We started off this episode discussing the Imperial Walkers in Star Wars and how they hearken back to war elephants on the ancient battlefield–the animators even studied elephants in designing their stride. And here’s a clip from the Battle of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back:
Note Luke giving the command to “go for the legs–it might be our only chance of stopping them.” Another tried-and-true elephant-fighting tactic that works even in sci-fi.
As with our last episode, we relied heavily on John Kistler’s War Elephants. We cannot recommend this one highly enough.
And we also used Konstantin Nossov’s War Elephants, which is a fascinating and very informative read as well.
And now on to our ancient sources. We got most of the details of King Pyrrhus’ life from Plutarch’s very colorful Life of Pyrrhus (we used the Bernadotte Perrin translation):
We also drew from Polybius’ Histories (the Evelyn Schuckburgh translation):
Diodorus Siculus gave us some great gory details in his Library of History (Loeb Classical Library edition):
Pliny the Elder’s Natural History gets a shout-out:
Same with Cassius’ Dio’s Roman History (Edward Cary translation):
And finally, we made a fiction recommendation that features elephants in another sci-fi world: Blue Remembered Earth, by Alastair Reynolds: