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Edged weapons became a mainstay in early Chinese history and through the Ming (1368-1644 CE) and Qing (1644-1912 CE) dynasties. The Chinese used swords to settle personal disputes, win military battles, and indicate one’s social and martial status through the end of the Imperial Period. China, a country of vast resources, developed its metal and iron industry earlier than its western counterparts and achieved great advances in metallurgic science. There were two classes of Chinese swords: the straight double edged jian and the slightly curved single edged dao. The jian proved effective mainly for chivalry combat in the Zhou Dynasty (1045-256 BCE), and was later carried by the nobility as a symbol of status. Military officers, perhaps because of their association with the nobility, seem to have preferred the double edged jian over the dao. The dao proved useful mainly in cavalry combat, which started to gain popularity in the Western Han Dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE). The dao was a true soldier’s weapon that required more attention to fighting skill than finesse. This book follows a chronological path through China’s dynasties, exploring sword design and swordsmanship. The concluding remarks recap the long history of the sword with focus on the philosophical value one assigned the weapon. Knives, Swords, and Bayonets: A World History of Edged Weapon Warfare is a book series that examines the history of edged weapons in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East and surrounding areas before gunpowder increased the distance between combatants. The book series takes a critical look at the relationship between the soldier, his weapon, and the social and political mores of the times. Each book examines the historical background and metallurgic science of the knife, sword, or bayonet respectively, and explores the handling characteristics and combat applications of each weapon. The individual books are excerpted from the previously published book, A History of Edged Weapon Warfare, also by Martina Sprague. Look for more books in this series in the near future.Biografía del autor:
Martina Sprague has a Master of Arts Degree in Military History from Norwich University in Vermont. She is the author of numerous books about military and general history. For more information, please visit her Web site: www.modernfighter.com.
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