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Byzantine Weapons and Warfare
For debates on actual equipment, not just "duh, Rome did not fall in 476" - "yes it did, bro", check out

https://www.facebook.com/groups/514199188652805/
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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Márk we do debate on actual equipment in our group sometimes although our page is not specifically focused on warfare and yes-Rome(state)did not fall in 476 :wink:

Other FB groups of interrest(maybe you know it I dont know): https://www.facebook.com/byzantinemilita...ry?fref=ts


: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Late-Roma...34?fref=ts
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Hi all!

Leo Wise wrotes about charzania. Dennis in his translation did not explain the meaning of it, maybe somebody here. The text is from: About Training for the Cavalry and the Infantry:

10. Divide the army in two parts, then have them come together in a mock battle, the lances and, likewise, the arrows without points or, as we said, with staffs instead of swords. Or instead of lances distribute staves or reeds. If the ground on which they are drilling has clods of earth, order them to throw these at each other in practicing for battle. At times let them make use of what are called charzania (χαρζάνια) or similar items in their battles. Point out to the men steep hills and order them to ascend them on the run and seize them. Of course, you will have other soldiers in position on top of those hills.

So what is the charzania? A kind of mail or protector?

My next question is the kalpa from Const. VII:

22. Another maneuver. With the troops marching in close formation, particularly after they have closed in tightly from the flanks, as they come within range of the <enemy> archers, and the command is given: "Strike.” The dekarchs and pentarchs then lean forward, cover their heads and part of their horses’ neck with their shields, hold their lances at shoulder height and, protected by their shields, they advance in good order, not too fast but at a canter, a measured gait, the so-called kalpa (κάλπα), so that the impetus of their charge might not break up their ranks before coming to blows with the enemy, a very risky action. All the archers to the rear are then to open fire.

Any further information over that it was a measured gait?

Thnaks!
pollux12
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As far as I can tell, a χαρζάνι is some kind of stick or bar. Could it be something like the Roman vitis?
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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I would say a rudis. A practice weapon. They are allowed to wield sticks instead of sharp weapons, not to injure each others.

But this forward leaning charge is so interesting! Clever thing to do, albeit I cannot imagine how would you do anything else than just a scare with this...however, admittedly they did this against lightly armed cavalry.
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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From the context, the word κάλπα means a type of canter. My guess would be that it means a "hand canter", this is a slow canter allowing horsemen to maintain a close formation. A faster canter would tend to break up a tight formation. Also with the shield being held so far forward it would tend to strike the horse on the neck, which would startle it with no good result for an attack.
Martin

Fac me cocleario vomere!
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Hi all!

Another question from Leo's Taktika. In the text Dennis wrote shelter, but the original is kamardan:

XX. 194. These things too are useful on occasion. If you have a large army and, for some reason, you want it to look small to the enemy, have the squads come together and take their rest in one so-called shelter (καμάρδαν, lat. camaradum), and order them to place their weapons next to one another. But, when you have a small army, divide the squad in two or more, according to the number of soldiers. It will then seem to be a very large army and you will not be despised because you are few in number. Quickly move out of your campsite, go off to another one and, after closely observing the enemy, join battle with them.

I think, it was a kind of tent for more people, than usual. Any further information about this (shape etc.)?

Thanks!

Pollux12
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Dear all!

I'm curious of your opinion about the drills of different nations from Book VI. The phrasing of the whole chapter is tricky, and I have some doubts that those manoeuvres (Scythian, Alan, African) were employed by those people from whom the manoeuvre got its name. On the contrary! They were used against them. So the name, e.g. Scythian drill doesn't mean that the manoeuvre was employed by Scythians. It means that it was employed against Schythians. My questions are:

Why did Maurice wrote in the first sentence of Italian one (VI. 4. from Dennis' translation): „The Italian system is both a formation and drill which, in our opinion, is suitable for use against any people” For me, it means that the previous ones were employed against those, from whom it got its name.

Why does Leo the Wise have the same opinion (Const. XVIII. 1 - Dennis): „Next, I will teach you about the various battle formations employed by other nations, as well as those that the commanders (Maurice) of Roman armies, going back to ancient times, made use of against different peoples.” This part refers to book VI. of the Strategikon.

Otherwise the Scythian drill (Strat. VI. 1.) is a simple forfex, as can be read at Vegetius (Epit. III. 19.), used against the wedge (cuneus). As Aelian wrote (Tact. XVIII. 4.) it is the tactic of the Scythians.

Thanks your response,
pollux12
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Dennis cites in Flies, Mice, and the Byzantine Crossbow three instances which he considers to point towards crossbows, but I believe they could just as well refer to arrow guides:

Strategikon: 'hollowed out wooden stocks with short arrows in small quivers, which can be fired a great distance with the bows and seriously injure the enemy'.

A tactical collection compiled about the middle of the 10th century: 'Now these missiles are very useful in battle, for they can be fired a very great distance from bows and cannot be seen by the enemy because of their shortness and the speed with which they are sent, while the enemy are rendered helpless through their inexperience'.

Cod. Ambros. gr. B 119 sup. (139),which was compiled about the year 959: the light infantry should carry: 'pieces of wood hollowed out to the same size as the arrows, fashioned like a reed cut in two down the middle. They are to use these to fire arrows of the type called "mice", which can be shot from the bows to a great distance'.

What do you think?
Stefan (Literary references to the discussed topics are always appreciated.)
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All three descriptions seem to be describing a variant of the marja (Arabic) or navak (Persian). Apparently arrows shot with one of these fly very fast and are pretty accurate due to the low trajectory but they have little penetrative power. Here is a small version. The longer ones can shoot darts that are even shorter.

[Image: hqdefault.jpg]
[Image: Flight+Archery+Over+Draw+Device-Siper.JPG]
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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I think it's also been established that Roman crossbows shot full-sized arrows based on art, actual finds (there have been 3 from the Roman/Post-Roman period) and to some extent the Granada crossbow.

Also, I thought the Solenarion was a fixed arrow guide?
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Solenarion was another word for the navak/marja. They are all arrow guides that strap to the wrist to allow a shorter than normal arrow to be shot from a regular bow.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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Quote:I think it's also been established that Roman crossbows shot full-sized arrows based on art, actual finds (there have been 3 from the Roman/Post-Roman period) and to some extent the Granada crossbow.

I have only 2 Roman handheld crossbows on my radar: the reliefs of Solignac-sur-Loire & Espaly-St Marcel, both today in the Musée Crozatier. Which is #3? And what is the Granada crossbow?
Stefan (Literary references to the discussed topics are always appreciated.)
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I meant actual finds, the Wiltshire Farm crossbow is still in the British Museum AFAIK in an archive somewhere, and in the 1900's there were two others dating to the same period (Post-Roman Britain, specifically 5th and 6th centuries). The article is online somewhere.

As for the Granada crossbow, it's 9th century Moorish but believed to be based off of the Roman version.
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