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Elephants and KingsAn Environmental History$
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Thomas R. Trautmann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226264226

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226264530.001.0001

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War elephants

War elephants

(p.50) 2 War elephants
Elephants and Kings

Thomas R. Trautmann

University of Chicago Press

The ideal war elephant was a mature male, with large tusks, in the heightened hormonal state of combativeness called musth, having a driver on his neck bearing the two-pointed hook to restrain him, and warriors on his back. The kings of early civilizations (Egypt, Assyria, Mesopotamia, China, the Indus Civilization) were drawn to elephants in ways that caused their decline. That was reversed by the invention of the war elephant, in late Vedic period India, about 1000 BCE

Keywords:   war elephant attributes, ancient Egypt, Assyria, Mesopotamia, China, The Indus civilization, Vedic period India

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