Discover the stirrup and its importance in history

Discover The Stirrup And Its Importance In History

This sounds like a simple idea. Why not add two pieces to the bottom, hanging on each side, to rest your feet while riding. After all, humans seem to have owned a horse around 4,500 BC. The chair was invented around 800 BC, but the first suitable stirrup was made several centuries later.

Nobody knows who invented the stirrup before, nor the inventor from which part of Asia. In fact, it is a very controversial topic among horse riding students, ancient warfare and medieval warfare. Despite the fact that the general public may not classify the stirrup as a major invention in history, for example at the height of gunpowder, military historians consider it a truly important development in the art of war and conquest.

Was the stirrup once invented and used all over the world? Or did contestants from different sectors come up with this idea independently? Anyway, when did this happen? Unfortunately, since the first stirrups were made of biodegradable materials such as leather, bone, and wood, we may never get the exact answers to these questions.

The oldest known examples of stirrups

So what do we know? The clay army of ancient Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang included several horses, but their carriers lacked stirrups. In ancient India in 200 BC, barefoot knights wore stirrups on their big toes. These primary stirrups feature a small leather ring through which the rider can provide minimal stability to each of the big toes. However, the big toe stirrup will not be suitable for riders in hot weather, nor will it be beneficial for riders who have laid in the meadows of Central Asia or Western China.

Interestingly, a small Cornelius engraving of Kushan shows a rider wearing hooks or stirrups in the form of a platform; They don’t surround the foot like modern stirrups, rather, surround it with a kind of footstool. This interesting inscription indicates that horse riders in Central Asia may have used safety stirrups around 100 BC, but this is the only representation of the area, so more evidence is needed to conclude that stirrups were used earlier in Central Asia.

The passengers are in a modern style

The oldest representation of a stirrup covered in a modern style is the image of a porcelain horse buried in the Chinese tomb of the First Jin Dynasty near Nanjing. The stirrups are triangular in shape and can be seen on either side of the horse, but since they are a stylized figure, it is impossible to pinpoint further details about the construction of the stirrups. Fortunately, a burial near Anang, China from the same date gives us a true example of a stirrup. The deceased was buried with a full set of equipment for the horse, including a bronze stirrup gilded in the shape of a circle.

In China there is a unique pair of stirrups in another Jin-era tomb. It is more triangular in shape, made of leather around a core of wood and then covered with varnish. Running boards are painted red in clouds. This decorative feature is reminiscent of the “heavenly horse” design that was later discovered in China and Korea.

The oldest abutments we have date back to the tomb of Feng Sufu, who died in 415 AD. Prince Yan was the northern Koguryeo Kingdom. Feng stirrup very complicated. The round top of each stirrup was made of curved pieces of mulberry wood, covered with gilded bronze sheets on the outer surfaces, and iron sheets lacquered on the inside, where Feng’s feet were. .

Stirrups arrive in Europe

Meanwhile, European horse riders were able to do without the stirrup until the fifth century. The introduction of this idea (which earlier generations of European historians attributed to the Franks rather than Asia) allowed for the development of heavy cavalry. Without stirrups, European knights could not assemble their horses in heavy armor. In fact, the European Middle Ages would have been very different were it not for this simple Asian invention.

Where does this take us? How did the Parthians in ancient Persia drive their saddles and fly their bows with Persians if there were no passengers?

Did Attila Hun really bring the stirrup to Europe? Or are the Huns able to instill fear in the hearts of all Eurasians with their skills in horses and archery, even when traveling without passengers? There is no evidence that the Huns actually used this technology. Until new evidence is discovered, the question remains in the air, but the truth is that it is an invention that changed human history.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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