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Assyrian Archers

Assyrian Archers


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Assyrian Archer

My Birthday Gift for So happy Birthday Gin! I wish you all the best for the coming year and that you may see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Since his specialty are women warriors of various ancient and medieval cultures I decided to go with one he has not yet focused on. It was quite a task to find one since he covered most of the map already. But there is still a little blank spot in the ancient near east. And since ancient Assyria is a personal favorite of mine and I love archery I decided on an Assyrian Archer – something I wanted to draw for a long time. I even went to the British Museum some time ago to get some reference Images. And here is the result!

Archery had a very high place in Assyrian Culture, both in military and in hunting. Especially Kings are often depicted hunting lions with bow and arrow. The bows have a triangular shape when relaxed so that they form a perfect semicircle when bent. The depictions imply that the Assyrians shot using a thumb release which also means the arrow is placed on the right side of the bow (something that has nothing to do with speed as Lars Anderson claims – rather with the so called “archers paradox”) And mentioning Lars Andersen – 9 out of 10 Assyrian Archers are depicted with back quivers, and they are also shown to fight rather stationary behind special palisades rather than twirling around like ballerinas.


Assyrian Archers - History

Glazed Bas-relief Depicting the Archers of Darius I

This glazed brick relief depicts archers from the Persian army of Darius I in ceremonial dress from ancient Susa around 500 BC.

Louvre Excerpt

The Archers of Darius
Susa
Around 500 BC
Bas-relief. Glazed bricks
H 4.75 m
AO 488

Description

"Darius I (522-486 BC) made Susa his administrative capital, building his palace in the Babylonian tradition, to which was added a throne room with columns in the Iranian tradition. The glazed brick decor of this palace centres on images of the Persian army. The archers are shown in ceremonial dress, rather than in fighting gear. Anxious to depict this pleated dress, in keeping with the tradition of Luristan, the Susian enamelers borrowed from the Greek model, but stylized it in their own inimitable way" - Louvre


An Organized Army

The troops were effectively deployed thanks to a very organized army.

The Assyrian Kings had a royal bodyguard, including a contingent of foreign troops, which provided a permanent fighting force and professional core for the military. The bulk of soldiers were raised by a mass levy from across the nation. Farmers, hill men, and nomads joined to provide a significantly large force.

There was a permanent branch of the civil service which kept a census of the Empire’s citizens. They could then be called up for tasks such as public building projects and wars.

Once raised, the army worked within a well-defined structure. At the head was the King. Next was a field marshal responsible for the details of running the military. There followed a clear chain of command down to the officers running units of ten men.

Large units were identified by standards showing divine symbols of gods such as Shamash (the sun) and Nergal (the god of destruction).


File:Detail of an embossed scene on bronze plate showing Shalmaneser III in a chariot and Assyrian archers. From a Balawat gate, Iraq, 859-824 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul.jpg

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Palouse Wargaming Journal

Lovely as always, would be nice to see all these assyrians in a battle ?

Thank you, Matt! I would enjoy seeing these fellows in battle too. Some day.

Handsome slingers and archers, great job Jonathan!

Great looking Assyrians! Both types of shields look good but I think you were right to swap out the shield on the spearmen to get that classic look. I'm cleaning up a pile of BTD figures and they're pretty big next to the Foundry ones I already had, have you found that too?
Best Iain

Thanks, Iain! I prefer the look of the cone shields too but I reasoned that the slingers might carry a smaller and less cumbersome shield. By the way, how does one operate a sling while carrying a shield?

I'm retired but still couldn't manage to produce the quantity and quality of beautiful miniatures that you do. It's enough to drive a chap mad! Lovely stuff. as usual.

One day, retirement will be on the table for me too but not yet. Never, if you ask my wife! Painting in frequent, short bursts is the way I manage to churn out the figures. The last couple of weeks, though, I am not making as much headway on the Lead Pile.

Always appreciate your comments. Thank you!

I like that the slings of the slingers are sculpted to give a sense of fluidity, helping to define the weapon class.

The sculpting of the sling does show a good sense of motion. With such fine work, the slings tend to be somewhat fragile. A few casualties lay weaponless in the Lead Pile.

They look great, Jon! This army must be getting pretty large by now.

Thanks, Scott! Yes, getting pretty large.

Nice additions to your Ancients collection, Jonathan. Warlord Games certainly has a large selection of Ancients.

Thanks, Dean! I will look into a Warlord Games.

Yesterday Zorndorf, today Assyrians (figuratively speaking)--your range is as impressive as your productivity.

Thanks, Ed! Variety keeps me motivated.

Wonderful looking figures Jonathan.

Excellent archers and slingers Jonathan!

Great work, and those Black Tree Design figures do look very nice. They also appear to have some nice Celts of their website which I wish I had seen earlier.

The BTD Assyrians figures are very good. The Celts are equally good. I could send surplus figures if you want to see them before committing.

Another batch of beautifully painted and expertly based Ancients - well done Jonathan!

Keith, you are most kind. Thank you!

Nice light infantry archers and slingers, as opposed to the more often depicted armored ones.

Since actually using a sling is a more or less one handed task, aside from "loading" it, the shield can at least potentially be used between shots. They are most often depicted as small, "target" types by the classical era, not sure if they were actually used that way this early.

Regardless, the New Year should provide an opportunity to get the Egyptians and Assyrians on the field. perhaps with Impetus, To the Strongest!, or both! :-)

Thanks, Peter, for the interesting mechanics of operating a sling. I suppose operating a sling in conjunction with a small shield is dependent upon how the shield is attached to the shield arm.

One day, I will get the collection out for a battle. Maybe 2019 is the year? I hope so!


3 Cavalry Weapons and Chariots

Horse-mounted cavalrymen were usually armed with long wooden lances, and sometimes also with a bow and arrow. Because the latter were difficult to fire from a moving horse, the men usually operated in pairs, with one firing while the other controlled both horses. Assyrian chariots had two metal-rimmed wheels, and were drawn by up to four horses. Each chariot carried two or three archers in addition to the driver. Chariots were a sign of power and prestige, and Assyrian kings are often depicted riding in them as they lead their troops into battle.


1000 – 1200 AD

1066 AD – The Battle of Hastings – King Harold of England was waiting for the invasion of William of Normandy. His army was lined up along a ridge line forming a ‘shield wall’ battle tactic as he was waiting for more of his troops to arrive from an earlier battle against Vikings further north. Williams army had the disadvantage of attacking up-hill. His archers tried shooting at the shield wall, but their arrows were stopped by the troops shields or flew over-head due to shooting up-hill. William changed tactics and ordered his archers to aim high and thus lob their arrows onto Harold’s troops. This ‘rain’ of arrows decimated the army and allowed the foot soldiers to break through the shield wall. It is believed that King Harold was killed by an arrow through the eye (Fig. 6) which resulted in victory for William.

1099 AD – Crusades. English knights and crossbowmen attack the Mohammadean army that mainly consisted of archers on horses armed with composite bows.
1100 AD – 2nd. August. William II, King of England, is killed by an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrel while hunting in the new forest. Sir Walter flees the country. Also in the hunting party is William’s brother who succeeds him as Henry I and immediately takes possession of the treasury. There is suspicion that this may not have been an accidental shooting to gain the throne of England.
1100-1135 AD – Henry I proclaimed that an archer would be absolved of murder, if he killed a man during archery practise, but only if he had first shouted “Fast” ( meaning stand fast – or in modern parlance to stay still ) as a warning to anyone straying nearby. Today, we stop the shooting by shouting Fast to the archers instead of to the wandering public. (amendment from Veronica-Mae Soar)
1147-1149 AD – More Crusades.
1189 – 1192 AD – Crusades. King Richard killed with a crossbow bolt shot by a defender using one of the attacking army’s crossbow bolts. The bolt didn’t kill Richard outright, but the wound became infected after the arrow head was cut out.


Assyrian Archers - History

Isaiah 22:6-7 . And Elam bare the quiver — This second member of the first part of this prophecy, which begins here, seems evidently to refer to the Assyrian invasion for the Medes and Elamites, or Persians, were united with the Assyrians in the time of Sennacherib, but not of Nebuchadnezzar. The Persians were expert bowmen, as appears from Jeremiah 49:35, and from Strabo’s testimony. With chariots of men and horsemen — As some of them fought on foot, so others from chariots and horses. And Kir — That is, the Medes, so called, from an eminent city and region of that name in Media, 2 Kings 16:9 Amos 1:5 uncovered the shield — Prepared their defensive and offensive weapons, and themselves, for the battle for in times of peace arms were wrapped up and covered, to preserve them clean and fit for use. Thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots — Valleys were the most proper places for the use of chariots and the horsemen at the gate — To assist and defend the footmen, while they made the assault, and to prevent those who endeavoured to escape.

Bare the quiver - A 'quiver' is a case in which arrows are carried. This was usually hung upon the shoulders, and thus "borne" by the soldier when he entered into battle. By the expression here, is meant that Elam was engaged in the siege, and was distinguished particularly for skill in shooting arrows. That the Elamites were thus distinguished for the use of the bow, is apparent from Ezekiel 32:24, and Jeremiah 49:35.

With chariots of men and horsemen - Lowth proposes, instead of 'men,' to read ארם 'ărâm, "Syria," instead of אדם 'âdâm, "man," by the change of the single Hebrew letter ד (d) into the Hebrew letter ר (r). This mistake might have been easily made where the letters are so much alike, and it would suit the parallelism of the passage, but there is no authority of MSS. or versions for the change. The words 'chariots of men - horsemen,' I understand here, as in Isaiah 21:7, to mean "a troop or riding" of men who were horsemen. Archers often rode in this manner. The Scythians usually fought on horseback with bows and arrows.

Kir - Kir was a city of Media, where the river Kyrus or Cyrus flows 2 Kings 16:9 Amos 1:5 Amos 9:7. This was evidently then connected with the Assyrian monarchy, and was engaged with it in the invasion of Judea. Perhaps the name ''Kir' was given to a region or province lying on the river Cyrus or Kyrus. This river unites with the Araxes, and falls into the Caspian Sea.

Uncovered the shield - (see the note at Isaiah 21:5). Shields were protected during a march, or when not in use, by a covering of cloth. Among the Greeks, the name of this covering was Σάγμα Sagma. Shields were made either of metal or of skin, and the object in covering them was to preserve the metal untarnished, or to keep the shield from injury. To "uncover the shield," therefore, was to prepare for battle. The Medes were subject to the Assyrians in the time of Hezekiah 2 Kings 16:9 2 Kings 17:6, and of course in the time of the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib.

with chariots of men and horsemen—that is, they used the bow both in chariots and on horseback. "Chariots of men," that is, chariots in which men are borne, war chariots (compare see on [726]Isa 21:7 [727]Isa 21:9).

Kir—another people subject to Assyria (2Ki 16:9) the region about the river Kur, between the Caspian and Black Seas.

uncovered—took off for the battle the leather covering of the shield, intended to protect the embossed figures on it from dust or injury during the march. "The quiver" and "the shield" express two classes—light and heavy armed troops.

Elam the Persians, who now, and for a long time after. were subject to the Assyrian and Chaldean emperors, and were employed by them in their Wars.

Bare the quiver, being expert bow-men, as appears from Jeremiah 49:35 , and from Strabo’s testimony.

With chariots of men and horsemen as some of them fought on foot, so others fought from chariots and horses. Kir the Medes, so called by a synecdoche from Kir, an eminent city and region of Media, of which see 2 Kings 16:9 Amos 1:5 .

Uncovered prepared it and themselves for the battle for in times of peace arms were wrapt up and covered, to preserve them clean, and fit for use.

The shield their defensive and offensive weapons.

chariots of men, full of men, of military men these were chariots for war, and brought men to fight against Jerusalem

and horsemen also, these were the cavalry, as those that carried bows and arrows seem to be the foot soldiers. The Targum is,

"and the Elamites bore arms in the chariot of a man, and with it a couple of horsemen''

as in the vision or prophecy concerning Babylon, Isaiah 21:7,

and Kir uncovered the shield this was a city in Media, and signifies the Medes, who were in subjection to the Assyrians, and fought under them see 2 Kings 16:9 though Ben Melech says it was a city belonging to the king of Assyria these prepared for battle, uncased their shields, which before were covered to keep them clean, and preserve them from rust and dirt or they polished them, made them bright, as the word in the Ethiopic language signifies, as De Dieu has observed see Isaiah 21:5 these might be most expert in the use of the shield and sword, as the others were at the bow and arrow. Some render "Kir" a "wall": so the Targum,

"and to the wall the shields stuck''

and the Vulgate Latin version, "the shield made bare the wall": but it is best to understand it as the proper name of a place.

(i) He reminds them how God delivered them once from Sennacherib, who brought the Persians and Syrians with him, that they might by returning to God avoid that great plague which they would suffer by Nebuchadnezzar.

6 . Elam (see on Isaiah 21:2) and Kir (not identified: 2 Kings 16:9 Amos 1:5 Amos 9:7) are mentioned as furnishing auxiliaries to the Assyrian army. There is force in Cheyne’s argument that some words may have fallen out before this verse, since it is difficult to understand the prominence given to these mercenary troops in the description of the siege. The “bow of Elam” is mentioned in Jeremiah 49:35.

with chariots of men and horsemen ] a difficult expression. Perhaps “men on horseback among the chariots” (Dillm.).

uncovered the shield ] Shields when not in use were protected by a leather covering (Cæs. de Bell. Gall. ii. 21).

(Note: The name Gurgistan ( equals Georgia) has nothing to do with the river Kur and it is a suspicious fact that Kir has k at the commencement, and i in the middle, whereas the name of the river which joins the Araxes, and flows into the Caspian sea, is pronounced Kur, and is written in Persian with k (answering to the Armenian and old Persian, in which Kuru is equivalent to Κῦρος). Wetzstein considers Kir a portion of Mesopotamia.)


Decline and Fall [ править ]

After all known civilizations in the world had been mercilessly subjugated, the Assyrians grew so bored they destroyed themselves. Modern scholars are still hotly debating this issue. Nevertheless, just to spite us, the Assyrians took all their wondrous inventions with them. From written records scientists estimate that our current technology is only about one-fifth as advanced as any random piece of crap thrown together by a mentally-handicapped Assyrian child. However, such an Assyrian child probably never even existed because they were all just so darned smart.


Watch the video: Assyrian vs. Hungarian BOW! Best bow UNDER 300 comparison from Bogar Archery (November 2022).

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