By Timothy Dawson, Giuseppe Rava
Considered as the elite arm of the army in the course of the heart Byzantine interval, the cavalry performed excessive pace reconnaissance, agile arrow barrages and crippling blows to enemy formations. Its ranks have been stuffed essentially via direct recruitment or hereditary carrier via holders of army lands, yet in instances of main issue irregulars will be briefly enlisted. Few books supply any obtainable learn of the medieval Romaic soldier's existence, and this colourful addition to the Warrior sequence seeks to redress this imbalance. providing an intensive and targeted exam in their education, weaponry, gown and lifestyle, this booklet re-affirms the significance of cavalry troops in army victories of the interval. using unique Greek resource fabric, and that includes unpublished manuscript photographs, this follow-on quantity to Warrior 118 Byzantine Infantryman c.900-1204 brings the realm of the Byzantine cavalryman vividly to lifestyles.
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Additional resources for Byzantine Cavalryman C.900-1204 (Osprey Warrior)
Towards the end of the civil war of 1080-81 Alexios I Komnenos requisitioned silk civilian clothing to cover up a deficit in his troops' armour. His (Roman) opponents presumably were not expected to be surprised to see such opulent fabrics on the battlefield. The eponymous hero of the romance Digenis Akritas, first written down around the turn of the twelfth century, is described as wearing an epilorikion embroidered with a gryphon. Ample pictorial sources give the common quilting patterns used on these garments.
Fokas decrees that the mail skirt hanging from the helm should be two layers thick and cover everything but the eyes. All the body armour was enclosed in an epildrikion, a padded surcoat probably identical in form to the kavadion worn by the archers (see plate [D] on page 35). Finally, when everything else was buckled, laced and buttoned, the kheiropsella or forearm defences (6) were put on. The general suggests that they should be made, like the kremasmata, of mail laid over padding. Again, these were probably laced to the sleeves of the zoupa, a point at which the trooper would need some assistance, either from his 'spear companion' or the groom they shared.
In the latter part of the period there are hints that the epilorikia of the more eminent and wealthy cavaliers could be brightly coloured, if not patterned, or decorated with quasi-heraldic emblems, anticipating the appearance of later Western knights. Towards the end of the civil war of 1080-81 Alexios I Komnenos requisitioned silk civilian clothing to cover up a deficit in his troops' armour. His (Roman) opponents presumably were not expected to be surprised to see such opulent fabrics on the battlefield.
Byzantine Cavalryman C.900-1204 (Osprey Warrior) by Timothy Dawson, Giuseppe Rava