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origin 

Chariots and land vessels

Chariot’s invention provoked revolution in military business. The outcome of many battles and destinies of different countries depended on their swift attack on the field of battle. It’s hard to say when the first chariots appeared, but it is known that they existed since the 3rd millennium BC in Babylon. Ritual and battle chariots were found by archeologists on the territory of the ancient town Kisha and the ancient city-state Ura. There are a lot of objects with chariots’ description, their clay and bronze models in different museums all over the world.

Chariot’s triumph is preserved in myths and legends. Everybody have heard about flaming chariot of Prophet Il’ya and read about courageous warriors and battle chariots in “Iliada”, written by Homer, where he described the chariot’s device in details. We can also find an emotional description of the chariot in the Old Testament (Prophet Naum).

In Ancient Egypt, Persia, Assyria, Ancient China special detachments of soldiers on their chariots came before the foot army or on flanks. In Egypt a man, who drove the chariot, was a well-known and respected man; a warrior, who was standing next to him, was a representative of the noble family. Chariots were made of pine, birch, elm or ash-tree with application of different military ruses. Long edgy knifes fixed on the axles of a chariot mowed enemies. Thanks to these devices the chariots, which “flew by” along the front from one flank to another, devastated enemy’s rows. This famous stoke was called “Pharaoh’s ire”.

There were a lot of models of battle chariots. Two-wheeled chariots were harnessed by a horse or a pair of horses. Only one man drove such chariots, the warriors shot bows, fought with swords and lances. Four-wheeled chariots with attached lances and scythes were harnessed by 4 horses covered with coats of mail.

In Greece chariots were used in sport competitions. In Roman Empire chariots became very popular as the means of conveyance. There were a lot of kinds of chariots in the streets: two-wheeled and four-wheeled, open and closed, two-seater and multi-seater, luxurious and less luxurious. Chariot’s speed depended on the quantity of horses put into it. The diameter of the wheel was about 1,5-2 meters. This size became the wheel’s size of different carriages for centuries. Luxurious triumphal chariots harnessed by 8 pairs of horses had a great effect.

In the Middle Ages battle chariots were made in Western Europe. Of course,  they differed from ancient ones. Durable sides with cut loop-holes concealed shooters and ordnance.

A dream about land vessels wasn’t less firm. We know about the wheeled boat of Russian Prince Oleg which was used during Tsar’grad campaign. Performing the order of Prince Oransky, the Dutchman Simon Stevin (by the way, he discovered decimals) also built a land vessel in 1660. His four-wheeled carriage had two sailing masts and was destined for 28 persons. Later, a train of gears was used to make the carriage move in windless weather.

In the middle of the second millennium AD rare records of the attempts of constructing land vessels seemed rather exotic, they were only a reminiscent of the past. Millions of fresh ideas were born in the heads of many people; much temptation appeared for inquisitive minds, which were striving to create a new idol.


Девичник. 2001- 2006.
  Авторский журнал. 
© "Девичник/ Devichnick", 20012006.
© Оформление, текст, фотоматериалы Молотилова Л. К., 20012006.
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