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Drawing of a Thracian peltast of 400 BC
The warrior goddess Athena of Greek mythology - Musée du Louvre
Geronimo, perhaps the most famous Apache warrior.
Portrait of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, a Khalsa-Sikh warrior of the Punjab (1718–1783)

A warrior is a person specializing in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based warrior culture society that recognizes a separate warrior class or caste.

Contents

Warrior classes in tribal cultureEdit

In tribal societies engaging in endemic warfare, warriors often form a caste or class of their own. In feudalism, the vassals essentially form a military or warrior class, even if in actual warfare, peasants may be called to fight as well. In some societies, warfare may be so central that the entire people (or, more often, large parts of the male population) may be considered warriors, for example in the Iron Age Germanic tribes and Indian clans like the Rajputs.

Women as warriorsEdit

While the warrior class in tribal societies is typically all-male, there are some exceptions on record where women (typically unmarried, young women) formed part of the warrior class, particularly in pre-modern Japan.

A purported group of fighting women is the legendary Amazons, recorded in Classical Greek mythology. Similarly, the Valkyrie are depicted in Norse mythology, particularly the Icelandic Etta.

During the Viking Age a type of female warrior was the skjaldmær, or shieldmaiden. These women survive in a few historical testimonies like those of the Byzantine Empire.

Many women not only fought on the field but led entire hosts of men within Pictish, Briton, and Irish Tribes in Pre Christian culture.[citation needed] Boudicca of the Iceni is a famous example of a female leader of warriors, who rebelled against Roman rule in Britain. Tomoe Gozen is celebrated in Japanese history as a woman samurai General in the 12th Century. Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War.

Military castes in feudal societyEdit

The military caste in a feudal society is evolved from—but not identical with—the warrior class in a tribal society.

Many pre-modern states had castes, estates or social groups dedicated to warfare. This includes the Kshatriya or Martial castes in ancient and modern India, the Khalsa class of Sikhism in the Punjab, the samurai class in feudal Japan, the Timawa and Maharlika classes in pre-colonial Philippines and noble knights in feudal Europe.

Behavioral codesEdit

In many societies in which a specialized warrior class exists, specific codes of conduct (ethical code or honor code) are established to ensure that the warrior class is not corrupted or otherwise dangerous to the rest of society. Common features include valuing honor in the forms of faith, loyalty and courage.

Examples include the following:

Warriors' honor is dependent on following the code. Common virtues in warrior codes are mercy, courage, and loyalty.

Modern "warriors"Edit

Modern warfareEdit

 
An Indian Mughal Era Warrior and his wife

With the end of the Middle Ages and the professional standing armies of Early Modern warfare, the concept of a "warrior class" or "military caste" became an anachronism. The term "warrior" is still sometimes used, anachronistically, to refer to professional soldiers or mercenaries.

Due to the heroic connotations of the term "warrior", this metaphor is especially popular in publications advocating or recruiting for a country's military.[1]

Figurative useEdit

In addition to the literal meaning, now mostly historical, the term has acquired a figurative sense referring to "a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics."[2] The "warrior" metaphor in sports is particularly popular in combat sport, as evident from brand names such as Warrior-1 MMA, Cage Warriors, Supreme Warrior Championship, etc.

Spiritual warriorEdit

A spiritual warrior is a person who battles with the "universal enemy," self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of suffering according to dharmic philosophies.[3] The term is applied in religious and metaphysical writing. There are self-described spiritual warriors.[4] The spiritual warrior can be described as an archetype character on a journey for self-discovery.[5]

Warrior communitiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ e.g. Wong, Leonard, "Leave No Man Behind: Recovering America’s Fallen Warriors." Armed Forces & Society, July 2005; vol. 31: pp. 599-622.; Bradley C.S. Watson, "The Western Ethical Tradition and the Morality of the Warrior." Armed Forces & Society, October 1999; vol. 26: pp. 55-72; Samet, Elizabeth D., "Leaving No Warriors Behind: The Ancient Roots of a Modern Sensibility." Armed Forces & Society, July 2005; vol. 31: pp. 623-649; Miller, Laura L. and Charles Moskos, "Humanitarians or Warriors?: Race, Gender, and Combat Status in Operations Restore Hope." Armed Forces & Society, July 1995; vol. 21: pp. 615-637
  2. ^ Warrior, Random House Dictionary 
  3. ^ Grant, Kara-Leah (2009), "How yoga has the power to transform and release avidya (self-ignorance)", The Yoga Lunch Box, October 13, 2009 [1]
  4. ^ Oddo, Richard J ('A spiritual warrior') (1990), "Sharing of The Heart", Self-Published, 1989, ISBN 0-945637-02-0
  5. ^ Murdock, Maureen (1990), "The Heroine's Journey", Shambhala, June 23, 1990, p11, ISBN 0-87773-485-2
  6. ^ Mazumder, Rajit K. (2003). The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab. Orient Longman. pp. 99, 105. ISBN 9788178240596. 
  7. ^ Bruno Mugnai; Christopher Flaherty (23 September 2014). Der Lange Türkenkrieg (1593-1606): The long Turkish War. Soldiershop. p. 47. ISBN 978-88-96519-91-2. 
  8. ^ a b Nicholas Charles Pappas (1982). Greeks in Russian military service in the late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries. Stanford University. p. 99. 
  9. ^ Sohail H. Hashmi (3 July 2012). Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Encounters and Exchanges. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-19-975503-5. 
  10. ^ Suraiya Faroqhi (28 April 1997). An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 437–438. ISBN 978-0-521-57455-6. 
  11. ^ Das, Sonia N. (2016). Linguistic Rivalries: Tamil Migrants and Anglo-Franco Conflicts. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190461782. 
  12. ^ Purnima Dhavan (3 November 2011). When Sparrows Became Hawks: The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition, 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-19-975655-1. 
  13. ^ Christopher Tyerman (2007). God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Penguin Books Limited. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-14-190431-3. 
  14. ^ Marjeta Šašel Kos (2005). Appian and Illyricum. Narodni Muzej Slovenije. p. 144. ISBN 978-961-6169-36-3. 
  15. ^ Hans Delbrück (1990). Medieval Warfare: History of the Art of War. University of Nebraska Press. p. 474. ISBN 978-0-8032-6585-1. 
  16. ^ Edgar Sanderson; John Porter Lamberton; Charles Morris. Six Thousand Years of History: Famous warriors. T. Nolan. p. 6. 
  17. ^ Suraiya Faroqhi (30 January 2014). Travel and Artisans in the Ottoman Empire: Employment and Mobility in the Early Modern Era. I.B.Tauris. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-78076-481-8. 
  18. ^ Historical Abstracts: Modern history abstracts, 1450-1914. American Bibliographical Center, CLIO. 1985. p. 644. 
  19. ^ Karl Bihlmeyer; Hermann Tüchle (1967). Church History: The Middle Ages. Newman Press. p. 26. 

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