ARMY
   Information about military organization comes from pictorial and written sources. The earliest visual images, from the Uruk period, represent naked men with their arms tied behind their backs. It is not clear, though, whether such scenes refer to local prisoners or captives of warfare. Depictions of armed ranks in action can be seen on such monuments as the Early Dynastic “Stele of Vultures” (see EANNATUM) or the “Standard of Ur.” They show soldiers protected by leather coats, wearing caps and helmets, and wielding spears. Their leaders ride in wooden chariots with solid wheels, driven by sturdy donkeys. On the stele commemorating the victory of Naram-Sin of Akkad over the Lullubi, his men ascend a steep mountain while the enemies are trampled underfoot or fall down the precipice. Naram-Sin carries a large bow.
   Much more detailed and numerous are the representations on NeoAssyrian palace reliefs that were meant to impress local and foreign visitors alike with the efficiency and determination of the Assyrian army. Scenes of camp life, with portable kitchens, tents, and baggage trains, showing soldiers at rest, are interspersed with the more common depictions of army on campaign, marching across all manner of territories, or setting siege to enemy towns. They represent the different divisions, such as the chariotry, the cavalry, the archers, and the foot soldiers equipped with short and long spears. Some scenes concentrate on the result of victorious battles: smoking ruins of burned towns, heaps of corpses, and clerks recording the number of casualties from a pile of severed hands. Since wars were also meant to deter insurrections, the palace reliefs served as a reminder of how the Assyrian king could punish rebels; the accompanying texts explained who was flayed, impaled, beheaded, or otherwise mutilated and why. The written sources of the royal inscriptions and annals customarily dwell on successful conquests and campaigns that brought fame and wealth to the kings who led them. In the third and much of the second millennia B.C., such campaigns were waged after the harvest, since the king only commanded a limited number of bodyguards in peacetime. Sargon of Akkad, however, claimed that “5,400 men ate with him daily,” which was an unusually large entourage and perhaps constituted the beginning of a standing army.
   In the Old Babylonian period, numbers of fighting men are sometimes recorded; the Mari letters, for example, refer to 10,000 men, and Shamshi-Addu I boasts of 60,000 under his command. In the Old Babylonian times, fighting men could be conscripted for specific campaigns, or they were part-time professionals who could raise crops on crown land for their services. On campaign they were provisioned by the local population. Since the army played such a vital role in the Assyrian empire, it was better organized than in earlier periods, with auxiliary contingents from subjugated territories. There were career possibilities in the Assyrian army, and senior officers could command a great deal of influence. Some Assyrian generals were eunuchs. They could lead campaigns when the king was unable to do so himself. The center of the army since the time of Shalmaneser III was a huge building known as the ekal masarti (Review Palace) at Kalhu (Nimrud). This served as arsenal, training ground, and administrative headquarters.
   See also WARFARE.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Army — Ar my, n. [F. arm[ e]e, fr. L. armata, fem. of armatus, p. p. of armare to arm. Cf. {Armada}.] 1. A collection or body of men armed for war, esp. one organized in companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under proper officers.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Army — ist der verkürzte Ausdruck z. B. für United States Army British Army British Indian Army Continental Army Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • army — [är′mē] n. pl. armies [ME & OFr armee < armer, ARM2, v.] 1. a large, organized body of soldiers for waging war, esp. on land 2. a military unit, usually two or more army corps, together with auxiliary troops 3. STANDING ARMY …   English World dictionary

  • Army — est un film indien réalisé par Raam Shetty, sorti en 1996. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 Lien externe …   Wikipédia en Français

  • army — [n1] military force, usually for land armed force, artillery, battalion, battery, brigade, cavalry, column, command, company, corps, detail, division, flight, formation, infantry, legion, outfit, patrol unit, platoon, regiment, soldiers, soldiery …   New thesaurus

  • army — index band Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • army — (n.) late 14c., armed expedition, from O.Fr. armée (14c.) armed troop, armed expedition, from M.L. armata armed force, from L. armata, fem. of armatus armed, equipped, in arms, pp. of armare to arm, lit. act of arming, related to arma tools, arms …   Etymology dictionary

  • army — host, legion, *multitude Analogous words: throng, press, crush, *crowd, mob, rout, horde …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • army — ► NOUN (pl. armies) 1) an organized military force equipped for fighting on land. 2) a large number of similar people or things. ORIGIN Old French armee, from Latin armare to arm …   English terms dictionary

  • army — noun 1 group of soldiers ADJECTIVE ▪ great, huge, large, massive, mighty, powerful ▪ small ▪ ragtag (inf …   Collocations dictionary

  • army — n. 1) to command, lead; drill, train; rally an army 2) to mobilize, raise an army 3) to equip, supply an army 4) to array, commit, deploy, field; concentrate, mass an army 5) to inspect, muster, review an army 6) to encircle, envelop, surround;… …   Combinatory dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”