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Fighting Gaul



The Gauls

The Gauls, a group of Celts, inhabited mainland Europe. They lived in independent barbaric tribes governed in a feudal manner by a chief magistrate. War represented a substantial part of Gaulish culture, influencing much of the Gauls’ social customs. Although known for its violence, Gaulish culture also produced beautiful art and brilliant orators.

The Gauls spoke Gaulish, one of many Celtic dialects. Though the Gauls wrote inscriptions with a script called “ogam,” they had no literary language. Instead, the Gauls maintained an impressive oral tradition and recorded information through memorization and recitation. The Gauls established schools to teach bards and fili, the poets and seers respectively, the art of memorization and recitation. Unfortunately, their lack of writing limits modern knowledge of the Gauls. Thus, all current Gaulish information comes from Roman and Greek sources.

The Gauls practiced a type of feudalism that directed their lives. The lower classes submitted themselves to a contract called “clientage” with a wealthier person. Essentially, the aristocrat provided protection for the “client,” and the “client” worked for the aristocrat in a form of servitude similar to serfdom.

Gaulish culture did not include a strong nuclear family. Frequently, the nobles fostered and educated commoners’ children. Gaulish marriage did not have the stringency associated with Christian marriage. Both men and women could easily obtain divorces, and many men kept concubines.

Along with clients, the Gaulish aristocracy relied on slaves to support the economy. Because they were always away at war, the free men could not work the land. To keep the tribe from starving, slaves managed domestic work, freeing the men to engage in combat.

The Gauls desired combat as a means of glory. Fights that were little more than drunken brawls frequently turned into multi-person battles. The Gauls primarily used three weapons: the sword, the dagger, and the spear. Unlike most swords, Gaulish swords only sliced the enemy. If the warrior decided to thrust a weapon, he employed the spear or the dagger. Initially, the Gauls forged bronze weaponry but eventually used iron. Warriors protected themselves with round wooden shields but generally did not wear helmets into battle. The chariot transported warriors through the battlefield. The Gaulish army used a cavalry in battle, and many neighboring cultures considered the Gauls to be the world’s finest horsemen.

Carefully prescribed rules governed Gaulish warfare. They believed one-on-one fighting to be the most glorious form of battle. When warriors engaged in this kind of fighting, they adhered to the rule of “fair play.” This rule declared that no one could assist the warring men, a concept the Gauls considered sacred. Before the duel, the men recited the valorous deeds of their ancestors in an attempt to intimidate their opponent. Whichever warrior won the dual would take the head of the other as a trophy. Often they would use the heads as drinking goblets. Because human heads served a sacred purpose in Gaulish religion, many Gauls dedicated their trophy heads to the gods.

The details of Gaulish religion still mystify modern historians. The Gauls developed a polytheistic theology. Gaulish priests, called druids, wove magical spells and performed sacred rituals to the gods. Although the Gauls built temples for sacred rituals, many druidic ceremonies took place outside in a natural environment. Human heads symbolized Gaulish religion and were revered. The Gauls believed that the human head contained the soul, which could live after the death of the body.

The gods and goddesses controlled and interacted with the physical world. The deities’ powers were not limited to specific sections of the universe, though some did tend to control certain areas more than others. The Gauls emphasized intelligence and heroism in their gods. Two levels of deities existed. The top level of gods distanced themselves from directly interfering in human affairs. Instead, they tended to control broad aspects of the world like seasons and crops. The lower gods, like each tribe’s warrior god, interacted in personal daily activities. These gods protected and guided the tribe. According to legend, the Gauls descended from Dis Pater, “the father god,” making the Gauls a divine race.

From what modern archaeologists can tell, the Gauls constructed idols to represent their gods. Many of their gods and goddesses were animistic. Birds, boars, dogs, salmon, stags, and horses all had religious significance. The druids supposedly received divine messages from the birds, which made birds the most important member of the animal kingdom. The Gauls believed in a guaranteed physical afterlife where worldly possessions would be necessary. Because of this, the Gauls included many household items in their graves.

Food and feasting played an important role in Gaulish culture. Many religious feasts dotted the Gaulish calendar. At these festivals, people worshiped the gods and ate boar, an animal that supposedly had strong mystical powers. The standard Gaulish diet consisted almost entirely of meat. The Gauls consumed dairy products, porridge, and bread in addition to their primarily carnivorous diet. The Gaulish people drank copious amounts of wine and ale, a trait for which they were famous throughout continental Europe.

At festivals, harpists, bards, and musicians served as entertainment. The Gauls enjoyed horse racing and often included a race in their festivities. Other forms of entertainment included board and field games. One of these games, fidchell, looked similar to chess. The Gauls promoted field sports and hunting as ways to stay active in unusual peaceful periods.

Because the Gauls moved frequently, they lived in very rudimentary villages consisting of rectangular and circular wooden houses with thatched roofs. They constructed basic walls to protect their communities. Each house held basic furnishings with a chimney hole for the fire in the middle of the dwelling. Gaulish families typically resided on farmsteads throughout the countryside.

The Gauls’ clothing reflected their militaristic and nomadic nature. To accommodate equestrianism, the Gaulish men typically wore a tunic and trousers, a type of outfit uncommon in contemporary European wardrobes. Women dressed in floor length tunics. Both men and women wore intricately decorated cloaks.

The Gauls loved decoration and adorned themselves with jewelry. Gaulish art almost entirely consisted of the decoration of mundane objects. Cauldrons, equine equipment, weaponry, and wine flagons frequently displayed beautiful decoration. The Gauls utilized a very distinctive design of asymmetrical patterns that appeared symmetrical. Gaulish art is still considered to be exquisite and highly complex.


Fighting Gaul - History

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Gaul, French Gaule, Latin Gallia, the region inhabited by the ancient Gauls, comprising modern-day France and parts of Belgium, western Germany, and northern Italy. A Celtic race, the Gauls lived in an agricultural society divided into several tribes ruled by a landed class.

A brief treatment of Gaul follows. For full treatment, see France: Gaul.

By the 5th century bc the Gauls had migrated south from the Rhine River valley to the Mediterranean coast. By the middle of the 4th century bc various Gallic tribes had established themselves across northern Italy from Milan to the Adriatic coast. The region of Italy occupied by the Gauls was called Cisalpine Gaul (“Gaul this side of the Alps”) by the Romans. In 390 bc the Gauls seized and plundered the city of Rome. This humiliation helped to inspire the Romans’ drive to conquer Gaul. The Cisalpine Gauls pushed into central Italy by 284. In a series of confrontations, the Romans defeated the tribe of the Insubres, took Milan, and established colonies in a buffer zone. In the Second Punic War, Hannibal of Carthage made an alliance with the Gallic Cenomani against the Romans the Romans prevailed, however, and by 181 Rome had subjugated and colonized Cisalpine Gaul.

By the 2nd century bc , when the Romans extended their territory across the Alps into the south of France, they already controlled most of the commerce in that part of the Mediterranean. An alliance with the Aedui against the Allobroges and the Arverni brought the Romans control of the Rhône River valley after 120 bc . The Roman colony of Narbo Martius (Narbonne) was founded on the coast in 118, and the southern province became known as Gallia Narbonensis. An invasion by Germanic Cimbri and Teutones was defeated by Marius in 102, but 50 years later a new wave of invasions into Gaul, by the Helvetii from Switzerland and the Suevi from Germany, triggered Roman conquest of the rest of Gaul by Julius Caesar in 58–50 bc .

During 53–50 Caesar was engaged in suppressing a Gallic revolt led by Vercingetorix. He treated the Gauls generously, leaving their cities with a significant measure of autonomy, and thus secured the allegiance of Gallic soldiers in his civil wars against Pompey in 49–45. A former religious centre of Gallic society, Lugdunum (Lyon) became the capital of Roman Gaul. The country was divided into four provinces: Narbonensis, Aquitania to the west and south of the Loire, Celtica (or Lugdunensis) in central France between the Loire and the Seine, and Belgica in the north and east. The Romans built towns and roads throughout Gaul and taxed the old Gallic landowning class while promoting the development of a middle class of merchants and tradesmen. The emperor Tiberius was obliged to suppress a rebellion of the nobles in 21 ad , and the assimilation of the Gallic aristocracy was secured when the emperor Claudius (41–54 ad ) made them eligible for seats in the Roman Senate and appointed them to governing posts in Gaul.

The next two centuries were marked by occasional revolts, by increasingly frequent invasions of Germanic tribes, against whom a line of limes, or fortifications, was erected from the middle Rhine to the upper Danube, and by the introduction of Christianity early in the 2nd century. During the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Germanic invaders crossed the limes. Frontier legions rebelled along the Rhine, spurring the civil wars that followed the death of the emperor Commodus in 192. An economic recession, marked by inflation and rising prices, hurt the towns and the small farmers.

In 260 Gaul, Spain, and Britain formed an independent Gallic empire, governed from Trier. The emperor Aurelian reclaimed Gaul for Rome in 273, but Germanic tribes devastated the country as far as Spain. Under Diocletian and his successors, reforms in defense and administration were instituted, but Gaul became a centre of the unrest that was fragmenting the empire. In the middle of the 4th century the tide of invasions swelled. By the 5th century the Visigoths had taken Aquitania, the Franks ruled Belgica, and the Burgundians dominated the Rhine. By the time the kingdom of the Frankish Merovingians arose, in the early 6th century, the Romans had lost control of Gaul.

In the end, Gaul proved to be an important repository of Roman culture. Gallic writers long kept the classical Roman literary tradition alive. Many of the amphitheatres, aqueducts, and other Roman works built in Gaul still stand.


Fighting Gaul - History

THE GAMECOCK AND ITS HERITAGE

“Before cockfighting even became a sport, the bird, the fighting-cock, was regarded as an admirable animal, drawing respect from men. The fighting cock was a subject of religious worship. According to Diodorus Siculus, the Ancient Syrians worshipped the fighting-cock as a deity. The Ancient Greeks and Romans associated the fighting-cock with the gods Apollo, Mercury, and Mars. Magellan claimed that in Borneo, the bird was so sacred that no one could eat its flesh. In South Canara, the bird claimed to ward off evil demons. In Sumatra, the gamecock was worshipped, a temple built to it, and rituals performed to honor the deity. Cock fighting occurred in the temples and the dead bird, which lost the battle, was prepared to be presented to the deities. The bird would be placed in a gold cauldron, soaked in gums and spices. Then its body was burned on an altar and its ashes were placed in a golden pot or urn. Scott, “History of Cockfighting”

The history of cockfighting is hazy, there does not seem to be a definitive point in history as to when cockfighting became an official sport. In the times before Christ, approximately 3,000 years ago during the times of the Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Canaanites, cockfighting was popular. Breeding gamecocks for fighting in a pit was considered an art and trading these birds was profitable. In Egypt, in the time of Moses, cockfighting was a favorite pastime. During the height of Greek civilization, Themistocles — a general who was preparing to drive away the invading Persians– decided to hold a cockfight the night before the battle to inspire his men by showing the courageous nature of the fighting cock. Persian traders loved to gamble by pitting their fighting birds against each other. They would often carry their birds with them and pit a fight in the marketplaces and trading centers.

In the first century after Christ, Julius Caesar led Rome into enjoying the sport of cockfighting. He was the first citizen of Rome to be an enthusiast of the sport. Caesar ultimately introduced cockfighting into England. In the 16th century, cockfighting was flourishing in England. During the time of King Henry VIII, cockfights were held at Whitehall Palace. The game became a national sport at one point and exclusive schools were required to teach students the points of cockfighting, such as breeding, walking, and conditioning of the gamecock. At its very height of popularity, even the clergy encouraged the sport. Church yards and inside of the churches were used as an arena for cockfighting. The sport declined in England during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 17th century, when she banned cockfighting with a royal decree. Today, cockfighting is almost nonexistent. However, in the British Isles, there still exists a breed of gamecocks known as the Pyles strain of Charles II that is a highly sought after bird by cockers and breeders.

In ancient Gaul, cockfighting was somehow brought into the country through travelling caravans or by those who returned from Rome or the East. During the middle Ages in France, cockfighting was very popular. Eventually, France adopted the cock as a national emblem. Today, cockfighting has been driven underground.

In Spain, cockfighting has existed for the longest period of time. How it arrived is uncertain. Theories point to travelling Phoenicians or the conquering Moors. Today, cockfighting is a popular sport in Bilbao, Oviedo, Madrid, Barcelon, and Valencia. many Filipino breeders travel to Spain to obtain ideal birds for breeding. Many gamecocks in the Philippines have a blood strain of Spanish gamecocks.

In the United States, famous presidents who were lovers of the game were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. It was socially acceptable and encouraged for a gentleman to have a flock of gamecocks and to be an expert on the sport. At one point, the U.S. became a center for cockfighting activities and events. Cockfights were even held in the committee rooms of the President. It is said that the fighting-cock almost became the national emblem. It lost by one vote to the American eagle. Cockfighting declined when the civil war started.

In the Philippines, it was said cockfighting was already popular by the time the Spaniards arrived. It was recorded that in 1565, natives of Butuan were watching cockfights when the Spaniards came for supplies. ”

This Article with some old photos can be found at http://www.sabungero.com/history.html

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A Brief History on Cock Fighting

At one time cockfights were actually held in our nations capital. President Andrew Jackson kept fighting cocks in the white house stables, employing a man named Jack Freer to feed and train them. Such statesmen as Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, Governor John Floyd of Virginia, and many others met in the committee rooms of congress to match rooster favorites. George Washington and his friend , Lord Fairfax, were ardent cockers and in Washington’s personal effects was found literature on the subject. Both were regular subscribers to a cockfighting magazine published in England. At that time cockfighting was America’s National Sport and the fighting cock lost out to the American Eagle as the Seal of the United Statesby only ONE vote after a bitter battle.

As proof against the contention that cockfighting is cruel: Abraham Lincoln, who loved cockfighting, was so tender hearted that he wouldn’t hunt, and as a boy was whipped many times for opening traps to free the animals. As a man , Lincoln attended and refereed many cockfights, thus his nickname Honest Abe. Benjamin Franklin also attended and refereed cockfights. Thomas Jefferson was a breeder and fighter of gamecocks. Other Famous men who were ardent cockers were: Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Themistocles, Queen Elizabeth of England, James 1 and his son Prince Henry, Charles 1, Charles 11, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Duke of Essex.

The oldest Known cockpit in the world is Number Ten Downing Street, Official residence of Winston Churchill, whose ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, was a famous cock fighter. The original pit was erected there by King Henry VIII and was immortalized in a painting by the famous artist Van Dyck. King James 1 was devoted to cock fighting. Cockfighting has been a compulsory course of instruction in some English schools for more that 1000 years.

Cocks are fought in every state in America. Several times a year tournaments are held in the South. Small tournaments, derbies, and concourses are held every month all over the country during the fighting season, which runs from Thanksgiving to July 4th. Cocks are not fought in the summer due to heat and molt.

Information taken from “Johnson’s Breeder’s and Cocker’s Guide”, third edition.

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THE HISTORY OF COCKFIGHTING

Cockfighting has a history which traces back to times before Christ. However, before it even became a sport, the bird was regarded as an admirable animal, drawing respect from men. The fighting cock was a subject of religious worship. The ancient Syrians worshipped the fighting-cock as a deity. The ancient Greeks and Romans associated the fighting-cock with the gods Apollo, Mercury and Mars. Magellan claimed that in Borneo, the bird was so sacred that no one could eat its flesh. In South Canara, the bird claimed to ward off evil demons. In Sumatra, the gamecock was worshipped — a temple built to it, and rituals performed to honor the deity.

Cockfighting occurred in the temples and the dead bird which lost the battle was prepared to be presented to the deities. The bird would be placed in a gold cauldron, soaked in gums and spices. Then its body was burned on an altar and its ashes were placed in a golden pot or urn.

In the times before Christ, approximately 3,000 years ago during the times of the phoenicians, Hebrews, and Canaanites, cockfighting was popular. Breeding gamecocks for fighting in a pit was considered an art and trading these birds was profitable. In Egypt, in the time of Moses, cockfighting was a favorite pasttime. During the height of Greek civilization, Themistocles — a general who was preparing to drive away the invading persians – decided to hold a cockfight the night before the battle to inspire his men by showing the courageous nature of the fighting cock. Persian traders loved to gamble by pitting their fighing birds against each other. They would often carry their birds with them and pit a fight in the marketplaces and trading centers.

In the first century after Christ, Julius Caesar led Rome into enjoying the sport of cockfighting. He was the first citizen of rome to be an enthusiast of the sport. Caesar ultimately introduced cockfighting into England. In the 16th century, cockfighting was flourishing in England. During the time of King Henry VIII, cockfights were held at whitehall palace. The game became a national sport at one point, and exclusive schools were required to teach students the points of cockfighting, such as breeding, walking, and conditioning of the gamecock. At its very height of popularity, even the clergy encouraged the sport. Church yards and inside of the churches were used as an arena for cockfighting. The sport declined in england during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 17th century, when she banned cockfighting with a royal decree. Today, cockfighting is almost nonexistent. However, in the British Isles, there still esixts a breed of gamecocks known as the pyles strain of Charles II that is a highly sought after bird by cockers and breeders.

In spain, cockfighting has existed for the longest period of time. How it arrived is uncertain. Theories point to travelling phoenicians or the conquering moors. Today, cockfighting is a popular sport in Bilbao, Oviedo, Madrid, Barcelon, and Valencia. Many Filipino breeders travel to Spain to obtain ideal birds for breeding. Many gamecocks in the Philippines have a blood strain of Spanish game cocks.

In theUnited States, famous presidents who were lovers of the game were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. It was socially acceptable and encouraged for a gentleman to have a flock of gamecocks and to be an expert on the sport. At one point, theU.S. Became a center for cockfighting activities and events. Cockfights were even held in the committee rooms of the president. It is said that the fighting-cock almost became the national emblem. It lost by one vote to the american eagle. Cockfighting declined when the Civil War started.

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The Sacred Bird

The fighting cock was a subject of religious worship. According to Diodorus Siculus, the Ancient Syrians worshipped the fighting-cock as a deity. The Ancient Greeks and Romans associated the fighting-cock with the gods Apollo, Mercury and Mars. Magellan claimed that in Borneo, the bird was so sacred that no one could eat its flesh. In South Canara, the bird claimed to ward off evil demons. In Sumatra, the gamecock was worshipped, a temple built to it, and rituals performed to honor the deity. Cock fighting occurred in the temples and the dead bird which lost the battle was prepared to be presented to the deities. The bird would be placed in a gold cauldron, soaked in gums and spices. Then its body was burned on an altar and its ashes were placed in a golden pot or urn. Scott, “History of Cockfighting”

The history of cockfighting is hazy, there does not seem to be a definitive point in history as to when cockfighting became an official sport. In the times before Christ,approximately 3,000 years ago during the times of the Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Canaanites, cockfighting was popular. Breeding gamecocks for fighting in a pit was considered an art and trading these birds was profitable. In Egypt, in the time of Moses, cockfighting was a favorite pasttime. During the height of Greek civilization, Themistocles — a general who was preparing to drive away the invading Persians — decided to hold a cockfight the night before the battle to inspire his men by showing the courageous nature of the fighting cock. Persian traders loved to gamble by pitting their fighing birds against each other. They would often carry their birds with them and pit a fight in the marketplaces and trading centers.

In the first century after Christ, Julius Caesar led Rome into enjoying the sport of cockfighting. He was the first citizen of Rome to be an enthusiast of the sport. Caesar ultimately introduced cockfighting into England. In the 16th century, cockfighting was flourishing in England. During the time of King Henry VIII, cockfights were held at Whitehall Palace. The game became a national sport at one point and exclusive schools were required to teach students the points of cockfighting, such as breeding, walking, and conditioning of the gamecock. At its very height of popularity, even the clergy encouraged the sport. Church yards and inside of the churches were used as an arena for cockfighting. The sport declined in England during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 17th century, when she banned cockfighting with a royal decree. Today, cockfighting is almost nonexistent. However, in the British isles, there still esixts a breed of gamecocks known as the Pyles strain of Charles II that is a highly sought after bird by cockers and breeders.

In ancient Gaul, cockfighting was somehow brought into the country through travelling caravans or by those who returned from Rome or the East. During the Middle Ages in France, cockfighting was very popular. Eventually, France adopted the cock as a national emblem. Today, cockfighting has been driven underground.

In Spain, cockfighting has existed for the longest period of time. How it arrived is uncertain. Theories point to travelling Phoenicians or the conquering Moors. Today, cockfighting is a popular sport in Bilbao, Oviedo, Madrid, Barcelon, and Valencia. Many Filipino breeders travel to Spain to obtain ideal birds for breeding. Many gamecocks in the Philippines have a blood strain of Spanish game cocks.

In the United States, famous presidents who were lovers of the game were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. It was socially acceptable and encouraged for a gentleman to have a flock of gamecocks and to be an expert on the sport. At one point, the U.S. became a center for cockfighting activities and events. Cockfights were even held in the committee rooms of the President. It is said that the fighting-cock almost became the national emblem. It lost by one vote to the American eagle. Cockfighting declined when the civil war started.

In theThailand, it was said cockfighting was already popular by the time the establishment ofAyutthaya as the capital of theThaiKingdom in A.D.1350. It was recorded that in 1562, When Crown Prince Naresuan was seven years of age, he was taken captive by the Burmese to ensure the fidelity of his father, who was already a prominent prince, as theAyutthayaKingdom was under Burmese occupation. During his stay inBurma, Crown Prince Naresuan was highly trained by the Burmese King Bayinnaung (Thai language: Burinnaung or Burengnong) in martial arts, literature and military strategies, and was reared as one of the princes in theBurmesePalace. After spending nine years of his youth at Pegu under the protection of the Burmese king, Naresuan like watching cockfights when stay inBurma.

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American gamefowl is a breed of poultry once bred for cockfighting. They played a significant role in American history as they were bred, fought, and raised by many famous political leaders. As Abraham Lincoln used to be a cockfighting referee, the breed indirectly influenced his nickname “honest Abe.”

Most American gamefowl lines (or strains) consist of Irish Game, Old English, and Oriental Gamefowl. However many others contain Spanish strains, along with gamefowl from other places including the Sumatra breed. The American gamefowl has gained in popularity as a show breed since the outlawing of cock fights.

The most common colorations are “Black breasted red” (dubbed reds), “Wheaten” (dubbed reds), “Silver duckwings” (dubbed greys), “Golden duckwings” (called greys), White, black, brown-red, red quil, gold, pumpkin, and blue (in various forms, this includes splash, blue wheaten, blue reds, etc.).

The American gamefowl are extremely cold and heat resistant, intelligent, and are capable of surviving independently in the wild. Many places have cross-bred gamefowl present the streets/woods. Key West, Guam, and Hawaii are some of the main places known for Spanish gamefowl running wild, with some American gamefowl strains as well. American gamefowl can also be found in the wild in various places in the continental United States, often after escaping or being set free by owners.

American game in poultry showsIn the past, game fowl were primarily used for sport purposes. Recent changes in the political atmosphere have encouraged American to imitate European counterparts and display their fowl in the show ring. American game fowl are considered top competitors in poultry shows across the United States and Europe, typically according to the American Standard of Perfection used by the American Poultry Association.

[edit] American Game BantamThere is a bantam (smaller) variety of this breed, which originated from the original large fowl. However, like the Old English Game bantams they are not considered game birds, and have been cross-bred with other breeds to add feather length and kill gameness. One breed known in this cross is Jungle fowl. American game bantam should not be confused with miniature gamefowl, which are pit (game) quality as well as exhibition quality, after careful cross-breeding.

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History of Asian Gamefowl in Mexico

According Dr. Edsel Bixler of Mexico the first Mexican encounter with Asian gamefowl was made through the arrival of the Spanish ship “Nao of China” at Acapulco in the 16th century. It arrived from the Philippines. At that time this was a Spanish colony situated in Southeast Asia. After the independence of Mexico importations of Asian gamefowl took a great flight. Armando Salcedo imported Calcutta Asil from Brazil, Edmundo Montes imported Asil from India (no further breeding from them !), Dr. Alcibidas Rey Conde imported Asil from Pakistan. These birds proved very succesful defeating all the competition in the country. Jose.T.Cabeza de Vaca imported some good Asil from India. Other Asian gamefowl has been imported from the United States, Australia and Canada. A good collection of Asian gamefowl breeds were imported by Dr. Edsel Bixler from Mexico City. Asian gamefowl breeds are getting popular more and more. Information Source: Dr. Edsel Bixler’s ”Oriental Gamefowl” (1997)

Mexican Gamefowl & The Sport

The majority of Mexican gamefowl is pitted in short 22 Mm spur, 1/4″ steel gaff, steel knives and slashers most of Mexican gamefowl is of the Spanish Game type or are crossed with Asian gamefowl (like Shamo, Asil, Malay, Brazilian Game, etcetera). Also other Bankiva-type breeds are used like Cuban, Dominican, American Game). Asian gamefowl purebreds are mainly pitted in trimmed spurs or round 1/4″ gaff.

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Gamefowl in Russia

In Russia cockfighting has a long tradition. It was a very popular pastime being organised in various occasions like pub visits, holidays and markets. In Moscow the Moscovian Fighter and Gilyan (Orlovski) were bred for these purposes. But after cockfighting has been prohibited the population of these breeds decreased. The Gilyan however survived but at present day this breed is mainly bred for ornamental purposes. Due to the efforts of poultry enthusiasts from the city of Pavlov (Nighegorodskoy region) the Gilyan survived extinction. Very rare !

Beginning of the 1980′s farmers from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan made a start introducing their fighting breeds (Dakan and Kulang) into the city of Moscow and other Russian cities. The main center of cockfighting in Russia is the Caucasus region, other strongholds are the Central-Asian republics: Dagestan and Uzbekistan. In Russian domestic literature various breed names are mentioned: Dakan, Tokar, Assel and Kulang. These names are used in various Russian and Central Asian republics. Examples: Kulanga (Uzbekistan) , Dakan (Kirgizstan). In general the -Kulanga- is different from the -Dakan- due to its size, weight, combtype and specific colours. Note: all breeds in Russia and the CentralAsianRepublics are pitted in natural spurs only.

As in other countries with gamefowl, birds are valued for their fighting styles and do get the best birds a lot of crossing is done by local breeders. Also the Caucasus region has been affected by the importation of birds from other foreign countries like: Turkey, Iran, Thailand and China. Russian gamefowl breeders simply call them -Asians- (with white and dark legs). In Russia , gamefowl (Aseel) imported from Greece showing pearl eyes, very short plumage and with yellow legs got a very good reputation.

A Russian gamefowl breeder named Alexander Dubecsky was very succesful with these birds and was victorious both in Moscow and Caucasus. His birds were of very good quality showing staying power and good style. Recently gamefowl breeders from Uzbekistan arrived in Moscow with their elite Dakan fighters being very succesful in the tournaments organized in the main capital. Other gamefowl breeds (Shamo, Hint Horoz, Madras Aseel, Belgian Game, etc) have been imported into Russia too. Importation of birds from nearby Iran, Turkey, China, Afghanistan, Caucasian and Central-Asian republics has become very popular too.

At the end of 2001 a gamefowl organisation was founded in Russia. It is known as the -Nacionalnaia Liga Lubiteley Boycovoy Ptici - (National Gamefowl League). The first elected President is Mr. Ura Grishakov from Moscow. The club is trying hard to promote the hobby and the sport.

The club has established international contacts and have undertaken promotional visits too Brugge (Belgium) in 2002 and the first European gamefowl exhibition in Cologne (Germany) in 2004. Projects are in motion and activities will be expanded in near future.

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Greece History

The ancient Greeks according various sources were enthousiastic about gamefowl and cockfighting. The sport was a popular pursuit not only for entertainment, but as a model for courage in the face of extreme adversity. One of the more famous stories of cockfighting involves Themistocles, the mighty Athenian General. When preparing for battle against the Persians, his troops witnessed two cocks fighting beside the road. Themistocles took this occasion to explain to his soldiers: “Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for their monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty, or the safety of their children, but only because the one will not give way to the other.” A great battle between the armies ensued, and the Persians were defeated. The influence of this particular cockfight was perpetuated by the subsequent passage of a law requiring yearly cockfights in Athens, the construction of an amphitheater for cockfighting, and the required attendance of young men at cockfights to learn the lesson of courage and fortitude even to death.

Ancient images of Greek life show Bankiva-type fighting cocks. At present day the majority of the Greek gamefowl population are Hint Horoz, a large mediumweight Aseel which originally have been imported from Turkey as well as the (occupied) Turkish part of Cyprus. Some other breeds have been imported into the country mostimes by Greeks living and working outside their homeland.


File:Statue of a fighting Gaul, found in the Agora of the Italians on Delos, the wounded warrior has fallen on his right knee and is attempting to defend himself, about 100 BC, National Archaeological Museum of Athens (13912316279).jpg

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How did the Gauls of Caesar's time fight?

I always imagined the Gauls fought in the barbarian style of pretty much rushing the enemy as a mass. However, I was surprised to read in hisCommentaries on the Gallic War Caesar refering to the formation of the Helvetii as a phalanx.

Did Gauls really use the phalanx? If they did, did they learn it from the Romans? If they were picking up strategy from the Romans, why were they using a strategy that Rome had stopped using hundreds of years earlier?

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I know they had excellent cavalry, something Caesar used to his advantage once he annexed them as the Romans did not have good cavalry. I think the Gaelic armies were mostly conscripted, I dont think they had a standing army that trained regularly, so it would have been shield wall with spear and sword. They weren't a full nation either, but a large number of small tribes that all were independent, which made it hard to fight off large nations like Rome.

At one point a large number of these tribes did ban together to fight Caesar under Vercingetorix, even though Vercingetorix did an outstanding job strategically to fight Caesar he still failed. Caesar was a military mastermind that could get himself out of almost any situation, its truly remarkable if you study his battles how he was able to swing the tides of victory.

From what I understand, the Gauls would have swordsmen up front to attack enemy infantry and spears in the back to protect against cavalry flanks. There would have been a second line of infantry to help protect against flanks. Its also important to remember that cavalry at this time were not really used for flanking infantry, only late in the battle did they do this. Most of the time cavalry were used to fight other cavalry in the "skirmish" phase which sometimes took weeks or months prior to any big battle. The two armies would line up in different formations each day to try to get a tactical advantage or to look for an opportunity to move in to cut off supplies. One army would wake up early and get into formation to try to get the opposing army to wake up early and get into formation so they couldnt eat breakfast to make them stand all day without food. Then the next day the same thing, trying to exhaust your enemy before a fight was key.

There was a lot of skirmishes before the big battle though, as foragers and hunters would go off into the near by area to supplement food, the opposing army would send cavalry to run them down to prevent them from getting food, as well as stop the opposing armies cavalry from doing the same to them. Most of ancient warfare was actually just base building, camp management, and logistics, the battle was a small part of a bigger whole. I think it was Caesar who said the greatest weapon of the legionnaire was the pick axe/hammering tool they used to build forts and bridges.


7 Answers 7

We have essentially three references on this topic. Of these, only Caesar's could have had political motivations, as he was engaged in a campaign against the Britons. His account, however, is only marginal compared to the others, in that he does not clearly state that the Celts went to battle naked. On the other hand, both Polybius and Diodourus Siculus look like reliable sources they were Greek, not Romans. It is clear from their account that going in battle naked was uncommon between the Celts (see, in particular, the italicized part in the following passages).

We have references in Polybius, Histories, II-28 (emphasis added):

The Insubres and Boii wore their trousers and light cloaks, 8 but the Gaesatae had discarded these garments owing to their proud confidence in themselves, and stood naked, with nothing but their arms, in front of the whole army, thinking that thus they would be more efficient, as some of the ground was overgrown with bramblesb which would catch in their clothes and impede the use of their weapons.

In Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, V-30 (emphasis added):

The clothing they wear is striking — shirts which have been dyed and embroidered in varied colours, and breeches, which they call in their tongue bracae and they wear striped coats, fastened by a buckle on the shoulder, heavy for winter wear and light for summer, in which are set checks, close together and of varied hues. For armour they use long shields, as high as a man, which are wrought in a manner peculiar to them, some of them even having the figures of animals embossed on them in bronze, and these are skilfully worked with an eye not only to beauty but also to protection. On their heads they put bronze helmets which have large embossed figures standing out from them and give an appearance of great size to those who wear them for in some cases horns are attached to the helmet so as to form a single piece, in other cases images of the fore-parts of birds or four-footed animals. [. ] Some of them have iron cuirasses, chain-wrought, but others are satisfied with the armour which Nature has given them and go into battle naked.

And finally in Caesar's de Bello Gallico, IV, 1, we learn that the Suebi:

even in the coldest parts they wear no clothing whatever except skins, by reason of the scantiness of which, a great portion of their body is bare, and besides they bathe in open rivers.

However, this is more a general remark on the daily life of the Suebi and not about their warriors in particular.

There is plenty of archeological evidence for Celtic armor, especially helmets. Contemporary art (Dying Gaul, Ludovisi Gaul and Kneeling Gaul) has them always naked, but this is most likely due to either stylistic reasons, or because of the impression that accounts of naked warriors would have made on the artist.

I doubt a whole army would have gone into battle en masse naked, but there is enough hearsay to assume that there were some naked warriors. I think it almost impossible to prove or disprove this, but I believe it likely that there were celtic warriors who fought naked. Where they Viking style beserkers who had too many hallucinogens, or where they slaves forced into battle. The naturistic religion of the Celts imo makes this a reasonably believeable.

I'd like to add to the written sources described above Vindolanda Inventory No. 85.032.a., thought to be an officer's report found preserved at the Northern British Roman fort of Vindolanda along with many other texts. It reads:

. the Britons are unprotected by armour (?). There are very many cavalry. The cavalry do not use swords nor do the wretched Britons mount in order to throw javelins.

EDIT: In my opinion, we have plenty of archaeological evidence to show Celtic peoples across the board did use armour if they could afford it it's certain that the majority of fighters couldn't afford armour, and there's not a lot of difference in terms of defence between plain clothes and being naked. There might even be benefits such as avoiding getting caught in foliage, avoid over-heating, and morale boosts from just looking bloody tough that you may as well capitalise on if you cant get hold of armour anyway.

They probably did, at least some of them. While the Romans and Greeks both were into the heroic nude, and such appears in Etruscan art too. So in regards art, particularly Greek sources, it's not easy to say whether the naked depiction of Celtic warriors is factual or artistic - a trope if you like of the naked Celt.

Livy mentions the Galatians fighting naked, but whether this means shirtless or completely naked is open to interpretation. He does mention them though in the early 2nd century BC, which is a similar timeframe for Polybius' mention of the Gaesatae from the late 3rd century BC.

Naked warriors appear in Celtic art too including coins suggesting that a tradition of naked fighting existed and was recognisable enough to appear in art. There is no suggestion that Celts fought naked at the time of Caesar and the typical warrior appears to have fought bare chested with a cloak. Roman triumphs typically show warriors with trousers, cloak and shoes. Sometimes a loose tunic is worn and by loose I mean a neck so big that the chest down to the belly is exposed and the shirt could be worn one sleeved.

Even during the era of the Galatians and their wars with Pergamon where the famous naked statues of dead and dying Gauls come from there is contradiction or perhaps hidden detail. Pergamene triumphs depict Celtic armour, one of the earliest depictions of Celtic chainmail comes from here and the Celts are also shown to have used Greek styled armour as well as weapons. Greek style armour also appears in Gaul such as statues at Entremont and dics found in some warrior graves match attachment points on linothorax armour so there is consistency in the depiction of armour in Galatia and southern France, one from a Greek source, the other a Celtic one.

Which all takes us in a circle of whether they fought naked or not. They certainly wore armour but it's also possible that the rank and file wore very little or nothing at all. For those concerned with the ability to fight naked, there are plenty of examples from early contact with African tribes and Pacific tribes to show that warriors did fight either naked or just a loin covering.


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Timeline: 5th Century (Gaul Rising)

As the fourth century came to a close, the Roman Empire experienced frequent invasions by Germanic tribes seeking refuge from the Huns in Roman lands, as well as frequent attacks by the Huns themselves. The Barbarian Wars continued during the early fourth century.

Great Crossing of the Danube

In October and November of 400, the Huns attacked numerous Germanic tribes, including the Vandals, the Sciri, the Alans, Goths who had remained north of the Danube, and Gepids and Teuriscians who had not migrated to the Middle East. Many people from all of those tribes fled toward the Danube. By late January 401, a large number of barbarians had gathered in several areas just north of the Danube.

Roman army units in the area refused to let the barbarians cross the river, but several commanders did open dialogue with the tribal leaders and agreed to provide food and protection against the Huns. Several commanders refused to accommodate the barbarians in any way, and a few tribal leaders insisted that their people would only be safe inside Roman territory. Negotiations broke down.

During the night of March 12, 401, thousands of barbarian soldiers crossed the Danube near the Carpathian Mountains. Over the next several days, they raided nearby villages for food and clothing before retreating. On March 19, several Roman commanders crossed the Danube to carry out a retaliatory attack. The barbarian tribes fought off the Romans and took hundreds of prisoners. The tribal leaders later offered to release the hostages in exchange for being allowed to settle in Roman territory. On March 25, two Roman generals ordered their legions to let the barbarians in. Barbarian soldiers and civilians peacefully crossed the Danube, and the hostages were returned. This event came to be known as the Great Crossing of the Danube.

At the time the barbarians entered Roman territory, the tribal leaders and the Roman generals had not reached an agreement on where the tribes would settle or the terms of the settlement. Empress Saturnina was not even consulted before the barbarians were allowed across the Danube. Many of the barbarians left the vicinity of the Danube shortly after the crossing. These things would lead to further conflicts.

North Italian War

By the winter of 401, many of the barbarians who crossed the Danube had settled in the Italian provinces of Histria, Venetia, Aemelia, Liguria, Tuscany, and Umbria. Tensions quickly arose between the Romans and the settlers. Meanwhile, the Gallic emperor deployed three legions to the province of Transpadena and four legions to Raetia.

On February 19, 402, the governor of Tuscany declared the Germanic settlers unwelcome and ordered them to leave the province. When provincial military forces attempted to forcibly expel the settlers, the settlers responded with armed resistance. The conflict soon spread throughout northern Italy, and later spilled into central Italy and Illyricum.

The war lasted for four years. It was characterized by the use of guerrilla tactics by the Germanic soldiers. Many Romans sided with the Germanic tribes out of longstanding discontent with the Roman political system.

By January 406, Saturnina realized that efforts to drive the barbarians out of Italy would not succeed, so she offered to negotiate with the tribal leaders. Reaching agreements with all the barbarian leaders took five months as different chiefs had different goals. Some tribes (or branches of tribes) were content to be granted Roman citizenship and their leaders were content to be integrated into the existing political system. Others wanted varying degrees of autonomy. After the negotiations ended, northern Italy became a patchwork of fiefdoms and areas still fully under imperial authority.

Vandal Wars

Most of the Vandals, led by their king Godigisel, migrated southward into Haemus, but their attempts to settle in Haemus were met with resistance, in part by Suevians who were already there. A conflict in Haemus was averted when several Suevian rulers urged the Vandals to cross the Mediterranean and settle in the African province of Tripoliania. (Roman Africa was the part of the empire least affected by decades of warfare.) Godigisel accepted the Suevian chieftains' request, but demanded substantial compensation in the form of grain, livestock, clothing, and weapons in return. The Suevian leaders agreed. The Vandals began arriving in Africa in the summer of 402.

First Vandal War

In August 404, an outbreak of smallpox occurred in the African provinces, and the governor of Tripolitania and several other key provincial officials were among those who died. Meanwhile, Saturnina was preoccupied with the war in Italy to appoint a new governor. Taking advantage of the resulting power vacuum, Godigisel marched into the provincial capital with an army of Vandals and some Roman supporters and declared himself governor. The praetorian prefect of Africa sent two legions to Tripolitania.

For almost a year, Godigisel fought a defensive war against the praetorian prefect, though sympathizers in Byzacena and Zeugitana caused civil disorder. In August 405, Tripolitanian and Vandal forces launched a major naval attack on the towns of Ruspe, Thapsus, and Iunci in Byzacena. After the naval forces withdrew, they attacked the Roman forces in Tripolitania from the rear. The Roman forces feel back to Byzacena.

In October 405, the Tripolitanians and Vandals travelled through the desert and invaded the province of Numidia from the south and started occupying territory. By the end of 405, half of Byzacena and half of Numidia were under Vandal control. On April 18, 406, the praetorian prefect had fled Carthage (the capital of the praetorian prefecture) for Caesarea Mauretaniae (OTL Cherchell).

The praetorian prefect appealed to Saturnina for help, but she declined. Instead, Saturnina made an agreement with Godigisel. Godigisel would be recognized as governor of Tripolitania, Byzacena, Zeugitana, and Numidia, while also still king of the Vandals. In return, Godigisel would acknowledge himself and his provinces as still under imperial authority.

Second Vandal War

Godigisel died in his sleep on February 8, 407, and was succeeded as king of the Vandals by his son Gunderic. Saturnina recognized Gunderic as governor of the same four provinces as his father, while Gunderic acknowledged imperial authority. Nevertheless, the agreement broke down. Gunderic acted as though he were the ruler of an independent state, claiming that he was subservient to the Roman monarch only in his capacity as a Roman governor and not as king of the Vandals.

In January 409, newly crowned Roman Emperor Marcian sent two legions to Mauritania for the praetorian prefect to command. In April 409, he sent three legions to invade Byzacena, while the praetorian prefect had three legions invade Numidia. Even with Roman support, the Vandals quickly lost territory. In an effort to incentivize the Romans to withdraw, Gunderic sent three legions to attack the island of Sardinia and two to attack Sicily. For three weeks, the Vandals carried out scorched earth warfare.

When the Vandals attempted to return to Africa, they encountered many Roman ships blocking their path. The Vandals landed in southern Italy and marched north towards Rome. The Vandals surrounded the city on July 29. Word quickly reached the Roman forces in Africa, and the Romans promptly retreated to confront the Vandals in Italy, but they could not reach Rome soon enough. On August 3, 409, the Vandal army breached the walls of Rome and spent seven days burning and raiding the city. On August 10, the Vandals left Rome and headed west for the Adriatic. They reached the sea three days later and returned to Africa by September.

After word of the sack of Rome reached Thessalonica (where the imperial court was located), Marcian sent a letter to Gunderic recognizing him as governor of Tripolitania, Byzacena, Zeugitana, and Numidia. While Gunderic was still nominally subservient to Marcian, Marcian made no further attempt to enforce imperial rule. On May 1, 415, Gunderic formally proclaimed the Vandal-controlled provinces independent from the Roman Empire.

First Suevian Uprising

In December 411, Marcian summoned several Suevian leaders to Thessalonica and had them given show trials and executed upon arrival, blaming them for the Roman defeat in the Second Vandal War. This prompted Suevian soldiers to destroy several Roman-majority towns in the countrysides of Praevalitana and Dardania. The provincial armies responded by attacking Suevian-majority towns, but the Suevians were prepared for retaliation and were able to resist. After two months of fighting, the provincial governors ordered their armies to stand down.

Roman Uprising in Italy

In Italy, most Romans were either indifferent to or welcomed the incorporation of Germanic leaders into the provincial and local governments. Some Roman military commanders and civil officials, however, resented having to share power with barbarian leaders. In September 413, two generals rebelled against the governor of Tuscany (who was a Goth). Soon thereafter, similar Roman-led rebellions broke out in Aemelia and Umbria against the barbarian governors.

It was up to the provincial governors to put down the rebellion, as neither Marcian nor the praetorian prefect of Italy sent troops to aid the governors.


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