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date: 22 April 2019


Camels, long domesticated in Arabia and neighbouring lands, were unfamiliar in Anatolia in 546 bce when Cyrus (1)'s baggage-camels terrified the Lydian horses (Hdt. 1. 80). These may have been two-humped central Asiatic camels like those depicted at Persepolis; the one-humped Arabian camel was more generally known. Herodotus (3. 103) thought a full description unnecessary; but the camels captured by Agesilaus II in 395 bce were curiosities when brought to Europe (Xen. Hell. 3. 4. 24). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods camels were widely used in Asia and North Africa. Antiochus (3) III's army at the battle of Magnesia included Arab swordsmen mounted on fast camels (Livy 37. 40. 12), and the Romans employed dromedarii, but the chief military and civilian use of the camel was for transport.

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