Knights of the Great Scythia

In the most interesting stories of the nomads of the Eurasian steppes of Scythia history – one of the brightest pages. No accident that since the release of the Scythians in the 7th century. BC. e. the arena of world history, they serve as a powerful military union, took an active part in the most important historical processes of the time, originating in the vast expanses of the Northern Black Sea and to the depths of the East.

The memory of these campaigns, the horror, came upon the inhabitants of the East, from the Caucasus to Palestine, preserved for centuries. Enough to read the line contemporaries campaigns – Biblical prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, to imagine the real situation prevailing there during the Cimmerian-Scythian campaigns in the East.

And raise the banner of the nations from far (in which modern scholars see the Cimmerians and Scythians. – YC), and will hiss unto them from the end of the world – and that it is easily and will come soon. Will not have it, no tired or weary, neither slumber nor sleep, nor shall the girdle of his loins it, and not to burst his sandal strap. Arrows are sharp, all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs like a stone. The roar of it, like the roar of a lion … And darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the clouds (Isaiah 5, 2630).

Interesting data on the presence of the Scythians in the east said the father of history, ancient Greek traveler, geographer and writer Herodotus of Halicarnassus: Scythians dominated the Asian twenty-eight years, and all his devastated riot and excess. For, besides the fact that they charged each people imposed their tribute, they raided and looted. Most of Cyaxares (king of Media. – YC) and the Medes, invited to a feast and watered drunk, killed … (Herodotus, 1, 106).

Successful military operations of the Scythians was largely ensure that they have sophisticated weapons, standing at the level of the best achievements of military technology of the era.

During the great campaigns in the East in the heroic period of its history, the Scythians began to take shape characteristic pattern of Scythian weapons. Familiarity with weapons of advanced nations of the Ancient East (Assyria and Urartu, Media, Babylon, etc.), with whom or against whom the Scythians had to fight, gave a powerful impetus to the development of military affairs of the Scythians in general, and above all their weapons. Most of all it concerns the new, unknown before the Scythians (but ns only them, but also to all other nations of Eurasia that time) weapons – personal protective equipment, and means of protection warrior steed.

In the East, the Scythians met with original manufacture shells. Their leather covered by a set of base metal (usually iron) is comparatively small plates that form a covering that is close to the type of fish scales. Plates were attached to the base and to each other with leather laces or lived. A sound system allows you to have a set at any point set of armor plate in 2-3 layers.

But when the soldiers of the East had only a cover shells, Scythian gunsmiths widely used in the production of this set of complex protective arms: helmet, armor, combat zones, a variety of armor, protecting legs warrior shields and protective equipment may warhorse.

Warrior mound at Novorozanovki

The main means of personal protection warrior was shell. Scythians shells are very diverse. Many of them are unique. Usually the metal set to protect only part of the armor, which is adjacent to the throat, chest or the whole front end. There are instances, and with a continuous metallic coating. Shells differed various cut. Usually, they had the appearance of a shirt with short and long sleeves. As he became more and more used melee, in which riders were cut long swords, there was need for further strengthening the shoulders of soldiers, which attacked a powerful chop. Therefore began to make armor, whose shoulders were not set the plate in 2-3 layers, and more. These were shells with Mantle. To decorate the Brigandine set used cast bronze plaques, made in typical Scythian animal style.

Typically skiff were fighting belts, leather covered metal base which set close by the method of fixing crustacean. These belts are used only for carrying swords and daggers, burn and battle axes and other military equipment. Waistband successfully complement shells. In that place the shell, where it was placed on top of belt, often did not have a set of leather and the width of the gap in recruitment shell coincides with the width of the belt. Known series of broad combat zones Scythian Archaic period, existing in a short shell protect the lower part of the body of a warrior. Later, these combat zones were included in the shell, making him one.

Warrior helmet protected his head. In the 7th century. BC. e. Warriors of the Great Scythia used massive and quite heavy cast helmets Sc. Kuban type. They are tightly joined to the head, protecting the upper part and ears. Neck and cheeks protect individual parts, coated metal dial, similar crustacean.

From the 5th century. BC. e. Scythia penetrate helmets antique types. First it was the Corinthian helmets, Chalcis and Illyrian types, then and Attic, yuzhnogrecheskie. More than 60 Greek manufacturing helmets – lightweight, strong and elegant, made of shiny, like gold, polished brass, met in Scythian burial mounds, or found in casual circumstances.

Beginning in the 5th century. BC. e. common Scythian hat-hood, very well known by the images of the Scythians in Greek vase painting and toreutics gets metallic coating, is very close to nature crustacean. They are reliable and convenient way to protect your head. They are present all the elements required for the best helmet of antiquity – ancient helmets developed types – naschechniki and nazatylniki. Absent only nanosnik. Produce them was a lot easier than the Greek one-piece, the production of which was on the extreme limits of technical possibilities of the time.

These helmets are the work of local artists in some degree the traditions of local production of helmets Kuban type coexisted with head armor Greek samples and used Scythian warriors until the death of the Great Scythia in the late 4th century. to u. e.

Much attention in the Scythian military life was given remedies foot soldiers. Scythian gunsmiths produced them, as well as shells, a set of iron plates. Now divided into several types of leg armor. This patterned Greaves, hip, leather pants, covered iron set at the front and sides. Set on the back of his pants made it impossible to ride a horse.

From the 5th century. BC. e. in Scythian military burials occur Greek Greaves (knemidy). Light and beautiful, comfortable, forged from bronze sheet, they shielded the shin and knee. More than 70 copies of this weapon in whole or destroyed in the mounds known as Scythia.

It should be noted that the Greek defensive armament, by the armed men of Scythia used them not as in Greece. If Hellas helmets and leggings were the usual heavy infantry weapons – hoplites fought in close formation dense phalanx, the Scythians were only man-at-arms.

Reliable means of protection was a warrior shield. The bulk of the Scythian shields were made of wood and leather and the only reason is not preserved. The idea of this weapon is given by those instances that have a metal coating, and items toreutics.

Highlighted with solid panels coated sheet metal. Good examples of such boards are round shields of the most famous Scythian burial mounds Kuban – Kostroma and Kelermes. They are decorated with gorgeous gold plates in the form of a deer and panthers, are masterpieces of Scythian toreutics Archaic period.

Numerous groups of armored shields, which had a metal set, the same or similar set of armor. In most cases, their shape is not restored. Only the findings of recent years have allowed to select a group of boards that are identical in form, location and method of using the plates bean shield warrior depicted on the crest of the royal mound Solokha in Dnieper steppe. These shields securely fastened to the rider's armor on his back and arm. They left the hands free to control the warrior horse and gun ownership. Turn of the hand, he could cover one or another part of his body.

Panels with a metallic coating (armored) were only noble warriors, warriors of the terrorists. The bulk of the Scythian warrior was armed with light shields of wood, leather, wicker. Such panels can be seen on the crest of Solokha.

Scythians paid great attention to decorate his protective arms. All of its forms (except for helmets and leg armor) decorated pieces (sometimes works of art), gold or bronze. As part of a set of Brigandine successfully applied a set of alternating sections of bronze and iron plates.

Prominent place in the Scythian complex weapons held spears and javelins. Their population in the studied Scythian burials over a thousand. The usual length of their ranges from 1.8 to 2 pm Only a few specimens have a length of more than 3 meters short spears used for close combat and for throwing horse and foot soldiers. Long spears were used only for mounted combat, serving as a lance. Darts were used as projectiles.

On the territory of Scythia are about 450 swords and daggers. They typically Hellfire. Only at sunset Great Scythia begin to use a few single-edged swords. Throughout the existence of these weapons is changing form of the handle as a whole and its individual elements – the pommel and cross. The normal length of a Scythian sword ranged 50-60 cm Many swords of greater length and more than 1 m Swords allowed fight effectively in all types of horse and foot fighting. They were worn in a sheath made of wood, covered with leather. Leather scabbard is often decorated with applique. Sheath ceremonial swords nobility covered with gold plates. Adorned with gold and handle. Gold inlay sheath often made in the best traditions of high Scythian art. Swordsmiths gunsmiths Scythia pay attention. Their production was the best metal, not much inferior to the requirements of a modern weapon.

Scythian weapons is considered one of the most advanced of its time. At this time, a set of advanced weaponry that does not experience any significant changes and additions until the invention of firearms. For the subsequent history of the development of advanced weapons to the Middle Ages in the arms of soldiers Eurasia included only a sword and chain mail. And that there are particular suggestive possibility of armor in the Great Scythia still in Scythian time (end of IV. BC. E.).

Most weapons have done themselves Scythian gunsmith. Production of weapons among the Scythians received a very large development. Most of the metal produced here, went to the manufacture of weapons and harnesses. This is true not only of iron and bronze, and gold. For Scythian nobility and Scythian samples but the best Greek armorers who worked in numerous workshops severoprichernomorskih city-colonies did splendid ceremonial weapons, richly decorated with gold. Ceremonial swords, axes, armor and combat zones, burns of the hands of the Scythian rulers. After the death of their owners were placed with them in burial mounds and through the millennia have survived, adorning the best museums in the world.

Excellent Scythian weapon had a great influence on the development of weapons of neighboring nations. The Greeks, who lived in the colonies on the southern borders along the shores of the Black Sea, to fully embrace the whole range of the Scythian weapons, abandoning many of their own. Scythian weapons are well represented in the monuments and in Central Europe. It has penetrated far to the north of Scythia up to the Arctic Circle, has spread among the peoples of Eurasia, remote for thousands of kilometers.

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