Military Review

Mayan army

History Mayan army is just beginning to be investigated by scientists. The period of the New Kingdom was better analyzed (X - mid. XVI centuries), when the Mayan army institute received a new impulse of its development. In this epoch, the warlords became the rulers of the cities, who also acted as priests at the same time. They pushed into the background priesthood in the leadership of the state.

The main support of the military leaders was the guard of famous warriors - members of the little-known religious-military orders - "jaguar warriors" and "eagle warriors". The first was dedicated to the deities of the night, and its members wore costumes of jaguars, and members of another, dedicated to the sun, appeared in clothes resembling the feathering of an eagle.

The fact is that wars played a very important role in Mayan society. However, their art did not reach the heights of the Old World, being interrupted by Spanish conquest. The Mayan city-states themselves (just like in ancient Greece) constantly fought with each other. For example, there was a perennial massacre between Tikal and Naranjo (693-698 years AD), called the First Petenian War.

Meanwhile, the wars were not protracted and more like predatory raids, in order to capture prisoners. The fate of the prisoners was deplorable - they were often turned into slaves, forced to work at construction sites in cities and on plantations of the nobility. They were used to destroy the enemy's crops, robbing caravans of porters carrying tribute to hostile cities. This was done in order not to risk his army.
But the land of the Maya tried to seize only in the border areas. By the way, the seizures of cities were not welcome - it was almost impossible to break the resistance of the enemy who had taken refuge at the pyramids. In addition, due to the lack of animals, the Mayan military units could not conduct long-lasting hostilities - their terms were determined by food supplies taken with them in their shoulder bags (usually ration was calculated for 5-7 days of travel). The main goal of the war was to undermine the economy of the enemy, luxury goods and valuable jade articles were considered valuable booty.

It should be noted, and quite the dark side of technology discipline in the Mayan army. So, before the start of the war, the Mayans, like the Atzecians, "sent envoys to the gods" - made human sacrifices so that the march would contribute to success.

Mayan army

Now, in order of the course of hostilities. Professional warriors from the garrison of the city and the guard of the ruler took part in the campaigns. But there were also holkans - mercenaries. At the head of the army was a commander from the aristocracy. In principle, the Mayan ruler himself was considered the supreme commander, but in reality he actually commanded military forces. So Nakom, for example, was T'isyah Mosh, a relative of the city of Tikal, who was defeated and captured in a battle with the army of the city of Naranjo at K'anul in 695 AD. Such a choice was usually chosen on 3-4 of the year, during which he had to lead a rather ascetic lifestyle: not to have sex and not to eat meat.

Unfortunately, over the Mayan history of their weapon did not undergo significant evolution towards improvement. This was hampered by the low level of development of the productive forces. Therefore, the art of warfare improved more than weapons.

In battle, the Mayans fought with spears of various lengths. Some were larger than humans and resembled Alexander the Great's sarissas. There were also similar to the Roman darts. There were heavy wooden "swords" on both sides, seated with tightly fitting obsidian blades with razor sharp edges.

Later, the Maya had battle axes made of metal (an alloy of copper and gold) and a bow with arrows borrowed from the atcecs. The protection of ordinary soldiers were puffed quilted wadded shells. The Mayan nobility wore armor, woven from flexible branches, and protected by willow (less often - from the tortoise shell) large and small shields of round or square shape. A small comparative shield (the size of a fist!) Was used as a strike weapon. Even the Mayan hieroglyph taah, as researcher Ya.N. Nersesov, translated as "beat down with his fist."

Before the battle, the Mayan warriors dyed their hair red as a sign of willingness to die, but to win. In order to intimidate the enemy, the Mayan warriors put on similar helmets in the form of muzzles with jaguar mouths, more rarely a caiman.

The Mayan attack usually took place suddenly, at dawn, when the vigilance of the guards was dulled. The warriors broke into the sleepy camp of the enemy with frightening cries, fighting with chilling cruelty, as noted by Spanish chroniclers.

After the victory, the Mayans carried out a peculiar triumph like a Roman, a military leader decorated with lush plumes, solemnly brought into the city on his shoulders. He was followed by warriors with captured heads of enemies behind their backs and musicians. Successful battles perpetuated in the visual arts.
1 comment

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  1. Noobby
    Noobby 1 March 2011 17: 41
    Yeah. I wonder from what sources this canoe was taken? The author of Maya knows nothing at all.