Army, the organized body of armed men which a state maintains for the purposes of war. Of the armies of ancient history, the first of which we know anything positive is that of Egypt. Its epoch of glory coincides with the reign of Rhamses II. (Sesostris), and the paintings and inscriptions relating to his exploits on the monuments of his reign form the principal source of our knowledge on Egyptian military matters. The warrior caste of Egypt, according to Herodotus, was divided into two classes, hermotybii and calasirii, of which the first was 100,000 and the other 250,000 strong, in their best times. These two classes were distin- guished from each other merely by their age or length of service, so that the calasirii, after a certain number of years, passed into the hermotybii or reserve. The whole army was settled in a sort of military colonies, an ample extent of land being set apart for each man as an equivalent for his services. These colonies were mostly situated in the lower part of the country, where attacks from the neighboring Asiatic states were to be anticipated; a few colonies only were established on the upper Nile, the Ethiopians not being very formidable opponents.
The strength of the army, as shown by monumental records, lay in its infantry, and particularly in its archers. Besides these latter there were bodies of foot soldiers, variously armed and distributed into battalions, according to their arms, spearmen, swordsmen, clubmen, slingers, etc. The infantry was supported by numerous war chariots, each manned by two men, one to drive and the other to use the bow. Cavalry docs not fig-ure on the monuments. One solitary drawing of a man on horseback is considered to belong to the Roman epoch, and it appears certain that the use of the horse for riding and of cavalry became known to the Egyptians through their Asiatic neighbors only. That at a later period they had a numerous cavalry, acting, like all cavalry in ancient times, on the wings of the infantry, is certain. The defensive armor of the Egyptians consisted of shields, helmets, and breastplates, or coats of mail, of various materials. The mode of attacking a fortified position showed many of the means and artifices known to the Greeks and Romans. They had the testudo and battering ram, the tinea and scaling ladder; that they, however, also knew the use of movable towers, and that they undermined walls, as Sir G. Wilkinson maintains, is a mere supposition.
From the time of Psammet-icus a corps of Greek mercenaries was maintained; they were also colonized in lower Egypt. | - Assyria furnishes us with the earliest specimen of those Asiatic armies which for above 1,000 years struggled for the possession of the countries between the Mediterranean and the Indus. There, as in Egypt, the monuments are our principal sources of information. The in- i fantry appear armed like the Egyptian, though the bow seems less prominent, and the arms offensive and defensive are generally of better make. Spear, bow, sword, and dagger are the principal weapons. Assyrians in the army of Xerxes are also represented with iron-mounted clubs. The defensive armament consisted of a helmet (often very tastefully worked), a coat of mail of felt or leather, and a shield. The war chariots still formed an important portion of the army; each had two occupants, and the driver had to shelter the bowman with his shield. Many of those who fight in chariots are represented in long coats of mail. Then there was the cavalry, which here we meet with for the first time.
In the earliest sculptures the rider mounts the bare back of his horse; later on, a sort of pad is introduced, and in one sculpture a high saddle is depicted, similar to that now used in the East. The cavalry can scarcely have been very different from that of the Persians and later eastern nations - light, irregular horse, attacking in disorderly swarms, easily repelled by a well armed, solid infantry, but formidable to a disordered or beaten army. Accordingly, it figured in rank below the charioteers, who appear to have formed the aristocratic arm of the service. In infantry tactics some progress toward regular movements and formations in ranks and files appears to have been made. The bowmen either fought in advance, where they were always covered each by a shield-bearer, or they formed the rear rank, the first and second ranks, armed with spears, stooping or kneeling to enable them to shoot. In sieges they certainly knew the use of movable towers and mining; and from a passage in Ezekiel, it would almost appear that they made some sort of mound or artificial hill to command the walls of the town - a rude beginning of the Roman agger. Their movable and fixed towers, too, were elevated to the height of the besieged wall, and higher, so as to command it.
The ram and vinea they used also; and, numerous as their armies were, they turned whole arms of rivers into new beds in order to gain access to a weak front of the attacked place, or to use the dry bed of the river as a road into the fortress. The Babylonians seem to have had armies similar to those of the Assyrians, but special details are wanting. - The Persian empire owed its greatness to its founders, the warlike nomads of the present Farsistan, a nation of horsemen, with whom cavalry took at once that predominant rank which it has since held in all eastern armies, up to the recent introduction of modern European drill. Darius Hystaspis established a standing army in order to keep the conquered; provinces in subjection, as well as to prevent the frequent revolts of the satraps or civil governors. Every province thus had its garrison, under a separate commander; fortified towns were occupied by detachments. The provinces had to bear the expense of maintaining these troops. To this standing army also belonged the guards of the king, 10,000 chosen infantry (called the "immortals"), resplendent with gold, followed on the march by a long train of carriages, with their harems and servants, and of camels with provisions, besides 1,000 halberdiers, 1,000 horse guards, and numerous, war.chariots, some of them armed with scythes.