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Arms and Armor – medieval weapons - sword, dagger, knive, …

Ancient warfare is war that was conducted from the beginning of recorded history to the end of the ancient period. In China , it can also be seen as ending of the growing role of mounted warriors needed to counter the ever-growing threat from the north in the 5th century and the beginning of the Tang dynasty in AD. In India , the ancient period ends with the decline of the Gupta Empire 6th century and the beginning of the Muslim conquests there from the 8th century.

In Japan , the ancient period is considered to end with the rise of feudalism in the Kamakura period in the 12—13th century. The difference between prehistoric and ancient warfare is more organization oriented than technology oriented. The development of first city-states , and then empires , allowed warfare to change dramatically.

Beginning in Mesopotamia , states produced sufficient agricultural surplus. This allowed full-time ruling elites and military commanders to emerge. While the bulk of military forces were still farmers, the society could portion of each year. Thus, organized armies developed for the first time. These new armies were able to help states grow in size and become increasingly centralized. Early ancient armies continued to primarily use bows and spears , the same weapons that had been developed in prehistoric times for hunting.

The findings at the site of Nataruk in Turkana , Kenya, have been interpreted as evidence of inter-group conflict and warfare in antiquity, [1] but this interpretation has been challenged. Infantry at this time was the dominant form of war, partially due to the camel saddle and the stirrup not being invented yet. The infantries at this time would be divided into ranged and shock, with shock infantry either charging to cause penetration of the enemy line or hold their own.

These forces would ideally be combined, thus presenting the opponent with a dilemma: group the forces and leave them vulnerable to ranged, or spread them out and make them vulnerable to shock. This balance would eventually change as technology allowed for chariots, cavalry, and artillery to play an active role on the field. No clear line can be drawn between ancient and medieval warfare. The characteristic properties of medieval warfare, notably heavy cavalry and siege engines such as the trebuchet were first introduced in Late Antiquity.

The main division within the ancient period is at the beginning Iron Age with the introduction of cavalry resulting in the decline of chariot warfare , of naval warfare Sea Peoples , and the development of an industry based on ferrous metallurgy which allowed for the mass production of metal weapons and thus the equipment of large standing armies.

The first military power to profit from these innovations was the Neo-Assyrian Empire , which achieved a hitherto unseen extent of centralized control, the first " world power " to extend over the entire Fertile Crescent Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt. As states grew in size, the speed of mobilization became crucial because central power could not hold if rebellions could not be suppressed rapidly. The first solution to this was the chariot , which was initially used in the Middle East from around BC.

First pulled by oxen and donkeys, they allowed rapid traversing of the relatively flat lands of the Middle East. The chariots were light enough that they could easily be floated across rivers.

Improvements in the ability to train horses soon allowed them to be used to pull chariots, possibly as early as BC, [3] and their greater speed and power made chariots even more efficient. The major limitation of the use of chariots was terrain; while very mobile on flat, hard, open ground, it was very difficult to traverse more difficult terrain, such as rough ground, even sparse trees or bushes, small ravines or streams, or marsh.

In such terrain, chariots were less maneuverale than common foot soldiers, and later cavalry. The chariot was so powerful for transportation and warfare that it became the key weapon in the Ancient Near East in the 2nd millennium BC. The typical chariot was worked by two men: one would be a bowman who would fire at enemy forces, while the other would control the vehicle.

Over time, chariots were developed to carry up to five warriors. In China, chariots became the central weapon of the Shang dynasty , allowing them to unify a great area. Although chariots have been compared to modern-day tanks in the role they played on the battlefield, i. Tightly packed infantry was the formation of choice, in order for ancient generals to maintain command and control during the battle as well as for mutual protection.

But a force of chariots could stand off at long range and rain arrows down on the infantrymen's heads. Because of their speed, any attempts to charge the chariots could be easily evaded.

If, on the other hand, an infantry unit spread out to minimize the damage from arrows, they would lose the benefit of mutual protection and the charioteers could easily overrun them.

Thus any force facing chariots was in a tactical dilemma, making chariots indispensable to armies of those times. But they were complicated equipment that required specialized craftsmen to maintain them. This made chariots expensive to own.

When chariots were owned by individuals within a society, it tended to give rise to a warrior class of specialists and a feudal system an example of which can be seen in Homer 's The Iliad. Where chariots were publicly owned, they helped in the maintenance and establishment of a strong central government, e. Chariot usage peaked in the Battle of Kadesh in BC, which was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5, chariots.

Naval warfare in the ancient world can be traced back to the Mediterranean in the third millennium BC, from evidence of paintings in the Cyclades and models of ships which were made across the Aegean. They were propelled by both rowing and sailing, but since the Mediterranean is known for its inconsistent weather patterns, rowing was probably the primary means of propulsion.

The first documented, physical evidence of a naval battle is found in a relief painting located in the temple of Medinet Habu , near Luxor , Egypt.

Even before this relief painting, there are earlier records of the practice of sea battles as early as BC under the Egyptian Pharaoh Sahue, who reportedly used transport vessels to escort his armies to foreign shores. Before that victory of Ramses III, the state of Egypt had no access to the kind of timber needed to build seafaring vessels and warships on a large scale.

Instead of importing large quantities of timber to build warships, Egyptian naval architects and early engineers began to convert the common Egyptian riverboats. They reconfigured the size of the ship and added heavy trees for longitudinal support of the hull on the open sea. The relief painting shows in great detail how fighting was conducted in a naval battle.

It shows Egyptian warships with over twenty rows of oarsmen along with infantry troops and archers fighting in apparent hand-to-hand combat with the opposing naval force. Among the great innovations of naval warfare in the ancient world there are few that can surpass the Trireme style warship in terms of efficiency, strategy, and overall effectiveness. The first depiction of this 'longship' style vessel can be found in Homer's The Iliad as a means of transport of armed men and supplies to areas of conflict across the seas.

The upper level of oarsmen would sit in single-file fashion, pulling their oars through what is called a top wale or some sort of oar-port; while the men in the lower rows would sit in the ships' hold also rowing through lower oar-ports.

Manned crews for these massive warships would have been quite impressive, but accounts vary in actual numbers of men from source to source. Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian in the fourth century BC who, through his accounts, said that these Triremes would consist of at least two-hundred men manning all positions.

While these ships were built for maximum efficiency, there is room for debate about the conditions and space aboard the ship itself. It is estimated that out of the man crew, around of those men would have been oarsmen with respective positions below deck. What exactly these Greek triremes were capable of in battle is debated. There are various different accounts that lay down foundations of what equipment was used and how these ships engaged in combat.

The main military applications of Greek Triremes, besides the transport of troops and supplies, would be the advantages of ramming tactics. Developments and innovations of the Greek Trireme evolved over time, especially in respect to ramming tactics. Naval architects during this time saw fit to bring about full effectiveness and damaging power to these ships. By doing this, the amount of manpower would stay consistent, i. The Greek Trireme, soon after its appearance in the Aegean, would become the standard warship throughout the Mediterranean as sovereign states such as Egypt and even the Persian Empire would adopt the design of these ships and apply them to their own military applications.

One major attraction of the Greek design was not only its efficient ramming capability but also its ability to travel long distances at fair speeds. One account from the Athenian soldier and historian Xenophon describes the voyage of the Athenian fleet commander Iphicrates through unfriendly waters and the strategy he used combined with the sheer sailing power of the Trireme. In addition, even if there was a following wind he used his small [boat] sails little, but progressed by oar [instead, presumably, of using main sails and boat sails when the wind was favourable].

Thus he both improved the fitness of his men and achieved a higher speed for his ships". This primary source account can be interpreted as functional and efficient use of the Greek trireme. Maximizing its speed through rugged and unfriendly seas while also utilizing specific military strategy in order to ensure the most prudent and effective outcome was what led to the success of the trireme across all kinds of empires and civilizations throughout the Mediterranean. The trireme would later become a vital piece of naval weaponry throughout the Persian Wars, for both the Greeks and the Persian Empire, as well as the base standard for the formation of the Roman Navy.

The Persian Wars were the first to feature large-scale naval operations: not only sophisticated fleet engagements with dozens of triremes on each side, but also combined land-sea operations. Ships in the ancient world could operate only on the relatively quiet waters of seas and rivers; the oceans were off-limits. Navies were almost always used as auxiliaries to land forces, often essential to bringing them supplies.

They would rarely strike out on their own. With only limited-range weapons, naval galleys would often attempt to ram their opponents with their reinforced bow to cause damage or sink the enemy warships which often caused the two ships to become joined together, and initiated a boarding battle.

Only occasionally was a decisive naval battle fought, such as the Battle of Lade in which a Persian navy destroyed the Greek navy. Ancient strategy focused broadly on the twin goals of convincing the enemy that continued war was more costly than submitting, and of making the most gain possible from war. Forcing the enemy to submit generally consisted of defeating their army in the field. Once the enemy force was routed, the threat of siege, civilian deaths, and the like often forced the enemy to the bargaining table.

However, this goal could be accomplished by other means. Burning enemy fields would force the choice of surrendering or fighting a pitched battle. Waiting an enemy out until their army had to disband due to the beginning of the harvest season or running out of payment for mercenaries presented an enemy with a similar choice. The exceptional conflicts of the ancient world were when these rules of warfare were violated.

The Spartan and Athenian refusal to accept surrender after many years of war and near bankruptcy in the Peloponnesian War is one such exceptional example, as is the Roman refusal to surrender after the Battle of Cannae.

A more personal goal in war was simple profit. This profit was often monetary, as was the case with the raiding culture of the Gallic tribes. But the profit could be political, as great leaders in war were often rewarded with government office after their success. These strategies often contradict modern common sense as they conflict with what would be best for the states involved in the war. Ancient weapons included the spear, the atlatl with light javelin or similar projectile, the bow and arrow, the sling ; polearms such as the spear, falx and javelin ; hand-to-hand weapons such as swords , spears, clubs , maces , axes , and knives.

Catapults , siege towers , and battering rams were used during sieges. The Ancient Greek left behind many examples of their weapons though their burial practices. In Arms and Armour of the Greeks the rapier-like swords found within Mycenean tombs tended to be brittle due to their length and slim designs. The horned sword was named after the horn-like appearance of the handguard and was the preferred weapon for cutting strikes.

The cruciform sword was derived from the Minoan dagger's flanged hilt and rounded handguards set at right angles. Spears continued to remain the preferred means for thrusting attacks, but the Palace Period saw the addition of a socketed base to the weapon. This new period also saw a shift in the role of the bow and arrow from hunting implements to full-fledged weapons.

Military history of India

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By Lord Egerton of Tatton. This Dover edition, first published in , is an unabridged republication of Indian and Oriental Armour, published by Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pa. Lord Egerton of Tatton, M. For this edition, the foldout plates have been converted to double-page spreads, while color plates III and VI have been moved to the inside front cover and the back cover respectively. The color map has been moved to the inside back cover. Weapons—South Asia—Catalogs. Indian Museum—Catalogs.

Histroy Cold arms & Armour

Ancient warfare is war that was conducted from the beginning of recorded history to the end of the ancient period. In China , it can also be seen as ending of the growing role of mounted warriors needed to counter the ever-growing threat from the north in the 5th century and the beginning of the Tang dynasty in AD. In India , the ancient period ends with the decline of the Gupta Empire 6th century and the beginning of the Muslim conquests there from the 8th century. In Japan , the ancient period is considered to end with the rise of feudalism in the Kamakura period in the 12—13th century. The difference between prehistoric and ancient warfare is more organization oriented than technology oriented.

By author Ravinder Reddy. Buy From. UK Hive Waterstones. Log in to add this to your wishlist.

This book is written with the hope of germinating seeds of curiosity towards, and understanding of, those elements of Indic culture, arts and traditions in which arms and armour are embedded. You will discover that these are not mere physical objects that exist in a self-contained, isolated realm. In fact, they are part of our historical memories, artistic sensibilities and belief systems. Conveying these notions in the twodimensional space of a book is challenging. It is hoped that ample illustration, and presenting the information as bite-sized chunks, will enable the reader to sense the richness of art and meaning inherent in these objects.

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This excellently illustrated volume provides factual accounts of events ranging from the earliest invasions of the subcontinent in b. Also includes detailed information on Arabian and Persian arms and JapaneseMoreThis excellently illustrated volume provides factual accounts of events ranging from the earliest invasions of the subcontinent in b. Also includes detailed information on Arabian and Persian arms and Japanese armor. Illustrations and notes describe helmets, daggers, sabers, and other weapons. Part two looks at the man who unified Germany with a Prussian king, history in volume one of his Bismarck and the Development of Germany; the Period of. Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour. Of course, some situations can t be improved - one in particular: Carson believes in the apocalypse.

'Unfitt for any moderne service'? Arms and armour from James Fort

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