You've heard of Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, but what other lofty feats took place in mountainous areas long ago? Author of an upcoming book on ancient mountaineering history, Matthew Shipton, shares some tales of high altitude adventures from the ancient world.
In reply to tommylongfellow: Thanks, I’m glad you found it interesting.
Since this article went up a few people have asked why I didn’t include a map, so they could have better understood the geography/topography. Well, there is still no consensus on the precise route Xenophon took. Much scholarly ink has been spilt battling out the route of their journey through the Cilician Gates between Cappadocia and Tarsus, with some suggesting the Gates were outflanked by a ridge traverse some miles to the west. And I think it's clear Xenophon's sketchy account of the journey to Trabzon is evidence he got them all horribly lost. Yet another problem is that we also don’t know the exact locations of all the towns and settlements named by Xenophon and the distances were originally measured in parasangs, a unit of measurement that we still don’t fully understand either. Consequently, most maps of the route are very general and/or tentative. But for those who are interested, you could do worse than look at what's reproduced in the Penguin Classics edition 'The Persian Expedition', particularly if you like your maps Tolkienesque. Or, if you’re patient and better than me at remembering detail check out this scholarly article: