A scythe is an agricultural hand tool for mowing grass or reaping crops. It has been replaced by horse-drawn and tractor machinery, but is still used in some areas of Europe and Asia; the word "scythe" derives from Old English siðe. In Middle English and after it was spelt sithe or sythe. However, in the 15th century some writers began to use the sc- spelling as they thought the word was related to the Latin scindere; the sithe spelling lingered and notably appears in Noah Webster's dictionaries. A scythe consists of a shaft about 170 centimetres long called a snaith, snathe or sned, traditionally made of wood but now sometimes metal. Simple snaiths are straight with offset handles, others have an "S" curve or are steam bent in three dimensions to place the handles in an ergonomic configuration but close to shaft; the snaith has either one or two short handles at right angles to it one near the upper end and always another in the middle. The handles are adjustable to suit the user. A curved, steel blade between 60 to 90 centimetres long is mounted at the lower end at 90°, or less, to the snaith.
Scythes always have the blade projecting from the left side of the snaith when in use, with the edge towards the mower. The use of a scythe is traditionally called mowing, now scything to distinguish it from machine mowing; the mower holds the top handle in the left hand and the central one in the right, with the arms straight, the blade parallel and close to the ground and the uncut grass to the right. The body is twisted to the right, the blade hooks the grass and is swung to the left in a long arc ending in front of the mower and depositing the cut grass neatly to the left; the mower takes a small step forward and repeats the motion, proceeding with a steady rhythm, stopping at frequent intervals to hone the blade. The correct technique has a slicing action on the grass, cutting a narrow strip with each stroke, leaving a uniform stubble on the ground and forming a regular windrow on the left; the mower moves along the mowing-edge with the uncut grass to the right and the cut grass laid in a neat row to the left, on the mown land.
Each strip of ground mown by a scythe is called a swath. Mowing may be done by a team of mowers starting at the edges of a meadow proceeding clockwise and finishing in the middle. Mowing grass is easier when it is damp, so hay-making traditionally began at dawn and stopped early, the heat of the day being spent raking and carting the hay cut on previous days or peening the blades. Scythes are designed for different tasks. A long, thin blade 90 to 100 centimetres is most efficient for mowing grass or wheat, while a shorter, more robust scythe 60 to 70 centimetres is more appropriate for clearing weeds, cutting reed or sedge and can be used with the blade under water for clearing ditches and waterways. Skilled mowers using traditional long-bladed scythes honed sharp were used to maintain short lawn grass until the invention of the lawnmower. Many cultures have used a variety of'cradles' to catch cut different kinds of grain stems, keeping the seed heads aligned and laying them down in an orderly fashion to make them easier to sheaf and winnow.
Mowing with a scythe is a skilled task made to look easy by experienced mowers but needs time to learn the skill. Long-bladed traditional scythes around 90 centimetres and suitable for mowing grass or wheat are harder to use at first beginners start on shorter blades, say 70 centimetres or less. Common beginner's errors include: setting up the snaith with the handles in the wrong locations to suit the body, setting the blade at the wrong turn-in and turn-up angles to suit the conditions, choosing a blade, too long for the skill level, failing to start with a sharp edge and persevering with a dull one during use, chopping or hacking at the grass, trying to cut too wide a strip of grass at once and striking the ground with the blade. Traditionally, beginners relied on mentors to help them set up and maintain their scythe and to teach them to mow comfortably and efficiently; the following photographs by Avraham Pisarek in 1945 show a man mowing rye with a scythe. The cutting edge of a tensioned scythe blade is traditionally maintained by occasional peening followed by frequent honing.
Peening reforms the malleable edge, by hammering, to create the desired profile, to locally work-harden the metal, to remove minor nicks and dents. For mowing fine grass the bevel angle may be peened fine, while for coarser work a larger angle is created to give a more robust edge. Peening requires some skill and is done using a peening hammer and special anvils or by using a peening jig. A peening station was set up on the edge of the field during harvest but now more back in the workshop. In the example below, a short scythe blade, being used to clear brambles, is being sharpened. Before going to the forest the blade is peened back in the workshop. Peening is done only occasionally; the Austrian blade shown is being used to cut tough-stemmed brambles and it is being peened about every thirty hours of work. Nicks and cuts to the blade edge can be worked out of the blade by peening and a new
A halberd is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. The word halberd is most equivalent to the German word Hellebarde, deriving from Middle High German halm and barte joint to helmbarte. Troops that used the weapon are called halberdiers; the halberd consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. It always has a thorn on the back side of the axe blade for grappling mounted combatants, it is similar to certain forms of the voulge in design and usage. The halberd was 1.5 to 1.8 metres long. The word has been used to describe a weapon of the Early Bronze Age in Western Europe; this consisted of a blade mounted on a pole at a right angle. A similar weapon, the dagger-axe, from Bronze Age China, has been called "halberd" in English; the halberd was inexpensive to produce and versatile in battle. As the halberd was refined, its point was more developed to allow it to better deal with spears and pikes, as was the hook opposite the axe head, which could be used to pull horsemen to the ground.
A Swiss peasant used a halberd to kill Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, decisively ending the Burgundian Wars in a single stroke. Researchers suspect that a halberd or a bill sliced through the back of King Richard III's skull at the Battle of Bosworth; the halberd was the primary weapon of the early Swiss armies in the early 15th centuries. The Swiss added the pike to better repel knightly attacks and roll over enemy infantry formations, with the halberd, hand-and-a-half sword, or the dagger known as the Schweizerdolch used for closer combat; the German Landsknechte, who imitated Swiss warfare methods used the pike, supplemented by the halberd—but their side arm of choice was a short sword called the Katzbalger. As long as pikemen fought other pikemen, the halberd remained a useful supplemental weapon for push of pike, but when their position became more defensive, to protect the slow-loading arquebusiers and matchlock musketeers from sudden attacks by cavalry, the percentage of halberdiers in the pike units decreased.
The halberd all but disappeared as a rank-and-file weapon in these formations by the middle of the sixteenth century, though Hakluyt's'Voyages' relate the death of a halberdier named Zachary Saxy in fighting on the coast of Ecuador during Cavendish's circumnavigation in 1587. The halberd has been used as a court bodyguard weapon for centuries, is still the ceremonial weapon of the Swiss Guard in the Vatican and the Alabarderos Company of the Spanish Royal Guard; the halberd was one of the polearms sometimes carried by lower-ranking officers in European infantry units in the 16th through 18th centuries. In the British army, sergeants continued to carry halberds until 1793, when they were replaced by pikes with cross bars; the 18th century halberd had, become a symbol of rank with no sharpened edge and insufficient strength to use as a weapon. It served as an instrument for ensuring that infantrymen in ranks stood aligned with each other and that their muskets were aimed at the correct level.
Bardiche, a type of two-handed battle axe known in the 16th and 17th centuries in Eastern Europe Bill, similar to a halberd but with a hooked blade form. Ge or dagger-axe, a Chinese weapon in use from the Shang Dynasty that had a dagger-shaped blade mounted perpendicular to a spearhead Fauchard, a curved blade atop a 2 m pole, used in Europe between the 11th and 14th centuries Guisarme, a medieval bladed weapon on the end of a long pole. Lochaber axe, a Scottish weapon that had a heavy blade attached to a pole in a similar fashion to a voulge Naginata, a Japanese weapon that had a 30 cm – 60 cm long blade attached by a sword guard to a wooden shaft Partisan, a large double-bladed spearhead mounted on a long shaft that had protrusions on either side for parrying sword thrusts Pollaxe, an axe or hammer mounted on a long shaft—developed in the 14th century to breach the plate armour worn by European men-at-arms Ranseur, a pole weapon consisting of a spear-tip affixed with a cross hilt at its base derived from the earlier spetum Spontoon, a 17th-century weapon that consisted of a large blade with two side blades mounted on a long 2 m pole, considered a more elaborate pike Voulge, a crude single-edged blade bound to a wooden shaft War scythe, an improvised weapon that consisted of a blade from a scythe attached vertically to a shaft Welsh hook, similar to a halberd and thought to originate from a forest-bill Woldo, A Korean polearm that had a crescent-shaped blade mounted on a long shaft, similar in construction to the Chinese Guandao, served as a symbol of the Royal Guard Dagger-axe Viking halberd O'Flaherty, Ronan.
Brandtherm, Dirk & O'Flaherty, Ronan. R. E. Oakeshott, European weapons and armour: From the Renaissance to the industrial revolution, 44–48
Sagas are stories about ancient Nordic and Germanic history, early Viking voyages, the battles that took place during the voyages, migration to Iceland and of feuds between Icelandic families. They were written in the Old Norse language in Iceland; the texts are tales in prose which share some similarities with the epic with stanzas or whole poems in alliterative verse embedded in the text, of heroic deeds of days long gone, "tales of worthy men," who were Vikings, sometimes pagan, sometimes Christian. The tales are realistic, except legendary sagas, sagas of saints, sagas of bishops and translated or recomposed romances, they are sometimes fantastic. The term saga originates from the Norse saga, refers to "what is said, statement" or "story, history", it is cognate with the English word saw, the German Sage. Icelandic sagas are based on oral traditions and much research has focused on what is real and what is fiction within each tale; the accuracy of the sagas is hotly disputed. Most of the manuscripts in which the sagas are preserved were taken to Denmark and Sweden in the 17th century, but returned to Iceland.
Classic sagas were composed in the 13th century. Scholars once believed that these sagas were transmitted orally from generation to generation until scribes wrote them down in the 13th century. However, most scholars now believe the sagas were conscious artistic creations, based on both oral and written tradition. A study focusing on the description of the items of clothing mentioned in the sagas concludes that the authors attempted to create a historic "feel" to the story, by dressing the characters in what was at the time thought to be "old fashioned clothing". However, this clothing is not contemporary with the events of the saga as it is a closer match to the clothing worn in the 12th century. There are plenty of tales of everyday people and larger than life characters; the sagas describe a part of the history of some of the Nordic countries. The British Isles, northern France and North America are mentioned, it was only that the tales of the voyages to North America were authenticated. Most sagas of Icelanders take place in the period 930–1030, called söguöld in Icelandic history.
The sagas of kings, contemporary sagas have their own time frame. Most were written down between 1190 and 1320, sometimes existing as oral traditions long before, others are pure fiction, for some we do know the sources: the author of King Sverrir's saga had met the king and used him as a source. Norse sagas are classified as: the Kings' sagas, sagas of Icelanders, Short tales of Icelanders, Contemporary sagas, Legendary sagas, Chivalric sagas, Saints' sagas and bishops' sagas. Kings' sagas are of the lives of Scandinavian kings, they were composed in the 12th to 14th centuries. The Icelanders' sagas, a.k.a. Family Sagas, are stories of real events, passed in oral form till they were recorded in the 13th century; these are the highest form of the classical Icelandic saga writing. Some well-known examples include Laxdæla saga and Grettis saga; the material of the Short tales of Icelanders sagas is similar to Íslendinga sögur, in shorter form. The narratives of the Contemporary Sagas are set in 12th- and 13th-century Iceland, were written soon after the events they describe.
Most are preserved in the compilation Sturlunga saga, though some, such as Arons saga Hjörleifssonar are preserved separately. Legendary Sagas blend remote history with legend; the aim is on entertainment. Scandinavia's pagan past was a heroic history for the Icelanders. Chivalric sagas are translations of Latin pseudo-historical works and French chansons de geste as well as native creations in the same style. While sagas are anonymous, a distinctive literary movement in the 14th century involves sagas on religious topics, with identifiable authors and a distinctive Latinate style. Associated with Iceland's northern diocese of Hólar, this movement is known as the North Icelandic Benedictine School. Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa Hróa þáttr heimska Eymundar þáttr hrings Eindriða þáttr ok Erlings "Saga" is a word originating from Old Norse or Icelandic language. Saga is a cognate of the English word say: its various meanings in Icelandic are equivalent to "something said" or "a narrative in prose", along the lines of a "story", "tale" or "history".
Through the centuries, the word saga has gained a broader meaning in Nordic languages. In contemporary Swedish and Danish it describes a epic work of fiction. Folksaga means folk tale. Konstsaga is the Swedish term for a fairy tale by a known author, such as Hans Christian Andersen or Astrid Lindgren, while the Danish and Norwegian term is kunsteventyr. Saga can be a work of fantasy fiction. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series was translated into Swedish by Åke Ohlmarks with the title Sagan om ringen: "The Saga of the Ring"; the 2004 translation was titled a literal translation from the original. Icelandic journalist Þorsteinn Thorarensen translated the work into Hringadróttins saga meaning "Saga of the Lord of the Ri
The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1683; the Hongwu Emperor attempted to create a society of self-sufficient rural communities ordered in a rigid, immobile system that would guarantee and support a permanent class of soldiers for his dynasty: the empire's standing army exceeded one million troops and the navy's dockyards in Nanjing were the largest in the world. He took great care breaking the power of the court eunuchs and unrelated magnates, enfeoffing his many sons throughout China and attempting to guide these princes through the Huang-Ming Zuxun, a set of published dynastic instructions; this failed when his teenage successor, the Jianwen Emperor, attempted to curtail his uncles' power, prompting the Jingnan Campaign, an uprising that placed the Prince of Yan upon the throne as the Yongle Emperor in 1402.
The Yongle Emperor established Yan as a secondary capital and renamed it Beijing, constructed the Forbidden City, restored the Grand Canal and the primacy of the imperial examinations in official appointments. He rewarded his eunuch supporters and employed them as a counterweight against the Confucian scholar-bureaucrats. One, Zheng He, led seven enormous voyages of exploration into the Indian Ocean as far as Arabia and the eastern coasts of Africa; the rise of new emperors and new factions diminished such extravagances. The imperial navy was allowed to fall into disrepair while forced labor constructed the Liaodong palisade and connected and fortified the Great Wall of China into its modern form. Wide-ranging censuses of the entire empire were conducted decennially, but the desire to avoid labor and taxes and the difficulty of storing and reviewing the enormous archives at Nanjing hampered accurate figures. Estimates for the late-Ming population vary from 160 to 200 million, but necessary revenues were squeezed out of smaller and smaller numbers of farmers as more disappeared from the official records or "donated" their lands to tax-exempt eunuchs or temples.
Haijin laws intended to protect the coasts from "Japanese" pirates instead turned many into smugglers and pirates themselves. By the 16th century, the expansion of European trade – albeit restricted to islands near Guangzhou like Macau – spread the Columbian Exchange of crops and animals into China, introducing chili peppers to Sichuan cuisine and productive corn and potatoes, which diminished famines and spurred population growth; the growth of Portuguese and Dutch trade created new demand for Chinese products and produced a massive influx of Japanese and American silver. This abundance of specie remonetized the Ming economy, whose paper money had suffered repeated hyperinflation and was no longer trusted. While traditional Confucians opposed such a prominent role for commerce and the newly rich it created, the heterodoxy introduced by Wang Yangming permitted a more accommodating attitude. Zhang Juzheng's successful reforms proved devastating when a slowdown in agriculture produced by the Little Ice Age joined changes in Japanese and Spanish policy that cut off the supply of silver now necessary for farmers to be able to pay their taxes.
Combined with crop failure and epidemic, the dynasty collapsed before the rebel leader Li Zicheng, defeated by the Manchu-led Eight Banner armies who founded the Qing dynasty. The Mongol-led Yuan dynasty ruled before the establishment of the Ming dynasty. Explanations for the demise of the Yuan include institutionalized ethnic discrimination against Han Chinese that stirred resentment and rebellion, overtaxation of areas hard-hit by inflation, massive flooding of the Yellow River as a result of the abandonment of irrigation projects. Agriculture and the economy were in shambles, rebellion broke out among the hundreds of thousands of peasants called upon to work on repairing the dykes of the Yellow River. A number of Han Chinese groups revolted, including the Red Turbans in 1351; the Red Turbans were affiliated with a Buddhist secret society. Zhu Yuanzhang was a penniless peasant and Buddhist monk who joined the Red Turbans in 1352. In 1356, Zhu's rebel force captured the city of Nanjing, which he would establish as the capital of the Ming dynasty.
With the Yuan dynasty crumbling, competing rebel groups began fighting for control of the country and thus the right to establish a new dynasty. In 1363, Zhu Yuanzhang eliminated his archrival and leader of the rebel Han faction, Chen Youliang, in the Battle of Lake Poyang, arguably the largest naval battle in history. Known for its ambitious use of fire ships, Zhu's force of 200,000 Ming sailors were able to defeat a Han rebel force over triple their size, claimed to be 650,000-strong; the victory destroyed the last opposing rebel faction, leaving Zhu Yuanzhang in uncontested control of the bountiful Yangtze River Valley and cementing his power in the south. After the dynastic head of the Red Turbans suspiciously died in 1367 while a guest of Zhu, there was no one left, remotely capable of contesting his march to the throne, he made his imperial ambitions known by sending an army toward the Yuan capital Dadu in 1368; the las
Post-classical history is a periodization used by the school of "world history" instead of Middle Ages, synonymous. The period runs from about AD 500 to 1450 though there may be regional debates; the era was globally characterized by the expansion of civilizations geographically, the development of three of the great world religions, development of networks of trade between civilizations. In Asia, the spread of Islam created a new empire and Islamic Golden Age with trade between the Asian and European continents, advances in science in the medieval Islamic world. East Asia experienced the full establishment of power of Imperial China, which established several prosperous dynasties influencing Korea and Japan. Religions such as Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism spread. Gunpowder was developed in China during the post-classical era; the Mongol Empire connected Europe and Asia creating safe trade and stability between the two regions. In total the population of the world doubled in the time period from 210 million in AD 500 to 461 million in 1500.
Population grew throughout the period but endured some incidental declines in events including the Plague of Justinian, The Mongol Invasions and the Black Death.'Post-classical history' is a periodization used by historians employing a "world history" approach to history the school developed during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Outside of world history, the term is sometimes used to avoid erroneous pre-conceptions around the terms "Middle Ages", "medieval" and "Dark Ages" —though the application of the term'post-classical' on a global scale is problematic, may be Eurocentric; the post-classical period corresponds to the period from 500 to 1450 CE. Beginning and ending dates might vary depending on the region, with the period beginning at the end of the previous classical period: Han China, the Western Roman Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Sasanian Empire; the post-classical period is one of the five or six major periods world historians use: early civilization. Although post-classical is synonymous with the Middle Ages of Western Europe, the term post-classical is not a member of the traditional tripartite periodisation of Western European history into'classical','middle' and'modern'.
The historical field of world history, which looks at common themes occurring across multiple cultures and regions, has enjoyed extensive development since the 1980s. However, World History research has tended to focus on early modern globalization and subsequent developments, views post-classical history as pertaining to Afro-Eurasia. Historians recognize the difficulties of creating a periodization and identifying common themes that include not only this region but for example, the Americas, since they had little contact with Afro-Eurasia before the Columbian Exchange, thus recent research has emphasised that'a global history of the period between 500 and 1500 is still wanting' and that'historians have only just begun to embark on a global history of the Middle Ages'. For many regions of the world, there are well established histories. Although Medieval Studies in Europe tended in the nineteenth century to focus on creating histories for individual nation-states, much twentieth-century research focused on creating an integrated history of medieval Europe.
The Islamicate world has a rich regional historiography, ranging from the fourteenth-century Ibn Khaldun to the twentieth-century Marshall Hodgson and beyond. Correspondingly, research into the network of commercial hubs which enabled goods and ideas to move between China in the East and the Atlantic islands in the West—which can be called the early history of globalisation—is advanced. Understanding of communication within sub-saharan Africa or the Americas is, by contrast, far more limited. Recent history-writing, has begun to explore how it might be possible meaningfully to write history that spans the Old World, where human activities were interconnected, establishes its relationship with other worlds, such as the Americas and Oceania. In the assessment of James Belich, John Darwin, Margret Frenz, Chris Wickham, Global history may be boundless, but global historians are not. Global history cannot usefully mean the history of everything, all the time. Three approaches seem to us to have real promise.
One is global history as the pursuit of significant historical problems across time and specialism. This can sometimes be characterized as ‘comparative’ history. Another is connectedness, including transnational relationships; the third approach is the study of globalization. Globalization is a term that needs to be rescued from the present, salvaged for the past. To define it as always encompassing the whole planet is to mistake the current outcome for a ancient process. A number of commentators have pointed to the history of the earth's climate as a useful approach to World History in the Middle Ages, noting that certain climate events had effects on all human populations; the Post-classical era saw several common themes. There was the growth of civilization into new geographic areas.
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts named under the umbrella terms kung fu and wushu, are the several hundred fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are classified according to common traits, identified as "families", "sects" or "schools" of martial arts. Examples of such traits include Shaolinquan physical exercises involving Five Animals mimicry, or training methods inspired by Old Chinese philosophies and legends. Styles that focus on qi manipulation are called internal, while others that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called "external". Geographical association, as in northern and "southern", is another popular classification method. Kung fu and wushu are loanwords from Cantonese and Mandarin that, in English, are used to refer to Chinese martial arts. However, the Chinese terms kung fu and wushu have distinct meanings; the Chinese equivalent of the term "Chinese martial arts" would be Zhongguo wushu. In Chinese, the term kung fu refers to any skill, acquired through learning or practice.
It is a compound word composed of the words 功 meaning "work", "achievement", or "merit", 夫, a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings. Wǔshù means "martial art", it is formed from the two words 武術: 武, meaning "martial" or "military" and 術 or 术, which translates into "art", "discipline", "skill" or "method". The term wushu has become the name for the modern sport of wushu, an exhibition and full-contact sport of bare-handed and weapons forms and judged to a set of aesthetic criteria for points developed since 1949 in the People's Republic of China. Quanfa is another Chinese term for Chinese martial arts, it means "fist method" or "the law of the fist", although as a compound term it translates as "boxing" or "fighting technique." The name of the Japanese martial art kempō is represented by the same hanzi characters. The genesis of Chinese martial arts has been attributed to the need for self-defense, hunting techniques and military training in ancient China. Hand-to-hand combat and weapons practice were important in training ancient Chinese soldiers.
Detailed knowledge about the state and development of Chinese martial arts became available from the Nanjing decade, as the Central Guoshu Institute established by the Kuomintang regime made an effort to compile an encyclopedic survey of martial arts schools. Since the 1950s, the People's Republic of China has organized Chinese martial arts as an exhibition and full-contact sport under the heading of “wushu”. According to legend, Chinese martial arts originated during the semi-mythical Xia Dynasty more than 4,000 years ago, it is said. The Yellow Emperor is described as a famous general who, before becoming China’s leader, wrote lengthy treatises on medicine and the martial arts. One of his main opponents was Chi You, credited as the creator of jiao di, a forerunner to the modern art of Chinese wrestling; the earliest references to Chinese martial arts are found in the Spring and Autumn Annals, where a hand-to-hand combat theory, one that integrates notions of "hard" and "soft" techniques, is mentioned.
A combat wrestling system called jiǎolì is mentioned in the Classic of Rites. This combat system included techniques such as strikes, joint manipulation, pressure point attacks. Jiao Di became a sport during the Qin Dynasty; the Han History Bibliographies record that, by the Former Han, there was a distinction between no-holds-barred weaponless fighting, which it calls shǒubó, for which training manuals had been written, sportive wrestling known as juélì. Wrestling is documented in the Shǐ Jì, Records of the Grand Historian, written by Sima Qian. In the Tang Dynasty, descriptions of sword dances were immortalized in poems by Li Bai. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, xiangpu contests were sponsored by the imperial courts; the modern concepts of wushu were developed by the Ming and Qing dynasties. The ideas associated with Chinese martial arts changed with the evolution of Chinese society and over time acquired some philosophical bases: Passages in the Zhuangzi, a Daoist text, pertain to the psychology and practice of martial arts.
Zhuangzi, its eponymous author, is believed to have lived in the 4th century BCE. The Dao De Jing credited to Lao Zi, is another Taoist text that contains principles applicable to martial arts. According to one of the classic texts of Confucianism, Zhou Li, Archery and charioteering were part of the "six arts" of the Zhou Dynasty; the Art of War, written during the 6th century BCE by Sun Tzu, deals directly with military warfare but contains ideas that are used in the Chinese martial arts. Daoist practitioners have been practicing Tao Yin from as early as 500 BCE. In 39–92 CE, "Six Chapters of Hand Fighting", were included in the Han Shu written by Pan Ku; the noted physician, Hua Tuo, composed the "Five Animals Pl
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists over, the manner of England's governance. The first and second wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament; the war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651. The overall outcome of the war was threefold: the trial and execution of Charles I. In England, the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship was ended, while in Ireland the victors consolidated the established Protestant Ascendancy. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although the idea of Parliament as the ruling power of England was only established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688; the term "English Civil War" appears most in the singular form, although historians divide the conflict into two or three separate wars.
These wars were not restricted to England as Wales was a part of the Kingdom of England and was affected accordingly, the conflicts involved wars with, civil wars within, both Scotland and Ireland. The war in all these countries is known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. In the early 19th century, Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "the Great Civil War". Unlike other civil wars in England, which focused on who should rule, this war was more concerned with the manner in which the kingdoms of England and Ireland were governed; the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica called the series of conflicts the "Great Rebellion", while some historians – Marxists such as Christopher Hill – have long favoured the term "English Revolution". The two sides had their geographical strongholds, such that minority elements were fled; the strongholds of the royalty included the countryside, the shires, the less economically developed areas of northern and western England. On the other hand, all the cathedral cities sided with Parliament.
All the industrial centers, the ports, the economically advanced regions of southern and eastern England were parliamentary strongholds. Lacey Baldwin Smith says, "the words populous and rebellious seemed to go hand in hand". Many of the officers and veteran soldiers of the English Civil War studied and implemented war strategies, learned and perfected in other wars across Europe, namely by the Spanish and the Dutch during the Dutch war for independence which began in 1568; the main battle tactic came to be known as pike and shot infantry, in which the two sides would line up, facing each other, with infantry brigades of musketeers in the centre, carrying matchlock muskets. The brigades would arrange themselves in lines of musketeers, three deep, where the first row would kneel, the second would crouch, the third would stand, allowing all three to fire a volley simultaneously. At times there would be two groups of three lines allowing one group to reload while the other group arranged themselves and fired.
Mixed in among the musketeers were pikemen carrying pikes that were between 12 feet and 18 feet long, whose primary purpose was to protect the musketeers from cavalry charges. Positioned on each side of the infantry were the cavalry, with a right-wing led by the lieutenant-general, a left-wing by the commissary general; the Royalist cavaliers' skill and speed on horseback led to many early victories. Prince Rupert, the leader of the king's cavalry, learned a tactic while fighting in the Dutch army where the cavalry would charge at full speed into the opponent's infantry firing their pistols just before impact. However, with Oliver Cromwell and the introduction of the more disciplined New Model Army, a group of disciplined pikemen would stand their ground in the face of charging cavalry and could have a devastating effect. While the Parliamentarian cavalry were slower than the cavaliers, they were better disciplined; the Royalists had a tendency to chase down individual targets after the initial charge leaving their forces scattered and tired.
Cromwell's cavalry, on the other hand, was trained to operate as a single unit, which led to many decisive victories. The English Civil War broke out less than forty years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. Elizabeth's death had resulted in the succession of her first cousin twice-removed, King James VI of Scotland, to the English throne as James I of England, creating the first personal union of the Scottish and English kingdoms; as King of Scots, James had become accustomed to Scotland's weak parliamentary tradition since assuming control of the Scottish government in 1583, so that upon assuming power south of the border, the new King of England was genuinely affronted by the constraints the English Parliament attempted to place on him in exchange for money. In spite of this, James's personal extravagance meant he was perennially short of money and had to resort to extra-Parliamentary sources of income; this extravagance was tempered by James's peaceful disposition, so that by the su