 40,000 talents of silver and costly vases, and 2,500 images of the gods, among which were those Cambyses had carried away to Persia when Egypt was taken.

Great King Ptolemy, son of King Ptolemy and Queen Arsinoe the Brother and Sister Gods, the children of King Ptolemy and Queen Berenike the Savior Gods, descendant on the paternal side of Herakles the son of Zeus, on the maternal of Dionysos the son of Zeus, having inherited from his father the kingdom of Egypt and Libya and Syria and Phoenicia and Cyprus and Lycia and Caria and the Cyclades islands led a campaign into Asia with infantry and cavalry and fleet and Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants, which he and his father were the first to hunt from these lands and, bringing them back into Egypt, to fit out for military service. Having become master of all the land this side of the Euphrates and of Cilicia and Pamphylia and Ionia and the Hellespont and Thrace and of all the forces and Indian elephants in these lands, and having made subject all the princes in the (various) regions, he crossed the Euphrates river and after subjecting to himself Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Sousiane and Persis and Media and all the rest of the land up to Bactriane and having sought out all the temple belongings that had been carried out of Egypt by the Persians and having brought them back with the rest of the treasure from the (various) regions he sent (his) forces to Egypt through the canals that had been dug ---.

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/classics/bagnall/3995/readings/b-d2-1c.htm

https://web.archive.org/web/20121113101957/https://www.livius.org/cg-cm/chronicles/bchp-ptolemy_iii/bchp_ptolemy_iii_02.html

 

Another question, in this article the author wrote: "Notice the absence of the turret, which could only be used on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)."  Do you think it is correct?

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/4/160/htm

Edit: with the terracotta found in Pompei from your excerpt of Bar-Kochva's book, I am not sure it is correct.

18 hours ago, Nescio said:

Moreover, size is not everything. Pygmies (<150 cm) are not less human than Bosnians (>180 cm). And chihuahuas and St Bernhards belong to the same subspecies (Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog).

That makes sense. It is the case with ancient horse as well. Iron age horses were smaller than medieval and modern ones but were actually belonging to the same species and are not related to Przewalski's horse or to Exmoor ponies.

Edited by Genava55

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16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

That makes sense. It is the case with ancient horse as well. Iron age horses were smaller than medieval and modern ones but were actually belonging to the same species and are not related to Przewalski's horse or to Exmoor ponies.

Though in the case of dogs, horses, cattle, etc. we can blame human breeding methods, which is not applicable to war elephants, which were captured from the wild. A better example is the difference between the now extinct Sicilian and Italian wolves; they were both about the same length, but the former had a shoulder height of c. 55 cm, the latter of c. 66 cm (F M Angelici & L Rossi (2018)). Numerous other examples exist of divergence and morphological differences (shape and size) when populations are chronically separated (for the Sicilian wolf, by the Strait of Messina; by the Sahara for the North African elephants).

16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

@Nescio do you know the Adoulis inscription?

I know of it, though I haven't looked up the original publication. Ptolemy III did invade Babylonia, but whether he really conquered it, as well as the Upper Satrapies, is doubtful. In general Babylonian records tend to be more reliable than Egyptian propaganda.

16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/bchp-11-invasion-of-ptolemy-iii-chronicle/

16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants, which he and his father were the first to hunt from these lands and, bringing them back into Egypt, to fit out for military service.

L. Casson (1993) “Ptolemy II and the Hunting of African Elephants” (JSTOR, Sci-Hub) discusses the Ptolemaic elephant programme (infrastructure, locations, organization, etc.).

16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Thanks again, that's an useful article, the images are nice and sharp, and the list of references long.

16 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Another question, in this article the author wrote: "Notice the absence of the turret, which could only be used on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)."  Do you think it is correct?

This is yet another interesting debate. Many scholars hold the view Asian elephants did and African elephants did not have turrets; others argue both had turrets; some state Indian elephants didn't have turrets either. Proving the non-existence of something is always tricky, and often relies on an argumentum ex silentio. See M. B. Charles (2008) “African Forest Elephants and Turrets in the Ancient World” (JSTOR, Sci-Hub) for a recent overview.

Let's split the question into three:

  1. Could North African elephants have supported a turret?
  2. Did Ptolemaic war elephants have turrets?
  3. Did Carthaginian war elephants have turrets?

Given the loads donkeys, mules, and dromedary camels can carry on their backs, or humans carrying a lectica (litter), even small elephants shouldn't have trouble with the weight of a turret. Therefore I believe the answer to the first question is yes, though presumably their turrets would provide space for one or two men, rather than the three or four of an Indian elephant.

As for the second question, Plb 5.84.2 is clear enough. Some people try to explain it away by stating these Ptolemaic elephants that engaged their Seleucid counterparts were Indian elephants, with turrets, whereas those Ptolemaic elephants that shied away and refused to fight were African elephants, without turrets. I don't see a compelling reason for this, though. 

Alexander had a quite large corps of Indian elephants, which was later split between various successors; Ptolemy I later seized some of those. Wild elephants can have a lifespan beyond 60 years, however, elephants in captivity don't breed and die younger; using them in forced marches and pitched battles is not helpful either. The Seleucids blocked access to India, which is why Ptolemy II went to such lengths to capture African elephants. If Ptolemy IV had some Indian elephants at the Battle of Raphia (217 BC), how did he get them?

Finally, Carthage. On the one hand, it's notable neither Livy nor other hellenistic historians mention turrets in combination with Hannibal's elephants, nor are they displayed on Carthaginian coinage:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Dishekel_hispano-cartagin%C3%A9s-2.jpg

On the other hand there is an entry in the Suda; P. Rance (2009) “Hannibal, Elephants and Turrets in Suda Θ 438 [Polybius Fr. 162⁻] — an Unidentified Fragment of Diodorus” (ResearchGate, JSTOR, Sci-Hub) discusses it in detail; and this terracotta from Pompeii (1st C AD?), now in the archaeological museum of Naples:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Pompeii%2C_Statuette_of_a_war_elephant.jpg

(Which also seems to be the inspiration for the cart and ptol elephant actors in 0 A.D.)

Taking everything together, I'm inclined to agree with Charles (2008), that Carthaginian elephants typically did not carry turrets, but might have on special occassions (e.g. parades), which is probably also true for the Roman elephants.

(Yes, the Romans had African war elephants on multiple occassions, including the battles of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Thermopylae (191 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), during the Second Celtiberian War (154–151 BC), and possibly during the invasions of Britain.)

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14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

L. Casson (1993) “Ptolemy II and the Hunting of African Elephants” (JSTOR, Sci-Hub) discusses the Ptolemaic elephant programme (infrastructure, locations, organization, etc.).

Thx. Seems an interesting article and I will read it later.

The thing I found particularly interesting is the mention of Troglodytic elephants, which could be an adjective for Libyan elephants. Herodotus did mention elephants previously in Lybia but his concept of Lybia is less clear than for later historians. It is interesting to have literacy evidences for elephant in North Africa and not only the neolithic carvings in Atlas mountains and skeletons from Tibesti in the Lybian desert dated from late bronze age and iron age.

15 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Taking everything together, I'm inclined to agree with Charles (2008), that Carthaginian elephants typically did not carry turrets, but might have on special occassions (e.g. parades), which is probably also true for the Roman elephants.

Yeah me neither. I wasn't sure about this opinion as well. This is why I asked your opinion, you know better than me the classical sources.

16 minutes ago, Nescio said:

(Yes, the Romans had African war elephants on multiple occassions, including the battles of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Thermopylae (191 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), during the Second Celtiberian War (154–151 BC), and possibly during the invasions of Britain.)

And against the Gauls in southern France, Ahenobarbus used elephants against the Arverni and the Allobroges (121 BC).

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4 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Yeah me neither. I wasn't sure about this opinion as well. This is why I asked your opinion, you know better than me the classical sources.

The classical sources could be explained either way, hence the debate in modern scholarship. What is needed is both critical thinking and common sense. Paraphrasing Fichte for the most plausible solution:

  • thesis: African elephants had turrets.
  • antithesis: African elephants could impossibly have had turrets.
  • synthesis: African elephants may occassionally have had turrets.
4 hours ago, Genava55 said:

The thing I found particularly interesting is the mention of Troglodytic elephants, which could be an adjective for Libyan elephants. Herodotus did mention elephants previously in Lybia but his concept of Lybia is less clear than for later historians. It is interesting to have literacy evidences for elephant in North Africa and not only the neolithic carvings in Atlas mountains and skeletons from Tibesti in the Lybian desert dated from late bronze age and iron age.

Herodotus' world view is fairly straightforward: to the East of the Nile is Asia, to the West Libya, to the South Aithiopia. This remained more or less accepted for about two millennia. Herodotus' entry on the Trogodytes is in IV.183:

Spoiler

H. B. Rosén (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Vol. I: Libros I–IV continens. (Leipzig 1987) p 447:

HerodotusIV183.thumb.png.e81f83228c1f8687f367f7258706532d.png

(The Greek on Perseus is faulty in this case, which is why I'm using this page form the newest Teubner text edition.)

[183] After ten days' journey again from Augila there is yet another hillock of salt and springs of water and many fruit-bearing palms, as at the other places;  p387 men dwell there called Garamantes, an exceeding great nation, who sow in earth which they have laid on the salt. Hence is the shortest way to the Lotus-eaters' country, thirty days' journey distant. Among the Garamantes are the oxen that go backward as they graze; whereof the reason is that their horns curve forward; therefore they walk backward in their grazing, not being able to go forward, seeing that the horns would project into the ground. In all else they are like other oxen, save that their hide is thicker, and different to the touch. These Garamantes go in their four-horse chariots chasing the cave-dwelling Ethiopians: for the Ethiopian cave-dwellers are swifter of foot than any men of whom tales are brought to us. They live on snakes, and lizards, and such-like creeping things. Their speech is like none other in the world; it is like the squeaking of bats.

translation: https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Herodotus/4G*.html#183

Given their position in the text, it's clear Herodotus locates them somewhere in the Sahara. This is not the case for later authors (Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, etc.), where Τρωγοδυτική means the lands on the Red Sea coast, opposite Arabia. From Pliny  Naturalis Historia book VI:

Spoiler

[103] est et aliud Hydreuma Vetus — Trogodyticum nominatur —, ubi praesidium excubat deverticulo duum milium; distat a Novo Hydreumate VII. inde Berenice oppidum, ubi portus Rubri maris, a Copto CCLVII p. sed quia maior pars itineris conficitur noctibus propter aestus et stativis dies absumuntur, totum a Copto Berenicem iter duodecimo die peragitur.

and next to it there is another, called the Old Hydreuma, or the Troglodytic, where a detachment is always on guard, with a caravansary that affords lodging for two thousand persons. This last is distant from the New Hydreuma seven miles. After leaving it we come to the city of Berenice, situate upon a harbour of the Red Sea, and distant from Coptos two hundred and fifty-seven miles. The greater part of this distance is generally travelled by night, on account of the extreme heat, the day being spent at the stations; in consequence of which it takes twelve days to perform the whole journey from Coptos to Berenice.

[...]

[154] promunturium, a quo ad continentem Trogodytarum L, Thoani, Actaei, Chatramotitae, Tonabaei, Antiadalaei, Lexianae, Agraei, Cerbani, Sabaei, Arabum propter tura clarissimi, ad ultraque maria porretis gentibus. oppida eorum in Rubro litore Merme, Marma, Corolia, Sabbatha; intus oppida Nascus, Cardava, Carnus et, quo merces odorum deferunt, Thomala.

We then come to a promontory, from which to the mainland of the Troglodytæ it is fifty miles, and then the Thoani, the Actæi, the Chatramotitæ, the Tonabei, the Antidalei, the Lexianæ, the Agræi, the Cerbani, and the Sabæi, the best known of all the tribes of Arabia, on account of their frankincense; these nations extend from sea to sea. The towns which belong to them on the Red Sea are Marane, Marma, Corolia, and Sabatha; and in the interior, Nascus, Cardava, Carnus, and Thomala, from which they bring down their spices for exportation.

[...]

[163] Nunc reliquam oram Arabiae contrariam persequemur. Timosthenes totum sinum quadridui navigatione in longitudinem taxavit, bidui in latitudinem, angustias VII·D p.; Eratosthenes ab ostio |XII| in quamque partem; Artemidorus Arabiae latere |XVII|·L,

We will now trace the rest of the coast that lies opposite to that of Arabia. Timosthenes has estimated the length of the whole gulf at four days' sail, and the breadth at two, making the Straits to be seven miles and a half in width. Eratosthenes says that the length of the shore from the mouth of the gulf is thirteen hundred miles on each side, while Artemidorus states that the length on the Arabian side is seventeen hundred and fifty miles,

[164] Trogodytico vero |XI|·LXXXVII·D p. Ptolemaida usque; Agrippa |XVII|·XXXII sine differentia laterum. plerique latitudinem CCCCLXXV prodiderunt, faucesque hiberno orienti obversas alii IIII, alii Vii·D, alii XII patere

and that along the Troglodytic coast, to Ptolemais, the distance is eleven hundred and thirty-seven and a half. Agrippa, however, maintains that there is no difference whatever in the length of the two sides, and makes it seventeen hundred and twenty-two miles. Most writers mention the length as being four hundred and seventy-five miles, and make the Straits to face the southeast, being twelve miles wide according to some, fifteen according to others.

[165] Situs autem ita se habet: a sinu Laeanitico alter sinus quem Arabes Aean vocant, in quo Heroon oppidum est. fuit et Cambysus inter Nelos et Marchadas, deductis eo aegris exercitus. gens Tyro, Daneon portus, ex quo navigabilem alveum perducere in Nilum, qua parte ad Delta dictum decurrit, LXII·D intervallo, quod inter flumen et Rubrum mare interest, primus omnium Sesostris Aegypti rex cogitavit, mox Darius Persarum, deinde Ptolemaeus sequens, qui et duxit fossam latitudine pedum C, altitudine XXX, in longitudinem XXXVII·D p. usque ad Fontes Amaros;

The localities of this region are as follow: On passing the Ælanitic Gulf there is another gulf, by the Arabians called Sœa, upon which is situate the city of Heroön. The town of Cambysu also stood here formerly, between the Neli and the Marchades, Cambyses having established there the invalids of his army. We then come to the nation of the Tyri, and the port of the Danei, from which place an attempt has been made to form a navigable canal to the river Nile, at the spot where it enters the Delta previously mentioned, the distance between the river and the Red Sea being sixty-two miles. This was contemplated first of all by Sesostris, king of Egypt, afterwards by Darius, king of the Persians, and still later by Ptolemy II., who also made a canal, one hundred feet in width and forty deep, extending a distance of thirty-seven miles and a half, as far as the Bitter Springs.

[166] ultra deterruit inundationis metus, excelsiore tribus cubitis Rubro mari conperto quam terra Aegypti. aliqui non eam adferunt causam, sed ne inmisso mari corrumperetur aqua Nili, quae sola potus praebet. nihilo minus iter totum terreno frequentatur a mari Aegyptio, quod est triplex; unum a Pelusio per harenas, in quo, nisi calami defixi regant, via non reperitur, subinde aura vestigia operiente;

He was deterred from proceeding any further with this work by apprehensions of an inundation, upon finding that the Red Sea was three cubits higher than the land in the interior of Egypt. Some writers, however, do not allege this as the cause, but say that his reason was, a fear lest, in consequence of introducing the sea, the water of the Nile might be spoilt, that being the only source from which the Egyptians obtain water for drinking. Be this as it may, the whole of the journey from the Egyptian Sea is usually performed by land one of the three following ways:—Either from Pelusium across the sands, in doing which the only method of finding the way is by means of reeds fixed in the earth, the wind immediately effacing all traces of footsteps:

[167] alterum ultra Casium montem, quod a LX p. redit in Pelusiacam viam — accolunt Arabes Autaei —; tertium a Gerrho, quod Agipsum vocant, per eosdem Arabas LX propius, sed asperum montibus et inops aquarum. eae omnes viae Arsinoen du@#&#036;%, conditam sororis nomine in sinu Carandra a Ptolemaeo Philadelpho, qui primus Trogodyticen excussit; amnem qui Arsinoen praefluit Ptolemaeum appellavit.

by the route which begins two miles beyond Mount Casius, and at a distance of sixty miles enters the road from Pelusium, adjoining to which road the Arabian tribe of the Autei dwell; or else by a third route, which leads from Gerrum, and which they call Adipsos, passing through the same Arabians, and shorter by nearly sixty miles, but running over rugged mountains and through a district destitute of water. All these roads lead to Arsinoë, a city founded in honour of his sister's name, upon the Gulf of Carandra, by Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was the first to explore Troglodytice, and called the river which flows before Arsinoë by the name of Ptolemæus.

[168] mox oppidum parvum est Aeum — alii pro hoc Philoterias scribunt —, deinde sunt Asaraei, ex Trogodytarum conubiis Arabes feri, insulae Spairine, Scytala, mox deserta ad Myos Hormon, ubi fons Tatnos, mons Aeas, insula Iambe, portus multi, Berenice oppidum, matris Philadelphi nomine, ad quod iter a Copto diximus, Arabes Autaei et Gebadaei.

After this comes the little town of Enum, by some writers mentioned as Philotera; next to which are the Abasæi, a nation sprung from intermarriages with the Troglodytæ, then some wild Arabian tribes, the islands of Sapirine and Scytala, and after these, deserts as far as Myoshormon, where we find the fountain of Tatnos, Mount Æas, the island of Iambe, and numerous harbours. Berenice also, is here situate, so called after the name of the mother of Philadelphus, and to which there is a road from Coptos, as we have previously stated; then the Arabian Autei, and the Zebadei.

[169] Trogodytice, quam prisci Midoen, alii Midioen dixere, mons Pentedactylos, insulae Stenae Dirae aliquot, Halonesi non pauciores, Cardamine, Topazos, quae gemmae nomen dedit. sinus insulis refertus: ex his quae Mareu vocantur, aquosae, quae Eratonos, sitientes; regum hi praefecti fuere. introrsus Candaei, quos Ophiophagos vocant, serpentibus vesci adsueti; neque alia regio fertilior est earum.

Troglodytice comes next, by the ancients called Midoë, and by some Michoë; here is Mount Pentedactylos, some islands called Stenæ Deiræ, the Halonnesi, a group of islands not less in number, Cardamine, and Topazos, which last has given its name to the precious stone so called. The gulf is full of islands; those known as Mareu are supplied with fresh water, those called Erenos, are without it; these were ruled by governors4 appointed by the kings. In the interior are the Candei, also called Ophiophagi, a people in the habit of eating serpents; there is no region in existence more productive of them.

[170] Iuba, qui videtur diligentissime persecutus haec, omisit in hoc tractu — nisi exemplarum vitium est — Berenicen alteram, quae Panchrysos cognominata est, et tertiam, quae Epi Dires, insignem loco: est enim sita in cervice longe procurrente, ubi fauces Rubri maris VII·D p. ab Arabia distant. insula ibi Citis, topazum ferens et ipsa.

Juba, who appears to have investigated all these matters with the greatest diligence, has omitted, in his description of these regions—unless, indeed, it be an error in the copying—another place called Berenice and surnamed Panchrysos, as also a third surnamed Epidires, and remarkable for the peculiarity of its site; for it lies on a long projecting neck of land, at the spot where the Straits at the mouth of the Red Sea separate the coast of Africa from Arabia by a distance of seven miles only: here too is the island of Cytis, which also produces the topaz.

[171] ultra silvae, ubi Ptolemais, a Philadelpho condita ad venatus elephantorum, ob id Epi Theras cognominata, iuxta lacum Monoleum. haec est regio secundo volumine a nobis significata, in qua XLV diebus ante solstitium totidemque postea hora sexta consumuntur umbrae et in meridiem reliquis horis cadunt, ceteris diebus in septentrionem, @#&#036;% in Berenice quam primam posuimus ipso die solstitii sexta hora umbrae in totum absumantur nihilque adnotetur aliud novi, DCII p. intervallo a Ptolemaide: res ingentis exempli locusque subtilitatis inmensae, mundo ibi deprehenso, @#&#036;% indubitata ratione umbrarum Eratosthenes mensuram terrae prodere inde conceperit.

Beyond this are forests, in which is Ptolemais, built by Philadelphus for the chase of the elephant, and thence called Epitheras, situate near Lake Monoleus. This is the same region that has been already mentioned by us in the Second Book, and in which, during forty-five days before the summer solstice and for as many after, there is no shadow at the sixth hour, and during the other hours of the day it falls to the south; while at other times it falls to the north; whereas at the Berenice of which we first made mention, on the day of the summer solstice the shadow totally disappears at the sixth hour, but no other unusual phænomenon is observed. That place is situate at a distance of six hundred and two miles from Ptolemais, which has thus become the subject of a remarkable theory, and has promoted the exercise of a spirit of the most profound investigation; for it was at this spot that the extent of the earth was first ascertained, it being the fact that Erastosthenes, beginning at this place by the accurate calculation of the length of the shadow, was enabled to determine with exactness the dimensions of the earth.

[172] hinc Azanium mare, promunturium quod aliqui Hippalum scripsere, lacus Mandalum, insula Colocasitis et in alto multae, in quibus testudo plurima. oppidum Sace, insula Daphnidis, oppidum Aduliton; Aegyptiorum hoc servi profugi a dominis condidere.

After passing this place we come to the Azanian Sea, a promontory by some writers called Hispalus, Lake Mandalum, and the island of Colocasitis, with many others lying out in the main sea, upon which multitudes of turtles are found. We then come to the town of Suche, the island of Daphnidis, and the town of the Adulitæ, a place founded by Egyptian runaway slaves.

[173] maximum hic emporium Trogodytarum, etiam Aethiopum; abest a Ptolemaide V dierum navigatione. deferunt plurimum ebur, rhinocerotum cornua, hippopotamiorum coria, chelium testudinum, sphingia, mancipia. supra Aethiopas Aroteras insulae quae Aliaeu vocantur, item Bacchias et Antibacchias et Stratioton. hinc in ora Aethiopiae sinus incognitus, quod miremur, @#&#036;% ulteriora mercatores scrutentur. promunturium in quo fons Cucios, expetitus navigantibus;

This is the principal mart for the Troglodyte, as also for the people of Æthiopia: it is distant from Ptolemais five days' sail. To this place they bring ivory in large quantities, horns of the rhinoceros, hides of the hippopotamus, tortoise-shell, sphingiæ, and slaves. Beyond the Æthiopian Aroteræ are the islands known by the name of Aliæu, as also those of Bacchias, Antibacchias, and Stratioton. After passing these, on the coast of Æthiopia, there is a gulf which remains unexplored still; a circumstance the more to be wondered at, seeing that merchants have pursued their investigations to a greater distance than this. We then come to a promontory, upon which there is a spring called Cucios, much resorted to by mariners.

[174] ultra Isidis portus, decem dierum remigio ab oppido Adulitarum distans; in eum Trogodytis myrra confertur. insulae ante portum duae Pseudopylae vocantur, interiores totidem Pylae; in altera stelae lapideae litteris ignotis. ultra sinus Avalitu, dein insula Diodori et aliae desertae, per continentem quoque deserta, oppidum Gaza, promunturium et portus Mossylites, quo cinnamum devehitur. hucusque Sesostris exercitum duxit. aliqui unum Aethiopiae oppidum ultra ponunt in litore Baragaza.

Beyond it is the Port of Isis, distant ten days' rowing from the town of the Adulitæ: myrrh is brought to this port by the Troglodytæ. The two islands before the harbour are called Pseudepylæ, and those in it, the same in number, are known as Pylæ; upon one of these there are some stone columns inscribed with unknown characters. Beyond these is the Gulf of Abalites, the island of Diodorus, and other desert islands; also, on the mainland, a succession of deserts, and then the town of Gaza, and the promontory and port of Mossylum, to the latter of which cinnamon is brought for exportation: it was thus far that Sesostris led his army. Some writers place even beyond this, upon the shore, one town of Ethiopia, called Baricaza.

[175] A Mossylico promunturio Atlanticum mare incipere vult Iuba praeter Mauretanias suas Gadis usque navigandum coro, cuius tot sententia hoc in loco subtrahenda non est. a promunturio Indorum quod vocetur Lepte Acra, ab aliis Drepanum, proponit recto cursu praeter Exustam ad Malichu insulam |XV| p. esse, inde ad locum quem vocant Sceneos CCXXV p., inde ad insulas Adanu CL: sic fieri ad apertum mare |XVIII|·LXXV p.

Juba will have it that at the Promontory of Mossylum the Atlantic Sea begins, and that with a north-west wind we may sail past his native country, the Mauritanias, and arrive at Gades. We ought not on this occasion to curtail any portion of the opinions so expressed by him. He says that after we pass the promontory of the Indians, known as Lepteacra, and by others called Drepanum, the distance, in a straight line, beyond the island of Exusta and Malichu, is fifteen hundred miles; from thence to a place called Sceneos two hundred and twenty-five; and from thence to the island of Adanu one hundred and fifty miles; so that the distance to the open sea is altogether eighteen hundred and seventy-five miles.

[176] reliqui omnes propter ardorem solis navigari posse non putaverunt. quin et commercia ipsa infestant ex insulis Arabes, Ascitae appellati, quoniam bubulos utres binos insternentes ponte piraticam exercent sagittis venenatis. gentes Trogodytarum idem Iuba tradit Therothoas a venatu dictos, mirae velocitatis, sicut Ichthyophagos, natantes ceu maris animalia, Bangenos, Zangenas, Thalibas, Saxinas, Sirechas, Daremas, Domazenes.

All the other writers, however, are of opinion that, in consequence of the intensity of the sun's heat, this sea is not navigable; added to which, commerce is greatly exposed to the depredations of a piratical tribe of Arabians called Ascitæ, who dwell upon the islands: placing two inflated skins of oxen beneath a raft of wood, they ply their piratical vocation with the aid of. poisoned arrows. We learn also from the same author that some nations of the Troglodytae have the name of Therothoæ, being so called from their skill in hunting. They are remarkable for their swiftness, he says, just as the Ichthyophagi are, who can swim like the animals whose element is the sea. He speaks also of the Bangeni, the Gangoræ, the Chalybes, the Xoxinæ, the Sirechæ, the Daremæ, and the Domazames.

[177] quin et accolas Nili a Syene non Aethiopum populos, sed Arabum esse dicit usque Meroen; Solis quoque oppidum, quod non procul Memphi in Aegypti situ diximus, Arabas conditores habere. sunt qui et ulteriorem ripam Aethiopiae auferant adnectantque Africae. [ripas autem incoluere propter aquam.] nos relicto cuique intellegendi arbitrio oppida quo traduntur ordine utrimque ponemus a Syene.

Juba states, too, that the inhabitants who dwell on the banks of the Nile from Syene as far as Meroë, are not a people of Æthiopia, but Arabians; and that the city of the Sun, which we have mentioned as situate not far from Memphis, in our description of Egypt, was founded by Arabians. There are some writers who take away the further bank of the Nile from Æthiopia, and unite it to Africa; and they people its sides with tribes attracted thither by its water. We shall leave these matters, however, to the option of each, to form his opinion on them, and shall now proceed to mention the towns on each side in the order in which they are given.

 

text: https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/L/Roman/Texts/Pliny_the_Elder/6*.html

translation is from Perseus; note though that the text uses paragraph numbers, the translation chapters:

With “Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants” the inscription means elephants from the coast (T) and interior (E). If Ptolemy III had any Libyan elephants, they would have been called as such; also note “the kingdom of Egypt and Libya [i.e. Cyrenaica]” etc. earlier in the inscription.

Moreover, I doubt there were any elephants in the Northern Sahara steppe in Classical times; Carthage seems to have captured them in the woodlands surrounding the Atlas mountains (Morocco and Northern Algeria).

What I want to know is whether that inscription really has a λ. :) Some manuscripts do, presumably because of association with τρώγλη (LSJ: an hole formed by gnawing, esp. a mouse's hole; plural: caves; holes in clothes; of canals in the flesh), but the correct form appears to be Τρωγοδύται, without the λ.

Edited by Nescio
Pliny
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24 minutes ago, Nescio said:

With “Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants” the inscription means elephants from the coast (T) and interior (E). If Ptolemy III had any Libyan elephants, they would have been called as such; also note “the kingdom of Egypt and Libya [i.e. Cyrenaica]” etc. earlier in the inscription.

Ok thanks for the clarification. I thought the term was used for tribes at the West of Nile as well, closer to the Tibesti Mountains, but I was wrong. I found really weird they distinguish coastal and interior elephants from really further lands if there is no difference between them.

30 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Moreover, I doubt there were any elephants in the Northern Sahara steppe in Classical times; Carthage seems to have captured them in the woodlands surrounding the Atlas mountains (Morocco and Northern Algeria).

There is also evidence for elephant remains in Northern Tunisia during the 9th century BC:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X16302693

Quote

The appearance of three fragments of elephant tusks is significant (See Fig. 4,5). They certainly belong to the African species, Loxodonta africana Blumenbach, 1797, which is divided into two geographical subspecies, the savanna elephant, L. africana africana and the forest elephant, L. africana cyclotis. The first, at the start of the twentieth century, reached the northern edge of the Sahara through Senegal, Mauritania, Chad and the Sahelian region of Sudan and Somalia. Increasing aridity in North Africa during the Neolithic steadily pushed this subspecies to the South. As for the forest elephant, they currently located in the Congo Basin and a northern coastal strip towards Senegal, although it is possible that, due to wetter weather conditions in the past, they could have reached latitudes close to the Canary Islands. In the Roman period, the forest elephant occupied the litho-Mediterranean strip, from Tripolitania to the Atlantic, bordering to the South with the foothills of the Atlas Mountains (Krzyskowska, Morlot, 2000: 323). According to Pliny the Elder (Nat. His. VII, 11, 32), elephants could still be obtained in North Africa at his time (first century CE. He also writes that the first Roman general who crossed the Atlas found forests full of elephants, confirming the conclusion that the forest subspecies still existed at that time in those latitudes. It was, indeed, in this region, where the Carthaginians got their war elephants, where their extinction was confirmed around the fourth century CE. The remains of tusks found in Utica may represent remnants of raw materials used for ivory crafts, demonstrating the use of a commodity whose use became common shortly after with the full expansion of Phoenician trade.

 

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On 5/22/2020 at 9:18 PM, Genava55 said:

@Nescio do you know the Adoulis inscription?

7 hours ago, Nescio said:

I know of it, though I haven't looked up the original publication.

Luckily the livius.org page linked earlier has an identifier of the inscription: OGIS 54.

2 hours ago, Nescio said:

What I want to know is whether that inscription really has a λ. :) Some manuscripts do, presumably because of association with τρώγλη (LSJ: an hole formed by gnawing, esp. a mouse's hole; plural: caves; holes in clothes; of canals in the flesh), but the correct form appears to be Τρωγοδύται, without the λ.

Found it: https://epigraphy.packhum.org/text/218979

[EDIT]: and: https://archive.org/details/orientisgraeciin01dittuoft/page/85/mode/2up :

In ipso lapide sine dubio Τρωγοδυτικῶν scriptum fuit.

:)

Edited by Nescio
Dittenberger 1903

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36 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Ok thanks for the clarification. I thought the term was used for tribes at the West of Nile as well, closer to the Tibesti Mountains, but I was wrong.

That could be the location of Herodotus Trogodites, yes. However, in later authors the term refers exclusively to the Red Sea coast.

38 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

I found really weird they distinguish coastal and interior elephants from really further lands if there is no difference between them.

The difference could be in how or where they were obtained; see also the Casson (1993) article linked earlier. One explanation might be that Ethiopia here refers to the kingdom of Meroë (i.e. Kush).

40 minutes ago, Genava55 said:
1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Moreover, I doubt there were any elephants in the Northern Sahara steppe in Classical times; Carthage seems to have captured them in the woodlands surrounding the Atlas mountains (Morocco and Northern Algeria).

There is also evidence for elephant remains in Northern Tunisia during the 9th century BC:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X16302693

Yes, Northern Tunisia belongs to the same geographic area as Northern Algeria. It was also a lot more fertile than it is today. Elephants could have roamed throughout the Mediterranean coastal strip. The Sahara alternates between complete desert and green savanna every 10,000 years or so, thus there were probably some elephants when the area was green in the Neolithic, but in Hellenistic times the Sahara was a desert, like now.

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2 hours ago, Nescio said:

Yes, Northern Tunisia belongs to the same geographic area as Northern Algeria. It was also a lot more fertile than it is today. Elephants could have roamed throughout the Mediterranean coastal strip. The Sahara alternates between complete desert and green savanna every 10,000 years or so, thus there were probably some elephants when the area was green in the Neolithic, but in Hellenistic times the Sahara was a desert, like now.

"like now" probably not. Northern Sahara knows an increasing trend of desertification that is due from a very long term change itself due to global and regional climate changes as you pointed out with the cycle of humid and dry periods, however the trend is still going. Furthermore, the rise of pastoralism accelerated the trend of desertification up to the modern period when a more productive agriculture started with the colonization. This further accelerated the desertification.

Anyway I wasn't suggesting the elephants were everywhere in Northern Sahara. It is simply that a huge number of ecosystems were connected during the African Humid Period, with steppes, lakes and forests. Since this period ended between 4000 and 3000 BC, there was indeed a rapid change in the Sahara transforming the landscape in a desert but they were actually still remaining ecosystems in the margins at the end of the bronze age. Notably in West Africa where the change is less abrupt and close to the Tibesti mountains like in the case of the Lake Yoa. It took millennia for these ecosystems to completely collapse. So I have personally the hypothesis that elephants were still present in remaining pockets of these ecosystems during Hellenistic times (like the Atlas mountains woodland at the foothills but not only). Maybe these elephants are simply smaller because of insular dwarfism.

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9 hours ago, Genava55 said:

"like now" probably not. Northern Sahara knows an increasing trend of desertification that is due from a very long term change itself due to global and regional climate changes as you pointed out with the cycle of humid and dry periods, however the trend is still going. Furthermore, the rise of pastoralism accelerated the trend of desertification up to the modern period when a more productive agriculture started with the colonization. This further accelerated the desertification.

True, the Sahara is significantly larger today than it was in the 3rd C BC and the surrounding areas a lot more arid. However, what I meant was that the Sahara was a desert in Antiquity, i.e. hostile to elephants, and the situation during the African Humid Period (nice term!) is not relevant for the Hellenistic period. The Libyan (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco) and Ethiopian (Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) elephants were two completely separate populations.

9 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Anyway I wasn't suggesting the elephants were everywhere in Northern Sahara. It is simply that a huge number of ecosystems were connected during the African Humid Period, with steppes, lakes and forests. Since this period ended between 4000 and 3000 BC, there was indeed a rapid change in the Sahara transforming the landscape in a desert but they were actually still remaining ecosystems in the margins at the end of the bronze age. Notably in West Africa where the change is less abrupt and close to the Tibesti mountains like in the case of the Lake Yoa. It took millennia for these ecosystems to completely collapse. So I have personally the hypothesis that elephants were still present in remaining pockets of these ecosystems during Hellenistic times (like the Atlas mountains woodland at the foothills but not only).

The Sudan and Sahel have probably moved a great deal to the south in the past millennia and Lake Chad and Lake Yoa used to be many times larger than they're now, so yes, it's certainly possible there were still elephants there in Hellenistic times.

However, assuming there were elephants in the Tibesti mountains and the Ptolemies were aware of that, there is still the problem how they could have sent tame elephants there and brought back captured wild elephants to Egypt, given the desert in between.

10 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Maybe these elephants are simply smaller because of insular dwarfism.

Exactly! When populations are isolated, they tend to diverge, there is nothing unusual about that. It's the simplest and least problematic explanation for the small African war elephants.

 

Anyway, I believe we're basically in agreement, we just have different backgrounds and ways of expressing ourselves. :)

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Here are more pictures from Wikimedia Commons, to highlight the differences between elephant subspecies.

First the African bush or savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana); note the pronounced curve of the back, the large, triangular ears, and the curved, forward-pointing tusks:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/African_elephant_(Addo)_29.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/African_Bull_Bush_Elephant,_Maasai_Mara.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/African_Elephant_(Loxodonta_africana)_bull_...._(46469223435).jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Elephant_and_wilderbeast.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/African_Elephant_(Loxodonta_africana)_male_(16723147361).jpg

Then there is the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis); notice the more level back, the rounder ears, and the straight, downward-pointing tusks:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Forest_elephant_group_1_(6841415460).jpg

Forest elephant family (6987538203).jpg

Next the Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus); you can see it has a round back, a more dome-like skull, much smaller ears, and a trunk with only one “finger”; also, females don't have tusks:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/AmersfoortZooYoungAsianElephant.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Elephant-and-baby-elephant-in-zoo-Copenhagen.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Zurich_zoo_elephant_01.jpg

Elephas maximus Kobe 01.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Gajraj.jpg
File:KITLV 100445 - Unknown - Elephant with escorts, presumably in Kashmir in British India - Around 1870.tif
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Elephant_show_in_Chiang_Mai_P1110461.JPG

The Sri Lanka elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) is largely similar, but darker of skin:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Sri_Lanka_Elephants_02.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Elephantin_Sri_lanka.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Elephant_&_Mahout.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Elephant_near_temple_Sri_Lanka.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Sri_Lankan_Elephant.jpg

Finally, the Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus):

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Baby_Elephant_-_panoramio.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e9/COLLECTIE_TROPENMUSEUM_Een_pas_gevangen_jonge_olifant_Oost-Sumatra_TMnr_10006625.jpg

Elephant Sumatra ProfilG.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Sumatran_elephant_Ragunan_Zoo.JPG

 

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Yes! 0 A.D.'s elephants are a bit ugly; e.g. their necks are too long:

0ad-asian.png.51265b638eb81280e88d095d9b8ba8a6.png

Also, if the feet are to be improved, Asian elephants have “usually five nail-like structures on each forefoot and four on each rear foot instead of [African elephants, which have] four and three” https://doi.org/10.2307/3504045

On 5/19/2020 at 5:27 PM, Alexandermb said:

that means Asian elephant is almost 2 units or 1.7 human units in game

0 A.D. has separate lion and lioness actors, and also bulls and cows for cattle. Would it also be possible to have male and female elephants? For instance, male Indian elephants, 1.7× as tall as humans, can be used for war elephants, and female Indian elephants, 1.4× as tall as humans, and without tusks, could be used for worker elephants.

It would also be nice to have elephant calves of a few sizes (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75%).

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On 5/22/2020 at 5:05 PM, Nescio said:

All ancient depictions of African elephants I've seen resemble small African bush elephants (S-shaped back, curved, forward-pointing tusks),

An interesting argument, that I've not really seen before. 

One point is that indeed, forest elephants often have more level backs, some of them do actually have more S-shaped backs, and likewise some bush elephants have level backs. There's a relatively large degree of physical diversity even within the subspecies. It's a also true that the forest elephants usually have narrower, downward pointing tusks, but not all. Some have tusks just like bush elephants. Hybridization might indeed explain these discrepancies. 

 

On 5/22/2020 at 5:05 PM, Nescio said:

Furthermore, forest elephants live in the equatorial forests of Africa, to the south of the Sudanian Savanna, where bush elephants are native; North Africa is much closer in distance, climate, and vegetation to the areas where bush elephants live; anyone arguing ancient war elephants were forest elephants ought to have an explanation how those ended up in North Africa.

Actually the argument isn't that they are forest elephants. The argument is that they belong to a third, now extinct subspecies, known as North African elephant (Loxodonta africana pharaohensis). It's often compared to forest elephants because its reported small stature. They may have branched off from forest elephants or bush elephants, the point is that they weren't  comparable in size to most modern African bush elephants. 

Also, as already mentioned the African humid period was part of a cyclical event that turned the Sahara green, many times over in the past hundreds of thousands of years, providing ample opportunities for dispersal and subsequent differentiation of species and subspecies. 

 

On 5/23/2020 at 10:12 PM, Genava55 said:

Maybe these elephants are simply smaller because of insular dwarfism.

On 5/24/2020 at 8:19 AM, Nescio said:

Exactly! When populations are isolated, they tend to diverge, there is nothing unusual about that. It's the simplest and least problematic explanation for the small African war elephants.

Very possible... 

 

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2 hours ago, Nescio said:

Yes! 0 A.D.'s elephants are a bit ugly; e.g. their necks are too long:

Also the head shapes could use improvement (1 dome or 2).

 

2 hours ago, Nescio said:

0 A.D. has separate lion and lioness actors, and also bulls and cows for cattle. Would it also be possible to have male and female elephants? For instance, male Indian elephants, 1.7× as tall as humans, can be used for war elephants, and female Indian elephants, 1.4× as tall as humans, and without tusks, could be used for worker elephants.

I agree having male and female elephant templates for each elephant species would be nice. We can implement that easily.

If we eventually get realistic herding behavior for herd animals it would be neat to have individuals of varying age/size (deer, wildebeests, gazelles, giraffes, elephants, etc.).

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:41 PM, Sundiata said:

An interesting argument, that I've not really seen before. 

One point is that indeed, forest elephants often have more level backs, some of them do actually have more S-shaped backs, and likewise some bush elephants have level backs. There's a relatively large degree of physical diversity even within the subspecies. It's a also true that the forest elephants usually have narrower, downward pointing tusks, but not all. Some have tusks just like bush elephants. Hybridization might indeed explain these discrepancies. 

True. My point is size alone is not a good criterion. The pygmy elephants of the Congo were long thought to be a separate species, but they turn out to be simply an isolated population of forest elephants; the same is true of pygmy peoples.

On 5/29/2020 at 11:41 PM, Sundiata said:

Actually the argument isn't that they are forest elephants. The argument is that they belong to a third, now extinct subspecies, known as North African elephant (Loxodonta africana pharaohensis). It's often compared to forest elephants because its reported small stature.

No, actually not. During colonial times about a dozen subspecies were proposed for the African elephant, but none are recognized nowadays, nor is the L. a. pharaonensis. Practically all scholarly publications on hellenistic war elephants from, say, the last 50 years, typically state, or repeat, as a matter of fact, that North African elephants were forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis). Furthermore, they rarely highlight the fact that Carthage and the Ptolemies sourced them from two entirely separate populations. Historians and classicists are not biologists.

On 5/29/2020 at 11:41 PM, Sundiata said:

They may have branched off from forest elephants or bush elephants, the point is that they weren't  comparable in size to most modern African bush elephants. 

Also, as already mentioned the African humid period was part of a cyclical event that turned the Sahara green, many times over in the past hundreds of thousands of years, providing ample opportunities for dispersal and subsequent differentiation of species and subspecies. 

Very possible... 

Only the latest cyclus matters, what happened long before is not very relevant in this case (the spread of African elephants). Whether they are aware of it or not, those arguing that North African elephants were forest elephants implicitly assume an argument along the lines of:

  • c. 15 000 years ago both bush and forest elephants roamed the entire continent.
  • Due to increasing desertification, elephants disappeared from the Sahara.
  • Bush elephants died out in Mediterranean North Africa and the broader Red Sea region, whereas forest elephants survived there, as in the equatorial rainforests. (Somehow the different climates and environments didn't matter.)
  • Everywhere else bush elephants survived and forest elephants disappeared. (Somehow the different climates and environments did matter.)
  • Despite the distance and isolation, the forest elephants of Mediterranean North Africa and those of the broader Red Sea region were rather similar to each other.
  • Starting from about 2000 years ago, elephants died out in Mediterranean North Africa and the broader Red Sea region.
  • Subsequently, bush elephants moved into the broader Red Sea region, from which the modern elephant populations there are derived.

Compare this with:

  • c. 15 000 years ago bush elephants roamed the entire continent. Forest elephants were limited to the equatorial rainforests, as they are now.
  • Due to increasing desertification, elephants disappeared from the Sahara, isolating the bush elephants in Mediterranean North Africa from those elsewhere.

Often simpler explanations tend to be more likely.

Edited by Nescio
Mammals of Africa in separate post

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 Quoting a paragraph from Joyce Poole, Paula Kahumbu, Ian Whyte “Loxodonta africana Savanna Elephant (African Bush Elephant)” in Jonathan Kingdon, David C. D. Happold, Thomas M. Butynski, Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina (eds.) Mammals of Africa (London 2013) 181–194; 183:

Quote

Distribution
Historical Distribution Elephants once inhabited virtually the entire
African continent. Neolithic rock paintings from 10,000–12,000 years
ago reveal that elephants once existed through much of the Sahara
Desert and North Africa (Coulson 2001), but climatic fluctuations
might have excluded them from some waterless regions during very
arid periods. From ancient historical writings it is clear that elephants
occurred from the Mediterranean coast in North Africa (Bryden 1903)
and the species is believed to have survived into the first few centuries
ad in the Atlas Mts and along the Red Sea coastline and Nubia. At the
time of first contact with non-aboriginal people, the distribution of
elephants broadly spanned the entire continent south of the Sahara
(Mauny 1956, Douglas-Hamilton 1979).

Current Distribution Today, Savanna Elephants are extirpated
throughout the region north of the Sahel, and are restricted to south
of the Sahara, occupying only 20% of their historic range. Their
distribution is patchy and fragmented. The main cause for range decline
is habitat loss and poaching for ivory during the last two centuries. In
West Africa, where range loss has been most severe, Savanna Elephant
populations exist in small, fragmented and isolated enclaves in the
Sahelian zone, along forest edge, woodlands and savanna. A relict
population of desert-living elephants occurs in Gourma, Mali (Blake
et al. 2003, Bouché et al. 2009). In central Africa, Savanna Elephants
are known to occur in N Central African Republic and N Cameroon,
and there is reportedly a narrow zone of hybridization in NE DR
Congo (and perhaps in S Central African Republic). In Chad, the only
central African range state having only Savanna Elephant populations,
elephants occur in Sudanian woodland in the south and in the drier
Sahelian Acacia wooded grasslands further north; there are no
elephants in the Saharan north of the country (Blanc et al. 2007).
In Eastern Africa, Savanna Elephants occupy both forest and
savanna habitats. Populations in Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia
and Rwanda are remnant and highly fragmented, while larger ranges
and populations still occur in Sudan, Kenya and, particularly, Tanzania.
Southern Africa is home to most of Africa’s Savanna Elephants where
they occur in fragmented ranges, although elephants have been
extirpated from Lesotho. The largest remaining population in an
unbroken range includes parts of Namibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Angola (Blanc et al. 2007). Small relict populations of
forest-living Savanna Elephants occur along the eastern coast of
Africa from Kenya’s Arabuko-Sokoke and Shimba Hills forests to
the Knysna forest in the Western Cape, South Africa. Many new,
but fragmented, populations have been established in South Africa
through translocations from Kruger N. P.

And the corresponding paragraph from Andrea Turkalo, Richard Barnes “Loxodonta cyclotis Forest Elephant” in Jonathan Kingdon, David C. D. Happold, Thomas M. Butynski, Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina (eds.) Mammals of Africa (London 2013) 195–200; 196:

Quote

Distribution
Historical Distribution Forest Elephants are assumed to have occurred
throughout the Guinea-Congolian region of West and central Africa.
The limits of past and present distribution remain vague because of
intergradations between Forest Elephants and Savanna Elephants along
the northern and eastern fringes of the West African and Congo Basin
forests (Roth & Douglas-Hamilton 1991). In Garamba N. P., DR Con-
go, three individual elephants showed genotypes with a combination of
Forest and Savanna alleles, suggesting a history of limited hybridization
in the ancestors of this population (Roca et al. 2001).

Current Distribution Forest Elephants are widespread in the remaining
forests of the Guinea-Congolian forests. The majority of elephant
range in central Africa is inhabited by Forest Elephants, with Savanna
Elephants occurring in N Cameroon, N Central African Republic and
Chad (Blanc et al. 2007). However, the distribution of elephants in the
forests of central Africa is shrinking at an accelerated rate as roads,
railways, pipelines and mining and logging companies penetrate forests
that were formerly difficult to access, making it easier for hunters
to find and kill them. Loss of elephant range in DR Congo has been
especially acute over the past several decades as rapidly expanding
human populations move into some of the most important elephant
landscapes, especially in the eastern forest zone (see Conservation).
In West Africa, elephants are now found in 35 small, isolated forest
patches with a median area of 800 km² (AfESG 2003).
There are reports of cyclotiform elephants in tongues of riverine
forest far into the savanna zone of N Central African Republic and in
the Sudanian savanna zone of N Togo (Stalmans & Anderson 1992).
Elephants in the mountains of Kenya are Savanna Elephants (Roca et al.
2001). See profile of Savanna Elephant (p. 183) for distribution map.

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