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Swords of the Ancient World

The Ancient World is the name given to the World from the dawn of history down until the fall of the Roman Empire, in the 5th Century

A.D. The history of the Ancient World is mainly concerned with the rise and fall of the great Empires which existed around the Mediterranean and the valleys of the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates. It also includes India, which in those days was far more civilised than the countries in the Western World.

The oldest of the Empires was probably the Egyptian Empire, united out of lower and upper Egypt by the first king known to history, MENES, in approximately 3400 B.C. This empire existed for nearly three thousand years before falling, first to the Assyrians in 671 B.C., next to the Persians in 525 B.C. and later to Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. On the death of Alexander, after his unsuccessful campaign in India, PTOLEMY became King and his family ruled the land until the Romans under OCTAVIAN routed the armies of Egypt and CLEOPATRA, the vanquished queen, committed suicide by holding an asp to her breast.

The earliest empire in the great plain of the Tigris and Euphrates was the Sumerian, founded by SARGON I about 2750 B.C. Approximately seven centuries later, the Amorites from Syria established themselves in a village, called Babylon, and after conquering neighbouring tribes founded what was to become the great empire of the Babylonians.

The next great empire to arise was that of the Assyrians. They waged constant war against the Hittites from Asia Minor, who are credited with being the first of the ancient peoples to have used iron implements. The Assyrians conquered Babylon and made war on and defeated the Israelites. In their turn, they were overthrown by the Chaldeans, whose king was NEBUCHADNEZZAR.

The Persians were the next people to rise to power, and under CYRUS THE GREAT they captured Babylon in 539 B.C. Another famous race was the Greeks, who set up a number of city-states until conquered by ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

Rome became the greatest power of them all, under JULIUS CAESAR, whose legions campaigned far and wide, and after a triumphant march across Northern Europe, landed in Britain in 54

B.C. CONSTANTINE (A.D. 306-337), the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity, built a new capital on the Bosphorus on the site of the old Greek fortress of Byzantium, and named it Constantinople. The western empire fell in A.D. 476 before the attacks of the Barbarian tribes from the North of Europe. At about this time, Roman Britain was attacked by the Angles and the Saxons, the former leaving the legacy of their name to England (Angleland). Constantinople continued to flourish until at last, in A.D. 1453, it was sacked by the Turks, but fortunately not before the precious relics of Byzantine and Greek Culture were removed to Italy, where they played a big part in the Renaissance, or revival of learning in Europe.

The Egyptian Sword

 

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