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Thanks, maybe then I won't sweat the functionality so much. Another possibility is that the things were mostly cosmetic (traditional) at this time. That would allow for non functional items
however, i feel they must have been functional at one time, perhaps I should study 6th-8th C stuff more. on the other hand, They kind of look like the shoulder straps of the traditional roman mail shirt, so maybe they really are cosmetic.
About functionality....
The reason I suggested before the possibility that this is intended to keep the armor bouncing UP during running (or galloping) is that the band is below the pects... it could slide down if not for the shoulder straps, but if snug it would not slide up, nor allow the armor to bounce.(
he other perhaps non coincidental thing is that the band happens to cover the heart. (while this may seem insignificant, I'm thinking about the early republic tiny pectorial plates that covered little else)
Quote:In reference to the "Byzantine Bra" I have done quite a lot of practical research over the years on this one and have come to the personal conclusion that it is more useful as a tied cloth contraption than a leather strap device.

Visual evidence such as the ivory casket from the British Museum which seems to clearly show folds and a cloth like taper. Many other depictions seem to be devoid of even rudimentary detail though even allowing for lack of scale in period art if leather straps are indicated they would be unusually large.

I have found no real benefit from a leather arrangement over either maille or lamellar combined
Ingvar Carnifex
Patrick Urquhart
Hi Rick,

I agree the band might function as you suggest but I feel it would be of more use to cavalry than infantry.

I have done a lot of (reenactment) foot combat and field work in lamellar and never suffered "bounce" but I can see it happening on horseback.

It could also have a function to inhibit spears "skitting" up one's cuirass - a problem I HAVE encountered Confusedhock:

However keep in mind for your conclusion that much of Byzantine art is indeed "Classical" in nature and your suggestion re earlier shoulder straps may apply to the artist rather than the subject. The fact it is depicted (particularly as is never seems to have any detail) may not mean it was worn - frustratin' ain't it!
I think the identification of the Pektarion as a rank indicator is correct. There are two variations - one across the chest and the diagonal version. The colours could plausibly coincide with the units flags but that is speculation on my part.

As for the “Braâ€
Quote: in George Dennis’s translation of "Three Byzantine Military Treatises" a Byzantine equivalent to the Roman subarmalis called the Peristithidion is mentioned as being worn under metallic armour and above the clothes to make it more comfortable for the soldier.

Peter, can you give me the reference? I've just read the book and didn't notice that part when I was going through it. I have the Dumbarton Oaks hardback, printed in 1985, if that's any help.
Steve,
Same edition as mine. So it should be easy to find. It is in The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategey Section 16 Armament.

Try the top and bottom paragraphs of page 55 in that edition. The top reference is to a garment (himation) at least a finger thick under armour - a kabadion? The other reference to the padded garment under armour is at the bottom of the page (you'll find the Greek word peristithidia at the top of page 56.

While this document was originally written in the 6th Century and its language may simply reflect an archaic or earlier description of the kabadion, it was also read in the 10th and 11th Centuries. A complete collection of all military manuals was copied for use under the direction of Emperor Constantine VII sometime before 959. The Anonymous is found on folios 104-130 of this compilation - now called codex Mediceo-Laurntianus graecus 55,4. A later compilation of military manuals dated to 1020 - codex Vaticanus graecus 1164 has a mutilated version of The Anonymous. Other versions exist from the middle Byzantine period - Parisinus graecus 2442 dated to 1020 also and codex Neapolitanus graecus 284 and dated to the third or fourth decade of the 11th C. These compilations were popular and intended to be read widely.

Cheers
Hi I'm new here and I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about byzantine heavy cavalry post manzikert I can't find anything on the subject
From Alexiad we know that some "native" Byzantine units existed in Greek main land and Italy.

G. Maniakes tactless behavior had forced the Lombard gastaldi serving in Italy to desert.

A unit named "Latinikon" composed from Western knights came to prominence from 1050 A.D.
Initially Germans are mentioned and then Normans and Franks.

The best moments of Latinikon was the battle of Menadros where the Nicean Byzantines beat the Seljucks and Pelagonia where again the Niceans beat the Achean Franks. Sources the Morean chronicle and Pachymeris

Heavy cavalry units formed by the Nicean Emperors were destroyed when the army of G, Acropolitis failed to subdue the Despotate of Ipiros and Paleologi never reconstituted them probably for political reasons.

Paleologi also hired the dreaded Karida (Catlan Company) that had asmall complement of Aragonese knights.

Hope ti helps

Kind regards
What can you tell me about their equipment? and battle tactics? were their horses barded and if so what barding did they use? BTW in an osprey book I saw a byzantine heavy cavalry man from the fourteenth century can you tell me anything about him?
Osprey's Byzantine armies 886 - 1118 has th ast plate showing 2 Normans.
One is typical Norman knight another based on an Italian medieval chess piece shows lamelar armor. both are correct in my opinion.

The later Latinikoi were hired as they were so in my opinion the German and Hungatian knight in Pelagonia were typiacl of the knight of the era.
The Germans probably had barded horses which prompted John Paleologos to order the Cumans in Pelagonia to shoot horses indiscriminently, because most achean Frank horsed we unbarded

Ii is generally believed that Latinikoi had the typical knight^s gear of the era that they were recruited.

The Normans were a bit odd because chroniclers say that had the Byzantine clibanion over their mail armor.

Hope it helps.

Best regards
Okay thanks what about native byzantine heavy cavalry BTW The guy I saw in the osprey Byzantine Armies 1118-1461 Showed a man with a mail haubergon, chausses, aventail, conical hem, and contos (not sure why he wasn't portrayed with a spathion, bow, and thureos. His horse had lamellar caparisons, lamellar crinet and lamellar chanfron. He was a native byzantine, can you tell me anything about him? like his name his use on the battlefield etc. Smile
After Mantzikert most heavy Cavaly were Latiniokoi.
Tha man depictd in the Osprey lByzantine Armies 1118-1461 is based on artwork (The Alexander the Great Manuscript). A few byzantine aristocrats could afford sucj armor but very few. With the trade in the hands of the Italian city states and the lands ravaged by the enemy raids few, Byzantine lords could afford such armor.

As I said earlier the Paleologoi did not took steps to reconstruct "native" army units. The issue was not only to make them but to maintain them as well.

Kimd regards
Okay can you describe the equipment of the latiniokoi? such a weapons armor the names of said equipment?
Kinnamos states that Manuel I (1143-1180) introduced Western European equipment (specifically long kite shields are mentioned) and knightly methods to his native Byzantine heavy cavalry. It is generally thought that this included the couched lance technique and greater use of heavy armour. Manuel himself took part in western style jousts, and impressed western observers with his prowess.

At the Battle of Dyrrhakion in the reign of Alexios I (1081-1119 -ish) Norman knights caught the emperor after his army had started to fall apart in defeat. Two knights thrust their lances at him from either side, only the equal pressure kept the emperor in his saddle. His armour must have been very effective as he escaped with no serious injury.

I think that some Byzantine cavalrymen of the Komnenian period, possibly only the military aristocracy, members of the imperial household (oikeoi) and some guards units, were very heavily armoured indeed, perhaps more so than most contemporary western knights.

Byzantine armour was, in many ways, more sophisticated than that of the west in the years before 1200. The western knight essentially had one layer of mail as protection for the whole body, with a padded garment beneath. The Byzantine heavy cavalryman had a greater concentration of protection in the most vital areas. The torso of of a Byzantine cavalryman could have a quilted inner "arming doublet" with a mailshirt over this, then a lamellar cuirass over the mail, and even a further quilted defence (the epilorikion) on top of the lamellar.
Byzantine chroniclers do not go into detail.
So Normans would look like 11th 12th century Normans.
I advise Dr T. Dawsons page http://www.levantia.com.au/

Germans and Hungarians in Pelagonia 1259 would look like 13th century contemporary knights. Regular uniforms are non existant at the time

Yet the mace (mantzoukin of the Byzantines)was a common weapon.


Kind regards
Thomas,
It is worth mentioning the Athanatoi. Originally raised by John I Tzimiskes the Athanatoi were a body of young men of noble status. The unit was revived under the Emperor Michael VII (1071–1081). His general Nikephoros reorganised the tagmata following the defeat of Manzikert. The Seljuks subsequently over-ran most of Asia Minor, which had provided the main recruiting ground for the pre-Manzikert army. As part of Nikephoros’ reorganisation, some thematic troops were recruited into the ranks of the Athanatoi, thus supplying a new regiment of the tagmata. The new Athanatoi were probably kataphract styled cavalry but I am not sure of this. In March of 1081, Alexios Comnenos, having decided to seize the throne, appeared with an army before the gates of Constantinople which was defended only by the Athanatoi , Varangian Guards and a detachment of Germans guarding the Kharisian Gate. Alexios thought it would be impossible to change the loyalty of the Athanatoi and the Varangians, and so bribed the Germans to open the gate. I don’t know when the Immortals disappeared from the Byzantine order of battle. However the loss of the eastern provinces, the subsequent loss of taxation revenue, the rapacious greed of the Dynatoi, the pronoia system and the resulting shortfall in available strateia recruits forced the Empire to depend increasingly on foreign mercenaries to the detriment of indigenous units such as the Immortals. Jason Price’s Master’s thesis is worth reading if only to see the complexity of the situation Alexios found himself in and how greatly things had changed since the reign of Basil II.
www.deremilitari.org/resources/pdfs/pricej.pdf

Two books you should consult if this period interests you are:
John Haldon. Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World, 565-1204. London: UCL Press, 1999.
Mark C. Bartusis, The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

These online resources may be of interest to you as well:
Warfare in 13th century Byzantium, according to George Akropolites
www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/akropolites.html
Byzantine Warfare in general
www.deremilitari.org/resources/byzantine.htm
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