Europe’s Wars Warring spreads death, disease, and civilization
Tactical formations Ancient Greeks invented the use of technology in warfare. It is the base of military superiority of the civilization of the West. The first such invention was the Phalanx which was used against the Persians. The phalanx had soldiers moving closely together in a column formation of heavy infantry carrying long spears and swords.
Trojan War According to Homeric legend, the kidnapping of King Menelaus’ wife, Helen, precipitated a 10-year war against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of Greece. The war figures centrally in Greek mythology.
Sparta The legendary Spartan Warriors led an austere, militaristic lifestyle. They were citizen- soldiers, hoplites, trained to obey and endure.
Peleponnesian War The war between Athens and the Athenian empire versus Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and other members of the Peloponnesian Confederacy 431 - 404 B.C.E. Heavy fighting took place from Sicily to the coast of Asia Minor.
Athens v. Sparta The war between Athens and the Athenian empire versus Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and other members of the Peloponnesian Confederacy 431 - 404 B.C.E.
Peleponnesian War Greek soldiers during the Peloponnesian War
Plague of Athens The historian Thucydides describedan epidemic disease which broke out in the overcrowded city of Athens which changed the course of the Peleponnesian War. The sight of the burning funeral pyres of Athens caused the Spartan army to withdraw for fear of the disease. It killed many of Athens's infantry, some expert seamen and their leader Pericles.
Alexander the Great (July 356 BC – June 11, 323 BC) King of Macedon (336–323 BC) Alexander the Great is considered one of the most successful military commanders in world history, conquering most of the world known to the ancient Greeks before his death at age 33.
Alexander the Great The king of Macedonia and one of the greatest generals in history, he conquered much of what was then the civilized world. Alexander brought Greek ideas and the Greek way of doing things to all the countries he conquered.
Alexander the Great - Alexander’s conquests united Eurasia from Greece to India into a cultural and, briefly, a political unity.
Hannibal The Second Punic War (218-202 BCE) began when Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca when the great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca guided an army of 46,000 men and 37 war elephants through Spain's Pyrenees Mountains, rafted his men and elephants across the Rhone River in southern France, and crossed the Alps into Italy.
Though losing an estimated 20,000 men during this grueling, 5-month, 900-mile march, Hannibal's depleted ranks were swelled by ferocious Gauls (Celtic natives of what is modern day France and Belgium) who shared his hatred of Rome.
Cannae An estimated 60,000–70,000 Romans were killed or captured by Hannibal’s somewhat smaller army at Cannae (including the Roman general and 80 Roman senators). In terms of the number of lives lost in a single day, Cannae is estimated to be within the thirty costliest battles in all of recorded human history.
Carthage defeated Unable to defeat Hannibal’s army on the Italian peninsula, the Roman fleet took an army to Carthage, forcing Hannibal’s retreat to his homeland. The Roman general Scipio Africanus then defeated a hastily-assembled Carthaginian force at Zama, ending the Punic threat for 50 years.
Julius Caesar Marlon Brando gives a stunning rendition of Marc Antony’s oration in this version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar based loosely on Plutarch’s The Parallel Lives” Gaius Julius Caesar was a celebrated Roman general and statesman who conquered Gaul became dictator from 46-44 BC. He changed the Roman republic into a monarchy and a truly Mediterranean empire.
The Roman Empire was created by means of assimilation through treaties and alliances and the ultimate threat of conquest. This was the first professional army, responsible for the spread the empire and its culture through out Europe and parts of Africa.
At the heart of this great army was the Legionnaire and his commander, the Centurion. Centurions demanded extreme loyalty and discipline from their men and enforced it with a stick made from vine .
Roman Army From early times to the 3rd century C.E., the Roman army was based on its legions of from 4,000 to 6,000 men, and subdivided onto ten cohorts . Its leader used the title of legatus , his staff officers were called tribuni, and senior non-commissioned officers were called centurions , who varied greatly in rank.
Standard bearers One of the most striking visual aspects of the Roman army were the standards, tall poles topped with various insignia and symbols, including many types of animals.
“ Roman Peace” A major factor in bringing about the Pax Romana was trade. It was the only time in history when the whole Mediterranean and the lands around it were at peace under a united government, living under Roman law, and speaking mostly Latin .
In the fourth and fifth centuries an invasion of nomadic tribes exploded out of the steppes of Central Asia into Europe throwing the Roman Empire into disarray and eventually destroying it. Hun invasions
The Huns The Huns were nomads who had moved from the steppes of Central Asia into Eastern Europe in the fourth century C.E. Previous to this, the Huns had afflicted the northern border of China for some centuries, causing the Great Wall to be built as a defense against them .
Atilla the Hun One of the most feared barbarians of all time, Attila is believed to be of distant Mongol stock, he ravaged much of the European continent during the 5th century C.E. King of the Huns (circa 433-53 C.E.)
Germanic tribes To the north and east of the Roman Empire dwelt a people who were to become the leaders of the new nations of Europe. These were the free German tribes, which occupied the part of Europe bounded, roughly, by the rivers Danube and Rhine, the Baltic Sea, and the Carpathian Mountains.
Goths They first encountered Christianity through prisoners taken during warfare in Cappadocia. Widespread evangelization occurred through the work of Ulfilas, who spent forty years as an evangelist among the Goths propagating an Arian form of Christianity.
Fall of Rome According to Edward Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions because of a loss of civic virtue among its citizens. They had become lazy and soft, outsourcing their duties to defend their Empire to barbarian mercenaries, who then became so numerous and ingrained that they were then able to easily take over the Empire.
Charlemagne He was six feet four inches tall, and built to scale. He had beautiful white hair, animated eyes, a powerful nose ... a presence "always stately and dignified." He was temperate in eating and drinking, abominated drunkenness, and kept in good health despite every exposure and hardship. — Eginhardt describing Charlemagne
1 st Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne was determined to strengthen his realm and to bring order to Europe. In 772 he launched a 30-year military campaign to accomplish this objective. By 800 Charlemagne was the undisputed ruler of Western Europe.
Charlemagne’s Empire, 814. Either directly or indirectly, Charlemagne ruled a vast empire that included almost all of the Western Roman empire except for Spain and Britain.
Pope Urban II He launched 200 years of the Crusades urging the knights and noblemen to win back the Holy Land, to face their sins, and called upon those present to save their souls and become "Soldiers of Christ."
Battle of Hastings - 1066 At the Battle of Hastings, a small group of Normans, destroyed a good percentage of the Anglo/Danish nobility of England. Because of Hastings, 90% plus of the land (wealth) of England changed hands, and a self-perpetuating foreign aristocracy forced itself on a native people for centuries afterwards.
Crusaders - Those who undertook the venture were to wear an emblem in the shape of a red cross on their body. And so derived the word "Crusader," from the Latin word cruciare - to mark with a cross.
the first , 1095-1099, called by Pope Urban II and led by Peter the Hermit, Walter the Penniless, Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin and Eustace of Flanders, the second , 1147-49, headed by King Louis VII, was a disastrous failure, including the loss of one of the four Latin Kingdoms, the Duchy of Edessa; the third , 1188-92, proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of the catastrophe of the second crusade, which conducted by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, King Philip Augustus of France and King Richard "Coeur-de-Lion" of England; the fourth , during which Constantinople was sacked, 1202-1204 the fifth , which included the conquest of Damietta, 1217-1221; the sixth , in which Frederick II took part (1228-29) the seventh , led by St. Louis (Louis IX of France), 1248-50 There were seven major Crusades .
Viewed in the light of their original purpose, the Crusades were failures. They made no permanent conquests of the Holy Land. They did not retard the advance of Islam. Far from aiding the Eastern Empire, they hastened its disintegration . They also revealed the continuing inability of Latin Christians to understand Greek Christians. They fostered a harsh intolerance between Muslims and Christians, where before there had been a measure of mutual respect. Crusaders’ Legacy (1095 – 1291) The Jerusalem or Crusader's Cross was worn by Godfrey de Bouillon, the first ruler of the Jerusalem after it was taken from the Moslems.
His invasion of Central Asia in 1219 was connected with trade disputes. In fact Khan boasted of the fact that his treasury was full of rich products of international trade; the Mongols were no rubes when it came to dealings with deceitful Muslim merchants.
Mongol horses were small, but their riders were lightly clad and they moved with greater speed. These were hardy men who grew up on horses and hunting, making them better warriors than those who grew up in agricultural societies and cities. The knights at their tournaments, in their finery, armor and emblems of ancestry, believed they were the foremost warriors in the world.
The Mongol Horde Horse riding nomads wearing only sheep skins defeated the armor protected knights and conquered half of the known world of that time. In reality, the "hordes" were highly organized, disciplined and trained armies of that time.
Weapon s The secret of producing gunpowder was stolen from the Chinese. The reports of the testing of "fire" weapon at the Kidan's capital Yanjing i 1076 shocked the Chinese emperors. Therefore, the 100,000-strong army of Chinggis Khan was well armed and possessed the latest warfare technology available.
Time Line for Mongol invasions 1200, Northern China — 30,000,000 killed 1215, Yanjing China (today Beijing ) — 25,000,000 killed 1221, Nishapur , Persia — ~1.7 million killed in assault 1221, Merv , Persia — ~1.3 million killed in assault 1221, Meru Chahjan , Persia — ~1.3 million killed in assault 1221, Rayy , Persia — ~1.6 million killed in assault 1226, Tangut Campaign — Gengis Khan launches war against the northern China people of Tangut. 1236, Bilär,Bulgar cities, Volga Bulgaria — 150,000 or more, nearly half of population 1237-1240, Kievan Rus' — half of population 1241, Wahlstatt — defeat of a combined Polish-German force in lower Silesia (Poland); the Mongols turn back to attend to the election of a new Grand Khan. 1258, Baghdad — ~800,000 people. Results in destruction of Abbasid dynasty 1226–1266 — ~18 million reported killed in conquest of northern Chinese territory. This number estimated by Kublai Khan himself. 1279 Chengdu, Sichuan, China — 1,500,000 killed.
Aftermath Mongol rule did bring with it initial destruction, the imposition of heavy financial burdens, and the loss of political independence, at the same time that it seeded political renewal in some areas and contributed selectively to economic expansion.
Cultural exchange Under Mongol protection, the Silk Roads flourished, and during the Pax Mongolica under Chingis Khan's succes- sors, people commonly traveled the full length of the Silk Roads, greatly increasing cultural exchange. In this atmosphere Europeans such as Marco Polo traveled to the East and returned with tales of the Mongol empire. Unfortunately, the Silk Roads also allowed diseases to spread. The bubonic plague traveled from Yunnan and Burma eastward to China and westward to Europe along the roads of the Mongol empire.
Black Death The most famous plague outbreak swept through Europe in the 1300s. Dubbed the Black Death, the disease killed more than 25 million people—one-fourth of the continent's population. The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosy" is traced to the plague's rose-colored lesions and deadly spread.
Bubonic Plague It's possible that trade spread the disease to black rats, which then carried the bacteria to other sites of plague epidemics. One researcher suspects that black rats, endemic to India, arrived in Egypt with sea trade. In Egypt the rats picked up plague-carrying fleas and were later born on ships that sailed across the Mediterranean to southern Europe. Plague-carrying rats breed rapidly and produce 6 to 22 offspring in a litter.
Feudalism Kings, in fighting to control their great lords, gave more freedom to citizens of towns in return for their help. The king's armies came to be recruited largely from townspeople, who were made correspondingly free from the feudal lords.
Moorish conquest of Spain E arly in the eighth century Moorish soldiers crossed over from Africa to the Iberian peninsula. The man chosen to lead them was General Tarik ibn Ziyad. In 711, the bold Tarik, in command of an army of 10,000 men, crossed the straits and disembarked near a rock promontory which from that day since has borne his name--Djabal Tarik (`Tarik's Mountain'), or Gibraltar.
Andalucia The Islamic warriors from Arabia and North Africa called the region al-Andalus because they associated it with the Vandals, one of the barbarian tribes who had, several centuries earlier, swept across the Strait of Gibraltar into North Africa.
The Moors As early as the Middle Ages, and as early as the seventeenth century, "The Moors were," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "commonly supposed to be mostly black or very swarthy, and hence the word is often used for negro."
Moors and Christians This festival commemorates a famous battle held in Alcoy, (28km north of Alicante) in 1276 between the Christian ruler and the Moorish captain Al Athrak. The story goes that on the point of losing the city to the Moors, St. George appeared on a white charger and turned the Christians' fate around.
Granada – the last Moorish stronghold Granada is the capital of the province with the same name, situated in the eastern part of the region of Andalusia.
Ottomans Under Suleiman the Magnificent, they captured Belgrade in 1521. The city's Hungarian defenders, were slaughtered. The Turkish empire was expanding, and the way to Vienna and the West was now open.
Ottoman Empire At the height of its power (16th– 17th century), it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria, Slovakia and parts of Ukraine in the north to Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen in the south.
1492 – Moors, Jews expelled The Jews of Spain were forced to leave their land which had been their home for eight centuries which culminated in the Spanish expulsion of Jews in 1492. They emigrated to Italy, Turkey, Germany, Poland and Lithuania.
Christopher Columbus At the same time, a “Genoan” emerged to lead Spain to the new world. Some speculate that Christopher Columbus may have, in fact, been a Jew fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition.
Scandinavian Peninsula In the 17th Century, the Swedish empire consisted of most of Scandinavia. The Swedish Empire in 1658 (orange) overlaid by present day Sweden (dark orange).
Until his defeat at the Battle of the Nations in 1813, his French Grand Armée acquired control of most or all of the western and central mainland of Europe by conquest or alliance. Napoléon Bonaparte
Trafalgar 21 October 1805 The Battle of Trafalgar (which decimated the Royal Forest's oak reserves) was a victory for an outnumbered British fleet.
First exile In April 1814 when Napoleon finally abdicated it seemed that the Napoleonic wars were finally over. By the end of the war the Europe Armies had started to adopt French tactics and strategies and the myth of Napoleons invincibility had been shattered.
Waterloo Fought on June 18, 1815, this was Napoleon Bonaparte's last battle.
Paris Arc de Triomphe The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the courtyard of the Louvre, Paris. This triumphal arch was built between 1806 and 1808 by Napoleon I to commemorate his victories and the Grande Armée that had won them.
The Tea Trade and the Opium Wars Tea was first brought from China to Britain in the 1670s as a medicinal herb, and was slow to become a popular drink. It was only when it was sweetened with sugar that it began to appeal to British taste. It became so popular that by 1794 Britain was buying nine million pounds each year. Earl Grey - black China tea treated with bergamot oil, which gives the tea a scented taste.
Opium smuggling The big problem, for Britain, was that the Chinese would only sell tea for silver, and so large amounts of silver were leaving the country. In order to stop this imbalance, the East India Company began to smuggle opium into China illegally, for which they could demand payment in silver.
British merchants began to smuggle opium into China from East India Company opium factories in the early 19th century. Ships moored at Lintin, near Canton, and the opium was sent up the coast in local craft.
Opium Trade Chinese junks met British opium ships, and smuggled the opium into China. Large profits were made by British and Chinese merchants. The Chinese authorities were very worried by the increased trade, which was having a bad effect on their economy, and in 1839 Commissioner Lin acted on the orders of the Emperor, and destroyed 20,000 chests of British opium in Canton.
Hongkong At the end of the First Opium War, the Treaty of Nanking ceded the small and (to the Chinese) unimportant island of Hong Kong to the British. This provided British traders with their first permanent base in China.
Opium legalised Britain sold opium to China until 1914, but when China legalised production of the drug within her own borders at the end of the 19th century, it severely decreased the value of the trade.
Lord Tennyson immortalised 'The Six Hundred' in his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade Crimean War 1854 - 1856