Call in the Cavalry: Famous Cavalries of the Ancient World

Call in the Cavalry: Famous Cavalries of the Ancient World

‘Call in the Cavalry’ has become a proverb for reverting to damage-control expert assistance when things get out of hand.  Yet the quote is embedded in the history of a noble and often elite unit originally formed to provide support to the infantry.  Before the tank bulldozed its way into the annals of military history, there was the cavalry; the horse and its rider. Like every modern nation today, ancient kingdoms also had some kind of mobile land support, designed to punch holes through enemy lines, but only a handful of nations had the best trained cavalry, and their reputations withstood the test of time.

Warrior of Scythians, second part of VII and VI century BC (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Warrior of Scythians, second part of VII and VI century BC (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Scythians’ Light Cavalry

The Scythians (present-day Ukraine) may not have been the original inventors of asymmetrical warfare, but one could argue that they perfected it. The Scythians were ancient nomadic horse warriors who were first mentioned by the Assyrians during the reign of Sargon II (722 – 705 BC). What made these horsemen so powerful was that they were raised in the saddle and they used a very distinctive bow.


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