The samurai was a member of the Japanese warrior caste. The term samurai was originally used to denote the aristocratic warriors (bushi), but it came to apply to all the members of the warrior class that rose to power in the 12th century and dominated the Japanese government until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
Earliest mentions appear during the eighth century under the name of saburai which is a derivative of the verb saburau meaning to serve. It was used to denote people who took care of the elderly and only during the tenth century it encompassed military attributes in the shape of provincial warriors going to the capital to serve as a samurai.
Minamoto Mitsunaka(912-97) who was the first to bear the surname of Minamoto, was among the earliest of that illustrious clan to act as a samurai and in the following years. Successive generations of Minamoto and Taira developed the tradition of samurai service, quelling rebels on the emperor's behalf, pushing back the frontiers of imperial territory.
For the samurai, the most important asset is his sword and in the words of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu the sword is the “soul of the samurai”. But now we know that the sword is only part of the arsenal and as a whole, a samurai had bows, daggers, spears and even bare hands. Early chronicles name them warriors of horse and bow and make no reference to swords. In the end, the most devastating weapon was the firearm introduced in the 16th century.
A full suit of traditional Samurai armor could include the following items:
Dou or dō, a chest armor made up of iron and or leather plates of various sizes and shapes with pendant. Kusazuri made from iron or leather plates hanging from the front and back of the dou (dō) to protect the lower body and upper leg. Sode, large rectangular shoulder protection made from iron and or leather plates. Kote, armored gloves like sleeves which extended to the shoulder or han kote (kote gauntlets) which covered the forearms. Kabuto, a helmet made from iron or leather plates (from 3 to over 100 plates) riveted together. Mengu, various types of lacquered metal and or leather facial armor designed in a way that the top heavy helmet kabuto could be tied and secured to them by various metal posts. Haidate, thigh guards which tied around the waist and covered the thighs.
The ideal samurai was supposed to be a stoic warrior who followed an unwritten code of conduct, later formalized as Bushidō, which held bravery, honor, and personal loyalty above life itself
The samurai class lost its privileged position when feudalism was officially abolished in 1871.
Besides the famous Excalibur, Arthur also had a dagger named Carnwennan, and a spear named Rhongomiant. They appear in The Welsh Triads (Trioedd Ynys Prydein) and in Culhwch and Olwen.
4. Arthur's sister
In some tales Arthur also has a sister, Anna, she became queen of Britanny.
3. Merlins role
While the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is well known today, in early texts Merlin never met Arthur and he was counseling Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father.
2. No Lancelot
One of the most famous knights in the court of Arthur, he was a later creation during middle ages by Chretien des Troyes with no basis in the older chronicles or texts.
1. No round table
The round table, its symbolism and the idea of equality is also a creation of the middle ages with no equivalent in the early texts.
A hoplite (from ta hoopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece and dominated greek warfare from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE. Hoplite warfare was best described by Xenophon who in 401 took part in the expedition of 100.000 greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger to seize the throne.
Hoplites formed the armies of kings and tyrants, yet at heart, he was a citizen-soldier. It was the duty of all free Greek states to perform military service. Any formation of citizens could be called a hoplite. Their method of training and recruitment varied from state to state. Usually by the age of 18 one began his military training. These new recruits gathered together and would swear a common oath and after follow a series of activities in order gain the necessary traits for war.
For the greek hoplite, the shield called aspis was his most important asset. A light shield weighing at 6.2 kg it could stop a spear or sword thrust yet it was not enough for arrows as many vase paintings show shields pierced by spears. The helmet was again light and sacrificed protection in order to fully cover the head. Their helmets were adorned with horsehair crests with the purpose to look more imposing and after it became a symbol of rank. Their wore either a muscle cuirass which took the shape of a human torso and composite cuirass made from composite materials like scales or plates made of bronze or iron and covered with linen or leather in order to prevent rusting. The groin was protected by a layer of groin flaps or pteruges and the shins were protected by greaves. Their main weapon was the spear or dory or sword-shaped as leaf or saber.
The Polish Hussars(Polish: Husaria) or Winged Hussars, were one of the main types of the cavalry in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between the 16th and 18th centuries. When this cavalry type was first introduced by the Serbian and Hungarian mercenary horsemen at the beginning of the 16th century, they served as light cavalry banners in the Polish army; by the second half of the 16th century and after Stephen Báthory's reforms, hussars had been transformed into heavily armored shock cavalry. Until the reforms of the 1770s, the Hussar banners were considered the elite of the Polish cavalry.
Their origin is a mix of western and eastern ancestry. It was once thought hussars where Hungarians recruited from one in 20 twenty peasants(named husz from 20) and fighting in a style copied from the Turks. We can go back even further during the time of the byzantine empire wherein military manuals there are mentioned light scout cavalry troops under the name of the chariot which translated by byzantine historians means hussar.
The polish hussars were modeled after their Hungarian counterparts, the only difference being they were recruited from the upper reaches of Szlachta (nobility). Early Polish hussars were mainly foreign mercenaries known as Racowie or Serbs. Over time, Poland’s hussars grew heavier in horses and weapons becoming medium cavalry, whereas Hungarian hussars remained true light cavalry, and finally, Polish nobles replaced foreign mercenaries.
Information about their armor and clothes we can gather from Stephan Bathory's recruitment letters issued between 1576-1577.
Polish hussars were primarily lancers, but also carried two swords: a short saber szabla worn on the belt, and a long, rapier-like sword koncerz carried astride the saddle and wielded almost like a lance. Many also carried bows, and from 1576 all were required to carry two pistols holstered to the saddle.
5. Cultural awareness – Why? History is full of significant events from across the world and traditions which can help us understand current cultures since many of their traditions are based on their history.
4. Inspiration – How? History encompasses many stories, people, and cultures many of these lead writers to write memorable stories set in the past, many of our important works of literature are historical from the Illiad to the works of Walter Scott and Alexandre Dumas. Painters recreated scenes from the past, songs of the past are still sung to this day.
3. Practical skills – How? History is a large subject by its nature and to properly study it you will learn new skills such as writing, how to research a subject and critical thinking to number a few and all important since their usefulness is not limited to history.
2. History is relevant – Why? Because many of our current affairs such as politics, culture, and technology were influenced or are the result of history.
1.History helps us learn from the past – How? From events like Hitler’s attack on Russia to religious conflicts, history is rich in tales from which we can learn and help us create a better future.