Kyrenean 575 BC - 74 BC

Warm. Ag 0 if before 320 BC, 1 after 321 BC. WW, H(S), H(G), O, RGo, D, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 128 men (half normal scale)

C-in-C - on horse as Irr Cv (I) @ 15 AP, or as hoplites, Irr Sp (O) @ 14 AP 1
Sub-general - as above 0-1
Ally-general - on horse as Irr Cv (I) @ 10 AP, or as hoplites, Irr Sp (O) @ 9 AP 0-1
Four-horse chariots with javelin-armed crew - Irr Cv (O) @ 6 AP 2-6
Replace chariots with Greek cavalry - Irr Cv (I) @ 5 AP 0-4
Hoplites - Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP 32-96
To transport hoplites, including generals, on carts as mounted infantry @ + 1 AP Any
Archers and/or slingers - Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-6
Javelinmen - Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 16*-48
Penteconters, etc - Reg Gal (F) 2 AP [hoplites, Ps (O)] 0-4
Libyan allies - List: Early Libyan (Bk 1)

Only before 283 BC:
Mount generals in 4-horse chariots as Irr Cv (O) @ 11 AP if ally-general, otherwise @ 16 AP Any

Only after 550 BC:
Other Kyrenaican allies - List: Kyrenean Greek (Bk 1) Up to 3 contingents

Only after 475 BC:
Upgrade javelinmen as shielded to Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP Any
Upgrade Gal (F) as trieres to Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [hoplites, Ps (O), Ax (I)] All

Only Euesperides in 414 BC or 413 BC:
Spartan allies:
- - - Ally-general - Reg Sp (I) @ 14 AP 1**
- - - Spartan neodamodeis and helot hoplites - Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 7**-15
- - - Transports - Irr Shp (O) @ 3 AP [Spartan Sp] 0 or 1 per Spartan Sp
- - - Replace transports with trieres - Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [Spartan general] 0-1

Only Kyrene in 322 BC:
Carthaginian allies - List: Early Carthaginian (Bk 1)

Only after 321 BC:
Upgrade CinC to Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP 1**
Upgrade sub-general as mercenary to Reg Cv (0) or Reg Kn (I) @ 30 AP or if hoplite Reg Sp (O) 25 AP 0-1
Household Companions or similar cavalry - Reg Kn (F) @ 11 AP 0**-2
Mercenary or other Greek cavalry - Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 10 AP 0**-2
Replace hoplites with mercenary archers or slingers - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-8
Replace mercenary archers with Cretan javelinmen - Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-4
Replace hoplites with other mercenaries - all Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP, or if acting as euzonoi, all Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP, or with Macedonian garrison troops - Reg Pk (O) @ 4 AP 0-8

Only Ophellas' Kyreneans from 312 BC to 308 BC:
Macedonians - Reg Pk (O) @ 4 AP 0**-8
Athenian and other Greek volunteers - Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP or Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 0**-24

Only after 284 BC:
Replace hoplites with pikemen - Reg Pk (I) @ 23 AP if sub-general, @ 13 AP if ally-general, otherwise 3 AP 16**-36
Household infantry - all Reg Pk (S) @ 5 AP or, if acting as peltasts, all Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP 0**-4
Upgrade mercenary Ax or Sp as thorakitai - all Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP or all Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP 0-1/2

Only after 200 BC:
Replace Greek cavalry with Libyans - Irr LH (O) @ 5 AP Any
Replace remaining hoplites with militia thureophoroi - Reg Ax (I) @ 3 AP All/0
Upgrade javelinmen as shielded to Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP All

Kyrene was the largest of the Greek cities of the Cyrenaica region of modern Libya. This list covers not only Kyrenean armies from the rapid expansion of Kyrene under Battos II, but also armies of the other independent Kyrenaican cities, plus independant Ptolemaic forces based in Kyrene until the annexation of the area by Rome. Kyrene was conquered by Ptolemy's general Ophellas in 321 during a civil war. He soon set up as an independent ruler, and in 308 BC took an army to join Agathokles of Syracuse against Carthage. Agathokles killed him in a pre-emptive battle and took over his army. The region remained under Ptolemaic rule until Ptolemy Apion bequethed it to Rome, but governors, sometimes kings of the Ptolemaic house, were often independent of Alexandria, and this list includes such "Ptolemaic" forces. Kyrene was noted for copying four-horsed chariots from the neighbouring Libyans, and for transporting its hoplites in carts to prevent fatigue. Unreplaced chariots may not be used after 284 BC. The minimum marked * does not apply if any Spartans are used. Minima marked ** apply only if any items so marked are used. Spartans may not be used with Libyan allies. Household troops may only be used in the command of a Kn (F) CinC. Allied contingents drawn from this list may contain any troops marked **.


List dates and coverage: Kyrene was founded circa 631 BC according to Eusebius, a date corroborated by archaeological excavations. The city remained small however until the start of the reign of its 3rd king (Battos II), 56 years later, when a second wave of Greek immigration massively increased its population, prompting an attack from Egypt in 570 BC that was heavily defeated. Accordingly, this list starts in 575 BC, since the city was too small to muster a DBM-sized force before that time. After circa 550 BC Kyrene was not the only city in Cyrenaica, as successionists founded first Barka, and later other cities, so that by the Roman period the area was known as the Pentapolis. These cities were also quite large and often independent of Kyrene, and fielded their own armies, and so are also covered by this list.

Climate: The rules demand African north of the Atlas be Warm, and Libya be Dry. However, unlike the rest of Libya, rainfall is not infrequent in the Cyrenaican region, and much of it is both fertile and watered, so a classification of Warm seems better than Dry.

Aggression: After Ophellas took over Kyrene in 321 BC, the region was attached to Egypt. However, the governers often acted independently, Magas holding an independent kingship and marching to attack Egypt (though turning back upon hearing of a revolt of the Libyans), and so aggression is raised to 1 in this later period. Similarly in the 1st century, Egypt was split into 3 portions (Kyrene, Cyprus and Egpyt proper), each with its own ruler.

Terrain: The hills upon which Kyrene is built rise to over 600m, despite it being just 8 km from the sea, and those further inland even higher. Since many are (lightly) wooded, the lack of H(S) from the current list is particularly silly. Such woods are probably best classified as DBM O rather than Wd however.

List scale: Quite substantial armies are recorded - Kyrene reputedly lost 7000 hoplites in one battle against the Libyans, and in the civil war involving Thibron, the Kyrenean majority side side mustered 30000 men including Carthaginian and Libyan allies.

Generals: I have allowed only one sub-general, since, as with so many Greek cities, faction fights were common, whether under the early kings, or the later republics. The internal ally may represent either an unhappy faction from within the same city, or a contingent from another city sufficiently under Kyrene's thumb so as not to count as a foreign ally. Other cities' contingents are represented by the external Kyrenaican contingents. The option for a mercenary sub-general is extended beyond Ophellas' era to cover the other like-minded independent rulers such as Magas.

Cavalry: Cavalry are first attested are those under Ophellas, but as these could easily be "Macedonains", or his mercenaries, "Kyrenean" cavalry as such should not be compulsory. Polybios mentions 600 cavalry in ca. 162 BC.

Hoplites - more are allowed to reflect the largest armies reported. Later mercenaries seemed replace them so are not included here as additions: this both keeps the army size manageable in terms of AP, and also reflects the shrinking of the hoplite force that most Greek cities encountered over the centuries as a result of wealth polarisation.

Archers and slingers: Again, inferred rather than attested, at least for native as opposed to mercenary Cretans, I have reduced their numbers (with all the Libyans available it is not likely their usage would have been quite so critical as the present list would allow).

Javelinmen: Are assumed to be mostly Libyans - all the cities were mixed Graeco-Libyan establishments to some extent, though Kyrene less than the others, though they could include some Greeks too. They are accordingly allowed shieds at the relevants dates, are compulsory (unless in revolt) and their numbers increased.

Trieres - Thucydides 7.50 has Kyrene providing two trieres to the hoplites blown off-route on their way to Sicily that helped Euperides defeat the Libyans in 414/3 BC. That they had two to lend )or even perhaps, give away) implies at least a navy of some substance. No record is kept of their use in land battles, but as the records are so sketchy, the benefit of the doubt should be allowed. In the early period penteconters were the normal Greek warship, so these substitute for trieres.

Chariots: The current list termination date is rather arbitray - I have moved it to the assumption of kingly status by Magas on the assumption that this is when he is most likely to have reformed the army. Ophellas had 100 chariots in his force that marched to Carthage (at normal scale is 1 element is 25 chariots), as his army was the most powerful recorded without allies, it is unlikely other armies had up to 3 times this number available, so I have reduced their numbers accordingly.

Kyrenaican allies: These are only allowed after the establishment of Barka, ca. 550 BC.

Spartan allies: According to Thucydides (7.59), the Spartan reinforcement army bound for Sicily was blown of course to Libya. where they were given/lent two trieres by Kyrene, and allied with Euesperides against the Libyans. They are described (7.58) as hoplites, both helots and ex-helots. The Spartans list's classification of these as Sp (S) is untennable in my opinion. Such troops appear to have been lower quality than average and not better - Brasidas was nervous of facing the Athenians at Amphipolis on account of his army being poorer in quality to the Athenians, and the same troops at the 1st battle of Mantineia were quickly routed. Numbers are not given, but they are referred to as an 'army' rather than a body of men, so must have been considerable - when they arrived in Sicilly, they were enough to enable Gylippos to press the issue of war against the Athenians much more confidently. Given the sizes of several other such similar Spatan helot and ex-helot contingents, 1000 to 2000 men seems likely.

Garrison troops: A Macedonian garrison was installed in Kyrene by Ptolemy after he annexed it. Such troops are not compulsory after this time however, even in Kyrene, due to the frequent revolts that saw such garrisons besiged by the city's inhabitants.

Ophellas: His troops are no longer compulsory as the army can represent cities other than Kyrene. I have regraded his Athenians according to my Athenian list's classifications. He took a total of over 10000 foot, 600 horse and 100 chariots to Carthage, plus 10000 non-combatants. As the Kyreneans' revolt was crushed in 312 BC, it seems this is a better date to start Ophellas' options than 313 BC.

Pike: I have allowed the option of replacing hoplites with pike after Magas's assumption of kingship. Although there is no direct evidence for this, I believe it is reasonable for several reasons. Firstly, a Macedonian- style phalanx would probably be a necessary item for any want-to-be Macedonian king such as Magas. Secondly, 3000 'Libyan' pikemen are recorded at Raphia. Libyan might be a term here for Kyrenean (Pausanians for instance refers to the Libyans of Cyrene sometimes rather than the Greeks of Cyrene, even when he is clearly talking about Greeks). I find it much more probably that 3000 'Libyan' pikemen would come from a Greek city in Libya, rather than be trained from 'native' Libyans with no tradition of close-combat warfare. At Raphia, the Ptolemaic administration even had to arm the Egyptian population as pikemen to meet the emergency, and I think they would have rearmed any subject Kyreneans first (and Kyrene was subject to Egypt), since they were already used to fighting in a phalanx. I have graded them as (I) on the grounds that by this stage the citizen troops were likely of poorer morale than before, since they were now fighting for domestic (and foreign-derived) tyrants rather than their own republic/kingdom as in former times, and they formed part of the left wing that broke at Raphia. The minimum is lower than 24 elements (the 3000 reported at Raphia), since this list can represent a smaller city; the maximum is larger since it is unlikely that 3000 men represented Kyrenaica's full potential. Thirdly, the list now also covers later Ptolemaic armies based in Kyrene, and as such these would likely include a pike phalanx - although, at this late date, a probably inefficient one. Certainly 1st century Roman armies seemed to have little problem defeating much larger (Egyptian) Ptolemaic forces.

Household infantry: I allow these the option of being rearmed with javelins as 'peltasts' in the traditional Macedonian manner, but not other pikemen, who are likely not to have have been used in such a role.

Mercenaries: These may be Sp (I) if Iphikratean-style hoplites, or, if after 275 AD, Thureophoroi, or Ax if either of these two and rearmed with javelins to act as euzonoi.

Libyan cavalry: By analogy with the Libyan list, these are allowed to supplant the Greek cavalry at this late date.

Militia thureophoroi: Given the usage of thureoi even by Carthaginian militia in the 2nd century BC (recorded in Appian), plus those of the militia of Seleucid cities, many mainland Greek cities, and various Ptolemiac units, its use by Kyrenean citizens by this date seems likely. They are graded a (I) on the same grounds as the pikemen (and other Hellenistic militias), and as Ax, only, not Sp, on the assumption that any such citizen troops would have thought with javelins (-if- such thureophoroi existed, and -if- they used spear instead, one could always use the hoplite Sp option to represent them I guess. Including yet another hypothetical options seems to be allowing too many questionable choices).

This page last modified 17 May, 2002.

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