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Magnificent Japanese weaponry (part II)

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A modern Japanese practising mounted archery, a military tradition closely related to Samurai warfare.

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CONTINUED FROM PART  I

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Magnificent Japanese weaponry (part I)

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Some more Samurai arms and armour mostly of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) and Edo eras. The legendary warriors of Japan coupled the local military tradition of their islands with the influences of the nearby continent, to produce an isolated but salutary enough military culture, a rare phenomenon in World History.

Wikimedia Commons is the source of most of the images of these two posts.

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Μία περίπτωση ελληνικής επιρροής στο αρχαίο ιβηρικό οπλοστάσιο: κελτιβηρικό κράνος χαλκιδικού τύπου

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στη σύζυγο μου Νέλλη, για την έμπνευση και την ενθάρρυνση που μου προσφέρει

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Η κελτιβηρική περικεφαλαία χαλκιδικού τύπου

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Π. Δεληγιάννης

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Για την ακρίβεια, αυτό το κείμενο αφορά ένα αντικείμενο με το οποίο ασχολούμαι στη μελέτη μου: The Greek influence on the weaponry and armoury of the Iberians, Turdetani and other ancient peoples of the Iberian Peninsula.

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Οι σχέσεις των Ελλήνων θαλασσοπόρων με την Ιβηρική Χερσόνησο υπήρξαν πανάρχαιες, ήδη από την εποχή του Μινωικού και του Μυκηναϊκού πολιτισμών, αν και ήταν περιορισμένες. Μετά την κατάρρευση του Μυκηναϊκού κόσμου και γενικά του κόσμου της Ανατολικής Μεσογείου λόγω της οικονομικής κατάρρευσης και των εισβολών των Λαών της Θάλασσας (13ος-12ος αιώνες π.Χ.), οι σχέσεις των Ελλήνων με τους λαούς της Ιβηρικής διακόπηκαν για αρκετούς αιώνες, έως την Αρχαϊκή Περίοδο (700-479 π.Χ.). Τότε, Ελληνες θαλασσοπόροι από τη Σάμο, τη Φώκαια, τη γειτονική Μασσαλία και άλλες πόλεις, ανακάλυψαν πάλι την Ιβηρική Χερσόνησο και αποκατέστησαν τις εμπορικές σχέσεις με τους λαούς της. Κυρίως η Φώκαια και η θυγατέρα της, Μασσαλία, πρωτοστάτησαν στην ίδρυση ελληνικών αποικιών στις ανατολικές ακτές της Ισπανίας, δηλαδή στην αρχαία εθνική περιοχή των Ιβήρων. Παρότι παλαιότερα θεωρείτο ότι οι Ιβηρες ήταν η μεγαλύτερη εθνική ομάδα της χερσονήσου, τις τελευταίες πέντε δεκαετίες διαπιστώθηκε ότι συνιστούσαν ένα περιορισμένο ποσοστό του πληθυσμού της το οποίο κατοικούσε στη βορειοανατολική ακτή της Ισπανίας. Οι σύγχρονοι Καταλανοί είναι οι βασικοί απόγονοι των Ιβήρων.

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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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Beginnings of the Viking peoples: The Scandinavian peoples and tribes from the Vendel Period to the Viking Age

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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Dragonhead on the prow of a Viking longship.

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The historical districts of Scandinavia. The following probable tribal districts are noted among others:  Uppland (political center of the Svears) including Vendel site, Ostergotland, Vastergotland, Smaland (small territories of other Gott/Gotar tribes), Gotland Isle (land of the Vagoth or Gutar), Oland isle (land of the Vagoth?), Hordaland (land of the Aerothi?), Ringerike (land of the Ragnaricii), Rogaland (land of the Rugii), Vestfold and Viken (main lands of the Raumarike/Raumaricii), Bohuslan (land of the Wulfings?), Halland (land of the Hallin), Blekinge (land of the Bergio?), Skane and Sjaelland (core territories of the Danes), Angel (cradle of the Angles), Jylland (land of the Jutes), Rugen island (probably colonised by the Rugii),  Nordfrisien (North Frisia).

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The Vendel Culture period of the history of eastern and southern Scandinavia (including Jutland and the Danish isles) is the era before the classic Viking Age. The Viking Age lasted from AD 793 to the early 11th century, while the Vendel Era lasted from the mid-6th century AD to the end of the 8th century and is characterized by princely burials of warlords and warriors with impressive weapons. The later historical period and the homonym cultural conglomerate (Vendel Culture) took their name from the site Vendel at the historical district Uppland in eastern Sweden, north of Old Uppsala, the ancient centre of the Svear kings. The most characteristic cemeteries were found there. It seems that Uppland – where later the important cities of the Viking age Uppsala and Sigtuna were developed – was very important politically during the Vendel period. The area was rather the political center of the tribe of the Svears (Latin: Suiri and Suirones and according to Jordanes: Suehans, Nordic: Svear, Anglo-Saxon: Sweonas, modern Swedes) who expanded to it earlier coming from Svealand, their core territory in the south. Uppland means the upper land, the land in the north.

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ON THE PHRYGIAN HELMET

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Thraco-Phrygian2

P. Deligiannis

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The Phrygian helmet had already become the “ethnic” helmet of the Macedonian armies around the end of the reign of Phillip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, and it had also been adopted by the Southern Greek states (from Thessaly and Epirus to the Peloponnesus), most of the Thracian tribes and even by the Etruscan city-states. In the Southern Greek states the Phrygian casque supplanted the pilos-type helmet which was the most common till then. The pilos-type casque had supplanted the earlier Corinthian helmet around the end of the 5th century BC.

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A case of Hellenic influence on the ancient Iberian weaponry: a Celtiberian helmet of Chalcidian design

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03 Views of the Celtiberian helmet of Chalcidian type. Its crest-holder is of Italian design.
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By Periklis  Deligiannis

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Actually, this text concerns an item from my study: The Greek influence on the weaponry and armoury of the Iberians, Celtiberians, Turdetani and other ancient peoples of the Iberian Peninsula.
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The contacts of the Aegean seafarers with the Iberian Peninsula were ancient enough, ever since the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, although they were very limited. After the dissolution of the Mycenaean world and in general the Eastern Mediterranean world due to the economic collapse and the invasions of the Sea Peoples (13th-12th centuries BC), the relations between the Greeks and the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula were interrupted for many centuries until the Archaic Period (700-479 BC). In the Early Archaic Era navigators from Samos, Phocaea, Zakynthos, Massalia and other Greek cities, “rediscovered” the Iberian peninsula and restored trade relations with their peoples. Mostly Phocaea and her daughter-city Masallia, took the lead in establishing Greek colonies on the eastern coast of Spain, that is in the ancient ethnic territory of the Iberians. Although earlier in the 20th century it was thought among the scholars that the Iberians were the largest ethnic group of the peninsula, actually it was proved that they constituted a small portion of the population, living on the northeast coast of Spain and the immediate hinterland. The modern Catalans are the main descendants of the Iberians.

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THE PHRYGOBOEOTIAN HELMET: a case of hybrid helmet (IN MEMORIAM MIKHAEL GORELIK)

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phrygo-boeotian helmetPhrygoboeotian helmet.

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By Periklis Deligiannis

This is a little bit late dedication, but I was just informed about the death of the great Russian archaeologist, academician, historical author and illustrator Mikhael V. Gorelik (Михаил Викторович Горе́лик) who died on January 2015 in Moscow. Gorelik had been one of my favourite scholars and writers. I really admire his lifetime work especially on the study of the warfare of the Eurasian Steppes nomadic peoples.

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The Phrygoboeotian (Phrygo-Boeotian) helmet is a case of hybrid helmet used by the Macedonian armies of Alexander the Great and his Successors (Diadochoi and Epigonoi), as the archaeological finds demonstrate – either original pieces or artistic representations.
The Phrygoboeotian helmet was actually the old Boeotian casque with the addition of the peak of the “ethnic” Macedonian helmet known as Phrygian or Thracophrygian.
The Boeotian helmet was a patent of the Boeotians, initially appearing when they manufactured in metal form the shape of their characteristic leather caps. Xenophon in his “Hipparchikos” considers this casque as the ideal one for the cavalry due to its advantages, mainly the fact that it ensures a wide visual range for the cavalryman.

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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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