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Ασυνήθη κράνη και θωρακίσεις των Σαμουράι – Μέρος Α΄

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Στα δύο ακόλουθα άρθρα παρουσιάζω περισσότερες άγνωστες πτυχές της πολεμικής τέχνης των Σαμουράι κυρίως των περιόδων Muromachi (Ashikaga) και Edo της ιαπωνικής Ιστορίας, παρουσιάζοντας μερικά ασυνήθη και γενικά μη-τυπικά κράνη και θωρακίσεις τους. Οι εν λόγω περικεφαλαίες είτε έχουν ασύνηθες σχήμα, πχ έχουν σχήμα κογχύλιου ή πέλεκυ, είτε έχουν υπερπόντιες επιρροές, κυρίως ευρωπαϊκές. Επίσης παρουσιάζω μερικές θωρακίσεις με εξίσου ασυνήθεις διακοσμήσεις ή οι οποίες φέρουν ευρωπαϊκές επιρροές, όπως η πανοπλία (τουλάχιστον μία από αυτές) του μεγάλου σογκούν Τοκουγκάβα Ιεγιάσου. Τον 16ο αιώνα, οι πρώτοι Ευρωπαίοι ναυτίλοι εξερευνητές εμφανίσθηκαν στα πελάγη των Φιλιππίνων και της Ινδονησίας με πρωτοπόρο την ισπανική αποστολή του Μαγγελάνου (ο ίδιος ο Μαγγελάνος ήταν Πορτογάλος στην υπηρεσία του ισπανικού στέμματος). Λίγο αργότερα έπλευσαν  και στις θάλασσες της Κίνας και της Ιαπωνίας. Οι Ισπανοί και οι Πορτογάλοι ήταν οι πρώτοι που εμφανίσθηκαν εκεί ως έμποροι και αποικιστές, για να ακολουθηθούν σύντομα από τους Ολλανδούς και τους Βρετανούς.

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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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Dioekeseis (satrapies) of Alexander the Great’s Empire

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These are some interesting maps on the Dioekeseis of Alexander the Great’s State, aka the old satrapies of the Achaemenid State which he conquered, that is the administrative districts of the old Persian empire. Alexander and his Successors generally used the same administrative system but actually they did not use (at least officially) the Persian term ‘satrapy’ but their own Greek term ‘dioekesis’ which had the same meaning. The governor of a dioekesis was the dioeketes, the one that the Persians used to call ‘satrap’ (‘kshatrapa’ in Avestan Persian, coming from the same root as the Indo-Aryan ‘kshatriya’).

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The origins of modern France and Germany: partition of the Frankish Kingdom (843)

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Partitions of the initial Frankish kingdom.
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Some interesting maps on the partition of the Frankish Kingdom by the treaties of Verdun (843) and Mersen (870). By the former treaty, the initial Frankish empire was divided into a West Frankish kingdom (ancestor state of modern France), an East Frankish kingdom (ancestor state of modern Germany) and Lotharingia in the middle. By the treaty of Mersen, the Kingdom of Lothair was limited in modern North Italy and Burgundy.

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