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Roxolani and Iaziges
#31
Michael,

It might be an "artist's representation" of a sagaris. Most sagarii were designed like a tomahawk, one side axe-like, the other side being a tapering spike. It had a long handle, at least two feet long, and was extremely deadly from horseback-- a real helmet puncher... right into the brain.


[attachment=6535]340x_sagaris_2.jpg[/attachment]


[attachment=6536]tuva-boneplaque001.JPG[/attachment]


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Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#32
Thanks to Folkert for the link, I found this sagaris pictures.
[attachment=6540]sibir_73.jpg[/attachment]

Have a hammer I can transform to a sagaris.
Let's see how this works out.


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TiTvS Philippvs/Filip
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legioxi.be">www.legioxi.be
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#33
That will do nicely. Sometimes the extreme end of the long handle had a fancy embellishment, usually bronze. Herodotus described the sagaris but he didn't know what to call it. :whistle:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#34
Michael Kerr wrote:
4. I always wondered with the Roxolani and Iazyges did they carry their Kontus' with them all the time or only when they charged at an enemy.

Good question. Later, Early Byzantine period Roman horse archers, Avar horse archers, or Persian, Turkish, Arab and Mongol horse archers would either give their lance to a page or suspend the lance from their shoulder from a carrying strap when they wanted to use their bow, clenching the shaft between leg and saddle-cloth (Arabic i'tiqal). The first method was used when the archer only wanted to harass the enemy with a handfull of arrows, the second when he also expected to confront an enemy in a duel. But of course, that is much later, I do not know of any information on how the Parthian or Sarmatian horse archers did it. Tradition has it, they used their lances to charge the enemy in dense formations, so they must have been very different from later horse archers.
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#35
Thanks for replying Eduard. I have no knowledge of horsemanship so I am only guessing that carrying around a 3.5 metre to 4 metre kontus on horseback would be very tiring as unlike the sarissas of Macedon they didn't have counter balance spikes on the other end, especially with an iron head. I suppose the wealthier Sarmatians who could afford all the better quality armour and weapons had grooms or pages but I still think that they would be carried to their destination in wagons or carts as the Sarmatians were nomadic. Maybe the archers kept the enemy busy with arrows until the wagons arrived with the heavier weapons. But being made of fir which I think is a softwood maybe they broke easily and after a while the horsemen dropped their kontuses or kontii (to be retrieved later on)and then got into some close order fighting with swords, arkinakes and that terrible weapon which Alanus mentioned the sagaris. If you haven't already read it, earlier in this thread I put up a link to an article about "Sarmatian riding posture" with the Kontus which is pretty interesting reading.
Regards
Michael
Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#36
I agree Michael, it is very unlikely that the fully armoured horsemen were in the habit of traveling to the battle field in full panoply, they will probably have carried a sword and a bow, but not armour or lance. The nomad tribes used pack-horses, the Roman army carts and mules to carry equipment. And just like in the early Byzantine period, a unit of principate Roman cavalry seems also to have been supported by grooms and pages.
However, Roman and oriental cavalry are mentioned in later sources as carrying out reconnaissance missions, raiding and preparing ambushes in full equipment, covering their armour with a kind of surcoat, so at least these later suits of armour and lances cannot have been as heavy as is usually assumed for the Roman period.
I have read the article, but the problem is, just as Tacitus does not actually describe how the nomads would have wiped out the Romans, only assumes, Strabo does not really tell us how the nomads did not do the same with the phalanx they encountered. Except for Plutarch and Ammianus, I usually find our sources on Romans against heavilly armoured cavalry rather disappointing.

Regards,

Eduard
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#37
Eduard wrote:
Quote:I have read the article, but the problem is, just as Tacitus does not actually describe how the nomads would have wiped out the Romans, only assumes, Strabo does not really tell us how the nomads did not do the same with the phalanx they encountered. Except for Plutarch and Ammianus, I usually find our sources on Romans against heavilly armoured cavalry rather disappointing.
Hi Eduard, you are right the sources are disappointing in regards to details "especially against horse archers" maybe a bit of bias there. Also pack horses make sense as they could keep up with the riders. But with the exception of Arrian against the Alans (which some think may have been entirely hypothetical, because there is no historical record of a battle between Romans and Alans that year) they seem to have met at river crossings. I think the Iazyges and Roxolani preferred massive winter raids where they could cross the Danube(Ister) with their wagons to carry loot back and assumed the Romans were holed up in "Winter Quarters". So if they met Roman units they probably would have been small. Maybe wagonloads of loot slowed down the Sarmatians so the Romans could catch them.
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#38
Quote:However, Roman and oriental cavalry are mentioned in later sources as carrying out reconnaissance missions, raiding and preparing ambushes in full equipment, covering their armour with a kind of surcoat, so at least these later suits of armour and lances cannot have been as heavy as is usually assumed for the Roman period.

Would you mind listing some of the sources that say this please?
Esp. for the Oriental part

Thank you :-)
Nadeem Ahmad

Eran ud Turan - reconstructing the Iranian and Indian world between Alexander and Islam
https://www.facebook.com/eranudturan
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#39
Quote:... after a while the horsemen dropped their kontuses or kontii (to be retrieved later on)and then got into some close order fighting with swords, arkinakes and that terrible weapon which Alanus mentioned the sagaris. If you haven't already read it, earlier in this thread I put up a link to an article about "Sarmatian riding posture" with the Kontus which is pretty interesting reading.

We have incomplete info from EVERYONE when it comes to both the contus and bow. Strabo described light archers, Tacitus described cataphracts. If we go further back, Herodotus gives us a long-lasting barrage of arrows by both Massagetae and Persians, and Frontinus skips the archery part and mentions a "retreat" followed by a full charge of Tomyris' horsemen back toward the Persians.

I'm of the mind that two styles were in play throughout a thousand year period. We have light cavalry (archers) and heavy cavalry (with the contus). I think Michael makes a good point-- the cataphracts charged in a close-assembled line (exactly like the Sassanian Royal Savaran), skewering the opponents, dropping the useless contus, and then going at it with long-sword and sagaris. This is probably the way the battle at the Araxes went, the first recorded engagement of this type, even preceeding Chinese documentation. :whistle:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#40
Daryush,

I do not know if it is allowed to advertise oneself, but I am working on a series of four articles, Studies on Mounted Warfare in Asia, that is going to be published in Warfare in History. I expect, but it has as yet not been confirmed, that the first is going to be published this year. It concerns warfare in the Middle East from the late-Sasanian to the early Mongol period. The last in the series will be about the nomad warfare from Central Asia and Southern Russia. I hope you will find them interesting.

Regards,

Eduard

PS To stay on topic, here are some late Roman and Armenian sources: Strategikon 1.2.56-8 on scouts wearing surcoats over their armour,Sebêos 82 on Persian soldiers sent out to ambush the Romans, armoured from head to toe, and Procopius 8.8.17 on scouts in armour. Middle 6th century-600 CE, so all these soldiers are mounted archers, carrying armour, bow, lance and sword.
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#41
I have 2 questions that I want to ask and maybe someone can enlighten me.
1. The roxalani name, I get confused with this as there seem to be lots of alternate meanings, any thoughts? I have read a few alternative meanings for (Roxalani)which I will list below.

Royal Alans
Fair Alans
Bright Alans
Shining Alans
Russ-alans

I am just curious as Alexander the Great's wife was called Roxanne and Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent had a wife called Roxelana who was (Russian) but I suppose could have had Sarmatian. ancestry or links. Is the name of Central Asian origin?

2. Although it might be considered off topic as it concerns Central Asia but what happened in Central Asia affected the Roman Empire a few hundred years later with Iazyges, Roxalani, Alans and Huns coming into contact with Rome. I have read where the Aorsi were known to the Chinese as "Yen-ts'ai" or Yancai who were absorbed by the K’ang-chü or Kangju who lived west of the Wusun around Sogdiana I think. The Hou Hanshu“... HHSCC Mem. 78.16b, remarks that the country (Yancai) was a dependency of K’ang-chü, that the dress and the customs of the people, who lived in towns, were identical with those of K’ang-chü, that the climate was mild, and that there were many fir-trees. The memoir adds, that Yen-ts’ai later adopted the name of A-lan-liao....” . Did they(the Yancai and Kangju) amalgamate with the Wusun to become Alans or were they vassals of the Wusun? Roman sources are scarce about Steppe peoples, even the ones they came in contact with but the Chinese seem to have documented their lifestyles much better. As well the Chinese indicated that they were part sedentary with towns while to Romans they seem to have been more nomadic. Can anyone suggest books or material that can help research them.
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#42
Michael,

The name "Roxolani" is, I believe, a Latinized form. The Iranian base is "Rohks" (shining or bright) + "alani." Earlier recorded, we have Alexander the Great's wife's name: Rohkshan (Roxanne). The explanation given in the Ospray book, The Sarmatians, was incorrect by inferring the meaning was "western." So, really all it means is Shining Alans, and I think all subsequent Russian names borrow from the Iranian original.

The Chinese references we have for the Kang-ju are not duplicated in western historical literature (Herodotus, Ammianus, etc.), so we are left with an incomplete picture. The western blanket term "Massagetae" seems to be an equivalent for the following tribes, east to west, to northwest: Wusun (in the Ili Vallay), Yu-chi (in Ferghana), Kung-ju (in the Bactrian-Margiana complex), and Yen-ts-ai (northwest around the Caspian).

All tribes, even including some of the Yu-chi (I think the Lesser Yu-chi) formed an expanding confederation that western writers recorded as the "Alans," ("formerly the Massagetae" from Ammianus Marcellinus) ("They were the Massagetae" from Casius Dio). The lead groups in the western migration, here listed as the most western first, were-- the Roxolani, Sirakis, Aorsi, and Taifali... then a major group recorded as "Alans."

We know the tribal structures shifted: the Roxolani joined the Iazyges on the Hungarian Plain and the result became known as simply "Sarmatians." The Sirakis were absorbed by the Aorsi. The Aorsi became the Alanorsi, and finally just a part of the Alans. The Taifali became the Tyrfingi Goth's cavalry until 376, basically a Gothic subtribe until they went on their own again for a short period of 2 years before being defeated by the Romans and moved enmass to Italy and France. The major group, which became Pannonian Alans, converted to Arianism and fell in with the Vandals, moved into Spain and then Africa. From the Pannonian population, Gratian recruited 40,000. The last of the migration settled in the Cacausus and became the Osseti. Adittionally, another 30,000 Alans moved east to China and settled on the mainland opposite Formosa.

We know what they looked like, based on photographs of Ossetic descendents. :-)


[attachment=6571]Ramonov_vano_ossetin_northern_caucasia_dress_18_century.jpg[/attachment]

Vano Ramenov, Osseti chieftain


[attachment=6572]draft_lens2744012module152873840photo_1314834292ossetian.jpg[/attachment]

Young Osseti woman


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Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#43
Hi All, I thought I recognised that picture that Sutoris uploaded. It is taken off a book I downloaded from SCRIBD called "Siberian Warriors" and Weapons. It is in Russian but has some good images. Below is full image. I also got a book called Ukraine's Armies and Adversaries in 17th Century and I found they still used the Sagaris although I don't know if they were Cossacks because it is in Russian. I shall upload pic from that book as well
Regards
Michael Kerr
PS. I agree with Vindex about SCRIBD. I went for the Day Pass but then went for the annual fee which was $60. Good selection of books and papers (a lot of Osprey material available) as well as a book on Chinese armour written in Chinese but with good images and at the back has an English translation for images. But beware when you use their search engine make sure you let it know that you only want free books as their are some books (most are free though) that they want you to pay for especially with a subject like Ancient China.

[attachment=6601]sagaris1.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=6602]17thcenturysagaris.jpg[/attachment]


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Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#44
Michael,

Thanks for posting the views of the sagaris. I always thought that this particular weapon was perhaps the "nastiest." It wasn't designed to wound, but to instantly kill the opponent. :woot:

Holy mackerel! I just noticed the picture of the fork. It looks just like the forks now used by Americans when they carve a turkey for Thanksgiving. Those Saka barbarians; what a bunch of inventors! :whistle:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#45
Hi Alanus, here are 4 other pics I found in the same book another sagaris and the 2nd one is an arkinakes I think. They are from the same book "Siberian warriors and weapons". Although in Russian there are lots of diagrams with one showing an archer using skis and getting pulled by a horse as well as an archer shooting an arrow while skiing which although artists impressions look pretty cool. One is based on a cave painting and the other one is based on a piece of jewelry.
Regards
Michael
Kerr

[attachment=6610]56-b0c8dc455a.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=6611]sagaris2.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=6612]75-d71f541312.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=6613]36-906a7670f2.jpg[/attachment]


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Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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