Courage, cruelty, tactics: 10 facts about the Assyrian army, terrified half the world
About 3000 years ago the people that today few people remember, it was a crushing tread through the Middle East. This army compared the city to the ground, tried to survivors and sowed fear throughout the world.
Speech about Assyria - the first country which has made the military power of the basis of its policy and the first country that terrorized their enemies by means of psychological warfare. We publish the most interesting facts about the Assyrian army.
The Forever War
Every Assyrian man - from the poorest to the richest, was obliged to serve in the army. It was the first country where military service made compulsory for every male citizen, no matter who he was. All the men lived on a "3 years". In the first year they built roads, bridges and buildings, to increase the power of the empire. In the second year, they went to war. And they were allowed only in the third year to live with their families. As a result, Assyria had one of the strongest armies in the world. Moreover, it was well-trained and constant fighting soldiers ... and there were many.
Assyrians have created labels, which drew and described the process of torture his enemies to the next town knew what would happen to his defenders. On these tablets was shown the process of skin removed from living people, gouging their eyes and Planting on stakes. After one of the Assyrian kings Ashshurnatsirapala II was a number of such plates, on which his atrocities in the capture of the cities have been described: "I ripped the skin from all the city's defenders and hung it on the wall ... I burned all the children ... of the heads of residents before the city was piled tower ". By the time the Assyrian army approached the walls of another city, its residents already knew what to expect.
The chance to surrender
Before the start of the battle are often given to people a chance to surrender. By the city wall went envoy, who had promised to the defenders of the city (which is already shaking in fear, because they knew what to expect), that if they will give up and will pay tribute to Assyria, they will be allowed to live: "Humble yourselves, and come out to me! Then each of you will have your own grapes and fruit of the fig tree and drink water from his pond. And for those who do not will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine. " Many countries have surrendered and paid tribute to Assyria, whose troops moved on.
While virtually no siege guns there. At best, the army could hope to break through the gates of the city, trying to knock out their log, often while on them from the walls of the archers shot. The Assyrians, however, have invented some of the first siege weapons in the world. For example, they invented the ram - a device that seemed impossible to stop at the time. It was a complex structure on wheels, inside of which was a huge log with an iron tip in the form of a ram's head, which swung on chains, allowing the enemy to penetrate walls. People inside the structure, which rocked the log were protected by wooden boards, covered with raw animal hides, which sank and rotten lighted arrows of the defenders.
Complete destruction of towns
Sometimes the Assyrian army did not stop at killing their enemies. When Assyrian King Sennacherib invaded Babylon, and he wiped it off the map. All that's left behind him, it was a boastful statement: "The town and its home, from foundation to roof, I plundered, destroyed and burned with fire in the middle of the city ... I dug canals and flooded with water. Only the swamp remained on site of Babylon. "
According to surviving records, one Assyrian king spared some of the people captured cities, "to know the city and the elders came to me in order to save their lives ... they fell at my feet and begged for mercy, asking to do anything with them, but do not kill." Most often, these survivors have used to intimidate others, and quite cruel way - they cut off the noses and ears. And one of the kings Esarhaddon made him aware of the captured city wear "necklace" with the severed heads of their rulers.
Life of slaves
On the Assyrian wall paintings have been preserved images of slaves, chained to large stones, which they were forced to drag like mules. These stones were used to build palaces and other architectural wonders of the kings and slaves, who dragged them to the construction site, they could not even rest (rear were overseers who beat anyone "skive"). With women also, who were taken into slavery, often acted even worse. Often they are stripped naked to humiliate and force to feel helpless.
The Assyrians had a policy of constant migration of people - entire families driven from their homes and resettled them across the country. It was one of the reasons that made the Assyrians so powerful. Masters of the conquered countries were resettled in the heart of the empire, where they were sent to the construction of palaces, temples and wonders. Often they were allowed to bring their families with them. Dangerous enemies who fought against Assyria, sometimes given a chance to redeem himself. If the king was merciful, he sent them to restore ruined the conquered country.
Many crimes in Assyria punished by mutilation or death. If someone kissed another man's wife, he cut off his lower lip with an ax. If a man "zastukivaet" with another man, then it turned into a eunuch. Adultery is punishable by death. Men have the right to kill wives who were caught in the act of adultery. Killers passed the victim's family, which was free to do with them what he wants.
Life in Assyria was terrifying not only for the potential victims of the Assyrians, but also for themselves. Warriors of the Assyrian army had symptoms of what modern psychologists call post-traumatic stress. They had heard and seen ghosts of people who died in the battle, and talked with them. Scientists believe that the soldiers experienced the horror and guilt for the murder and torture of innocent people.