Author Topic: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective  (Read 16375 times)

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Offline garlicthethird

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Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« on: October 11, 2004, 06:31:18 AM »
Kushan is invading a high medieval european country ,ala ottoman, they have indio-arabic elements (elephants, religion, thugi, culture) like the moghuls, are closest to timurid attrocity wise (maybe mongol, illkhanate, but thats a stretch) and there apperance (clothes, lamellar armour) is closest to white sheep or saffavid. There probable a composite but I would like to here what people thing they are closest to
Crip Cop Catches Crip

Offline asmer

Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 04:06:11 PM »
There probable a composite but I would like to here what people thing they are closest to

It's already been said on this Board, but there was a "real" people called the Kushans, whose greatest emperor was called... Kanishka!

I guess Mr Miura's inspiration for BERSERK probably comes from them.

http://www.indhistory.com/kushans-kanishkas.html

http://www.afghanan.net/afghanistan/sites/kushans.htm

There are better websites on the topic, just search on Google! ;)

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 01:29:41 AM »
Although I realize that the link the above poster posted is most likely the real influence, but I wanted to give my thoughts on some of the Kushan culture.

When I first saw that guy from the Bakiraka clan (The name escapes me at the moment), he struck me as more Arabic-influence. In fact, the Kushans in general look very Arabic. However, I think the culture itself is likely more Indian. For one, there's the weapons. When Guts first fights the man from the Bakiraka in volume 9, you'll notice he uses 3 particular weapons very prominently: The katar, the "War wheels," and the paper-like whip. The katar is known as a very Indian weapon, and while I'm not quite sure about the whip, I have seen something like it in Bollywood period pieces of Indian. I don't know if it's of Indian origin, but there's a good chance it was used there at some point or another.

Katar: http://arms.en.ec21.com/GC00000662/Katars-_tiger_knives%5Bhunting_knives%5D.html


Next we have the "War wheel" discuss that the man (I just checked, it's "Silat") uses. I don't think that this was a very used weapon historically, but mythologically the Hindu deity Krishna was known for using the "Sudarshan" disc, which he'd throw to cut large groups of enemies in half. It's also used by Vishnu (Once Krishna became associated with him as an avatar) and I believe Durga, as she received pretty much all of the gods' trademark weapons.

Picture of Sudarshan (Real small, but the best I could come up with): http://www.nilacharal.com/images/183/sudarshan_h.jpg

Fast forward a little bit, to where we see Mule entering the Hawks camp and seeing a Kushan on horseback with a translator. Now, I don't know Hindi myself, but the writing looks extremely similar. It's on page 154 of volume 23. Now let's go to my final observations, which are the statues that line Ganishka's court. First we have the central figure, who appears to be a warrior goddess of sorts. Normally I'd say Durga, but in this case it's more likely that the statue Ganishka's throne is under represents Kali, a Hindu Goddess who was a destroyer of demons. Normally she's not actually evil, but considering Ganishka's nature, I think it's more likely he'd worship a violent figure such as herself than Durga.

A picture of Kali I GIS'd: http://www.mahakali.com/slides/kali%2021.jpg

(If you want to know what Durga looks like, basically picture Kali as fair skinned and less demonic in appearance as well as wearing clothes)

Next to Kali you'll notice a man with snakes coming up behind him, and a boar headed man. The first is definitely Vishnu, who is known in Hinduism as the sustainer of the universe, the top god (At least, he is in modern Hinduism). Although he is not weilding the discus as I noted before (Or a conch shell), he does have his traditional Indian mace. Also, the multi headed snake behind him is what I'm assuming is supposed to be "Seshnaga," the snake that Vishnu lies on. He's seen with this snake behind him in nearly every picture I've seen of him. Picture: http://www.ifrance.com/mythologiesetlegendes/vishnu.jpg

Finally, the boar-headed figure nex to him. You should note that there's probably more than one of these in the room, as the first glance of it has the statue holding a trident and shield. The other has a bow, sword, katar, sword, and arrow. Since there's more than one it could be just a made up deity, but I do know that there is a boar-headed avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. His name is Varaha and is the result of Vishnu coming to earth in Boar form to fight Hiranyaksha, a demon who had received a boon making him invulnerable to man and god alike (Which is why he got his ass beat by a boar) and then thrust the world into the sea along with committing other terrible acts. So, Varaha clubbed him and restored the Earth to its former position with his tusks. There's a picture here, though obviously it looks a lot more like Vishnu than the Boar in the manga does.

http://members.tripod.com/~srinivasp/mythology/vara.html


Anyway, that's just a little background on some stuff I noticed about the Kushans. I hope it helped.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 07:26:18 PM by Nickoten »
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 06:59:18 AM »
Hey Nickoten, welcome here. Your post doesn't really add anything new to what we already knew, but it's still a nice contribution, especially for a first post. :)

Next we have the "War wheel" discuss that the man (I just checked, it's "Silat") uses.

It's called a chakram (the name comes from "chakra", which literally means "circle" in Sanskrit), and it's an old indian weapon. It's used exactly like Silat does, although it's more of a straight throwing weapon, to have them swerve like Silat does requires a lot of skill as well as special chakram. The thing is that there are many varieties of chakram, some bent or with a specific balance, so it's hard to tell without researching detailed information. What's sure is that they're very subtle and refined weapons, and their creation/use would have required a very good understanding of airfoil physics.

I don't think that this was a very used weapon historically

Error, it was used, and it's actually a deadly and formidable weapon (effective up to 50m, and that can fly over a range of 300m). In old times, a lot of people used chakrams (even in wars against ancient Assyria and Egypt), and their quality varied greatly, but even in "recent" history, Sikh military soldiers have been recorded to use them with awesome skill.

mythologically the Hindu deity Krishna was known for using the "Sudarshan" disc, which he'd throw to cut large groups of enemies in half. It's also used by Vishnu (Once Krishna became associated with him as an avatar) and I believe Durga, as she received pretty much all of the gods' trademark weapons.

I think Indra also has one.

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 07:20:58 PM »
Quote
Error, it was used, and it's actually a deadly and formidable weapon (effective up to 50m, and that can fly over a range of 300m). In old times, a lot of people used chakrams (even in wars against ancient Assyria and Egypt), and their quality varied greatly, but even in "recent" history, Sikh military soldiers have been recorded to use them with awesome skill.

Nice. As you can see, my historical knowledge is pretty lacking when it comes to India. As for the name, I'd always heard it called "Sudarshan" or "Chakran" (Now that I think of it, my father was probably meaning to say "Chakram") as, like I said, I don't know a whole lot about India's history. As for the war wheel name, I only called them War Wheels because that was Silat's name for thme.

Also, I think Indra was more known for his lightning bolt. Although, one of the Indras might have had one. I don't know, myself.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 07:25:00 PM by Nickoten »
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 07:31:30 PM »
As for the name, I'd always heard it called "Sudarshan" or "Chakran" (Now that I think of it, my father was probably meaning to say "Chakram")

There are several names in several languages actually (British historians referred to it as a "quoit"), but the most commonly used is Chakram as far as I know.

Also, I think Indra was more known for his lightning bolt. Although, one of the Indras might have had one. I don't know, myself.

He has 4 different weapons, I just checked: a chakram, a lightning bolt, an axe, and a sword (EDIT: well actually some versions have him use a bow, a hook and a net, quite diversified).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 07:48:08 PM by Aazealh »

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 07:34:44 PM »
Thanks for the corrections. Although, I'm interested in knowing where you can find the information so quickly. Do you happen to have any links I could look at? Or is it all from books?
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 07:41:51 PM »
Although, I'm interested in knowing where you can find the information so quickly.

Part is from memory and my global knowledge of random things, part is from Google. Run a search about "Indian Mythology" and you will have plenty of links to read from. ;)

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 07:48:04 PM »
Not quite what I was looking for, but I suppose it works for you, so...:p

Also, I'm going to guess that Indra's weapons have changed since the Vedas, as I found this on Pantheon.org:

Quote
He had early aspects of a sun-god, riding in a golden chariot across the heavens, but he is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightening bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle

As I've never seen him with a hook or net, I'm assuming those are just the weapons he had when he was still one of the top gods. I'm also going to guess that Durga, Vishnu, Krishna, Kali, and Indra got those chakrams when those were introduced into India historically. :p

Although, I've heard things about a "Disc of Rama" from the Vedas that would come every now and then to kill the immoral. Since the Ramayan was recorded at that time (It had to be, if it was really the first Sanskrit document), I'm assuming there was at least some notion of a disc-like weapon being used then.


EDIT: This is odd. I checked again and the link appeared to state that the disc carried the "Sudarshan" name even in the Vedas. Does this mean chakrams were around longer than we (Or maybe just I) thought, or what?
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 07:53:46 PM »
As I've never seen him with a hook or net, I'm assuming those are just the weapons he had when he was still one of the top gods.

Yeah, I just noticed this version and edited my post. I wouldn't be surprised if it had changed numerous times during various periods of Indian history.

I'm assuming there was at least some notion of a disc-like weapon being used then.

Well there probably was, since by all accounts the chakram seems to be an ancient weapon.

Offline Un_Colombiano

Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2005, 09:53:32 PM »
wow, nice posts guys. its good to know the background of the kuskan characters.

Offline TheSkyTraveller

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2005, 12:34:53 AM »
very prominently: The katar, the "War wheels," and the paper-like whip. The katar is known as a very Indian weapon, and while I'm not quite sure about the whip, I have seen something like it in Bollywood period pieces of Indian. I don't know if it's of Indian origin, but there's a good chance it was used there at some point or another.

You're right, the sword/whip is of Indian origin.  I think it's more like a sword than a whip, the metal is just pounded so thin that it's really flexible.  According to a museum curator in India, the sword could also be worn around the waist like a belt, just like Silat wears it.  I don't know if this weapon was very practical, though.  It's probably a more exotic sort of thing.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what it's called.

(info thanks to my husband who saw one while at a museum in Jaipur, India)

Nice avatar, by the way.  8)
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Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2005, 06:23:44 PM »
Nice info, there. By the way, the movie I was referring to was "Asoka" starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor. It's not a bad movie, and he does use it at a certain point.
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2005, 04:34:44 PM »
As for the war wheel name, I only called them War Wheels because that was Silat's name for thme.

Replying to that a bit late, just to say that Silat actually calls them "Chakram", there's furigana besides the war/battle wheel kanji.

You're right, the sword/whip is of Indian origin.

Hehe, I didn't think there was any doubt about all these weapons (Katar, Chakram, etc) being of Indian origins actually, they're all pretty characteristic of Indian weaponry...

Since we're at it, you guys should know that pretty much all of what we see from the Kushans in Berserk is inspired from Indian warfare, that includes things ranging from Talwars (swords), lances and various other "exotic" weapons (Katar / "Fish spine" or "Shark teeth" sword (not sure which it is) / "Fakir horns"), shields, armors (including helmets, gauntlets and greaves) and horse's armors, elephant's equipment, and even the specific Daka weapons and armors. Zodd's sword isn't an exception (from Nepal). We didn't see any Kriss or Khukuri yet but I wouldn't be surprised if some appeared later on.

The bold parts link to a few pictures (non exhaustive of course, it would take me too much time to sort everything out).

I think it's more like a sword than a whip, the metal is just pounded so thin that it's really flexible.  According to a museum curator in India, the sword could also be worn around the waist like a belt, just like Silat wears it.

The name is Urumi (also known as "Chuttuval", or "Spring sword", but less used). It was indeed worn around the waist (quite convenient), and yes, the "blades" are made of extremely thin, razor sharp metal. There can be from 1 to 5 blades, and their length vary from 1.5 to 2.75 meters (~5ft to 9ft), the most common way to craft it is to measure the distance from the fingertips of the future user with his arms extended in opposite ways. A blade's width usually ranges from 2 to 5 centimeters (~1 to 2 inches).




It's the ultimate and most dangerous weapon of the Kalaripayatt, an Indian martial art at least 3000 years old (most probably the oldest, it is said than Shaolin monks were heavily inspired by it), born in the region of Kerala (supposedly at the same time than the region itself). The Kalaripayatt is a highly spiritual martial art and requires extreme body flexibility. It's also vastly based on weapons (the Urumi being the final stage before the unarmed combat, that focuses on attacking the famous "pressure points" of the body). Various members of the Bakiraka clan present interesting traits that could relate to it.

Some examples of Kalaripayatt being practiced:






And with a version of the Urumi:





I don't know if this weapon was very practical, though.  It's probably a more exotic sort of thing.

Oh, it was used (was the favourite weapon in Kerala), but not widely, mostly due to the extreme danger as I said previously and to the tremendous level of skill needed (generally takes 15 years to master). It's used along with a shield for self-protection because if the wielder fails to keep the correct speed, wrist-work and pose, the Urumi will coil around him and most probably decapitate him. That's why it's somewhat of an exclusive weapon.

Since it's very difficult to control and require utmost concentration, it was only taught to the rarest and most expert students, as agility and mental sharpness count more than raw power when using it. Twirling and controlling the Urumi is said to be an art by itself (looking like a dance). It can be used in a lot of ways besides what we see in the Guts/Silat duel, you can make dust clouds or use light reflection to blind the opponent, and in the darkness (ambush) it's easy to make him feel like there are several enemies. Of course when used against multiple opponents the Urumi can inflict heavy injuries to the aggressors. You also can hang it from trees, so the enemy would run into it unaware and get cut badly, or set one between two poles so it'd slash some guy or horse's legs. Lastly, you can put oil on the tip on the blades, and light them on fire (crazy -__-;; ).

As for some history, it's recorded as the most popular weapon out of those described in the Ballads of North Malabar, and Unniarcha, one of the heroines of these ballads, was said to be an expert in its use (I've also read that she was the first to ever use it). There's also Kudiveeran, a hero god, that performed an especially acrobatic and martial thottam. After singing the thottam myth, he danced with a Urumi. See this:


Now, my super exclusivity: a Urumi dancing demonstration! (7MB and poor quality, but that's all I've got)

(info thanks to my husband who saw one while at a museum in Jaipur, India)

I bet he didn't take a picture... I know you read this man, you suck! ;D

While we're talking about historical inspiration for unusual weapons in Berserk (e.g. the ones Mozgus' disciples use also come from real pieces), here are the probable inspirations for the repeating crossbow Guts uses: 2 Chinese crossbows, the "Cho-ko-nu" (a light crossbow), and another which name I don't know (lower one).



The chu-ko-nu has a magazine on top that can contain up to 10 bolts. The cocking and reloading action is worked by a single lever, pushed forward and then pulled back. This allows a faster rate of fire than its western counterpart (but it's heavier and has a poorer range). Up to two bolts can be reloaded in the magazine, and it was common for competitions to be held on the quickness of reloading.

The second model was used by the Chinese since at least 210 B.C.. The repeating design uses a gravity-fed box magazine, that was situated above the bolt track. When the lever at the rear of the crossbow was first raised and then lowered, the box moved forward, caught the string in a wooden recess and drew it to full cock, dropped a bolt into the track and released the string. These crossbows were neither powerful nor accurate, but they could launch a bolt almost every second or so until the magazine emptied. Poison was usually smeared on the points to increase their lethality.

Miura's not joking about historical references. ;)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2005, 08:30:54 AM by Aazealh »

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2005, 10:18:05 PM »
Great information you got there. I had no idea that those thin swords were indegenous to India, but now I do. :p

Quote
Replying to that a bit late, just to say that Silat actually calls them "Chakram", there's furigana besides the war/battle wheel kanji.

Ah. Must've been the translation I was using (Hawks).

Also, I noticed that despite the use of all these Desi weapons, I haven't seen a single Indian mace used in battle. I was expecting those bulky guys accompanying Silat to use them, but to no avail. Too bad, because they look pretty damn cool. I can't find a good real picture of one, but here's an artwork of Hanuman holding one (Again, no historical knowledge to be found with me):



By the way, this site has some pictures of a few other Indian weapons in addition to the ones Aazelh listed, and I thought you guys might find it a little interesting. I found while looking for a picture of Hanuman's mace. :p

http://www.gatka.de/SHASTRA.htm

Quote
e.g. the ones Mozgus' disciples use also come from real pieces)

Wow, you've got to give us some links about that. In fact, we may as well turn this into a "history behind Berserk weapons" topic.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2005, 10:26:44 PM by Nickoten »
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Offline TheSkyTraveller

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2005, 03:44:45 AM »
Insane amount of info...

Good god man, you're like an Indian weapon encyclopedia!  You didn't write all this from memory, did you?

Oh, it was used (was the favourite weapon in Kerala), but not widely, mostly due to the extreme danger as I said previously and to the tremendous level of skill needed (generally takes 15 years to master). It's used along with a shield for self-protection because if the wielder fails to keep the correct speed, wrist-work and pose, the Urumi will coil around him and most probably decapitate him. That's why it's somewhat of an exclusive weapon.

Ah, ok, we really weren't sure how often it was used in battle for practical reasons.  I had always just assumed it fell into a "bizarre" weapons category.  I have heard of (and seen pics of) Kalaripayatt before.

I bet he didn't take a picture... I know you read this man, you suck! ;D

Heh, no he doesn't have a picture.  The funny thing is his family comes from Kerala!

Nice info, there. By the way, the movie I was referring to was "Asoka" starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor. It's not a bad movie, and he does use it at a certain point.

Argh, Shah Rukh Khan is in like every single Bollywood film!  ;D

Quote
e.g. the ones Mozgus' disciples use also come from real pieces)
Wow, you've got to give us some links about that. In fact, we may as well turn this into a "history behind Berserk weapons" topic.

I don't have time right now to post any pics, and I'm sure Aaz will arrive with more info later anyway, but the bird guy(sorry, if he even has a real name it escapes me at the moment) wields what I've seen called a "witchcatcher".  It doesn't take too much imagination to figure out what people used it for.  The bird shaped mask he wears is a plague mask.  All of the other disciples seem to pretty much just have various implements used for torture and execution. The wheel, the pliers to pull out people's eyes, a saw...All of the crazy torture devices Mozgus has were all real devices as well.  Pretty scary, actually.

Anyone, feel free to fill in the gaps in my info as needed.
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2005, 10:33:09 AM »
I haven't seen a single Indian mace used in battle. I was expecting those bulky guys accompanying Silat to use them, but to no avail.

Nah, the Tapasa wouldn't use any weapon, their bodies/behavior clearly indicate that they're unarmed combat experts (with the callosities and all that).

this site has some pictures of a few other Indian weapons in addition to the ones Aazelh listed, and I thought you guys might find it a little interesting.

I checked it quickly and it summarizes neatly the few weapons featured. A good link for a quick reading.

Wow, you've got to give us some links about that.

There isn't much to show really, their depiction in Berserk is quite accurate. Besides, I think there are threads on the subject already.

Good god man, you're like an Indian weapon encyclopedia!  You didn't write all this from memory, did you?

Not all of it, I haven't transcended my human limitations yet. ;D

Ah, ok, we really weren't sure how often it was used in battle for practical reasons.  I had always just assumed it fell into a "bizarre" weapons category.

Well, as I said its use was limited to a few skilled masters so it wasn't common in the regular army or anything, but then again that applies to most "cool" and spectacular weapons. Now, I wouldn't like to face a guy using it, even in a 10 against 1 situation.

Heh, no he doesn't have a picture.  The funny thing is his family comes from Kerala!

Eternal shame on his ancestors! ;D

the bird guy(sorry, if he even has a real name it escapes me at the moment) wields what I've seen called a "witchcatcher".

It's more commonly called a "mancatcher" as far as I know, but both names are in use.

It doesn't take too much imagination to figure out what people used it for.

Indeed not, they used it against animals as well as men actually, to restrain them by force. Once it is around the neck, the wielder can easily put his opponent on his knees, or prostrate him. If the victim tries to move around, the spikes will sink deeper in the flesh and prevent any opportunity to run away. You can see it being used in Berserk, there's nothing much to add.

The bird shaped mask he wears is a plague mask.

Yeah, used by doctors to filter the "corrupted" air (close to 0% efficiency).

All of the other disciples seem to pretty much just have various implements used for torture and execution. The wheel, the pliers to pull out people's eyes, a saw...All of the crazy torture devices Mozgus has were all real devices as well.

Yes, they're all common torture and execution tools, though Mozgus' disciples use them in a spectacular way due to the fantastic aspect of Berserk.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 10:35:19 AM by Aazealh »

Offline Nickoten

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2005, 04:57:02 PM »
How exactly was that wheel-like weapon used by Mozgus's men used for torture? Did you flatten people with it, or what? O_o
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Offline mahlernut

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2005, 05:01:14 PM »
How exactly was that wheel-like weapon used by Mozgus's men used for torture? Did you flatten people with it, or what? O_o

Just check out any of the torture scenes in the tower.  They'd crush limbs or chests with it.  Actually, I've seen a lot of the torture equipment (and worse) in various period depictions of inquisitions in South America and Spain.  Really makes you think when you realize just how hideous the things people can do to other people are.

Offline Khorne

Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2005, 06:44:21 PM »
Just check out any of the torture scenes in the tower.  They'd crush limbs or chests with it.  Actually, I've seen a lot of the torture equipment (and worse) in various period depictions of inquisitions in South America and Spain.  Really makes you think when you realize just how hideous the things people can do to other people are.
A perfect example of this would be in a book named "good omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. In it, a demon named Crowley gets so depressed that he almost sends a letter to hell in which he writes: Look, we might as well close down the place and move up here, because they have what we haven`t, imagination, and they do things we never even thought of doing, mostly with electricity. Another example from the same book: The point was that the devil almost never had to make anyone do something. There was nothing a demon could think out that even came close to rivaling the horrors a sane, fully functioning human brain could come up with......
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Offline Kagami

Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2005, 12:52:29 AM »
Hey Aaz, where can one find info on these swords from Nepal? I was looking around and I couldn't find any of the ones you posted.
Quote: Originally Posted by Picnic Boy
awesome, now I can sing pork soda in my rap battle later tonight.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2005, 05:40:14 PM »
Hey Aaz, where can one find info on these swords from Nepal? I was looking around and I couldn't find any of the ones you posted.

Hi Kagami.

I believe that when you speak about "swords from Nepal" you refer to this precise sword, which is the weapon that inspired Miura when he designed Zodd's Zanbatô.

It's a rare kind of weapon called a Ram Dao, usually considered by experts as being one of the only sword actually originating from Nepal and not from another country. These are ceremonial swords, used to sacrifice large animals. The blade is sharp and massive, with a thick handle (the sword's representation in Berserk is accurate). It's overall very heavy, and traditionally decorated with red paint (the eye, etc).

I guess it could be considered as being a variation derived from the more common Kora sacrificial sword (click the name for some pictures). The Kora is the national weapon of Nepal, and served both as a ceremonial sword and as an actual fighting weapon. It originated from Nepal but has been used by various other countries like Tibet or India.

Anyway, if you want serious and more detailed information about this specific type of sword or any kind of sword in general, I recommend you the Sword Forum website.

I've heard of some of them being auctioned from times to times, but never saw any myself. Here's a link to an interesting variant: a Ram-Dao knife, used to sacrifice smaller animals.

Offline Kagami

Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2005, 05:19:15 PM »
I have a question again aboot this Ram Dao again, but first I would like to thank you for all the info you have given me so far, so: thank you for all the info you have given me so far, Aaz.

Is there any particular reason why these swords were used in ceremony only and not in combat? For example, would they not be able to withstand strikes from another blade or something (I dunno)? or was it just due to the weight of the sword it self? From the sites I have read from they all talk about cutting a LARGE animals head right off with one strike, so I can't imagine why no one would have tried using such a powerful blade in battle (I'm thinking like a Nodachi).
Quote: Originally Posted by Picnic Boy
awesome, now I can sing pork soda in my rap battle later tonight.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Who are the kushan from a historical perspective
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2005, 06:12:20 PM »
thank you for all the info you have given me so far, Aaz.

You're welcome. :)

Is there any particular reason why these swords were used in ceremony only and not in combat?

I can't tell you for sure about that, you would have to ask a Nepalese historian. There could be a lot of reasons, but I think that it was mostly because of the weight. I don't think that even a strong man could fight efficiently for very long with a Ram Dao.

From the sites I have read from they all talk about cutting a LARGE animals head right off with one strike, so I can't imagine why no one would have tried using such a powerful blade in battle (I'm thinking like a Nodachi).

Sacrificial weapons aren't designed like combat weapons. If you take the example of the Kora, who was used both as a fighting sword and as a sacrificial tool, you can notice that sacrificial Kora were always thicker and heavier than normal ones, in a way that they would facilitate a one strike death.

Having a heavy weapon usually isn't very convenient for a swordsman. As for the Ôdachi, they aren't nearly as heavy as Ram Dao from what I know, and they're also designed in a different way: longer and thinner with a long handle, while the Ram Dao just features a huge and massive blade.