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The evolution of shields in China (with references also to Korea and Japan) part III

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Shang Dynasty warriors with shields and bronze masks (reconstruction by the archaeologist A.I. Colovbeva)

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CONTINUED FROM PART II

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In this last part, I go on with modern reliable images of Chinese troops bearing shields from the Shang Dynasty Era up to the 19th century in order to demonstrate specifically the evolution of the Chinese shields. There are also a few examples of Korean and Japanese shields which are closely related to the Chinese ones, sometimes being almost identical with them.

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The evolution of shields in China (with references also to Korea and Japan) part II

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A clash between Tang Chinese (on the left) and Koreans (The Tang Army, Montvert publications). Note the shield of the Chinese infantryman on the left.

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CONTINUED FROM PART I

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I go on with modern reliable images of Chinese troops bearing shields from the Shang Dynasty Era up to the 19th century in order to demonstrate specifically the evolution of the Chinese shields. There are also a few examples of Korean and Japanese shields which are closely related to the Chinese ones, sometimes being almost identical with them.

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The evolution of shields in China (with references also to Korea and Japan) part I

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I chose to start with a Japanese example: Yayoi princess/queen Himiko with her guards, c.230 CE (Osprey publishing). Note the shield of the Yayoi warrior.

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            The question of the limited presence of shields or evidence of them in the archaeological finds of China, Korea and Japan, and in the artistic depictions of any kind of the respective cultures is well known to the researchers of ancient and pre-modern warfare of these nations [actually the European historical terms “ancient”, “medieval” etc cannot be applied adequately to the Chinese-Korean-Japanese History but the Western historians have to use them for convenience].

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Æthelred the Unready – The Lost King

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Republication from Heritagedaily

Battle of Assandun, showing Edmund Ironside (left) and Cnut the Great. (Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS. 26, fol. 80v)

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Æthelred II, also dubbed the Unready was King of Saxon England during 978–1013 and 1014–1016.

Under his father Kind Edgar, England had experienced a period of peace after the reconquest of the Danelaw in the mid-10th century. However, beginning in 980, small bands of Danish invaders carried out coastline raids testing defences across England that included Hampshire, Thanet, Cornwall, Dorset and Cheshire.

After several successful Danish raids such as the Battle of Maldon, where a sizable Danish fleet defeated Byrhtnoth, ealdorman of Essex, Æthelred turned to paying tributes to hold off the invaders and keep the peace in his realm.

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Book Review: The Byzantine Wars by John Haldon, History Press, 2008

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At times I receive emails with which my readers ask me to suggest to them some studies, treatises, sourcebooks etc for specific issues of history, military history and engineering/architecture. Due to the unfortunate fact that I do not have the time to answer to each one separately (which is why I also had to disable the comments on the posts), I decided to write some reviews on books that I’ve studied on such topics. The Greek readers know that I’ve written two historical novels on Antiquity, so some readers ask me which my favorite historical novels are; thereby from time to time I’ll also suggest some of these works for the English-speaking and German-speaking readers, especially recent ones and some older.
I will start this new section with a military study that is a work by the well known Byzantinologist John Haldon: The Byzantine Wars.          The Byzantine Empire during her very long history, faced a multitude of enemy states, peoples and nomadic hordes, thus developing the characteristic Byzantine warfare, one of the most advanced of its time concerning the entire planet. Her geographical position at the “crossroads of civilizations”, her weighty heritage from both the Roman and the ancient Greek armies and her confrontation with particularly dangerous enemies in all her borders, led her to always maintain a vigorous and well-organized army, an army of the real “imperial” kind.

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Βιβλίο: John Haldon: Οι Πόλεμοι του Βυζαντίου, Εκδόσεις Τουρικη, 2004

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Κατά καιρούς δέχομαι e-mails με τα οποία οι αναγνώστες μου ζητούν να τους προτείνω κάποιες μελέτες, sourcebooks κτλ για επιμέρους ιστορικά ή στρατιωτικά θέματα. Επειδή δυστυχώς, δεν έχω πλέον τον χρόνο να απαντώ σε κάθε έναν ξεχωριστά (για αυτό επίσης αναγκάστηκα να απενεργοποιήσω τα σχόλια στα άρθρα), αποφάσισα να δημοσιεύω συχνά κάποια σχόλια για βιβλία που έχω μελετήσει για τέτοιου είδους θέματα. Επειδή είναι γνωστό ότι έχω γράψει και δύο ιστορικά μυθιστορήματα, μερικοί αναγνώστες με ρωτούν ποια είναι τα δικά μου αγαπημένα ιστορικά μυθιστορήματα, για αυτό θα προτείνω και μερικά τέτοια έργα, κυρίως πρόσφατα αλλά και μερικά παλαιότερα.

Θα ξεκινήσω αυτήν τη νέα ενότητα με ένα σημαντικό έργο του γνωστού Βυζαντινολόγου John Haldon, το οποίο έχει μεταφρασθεί από τα αγγλικά (The Byzantine Wars). Η Βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία κατά την υπερχιλιετή ιστορία της αντιμετώπισε μία πλειάδα αντίπαλων κρατών, λαών και νομαδικών ορδών αναπτύσσοντας έτσι την ιδιαίτερη βυζαντινή πολεμική τέχνη, μία από τις πλέον εξελιγμένες της εποχής της αναφορικά με όλο τον πλανήτη. Η γεωγραφική της θέση στο «σταυροδρόμι των πολιτισμών», η «βαριά» κληρονομιά της από τον ρωμαϊκό αλλά και τους αρχαιοελληνικούς στρατούς και η αντιμετώπιση ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνων εχθρών σε όλα τα σύνορα της, την οδήγησαν στο να διατηρεί πάντα έναν σφριγηλό, ετοιμοπόλεμο και άρτια οργανωμένο στρατό πραγματικά «αυτοκρατορικού» τύπου.

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