Warfare and Army

I. The Early Period

As diverse as the cultural, geographic and political fundaments and the developing structures of the Fergiartan tribes, as diverse are also the military characteristics which we find among the tribes. Yet all this is likely to go back to relatively similar initial conditions. And there is also some common ground, like the use of the chariot in the period of early statehood, for instance. But of course, different characteristics developed due to settlement area, geographical location and disposition of the tribes. In the mountainous landscape of the Maqára-tribes chariots are naturally of more limited use than in the plains of the North. Yet also the tribes migrating to the Maqára will have owned chariots at some time of their history. Proof for this is only indirect, though.Thus metal remains of the steering gear of chariots were found in a Fergiartan settlement in the area between the Cities of Darkness and the settlement area of the Maqára. Since it is not known, whether the tribe inhabiting this area has really advanced into the territory of the Maqára - the Fergiartan settlements in the Maqára-regions come from a later time -, only approximate conclusions can be drawn.

The initial conditions of the Fergiartuya from the nomadic period are, alas, likewise unknown. Yet some basic conditions can be shown: A nomadic people on the move cannot survive without military protection. Potential enemies must be recognized at an early state, moreover, so that the baggage train can organise itself for defence repectively can move to a defensive position. For such a reconnaisance, ideally lightly-armed, fast riders are likely. Some heavier armed cavalry or armed infantry will have drawn up near the baggage train to defend against sudden attacks, or to guard the defensie position.

Unfortunately, apart from bronze blades and horse bones, only few evidence was found that could explicitly prove this conclusion. But the lack of military gear for horses does not preclude the existence of cavalry, since there were no stirrups during this epoch. The favoured weapon of the Fergiartuya at this time seems to have been the bronze sword; judging from the blades found in the price's grave from Remayêka, it was a double edged weapon of about an arm's length. Other findings suggest light darts which were probably carried in a bag slung about the shoulders. Each rider will have carried up to five of these short weapons. Maybe the warriors also had bows, but this weapon seems to have been not widespread.

The question of the organisation of the warriors can also be only deciphered within limits. The term Saranna (leader of the army) is recorded for the first time within the time of Meyapotina, but could already have been used earlier. Of an elder date is the term Dos (leader). If we take this term as counterpart to the Loinna, the tribal leader, the Dos will have been an "officer" named by the prince, who led a part of the warriors protecting the people on the move. According to its meaning, the only later recorded term Sanna (leader of a hundred) will also not yet have been used at this time. Probably it developed not before the time of the sedentariness of the Fergiartuya. But the superordinate power of decision over the baggage structure and the organisation of the military lay - like also in later times - with the Loinna himself.

II. Warfare of the Senimarga

The distinctive military base characteristic of the Fergiartuya, the chariot (ferg. Sorra), can be recorded for the first time during the third century before Meyapotina.  Apart from archaeological findings, in particular the testimony of Mokhephósos is of importance, even if he does not pay special attention to this fact. Even if the scribe from Pangora knew the chariot from his homeland, this vehicle seems to have been not quite new among the Fergiartuya. But Mokhephósos talks in his "Memoires of the Foreign parts" in a passage of the "elegant lightness of the local chariots." The successful design of the Fergiartan chariot is especially characterised by the leather-clad frame and the drawbar, which was mounted on a metal-clad pivot. The chariot was drawn by two horses and transported two men: the charioteer (Sarrùsa) and  the warrior proper. He was not armed with bow and arrows, but with darts; probably a further development of the rider's spears, but heavier and about a third longer. For close combat the warrior carried a cutting sword, which was in turn heavier but shorter than the sword of nomad times.The charioteer was mostly unarmed (except for a knife carried at the hip, which was also used to cut free the horses after an overthrow of the chariot) and only protected by a kind of leather-vest. From Mokhephósos' report we know that the men wore wide trousers, which were closed above the boots with clasps. The warrior wore a leather armour strengthened with metal rivets, an oval shield from glued wood, and a cap of leather.

The chariots were supported by mounted archers (Arkala), who shot at the enemy while riding past, and the infantry. This was armed with the longer cutting short and a shield of wood and leather and wore a leather armour strengthened by metal plates. Normally they followed the chariots and overcame the enemy in close combat after the chariots had broken through their front. In the Marimarga, on the other hand, the infantry was in part armed with bows and in part with pikes. Here the chariots alone formed the cavalry. Only with the expansion to the West, horse cavalry was added.

In the early period, engineering played only a little role; its most important aspect was the construction of the chariots. Only when the conflict with the Cities of Darkness began in the first century after Meyapotina, the influence of engineering grew; in particular on the field of siege weapons and artillery.

After Meyapotina had enhanced the role of the light cavalry with his interference in the  throne disputes, the design and the role of the chariots began to change. Since Meyapotina's cavalry had lessened the penetrating power of the chariots with their higher mobility, since they needn't turn an attackable front towards them - the riders could shoot at the chariots from the side and had already long since retreated, ere the chariots could turn towards their threat -, the role of the chariots was more and more restricted to break down the infantry, while the cavalry moved against the flanks of the enemy. In the course of this tactical reorientation, the chariots became heavier and were from now on manned by two warriors instead of one as of old. While the first warrior was only armed with darts as before, which he fired at the enemy during the apporach, the second warrior made use of a kind of heavy axe which was mounted on a longer shaft. With this axe (Ssoya)The Fergiartan Ssoya, which was similar to a halberd, he aimed towards bashing in the heads of the hostile infantrymen or even beheading them. The other warrior fought on with his sword at the other side of the chariot. But the axe was not without danger for one's own side, since on the one hand the charioteer and the second warrior could be hit while striking out, and on the other since the axe could get stuck at an obstacle. The chariot was moreover vulnerable to obstacles which lay in the way, since it was more susceptible to toppling over due to its higher own weight.

As before, the infantry armed with sword and shield followed the chariots which for the most part moved in loose formation on the battlefield and dealt with the remaining enemies. In hilly terrain, where the chariots could not be used, massed infantry was also deployed. Here they mainly marched in staggered rows of three and were supported by the cavalry, which often used the traditional darts in such situations.

The organisation of the military was in the first instance a matter of the tribal princes. Apart from the palace guard of the Loinna of the Senimarga, military forces were initially assembled ad hoc. Since the warriors were in many cases still farmers in the early period, they were arranged as necessary in a case of threat. Due to the high costs of the carriage and the horses, as well as the construction and maintenance of the chariot, this weapon could only be  maintained by the wealthy landowners. Who at least owned a horse, performed his warrior's tasks as cavalryman. The rest of the able-bodied men will have went to battle as infantrymen. As the word Sanna suggests, the base unit of the army was the group of one hundred. We do not know exactly whether this form of troop-organisation did not go back until the founding of the 
garrisons since 65 b.M. Yet the palace guard of the Loinna of the Erdulînu already knew a leader of one hundred; but he acted officially as commander of the palace guard, before he was replaced by the "captain of the guard" (Grenna Hogêta) under Meyapotina.

The palace guard of Viargaka initially had more a representative function and recruited itself from peasants within the direct vicinity, who had to serve two months each. We have an ordinance from the chancellery which financed those warriors a basic equipment of spear and shield. The money for the task came from the direct "income" of the Loinna and was thus paid by the tribe of the Erdulînu respectively the Loinna himself. Only since 65 b.M. the troop was changed into a standing troop. But this was no army of the realm, but more a kind of private army of the ruler of the Erdulînu which functioned most notably as palace- and bodyguard.

The garrisons in Viargaka, Ketorimis, and Katraknêta (Katrêta),  which were also introduced in 65 b.M. , were likewise due to the beginning time of crisis of the Senimarga, as was the transformation of the palace guard.  But the underlying idea seems to have been already discussed within the imperial council earlier. A remark in the writings of the chancellery of 75 b.M. says that "the proposal brought in by Loinna Gresavûkya to heighten the defence capability of the people, [should] be resumed". The garrisons were a kind of conscript army, since the young men levied for this task had to serve two years in the garrison, before new conscripions took place. But the reservoir for this was restricted to the direct vicinity of the three cities and the urban areas themselves. In the extended conflict situation since 40 n.M., the three garrisons more and more developed into military forces of the three mentioned cities. In the civil war beginning in the year 10 b.M., the three garrisons of Katraknêta and Ketorimis served to protect the city population and the intactness of the ctities. The garrison of Viargaka together with the  palace guard fell under the control of Rasokapa's friend Nerêka. Although these troopes proved sufficiently strong  to sustain the independence of the throne pretender in the conflict with his rivals, since 2 b.M. it had to be realised that this kind of troop had no chance against a well organised army like that of Meyapotina.

III. The Military of Satisanzia

The reform of the army and the state by Meyapotina went back in important features to the organisation of the tribal army of the Satisante, which was drawn into the throne disputes of the Senimarga since 8 b.M. Instead of assembling troops according to demand like the troops in the Senimarga, the form of organisation of the tribal army was subject to a  longer-term concept. According to equipment, the able-bodied men of the tribe were combined in seperate detachments. Each of these troop continents got a fixed leader who was recruited from the heads of the great families. How many of these detachments there were is disputed. The number can only be deducted from the number of the dukes named later on (Saranna, literally "army leaders"). Yet it is to be considered that Meyapotina already used men from the  conquered territories. In the year of the conquest of Viargaka (2 b.M.) there were fifteen dukes; at the foundation of the new imperial council (Mentêta) in the year 8 a.M. this number has already grown to twentytwo. After the joining together with the proper tribe of the Fergiartu the number is eventually twentyfive. In the year 50 a.M., after the wedding of Viya II. and princess Keyatûya, the dukes were accompanied by seventeen Loinna. 

Within the single detachments individual troops (Grema, band, troop) were deployed according to demand; the main attention was made to speed in particular, so that the tactical weight of the chariots on the other side could not develop in the first place. That is also the reason why the cavalry became Meyapotina's most important weapon, since on the one hand it inhibited   - as already mentioned - the tactical weight of the chariots and on the other hand because it could inflict great damage to the opposing army even before the battle, without having to be prepared to do battle themselves. The attack of the baggage train or the lines of communication also belonged to the specialities of the cavalry. At least in the beginning of the campaign, Meyapotina endeavoured to avoid open battles or at least to avoid them until the enemy was weakened sufficiently by fast attacks of the cavalry. Later on, as he had more chariots himself, he prepared to do battle earlier on.

Attacks on the cities were only seldom done during this campaign. Most cities even willingly opened their gates, when Meyapotina had proven that he could protect them. Thus there were only three sieges of which the longest was that of the capital, which took about half a year.

After Meyapotina's ascension to the throne in the year Zero of the Fergiartan calculation of times, a process of reorientation took place in relation to the organisation of the armed forces. Where there had been only few or no standing troops in the Senimarga, a more stabile system developed through the appointment of the army leaders. Yet the reform of the army made for no uniform system. Depending on terrain, social precondition, and military custom of the individual tribes, different forms of troops evolved sometimes. The only basic principle was the introduction of fixed core troops which were available to each Saranna. Depending on the size of the territory covered by the Saranna, the core troops ranged between 500 and 2000 men. The family of the Garnêya in the North at first raised 1600 men, before the troop was enhanced in the year 34 to 1950 men. The Saranna of Ketorimis, on the other hand, made use of the garisson and raised only about 600 men in the beginning, before the troop strength was raised to 750 in 125 a.M.

The recruiting methods were also different. While some Sarannu relied on professional warriors, others introduced a fixed term of service. In the case of the Garnêya, for instance, it was a period of five years, while the garrison of Ketorimis was changed into a troop of professional warriors.

In the case of a crisis, the core troops were complemented by further troops which either consisted of men, which had already served earlier in the core troops, or which were raised especially for the situation at hand. In the course of the struggle with the Cities of Darkness, even the structures of the eastern territories changed. Here the core troops were complemented by especially raised garrisons for the contructed fortresses (as, for example, the three fortresses that Balka had built between 187 and 188), so that the militarisation of these territories took on far greater dimensions than in the rest of Satisanzia. During the struggle with the tribe of the Fergiartu, use was made of troops especially levied within the conflict areas.

In addition to the troops of the Sarannu, the individual tribal leaders also had limited forces. In most cases these were palace guards which were moderately supplemented by scouts and cavalry. Yet the strength of these princely troops was always fiercly discussed within the imperial council. Although the Loinnu were principally self dependent in the raising of their troops, since the soldiers were paid by them after all, the matters of the whole empire had an additional influence on the size of these forces. In the border areas with the Cities of Darkness, for instance, the troop size had to be higher than in the interior because of the threat. Yet this in turn also meant higher financial charges which the Loinnu could not always bear alone. Moreover, things depended on the cooperation between the princes and the Sarannu. Demands of the Loinnu on the Sarannu and vice versa could only be solved bindingly within the imperial council.

When individual Fergiartan realms with their own Parshu fused in later times, the balance had to be secured by additional regulations, since the kings of the individual parts also appointed their own Sarannu. Although these rulers were principally also independent in the fixing of the numbers of Sarannu, negotiations and agreements within the imperial council reoccurred in which the kings regulated the appointment of new army leaders or rather the abandonment of individual military administration districts.