Ancient Assyrian Charging with Spear

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First Legion

The Assyrian Empire has been described as the ‘first military power in history’ and its army took part in some of the first ever recorded battles, as long ago as c.2,450 BC. The Assyrian army came into its own following extensive reforms, including the creation of a standing army, under Tiglath-Pileser III, king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 745 BC until his death in 727 BC. Under Tiglath-Pileser III, Assyria transitioned from a local, regional power into a mighty Empire of the ancient world, with a near doubling of territory acquired and then controlled through sheer, unstoppable military power.
The Assyrian army at its zenith was a fearsome war machine of the era, employing innovative weapons of iron, the use of heavy cavalry, mounted archers and, of course, their famed chariots which for a time formed the elite core of the army.