FYI January 23, 2018


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On This Day

971 – Using crossbows, Song dynasty troops soundly defeat a war elephant corps of the Southern Han at Shao.
A war elephant is an elephant that is trained and guided by humans for combat.
Elephant Sword, also called tusk swords, which are pairs of blades specially designed to be attached to their tusks

The war elephant’s main use was to charge the enemy, breaking their ranks and instilling terror. Elephantry are military units with elephant-mounted troops.[1] They were first employed in India, the practice spreading out across south-east Asia and westwards into the Mediterranean. Their most famous use in the West was by the Greek King Pyrrhus of Epirus and in significant numbers by the armies of Carthage, including briefly by Hannibal.

War elephants played a critical role in several key battles in antiquity, but their use declined in the Middle Ages. With the spread of firearms in the early modern period, military elephants were restricted to non-combat engineering and labour roles, and some ceremonial uses.

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Born On This Day

1585 – Mary Ward, English Catholic Religious Sister (d. 1645)
Mary Ward, I.B.V.M. (23 January 1585 – 30 January 1645), was a Catholic nun whose activities led to the founding of the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, better known as the Sisters of Loreto (not to be confused with the American Sisters of Loretto), which have both established schools around the world.

Ward was declared by Pope Benedict on 19 December 2009; this is the first of three steps on the path to being declared a saint.

Mary Ward was born in Mulwith, North Yorkshire, to Marmaduke Ward and Ursula Wright. She was born at a time of great conflict for Roman Catholics in England. Two of her relatives were involved in the Gunpowder Plot. In 1595 her family home burned down in an anti-Catholic riot; the children were saved by their father. In 1599 she moved to the house of Sir Ralph Babthorpe at Osgodby, Selby. It was there at the age of 15 that Mary felt called to the religious life. She entered a monastery of Poor Clares at Saint-Omer in northern France, then in the Spanish Netherlands, as a lay sister.[1] In 1606 she founded a new monastery of the Order specifically for English women at nearby Gravelines.

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