The falcata is a type of sword typical of pre-Roman Iberia. The falcata was used to great effect for warfare in the ancient Iberian peninsula, is associated to the southern Iberian tribes, among other ancient peoples of Hispania, it is unknown. Contrary to popular belief, falcata is neither a native name nor one used in classical sources, but a 19th century term coined by historian Fernando Fulgosio to describe the shape of its blade; the term derivates from Latin falcatus, meaning "falcon-shaped". Classical vocabulary did have a sword named ensis falcatus, but it was meant to be either a falx or a harpe. In any case, the name caught on quickly and is now entrenched in the scholarly literature; the falcata has a single-edged blade that pitches forward towards the point, the edge being concave near the hilt, but convex near the point. This shape distributes the weight in such a way that the falcata is capable of delivering a blow with the momentum of an axe, while maintaining the longer cutting edge of a sword and some facility to execute a thrust.
The grip is hook-shaped, the end stylized in the shape of a horse or a bird. There is a thin chain connecting the hooked butt of the Iberian with the hilt. Although a single-edged weapon, double-edged falcatas have been found; the falcata was derived from the sickle-shaped knives of the Iron Age. It is thought to have been introduced in the Iberian Peninsula by the Celts who introduced iron working there. There are several historians who believe that its origin is parallel to the Greek kopis and is not derived from it. Meanwhile, others believe the design was carried over from Greece via merchants and traders.. Roman armies in the Second Punic War and during the Conquest of Hispania, were surprised by the quality of the weapons used by Iberian mercenaries and warriors; the overall quality of the falcata came not only from the shape, but from the quality of the iron. It is said that Steel plates were buried in the ground for two to three years, corroding the weaker steel from them, but this is technically nonsense as the higher carbon content of the'better' steel makes it more vulnerable to chemical attacks.
The technique of joining layers of steel in a fire-welding process in a forge was a standard procedure. In the early times of the tribes in Iberia, its use was more ornamental and liturgical than military. Decorated falcata have been found in tombs, for example the Falcata de Almedinilla; the scarcity of the falcata during early times was due to the expense and scarcity of iron in the region. Since "falcata" is not a term used in Classical Latin, it is difficult to tell when, or if, it is being referred to in ancient literature. There is, one passage, agreed to refer to this type of sword, in Seneca's De Beneficiis 5.24: Caesar awarded the case to the veteran. Polybius calls Iberian swords machaera referring to the falcata given its similarities to the Greek makhaira. However, he employs this name for the straight swords used by the Gauls and the Romans themselves; the additional fact that other tribes from Hispania used straight swords, which would inspire the Roman gladius, obscures the differentiation of their respective names.
Kopis Kukri Machete Oakeshott typology Yatagan Aranegui, C. Y De Hoz, J.: “Una falcata decorada con inscripción ibérica. Juegos gladiatorios y venationes”, en Homenaje a Enrique Pla Ballester, Trabajos Varios del SIP 89, 319-344 Cuadrado Díaz, E.: La panoplia ibérica de “El Cigarralejo”. Documentos. Serie Arqueología. Murcia Nieto, G. y Escalera, A.: “Estudio y tratamiento de una falcata de Almedinilla”, Informes y trabajos del Instituto de Restauración y Conservación, 10 F. Quesada Sanz: "Máchaira, kopís, falcata" in Homenaje a Francisco Torrent, Madrid, 1994, pp. 75-94. Quesada Sanz, F.: “En torno al origen y procedencia de la falcata ibérica”. In J. Remesal, O. Musso, La presencia de material etrusco en la Península Ibérica, Barcelona Quesada Sanz, F.: “Falcatas ibéricas con damasquinados en plata”. Homenaje a D. Emeterio Cuadrado, Verdolay, 2, 45-59 Quesada Sanz, F.: Arma y símbolo: la falcata ibérica. Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert, Alicante Quesada Sanz, F.: “Notas sobre el armamento ibérico de Almedinilla”, Anales de Arqueología Cordobesa, 3, 113-136 Quesada Sanz, F.: “Algo más que un tipo de espada: la falcata ibérica”.
Catálogo de la Exposición: La guerra en la Antigüedad. Madrid, pp. 196–205 Quesada Sanz, F.: El armamento ibérico. Estudio tipológico, geográfico, social y simbólico de las armas en la Cultura Ibérica. 2 vols. Monographies Instrumentum, 3. Ed. Monique Mergoil, Montagnac, 1997 Quesada Sanz, F.: “Armas para los muertos”. Los íberos, príncipes de Occidente Catálogo de la Exposición. Barcelona, pp. 125–31 Iberian weapons and warfare, at the Autonomous University of Madrid's website. A 4th century BC falcata from Iberia Spanish site about celtiberian pre-roman history Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia
The term kopis in Ancient Greece could describe a heavy knife with a forward-curving blade used as a tool for cutting meat, for ritual slaughter and animal sacrifice, or refer to a single edged cutting or "cut and thrust" sword with a shaped blade. The kopis sword was a one-handed weapon. Early examples had a blade length of up to 65 cm, making it equal in size to the spatha. Macedonian examples tended to be shorter with a blade length of about 48 cm; the kopis had a single-edged blade that pitched forward towards the point, the edge being concave on the part of the sword nearest the hilt, but swelling to convexity towards the tip. This shape termed "recurved", distributes the weight in such a way that the kopis was capable of delivering a blow with the momentum of an axe, whilst maintaining the long cutting edge of a sword and some facility to execute a thrust; some scholars have claimed an Etruscan origin for the sword, as such swords have been found as early as the 7th century BC in Etruria.
The kopis is compared to the contemporary Iberian falcata and the more recent, shorter, Nepalese kukri. The word itself is a Greek feminine singular noun; the difference in meaning between kopis and makhaira is not clear in ancient texts, but modern specialists tend to discriminate between single-edged cutting swords, those with a forward curve being classed as kopides, those without as makhairai. The Ancient Greeks used single-edged blades in warfare, as attested to by art and literature. Greek heavy infantry hoplites favored straight swords, but the downward curve of the kopis made it suited to mounted warfare; the general and writer Xenophon recommended the single edged kopis sword for cavalry use in his work On Horsemanship. The precise wording of Xenophon's description suggests the possibility that the kopis was regarded as a specific variant within a more general class, with the term makhaira denoting any single-edged cutting sword. Greek art shows Persian soldiers wielding the kopis or an axe rather than the straight-bladed Persian akinakes.
It has been suggested that the yatagan, used in the Balkans and Anatolia during the Ottoman Period, was a direct descendant of the kopis. Falcata Kukri Khopesh Makhaira Xiphos Iron Age sword Illustration of Kopis in Ancient Greek Art
Khopesh is an Egyptian sickle-sword that evolved from battle axes. A typical khopesh is 50–60 cm in length, though smaller examples do exist; the blunted edge of the weapon's tip served as an effective bludgeon, as well as a hook. These weapons changed from bronze to iron in the New Kingdom period; the earliest known depiction of a khopesh is from the Stele of Vultures, depicting King Eannatum of Lagash wielding the weapon. The word'khopesh' may have derived from'leg', as in'leg of beef', because of their similarity in shape; the hieroglyph for ḫpš is found as early as during the time of the Coffin Texts. The blade is only sharpened on the outside portion of the curved end; the khopesh evolved from similar crescent-shaped axes that were used in warfare. The khopesh went out of use around 1300 BC. However, in the 196 BC Rosetta Stone it is referenced as the "sword" determinative in a hieroglyphic block, with the spelled letters of kh, p, sh to say: Shall be set up a statue... the Avenger of Baq-t-, the interpretation whereof is'Ptolemy, the strong one of Kam-t'-, a statue of the god of the city, giving to him a sword royal of victory...
Various pharaohs are depicted with a khopesh, some have been found in royal graves, such as the two examples found with Tutankhamun. Although some examples are sharpened, many examples have dull edges that were never intended to be sharp, it may therefore be possible that some khopeshes found in high status graves were ceremonial variants. Falcata Falx Harpe Kopis Makraka Shotel Budge, 1989; the Rosetta Stone, E. A. Wallace Budge, c 1929, Dover edition, 1989. Hamblin, 2006. Warfare in the Ancient Near East, William J. Hamblin, Routledge Wernick, 2004, A Khepesh Sword in the University of Liverpool Museum in JSSEA 31, 151–155 Massafra, 2009, Le harpai nel Vicino Oriente antico. Cronologia e distribuzione, Roma 2012
A shotel is a curved sword originating in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian swordsmen who were trained in using this weapon were known as meshenitai; the curve on the meshenitai blade varies from the Persian shamshir, adopting an semicircular shape. The blade is double-edged with a diamond cross-section; the blade is about 40 inches in total length and the hilt is a simple wooden piece with no guard. The shotel was carried in a close fitting leather scabbard. Evidence for the shotel dates from the earliest Damotians and Axumites, used by both mounted and dismounted warriors. After the Solomonic restoration of Atse Yikuno Amlak I, the resurgent Emperors began to re-establish the Axumite armies; this culminated in the reign of Amda Seyon I. Ethiopian forces were armed with long swords such as the Seif and Gorade; the Shotel swordsmen known as Shotelai and organized in the Axurarat Shotelai comprised one of the elite forces of Amda Seyon's Imperial host. Along with the Hareb Gonda and Korem cavalry, Keste Nihb archers and Axuarat Axuarai lancers were said to be the forces that "flew through the air like the eagle and spun on the ground like the avalanche", by a contemporaneous historian.
Shotel techniques among others included hooking attacks both against mounted and dismounted opponents that had devastating effect against mounted cavalry. The shotel could rip the warrior off the horse. Classically the Shotel was employed in a dismounted state to hook the opponent by reaching around a shield or any other defensive implement or weapon, its shape is similar to a big sickle and can be used to reach around an opponent's shield and stab them in vital areas, such as the kidneys or lungs. It is resembled by the Afar Gile; the Gile has two cutting edges, while the shotel's upper edge is unsharpened and sometimes used braced against the swordsman's shield for strength. The Shotel and other Ethiopian swords are referred collectively in Geez as Han'e. However, the mid-18th century European visitor to Ethiopia, Remedius Prutky used the word shotel to describe a carving knife. Sickle sword, a similar weapon used by the Bronze Age Canaanites and Ancient Egyptians Falx, a curved weapon used by the ancient Thracians.
"Shotel Sword from Ethiopia". Oriental-Arms. Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-05-20
A weapon, arm or armament is any device that can be used with intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, law enforcement, self-defense, warfare. In broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a tactical, material or mental advantage over an adversary or enemy target. While ordinary objects such as sticks, cars, or pencils can be used as weapons, many are expressly designed for the purpose – ranging from simple implements such as clubs and axes, to complicated modern intercontinental ballistic missiles, biological weapons and cyberweapons. Something, re-purposed, converted, or enhanced to become a weapon of war is termed weaponized, such as a weaponized virus or weaponized laser; the use of objects as weapons has been observed among chimpanzees, leading to speculation that early hominids used weapons as early as five million years ago. However, this can not be confirmed using physical evidence because wooden clubs and unshaped stones would have left an ambiguous record.
The earliest unambiguous weapons to be found are the Schöningen spears, eight wooden throwing spears dating back more than 300,000 years. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana, numerous human skeletons dating to 10,000 years ago may present evidence of traumatic injuries to the head, ribs and hands, including obsidian projectiles embedded in the bones that might have been caused from arrows and clubs during conflict between two hunter-gatherer groups, but the evidence interpretation of warfare at Nataruk has been challenged. The earliest ancient weapons were evolutionary improvements of late neolithic implements, but significant improvements in materials and crafting techniques led to a series of revolutions in military technology; the development of metal tools began with copper during the Copper Age and was followed by the Bronze Age, leading to the creation of the Bronze Age sword and similar weapons. During the Bronze Age, the first defensive structures and fortifications appeared as well, indicating an increased need for security.
Weapons designed to breach fortifications followed soon after, such as the battering ram, in use by 2500 BC. The development of iron-working around 1300 BC in Greece had an important impact on the development of ancient weapons, it was not the introduction of early Iron Age swords, however, as they were not superior to their bronze predecessors, but rather the domestication of the horse and widespread use of spoked wheels by c. 2000 BC. This led to the creation of the light, horse-drawn chariot, whose improved mobility proved important during this era. Spoke-wheeled chariot usage peaked around 1300 BC and declined, ceasing to be militarily relevant by the 4th century BC. Cavalry developed; the horse increased the speed of attacks. In addition to land based weaponry, such as the trireme, were in use by the 7th century BC. European warfare during the Post-classical history was dominated by elite groups of knights supported by massed infantry, they were involved in mobile combat and sieges which involved various siege tactics.
Knights on horseback developed tactics for charging with lances providing an impact on the enemy formations and drawing more practical weapons once they entered into the melee. By contrast, infantry, in the age before structured formations, relied on cheap, sturdy weapons such as spears and billhooks in close combat and bows from a distance; as armies became more professional, their equipment was standardized and infantry transitioned to pikes. Pikes are seven to eight feet in length, used in conjunction with smaller side-arms. In Eastern and Middle Eastern warfare, similar tactics were developed independent of European influences; the introduction of gunpowder from the Asia at the end of this period revolutionized warfare. Formations of musketeers, protected by pikemen came to dominate open battles, the cannon replaced the trebuchet as the dominant siege weapon; the European Renaissance marked the beginning of the implementation of firearms in western warfare. Guns and rockets were introduced to the battlefield.
Firearms are qualitatively different from earlier weapons because they release energy from combustible propellants such as gunpowder, rather than from a counter-weight or spring. This energy is released rapidly and can be replicated without much effort by the user; therefore early firearms such as the arquebus were much more powerful than human-powered weapons. Firearms became important and effective during the 16th century to 19th century, with progressive improvements in ignition mechanisms followed by revolutionary changes in ammunition handling and propellant. During the U. S. Civil War new applications of firearms including the machine gun and ironclad warship emerged that would still be recognizable and useful military weapons today in limited conflicts. In the 19th century warship propulsion changed from sail power to fossil fuel-powered steam engines. Since the mid-18th century North American French-Indian war through the beginning of the 20th century, human-powered weapons were reduced from the primary weaponry of the battlefield yielding to gunpowder-based weaponry.
Sometimes referred to as the "Age of Rifles", this period was characterized by the development of firearms for infantry and cannons for support, as well as the beginnings of mechanized weapons such as the machine gun. Of particular note, Howitzers were able to destroy masonry fortresses and other fortifications, this single invention caused a Revolution in
Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria and Turkey, bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey; the word Thrace was established by the Greeks for referring to the Thracian tribes, from ancient Greek Thrake, descending from Thrāix. It referred to the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeast Europe; the name Europe first referred to Thrace proper, prior to the term vastly extending to refer to its modern concept. The region could have been named after the principal river there, Hebros from the Indo-European arg "white river", According to an alternative theory, Hebros means "goat" in Thracian. In Turkey, it is referred to as Rumeli, Land of the Romans, owing to this region being the last part of the Eastern Roman Empire, conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In terms of ancient Greek mythology the name appears to derive from the heroine and sorceress Thrace, the daughter of Oceanus and Parthenope, sister of Europa.
The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. The ancient Greeks employed the term "Thrace" to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians, a region which "had no definite boundaries" and to which other regions were added. In one ancient Greek source, the Earth is divided into "Asia, Libya and Thracia"; as the Greeks gained knowledge of world geography, "Thrace" came to designate the area bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by Illyria to the west. This coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied over time. After the Macedonian conquest, this region's former border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River; this usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, Thrace referred only to the tract of land covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. In its early period, the Roman province of Thrace was of this extent, but after the administrative reforms of the late 3rd century, Thracia's much reduced territory became the six small provinces which constituted the Diocese of Thrace.
The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only. The largest cities of Thrace are: Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Komotini, Xanthi, Istanbul, Çorlu, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ. Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Orthodox Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Sunni Muslims. Ancient Greek mythology provides the Thracians with a mythical ancestor Thrax, the son of the war-god Ares, said to reside in Thrace; the Thracians appear in Homer's Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Peiros. In the Iliad, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east; the Catalogue of Ships mentions three separate contingents from Thrace: Thracians led by Acamas and Peiros, from Aenus. Ancient Thrace was home to numerous other tribes, such as the Edones, Bisaltae and Bistones in addition to the tribe that Homer calls the “Thracians”.
Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Lycurgus, Tegyrius, Polymnestor and Oeagrus. Thrace is mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in the episode of Philomela and Tereus: Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela, he kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, cuts out her tongue. Philomela manages to get free, however, she and her sister, plot to get revenge, by killing her son Itys and serving him to his father for dinner. At the end of the myth, all three turn into birds – Procne into a swallow, Philomela into a nightingale, Tereus into a hoopoe; the indigenous population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians, divided into numerous tribal groups. The region was controlled by the Persian Empire at its greatest extent, Thracian soldiers were known to be used in the Persian armies. On, Thracian troops were known to accompany neighboring ruler Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont which abuts Thrace, during the invasion of the Persian Empire itself.
The Thracians did not describe themselves by name. Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not form any lasting political organizations until the founding of the Odrysian state in the 4th century BC. Like Illyrians, the locally ruled Thracian tribes of the mountainous regions maintained a warrior tradition, while the tribes based in the plains were purportedly more peaceable. Discovered funeral mounds in Bulgaria suggest that Thracian kings did rule regions of Thrace with distinct Thracian national identity. During this period, a subculture of celibate ascetics called the Ctistae lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers and prophets. Sections of Thrace in the south star
The lorica segmentata is a type of personal armour used by soldiers of the Roman Empire, consisting of metal strips, fastened to internal leather straps. The Latin name was first used in the 16th century; the plates of lorica segmentata armour were soft iron inside and were mild steel on the outside, making the plates hardened against damage without becoming brittle. This case hardening was done deliberately by packing organic matter around them and heating them in a forge, transferring carbon from the burnt materials into the surface of the metal; the strips were arranged horizontally on the body, overlapping downwards, they surrounded the torso in two halves, being fastened at the front and back. The upper body and shoulders were protected by additional strips and breast- and backplates; the form of the armour allowed it to be stored compactly, since it was possible to separate it into four sections each of which would collapse on itself into a compact mass. The fitments that closed the various plate sections together were made of brass.
In variants dating from around 75–80 A. D. the fastenings of the armour were simplified. Bronze hinges were removed in favour of simple rivets, belt fastenings utilised small hooks, the lowest two girdle plates were replaced by one broad plate. During the time of their use, this style of armour evolved and changed, the recognised types being the Kalkriese and Newstead types, named after their places of discovery. There was, however, a considerable overlap between these types in use and the Corbridge and Newstead types are found at the same site, it is possible that there was a fourth type, covering the body with segmented armour joined to scale shoulder defences. However, this is only known from one badly-damaged statue originating at Alba Iulia in Romania; the accepted range for the use of the armour is from about 9 B. C. to the late 3rd century A. D.. Its use was geographically widespread; the question as to who used the armour is debated. There is a clear difference in armour between the two corps shown on Trajan's Column.
This is a monument erected in 113 in Rome to commemorate the conquest of Dacia by Emperor Trajan: its bas-reliefs are a key source for Roman military equipment. Auxilia are shown wearing mail and carrying oval shields. Legionaries are uniformly depicted wearing the lorica segmentata and carrying the curved rectangular shield. On this basis, it has been supposed. However, some historians consider Trajan's Column to be inaccurate as a historical source due to its inaccurate and stylised portrayal of Roman armour: "it is safest to interpret the Column reliefs as ‘impressions’, rather than accurate representations." The view that auxilia were light troops originates from Vegetius' comment that "auxilia are always joined as light troops with the legions in the line". It is true that some specialist units in the auxilia, such as Syrian archers and Numidian cavalry wore light armour, but they were a small minority of the auxilia. Most auxiliary cohortes contained heavy infantry similar to legionaries.
However, on another Trajanic monument the lorica segmentata does not appear at all, legionaries and auxilia alike are depicted wearing either mail or scales. Some experts are of the opinion that the Adamclisi monument is a more accurate portrayal of the situation, the segmentata used maybe only for set-piece battles and parades; this viewpoint considers the figures in Trajan's Column to be stereotyped, in order to distinguish between different types of troops. In any event, both corps were equipped with the same weapons: gladius and javelins, although the type of javelin known as pilum seems to have been provided to legionaries only. Goldsworthy points out that the equipment of both corps were equal in weight. In recent years archaeologists have found fittings of loricae segmentatae in many fort sites that are thought to have been garrisoned by only auxiliary troops, i.e. where the legions were not based. If the legions were, broken up and distributed around all these small bases it implies a tactical use of the legions that has not been considered.
Hitherto, the legions were regarded as shock troops employed only en masse and not broken up into detachments. M. C. Bishop, has argued that there is a need to examine the way in which the various troop types were armed and deduce from this what their battle roles were, rather than trying to consider who wore what; the legions were armed and trained for close-order combat while the auxiliary forces, just as numerous, were more accustomed to open order fighting, although they could be employed as the legions were if circumstances demanded this. During the 3rd century, all peregrini were granted Roman citizenship, therefore legionaries lost their social superiority; the lorica segmentata disappeared from Roman use, although it appears to have still been in use into the early 4th century, being depicted in the Arch of Constantine erected in 315 during the reign of Constantine I to commemorate his military achievements. (However, it has been argued that these depictions are from an earlier monument by Marcus Aurelius, from which Constantine incorporated portions into his Ar