Drachm of Syracuse, the head of Persephone on the obverse, and a chariot drawn by Nike on the reverse. The coin dates to the Hellenistic period, and more specifically to 287-278 BCE. Currently, the coin is located in the MFA Boston.
chasm opened in the earth and out of it coal-black horses sprang,
drawing a chariot and driven by one who had a look of dark splendor,
majestic and beautiful and terrible. He caught her to him and held her
close. The next moment she was being borne away from the radiance of
earth in springtime to the world of the dead by the king who rules it.”
in case you thought sparta had no flair for the dramatic, keep in mind they were banned from the olympics in 420 for political reasons… but some guy entered his four horse chariot anyway under an assumed name and then made a big show of throwing off his disguise when he won and claimed his prize as a spartan
then the judges disqualified him and also had him whipped which is one exception to the rule that corporal punishment is for slaves only
Kageyama remained utterly true to his word. When he said he wanted to treat Shouyou well enough to make him want to stay, he had meant it.
The second morning Shouyou woke, again far, far later in the day than he’d ever been allowed at the temple, thanks to his daily duties and the bells that rang just after dawn. But here, at the villa, no one disturbed his rest. Even after he had pulled himself from slumber, he stayed curled under the whisper soft sheets, sinking into the cushioned bed below as the gentlest breeze rippled through the room, tossing his hair on his forehead where it poked out from under the covers.
A fine fragrance eventually caught his attention, sweet and delicate on the air, the freshness of flowers. It was so pleasant that it finally roused him fully and he sat up, wondering what it was, intent on investigating. Immediately, he found he need look no further than his bedside.
“Oh…” he gasped, rubbing his eyes as he took in the sight before him.
The entire floor of his room had been strewn with rose petals, all soft pink and white.
Chariots back in the day were, basically, the Sherman Tank of the ancient battlefield. I mean, you have two horses, minimum, screaming along at top speed, pulling a platform with a couple dudes chucking spears and arrows and lopping off heads at twenty miles per hour. Just, three thousand pounds of horse and chariot and wild yelling charioteers and mayhem.
It was Super Effective. Cultures all over the place used them. Egypt, the various Celtic tribes, the Romans, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Hittites (the Egyptians got their chariot info from the Hittites after the Hittites rolled into Egypt with these wild new horse drawn murder-platforms and conquered Egypt for a bit, but that’s another story.)
Basically, the sight of a war chariot set infantrymen to shaking in their sandals. They were unstoppable mayhem machines.
Now, when Alexander the Great started his Let’s Just Conquer Everything Guys phase, the largest army on the planet was the Persian army. They ruled a vast amount of territory, and their war chariots had rotating blades attached to the wheels that would slice and dice infantry soldiers like a blender. They were feared by every enemy of Persia who had the misfortune to run up on the bad side of King Darius.
Look at this fuckin shit.
If you had a couple hundred of these things charging your infantry line, it was a Bad Day.
Alexander the Great knew this. Alexander the Great also knew that his army was almost completely composed of infantry.
Alexander the Great also didn’t give a fuck.
“Bring it, you fucks,” Alexander the Great mumbled, feverishly plotting troop maneuvers. “I will shove your scythed chariots completely up your own assholes.”
See, Alexander the Great’s father had left him something very important; a fully prepped and gassed-up army. The Macedonian infantry were the finest in the world. Also, they fought with stupidly long pikes, in a phalanx. It looked something like this.
“Fuck your horses”
Now. Horses are not completely stupid. If they’re looking at a wall of pointy, they will not charge directly into it. Alexander knew this.
So he did something absolutely brilliant.
He trained his infantry to, when charged by a chariot, fade to the sides. The horses will aim for the gap. As the chariot enters the gap, it is met at the front by a wall of pointy doom. The horses pull up and try to turn, but either side is also a wall of pointy doom. The charioteers can be speared at the phalanx’s leisure.
“We said fuck your horses”
This requires the soldiers standing their ground in the face of a charging chariot to be absolutely fucking unflappable and hard as diamond plated nails. Which, the Macedonian infantry were.
At the Battle of Gaugamela, these tactics absolutely wrecked King Darius’ war chariots. It was embarrassing. The Macedonians rolled over the chariots that had dominated battlefields for a thousand years and more like minor speed bumps.
Chariots would never be used on a large scale in war again. Alexander had figured out how to deal with them. The riddle was solved.
Inktober Day 21 & 22: Shabrang and Sun Chariot horses.
Missed yesterday cause I was busy helping with the fall yard work so doubling up today. Shabrang is from Persian mythology (also the name of Daryum’s horse in Arslan) and the chariot horses belonging to Helios in Greek mythology.
Selene was the Titan goddess of the moon. She was depicted as a woman riding sidesaddle on a horse or driving a chariot drawn by a pair of winged steeds. Her lunar sphere or crescent was either a crown set upon her head or the fold of a raised, shining cloak. Selene’s great love was the shepherd prince Endymion. The beautiful boy was granted eternal youth and immortality by Zeus and placed in a state of eternal slumber in a cave. His heavenly bride consorted with him there in the night.