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Rodmar

Empires besieged: the Gupta Empire

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I'd just want to give you here a link to an old Indian martial art.

I think it could be used as a base to devise an Indian unit, in either Empire Besieged or 1000 A.D.

This thread could be then used to discuss the faction.

Beware, as it could be a-historical (the Gupta being a northern empire).

This is based on the mythological origin of all the far-eastern martial arts, as being related in Wikipaedia.

An Indian monk, Bodhidharma, came to the Shaolin temple in China by the turn of the 6th century A.D. He eventually developed a spiritual-martial art derived from a pre-existing Indian martial art (so it is valid for the 5th century and should be for some centuries before as well), his father being of the warrior cast. This martial art, Kalarippayatt(u), derived itself from three main influences/cultures:

  • the old Dravidian (relation to nature and animism)
  • the Buddhism (pacifism and energetic body)
  • the new Aryan (art/theory/holistic of the military supremacy)

Masters at arms (fencing masters?) (gurus) were doctors too and taught how to kill and how to heal.

In this old time, 14 weapons had to be taught but mastering one could take many years of course (at least: staff, hand, sword, knife, spear, flail, shield).

On the video links in English below, they tell about the history and the goals of this martial art.

So, the idea would be to have either a costly warrior-healer-leader (possibly with minor healing capacities), or a cheaper champion with some regeneration over time, both dealing multiple mêlée damage type (indeed, all the 3 damage types).

Really. Watch at the videos. I don't know whether they were armored or not, but surely, they could be the alter-ego of non mounted knights.

Nowadays, this art is still taught by dynasties of masters at arms in the Kerala state in the SW. THe number of weapons taught has decreased with time.

Here in English:

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Gupta military organization

The Military of the Gupta Empire
The stalemate was eventually broken by the Gupta Empire, although they never were able to take over the central Duncan Plateau, Southwest or Southern regions. Forming in the Northeast of India, the Gupta Empire (320 to 550 CE) is considered a golden age of Indian and Hindu history. This was a time when Indian culture flourished in all areas but like all empires it was made possible by a powerful military.

The military of the Gupta Empire remained based on the traditional four part armies of the past; however the chariot had been replaced by mounted cavalry by this time. They modeled the dress (trousers) and armor of their cavalry after the well clad and equipped Kushans. However, despite the use of horse archers by their enemies such as the Scythian, Parthian, and Hepthalite (White Huns or Huna) they never developed their own. The Gupta favored armored cavalry forces that attacked with lances or swords.

The Gupta military continued to rely heavily on infantry archers, which was an effective counter to mounted archers. One advancement the Gupta military made they made in archery was creating the steel bow; this weapon could match the power of the composite bow while not being subject to the problem of warping do to humidity. This incredibly powerful bow was capable of excellent range and could penetrate thick armor. However, steel bows would have only been used by elite or noble class warriors while common archers continued to use the highly regarded bamboo longbow. Iron shafts were substituted for the long bamboo cane arrows when armor penetration was needed, particularly against armored elephants and cavalry. Fire arrows also were employed by the Gupta, their long bamboo cane arrows being particularly well suited for use in these operations.

Gupta archers were protected by infantry units equipped with shields, javelins, and swords. They had no particular uniforms and dressed in accordance to their indigenous customs. Some warriors wore a type of tunic spotted with black aloe wood paste, which could be a type of tie-dye (or bandhni) that may have functioned as an early type of camouflage. Indian Gupta era infantry rarely wore pants, instead going into battle with bare legs. Skullcaps (more common) or thickly wrapped turbans were worn around the head to give some protection. Shields were generally curved or rectangular and featured intricate designs, sometimes decorated with a dragon’s head. The swords could be long swords, curved swords or daggers.

Elite troops and nobles would have had access to armor, such as chainmail, although the hot Indian climate can make heavy armor unbearable. Use of a breast plate and simple helmet would have been more common. They had access to better steel weapons as well, such as broadswords, axes and the Khanda, a uniquely Indian sword with a broad double blade and blunt point. The Khanda was a slashing weapon and considered very prestigious. Steal was developed in the Tamil region of Southern India between 300 BC and the start of the common era. Steal weapons were highly prized and traded throughout the Near east and ancient Europe. Indian steal was legendary for its tensile strength and knowledge of it fueled a quest for improved metallurgy across the Near east and Europe. By the time of the Gupta’s steel weapons would have been more come common in Indian warfare, but still only used by elite warriors.

War elephants continued to be used and pacaderm armor was advanced throughout this a period. Elephants remained a component of the combined arms tactics employed by Gupta generals. The use of war elephants coordinated with armored cavalry and infantry supported foot archers is likely the reason for the Gupta Empires success in war against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest. Another reason may have been a higher level of discipline compared to their tribal rivals. At its height the Gupta Empire had ¾ million soldiers.

The Gupta empire also maintained a navy to control water ways and their coasts. They also had a high level of understanding of siege warfare, employing catapults and other sophisticated war machines.

The Gupta Empire eventually collapsed in the face of a Hepthalite (Huna or White Huns) onslaught. This was another of the Asiatic hordes and was probably a confederation of nomadic tribes. Their origins are obscure, although their language is likely of East Iranian origin. They may have gone by the name of White Huns in order to associate themselves with the feared Huns of Turkic origins. The Hepthalite were initially defeated by Skandagupta which has been seen to mean that militarily the Indian armies could defeat them and that the fall of the Gupta Empire was due to internal dissolution. However, the collapse of the Roman and Chinese empires at the same time and to branches of the same invaders seems to point to something more.

Military costumes:

In previous centuries, except occasionally in the Satavahana age, there was no fixed uniform for the indigenous army. It was the Kushan army, well clad and equipped, that became the prototype on which the new military uniform of the Guptas was based. The king himself adopted the Kushan royal costume in formal occasions as status symbol. In early period the Gupta soldier had worn the antariya with his bare chest inadequately covered by the six jewel-striped channavira. This evolved into the more efficient foreign-influenced kancuka with trousers or short drawers, jhangia, and high boots, with a helmet or cap, and sometimes a fillet to tie back the hair.
Later the soldier’s uniform was either a short-or-long-sleeved knee-length tunic, kancuka, which had a centre front opening with V-shaped or round neck. The tunics were sometimes spotted with black aloe wood paste, which could be a type of tie-dye, or bandhni as it is known today. This may have been their version of the camouflage on military uniforms. It is possible that these tunics were worn over a brief antariyas, as the foot soldiers seldom wore trousers to cover their bare legs. Instead of knee-length kancuka a short tight-fitting blouse, cholaka, was sometimes worn with the short antariya. Around the waist, the kayabandh could be wound once or twice, holding a short dagger or curved sword. Shields were curved or rectangular, the former sometimes decorated with a dragon’s head. Some soldiers continued to wear only the short antariya, which was often striped, and with this indigenous garment the wheel-type disc earring were still worn. Head-dresses were normally a simple skull cap or just a scarf or cloth wound around the head like a turban.
The cavalry wore a more elaborate dress, closer in style to the original Parthian-Kushan dress being a mid-calf length quilted coat with long ruched sleeves. With this was worn a fillet or head band, or sometimes a white turban. Others in the cavalry wore more colorful and diverse garments. Mid-thigh length tunics of brocade or printed cloth (for example, yellow with blue dots, green with checks in which a flowered motif was set in each compartment, or yellow with a pattern of birds, rosettes, lozenge shapes mainly in blue, yellow ochre or white), trousers and an uttariya-a bossed flowers, completed their very colorful uniforms.
The elephant drivers were picturesque in their short-sleeved tight-fitting cholaka with decorative bands at the neck, hem, and sleeves. With this were worn short drawers of plain or gold-striped cloth and a skull cap or scarf on the head. The king himself, when attired for battle wore a short, tight –sleeved kancuka and an elaborate turban with serpent. His bodyguard carried curved swords like the Nepalese khukri and shields of rhinoceros hide in checked designs. His sword-bearer wore a patterned tight tunic with pointed ends reaching to the knees, and the kayabandh wound twice around the waist.
The leaders or chieftains of the various contingents in the army were decked in pearl-embroidered tunics made from the famous stavarkha cloth of Sassanian origin and chaddars of many colors, or in the complete Central Asian outfit consisting of a dark blue quilted tunics with a V-shaped neck and long full sleeves with soft dark trousers and a saffron turban of Indian origin instead of Central Asian conical cap.
Armour was worn as further protection. It was known as the cinacola, probably of Chinese origin. It was sleeveless covering the front and back, and was made of metal. A helmet for soldiers was known as sirastrajala. Bows were of two kinds: the simple one-piece bow and the classic double-curved bow probably made of three pieces.
Infantry and Guard
gupta_dynasty_foot_soldier.gifgupta_dynasty_guard_2.gif
Indian Khukri
post-15682-0-93078000-1392520443_thumb.j
Indian Shield
post-15682-0-18797700-1392520489_thumb.j
Edited by Mega Mania
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In contrast to the Mauryan Empire, the Gupta's introduced several military innovations to Indian warfare. Chief amongst these was the use of heavy cavalry archers and heavy sword cavalry. The heavy cavalry formed the core of the Gupta army and were supported by the traditional Indian army elements of elephants and light infantry.[91]

The use of horse archers in the Gupta period is evidenced on the coinage of Chandragupta II, Kumaragupta I and Prakasaditya (postulated to be Purugupta [92]) that depicts the emperors as horse-archers.[

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gupta_Empire#Military_organization

 

The main diferencce in militar mechanic.

 

 

alh6uxn.jpg

On 2/15/2014 at 4:09 PM, Mega Mania said:

The cavalry wore a more elaborate dress, closer in style to the original Parthian-Kushan dress being a mid-calf length quilted coat with long ruched sleeves. With this was worn a fillet or head band, or sometimes a white turban. Others in the cavalry wore more colorful and diverse garments. Mid-thigh length tunics of brocade or printed cloth (for example, yellow with blue dots, green with checks in which a flowered motif was set in each compartment, or yellow with a pattern of birds, rosettes, lozenge shapes mainly in blue, yellow ochre or white), trousers and an uttariya-a bossed flowers, completed their very colorful uniforms.

Spoiler

008.png

Less accurated from Berseker manga.

 

--

P1150096.JPG

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guptacoinarcher.jpg

Resultado de imagen para kushan archer

Depictions_of_indian_warrior._Gandhara_school_of_Art%2C_c._1st_Century.jpg

 

Imagen relacionada

M0dTBQ2.giflN5tmH4.gif

 

TIIGSTS.jpg

 

http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=military_ancient_indiabCDnjgrr.jpg

Kushans share many "props" with these late ancient Indians.

  • Scale armor(?)
  • Paddle Armor (?)
  • Pants(?)
  • Spoiler

    Resultado de imagen para kushan archer

     

The rest is just fine.

image.thumb.png.d706f31ada10a68b2b181a95e7319944.png

Quote

- Female Clothing:

+ Stitched garments became very popular in this period onh.
Stitched garments became the sign of royalty. But antariya,
uttariya, and other clothes still were in use.

 Gradually, the antariya worn by the women turned into gagri,
which has many swirling effects exalted by its many folds. That's
why, dancers used to wear it a lot.

Asitis evident from many Ajanta paintings, women used to wear
only the lower garment in those times, leaving the bust part bare.

Later on, various kinds of blouses (Cholis) evolve d.

+ Some of them had strings attached leaving the back open while
others was used to tie from front side, exposing the midriff.

e Calanika was an antariya which could be worn as kachcha and |
lehnga style together.

* Women sometimes wore antariya in saree style, throwing one end

- of it over the shoulder, but the main feature is that they did not

, - Use it to cover their heads as it was prominent in earlier periods.

image.thumb.png.d70ec7b66648489ac555083b8db3c793.png

Quote

Military Clothing:

 In early period the Gupta soldier had worn the antariya with his bare
chest inadequately covered by the six jewel-striped channavira. This
evolved into the more efficient foreign-influenced kancuka with
trousers or short drawers, jhangia, and high boots, with a helmet or
cap, and sometimes a fillet to tie back the hair.

 Later the soldier's uniform was either a short-or-long-sleeved knee-
length tunic, kancuka, which had a centre front opening with V-
shaped or round neck.

 The tunics were sometimes spotted with black aloe wood paste,
which could be a type of tie-dye, or bandhni as it is known today.

 This may have been their version of the camouflage on military
uniforms.

 The leaders or chieftains of the various contingents in the army were
decked in pearl-embroidered tunics made from the famous
stavarkha cloth of Sassanian origin and chaddars of many colors, or
in the complete Central Asian outfit consisting of a dark blue quilted
tunics with a V-shaped neck and long full sleeves with soft dark
trousers and a saffron turban of Indian origin instead of Central
Asian conical cap.

 

 

Bonus link. There is some watercolor book.

 

Spoiler

 

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gafurov-

 

Quote

Equipment
The armour used were very different throughout India. Some wore the strong, interlocking iron, steel, leather plates similar to those of Europeans, while warriors in the south wore no armour at all because of the climate. Some just wore silk clothing, effective agaisnt archers because the arrows couldn't penetrate the silk fibres.
Their weaponry was also very unique. Some of the more famous ones are the kukri knife, and the tiger claw weapon used by assassins.

sXVIBpz.jpg

 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen

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An overview

Quote

Sassaninan king Shapur II fought and made a treaty with the Kushanas in 350 AD, but he was defeated by them twice in 367-368 AD. But the Kidarites claimed independence after that and captured Afghanistan and nearby area. The Yudheyas, bhattis and Nagars were also in continuous internal conflicts. Finally, in 375 AD, The Kushans Empire collapsed and retired.

2.6 New settlements of Kushans

Some of them moved to Himalayas: This branch of Kushans kept ruling a large part of Himachala. They were the forefathers of the forthcoming Naga Dynasty.
A branch of these Kushans went to Afghanistan and Persia: These Kushans were found ruling Persia in 4thand 5th centuries.They ruled as KushanShahs, The Famous Shahi dynasty which ruled sind till early 8th century were also one of these Kushan or kushanshah Rulers. They were also knows as Kidarites or Red Huns (Though they were not Huns).

While some of them went downwards: and finally settled in Gujarat and southern Rajsthan and occupied the territories of Western Kshatrapas (Sakas). They started ruling Southern Rajasthan and Gujarat under several branches as petty rulers. These branches were namely Chapotkats, Nagars, Yudheyas, Awanas etc. Perhaps Gurjars ruled as feudatories to Guptas till 455 AD. The Gupta Empire collapsed due to the hun attack under Tourman in 467 AD. These Gurjar Clans also fought against the Huns.

Quote

Kshatrapas (Hindi KshetraPal) is a Persian word which means “Defender of a province” or Feudatory Governor. They were originally feudatories under Kushans. Kushans were somehow related to these Saka tribes. Sakas claimed independence around 195 AD. They were very famous for their architecture and coinage. Though they were in continuous conflicts with Satvahanas, they finally managed to finish the Satvahanas dynasty by 236 AD.



Kshatrapas were uprooted by Gupta Ruler Chandragupta-2 in 405 AD, who shifted the Gupta Capital to Ujjain from Patliputra. Chandragupta-2 attacked his own masters under the influence of Brahmins, wholater erased these great Sakas from history as "insignificant king", "mlechhas", "shudra", "not generous to Brahmins” and “Degraded Kshatriyas”.

Note: The name of the very first king of this Saka dynasty was Aabhirka, The nomadic origin also implies that they might be related to Abhirs or Ahirs or Yadavas.

2. 9 Gupta Rulers

Srigupta I (270-290 AD) who was perhaps a petty ruler of Magadha (modern Bihar) established Gupta dynasty with Patliputra or Patna as its capital. He and his son Ghatotkacha (290-305 AD) have left very little evidences of their rule and did not issue any coins of their own (although there have been reports of coins of Shrigupta which need more thorough studies). Ghatotkacha was succeeded by his son Chandragupta I (305-325 AD) who strengthened his kingdom by matrimonial alliance with the powerful family of Lichchavis (related to Kushans) who were rulers of Mithila. His marriage to Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi, brought an enormous power, resources and prestige. He took advantage of the situation and occupied whole of fertile Gangetic valley. Chandragupta I eventually assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja (emperor) in formal coronation, thereby establishing the Gupta Dynasty and Gupta Era. Their rule lasted up to 6th century.



2. 10 Guptas’ Origin
Though their origin or varna is not certain, they were, most probabaly, Aabhirs or Ahirs or Yadavas by origin. Shri Gupta rose to power suddenly after the fall of Satvahanas (236 AD). Which shows that They were installed to the throne of Patna by Kshaptrapas.
The word Gupta is derived from “Goptri" meaning "military governor" as in the inscription of Skandagupta, It was not a surname or clan name but a title. It clearly shows that after defeating the Satvahanas, Guptas were placed as Feudatories by Sakas (Kshatrapas). The most common gold coins of the Guptas appear to be the direct descendants of the gold coins of the Sakas. The standing pose of the Gupta kings at the altar is almost identical to that of the Kshatrapa kings, as is their dress - long coats and trousers (uchkin, salwar/kameez).

2.11 End of Gupta Rule

Chndragupta-2 was the most promiment name among all Gupta rulers he displaced the Sakas or Kshatrapas and took the title of “Vikramaditya” in around 405 AD.

SkandaGupta Repelled the first huna attack under Chu-Han in 454-455 AD. The Guptas were vanished by Second Huna attack under Tourman Akhsunwar in 467 AD. The lastGupta ruler BudhaGupta kept ruling till the end of 6th cenuryas feudatories.

 

http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=The_Gurjar_Era_(1st_century_to_12th_century)

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During the Gupta period scale mail armour used as composed of metal and sometimes leather. Guptas were more than two centuries more advanced than the equipment and technology being depicted here and that their armour was built to withstand torsion-driven steel bows. Siva-Dhanur-Veda discusses the military of the Gupta Empire. The Guptas relied heavily on armoured war elephants; horses were used little if at all. The use of chariots had declined heavily by the time of the Guptas, as they had not proved very useful against the Greeks, Scythians, and other invaders. Guptas utilised heavy cavalry clad in mail armour and equipped with maces and lances, who would have used shock action to break the enemy line.

During the Satavahana period the armour was inspired by the armour used by the Indo-Scythians and the Alchon Huns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_armour

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