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Japanese arms and armour of the Muromachi and Edo era (part II)

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Japanese arms and armour of the Muromachi and Edo era (part I)

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In this collection of images I chose to present arms and armour of Japan mostly of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) and Edo periods, and also some from later historical eras, which are typical and non-typical as well. That is why I do not present the renowned Japanese swords nor do I insist so much on presenting other well-known items of the Samurai weaponry on which a disproportionally great deal of attention has been given.  I chose to present a more generic variety of Japanese traditional weaponry. The following images include helmets, quivers, spears, horse chanfrons, battle-axes, early pistols, a variety of armours and other military items.

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The emperor’s armour: Bronze statue of Hadrian from the legionary camp at Tel Shalem (Judaea), Israel Museum

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Republication from Following Hadrian

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A magnificent bronze statue of Hadrian, now on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, was found by chance by an American tourist in Tel Shalem (Beth Shean Valley, Israel) on 25th July 1975 while searching for ancient coins with a metal detector. Tel Shalem was once occupied by a detachment of the Sixth Roman Legion (Legio VI Ferrata). The 50 fragments of this statue were found in a building which stood at the center of the camp, perhaps in the principia (the headquarters tent or building).

Bronze statue of Hadrian, found at the Camp of the Sixth Roman Legion in Tel Shalem, 117–138 AD, Israel Museum, Jerusalem © Carole Raddato

Bronze statue of Hadrian, found at the Camp of the Sixth Roman Legion in Tel Shalem, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
© Carole Raddato

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SPOILS FROM THE SULTAN (part II): Arms and armour captured from the Turks in 1529-1683, in the Military History Museum of Vienna

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By Periklis Deligiannis
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CONTINUED FROM PART I

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Ottoman horsetail-standards (credit: Erich Lessing archive)
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SPOILS FROM THE SULTAN (part I): Arms and armour captured from the Turks in 1529-1683, in the Military History Museum of Vienna

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The chichak type helmet of the Ottoman Grand Visier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha who as a military commander confronted the army of the Habsburgs in 1566, between the two sieges of Vienna (credit: http://www.tforum.info).
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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The two sieges of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1529 and 1683 and the intermediate wars between the Ottoman Empire on the one side and the Habsburg dominions and the Poles on the other, had been remarkably decisive conflicts for the History of Europe. In both sieges of Vienna and the subsequent battles, the Ottomans were finally defeated leaving behind many dead, prisoners and valuable arms and armourand other military items, while the victorious European side paid a heavy toll in casualties as well. Today the most important spoils captured from the Turks are exhibited in the Military History Museum of Vienna. In these posts I present some images of Ottoman arms and armour in this exceptional museum.

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Non-typical Samurai helmets and armor (Part II)

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MUSÉE DE LA CIVILISATION - Samurai Exhibition

Armour, begining of the 17th century (end of the Momoyama period), and sashimono featuring three feathers, gilded papier-mâché (washi), end of the 16th century. Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas (Texas).
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Non-typical Samurai helmets and armor (Part I)

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The Iberian influence is evident on the helmet and the torso armor of the great Japanese warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616) who unified Japan for the last time and created the Tokugawa shogunate: they are specifically Portuguese-inspired. The helmet seems to be of the European Cabasset type with a Japanese neck guard while the torso armor is the typical Renaissance European type of the 16th-17th centuries.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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I go on with the tribute to more unknown aspects of Samurai warfare of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) and Edo periods of the Japanese history, presenting some non-typical helmet and armor of the Samurais, that is to say casques and armor which are somewhat unusual and distinctive. The helmets have either an unusual shape, for example they are shell-shaped or axe-shaped, or their design bear overseas influences, especially European influences. I also present some armor with rather unusual decorations or under European influence such as an armor of Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the early 16th century, the first European seafarers appeared on the seas of the Philippines and Indonesia pioneered by the Spanish expedition of Magellan (Magellan himself was a Portuguese at the service of the Spaniards). A little later, they appeared on the seas of China and Japan. The Spaniards and the Portuguese were the first to appear there as traders and colonists, to be followed by the Dutch and the British.
There are also influences from the empires of China on the design of the Samurai helmets and armor, but in these two articles I have not added any armor or helmet with clear Chinese influence. Lesser influences on the same military items originated from Korea and the Mongol and Tungus continental tribes.

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ARMOUR OF THE SPARTANS and other Lacedaemonians

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Metropolitan museum of art
The typical Greek muscled thorax of Late Classical and Hellenistic age. This one belongs to the 4th century BC. Following the battle of Leuctra (371 BC) the Spartan and the other hoplite armies introduced its use more  imperatively  (Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by ‘Emiliano Zapata’).

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By  Periklis  Deligiannis
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The Geometric bell-type cuirass was the main type of armor of the Greek hoplite during the Archaic age (700-479 BC) and was the most popular among the Spartans of this era. At the end of the 6th century BC, the hoplites bearing bronze armour adapted to this a row of metal, leather or linen protective strips (called pteruges, i.e. wings) and later a double row, thus complementing the protection of the lower part of their body. At the same time, there was a massive shift of preference of the Greek hoplites to the linothorax (λινοθώραξ), that is the linen cuirass, and secondarily to the leather one. In the 5th century BC the linen cuirass largely supplanted the leather one and limited the use of the metal armour, thereby becoming the most popular Greek thorax. The linen and leather thoraxes were not used to any significant extent by the Spartans, however it seems that they were the prevailing ones in the other categories of Lacedaemonians (the other free inhabitants of the Spartan/Lacedaemonian state, except the Spartans). The Greek cuirasses made of flexible materials could be partially covered with bronze scales or plates that were stitched to the linen or leather base. These variations do not seem to be ever used by the Spartan or generally the Lacedaemonian hoplites.

Following the Greco-Persian Wars, the engraved depiction of the male anatomy of the Archaic bell-type bronze armor became sculpted, evolving to the new muscled or anatomical type. At the same time, its bell-type end was extended gradually downwards covering the abdomen and groins, thus substituting the Archaic protective bronze plate of this area, called ‘mitra(μίτρα). In the final form of the anatomical armor, the male muscles are depicted accurately on its surface. Simultaneously, the protection of the lower part of the torso was achieved by two rows of leather or linen strips (but not longer brazen ones). The muscled bronze cuirass was the one that prevailed overwhelmingly among the Spartan omoioi (full citizens, the elite force of the Spartan/Lacedaemonian army). It was an expensive armor, but it was the dominant among the Spartan hoplites because essentially the only luxury that they were allowed by the state was the expensive military equipment.

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