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I have just checked the Greek in my two references. The word used in the second type of horse armour described by Phokas' Praecepta Militaria and also Ouranos Taktika description is klibanion (lamellar) which agrees with the Osprey description. The references also say the horse armour was split from the horses shoulders down to allow the legs to move freely.

No doubt you have seen the 5th - 6th Century Late Roman armour in this thread:
link from old RAT

Check it out if you haven't!
Very cool Big Grin
Byzantine successors, the Janissaries, had iron mini-horseshoes on heels and iron toes. There is one cute story that the track a division of Janissaries left looked like a heard of tiny ponies had passed moving the other direction.

These were primarily for durability, but part of durability is not admiting an iron stake through the sole.
-Rick

Quote:
Gothic Clibanarius:sep3h2sg Wrote:So were the 'steel shoes' a.k.a sabatons solid or segmented?

As it is impossible to walk in solid metal shoes they must have been articulated in some manner; they are not described in any detail and no pictorial evidence exists.
Rick is probably right.

18th century Hussars has boots sodden with steel plates.

Take into account that armies are beasts of traditon and you can track this to the past.

Kind regards
Rick (and others who may be interested in the menaulion),
Sorry to change the subject. I was looking at some of the finds from Novgorod and found this spear head that is dated to the 10th C and is 35 cm long.
[url:a605f6fn]http://www.rus-druzhina.ru/albums/Drevny_Novgorod/Orujie_1.jpg[/url]
Hmmm intersting thought Peter but I am of the opinin that this is a common spear or aheavy blades javelin.

Kind regards
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the byzantines use pikemen a.k.a Kontarioi to protect their missle troops? perhaps Menavulitoi (I apologize for the butchered greek) performed the same sort of function as halberdiers in the pike and shot formations or the rennisance? As for the Menavulion it sounds to me like some sort of polearm or perhaps a glaive or a bill? Just my two cents Smile

-Thank you all for putting up with me
There's quite a detailed discussion on the function of the menavlion earlier in this thread.
Thank you Smile

Egfroth Have you seen the statue with Palmryan gods in roman military dress on it?
Excellent, & 10th C. too.
What I decided to do was to cover both of the most plausible bases.
first, I just custom made a "christmas-tree" head that is 20 or so inches long and is like a spiky short sword on a stick... really fills the bill/halbred/polearm niche in a convincing and dare I say intimidating way.
I also wanted one like the one shown on your picture, and found a quite good commercial replica of good size that is rebated and flexible for fencing play (That niche is important for me); But, it also looks good enough to bring to a living history event, and if kids/public are milling around its the one I would want at hand anyway. So, in case I have a buddy to help demo the menaulion I think we can tell an honest story.
I owe the group some pictures.
-Rick
Quote:Rick (and others who may be interested in the menaulion),
Sorry to change the subject. I was looking at some of the finds from Novgorod and found this spear head that is dated to the 10th C and is 35 cm long.
[url:hnaflie1]http://www.rus-druzhina.ru/albums/Drevny_Novgorod/Orujie_1.jpg[/url]
Tis the season so my (candidate menavlion) christmas tree head below, along with the boar spear-like candidate. I will grind it (christmas tree)a bit more on top for better shape, but don't want to take more off the bottom for structural reasons. The spikes on the side help penetrate on the cut, since the less contact area the more focused the area
http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Byz/SanespearsS.jpg
http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Byz/SpearsLaidout.jpg
http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Byz/MenavCandidate.JPG is the model

[/img]
Like the tree, or "holly-leaf" a great deal.

Laudes.
Very good reconstruction. Now only the question remains of how accurate is the depiction! Laudes.
Orlirva wrote
Quote:http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Byz/MenavCandidate.JPG is the model

My major problem with this is that AFAIK menavlia are first mentioned in a 10th century treatise, but the representation this reconstruction is based upon dates to the 6th century. Just seems like too much of a stretch to me. There's no indication as far as I can see, in the original description, that would suggest an edge of this sort on a menavlion.

Also, I would take issue with the idea of the menavlion being a relatively short pole-arm on the lines of a glaive or halberd. The length of the shaft is specified in Nikephoros Ouranos' Taktika as 1.5 to 2 orguiai ("fathoms"). This has been interpreted [Schilbach] as being equivalent to 2.8-3.7 metres (9'2"-12'2") or even 3.2-4.2 metres (10'6"-13'9"). gis would make it far too long and unwieldy to use in this manner.

Tim Dawson's treatise "Fit for the Task" in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (Vol 31 No. 1 of 2007), using an interpretation that considerably reduces the length of an orguia from Schilbach's, proposes 2.3-3.1 metres (7'6"-10'2"). But even with this reduced length, it's hard to see it being possible to use it like a halberd or glaive.
I agree with 10th c. start for Menaliva but thought this image from a silver plate was also dated 10th C. Uh, I suppose I don't know anything about it exactly, do you know its provenance, where it is now, any analysis?

The helmet choice of one of the figures does suggest a possible earlier date but otherwise the kit looks plausibly 10th C. to me. If its 6th C. that does rather blow my theory out of the water.


The "christmas tree" head is not a heavy pole arm like a halberd. Its still primarily a point weapon. On the other hand, it is clearly capable of delivering a hewing cut far better than any other type of spear. Thus, I think of it as sort of a compromise ... or maybe even an early version of a polearm class that later became heavier and more specialized. As such, a 10 foot or maybe even 11 foot length would work fine for it.

I'm inclined toward a 8-9 foot length.
Along the way, I did a couple of years of (japanese) naganita study and I consider this of more or less the same light-polearm class with a strong anti-cavalry reason for existance. Although the naginata is a tad shorter, I can do all of my naganita drill with this weapon in that length.


I still think that the boar-spear type head is a great candidate, but a light polearm seemed to be a good fit to the requirements.
-Rick

Quote:Orlirva wrote
Quote:http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Byz/MenavCandidate.JPG is the model

My major problem with this is that AFAIK menavlia are first mentioned in a 10th century treatise, but the representation this reconstruction is based upon dates to the 6th century. Just seems like too much of a stretch to me. There's no indication as far as I can see, in the original description, that would suggest an edge of this sort on a menavlion.

Also, I would take issue with the idea of the menavlion being a relatively short pole-arm on the lines of a glaive or halberd. The length of the shaft is specified in Nikephoros Ouranos' Taktika as 1.5 to 2 orguiai ("fathoms"). This has been interpreted [Schilbach] as being equivalent to 2.8-3.7 metres (9'2"-12'2") or even 3.2-4.2 metres (10'6"-13'9"). gis would make it far too long and unwieldy to use in this manner.

Tim Dawson's treatise "Fit for the Task" in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (Vol 31 No. 1 of 2007), using an interpretation that considerably reduces the length of an orguia from Schilbach's, proposes 2.3-3.1 metres (7'6"-10'2"). But even with this reduced length, it's hard to see it being possible to use it like a halberd or glaive.
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