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War flag(banner) of the Byzantine empire

If you have any other byzantine war banners it would be great
Quote:Interesting, but I'd prefer to see the pyr thalassion projectors that were used on shipboard - big enough to destroy an enemy fleet, made of bronze, with lions' heads at the spout . . .

i thought those where kinda risky because most of the times they ended up burning their own ships
Quote:Ok I had edited & deleted all my Komnenian ancestral thing here... since I gain more apathy or crap from people for that, I'm not the the only exeption... I can reed people even by their silence.
I dont need to proof to anybody nothing & belive anyones crap either.
Stay in the family. better & final.

I know I shouldn't post like that on RAT... but he!.... be on my position & understand. :evil:

Errrr......who rattled your cage gioi Confusedhock: :?
Quote:War flag(banner) of the Byzantine empire

If you have any other byzantine war banners it would be great

This is Albanian flag.

For Byzantine flag try this page.
The war flag was the same as the yellow flag except it was red ..The symbol of the Roman empire is used today by many countries and institutions.The variety the site suggests is that it was gold. I would like to get more textual sources on this and its probable varieties.

"The banner with a porphyr red background and golden eagle was the war flag of the Empire, whereas the yellow-black was the Imperial flag used in peacetime"

In the beginning the eagle had no crown and her mouth, wings and claws were open, showing the eagle ready to attack. The eagle looked like that of today's Albanian flag. Later a sword (romfaia) and the Globe of Orthodoxy were added.

So i made it gold now thankou!
The Flags of the World web site says:

"The double-headed eagle was the symbol of the Paleologues, the last Greek-speaking "Roman" (i.e. Byzantine) dynasty to rule from Constantinople. Emperor Michael VIII Paliologos recaptured Constantinople from the Crusaders in 1261, from a state based in Asia Minor; the double-headed eagle symbolized the dynasty's interests in both Asia and Europe, and was kept despite the fact that virtually all of the Asian possessions were gobbled up by the Ottomans within a generation of the recapture of the City. Michael's descendants stayed on the Byzantine throne until the City and the Empire fell to the Ottomans in 1453.

The double-headed eagle had in the two centuries of Paleologan rule become identified not just with the dynasty but with the Empire itself and, more generally, with institutions and cultural ideas outside the Byzantine Empire that still remained centered on Constantinople. Most obvious of these is the Greek Orthodox Church, centered in theory in Istanbul to this day, and so it is not surprising that the Church would use the flag."
Josh Fruhlinger, 27 January 1999

The use of a double headed eagle is found in many cultures probably starting with the Hittites. Even the Seljuks used a double headed eagle. The double-headed eagle became the standard of the Seljuk Turks with the crowning of Toghrül (meaning "Eagle") Beg at Mosul in 1058 as "King of the East and the West" and was much used afterwards. The Sultans of Rum, Ala ad-Din Kay Qubadh I (1220-1237) and his son Kay Khusrau II (1237-1246) used the bicephalous eagle in their standards, and the motif was also found on textiles, ceramic tiles, cut stones, mural squares, and Koran holders.

Turcomans who ruled in Anatolia during the 13th century, inherited it from the Seljuk Turks. Islamic coins from the reign of Khalif Nasreddin Mahmoud bin Mohammad, following Turkish influence, sport a double-headed eagle on one side and the Star of David on the other as early as year 1200.

In the 14th century there was a fashion in the byzanticised Balkans for princelings and the nobility to wear silks on which the eagle appeared within beaded roundels.

Theodora, the wife of Alexios III of the Greek empire of Trebizon is depicted in a manuscript dated 1374 wearing a gown bearing a somewhat different style of double-headed eagle. The eagles on her gown are not in roundels, have their tail-feathers divided into three-the outer parts somewhat curled- and their necks in a curious looped from. This loop-necked eagle is very similar to a double-headed eagle on the inner face of a mosque lectern from Konya dated 1278 where the eagle’s tail is flanked by double volutes formed by lions.

The double-headed eagle motif found on silks, whilst certainly used as a design component by the Syro-Egyptian Ayyubids until their overthrow by the Memluks in 1250-1260, was seemingly never adopted by the Mamluks themselves. This is despite the fact that the Seljuks of Rum used it well into the Mamluk period. In keeping with the long-established associations of the eagle with ultimate authority, they identified it with the sultan: a 13th century star-tile depicting a double headed eagle,excavated from the Kubadabad Palace at Beyshehir near Konya ,carries an inscription reading â€
On 2-headed eagles:

Alencon bears a golden 2-headed eagle on the coat of arms because the Drengot family has served in the "Latininikon" from 1040 AD

Hapsbourgs had the 2-headed eagle on the coat of arms because they had put in through marriage Eleni Aggelina from the Despotate of Ipiros in 1270 and a De Courtenet heiress of the Latin Empire.

Seems that initialy the 2-headed eagle was asociated with the empresses and the princesses. Byzantine princes married Russian princes and the 2-headed eagle came prominent whenever they had the Regency when their husband died.

2-headed eagle appeard for the Serbs when Stpan Dusan tried to become emperor in the 14th century.

Kind regards

I've two questions about weapons and armor during the 6th century:

1.) What sword was the successor to the Roman spathe for both infantry and cavalry ? Do we know ?

2.) Did scale armor survive into the Byzantine period or was it superceded by lamellar ? By "scale" I mean the old kind that the Romans wore back in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D.

Here's Basil II - does he appear to be wearing lamellar or scale armor ? Can we tell from the fresco ?

[Image: t_basil_ii_187.jpg]

Thanks in advance.

We do know that Maurice's Strategikon recommends "Herulian" swords for his soldiers; unfortunately it isn't perfectly clear what he meant by that term.
Interesting. I wonder why no archeological remains of a successor to the spathae exists. Maybe because by the 6th century the sword was demoted to a secondary status while being superceded by long pikes. If I'm not mistaken, I think infantry began to resemble the old phalanx, coming full circle in the evolutionary development of tactical formations.

BTW, in one of my books there's mention of a Securis - a long sword - being carried by Byzantine infantrymen from this same period.

Thanks for your help, Felix.

Well Byzantines kept close formation spear armed infantry to protect the their archers. Some units especially the Heteria infantry were used offensivly.It was easier to use short sword in spear blocks-plus they were cheaper. In late period the "falcion type" paramerion is recorded.

After 1050AD were all started collapsing the increased numbers of Russian mercenary infantry would curry longer "norse type" swords-mostly the leaders.

Securis or tzikourion was an axe. Survivees in modern Greek as "tsekouri".

Kind regards
Quote:Well Byzantines kept close formation spear armed infantry to protect the their archers.

I see. Hence the need for having deeper formations than earlier Roman cohorts.

Quote:It was easier to use short sword in spear blocks-plus they were cheaper.

That suggests the sword used by infantry in the 6th century would probably have been shorter than the spathae that was used in the two prior centuries.

Quote:Securis or tzikourion was an axe.

Oh, yeah. I misread the text. :oops: It said heavy infantry carried either "a long sword or a Securis". I took "Securis" to be the name of the aformentioned "long sword".

Thank you, Stefanos.

Well a mass arming or rearming must consider costs.
Plus shorter weapons are better in tight formations so I gues there must have been shorter than spatha.

The "tzikourion" was more probable for the low quality thematic troops and the later period infantry levies.

I am still of the opinion that late period, good qualíty retinues would be more probably horsemen rather than infantrymen (Varrangians excluded) so longer swords would be more probable.

Even Varnagians except the big axe would carry the saex rather than a longer sword.
Kind regards
Quote:So what Byzantine flags were used prior to the the Paleologues? If they were not double headed eagles what were they? Crosses are a good bet but do we have any evidence? No eagle flags are depicted in the Skylites as far as I know. Is there anything earlier? I will try to attach the Palaeologi double-headed eagle featuring the sympilema (the family cypher) (of the Palaeologus dynasty from a church mural dated to the 14th century.


I have an academic paper somewhere at home which deals with this in detail. It's about 40 pages long, with LOTS of pictures at the end. I'll see if I can search it up.

Note also that even before the Palaeologoi, the eagle was a common motif in Byzantine art, even if not on Imperial banners. But it only had a single head. (I have pictures)

BTW, apart from secondary and tertiary sources on the Net, what is the evidence for the red flag being a battle banner? This is the first I've heard of it. The flag that seems to be most common in battle pics from the late Byzantine period is the one with multiple letter "B"s on it.

Theodosius, there are PLENTY of Byzantine representations of military saints in scale armour. Plenty in lamellar as well. The armour Basil II is wearing is lamellar, of an unusual type. I have a better detailed pic, and the laces are quite clear.
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