Presentation on theme: "GladiatorsRomansVikingsKnights Click to begin slideshow."— Presentation transcript:
GladiatorsRomansVikingsKnights Click to begin slideshow
Slaves, prisoners of war and condemned criminals were first in line to be taken up by a lanista, a trainer who would purchase gladiator candidates and then sell them or rent them out for use in combats. Sometimes, those citizens simply drawn by the potential for prize money and popular acclaim could volunteer to become a gladiator and receive a sign- on bonus. Of their own accord women could become gladiators, fighting other women or male dwarfs. In 200 CE they were banned by Emperor Septimus Severus.
Gladiators-in-training started out with wooden swords to do battle with a wooden pole called a palus, then moved on to a straw dummy before practicing footwork, thrusts and feints on fellow trainees. Ex-gladiators acted as instructors and provided coaching in the fighting techniques and weapons of specific gladiator roles. Life was tough at a gladiator school. Living quarters were organized like cells. No real weapons were allowed inside the school. To guarantee a return on their investment, gladiator owners had an interest in making sure their fighters lived long. Medical staff included dieticians and masseurs. Gladiators ate three high- protein meals a day to help fortify the body.
Most gladiators died young. How a gladiator's fight went depended largely on the crowd. Once a gladiator could fight no more, he would raise his left hand to the emperor or the highest public official present. At that point, the emperor looked to the crowd for their recommendation. If they showed thumbs down and shouted "Iugula!" (Cut his throat!), he was killed. If they showed thumbs up and shouted "Mitte!" (Release him!"), he was allowed to leave the arena and have his wounds treated. Gladiators who won in the arena were presented with palm branches and a bowl, usually made of silver, containing gold coins. If they continued to win fights and their fame grew, they could receive additional gifts. Retirement was only offered to the most successful of gladiators. The symbol of the event was a wooden sword given to the gladiator by the emperor.
During the Republic, when the Senate declared war, a red flag would be raised over the capitol of Rome, signaling all landowning men between 17 to 46 years old to report within 30 days for military duty. During the Empire the army was a large, organized entity, recruiting career soldiers from all parts of the empire. The recruit presented a probatio, to identify the soldier’s status. The recruits had to be able to read and write and be at least 5' 7" with good eyesight and hearing. All recruits underwent rigorous training, spending at least four months learning to become a soldier. They marched 20 miles in five hours. They would then cover the same distance loaded with weapons, tools and rations. The soldier was trained in the handling of weapons, using wooden swords and shields twice as heavy as real weapons and the use of the pilum, or javelin. Legionaries also had to learn battle formations.
Roman soldiers were originally unpaid. As military service developed into a career, soldiers were paid, but a portion of it still went to rations and equipment. In addition to pay, soldiers received cash payments from emperors that ensured loyalty. Victorious soldiers also received a share of the loot and slaves. Upon retirement, soldiers often received land grants and cash gifts. Promotion and the increased pay were given to soldiers for bravery. Soldiers were also awarded decorations -- necklaces (torques), armbands (armillae) or discs worn on the uniform (phalerae) -- at public ceremonies that occurred after an end of a campaign or battle. Their generals honored them by emphasizing their achievements in front of commanders and comrades.
Military service was for six years. The Emperor Augustus later increased it to 20 years, with an additional minimum of five years in reserve. Legionaries were not only skilled soldiers, they were also great engineers. They built bridges, camps, forts, and siege works while on a military campaign. During peacetime, policing duties also fell into the hands of legionaries. They patrolled roads and towns, suppressed minor civil disorders, and enforced taxation.
Any Viking -- whether chieftains or farmers -- could organize a group of men for the purpose of raiding. Plundering was carried out by only small groups of men transported in three to six ships. For the most part these men acted on their own initiative for personal economic gain. Viking warriors also served as volunteers in royal armies called lid in wars of conquest abroad or in neighboring lands. Vikings did not have a professional standing army and their tactics and discipline were basic. They did not fight in organized formations and there was no formal weapons training; young Vikings learned how to use weapons through hunting. This is often the reason why Vikings were more successful in surprise attacks. The Vikings, had tactics they used in battle. A frequent defense tactic was the shieldburg, or shield wall. Vikings also formed what were known as svinfylking or a "boar formation“.
Viking raids began in the 790s and continued for decades. These surprise attacks were planned all throughout winter and were executed in the summer. The frequency of the raids ranged from once every few years to every year. Nomadic armies invaded England and traveled for years plundering England and France. There were women warriors in Viking society. Although for the most part, Viking women stayed home and ran the farm while their husbands were away, some women went along in Viking raids. Freydis, the sister of explorer Leif the Lucky, led an attack against natives in Vinland (now Newfoundland) and overpowered her two other brothers for control of the Viking colony. Apparently not one for competition, she even used her axe to kill all the women in their settlement.
Berserkers were Viking warriors who went into a frenzied state during battle. During this state they felt no pain, had superhuman strength and believed they were actually wolves or bears. These rages are thought to have been possibly initiated by hallucinogenic mushrooms. Berserkers fought without concern for their own personal safety. Groups of berserkers were chosen to make the first attack against the enemy. Viking warriors believed that the warrior daughters of Odin presided over battles and chose those who were to die. They brought the souls of the dead heroes back to Valhalla, Odin's banquet hall in the heavenly realm of Asgard. These warriors then became members of Odin's army.
For most of the Middle Ages, a man must have been born the son of a knight to become a knight. Knighthood was conferred only on members of the nobility. However, as the costs of knighthood increased (a knight had to provide for his own arms, armor, horses and retainers) and money-based economies became more common, rich peasants and merchants began angling for the title of knight as well. Training for knighthood began at an early age. At the age of four or five, a prospective knight's training would begin with learning to ride a pony. By the age of seven or eight, he would be sent to serve as a page to his father's overlord or to a powerful relative. By the age of 14 or so, they were eligible for the next step: becoming a squire. Squires would accompany their master knight into battle, dress him, feed him, see to his armor and arms, care for his horses and hope that one day they would be deemed worthy to be dubbed a knight. If a squire passed muster with an examining knight, he would usually be dubbed a knight at around the age of 21.
Local warriors developed their own equestrian skills and the knight was born. A line of charging knights with spears in hand could easily crush opposing foot soldiers. The knight became the most important warrior on the medieval battlefield. European nobles needed a way to pay these rising warriors. In a money-poor economy, land was the answer. In return for a parcel of land, the knight agreed to fight for the king. Women could become honorary members of knights' orders, but this did not mean that they were actually knighted or regularly fighting in the field as knights. However, this did not stop some medieval women from taking up arms. The most noted example is Joan of Arc in her struggle against the English in 15th century France.
A knight earned his living from his fief, the land a knight held in return for military services to a lord. Kings sometimes paid knights for their services. Younger sons who had been dubbed knights, but didn't have the lands to support their activities often hired themselves out as mercenaries. Frequent sources of income for knights in the field of battle were gold and treasures and ransom for prisoners. Weapons, armor or horses also became his property. Medieval military strategy was largely based on attack. The knight and the horse acted as a sort of medieval missile. After the initial attack, knights would draw their swords, maces or axes and fight on foot. As weapons evolved, longbows shot by archers, foot soldiers carrying pike-axes and halberds, gigantic axes with curved spikes on 8 ft. long staffs, and artillery caused the knight to disappear from the battlefield..
Knights were expected to follow the code of chivalry. He was expected to achieve individual glory in war, uphold virtues (loyalty, humility, self- sacrifice, faith). He was expected to be courteous loyal to his lady love, gifted in the arts of dance, conversation, music and able to play a good game of chess. To keep their hand in during times of peace, knights would take part in tournaments, huge battles that would be staged outside a castle or town that would include the same weapons used in warfare. The joust was a type of event which consisted of two horses charging at each other from opposite directions with a rider holding a lance tipped with a coronel. They were only separated by a low wooden fence.