Open terrain, open country or open ground is terrain, flat and free of obstructions such as trees and buildings. Examples include farmland and specially cleared areas such as an airport; such terrain is significant in military manoeuvre and tactics as the lack of obstacles makes movement easy and engagements are possible at long range. Such terrain is preferred to close terrain for offensive action as rapid movement makes decisive battles possible. Wind loading tends to be high in open country; this affects the design of tall structures such electricity pylons and windmills
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples and cultures. Although Judaism as a religion first appears in Greek records during the Hellenistic period and the earliest mention of Israel is inscribed on the Merneptah Stele dated 1213–1203 BCE, religious literature tells the story of Israelites going back at least as far as c. 1500 BCE. The Jewish diaspora began with the Assyrian captivity and continued on a much larger scale with the Babylonian captivity. Jews were widespread throughout the Roman Empire, this carried on to a lesser extent in the period of Byzantine rule in the central and eastern Mediterranean. In 638 CE the Byzantine Empire lost control of the Levant; the Arab Islamic Empire under Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem and the lands of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. The Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain coincided with the Middle Ages in Europe, a period of Muslim rule throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula.
During that time, Jews were accepted in society and Jewish religious and economic life blossomed. During the Classical Ottoman period, the Jews, together with most other communities of the empire, enjoyed a certain level of prosperity. In the 17th century, there were many significant Jewish populations in Western Europe. During the period of the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, significant changes occurred within the Jewish community. Jews began in the 18th century to campaign for emancipation from restrictive laws and integration into the wider European society. During the 1870s and 1880s the Jewish population in Europe began to more discuss emigration back to Israel and the re-establishment of the Jewish Nation in its national homeland; the Zionist movement was founded in 1897. Meanwhile, the Jews of Europe and the United States gained success in the fields of science and the economy. Among those considered the most famous were scientist Albert Einstein and philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.
A large number of Nobel Prize winners at this time were Jewish. In 1933, with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, the Jewish situation became more severe. Economic crises, racial anti-Semitic laws, a fear of an upcoming war led many Jews to flee from Europe to Palestine, to the United States and to the Soviet Union. In 1939 World War II began and until 1941 Hitler occupied all of Europe, including Poland—where millions of Jews were living at that time—and France. In 1941, following the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Final Solution began, an extensive organized operation on an unprecedented scale, aimed at the annihilation of the Jewish people, resulting in the persecution and murder of Jews in political Europe, inclusive of European North Africa; this genocide, in which six million Jews were methodically exterminated, is known as The Holocaust or Shoah. In Poland, three million Jews were killed in gas chambers in all concentration camps combined, with one million at the Auschwitz concentration camp alone.
In 1945 the Jewish resistance organizations in Palestine unified and established the Jewish Resistance Movement, which attacked the British authorities. David Ben-Gurion proclaimed on May 14, 1948, the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel to be known as the State of Israel. Afterwards all neighbouring Arab states attacked, yet the newly formed IDF resisted. In 1949 the war ended and the state of Israel started building the state and absorbing massive waves of hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the world. Today, Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a population of over 8 million people, of whom about 6 million are Jewish; the largest Jewish communities are in Israel and the United States, with major communities in France, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. For statistics related to modern Jewish demographics see Jewish population; the history of the Jews and Judaism can be divided into five periods: ancient Israel before Judaism, from the beginnings to 586 BCE.
The history of the early Jews, their neighbors, centers on the Fertile Crescent and east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It begins among those people who occupied the area lying between Mesopotamia. Surrounded by ancient seats of culture in Egypt and Babylonia, by the deserts of Arabia, by the highlands of Asia Minor, the land of Canaan was a meeting place of civilizations. According to the Hebrew Bible, Jews descend from the ancient people of Israel who settled in the land of Canaan between the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River; the Hebrew Bible refers to the "Children of Israel" as Israelite descendants of a common ancestor Jacob. It suggests that the nomadic travels of the Hebrews centered on Hebron in the first centuries of the second millennium BCE, leading to the establishment of the Cave of the Patriarchs as their burial site in Hebron; the Children of Israel, in this account, consisted of twelve tribes, each descended from one of Jacob's twelve sons, Shimon, Yehuda, Zevulun, Dan
A chariot is a type of carriage driven by a charioteer using horses to provide rapid motive power. Chariots were used by armies as transport or mobile archery platforms, for hunting or for racing, as a conveniently fast way to travel for many ancient people; the word "chariot" comes from a loanword from Gaulish. A chariot of war or one used in military parades was called a car. In ancient Rome and some other ancient Mediterranean civilizations, a biga required two horses, a triga three, a quadriga four; the chariot was a fast, open, two-wheeled conveyance drawn by two or more horses that were hitched side by side, was little more than a floor with a waist-high guard at the front and sides. It was used for ancient warfare during the Bronze and Iron Ages; the critical invention that allowed the construction of light, horse-drawn chariots was the spoked wheel. The earliest spoke-wheeled chariots date to ca. 2000 BC. The use of chariots peaked around 1300 BC. Chariots had lost their military importance by the 1st century AD, but chariot races continued to be popular in Constantinople until the 6th century.
Horses were introduced to Transcaucasia at the time of the Kura-Araxes culture, beginning about 3300 BC. During the Kura-Araxes period, horses seem to become quite widespread, with signs of domestication; the domestication of the horse was an important step toward civilization. An increasing amount of evidence supports the hypothesis, that horses were domesticated in the Eurasian Steppes 4000-3500 BC; the invention of the wheel used in transportation most took place in Mesopotamia or the Eurasian steppes in modern-day Ukraine. Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the mid 4th millennium BC near-simultaneously in the Northern Caucasus, in Central Europe; the earliest vehicles may have been ox carts. Starokorsunskaya kurgan in the Kuban region of Russia contains a wagon grave of the Maikop Culture; the two solid wooden wheels from this kurgan have been dated to the second half of the fourth millennium. Soon thereafter the number of such burials in this Northern Caucasus region multiplied; as David W. Anthony writes in his book The Horse, the Wheel, Language, in Eastern Europe, the earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle is on the Bronocice pot.
It is a clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker settlement in Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship in Poland. The oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination in Eastern Europe is the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel; the earliest records of chariots are the arsenal inventories of the palatial centres in Mycenaean Greece, as described in Linear B tablets from the 15th-14th centuries BC. The tablets distinguish between "assembled" and "dismantled" chariots; the latter Greeks of the first millennium BC had a cavalry arm, the rocky terrain of the Greek mainland was unsuited for wheeled vehicles. In historical Greece the chariot was never used to any extent in war; the chariot retained a high status and memories of its era were handed down in epic poetry. Linear B tablets from Mycenaean palaces record large inventories of chariots, sometimes with specific details as to how many chariots were assembled or not; the vehicles were used in games and processions, notably for races at the Olympic and Panathenaic Games and other public festivals in ancient Greece, in hippodromes and in contests called agons.
They were used in ceremonial functions, as when a paranymph, or friend of a bridegroom, went with him in a chariot to fetch the bride home. Herodotus Reports that chariots were used in the Pontic–Caspian steppe by the Sigynnae. Greek chariots were made to be drawn by two horses attached to a central pole. If two additional horses were added, they were attached on each side of the main pair by a single bar or trace fastened to the front or prow of the chariot, as may be seen on two prize vases in the British Museum from the Panathenaic Games at Athens, Greece, in which the driver is seated with feet resting on a board hanging down in front close to the legs of the horses; the biga itself consists of a seat resting on the axle, with a rail at each side to protect the driver from the wheels. Greek chariots appear to have lacked any other attachment for the horses, which would have made turning difficult; the body or basket of the chariot rested directly on the axle connecting the two wheels. There was no suspension.
At the front and sides of the basket was a semicircular guard about 3 ft high, to give some protection from enemy attack. At the back the basket was open, making it easy to dismount. There was no seat, only enough room for the driver and one passenger; the reins were the same as those in use in the 19th century, were made of leather and ornamented with studs of ivory or metal. The reins were passed through rings attached to the collar bands or yoke, were long enough to be tied round the waist of the charioteer to allow for defense; the wheels and basket of the chariot were of wood, strengthened in places with bronze or iron. They had from tires of bronze or iron. Due to the spaced spokes, the rim of the chariot wheel was held in tension over comparatively large spans. Whilst this provi
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine foresees it as its seat of power. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times and recaptured 44 times, attacked 52 times; the part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period. During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE, in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.
In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters; the Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, Christians 14,000 and 9,000 were not classified by religion. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city was attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times; the holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran; as a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba.
The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation of the god Shalem". Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived; the name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace", alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sat on two hills; the form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" and "Shalem" the two names were un
The Maccabean Revolt was a Jewish rebellion, lasting from 167 to 160 BCE, led by the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire and the Hellenistic influence on Jewish life. In the narrative of I Maccabees, after Antiochus IV issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek gods. Mattathias killed a Hellenistic Jew who had stepped forward to take Mattathias' place in sacrificing to an idol. Afterwards, he and his five sons fled to the wilderness of Judah. After Mattathias' death about one year in 166 BCE, his son Judah Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenized Jews, of whom there were many; the Maccabees destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised boys and forced Hellenized Jews into outlawry. Judah's nickname "Maccabbeus," now used in popular culture to describe the Jewish partisans as a whole, is taken from the Hebrew word for "hammer".
The revolt itself involved many battles, in which the light and mobile Maccabean forces gained notoriety among the slow and bulky Seleucid army, for their use of guerrilla tactics. After the victory, the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph and ritually cleansed the Temple, reestablishing traditional Jewish worship there and installing Jonathan Apphus, Judah's youngest brother, as high priest. A large Seleucid army was sent to quash the revolt, but returned to Syria on the death of Antiochus IV. Beforehand, Judas Maccabbeus made an agreement with Rome and became allied, tying the hands of the weaker Seleucid Empire, its commander Lysias, preoccupied with internal Seleucid affairs, agreed to a political compromise that restored religious freedom. Battle of Wadi Haramia Battle of Beth Horon Battle of Emmaus Battle of Beth Zur Battle of Beth Zechariah Battle of Adasa Battle of Elasa In the First and Second Books of the Maccabees, the Maccabean Revolt is described as a response to cultural oppression and national resistance to a foreign power.
Modern scholars, argue that the king intervened in a civil war between traditionalist Jews in the countryside and Hellenized Jews in Jerusalem. As Joseph P. Schultz puts it: "Modern scholarship... considers the Maccabean revolt less as an uprising against foreign oppression than as a civil war between the orthodox and reformist parties in the Jewish camp." Professor John Ma of Columbia University argues that the main sources indicate that the loss of religious and civil rights by the Jews in 168 BCE was not the result of religious persecution but rather an administrative punishment by the Seleucid Empire in the aftermath of local unrest, that the Temple was restored upon petition by the High Priest Menelaus, not liberated and rededicated by the Maccabees. Sylvie Honigman of Tel Aviv University advances similar arguments. After the success of the Maccabean Revolt, kings of the Hasmonean dynasty continued their conquest to the surrounding areas of Judea; those who remained of the Jewish party favoring Hellenistic influence, forced to submit to Mosaic Law called upon the Seleucid Empire for assistance.
At the time, the Seleucid Empire was weakened by political infighting and other wars, including against Ptolemaic Egypt, reducing their ability to reconquer Judea. In one particular instance, Jonathan Apphus was convinced by Diodotus Tryphon, a Seleucid general, to dismiss 40,000 of his men for a "conference", which turned to be a trap, he was captured and executed, against a deal he had made with Jonathan's brother Simeon for Jonathan's liberation, in exchange for one hundred talents and Jonathan's two sons as hostages. Simeon was murdered by his son-in-law, Ptolemy son of Abubus. Afterwards, Simeon's third son, John Hyrcanus, became High Priest of Israel; the Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple following Judah Maccabee's victory over the Seleucids. According to Rabbinic tradition, the victorious Maccabees could only find a small jug of oil that had remained uncontaminated by virtue of a seal, although it only contained enough oil to sustain the Menorah for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be procured.
Jewish military history List of conflicts in the Near East Second Temple period Maccabean Revolt at Oxford Bibliographies Maccabean Revolt at the Aish HaTorah website Texts on Wikisource: Book XII of the Antiquities of the Jews Book I of The Jewish War
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.
Beth-Zur is a biblical site of historic and archaeological importance in the mountains of Hebron in southern Judea, now part of the West Bank. Beth Zur is mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible and the writings of the Roman Jewish historian Josephus; the Battle of Beth-Zur took place here in 164 BCE. Beth-Zur has been identified with the site near Khirbet Burj as-Sur; the name Beth-Zur means "house of rock" or "house of the god Zur". A person names Beth Zur is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:45. Beth-Zur is mentioned in Joshua in the Judean hill country. Rehoboam is credited with its fortification; the Prophet Nehemiah is said to have been the ruler of a half district of the same name. The historian, places the distance between Beth-zur and Beit Zechariah at 70 stadia. O. R. Sellers, excavating at Khirbet et-Tubeiqa in 1957, discovered that the site was first settled at the end of the third millennium BCE, was fortified, like many other Canaanite cities, during the Middle Bronze Age IIB in the 18th-17th centuries BCE.
The settlement continued into the Iron Age, a rare coin inscribed "the governor Hezekiah" attests to the existence of Beth-Zur during the Persian period. Betsoura, as the Greeks called the town, reached a peak of prosperity during the Hellenistic period. A citadel was built at Betsoura during the 3rd century BCE, when a series of wars between the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt rocked the region. In 164 BC, during the Maccabean wars, the Battle of Beth-Zur was fought here; the site’s importance lay in its strategic location on a hilltop dominating the highway, preventing the approach of a hostile army from the Valley of Elah to the Judean plateau. Josephus describes Beth-Zur as the mightiest stronghold in Judea; the battle was the confrontation between the Seleucid Greek general Lysias and the Maccabees, led by Judas Maccabeus, resulting in the defeat of Lysias and his forces. This victory was followed by the recapture of Jerusalem by the Maccabees; the key fortifications. Once victorious, Judas rebuilt the more recent citadel.
The fortified town changed hands until regaining the peaceful character lost during the Maccabean Wars, under the reign of John Hyrcanus. However, by 100 BCE the town had been abandoned. Beth-Zur was inhabited in the lifetimes of Eusebius, who mentions it as the village of Bethsoro, of Jerome. Khirbet Burj as-Sur, the medieval site at Beth-Zur, has the Palestine grid coordinates 1594.1104. The ruins of a tower stand near the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron 4 miles north of Hebron; the western wall, the most visible remnant of the building, is standing to a height of 9.5 m. Beithsur or Bethsura, as the Crusaders called Beth-Zur, was given in 1136 to the Hospitallers by the lord of Hebron. Masterman, E. W. G.. "Beth-Zur". International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Eds. Orr, James, M. A. D. D. Retrieved December 9, 2005. Hutchinson, J.. "Lysias". International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Eds. Orr, James, M. A. D. D. Retrieved December 12, 2007