View Full Version : The Greatest Warriors in History

Saturday, August 27th, 2005, 10:25 AM
I recently found a site listing off various and famous warriors throughout history, originating from their unique cultures and ultimately, due to their unique origins and fighting styles, have thence become immortalized as the most fearsome of their day. Several of the warriors mentioned, namely the Celts, obviously come from Nordic roots. Here's what it has to say about the Celts; the complete list is here. http://www.mystical-sites.stevenredhead.com/Warriors/Index.html Being 1/3 Celtic, reading articles like this and knowing that I have this blood in me makes me very proud.

The ancient Celts were a group of culturally similar peoples who once occupied most of central and western Europe north of the G reco-Roman world. Perhaps the most common cultural characteristic of the ancient Celts was the Celtic languages, a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The earliest established origins of Celts dates from c.1000-800 BC in Eastern Europe, though research and excavations in very recent years indicate that cultures in Siberia and Northern Mongolia may well be directly linked to the Celts. Both of these cultures date back as far as the second millennium BC. The prowess of the Celts as master horsemen with the capabilities of travelling very long distances give these links further credibility. With their unique expertise in horsemanship the Celts were masters of the chariot - the latter being a very early Celtic invention that provided them with the reputation for being formidable opponents in warfare. These are the fearsome fighters, who sacked Rome itself in 390 BCE. The first great leader featured is Boadicea (more properly Boudicca, who rebelled against Roman rule in 60-61 AD). If Boadicea was not like this, she should have been! Her heavily embossed bronze cuirass can be dated to the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age phase of Celtic development. Several centuries out of date, it is nevertheless clearly valuable and probably a family heirloom. Her earrings appear to be miniature replicas of the long Celtic shield, which may have served as a prototype for the Roman scutum. Boadicea's followers look passably Celtic, with some tartans in evidence, but their clothing is rather drab. The Celts were noted for their use of bright colors and bold patterns, particularly stripes and checkerboard weaves. The kilts worn in this episode were a much later invention. Celtic men, like those in most "barbarian" nations, wore trousers. Drooping moustaches were common, and warriors sometimes washed their hair with lime before combing it back in fierce looking spikes. The Celtic love of display also manifested itself in the wearing of armlets and torcs (neck rings). These could be of gold, electrum, silver or bronze, and were often of exquisite workmanship. Although the Celts were skilled horsemen, they fought primarily as infantry, with nobles and their retainers providing the cavalry. The British chariots came as a surprise to the Romans, as they were no longer used in Gaul. Boadicea's chariot is far larger than that used by the Britons. This was very light, with a cab about 1 meter square and wheels some 90 cm in diameter. Caesar was deeply impressed by the skill of the British charioteers, recording their ability to maneuver at high speed, even on slopes. The charioteer would often steer his vehicle whilst standing on the yoke pole between the horses, while the warrior behind him hurled javelins at the enemy before dismounting for hand-to-hand combat. Celtic weaponsmiths were arguably the best in the ancient world. Chain mail was probably a Celtic invention, and their superb iron helmets were quickly adopted by the Roman legions. These helmets with their characteristic "eyebrow" decoration were worn by a fair number of warriors, although body armor was restricted mainly to the nobility and their most trusted followers. Many Celtic warriors relied solely on the large shield and their own agility for protection. Spears and a variety of missile weapons were used but the main weapon was the sword, about 90 cm long and employed solely as a slashing weapon by the Gauls. The Britons, however, used a sword with a sharp point for both cutting and thrusting. Some warriors were skilful enough to knock aside hurled Roman javelins with their sword blades. The Celts were fierce headhunters, often stopping to decapitate their fallen enemies in the midst of battle. Another peculiarity was that of sometimes fighting naked except for helmet and shield. The reason for this is unknown - it may have had some ritual significance, as with the headhunting, or it may simply have been sheer bravado. Women seem to have played a largely supporting role in Celtic warfare, preparing the camp and provisions of their warriors. There are records of battles, however, where Celtic women attacked both their own fleeing menfolk and the pursuing Romans before killing their children and themselves. The Romans did not take long to adapt to Celtic battle tactics, which consisted primarily of a screaming headlong charge, but the eventual downfall of the Gauls was their disunity. Caesar was able to exploit this by playing one tribe off against another. "Divide and conquer" was his strategy. Too late the Gauls united under the Arvernian nobleman Vercingetorix, called Vercinix. After suffering a serious reverse at Gergovia in 53 BCE, Caesar was able to bottle up Vercingetorix and his forces in the hilltop fortress of Alesia the following year. Despite being besieged in turn by a huge Gallic relief army, Caesar was able to force the garrison to surrender, and Gaul fell at last to Rome. Vercingetorix spent six long years in chains before being ritually strangled. The same tribal disunities were played upon in the Roman invasion of Britannia in 43 AD, although in this case the Celts were never entirely subjugated.

Saturday, August 27th, 2005, 01:10 PM
A Barbarian warrior in battle is a fearsome enough sight. They cover their bodies with strange markings and the fire in their eyes can be seen from across a battlefield. Early in his training a warrior must learn how to tap the primal energies around him and utter a howl in battle-a bellow so fierce that it will send even the battalions of the Burning Hells running in fear. When a warrior is injured while out in the field, he must find ways to effectively heal wounds. By picking among the glands and entrails of the recently dead, a Barbarian warrior can sometimes scavenge enough ingredients to make a powerful healing elixir. Some Barbarians are skillful and fortunate enough to find ingredients for a potion that restores not only their health but their spirit as well. Summoning the ancient powers known to his people, a Barbarian warrior can call on his spirit animal and lash out at his enemies with a cry that halts them in their tracks-a powerful anguish rising to burn the depths of their being. It is this skill that gives rise to the legends of Barbarians being able to sap the life from a creature with a single word. Barbarian warriors of the Shadow Wolf Tribe are masters of the axe. Through the axe, they sought to match the swiping claws and the biting teeth of the wolves with which they lived and fought beside.

Haha, I wonder why he has stuffed in quotes from the skill descriptions from the game 'Diablo 2' to the section about Barbarians. Here (http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/classes/barbarian.shtml) is the source for them, under their specific sections.

I guess I should be rather worried as I haven't played that game for years and still I recognize text from its manual. Otherwise, the site was a nice read.