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Last Update August 4, 2022

During the Ogiso era when Benin City was called Igodomigodo, Benin had no standing army, but when it came to the reign of Ogiso Odoligie in about (712 A.D - 767 A.D.) he trained soldiers he used in fighting for many years. It was during this period that many war implements were designed for fighting. Odoligie fought Udo, in Iyekovia, Iguabode, Urhonigbe in Iyokorhionmwan and many other villages that fell for mere hearing the name of OdoIigie.

Adult men were sent to the king when there was war from different villages. At that period, soldiers were trained at various locations such as Okhunkhuo. Ughoton. Ova and Benin City herself.

In the war fronts, the commander-in-chief of the forces, were given a number of men. Sacrifices were made to gods such as the ancestors, Ogun, Osun and above all the Ogiuwu.

Prisoners of war were given to the king. Most of them were sent his farm in the villages and some were given to the nobles.
The chief weapons were spear (asoro) sword - (agbada) of various types (Orhokhua) bow and arrow (Uhanbo) Cross bows (ekpede) short spears (asoro-ekun) axes (Ughanmwan). Odoligie had armour made of elephant skin mixed with iron and pangolin skin. At this early periods, there were no guns. Shields (asa) were very common for defense. There were poisoned arrows. They also had a lot of medicines believed to ward off the effect of cutlasses, bows and arrows and spears when directed to them by enemies. Some animals like the dogs, and elephants, were used to help them in war fronts. Insects like bee and snakes were commonly used and these look magical.

In fighting, they keep good discipline and order, very proud of their offices, bear themselves very stately manner and walk magnificently as a solder..

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Benin kingdom copy right