Grupo de Guerreiros de Bornu

Grupo de Guerreiros de Bornu


Idris Alooma: Rei Guerreiro do Império de Bornu

Hoje, estarei falando sobre Idris Alooma (também Idris Alaoma, ou Idris Alauma), o único Rei Bornu cujo nome sobreviveu ao teste do tempo. Este artigo está muito atrasado, pois se concentra nos impérios Bornu e Kanem-Bornu.

O reinado de Idris Alooma & # 8217s pertenceu à grande dinastia Sayfawa ou Sefuwa, que governou o império de Bornu nos séculos XVI e XVII. De acordo com Diwan al-salatin Bornu , Idris Alaoma foi o 54º rei da dinastia Sefawa e governou o império Kanem-Bornu localizado no atual Chade, Camarões e Nigéria. Em muitas obras, ele é conhecido pelo nome de sua mãe, Idris Amsami , ou seja, Idris, filho de Amsa. O nome Alooma é um qualificativo póstumo, com o nome de um lugar, Alo ou Alao , onde ele foi enterrado. Ele foi coroado rei na idade de 25-26. De acordo com Diwan , ele governou de 1564 a 1596. Ele morreu durante uma batalha em Baguirmi, onde foi mortalmente ferido e posteriormente enterrado em Lago Alo , ao sul do atual Maiduguri, daí o nome Alooma .

Grupo de guerreiros Kanem-Bu em 1800

Idris foi um estadista notável e, sob seu governo, o Kanem-Bornu atingiu o auge de seu poder. Ele é lembrado por suas habilidades militares, reformas administrativas e piedade islâmica. Seus feitos são conhecidos principalmente por meio de seu cronista Ahmad bin Fartuwa. Durante seu reinado, Idris evitou a capital Ngazargamu, preferindo definir seu palácio a 5 km de distância, perto do Yo Rio ( Komadugu Yobe ), em um lugar chamado Gambaru . As paredes da cidade eram vermelhas, levando a uma nova arquitetura com tijolos vermelhos característicos de seu reinado. Até hoje, alguns murais ainda existem no Gambaru e têm mais de 3m de altura. Esses são vestígios de um império florescente. Idris Alooma era conhecido pelo título Kanuri de Mai para o rei.

Corte de Kanem-Bornu nos anos 1700

Seus principais adversários eram os Hausa a oeste, os Tuareg e Toubou ao norte, os Bulala a leste e os Sao que estavam fortemente implantados na região de Bornu (e serão dizimados pelas campanhas militares de Alooma & # 8217). Um poema épico exalta suas vitórias em 330 guerras e mais de 1.000 batalhas. Suas inovações incluíram o emprego de acampamentos militares fixos com muros, cercos permanentes e táticas de terra arrasada onde os soldados queimaram tudo em seu caminho, cavalos e cavaleiros blindados, bem como o uso de camelos berberes, barqueiros Kotoko e mosqueteiros com capacete de ferro treinados por otomanos conselheiros militares. Sua diplomacia ativa incluiu relações com Trípoli, Egito e Império Otomano, que enviou um grupo de embaixadores de 200 membros através do deserto para a corte Alooma & # 8217s em Ngazargamu. Alooma também assinou o que provavelmente foi o primeiro tratado ou cessar-fogo escrito na história do Chade.

Alooma introduziu uma série de reformas legais e administrativas com base em suas crenças religiosas e na lei islâmica. Ele patrocinou a construção de várias mesquitas e fez uma peregrinação a Meca, onde providenciou o estabelecimento de um albergue para ser usado pelos peregrinos de seu império. Como com outros políticos dinâmicos, os objetivos reformistas de Alooma o levaram a buscar conselheiros e aliados leais e competentes, e ele freqüentemente confiava em eunucos e escravos que haviam sido educados em lares nobres. Alooma buscava regularmente o conselho de um conselho composto por chefes dos clãs mais importantes. Ele exigia que grandes figuras políticas vivessem na corte e reforçou alianças políticas por meio de casamentos apropriados (o próprio Alooma era filho de pai Kanuri e mãe Bulala).

Mapa dos impérios Kanem e Kanem-Bornu

Kanem-Bornu sob Alooma era forte e rico. A receita do governo vinha de tributos (ou espólio, se o povo recalcitrante tivesse que ser conquistado) e impostos e participação no comércio. Seu reino era fundamental para uma das rotas mais convenientes através do deserto do Saara. Muitos produtos foram enviados para o norte, incluindo natrão (carbonato de sódio), algodão, nozes de cola, marfim, penas de avestruz, perfume, cera e peles, mas o comércio mais lucrativo era de escravos. As importações incluíram sal, cavalos, seda, vidro, mosquetes e cobre.


O território agora conhecido como Chade possui alguns dos mais ricos sítios arqueológicos da África. [2] Um crânio de hominídeo foi encontrado por Michel Brunet, com mais de 7 milhões de anos, o mais antigo descoberto em qualquer lugar do mundo e recebeu o nome de Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Em 1996, Michel Brunet desenterrou uma mandíbula de hominídeo que chamou de Australopithecus bahrelghazali, e apelidou não oficialmente de Abel. Foi datado usando datação radiométrica baseada em berílio como vivo por volta de. 3,6 milhões de anos atrás.

Durante o 7º milênio aC, a metade norte do Chade fazia parte de uma vasta extensão de terra, que se estendia do rio Indo, no leste, até o oceano Atlântico, no oeste, no qual as condições ecológicas favoreceram o assentamento humano inicial. A arte rupestre no estilo "Cabeça Redonda", encontrada na região de Ennedi, foi datada antes do 7º milênio aC e, devido às ferramentas com as quais as rochas foram esculpidas e as cenas que retratam, pode representar a evidência mais antiga na Saara das indústrias neolíticas. Muitas das atividades de fabricação de cerâmica e neolíticas em Ennedi datam de mais tempo do que as do Vale do Nilo, a leste. [2]

No período pré-histórico, o Chade era muito mais úmido do que hoje, como evidenciado por grandes animais de caça retratados em pinturas rupestres nas regiões de Tibesti e Borkou. [2]

Pesquisas lingüísticas recentes sugerem que todos os principais grupos de línguas da África ao sul do deserto do Saara (exceto Khoisan, que não é considerado um agrupamento genético válido de qualquer maneira), ou seja, os filos Afro-Asiático, Nilo-Saariano e Níger-Congo, originados em tempos pré-históricos em uma faixa estreita entre o Lago Chade e o Vale do Nilo. As origens dos povos do Chade, no entanto, permanecem obscuras. Vários dos sítios arqueológicos comprovados foram apenas parcialmente estudados, e outros locais de grande potencial ainda precisam ser mapeados. [2]

No final do primeiro milênio DC, a formação de estados começou no centro do Chade, na zona do Sahel entre o deserto e a savana. Durante quase os próximos 1.000 anos, esses estados, suas relações entre si e seus efeitos sobre os povos que viviam em sociedades sem Estado ao longo de suas periferias dominaram a história política do Chade. Pesquisas recentes sugerem que indígenas africanos fundados nesses estados, não migram de grupos de língua árabe, como se acreditava anteriormente. No entanto, os imigrantes, de língua árabe ou não, desempenharam um papel significativo, junto com o Islã, na formação e evolução inicial desses estados. [3]

A maioria dos estados começou como reinos, nos quais o rei era considerado divino e dotado de poderes temporais e espirituais. Todos os estados eram militaristas (ou não sobreviveram por muito tempo), mas nenhum foi capaz de se expandir muito para o sul do Chade, onde as florestas e a mosca tsé-tsé complicaram o uso da cavalaria. O controle das rotas comerciais transsaarianas que passavam pela região formava a base econômica desses reinos. Embora muitos estados tenham crescido e caído, os mais importantes e duráveis ​​dos impérios foram Kanem-Bornu, Baguirmi e Ouaddai, de acordo com a maioria das fontes escritas (principalmente crônicas da corte e escritos de comerciantes e viajantes árabes). [3] Chade - ERA DOS IMPÉRIOS, 900-1900 d.C.

Kanem-Bornu Editar

O Império Kanem se originou no século 9 DC a nordeste do Lago Chade. Os historiadores concordam que os líderes do novo estado eram ancestrais do povo Kanembu. No final do século 11, o rei Sayfawa (ou mai, o título dos governantes Sayfawa) Hummay, convertido ao Islã. No século seguinte, os governantes Sayfawa expandiram-se para o sul em Kanem, onde surgiria sua primeira capital, Njimi. A expansão de Kanem atingiu o pico durante o longo e enérgico reinado de Mai Dunama Dabbalemi (c. 1221–1259). [4]

No final do século 14, lutas internas e ataques externos separaram Kanem. Finalmente, por volta de 1396, os invasores Bulala forçaram Mai Umar Idrismi deve abandonar Njimi e mover o povo Kanembu para Bornu, na margem oeste do Lago Chade. Com o tempo, o casamento entre os povos Kanembu e Bornu criou um novo povo e uma nova língua, os Kanuri, e fundou uma nova capital, Ngazargamu. [4]

Kanem-Bornu atingiu o pico durante o reinado do notável estadista Mai Idris Aluma (c. 1571–1603). Aluma é lembrado por suas habilidades militares, reformas administrativas e piedade islâmica. As reformas administrativas e o brilhantismo militar de Aluma sustentaram o império até meados do século 17, quando seu poder começou a enfraquecer. No início do século 19, Kanem-Bornu era claramente um império em declínio e, em 1808, os guerreiros Fulani conquistaram Ngazargamu. Bornu sobreviveu, mas a dinastia Sayfawa terminou em 1846 e o ​​próprio Império caiu em 1893. [4]

Baguirmi e Ouaddai Editar

O Reino de Baguirmi, localizado a sudeste de Kanem-Bournu, foi fundado no final do século 15 ou início do século 16 e adotou o Islã no reinado de Abdullah IV (1568-98). Baguirmi teve uma relação tributária com Kanem-Bornu em vários pontos nos séculos 17 e 18, e depois com Ouaddai no século 19. Em 1893, o sultão Baguirmi, Abd ar Rahman Gwaranga, cedeu o território à França, que se tornou um protetorado francês. [5]

O Reino de Ouaddai, a oeste de Kanem-Bornu, foi estabelecido no início do século 16 pelos governantes de Tunjur. Na década de 1630, Abd al Karim invadiu e estabeleceu um sultanato islâmico. Entre seus governantes mais impactantes nos três séculos seguintes estavam Muhammad Sabun, que controlou uma nova rota comercial para o norte e estabeleceu uma moeda durante o início do século 19, e Muhammad Sharif, cujas campanhas militares em meados do século 19 evitaram uma tentativa de assimilação de Darfur, conquistou Baguirmi e resistiu com sucesso à colonização francesa. No entanto, Ouaddai perdeu sua independência para a França após uma guerra de 1909-1912. [5]

Os franceses invadiram o Chade pela primeira vez em 1891, estabelecendo sua autoridade por meio de expedições militares principalmente contra os reinos muçulmanos. A batalha colonial decisiva pelo Chade foi travada em 22 de abril de 1900 na Batalha de Kousséri entre as forças do major francês Amédée-François Lamy e as forças do senhor da guerra sudanês Rabih az-Zubayr. Ambos os líderes foram mortos na batalha.

Em 1905, a responsabilidade administrativa do Chade foi colocada sob um governador-geral estacionado em Brazzaville, capital da África Equatorial Francesa (FEA). O Chade não teve um status colonial separado até 1920, quando foi colocado sob o comando de um vice-governador estacionado em Fort-Lamy (hoje N'Djamena). [6]

Dois temas fundamentais dominaram a experiência colonial do Chade com os franceses: a ausência de políticas destinadas a unificar o território e um ritmo excepcionalmente lento de modernização. Na escala de prioridades francesa, a colônia do Chade estava quase no fundo, e os franceses passaram a perceber o Chade principalmente como uma fonte de algodão em bruto e mão de obra não treinada a ser usada nas colônias mais produtivas ao sul. [6]

Ao longo do período colonial, grandes áreas do Chade nunca foram governadas de forma eficaz: na enorme Prefeitura de BET, o punhado de administradores militares franceses geralmente deixava o povo em paz e, no centro do Chade, o domínio francês era apenas um pouco mais substantivo. Na verdade, a França conseguiu governar efetivamente apenas o sul. [6]

Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, o Chade foi a primeira colônia francesa a se juntar aos Aliados (26 de agosto de 1940), após a derrota da França pela Alemanha. Sob a administração de Félix Éboué, o primeiro governador colonial negro da França, uma coluna militar, comandada pelo Coronel Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, e incluindo dois batalhões de soldados Sara, mudou-se para o norte de N'Djamena (então Forte Lamy) para enfrentar as forças do Eixo na Líbia , onde, em parceria com o Grupo do Deserto de Longo Alcance do Exército Britânico, capturaram Kufra. Em 21 de janeiro de 1942, N'Djamena foi bombardeado por um avião alemão.

Após o fim da guerra, partidos locais começaram a se desenvolver no Chade. O primeiro a nascer foi o radical Chadian Progressive Party (PPT) em fevereiro de 1947, inicialmente chefiado pelo panamenho Gabriel Lisette, mas a partir de 1959 chefiado por François Tombalbaye. A mais conservadora União Democrática do Chade (UDT) foi fundada em novembro de 1947 e representava os interesses comerciais franceses e um bloco de líderes tradicionais composto principalmente pela nobreza muçulmana e ouaddaïan. O confronto entre o PPT e a UDT foi mais do que simplesmente ideológico, representou diferentes identidades regionais, com o PPT representando o sul cristão e animista e a UDT o norte islâmico.

O PPT venceu as eleições pré-independência de maio de 1957 graças a uma franquia bastante ampliada, e Lisette liderou o governo da Assembleia Territorial até perder um voto de confiança em 11 de fevereiro de 1959. Após um referendo sobre autonomia territorial em 28 de setembro de 1958, Equatorial Francesa A África foi dissolvida e seus quatro estados constituintes - Gabão, Congo (Brazzaville), República Centro-Africana e Chade tornaram-se membros autônomos da comunidade francesa em 28 de novembro de 1958. Após a queda de Lisette em fevereiro de 1959, os líderes da oposição Gontchome Sahoulba e Ahmed Koulamallah não podia formar um governo estável, então o PPT foi novamente solicitado a formar uma administração - o que fez sob a liderança de François Tombalbaye em 26 de março de 1959. Em 12 de julho de 1960, a França concordou em tornar o Chade totalmente independente. [7] Em 11 de agosto de 1960, o Chade se tornou um país independente e François Tombalbaye se tornou seu primeiro presidente.

Um dos aspectos mais proeminentes do governo de Tombalbaye para se provar foi seu autoritarismo e desconfiança na democracia. Já em janeiro de 1962, ele baniu todos os partidos políticos, exceto seu próprio PPT, e começou imediatamente a concentrar todo o poder em suas próprias mãos. Seu tratamento com os oponentes, reais ou imaginários, foi extremamente duro, enchendo as prisões com milhares de presos políticos.

O que era ainda pior era sua constante discriminação contra as regiões centro e norte do Chade, onde os administradores do sul do Chade passaram a ser vistos como arrogantes e incompetentes. Esse ressentimento finalmente explodiu em uma revolta tributária em 1º de novembro de 1965, na Prefeitura de Guéra, causando 500 mortes. No ano seguinte, nasceu no Sudão a Frente de Libertação Nacional do Chade (FROLINAT), criada para expulsar militarmente Tombalbaye e o domínio sulista. Foi o início de uma guerra civil sangrenta.

Tombalbaye recorreu a convocar as tropas francesas, embora com um sucesso moderado, elas não foram totalmente capazes de reprimir a insurgência. Mais afortunado foi sua escolha de romper com os franceses e buscar laços amigáveis ​​com o Líder Irmão Líbio Gaddafi, tirando a principal fonte de suprimentos dos rebeldes.

Mas embora tenha relatado algum sucesso contra os rebeldes, Tombalbaye começou a se comportar cada vez mais irracional e brutalmente, corroendo continuamente seu consenso entre as elites do sul, que dominavam todas as posições-chave no exército, no serviço civil e no partido no poder. Como consequência, em 13 de abril de 1975, várias unidades da gendarmaria de N'Djamena mataram Tombalbaye durante um golpe.

O golpe de estado que encerrou o governo de Tombalbaye recebeu uma resposta entusiástica em N'Djamena. O sulista general Félix Malloum surgiu cedo como o presidente do novo junta.

Os novos líderes militares não conseguiram manter por muito tempo a popularidade que haviam conquistado com a derrubada de Tombalbaye. Malloum mostrou-se incapaz de enfrentar o FROLINAT e no final decidiu que sua única chance era cooptar alguns dos rebeldes: em 1978, aliou-se ao líder insurgente Hissène Habré, que ingressou no governo como primeiro-ministro.

A dissidência interna dentro do governo levou o primeiro-ministro Habré a enviar suas forças contra o exército nacional de Malloum na capital em fevereiro de 1979. Malloum foi afastado da presidência, mas a guerra civil resultante entre as 11 facções emergentes foi tão generalizada que rendeu ao governo central amplamente irrelevante. Nesse ponto, outros governos africanos decidiram intervir

Uma série de quatro conferências internacionais realizadas primeiro sob o patrocínio da Nigéria e depois da Organização da Unidade Africana (OUA) tentou aproximar as facções do Chade. Na quarta conferência, realizada em Lagos, Nigéria, em agosto de 1979, foi assinado o Acordo de Lagos. Este acordo estabeleceu um governo de transição até as eleições nacionais. Em novembro de 1979, o Governo de Transição de Unidade Nacional (GUNT) foi criado com mandato para governar por 18 meses. Goukouni Oueddei, um nortista, foi nomeado presidente coronel Kamougué, sulista, vice-presidente e Habré, ministro da Defesa. Esta coalizão provou ser frágil em janeiro de 1980, o conflito estourou novamente entre as forças de Goukouni e Habré. Com a ajuda da Líbia, Goukouni retomou o controle da capital e de outros centros urbanos no final do ano. No entanto, a declaração de Goukouni em janeiro de 1981 de que o Chade e a Líbia haviam concordado em trabalhar para a realização da unidade completa entre os dois países gerou intensa pressão internacional e o apelo subsequente de Goukouni para a retirada completa das forças externas.

A retirada parcial da Líbia para a Faixa de Aozou, no norte do Chade, abriu caminho para que as forças de Habré entrassem em N’Djamena em junho. As tropas francesas e uma força de manutenção da paz da OUA de 3.500 soldados nigerianos, senegaleses e zairenses (parcialmente financiados pelos Estados Unidos) permaneceram neutros durante o conflito.

Habré continuou a enfrentar oposição armada em várias frentes e foi brutal na repressão de supostos oponentes, massacrando e torturando muitos durante seu governo. No verão de 1983, as forças do GUNT lançaram uma ofensiva contra as posições do governo no norte e no leste do Chade com forte apoio da Líbia. Em resposta à intervenção direta da Líbia, as forças francesas e zairenses intervieram para defender Habré, empurrando as forças rebeldes e da Líbia ao norte do paralelo 16. Em setembro de 1984, os governos francês e líbio anunciaram um acordo para a retirada mútua de suas forças do Chade. No final do ano, todas as tropas francesas e zairenses foram retiradas. A Líbia não honrou o acordo de retirada e suas forças continuaram a ocupar o terço norte do Chade.

Grupos de comandos rebeldes (Codos) no sul do Chade foram desfeitos por massacres do governo em 1984. Em 1985, Habré se reconciliou brevemente com alguns de seus oponentes, incluindo a Frente Democrática do Chade (FDT) e o Comitê de Ação Coordenadora do Conselho Revolucionário Democrático. Goukouni também começou a se reunir em direção a Habré e, com seu apoio, Habré expulsou com sucesso as forças líbias da maior parte do território chadiano. Um cessar-fogo entre o Chade e a Líbia durou de 1987 a 1988, e as negociações ao longo dos anos seguintes levaram à decisão do Tribunal Internacional de Justiça de 1994, concedendo ao Chade a soberania sobre a faixa de Aouzou, encerrando efetivamente a ocupação líbia.

Rise to power Edit

No entanto, a rivalidade entre os grupos Hadjerai, Zaghawa e Gorane dentro do governo cresceu no final dos anos 1980. Em abril de 1989, Idriss Déby, um dos principais generais de Habré e um Zaghawa, desertou e fugiu para Darfur no Sudão, de onde montou uma série de ataques apoiados por Zaghawa contra Habré (um Gorane). Em dezembro de 1990, com a assistência da Líbia e sem oposição das tropas francesas estacionadas no Chade, as forças de Déby marcharam com sucesso sobre N’Djamena. Após 3 meses de governo provisório, o Movimento de Salvação Patriótica de Déby (MPS) aprovou uma carta nacional em 28 de fevereiro de 1991, com Déby como presidente.

Durante os dois anos seguintes, Déby enfrentou pelo menos duas tentativas de golpe. As forças do governo entraram em confronto violento com as forças rebeldes, incluindo o Movimento para a Democracia e o Desenvolvimento, MDD, Comitê Nacional de Renascimento para a Paz e a Democracia (CSNPD), a Frente Nacional do Chade (FNT) e as Forças Armadas do Oeste (FAO), perto do Lago Chade e no sul regiões do país. As anteriores demandas francesas para que o país realizasse uma Conferência Nacional resultaram na reunião de 750 delegados representando partidos políticos (que foram legalizados em 1992), o governo, sindicatos e o exército para discutir a criação de um regime democrático pluralista.

No entanto, a agitação continuou, provocada em parte pelos assassinatos em grande escala de civis no sul do Chade. O CSNPD, liderado por Kette Moise e outros grupos do sul, assinou um acordo de paz com as forças do governo em 1994, que mais tarde foi quebrado. Dois novos grupos, as Forças Armadas pela República Federal (FARF) liderados pelo ex-aliado Kette Laokein Barde e a Frente Democrática para a Renovação (FDR), e um MDD reformulado entraram em confronto com as forças governamentais de 1994 a 1995.

Eleições multipartidárias Editar

As negociações com oponentes políticos no início de 1996 não foram bem, mas Déby anunciou sua intenção de realizar eleições presidenciais em junho. Déby venceu as primeiras eleições presidenciais multipartidárias do país com o apoio no segundo turno do líder da oposição Kebzabo, derrotando o general Kamougue (líder do golpe de 1975 contra Tombalbaye). O partido MPS de Déby ganhou 63 dos 125 assentos nas eleições legislativas de janeiro de 1997. Os observadores internacionais notaram várias irregularidades graves nos procedimentos das eleições presidenciais e legislativas.

Em meados de 1997, o governo assinou acordos de paz com as FARF e a liderança do MDD e conseguiu isolar os grupos de suas bases de retaguarda na República Centro-Africana e nos Camarões. Acordos também foram firmados com rebeldes da Frente Nacional do Chade (FNT) e do Movimento pela Justiça Social e Democracia em outubro de 1997. No entanto, a paz durou pouco, pois os rebeldes das FARF entraram em confronto com soldados do governo, finalmente se rendendo às forças do governo em maio de 1998 Barde foi morto no conflito, assim como centenas de outros sulistas, a maioria civis.

Desde outubro de 1998, os rebeldes do Movimento Chadiano pela Justiça e Democracia (MDJT), liderados por Youssuf Togoimi até sua morte em setembro de 2002, têm lutado com as tropas do governo na região de Tibesti, resultando em centenas de vítimas civis, governamentais e rebeldes, mas pouco terreno ganho ou perdido. Nenhuma oposição armada ativa surgiu em outras partes do Chade, embora Kette Moise, após cargos importantes no Ministério do Interior, tenha montado uma operação local de pequena escala perto de Moundou que foi rápida e violentamente reprimida pelas forças governamentais no final de 2000.

Déby, em meados da década de 1990, restaurou gradualmente as funções básicas do governo e firmou acordos com o Banco Mundial e o FMI para realizar reformas econômicas substanciais. A exploração de petróleo na região sul de Doba começou em junho de 2000, com a aprovação do Conselho do Banco Mundial para financiar uma pequena parte de um projeto, o Chade-Camarões Petroleum Development Project, destinado ao transporte de petróleo do Chade através de um oleoduto enterrado de 1000 km através dos Camarões para o Golfo da Guiné. O projeto estabeleceu mecanismos únicos para a colaboração do Banco Mundial, do setor privado, do governo e da sociedade civil para garantir que as receitas futuras do petróleo beneficiem as populações locais e resultem na redução da pobreza. O sucesso do projeto dependeu de múltiplos esforços de monitoramento [8] para garantir que todas as partes cumprissem seus compromissos. Esses mecanismos "únicos" de monitoramento e gestão de receitas enfrentaram críticas intensas desde o início. [9] O alívio da dívida foi concedido ao Chade em maio de 2001.

Déby obteve uma vitória falha de 63% no primeiro turno nas eleições presidenciais de maio de 2001, depois que as eleições legislativas foram adiadas até a primavera de 2002. Tendo acusado o governo de fraude, seis líderes da oposição foram presos (duas vezes) e um ativista do partido da oposição foi morto após o anúncio de resultados eleitorais. No entanto, apesar das alegações de corrupção governamental, o favoritismo de Zaghawas e os abusos por parte das forças de segurança, os apelos do partido da oposição e do sindicato para a realização de greves gerais e manifestações mais ativas contra o governo não tiveram sucesso. Apesar do movimento em direção à reforma democrática, o poder continua nas mãos de uma oligarquia étnica do norte.

Em 2003, o Chade começou a receber refugiados da região de Darfur, no oeste do Sudão. Mais de 200.000 refugiados fugiram dos combates entre dois grupos rebeldes e milícias apoiadas pelo governo, conhecidas como Janjaweed. Uma série de incidentes de fronteira levaram à Guerra do Chade-Sudanês.

Produção de petróleo e melhoria militar Editar

O Chade tornou-se produtor de petróleo em 2003. Para evitar a maldição dos recursos e a corrupção, elaboraram-se planos patrocinados pelo Banco Mundial. Este plano garantiu a transparência nos pagamentos, bem como que 80% do dinheiro das exportações de petróleo seriam gastos em cinco setores prioritários de desenvolvimento, sendo os dois mais importantes: educação e saúde. No entanto, o dinheiro começou a ser desviado para os militares antes mesmo do início da guerra civil. Em 2006, quando a guerra civil se intensificou, o Chade abandonou os planos econômicos anteriores patrocinados pelo Banco Mundial e acrescentou a "segurança nacional" como setor de desenvolvimento prioritário. O dinheiro desse setor foi usado para melhorar as forças armadas. Durante a guerra civil, mais de 600 milhões de dólares foram usados ​​para comprar caças, helicópteros de ataque e veículos blindados.

O Chade ganhou entre 10 e 11 bilhões de dólares com a produção de petróleo e estima-se que 4 bilhões de dólares foram investidos no exército. [10]

Guerra no Oriente Editar

A guerra começou em 23 de dezembro de 2005, quando o governo do Chade declarou estado de guerra com o Sudão e convocou os cidadãos do Chade a se mobilizarem contra o "inimigo comum", [11] que o governo chadiano vê como a manifestação pela Militantes da Democracia e Liberdade (RDL), rebeldes do Chade, apoiados pelo governo sudanês, e milicianos sudaneses. Militantes atacaram vilas e cidades no leste do Chade, roubando gado, assassinando cidadãos e incendiando casas. Mais de 200.000 refugiados da região de Darfur, no noroeste do Sudão, atualmente pedem asilo no leste do Chade. O presidente chadiano Idriss Déby acusa o presidente sudanês Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir de tentar "desestabilizar nosso país, levar nosso povo à miséria, criar desordem e exportar a guerra de Darfur para o Chade".

Um ataque à cidade chadiana de Adre, perto da fronteira com o Sudão, causou a morte de cem rebeldes, como relataram todas as fontes de notícias, exceto a CNN, ou de trezentos rebeldes. O governo sudanês foi responsabilizado pelo ataque, que foi o segundo na região em três dias, [12] mas o porta-voz do Ministério das Relações Exteriores do Sudão, Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim, nega qualquer envolvimento sudanês, "Não somos a favor de qualquer escalada com o Chade. Tecnicamente, negamos envolvimento nos assuntos internos do Chade. " Este ataque foi a gota d'água que levou à declaração de guerra do Chade e ao alegado deslocamento da força aérea do Chade para o espaço aéreo sudanês, o que o governo do Chade nega. [13]

Um ataque a N'Djamena foi derrotado em 13 de abril de 2006 na Batalha de N'Djamena. O presidente na rádio nacional afirmou que a situação estava sob controle, mas residentes, diplomatas e jornalistas teriam ouvido tiros de armas de fogo.

Em 25 de novembro de 2006, os rebeldes capturaram a cidade oriental de Abeche, capital da região de Ouaddaï e centro de ajuda humanitária à região de Darfur, no Sudão. No mesmo dia, um grupo rebelde separado Rally of Democratic Forces capturou Biltine. Em 26 de novembro de 2006, o governo do Chade afirmou ter recapturado ambas as cidades, embora os rebeldes ainda reivindicassem o controle de Biltine. Prédios do governo e escritórios de ajuda humanitária em Abeche foram saqueados. O governo do Chade negou um aviso emitido pela Embaixada da França em N'Djamena de que um grupo de rebeldes estava passando pela Prefeitura de Batha, no centro do Chade. Chade insiste que ambos os grupos rebeldes são apoiados pelo governo sudanês. [14]

Escândalo de orfanato internacional Editar

Quase 100 crianças no centro de um escândalo internacional que as deixou presas em um orfanato no remoto leste do Chade voltaram para casa depois de quase cinco meses em 14 de março de 2008. As 97 crianças foram retiradas de suas casas em outubro de 2007 por uma instituição de caridade francesa então obscura , Arca de Zoé, que afirmava que eles eram órfãos da região de Darfur, devastada pela guerra no Sudão. [15]

Ataque rebelde em Ndjamena Editar

Na sexta-feira, 1º de fevereiro de 2008, rebeldes, uma aliança de oposição dos líderes Mahamat Nouri, um ex-ministro da Defesa, e Timane Erdimi, um sobrinho de Idriss Déby que era seu chefe de gabinete, atacaram a capital chadiana de Ndjamena - até mesmo em torno do Presidencial Palácio. Mas Idris Deby com as tropas do governo revidou. As forças francesas voaram com munição para as tropas do governo chadiano, mas não participaram ativamente da luta. A ONU disse que até 20.000 pessoas deixaram a região, refugiando-se nos vizinhos Camarões e Nigéria. Centenas de pessoas foram mortas, a maioria civis. Os rebeldes acusam Deby de corrupção e desvio de milhões na receita do petróleo. Embora muitos chadianos possam compartilhar dessa avaliação, o levante parece ser uma luta pelo poder dentro da elite que há muito controla o Chade. O governo francês acredita que a oposição se reagrupou a leste da capital. Déby culpou o Sudão pela atual agitação no Chade. [16]

Intervencionismo regional Editar

Durante a era Déby, o Chade interveio em conflitos no Mali, República Centro-Africana, Níger e Nigéria. [ citação necessária ]

Em 2013, o Chade enviou 2.000 homens de seu exército para ajudar a França na Operação Serval durante a Guerra do Mali. Mais tarde, no mesmo ano, o Chade enviou 850 soldados à República Centro-Africana para ajudar na operação de manutenção da paz MISCA. Essas tropas retiraram-se em abril de 2014 após alegações de violações dos direitos humanos. [10]

Durante a insurgência do Boko Haram, Chade várias vezes enviou tropas para ajudar na luta contra o Boko Haram no Níger e na Nigéria.

Em agosto de 2018, combatentes rebeldes do Conselho do Comando Militar para a Salvação da República (CCMSR) atacaram as forças governamentais no norte do Chade. O Chade sofreu ameaças de jihadistas que fugiam do conflito na Líbia. Chade foi um aliado do Ocidente na luta contra os militantes islâmicos na África Ocidental. [17]

Em janeiro de 2019, após 47 anos, o Chade restaurou as relações diplomáticas com Israel. Foi anunciado durante uma visita a N’Djamena pelo primeiro-ministro israelense Benjamin Netanyahu [18]

Em abril de 2021, o exército do Chade anunciou que o presidente Idriss Déby havia morrido devido aos ferimentos após confrontos com rebeldes no norte do país. Idriss Deby governou o país por mais de 30 anos desde 1990. Também foi anunciado que um conselho militar liderado pelo filho de Déby, Mahamat Idriss Déby, um general quatro estrelas de 37 anos, governará pelos próximos 18 meses. [19] [20]


Política

Alauma II, atual Mai (rei) de Bornu

A política de Bornu desenvolve-se no quadro de uma monarquia democrática unitária, parlamentar e representativa. O atual monarca, Alauma II, é o chefe de estado do país.

O parlamento unicameral, denominado Assembleia de Bornu, é responsável por aprovar leis, aprovar os orçamentos do estado e exercer o controle do governo executivo por meio de seu representante eleito, o Primeiro-Ministro - atualmente Simplice Sarandji.


7. Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Mushashi é, sem dúvida, o melhor espadachim que já existiu. O que Melankomas fez com punhos, Musashi fez com espadas. Throughout his life he was never once defeated in combat. It got to the point where Miyamoto was so good at giving people katana enemas that he just up and stopped using swords altogether, though he didn’t stop sword fighting.

For the rest of his life Musashi, accepted (and roundly defeated) all challenges using a simple wooden sword. Basically, he was like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden when controlled by someone really awesome. Musashi split open more heads than a thousand B-movie gorefests, and he did it all while being a travelling warrior poet. That’s just straight-up pimping.


When the Zaghawa (people of Kanem) arrived in the area around Lake Chad, they found independent walled-cities states from the Sao civilization, a civilization which had flourished around the 6th century, with its center around the Chari river, south of Lake Chad. The Zaghawa adopted some of the Sao customs, but fight among the two lasted from the 7th century until the 16th. The conquest of Kanem by the Zaghawa was done under the Duguwa dynasty which was started by King Sef (also known as Saif… some people eager to change African history state that the Zaghawa were from Yemen… but we all know that they were local people) about 700 CE . The dynasty, Sayfawa or Sefuwa, is named for King Dugu , one of Sef’s sons, who was ruling about 785 CE . Abandoning their nomadic lifestyle, the Zaghawa established a capital at N’Jimi (meaning “south” — the location of this town is still unknown, but it is believed to be around Lake Fitri). Under the rule of Dugu, Kanem expanded to become an empire. The Zaghawa kings, called maï , were regarded as divine and belonged to a ruling establishment known as the Magumi . They were recognized for a great amount of horses. Kanem’s expansion peaked during the reign of Maï Dunama Dabbalemi ( ca. 1221-59 ) and extended northward into the Fezzan region (Libya), westward into Kano (Nigeria), eastward to Ouaddaï (or Wadai), and southward into the Adamawa grasslands (Cameroon). They converted to islam around the 11th century CE.

Group of Kanem-Bu warriors in the 1800s

By the end of the 14th century, internal struggles and external attacks had torn Kanem apart. Between 1376 and 1400 , six Maïs reigned, but were killed by foreign invaders. Finally, around 1396 the Bulala invaders forced the once strong Sayfawa dynasty to abandon Njimi and move to Bornu on the western edge of Lake Chad. Around 1472 , Maï Ali Dunamami fortified the Bornu state, and established the capital at Ngazargamu, which had more fertile lands. Over time the inter-marriage between the Kanembu and the Borno people created a new people, the Kanembu, and a language called Kanuri .

The Kanem-Bornu empire peaked during the reign of Maï Idris Alooma (ca. 1571 – 1603 ) who is remembered for his great military and diplomatic skills. His main adversaries were the Hausa to the west, the Tuareg and Toubou to the north, and the Bulala to the east. One epic poem tells of his victories in 330 wars , and over 1,000 battles . He was a true military genius, and some of his innovations included the use of fixed military camps (with walls), permanent sieges, and “scorched earth” tactics, armored horses and riders, the use of Berber camels, of skilled Kotoko boatmen, and of iron-helmeted musketeers trained by Turkish military advisers. He had very strong diplomatic ties with Tripoli, Egypt, and the Ottoman empire, which at some point sent a 200-member ambassadorial party across the desert to Alooma’s court in Ngazargamu. The state revenues came from tribute from vassal states, trans-saharan trade route, and slave trade. Many products such as cotton, natron (sodium carbonate), kola nuts, ivory, ostrich feathers, perfume, was, and hides were exported north via the Sahara desert.

Map of the Kanem and Kanem-Bornu empires

By the end of the 17th century, the empire started declining, and by the 18th century, it only extended westward into the land of the Hausa. By the early 19th century, the declining empire could not sustain the advance from the fulani warriors of Usman Dan Fodio who proclaimed the jihad war against the non-muslims.


Idris Alooma: Warrior King of the Bornu Empire

Today, I will be talking about Idris Alooma (also Idris Alaoma , or Idris Alauma ), the only Bornu King whose name has survived the test of time. This article is long overdue, as it focuses on the Bornu and Kanem-Bornu empires.

Idris Alooma’s reign belonged to the great Sayfawa or Sefuwa dynasty which ruled the Bornu empire from the 16th and 17th centuries. De acordo com Diwan al-salatin Bornu , Idris Alaoma was the 54th King of the Sefawa dynasty , and ruled the Kanem-Bornu empire located in modern-day Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. In many works, he is known by his mother’s name, Idris Amsami , i.e. Idris, son of Amsa . O nome Alooma is a posthumous qualificative, named after a place, Alo ou Alao , where he was buried. He was crowned king at the age of 25-26 . De acordo com Diwan , he ruled from 1564 to 1596 . He died during a battle in the Baguirmi where he was mortally wounded he was later buried in Lake Alo , south of the actual Maiduguri, thus the name Alooma .

Group of Kanem-Bu warriors in the 1800s

Idris was an outstanding statesman, and under his rule, the Kanem-Bornu touched the zenith of its power. He is remembered for his military skills, administrative reforms and Islamic piety. His feats are mainly known through his chronicler Ahmad bin Fartuwa . During his reign, Idris avoided the capital Ngazargamu, preferring to set his palace 5 km away, near the Yo river ( Komadugu Yobe ), in a place named Gambaru . The walls of the city were red , leading to a new architecture using red bricks characteristic of his reign. To this day, some murals still exist in Gambaru and are over 3m tall . These are vestiges of a flourishing empire. Idris Alooma was known by the Kanuri title of Mai for king.

Kanem-Bornu court in the 1700s

His main adversaries were the Hausa to the west, the Tuareg and Toubou to the north, the Bulala to the east, and the Sao who were strongly implanted in the Bornu region (and will be decimated by Alooma’s military campaigns). One epic poem extols his victories in 330 wars and more than 1,000 battles . His innovations included the employment of fixed military camps with walls, permanent sieges and scorched earth tactics where soldiers burned everything in their path, armored horses and riders as well as the use of Berber camels, Kotoko boatmen, and iron-helmeted musketeers trained by Ottoman military advisers. His active diplomacy featured relations with Tripoli, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire, which sent a 200-member ambassadorial party across the desert to Alooma’s court at Ngazargamu. Alooma also signed what was probably the first written treaty or ceasefire in Chadian history.

Alooma introduced a number of legal and administrative reforms based on his religious beliefs and Islamic law. He sponsored the construction of numerous mosques and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he arranged for the establishment of a hostel to be used by pilgrims from his empire. As with other dynamic politicians, Alooma’s reformist goals led him to seek loyal and competent advisers and allies, and he frequently relied on eunuchs and slaves who had been educated in noble homes. Alooma regularly sought advice from a council composed of heads of the most important clans. He required major political figures to live at the court, and he reinforced political alliances through appropriate marriages (Alooma himself was the son of a Kanuri father and a Bulala mother).

Map of the Kanem and Kanem-Bornu empires

Kanem-Bornu under Alooma was strong and wealthy. Government revenue came from tribute (or booty if the recalcitrant people had to be conquered) and duties on and participation in trade. His kingdom was central to one of the most convenient routes across the Sahara desert. Many products were sent north, including natron (sodium carbonate), cotton, kola nuts, ivory, ostrich feathers, perfume, wax, and hides, but the most profitable trade was in slaves. Imports included salt, horses, silk, glass, muskets, and copper.


10 of the Greatest Ancient Warrior Cultures You Should Know About

Ilustração de Angus McBride.

Posted By: Dattatreya Mandal September 8, 2016

The episodes of war and human conflicts are persistent when it comes to the rich tapestry of history. And in such a vast ambit of wanton destruction and death, there have been a few civilizations, tribes and factions that had accepted warfare as an intrinsic part of their culture. So without further ado, let us take a gander at ten of the incredible ancient warrior cultures that pushed forth the ‘art of war’ (or rather the art of dealing with war) as an extension of their social system.

Note 1 – In this list, we are NOT implying the ten greatest ancient warrior cultures, but rather implying ten OF THE greatest ancient warrior cultures (before Common Era). Preference for choosing the said cultures is partly based on their variant geographical power-centers.

Note 2 – The list doesn’t reflect the cultures’ successes in battles or wars, but it pertains to how they perceived the scope of war or conflict (from a social perspective).

1) The Akkadian Warrior (circa 24th century – 22nd century BC) –

Akkadian archer wielding a composite bow, while being protected by an infantryman.

Circa 2334 BC, the Akkadians carved up the first known all-Mesopotamian empire, thereby momentously uniting the speakers of both Sumerian and Akkadian. In fact, by the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, the Akkadians managed to create a culturally syncretic scope (that encompassed a melting pot of different ethnicity and city-states), which ultimately paved the way for the emergence of Akkadian as the língua franca of Mesopotamia for many centuries to come. However, beyond just cultural affiliations with the advanced Sumerians, the Akkadians also adopted (and loaned) many of the military systems and doctrines of their Mesopotamian brethren.

One example of such ‘transmission’ of military ideas relates to how the Akkadians probably fought in a phalanx-like formation long before the Greeks (as did the soldiers of the Sumerian city-state of Lagash). This tactic in itself alludes to how the soldiers of Akkad must have been disciplined and trained, thus hinting at their professional status, as opposed to most ancient armies. Uns poucos steles also showcase how the Akkadians (and their preceding Sumerians) made use of the armored cloak – a panoply that probably consisted of a leather skin (or cloth) reinforced with metal discs and helmets for further protection in brutal melee combats.

But the practical superiority of the Akkadian (and Sumerian) warrior culture must have related to the use of wheels – an invention that not only allowed for more complex logistical support but also heralded the development of chariots, the ponderous heavy shock weapons of the Bronze Age. Moreover, Sargon of Akkad, possibly the first known military dictator of an empire, implemented the use of composite bows in his otherwise lightly-armed citizen army. Historically, the effective range and punch of such powerful bows (in the hands of skilled archers) surely must have given the Akkadians the military advantage over their Sumerian neighbors – many of whom still relied on javelins.

2) The Hittite Warrior (1600 BC – 1178 BC) –

The Hittite chariots (on right) clashing with the Egyptians at the Battle of Kadesh (circa 1274 BC). Illustration by Adam Cook.

Almost 3,700 years ago, a power rose in central Anatolia thus effectively making its presence felt in the ancient Near-Eastern world. Historians term the realm as the Kingdom of Hatti, and its inhabitants are known as the Hittites. By late 14th century BC, the Hittites probably controlled the most powerful empire of the Bronze Age, with their dominions stretching all the way across Anatolia to touch the Aegean Sea, while being complemented on the east with their expansions into Syria (and finally even Mesopotamia) with the defeat of their longtime rivals, the Mitanni.

Interestingly enough, the martial culture of the Hittites was often represented by their kings who were also the commanders-in-chief of their armies. In essence, kingship was intrinsically tied to the display of martial prowess and commanding capability on the battlefields and as such the kings were expected to prove themselves in battles.

Because of such an ingrained cultural aspect, the future candidates (for kingship and other elite political roles) were often trained in warfare skills from their childhood. To that end, much like warlords, many of the Hittite kings led their troops in the thick of the battle and possibly even engaged in melee combat with the enemy. However, in most practical scenarios, the ruler probably donned his role as a commander and directed his troops from protected vantage points.

As for the composition of their armies, most of the Hittite infantrymen were lightly armed with spears and rudimentary shields. But much like other contemporary powers (of both Near East and the Mediterranean) the elite section of the Hittite army was composed of chariots. In that regard, by the time of the momentous Battle of Kadesh (circa 1274 BC), the Hittites probably ‘modified’ their chariot-based tactics by placing three men on the vehicle (as opposed to two men).

And while this made the chariot more ponderous, it was compensated by the extra protection offered by a shield-bearer who guarded the other two armed with throwing spears and bow-and-arrows. This technique, though risky, might have been instrumental in shattering the first division of their Egyptian foes, thus providing the Hittites with the initiative in the encounter.

3) The Spartan Warrior (circa 9th century BC – 192 BC) –

According to Xenophon, the crimson robes and bronze shields carried by the Spartans were mandated by their legendary lawgiver Lycurgus.

An ancient warrior culture that has often been exaggerated in our popular media, the Spartans nevertheless espoused their brand of rigorous military institutions. In fact, the Spartans (or Lakedaimonians) maintained the only full-time army in all of ancient Greece, while their social structures were geared towards producing hardy soldiers from ordinary citizens. One prime example of such a military-oriented scope obviously pertains to the agoge – the Spartan regimen for boys that combined both education and military training into one exacting package.

o agoge was mandated for all male Spartans from the age of 6 or 7 when the child grew up to be a boy (paidon) This meant leaving his own house and parents behind and relocating to the barrack to live with other boys. Interestingly, one of the very first things that the boy learned in his new quarters was the pyrriche, a sort of dance that also involved the carrying of arms. This was practiced so as to make the Spartan boy nimble-footed even when maneuvering heavy weapons. Along with such physical moves, the boy was also taught exercises in music, the war songs of Tyrtaios, and the ability to read and write.

By the time, the boy grew up to be 12, he was known as the meirakion or youth. Suffice it to say, the rigorous scope was notched up a level with the physical exercises increased in a day. The youth also had to cut his hair short and walk barefooted, while most of his clothes were taken away from him. The Spartans believed that such uncompromising measures made the pre-teen boy tough while enhancing his endurance levels for all climates (in fact, the only bed he was allowed to sleep in the winter was made of reeds that had been plucked personally by the candidate from the River Eurotas valley).

Added to this stringent scope, the youth was intentionally fed with less than adequate food so as to stoke his hunger pangs. This encouraged the youth to sometimes steal food and on being caught, he was punished – not for stealing the food, but for getting caught. And finally, on turning eighteen, he was considered as an adult and a soldier of the Spartan society but was still prohibited from entering a marketplace to talk with his fellow adults till the age of 30. In consideration of all these strict rules, Plutarch once observed that the only rest that a Spartan got from training for war was during the actual war.

4) The Assyrian Warrior (Neo-Assyrian Empire 900 BC – 612 BC) –

The Assyrians were known for using imposing siege weapons and towers. Ilustração de Angus McBride.

In a conventional sense, when we talk about Assyria, our notions pertain mostly to what is known as the Neo-Assyrian Empire (or the Late Empire) that ruled the largest empire of the world up till that time, roughly existing from a period of 900-612 BC. To that end, many historians perceive Assyria to be among the first ‘superpowers’ of the Ancient World. But as the dictum suggests – ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’.

In that regard, Assyria’s rise to power was ironically fueled by the land’s initial vulnerability, since it was beset on all sides by enemies including nomadic tribes, hill folks, and even proximate competing powers. And to protect their rich and plump grain-lands, the Assyrians systematically devised an effective and well organized military system (from circa 15th century BC) that could cope with the constant state of aggression, conflicts, and raids (much like the Romans).

Over time, the reactionary measures translated into an incredibly powerful military system that was inherently tied to the economic well-being of the state. And the once-defenders now turned into aggressors. So in a sense, while the Assyrians formulated their ‘attack is the best defense’ strategies, the proximate states became more war-like, thus adding to the list of enemies for the Assyrians to conquer. Consequently, when the Assyrians went on a war footing, their military was able to absorb more ideas from foreign powers, which led to an ambit of evolution and flexibility (again much like the later Romans). These tendencies of flexibility, discipline and incredible fighting skills (that ranged from chariots, archers to siege tactics) became the hallmark of the Assyrian warrior culture that triumphed over most of the powerful Mesopotamian kingdoms in Asia by 8th century BC.

This is what historian Simon Anglim had to say about the ancient warrior culture of the Assyrians –

…regime supported by a magnificent and successful war machine. As with the German army of World War II, the Assyrian army was the most technologically and doctrinally advanced of its day and was a model for others for generations afterwards. The Assyrians were the first to make extensive use of iron weaponry [and] not only were iron weapons superior to bronze, but could be mass-produced, allowing the equipping of very large armies indeed.

5) The Scythian Warrior (circa 7th century – 3rd century BC) –

The Scythians modified some elements of the conventional corselet by arranging the metal (or leather) bits in a ‘fish scale’ like pattern. Ilustração de Angus McBride.

When it comes to the popular history of nomadic groups, tribes (and super-tribes) like Huns and Mongols have had their fair share of coverage in various mediums, ranging from literary sources to even movies. However, hundreds of years before the emergence of mixed-Huns, Turkic and Mongolic groups, the Eurasian steppes were dominated by an ancient Iranic people of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists.

These ‘horse lords’ dwelt on a wide swathe of the landmass known as Scythia since antiquity. Epitomizing the very dynamic scope of the nomadic lifestyle – covering an impressive spectrum from workmanship to warfare, they were thus known as the Scythians, the master horsemen, and archers of Iron Age.

And while the ‘Scythian Age’ only corresponded to the period between 7th century to 3rd century BC, the remarkable impression left behind by these warrior people was evident from the historic designation of (most of) Eurasian steppes as Scythia (or greater Scythia) even thousands years after the rise and decline of the nomadic group. Now a part of this legacy had to do with the incredible military campaigns conducted by the Scythians from the very beginning of their ‘brush’ with the global stage.

In fact, even during their earlier ascendancy, the Scythian warrior society was audacious enough to go into war with the sole superpower of the Mesopotamian region – Assyria. Now while Assyrian sources mostly keep mum about some of the presumed Scythian victories over them, it is known that one particular Assyrian monarch Esarhaddon was so desperate to secure peace with these Eurasian nomads that he even offered his daughter in marriage to the Scythian king Partatua. As for the effect of Scythian invasions on the realms of the Middle East, a biblical prophet summed up the baleful nature of the ferocious ‘horse lords’ from the north –

They are always courageous, and their quivers are like open grave. They will eat your harvest and bread, they will eat your sons and daughters, they will eat your sheep and oxen, they will eat your grapes and figs.

Oddly enough, while the socio-political effects of the Scythian incursions in the Middle East can be comprehended to some degree from contemporary (or near-contemporary) sources, historians are still mystified by the logistical and organizational capacity of the military of these nomads from the distant steppes. But it can be hypothesized that like most nomadic societies, the majority of the adult population was liable for military service (including some of the younger women or Amazons). Now the tactical advantage of such a scope translated to how the bulk of the early Scythians had mounted warriors – mostly lightly armored with leather jackets and rudimentary headgear.

Carrying weapons such as arrows, javelins, and even darts, the hardiness, mobility and unorthodox fighting methods espoused by these throngs of horsemen seemingly countered the more ‘sedentary’ battle tactics of the wealthy Mesopotamian civilizations. Furthermore, the light troops were backed up by a core force of heavily-armored shock cavalry that was usually commanded by the local princes – and they took to the battlefield for the killing blow after the perplexed enemy was both ‘softened’ by the projectiles and harassed by zig-zag maneuvers.

6) The Celtic Warrior (circa 6th century BC – mid 1st millennium AD) –

Celts were often lightly armored. Ilustração de Angus McBride.

As opposed to the more specific cultures mentioned in this list, the Celts rather represent various population groups that lived in different parts of Europe (and even Asia and Africa) after the late Bronze Age. Now in spite of their ambit of diverse tribes, the Celts spoke pretty much the same language, while also showcasing their definitive art styles and military tendencies for the most part of their history. Pertaining to the latter scope, the ancient Celtic warrior had the reputation of fearlessness and ferocity – qualities that were conducive to many close-combat scenarios. Suffice it to say, the Celts served as mercenaries in various parts of the known world, ranging from colonies in Anatolia to the service of the Ptolemaic ‘Pharaohs’ of Egypt.

As for the history of the Celtic armies, they made their presence felt in the Mediterranean theater when the Gauls led by their king Bran (Brennus), sacked Rome in 390 BC. The Celts even managed to plunder the sacred site of Delphi in Greece in 290 BC, on their way to Asia Minor. Mirroring the sense of dread, this is what Polybius had to say about the fierce Celtic warriors, circa 2nd century BC –

The Romans…were terrified by the fine order of the Celtic host, and the dreadful din, for there were innumerable horn -blowers and trumpeters, and…the whole army were shouting their war-cries…Very terrifying too were the appearance and the gestures of the naked warriors in front, all in the prime of life and finely built men, and all in the leading companies richly adorned with gold torcs and armlets.

Interestingly enough, while the popular notion of a Celtic warrior is often limited to the physically imposing infantryman brandishing his shield and sword, a few ancient accounts also talk about other types of Celtic soldiers and formations. For example, Julius Caesar described how some of his Gaulish foes used light chariots with impressive maneuvering skills on the battlefield. And even more than two centuries before Caesar’s time, Hannibal made use of heavy Celtic cavalrymen who were instrumental in dismantling their Roman counterparts in the Battle of Cannae.

7) The Dacian Warrior (513 BC – first mentioned by Herodotus early 2nd century AD, Trajan’s war with Dacians) –

A Dacian (on the right) vs. a Roman. Credit: Jason Juta

Trajan engaged the war with hardened soldiers, who despised the Parthians, our enemy, and who didn’t care of their arrow blows, after the terrible wounds inflicted by the curved swords of the Dacians.

This was the rhetoric uttered by Marcus Cornelius Fronto (in Principia Historiae II), and the statement pretty much sums up the presumably devastating effect of the Dacian ‘specialty’ weapon of falx. An Indo-European people, related to the Thracians, the Dacians inhabited the regions of the Carpathian mountains (mostly encompassing modern-day Romania and Moldova).

Interestingly enough, from the cultural perspective, they were influenced by the urbanized Hellenic neighbors to their south, the Celtic invaders from their west and the nomadic Scythians from the Eurasian steppes – thus leading to a unique admixture of martial traditions that was pronounced in their warrior culture.

Now from the archaeological perspective, the skilled Getae-Dacian craftsmen showcased their penchant for furnishing iron weapons, as is evident from the profusion of iron reduction furnaces found across the ancient lands inhabited by the people, circa 300-200 BC. Intriguingly, beyond the weapons manufacturing scope of the Dacians, there was a social angle to the warrior society of these people, aptly represented by the aforementioned falx – a scythe-like weapon that curved ‘inwards’ sharply at the tip.

In that regard, these scythes, with their ability to puncture both helmets and shields, probably had their origins in rudimentary agricultural tools used by the farmers. So simply put, the dual nature of this weapon-type rather mirrors the dual role played by the ordinary folks of the Dacian society who frequently had to don the mantle of soldiers and protectors.

They were also complemented by the perceived upper-classes of the Dacians society – men who were allowed to wear caps and keep long beards. Dedicating most of their time in pursuit of martial activities, the Dacian elite provided the warriors who filled the role of tribal warlords, officers and even reputable divisions within the army (often wearing Sarmatian style scale mail and hardy Thracian helmets, while being equipped with the deadly falx and smaller sica) Moreover, there is also evidence of Dacian priests who used weapons like bows and spears in their rituals, thus suggesting how warfare was an intrinsic part of the Dacian culture.

8) The Roman Warrior (the ancient Roman Republic and Empire, 509 BC – 395 AD) –

Roman legionaries led by a centurion. Illustration by Peter Dennis. Credit: Warlord Games Ltd.

To talk about the ancient Romans in merely three paragraphs is indeed a fool’s errand. Nevertheless, as most history aficionados would know, the Romans in their greatest extent (circa 117 AD, the year of Emperor Trajan’s death) controlled the largest empire in the ancient world, stretching from Spain to Syria and Caucasus, and from North African coasts and Egypt to the northern confines of Britain. These conquests were all the more impressive considering Rome’s initial beginning (circa 9th-8th century BC) as a backwater region that was inhabited by cattle rustlers who made their camps and rudimentary dwellings among the hills and the swamplands.

Suffice it to say, the impressive conquests all over Europe, Asia and Africa were fueled by the ancient Roman warrior culture (and doctrine) that was based on sheer discipline and incredible organizational depth. This was complemented by the inherent Roman ability to adapt and learn from other military cultures.

Pertinent examples would include the initial Roman armies that were composed of ‘hoplites’ inspired by the Greeks of Magna Graecia. But over time they adopted maniples that were possibly influenced by other Italic people (and contemporary social conditions). Finally, this organizational scope gave way to legionaries, an ancient Roman equivalent of professional soldiery that was inspired by a mix of foreign influences, including that of Celts and Spaniards.

However, the greatest of Roman strengths probably pertained to their unflinching capacity to make ‘comebacks’ from balefully disastrous scenarios – because of a unique combination of (societal) logistics and warrior culture. A pertinent example relates to how the Battle of Cannae (a single encounter in 216 BC) possibly snatched away a significant chunk of the Roman male population. In terms of sheer numbers, the bloody day probably accounted for over 40,000 Roman deaths (the figure is put at 55,000 by Livy 70,000 by Polybius), which equated to about 80 percent of the Roman army fielded in the battle!

The male population of Rome in 216 BC is estimated to be around 400,000 and thus the Battle of Cannae possibly resulted in the deaths of around 1/10th – 1/20th of the Roman male population (considering there were also allied Italic casualties). So objectively, from the numerical context, the Romans lost anywhere between 5-10 percent of their male population in their bloodiest encounter for a single day. And yet they were ultimately victorious in the Second Punic War.

9) The Parthian Warrior (247 BC – 224 AD) –

Parthian cataphracts charging the Romans at the Battle of Carrhae (circa 53 BC).

The Parthians amalgamated the military tendencies of their nomadic brethren (like the Scythians) and the cultural legacy of the Achaemenid Persians. The result was a feudal society in the ancient times that was headed by powerful clans who maintained their political presence while granting autonomy to many urban and trading centers throughout the kingdom. As a consequence, the Parthian army was dominated by mounted warriors (an effect of their nomadic origins), with the core composed of the famed cataphracts e clibanarii – heavily armored horsemen mounted atop Nisean chargers. These chosen retinues of the nobles were often accompanied by a multitude of lightly-armed horse-archers.

At times, especially during periods of a protracted war with the Romans, the Parthians also fielded infantry – though they were usually of mixed variety, with preference given to the hardy hill-folks from northern Persia, who were often supplemented by the poorly armed urban militia.

In essence, the military of the Parthians mirrored the armies of Europe during the early middle-ages, where the military (and political) leadership was focused on heavily armed mounted warriors, while the rest of the army played a rather supporting role. And these feudal orientations actually allude to the warrior culture ingrained in Parthian military norms, where the ‘knightly’ armored horsemen epitomized the crème de la crème of the Persian society – a cultural legacy carried forth by the future Sassanians.

And since we brought up the conflict of the Parthians with the Romans, the Battle of Carrhae (53 BC) can be counted among the first instances when the Romans came across the might of heavy cavalry, which was certainly a departure from infantry-dominated European battlefields of the ancient era. In terms of figures, the Romans had seven legions along with seven thousand auxiliary forces and a thousand Gallic crack cavalrymen which came to around a total of 45,000 to 52,000 men. On the other hand, the Parthians had around a total of 12,000 soldiers with at least 9,000 of them being horse archers recruited from Saka and Yue-Chi people, and 1,000 being cataphracts (super-heavy cavalry).

The battle in itself proved the superiority in the mobility of the Parthian horsemen, as they unleashed a hail of arrows upon the constrained formations of the legionary forces. O final coup de grace was delivered by 1,000 tightly-packed cataphracts atop their mighty Nicean chargers – when they broke the ranks of the disarrayed Romans, who were already afflicted by the elusive horse archers of the steppes. Unsurprisingly, the unexpected defeat had long drawn repercussions, with the Romans (and later Eastern Romans) in time adopting many of the shock cavalry tactics of their eastern neighbors.

10) The Lusitanian Warrior (circa 2nd century BC) –

Paulus Orosius, the Gallaecian Catholic priest, called the Lusitanian hero Viriatus ‘Terror Romanorum’.

Unlike the other ancient warrior cultures mention in this list, the Lusitani (Lusitanians) preferred special tactics used during protracted conflicts, which entailed the very concept of ancient guerrilla warfare. Roughly occupying most of modern Portugal (south of Douro river) along with the central provinces of Spain, the Lusitani were a part of the Celt-Iberian group.

And quite oddly, unlike their Gallic neighbors or even kingdoms from across the Mediterranean Sea, the Lusitanian tribes were never warlike in the proper sense of the word. However, they did show their military acumen and even might, when provoked – as was the case during the Hispanic Wars and the campaigns of Lusitanian hero Viriatus against Rome. It is estimated that the Romans and their Italic allies lost around an astronomical 200,000 soldiers during the 20-year period of war between 153-133 BC!

And even beyond figures, it was the unique essence of unconventional warfare that really made the ancient Celt-Iberians stand out from their contemporaries. As Polybius had noted – the Hispanic Wars were different because of their unpredictability, with Lusitanians and other Celt-Iberians adopting the tactic of ‘consursare‘ (which is sometimes described as ‘lack of tactics’) that involved sudden advancements and confusing retreats in the heat of the battle. Their warrior society also followed a cult of the trim physique, with body slimness being rather accentuated by wearing wide yet tight belts around the waist!

Moreover, many of Lusitani young warriors were known to be the ‘desperados’ of ancient times because of their penchant for gathering riches through robberies. And herein lied their cultural ability to conduct armed encounters even during times of peace. As Greek historian Diodorus Siculus said –

There is a custom characteristic of the Iberians, but particularly of the Lusitans, that when they reach adulthood those men who stand out through their courage and daring provide themselves with weapons, and meet in the mountains. There they form large bands, to ride across Iberia gathering riches through robbery, and they do this with the most complete disdain towards all. For them the harshness of the mountains, and the hard life they lead there, are like their own home and there they look for refuge…

Referências de livros: The Spartan Army (By Nicholas Secunda) / The Ancient Assyrians (By Mark Healy) / The World of the Scythians (By Renate Rolle) / Cannae: Hannibal’s Greatest Victory (By Adrian Goldsworthy) / Rome and her Enemies (Editor Jane Penrose)

And in case we have not attributed or misattributed any image or artwork, please let us know via the ‘Contact Us’ link, provided both above the top bar and at the bottom bar of the page. To that end, given the vast ambit of the internet and with so many iterations of the said image (and artwork) in various channels, social media, and websites it sometimes becomes hard to track down the original artist/photographer/illustrator.


A Countdown Through History’s Most Elite and Deadly Warriors

The Janissaries were forced to swear allegiance to the Sultan and to live a celibate life. Wikimedia Commons.

6. The Janissaries were Europe&rsquos first standing army, hired by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to protect him and forced to live a life of sacrifice and celibacy

Up until the 14 th century, there were no real standing armies in Europe instead, men would just be called up to fight as and when a king or lord needed them. Once a war was over, the men returned to their normal life. The Janissaries changed all this. They were not only the first modern standing army in all of Europe, they were also some of the most-disciplined soldiers the world had ever seen. Attached to the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, they were subject to strict rules and regulations, making them reliable bodyguards and formidable opponents on the field of battle.

The Janissary unit was established towards the end of the 14 th century. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Murad I, ordered that a group of Christian men taken as prisoner of war be converted to Islam and then serve as his personal soldiers. He was so impressed with the results of his little project that he ordered that it be repeated. So, whenever they got the opportunity, troops of the Ottoman Empire would take young Christian boys, usually from the Balkans region, make them convert, and then train them as soldiers.

Following on from the reign of Murad I, the unit grew in size and in strength. The Janissaries became known as the Sultan&rsquos most reliable fighting unit. They were known for their bravery and their speed. In a battle or siege, they would wait for the frontline troops to pierce a hole in the enemy&rsquos defenses and then they would attack, swarming in and showing no mercy with their bows or muskets. Such a tactic was particularly effective during the siege of Constantinople in 1453, and it also enabled the Ottoman Empire to defeat the Egyptian Mamluks &ndash themselves an elite group of warriors &ndash in 1467.

To maintain their discipline, Janissaries were forbidden from taking romantic partners. They were forced to live a life of celibacy. Moreover, they were expected to devote their lives, and their deaths, to the Sultan himself. In return, they were granted elevated status in the Empire, along with good pay and other benefits. Despite the celibacy rule, many regular soldiers and then civilians wanted to be part of the unit. By 1826, Sultan Mahmud II, anxious that the corps had forgotten its original purpose, had it disbanded. To make sure it was finished for good, he had more than 6,000 Janissaries executed.


The transcendence of a military culture to a military ‘caste&rsquo is a very subtle transition, but if one needs a definition of a military caste to work with, then look no further than the Samurai. When observance of the rituals of military culture become interchangeable with the rituals of religion, and when military regalia and weaponry became an artistic statement in themselves, then that is a military caste &ndash and that remains very much the methodology of the Samurai.

Samurai, as just about everyone knows, originated in Japan, and today forms the bedrock of the nation&rsquos political and business elite. The origins of Samurai can be traced to the Japanese ‘Heian Period&rsquo, between 794 and 1185 CE, during which time the term simply described the private armies of wealthy landowners. The word ‘Samurai&rsquo translates roughly to ‘Those Who Serve&rsquo, and early Samurai were no more than a group of armed retainers with simple and violent tendencies.

As was the case with the Mamluk, however, it was not long before a kind of group cohesion began to develop, gradually elevating the Samurai towards something a bit more than the sum of its parts. By the 12th century, the power balance in Japan began to shift away from the imperial court towards the heads of dispersed families and clans, and this inevitably led to war. Between 1180 and 1185, what was known as the ‘Gempei War&rsquo was fought. All that we need to know about this is that it projected a particularly gifted Samurai warlord, Minamoto Yoshitsune, to political power.

Japan then effectively became an hereditary military dictatorship, under a system of government known as a ‘Shogun&rsquo. Under numerous Shogun dynasties, the institution of Samurai became a virtual knighthood of privileged elites, practising a stylized and heavily ritualized system of military and combat discipline. Into the equation, at about the same time, came Zen Buddhism, the essential ideological elements of which blended very well with Samurai. Austerity and simple ritual, along with a belief that salvation comes from within, quickly became the center of Samurai expression.

As its essential symbol, the Samurai sword gained great symbolic relevance, far beyond its utility as an implement of war. The honor of a Samurai resides in his sword, and the artistic accomplishment in the production of an individual sword is of no less importance.

From this higher form of martial expression came the code of ‘Bushido&rsquo. Bushido is the defining moral code of Samurai, and of the Shinto region. Shinto is a wholly Japanese religion emphasizing the veneration of nature, of ancestors and great historic heroes, and the divinity of the Emperor.

Samurai, therefore, morphed over centuries from a band of hired enforcers to a finely tuned military culture that still holds dear its treasured rituals and artefacts, and adheres religiously to tradition.


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