THE KINGMAKERS – Celtic Mercenary Forces in the Ancient World

UD: May 2019


“The kings of the east then carried on no wars without a mercenary army of Gauls; nor, if they were driven from their thrones, did they seek protection with any other people than the Gauls. Such indeed was the terror of the Gallic name, and the unvaried good fortune of their arms, that princes thought they could neither maintain their power in security, nor recover it if lost, without the assistance of Gallic valour”.

(Marcus Junianus Justinus. Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus XXV, 2)




 Although the first Celtic mercenary activity in southeastern Europe is recorded in 367 BC, when Dionysios of Syracuse took a band of them into his service and sent them to the aid of the Macedonians against Thebes (Justin. XX, 5,6; Diod. XV, 70,1), it is not until the expansion into the Balkans and Asia-Minor at the end of the 4th / beginning of the 3rd c. BC that Celtic mercenary forces become a vital political and military factor in the Hellenistic world…
































THE PHANTOM BATTLE – Lysimachia 277 BC

UD: October 2016



“the avengers of murder overwhelmed them sooner than the enemy, and the ghosts of the slain rising up before their eyes …”.

(Justinus: Epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ “Philippic histories” Book 26:2)




One of the key turning points in ancient history was the Battle of Lysimachia in 277 BC, in which the Macedonian forces of Antigonus Gonatas destroyed the Celtic armies which had been sweeping through southeastern Europe, thereby halting the barbarian expansion in the region, and saving the ’civilized’ world from destruction (Fol et al, Ancient Thrace, 2000, Delev 2003, Boteva 2010, Emilov 2010, Dimitrov 2010, Stoyanov 2010, Megaw 2004, 2005, Emilov/Megaw 2012).

Or was it?

For centuries the Battle of Lysimachia has been presented to us as one of the most important events in the ancient history of southeastern Europe. However, an analysis of the geo-political context and ancient sources on this period…






Anti. AR