Classification of swords
The English language terminology used in the classification of swords is imprecise and has varied over time. There is no historical dictionary for the universal names, terminology of swords. Historical terms without a universal consensus of definition were used to label weapons of similar appearance but of different historical periods, regional cultures and fabrication technology; these terms were described in relation to other unrelated weapons, without regard to their intended use and fighting style. In modern history, many of these terms have been given specific arbitrary meanings that are unrelated to any of their historical meanings; some of these terms originate contemporaneously with the weapons. Others are modern or early modern terms used by antiquarians and modern-day sword enthusiasts for historical swords. Terminology was further complicated by terms introduced or misinterpreted in the 19th century by antiquarians and in 20th century pop culture, by the addition of new terms such as "great sword", "Zweihänder", "cut-and-thrust sword".
Historical European Martial Arts associations have turned the term spada da lato into "side-sword". Furthermore, there is a deprecation of the term "broadsword" by these associations. All these newly redefined terms add to the confusion of the matter; the most well-known systematic typology of blade types of the European medieval sword is the Oakeshott typology, although this is a modern classification and not a medieval one. Elizabethans used descriptive terms such as "short", "bastard", "long" which emphasized the length of the blade, "two-handed" for any sword that could be wielded by two hands; the term two-handed sword, used as a general term, may refer to any large sword designed to be used with two hands: the European longsword, popular in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance.the Scottish late medieval claymore the Bidenhänder sword favoured by the Landsknechte of 16th-century Germany. The term "hand-and-a-half sword" is modern. During the first half of the 20th century, the term "bastard sword" was used to refer to this type of sword, while "long sword" or "long-sword", if used at all, referred to the rapier.
The term "single-handed sword" is a retronym coined to disambiguate from "two-handed" or "hand-and-a-half" specimens. "Single-handed sword" is used by Sir Walter Scott. It is used as a possible gloss of the obscure term tonsword by Nares. 1850. Some swords were designed for left-hand use, although left-handed swords have been described as "a rarity". Great swords or greatswords are related to the long swords of the Middle Ages; the great sword proper was developed during the Renaissance, but its earlier cousin, the Scottish Claymore, was similar in size and use, like the "outsized specimens" between 160 cm and 180 cm such as the Oakeshott type XIIa or Oakeshott type XIIIa. These swords were too heavy to be wielded one-handed and possessed a large grip for leverage, the point would be to hold the grip with one hand at the top of the grip, one hand at the bottom; the top hand would push, the bottom hand would pull. The Scottish name "claymore" can refer to either the longsword with a distinctive two-handed grip, or the basket-hilted sword developing from a rapier.
The two handed claymore is an early Scottish version of a greatsword. The Zweihänder or Beidhänder is a true two-handed sword, in the sense that it cannot be wielded in only one hand, it was a specialist weapon wielded by so-called Doppelsöldners. The swordstaff is a Scandinavian sword-polearm hybrid, used in medieval times, it is made by placing a blade at the end of a staff, thus giving the same benefits of a sword with the reach of a spear or polearm. This mounted; the length of the weapon makes it easier to fight mounted opponents, while the blade is still handy enough to use in close combat, as opposed to using a spear, ineffective at close range because only the tip can be used to attack, or a sword which makes hurting mounted enemies harder. The greater length of the weapon would help when fighting more armed opponents since an attack can be executed with more force due to the length of the weapon; these are double-edged straight bladed swords. Jian is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China.
The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BC during the Spring and Autumn period. Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters in length; the weight of an average sword of 70-centimetre blade-length would be in a range of 700 to 900 grams. There are larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts; these days, the term longsword most refers to a late Medieval and Renaissance weapon designed for use with two hands. The German langes Schwert ("long s
Stephen Báthory was Voivode of Transylvania, Prince of Transylvania, from 1576 Queen Anna Jagiellon's husband and jure uxoris King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. The son of Stephen VIII Báthory and a member of the Hungarian Báthory noble family, Báthory was a ruler of Transylvania in the 1570s, defeating another challenger for that title, Gáspár Bekes. In 1576 Báthory became the third elected king of Poland, he worked with chancellor Jan Zamoyski. The first years of his reign were focused on establishing power, defeating a fellow claimant to the throne, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, quelling rebellions, most notably, the Danzig rebellion, he reigned only a decade, but is considered one of the most successful kings in Polish history in the realm of military history. His signal achievement was his victorious campaign in Livonia against Russia in the middle part of his reign, in which he repulsed a Russian invasion of Commonwealth borderlands and secured a favorable treaty of peace.
Stephen Báthory was born on 27 September 1533 in the castle at Somlyó known as Szilágysomlyó. He was the son of Stephen VIII Báthory of the noble Hungarian Báthory family and his wife Catherine Telegdi, he had at least five siblings: three sisters. Little is known about his childhood. Around 1549-1550, he visited Italy and spent a few months attending lectures at the Padua University. Upon his return, he joined the army of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, took part in his military struggle against the Turks; some time after 1553, Báthory was captured by the Turks, after Ferdinand I refused to pay his ransom, joined the opposing side, supporting John II Sigismund Zápolya in his struggle for power in the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom. As Zápolya's supporter, Báthory acted both as military commander and a diplomat. During one of his trips to Vienna he was put under house arrest for two years. During this time he fell out of favour at Zápolya's court, his position was assumed by another Hungarian noble, Gáspár Bekes.
Báthory retired from politics, but he still wielded considerable influence and was seen as a possible successor to Zápolya. After Zápolya's death in 1571, the Transylvanian estates elected Báthory Voivode of Transylvania. Bekes, supported by the Habsburgs, disputed his election, but by 1573, Báthory emerged victorious in the resulting civil war and drove Bekes out of Transylvania, he subsequently attempted to play the Ottomans and the Holy Roman Empire against one another in an attempt to strengthen the Transylvania position. In 1572, the throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, at the time the largest and one of the most populous states in Europe, was vacated when King Sigismund II of Poland died without heirs; the Sejm was given the power to elect a new king, in the Polish–Lithuanian royal election, 1573 chose Henry of France. Báthory decided to enter into the election. On 12 December 1575, after an interregnum of one and a half years, primate of Poland Jakub Uchański, representing a pro-Habsburg faction, declared Emperor Maximilian II as the new monarch.
However, chancellor Jan Zamoyski and other opponents of Habsburgs persuaded many of the lesser nobility to demand a Piast king, a Polish king. After a heated discussion, it was decided that Anna Jagiellon, sister of the former King Sigismund II Augustus, should be elected King of Poland and marry Stephen Báthory. In January 1576 Báthory passed the mantle of Voivode of Transylvania to his brother Christopher Báthory and departed for Poland. On 1 May 1576 Báthory was crowned King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. After being chosen as king in the Polish–Lithuanian royal election, 1576, Báthory began using the title of the Prince of Transylvania. Báthory's position was at first difficult, as there was still some opposition to his election. Emperor Maximilian, insisting on his earlier election, fostered internal opposition and prepared to enforce his claim by military action. At first the representatives of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania refused to recognize Báthory as Grand Duke, demanded concessions - that he return the estates of his wife Anne to the Lithuanian treasury, hold Sejm conventions in both Lithuania and Poland, reserve the highest governmental official offices in Lithuania for Lithuanians.
He accepted the conditions. In June Báthory was recognized as Grand Duke of Duke of Ruthenia and Samogitia. With Lithuania secure, the other major region refusing to recognize his election was Prussia. Maximilian's sudden death improved Báthory's situation, but the city of Danzig still refused to recognize his election without significant concessions; the Hanseatic League city, bolstered by its immense wealth and the secret support of Maximilian, had supported the Emperor's election and decided not to recognize Báthory as legitimate ruler. The resulting conflict was known as the Danzig rebellion. Most armed opposition collapsed when the prolonged Siege of Danzig by Báthory's forces was lifted as an agreement was reached; the Danzig army was utterly defeated in a field battle on 17 April 1577. However, since Báthory's armies were unable to take the city by force, a compromise was reached. In exchange for some of Danzig's demands being favorably reviewed, the city recognised Báthor
Szabla wz. 34
Szabla wz. 34 was the last service sword issued to the Polish cavalry and other mounted units of the Polish Army. One of the finest weapons in a long list of Polish sabres reaching back to the early 16th century, although its introduction occurred as swords became obsolete as military weapons, it was used in combat during the 1939 Invasion of Poland and remains in service as a ceremonial weapon; the Polish cavalry units have been using sabres rather than broadswords at least since the 16th century. In the 18th century Poland ceased to exist as a sovereign nation in the effect of the partitions of Poland, but the Polish sabre, or szabla, remained in use. First as a weapon of various Polish units serving in the armies of other powers, its use spread to all light cavalry units in Europe and elsewhere; the British Pattern 1796 light cavalry sabre was the best-known clone of the sabre used by Polish hussars. When Poland regained its independence in 1918, the renascent Polish Army inherited a wide variety of swords from the armies of German Empire, Russian Empire and Austria-Hungary, as well as France and many other states from where weapons were being imported during the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920.
Experiences in the war shaped Polish Army operational doctrine. Unlike the trench warfare of World War I, the Polish-Soviet War was a conflict in which the cavalry's mobility played a decisive role. Poland acknowledged the benefits of mechanization but was unable to invest in many of the expensive, unproven inventions since then. In spite of this, Polish cavalry brigades were used as a mobile mounted infantry, but continued to be trained in fencing for a possible sabre charge; because of that a need arose to create a new, standard weapon to be issued to all cavalry units of the Polish Army. In April 1921 the Ministry of Military Matters introduced the szabla wz. 1921, a new design combining the features of various swords used by the Polish Army until that date. Resembling the original 17th-century sabres, the new 1921 pattern was based on the sabres produced during World War I in small numbers for the Polnische Wehrmacht; the new sabre served as ceremonial weapon of the Polish Army. This made the 1921 design not ideal for either cutting or thrusting, as compromises had to be made and the curvature was not the best suited for cavalry combat.
In 1934 the Warsaw-based Technical Institute of Armaments designed a new standard combat sabre for all mounted units of the Polish Army. While similar to the 1921 Pattern Sabre, the new sword was designed as a combat weapon, with ergonomic grip, well-carved hilt and the curved blade designed for both powerful cuts and easy swings. Unlike many contemporary designs, the sheathed sword was flat, which facilitated carrying the weapon and attaching it to a standard cavalry saddle. Unlike the earlier models, the new sabre was being produced by a single factory, the Kielce-based Huta Ludwików; this allowed for much higher uniformity. According to a post-war evaluation by one of the users, Capt. Eng. Janusz Wielhorski, "it was seen as a perfect weapon. Well-balanced, nicely fitting and uncommonly easy to cut with. Out of 100 contemporary French broadswords only two or three could cut nicely, while all wz. 34 sabres I used were perfect for that". In addition, prior to delivery, each piece of weapon had to undergo a series of rigorous stress-tests: when dropped free from the height of 2 metres it was to pierce a steel sheet 2 millimetres thick cut five 5 mm steel bars without damaging the edge survive a powerful blows into a hardwood stub with the flat and the spine, without any damages to the blade the blade pressed against a hardwood stub was to bend 150 millimetres to either side without breaking or deforming the sheath placed flat on two bricks was to survive a 120 kilograms The new weapon entered production in 1936 and entered service as a standard sword of all mounted units of the army.
By 1939 40,000 pieces have been delivered in four identical series of 9999 pieces each. On 1 July 1938 the Polish Army had 39,564 Pattern 1934 sabres in first-line units. Unlike many contemporary designs such as the American Model 1913 Cavalry Saber or the British Pattern 1908 and 1912 cavalry swords, the Polish Szabla wz. 34 was used in actual combat on numerous occasions. While by the late 1930s the Polish cavalry was a formation of mounted infantry and was not supposed to be used as typical Napoleonic-era cavalry, during the German and Soviet Invasion of Poland of 1939 there were 16 confirmed cavalry charges in which the Polish units used the sabres against enemy soldiers. Contrary to a widespread yet counter-factual myth, most of them were successful. While World War II put an end to combat use of swords, the sabre remained a ceremonial weapon in the Soviet-controlled army of the People's Republic of Poland. Soviet shashkas were used for that purpose in 1971 a new model was introduced based on World War I German cavalry sabres.
In 1975 a commission set up by the Polish Army Museum designed a new szabla wz. 1976 - a parade sabre for use by the Polish Army and the Polish Navy. Both variants were based on the original pre-war wz. 34, but included design elements from earlier sabres, notably from the 17th century hussar sabre. The initial batch was manufactured in the museum the Łódź-based WiFaMa factory took over and continues to manufacture short batches of the wz. 1976. In 2000 the Polish Army incorpora
The Polish Hussars, or Winged Hussars, were one of the main types of the cavalry in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between the 16th and 18th centuries. Modeled on the Hungarian Hussars, the early hussars were light cavalry of exiled Serbian warriors; until the reforms of the 1770s, the husaria banners were considered the elite of the Polish cavalry. Hussars originated in mercenary units of exiled Serbian warriors. Serbian lancers called Racowie, were used to counter Ottoman sipahi and deli cavalry; the oldest mention of hussars in Polish documents date to 1500, although they were in service earlier. In the 15th century, light hussars based on those of Hungarian King Mathias Corvinus were adopted by some European armies to provide light, expendable cavalry units; the Polish Hussars were based on the Hungarian Hussars. The development of light cavalry in the Polish army in the 16th century was modeled after the Serbian light cavalry that appeared in Corvinus' army; the first hussar units in the Kingdom of Poland were formed by the Sejm in 1503, which hired three banners of Hungarian mercenaries.
Soon, recruitment began among Polish citizens. Being far more expendable than the armoured lancers of the Renaissance, the Serbian-Hungarian hussars played a minor role in the Polish Crown victories during the early 16th century, exemplified by the victories at Orsza and Obertyn. During the so-called "transition period" of the mid-16th-century, heavy hussars replaced armoured lancers riding armoured horses, in the Polish Obrona Potoczna cavalry forces serving on the southern frontier; the true "winged hussar" arrived with the reforms of the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephen Bathory in the 1570s and was led by the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania John III Sobieski. The hussars were the leading, or elite, branch of cavalry in the Polish army from the 1570s until 1776, when their duties and traditions were passed on to the Uhlans by a parliamentary decree. Most hussars were recruited from the wealthier Polish nobility; each hussar towarzysz raised his own lance/retinue.
Several retinues were combined to form company. Over the course of the 16th century, hussars in Hungary became heavier in character: they abandoned wooden shields and adopted metal-plated body armour; when Bathory was elected King of Poland and accepted as a Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1576, he reorganized the hussars of his Royal Guard into a heavy formation equipped with a long lance as their main weapon. By the reign of Bathory, the hussars had replaced medieval-style lancers in the Polish Crown army, they now formed the bulk of the Polish cavalry. By the 1590s, most Polish hussar units had been reformed along the same "heavy" model; these heavy hussars were known in Poland as Husaria. With the Battle of Lubiszew in 1577, the'Golden Age' of the Husaria began. Between and the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Hussars fought many battles against various enemies, most of which they won. In the battles of Lubiszew in 1577, Kokenhausen, Kircholm, Kłuszyn, Martynów, Ochmatów, Beresteczko, Połonka, Cudnów, Chocim, Lwów, Párkány, they proved to be the decisive factor against overwhelming odds.
For instance, in the Battle of Kluszyn during the Polish–Muscovite War, the Russians outnumbered the Commonwealth army 5 to 1, yet were defeated. The role of the Hussar evolved into a advanced scout capacity, their uniforms became more elaborate as their armour and heavy weapons were abandoned. In the 18th century, as infantry firearms became more effective, heavy cavalry, with its tactics of charging into and breaking infantry units, became obsolete and hussars transformed from an elite fighting unit to a parade one. Instead of ostrich feathers, the husaria men wore wooden arcs attached to their armour at the back and raising over their heads; these arcs, together with bristling feathers sticking out of them, were dyed in various colours in imitation of laurel branches or palm leaves, were a strangely beautiful sight to behold... – Jędrzej Kitowicz. The Hussars were famous for their huge "wings", a wooden frame carrying eagle, swan or goose feathers. In the 16th century, characteristic painted wings or winged claws began to appear on cavalry shields.
The most common theory is that the hussars wore the wings because they made a loud, clattering noise which made it seem like the cavalry was much larger than in reality and frightened the enemy's horses. Other possibilities included the wings being made to defend the backs of the men against swords and lassos, or that they were worn to make their own horses deaf to the wooden noise-makers used by the Ottoman and the Crimean Tatars.. The hussars represented the heavy cavalry of the Commonwealth; the Towarzysz husarski commanded his own poczet consisting of two to five armed retainers and other servants who tended to his horses, supplies and fodder and participated in battle. His'lance' was part of a larger unit known as a banner; each banner had from 30 to over 60 kopia. The commander, per his contractual obligation, was called "rotmistrz", while the de facto commander was the porucznik. There was one chorąży who carried the banner's flag and could comma
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th
The Kościuszko Uprising was an uprising against the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia led by Tadeusz Kościuszko in the Commonwealth of Poland and the Prussian partition in 1794. It was a failed attempt to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Russian influence after the Second Partition of Poland and the creation of the Targowica Confederation. By the early 18th century, the magnates of Poland and Lithuania controlled the state – or rather, they managed to ensure that no reforms would be carried out that might weaken their privileged status. Through the abuse of the liberum veto rule which enabled any deputy to paralyze the Sejm proceedings, deputies bribed by magnates or foreign powers or those content to believe they were living in an unprecedented "Golden Age", paralysed the Commonwealth's government for over a century; the idea of reforming the Commonwealth gained traction since the mid-17th century. It was, viewed with suspicion not only by its magnates but by neighboring countries, which were content with the deterioration of the Commonwealth and abhorred the thought of a resurgent and democratic power on their borders.
With the Commonwealth Army reduced to around 16,000, it was easy for its neighbors to intervene directly. A major opportunity for reform presented itself during the "Great Sejm" of 1788–92. Poland's neighbors were unable to intervene forcibly in Polish affairs. Russia and Austria were engaged in hostilities with the Ottoman Empire. A new alliance between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Prussia seemed to provide security against Russian intervention, on 3 May 1791 the new constitution was read and adopted to overwhelming popular support. With the wars between Turkey and Russia and Sweden and Russia having ended, Empress Catherine was furious over the adoption of the new constitution, which she believed threatened Russian influence in Poland. Russia had viewed Poland as a de facto protectorate. "The worst possible news has arrived from Warsaw: the Polish king has become sovereign" was the reaction of one of Russia's chief foreign policy authors, Alexander Bezborodko, when he learned of the new constitution.
Prussia was strongly opposed to the new constitution, Polish diplomats received a note that the new constitution changed the Polish state so much that Prussia did not consider its obligations binding. Just like Russia, Prussia was concerned that the newly strengthened Polish state could become a threat and the Prussian foreign minister, Friedrich Wilhelm von Schulenburg-Kehnert and with rare candor told the Poles that Prussia did not support the constitution and refused to help the Commonwealth in any form as a mediator, as it was not in Prussia's state interest to see the Commonwealth strengthened as it could threaten Prussia in the future; the Prussian statesman Ewald von Hertzberg expressed the fears of European conservatives: "The Poles have given the coup de grâce to the Prussian monarchy by voting a constitution", elaborating that a strong Commonwealth would demand the return of the lands Prussia acquired in the First Partition. The Constitution was not adopted without dissent in the Commonwealth itself, either.
Magnates who had opposed the constitution draft from the start, namely Franciszek Ksawery Branicki, Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, Seweryn Rzewuski, Szymon and Józef Kossakowski, asked Tsaritsa Catherine to intervene and restore their privileges such as the Russian-guaranteed Cardinal Laws abolished under the new statute. To that end these magnates formed the Targowica Confederation; the Confederation's proclamation, prepared in St. Petersburg in January 1792, criticized the constitution for contributing to, in their own words, "contagion of democratic ideas" following "the fatal examples set in Paris", it asserted that "The parliament... has broken all fundamental laws, swept away all liberties of the gentry and on the third of May 1791 turned into a revolution and a conspiracy." The Confederates declared an intention to overcome this revolution. We "can do nothing but turn trustingly to Tsarina Catherine, a distinguished and fair empress, our neighboring friend and ally", who "respects the nation's need for well-being and always offers it a helping hand", they wrote.
The Confederates asked her for military intervention. On 18 May 1792 the Russian ambassador to Poland, Yakov Bulgakov, delivered a declaration of war to Polish Foreign Minister Joachim Chreptowicz. Russian armies entered Poland and Lithuania on the same day, starting the Polish–Russian War of 1792; the war ended without any decisive battles, with a capitulation signed by Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski, who hoped that a diplomatic compromise could be worked out. King Poniatowski's hopes that the capitulation would allow an acceptable diplomatic solution to be worked out were soon dashed. With new deputies bribed or intimidated by the Russian troops, a new session of parliament, known as the Grodno Sejm, took place, in fall 1793. On 23 November 1793, it concluded its deliberations under duress, annulling the constitution and acceding to the Second Partition. Russia took 250,000 square kilometres, while Prussia took 58,000 square kilometres of the Commonwealth's territory; this event reduced Poland's population to only one-third of what it was before the partitions began in 1772.
The rump state was garrisoned by Russian troops and its independence was curtailed. Such an outc
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k