Author: Alcibiades

History of Tattoos

Introduction: Deriving its meaning from the Polynesian word tatau, or to be written upon, tattoos are a type of body modification that requires the insertion of ink, dye, pigments be they indelible or temporary into the dermis layer of the skin. Evidence shows that the practice of tattooing has been found all over the world, before ancient times as a form of therapeutic pain relief to the modern versions as a from of decoration, symbolic meaning or perhaps as a way of identification. Medical tattoos: The first example of tattoos used as a form of acupuncture pain relief is...

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History of the Cataphract

Deriving its name from the Greek word “Kataphraktos”, meaning fully armored, the origin of the cataphract is in fact older than the Hellenistic city states of antiquity. Horses were the most needed resource for maintaining the nomadic life of the Ancient Iranian peoples of the Central Asian steppes along with the Near East. They are the first people according to historical evidence that had tamed wild horses for their use as a means of transport, animal husbandry as well as warfare. Abundance in precious metals and gems were common on the territories these people lived on, so advanced metalworking...

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How People Prserved Their Food Throughout History

1) Curing: The earliest form of food preservation in history is perhaps the curing of various foods, particularly meat. The process involves the dehydration of liquids via drying, smoking and salting the meat in specialized rooms. There the food was hanged and after it was salted, it was left to dry out. With that, people managed to get rid of potential bacteria and to preserve the food longer. It was mostly consumed during the winter season, as foods became scarce or non-existent. 2) Cooling: Before the invention of the refrigerator as a place to freeze foods in order to...

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10 Common Medieval Soldier Types

1) Spearmen: As their name suggests, these types of infantry used spears most commonly combined with a shield, and were the most numerous on the battlefield. Clad in no armor or wearing the most minimal defense possible, these soldiers were the frontline and the meat fodder of the armies. They lacked any training apart being told to thrust the pointy end of the spear into their enemies, raise their shield in defense and to march forth in a line alongside others of their kind. 2) Militia: Militia came in all sorts namely, as infantry, as missile units or as...

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10 Medieval Weapon Types

1) Viking sword: Deriving its look based on the late Roman Empire’s spatha, the Viking sword was forged by the northerners of the Scandinavian peninsula, who by seafaring, raided the mainland of Europe, the British Isles, the Balkan Peninsula, Minor Asia, the Levant and parts of northern Africa. Iron was the metal this sword was made out of; while the hilt itself was either finely engraved wood layered with metal, bronze, copper or in rare cases iron. The grip handle was wrapped around with leather for the wielder’s easier and tighter grasp. The sword itself weighted around 1 kilogram....

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10 Medieval Siege Weapons

1) Ballista: The ballista was made in antiquity appearing in historic Greek as well as Judean sources, but it rose in popularity as it became the preferred siege weapon of the Roman Empire. Resembling a large and a heavy transportable crossbow and operated with a mechanism that allowed the reloading of ammunition, the ballistae bolts were made of a thick lacquered wooden shaft with the head being a large metal spear or iron head. Not only it was used in both offense and defense with great efficiency, but it was alsoused as a way of breaking infantry ranks as...

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10 Elite Units in Medieval Ages

1) Housecarl: Huskarls were the bodyguards of leaders in Medieval Scandinavia and England. This elite unit was the last defense for the powerful individual that had them. These units were easily capable of dealing with any threat thrown at them. Adorned in mail armor and gambeson, accompanied with the famous Dane axe as well as a Viking sword and round shield, the housecarls’ efficacy in military prowess was unmatched. 2) Varangian guard: Miklagard, or Constantinople was the home of the Viking Varangian Guard that served the Emperors of the Byzantine Empire. As political assassinations were common, the newly arrived...

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Top 8 Ways Game of Thrones is Based on History

1) The War of the Five Kings is based on War of the Roses: George R.R Martin has based his books that tell the tale of the War of Five Kings trying to ascend the Iron Throne around the civil war that waged in Medieval England between the north House of York and the south representing House of Lancaster, trying to ascend the throne of England. Albeit lacking the fantasy elements of dragons, wights and magic, it was the mostvile and backstabbing driven war Europe had seen at the time. The war is complex and confusing as is its...

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The Rise to Power and Conquests of Trajan

Marcus Ulpius Traianus also known as Caesar Nerva Traianus Germanicus, but mostly known as Trajan, was a Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. His reign is noted for public projects such as improving the diltrgyapidated road system, constructing aqueducts, building public baths and extending the port of Ostia. But he is mostly famous for his high success as ageneral, winning three major conflicts against the Dacians and conquering land in the east that resulted in the greatest territorial expansion of the Roman Empire. Trajan was born in 53 AD in Italica (Seville) in the Roman province of Hispania,...

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10 Type of Gladiators – Part 1

1. Andabata: Blindfolded and tossed into the arena, these types of gladiators did not last long. Armed with a gladius, a scutum and a helmet, relying solely on instinct and their senses, they were a comedic act on the brutality the slaves faced for amusement. 2. Bestiarius: Bestiarii were gladiators that faced wild and usually exotic beasts in the arenas for fortune and glory. Some were specifically trained in bestiarorum or gladiatorial schools. There they learnt how one could face the plethora of beasts residing in the arenas. Armed with a round bronze shield, a spear or a whip...

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