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That would be a subarmalis he's wearing? Smile
No, it's one of those weird klivania with angled rows of lamellae that seem to start appearing in pictures in the 14th century. Whether this has any basis in reality is another question entirely.
OK, it just looks a lot like quilted leather or material! At least the peturges do, and throw off onto the cuirass! :roll:
In case anyones interested I had a mail today from Timothy Dawson informing me that Osprey publishing have confirmed the Byzantine cavalry book to complement the existing infantry one.
How long this will take is anyones guess as Timothy said he now has the excuse to do the additional bits of armouring he has been wanting to do.

The video of Timothy beating the crap out of me and other Balkan Slavs at Rufford park last year will soon be posted up on the Hetaireia Palatiou web site Smile
Egfroth/Steven wrote:-
Quote:And I find Tim has the same opinion as to its use. He outlines the evidence which leads him to the conclusion that it was a heavy thrusting spear to be used against charging kataphraktoi in conjunction with the longer, lighter kontaria of the regular troops. And shows photos of the array he believes to have been used, and why. VERY interesting (but not stupid!)
...as we have seen, such an interpretation is possible. would this then be a sarissa type pike, used two-handed - which necessitates a small shield like the pelte?
( a large throwing weapon classically goes with a large shield - see Roman legionaries, Spanish Scutarii etc)

..or is he postulating a short heavy thrusting spear? ( see below for why a long cornel-wood pike/spear is unlikely) in which case it sounds similar to Arrian's 'Order of battle against the Alans' - where pila were used in hand to fend off armoured cataphracts - in that case, we could well be back to a throwing weapon, with a one-off use against cataphracts! :? ( see Arrian)

The one thing that troubles me is the material - as I pointed out earlier, spears were generally lighter wood, and throwing weapons heavier. So if it was made of cornel-wood, the chances are that it was a throwing weapon
( sarissas were once thought to be cornel, but reconstructions showed them to be too heavy to be practical)
Kuura - good news! I look forward to both these being available.

Paullus, the Menavlion in Tim's reconstruction is a (relatively) short (9-12 feet) thrusting spear.

Quote:spears were generally lighter wood, and throwing weapons heavier. So if it was made of cornel-wood, the chances are that it was a throwing weapon

I don't think that necessarily follows. While some throwing weapons (such as the pilum) have been heavy, there is a considerable parallel tradition of fairly light ones as well. Certainly the javelins described in the Sylloge can't be all that heavy, given that each man is supposed to carry two or three with him. If as Tim proposes the menavlion is to fend off the charge of the enemy kataphraktoi, it would work nicely at 9-12 feet as a tough thrusting weapon.

Read Tim's paper - he goes into it in some detail. He makes the point that the menavlion as described would be too heavy to throw far, plus the javelineers were already throwing missiles at the enemy.

Myself, I'm thinking of making my own menavlion and trying it out.
Steven wrote:-
Quote:While some throwing weapons (such as the pilum) have been heavy, there is a considerable parallel tradition of fairly light ones as well.
.....yes, light for range, especially against un-armoured targets but heavy for armour penetration...and range is relatively unimportant.

Quote: the Menavlion in Tim's reconstruction is a (relatively) short (9-12 feet) thrusting spear.
....so just a kontarion made of cornel-wood, then ?
That would hardly seem to merit a new name, let alone the attention given to it...this seems very unlikely to me.....

Quote:He makes the point that the menavlion as described would be too heavy to throw far, plus the javelineers were already throwing missiles at the enemy.
That seems very flawed reasoning to me. You can't chuck a pilum very far, and in Republican times the pila armed Heavy Infantry (Hastati and Principes) were preceded in action by Light Infantry Velites armed with the much lighter, longer ranging veles ( a light javelin/mini pila) who were 'already' throwing javelins - so he's wrong in principle !

I'd say the jury's out, with a slightly higher probability of a heavy throwing weapon - which was a mainstay of Roman armies for over a thousand years!!
Can't agree - the menavlion isn't just a short kontarion made of cornel wood (or oak, artzekidia or "another hard wood") - it's also "as thick as hands can wield", and preferably made of a single sapling rather than one of many cut from a trunk.

All of these argue for me in favour of something with longitudinal strength, suitable to withstand head-on shock, which is really unnecessary in a missile weapon.

But I think we've probably reached a point where we're unlikely to convince each other unless something more specific is found saying either that it was a thrusting weapon, or conversely, that it was thrown.
Quote:Can't agree - the menavlion isn't just a short kontarion made of cornel wood (or oak, artzekidia or "another hard wood") - it's also "as thick as hands can wield", and preferably made of a single sapling rather than one of many cut from a trunk.

All of these argue for me in favour of something with longitudinal strength, suitable to withstand head-on shock, which is really unnecessary in a missile weapon.

This reminds me of the "grown timbers" used in wooden shipbuilding. Curved and 'Y' shaped members were cut from parts of trees which had grown to this shape as they had far greater strength than parts of the tree trunk cut to the required shape would have. This improved strength was in resistance to torsional and lateral stress not longitudinal stress. The use of saplings for the menavlion haft still speaks to me that it was meant to withstand lateral stress, the sort of stress produced by a cutting, not thrusting, usage.
I'd agree, Steven. Without something new, "yer pays yer money, an' yer takes yer choice!" Sad

However, I'm afraid this is incorrect:
Quote:All of these argue for me in favour of something with longitudinal strength, suitable to withstand head-on shock, which is really unnecessary in a missile weapon.
.....it is actually the reverse! Missile weapons move at velocities far higher than is capable of being generated by a thrust.
Consider:
Force =mass x acceleration;
Momentum = mass x velocity;and most important of all;
Kinetic energy = mass x velocity squared - which means a small increase in velocity, means a very large increase in kinetic energy to be transferred to target - think bullet: low mass,high velocity.

It is the shock from the transfer of energy we are concerned with, thus the need to withstand head-on shock ; hence missile weapons are made of heavy dense wood such as cornel ( the traditional wood for javelins) and spears from lighter woods such as ash - and it is the fact that a 'heavy' wood is specified for the menaulion that tips the balance in favour of 'throwing weapon' to my mind, as I indicated before...... :?
Yeah, but the sources stress not so much weight as strength. And who cares if a javelin shatters once it connects with the target?

Having said this, I think we just have to agree to disagree.

One day we'll have to sit down and have a chat about all this stuff. Are you going to Armidale at Easter, by any chance?
Quote:Yeah, but the sources stress not so much weight as strength.
...perhaps I should have said 'hard/dense/strong' rather than heavy, though the quote marks were meant to indicate not literally heavy......
Quote:And who cares if a javelin shatters once it connects with the target?
.....you do ! Smile cry: It is the initial split-second we are concerned with....the kinetic energy must not be wasted/fragmented in shattering, but 'flow' down the direction of the shaft with momentum and be transferred directly into the target so as to penetrate armour and flesh...... :evil: :twisted:
....as you say, once the energy has all been transferred, and the weapon comes to rest, it doesn't matter......but unlike a spear you need a strong shaft to cope with the forces (deceleration here) and transfer of energy from the missile - which the ancients knew ( doubtless by empirical methods rather than physics formulae ! ), hence hardwoods/strong woods/ cornel etc for javelins/missiles... Smile D

I shall see if I can get to Armidale this year, not having been before......
I would think you would also want a spear to be able to withstand impacts too, or they wouldbe no good as a thrusting weapon either.....you might get one but then it's broken...and then what do you do..?
I was going to end off on this whole discussion, when I realised that my earlier remark

Quote:the menavlia of their javeliners


is in Nikephoros Ouranos' Taktika, not in Phokas' Praecepta. In my earlier post, I got it the wrong way around. And as the Taktika is largely copied from the Praecepta, it makes a considerable difference.

Perhaps it *was* a scribal error, in what appears to be an addition by Ouranos aimed at boosting the morale of the kataphraktoi faced with attacking the enemy's infantry lines. Maybe a little carelessness by a scribe or underling not all that familiar with the overall picture?
Byron wrote:-
Quote: I would think you would also want a spear to be able to withstand impacts too, or they wouldbe no good as a thrusting weapon either.....you might get one but then it's broken...and then what do you do..?
...yes but a thrust is relatively low velocity, and Ash for example can cope with the linear forces involved - usually!
We are often told of spears breaking in many cultures (but likely lateral forces)....in fact Greek spears were designed with this in mind ( the sauroter/butt-spike had a secondary use as a spearhead, some cavalry spears are double-ended, etc....and of course, that's why you have a sword/sagaris or other secondary waepon.....
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