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Show here your Sarmatian warrior impression
#31
Thanks Alanus
great to be part of the "barbarian" bunch!
I must say, after attending a few renaissance faires in The States, I thought the site of a true-to-the-period fella was merely a pipe dream. Seeing gear of yours (and that of few other esteemed friends of this forum) is a great site to my eyes.
Yet, I didn’t want to take any chances against well endowed medieval princesses, so common in the popular festivals, so I moved to Poland to join current reenacting wave of Slavs, Viking, and what-you-may-call-it warriors of old times. The story is long and needy of beer and roast. For now, thanks for the warm welcome and hope to see more great pictures.
My best regards
Artames
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#32
You're welcome, Artames

There are same great Celtic and Germanic impressions on the other "Show Your" threads here on RAT, but this thread is fairly recent and designed to create more interest in the Eastern elements that opposed and oft joined the Roman army.

My own kit has taken time to gather, and it's not yet complete. My helmet, although an old style of pot like the Sofia example, turned out looking a little too "Avarish." I'm trying to convince Greg Kulig to make a true Roxolani version for me, just like the ones pictured on Trajan's Column. Greg also lives in Poland and he makes armor for museums, one of the finest craftsmen we have today. (see Thorkil Armourer website) The helmet will cost me a fortune but will be accurate.

Perceived "accuracy" is contentious, as you may have noticed in above posts from other RAT friends. But we all do the best we can with limited resources. The important point is to make an effort. Otherwise we can never have the wondrous variety that found its way into so much that became "Roman." :grin:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#33
Any idea of the impression for the 5,500 Iazyge(Sarmatian) auxiliaries (Heavy Cavalry) sent to the VI Legion near present day Wales in 176 A.D.
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#34
Hello, Sempronius

Well, there's doubt all the Iazyges ended up in Wales, a bunch evidently in the north near the Wall.

From Iazyge graves in Hungary, we know they were not heavy cavalry and had short swords. In the latter part of the 2nd century a significant influence on the Iazges was created by an influx of Roxolani, who did have long swords, lances, and heavy armor, in other words cataphracts.

For an Iaz kit, scale armor or chainmail would do it. An akinakes and Scythian-styled sword (not Chinese-influenced) would suffice for edge weapons. Helmets? Maybe an early spangenhelm if you can find one. I never could, breaking down and now having one made by Gregorz Kulig (Thorkil Armory)in Poland. For a bow?-- your choice.

Hopefully more suggestions will follow by others. There are knowledgable men on this channel, including John Conyard and Robert Vermaat. They'll probably ride by.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#35
Do you have a rough date of the Roxolani influence? The Iazyge cavalry is described as heavy(cataphract) from the sources I've come across by the time they make their way to Britannia by 176A.D., and most certainly by the battle of Lugdunum(Lyon) in 197 A.D.
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#36
First: what are your sources? Ammianus Marcellinus? Or Littleton & Malcor?

The British Museum has a ring-pommeled sword dated to Commodus, along with coins. It's probably Iaz and it's short. Also see Janos Harmatta, a good authority on Sarmatian cultures on the Hungarian Plain. He notes the differing burial styles, Iaz and Roxolani, and the equally different sword lengths. Timewise, I think the last quarter of the 2nd century saw the beginning of the Iaz-Roxolani mergance. Thereafter, both tribes were recorded as "Sarmatians."

Tacitus describes the Roxolani (an Alanic subtribe) as being cataphracts. But I don't think the Iazages were described in original sources as such. Recent authors oft "interpret" what they want to see or promote, but more than a few are not familiar with weapon styles. The long lance and long sword was Alanic, an extension of the Massagetae lance and Han Dynasty sword.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#37
Quote:For an Iaz kit, scale armor or chainmail would do it. An akinakes and Scythian-styled sword (not Chinese-influenced) would suffice for edge weapons. Helmets? Maybe an early spangenhelm if you can find one. I never could, breaking down and now having one made by Gregorz Kulig (Thorkil Armory)in Poland. For a bow?-- your choice.
Hopefully more suggestions will follow by others. There are knowledgable men on this channel, including John Conyard and Robert Vermaat. They'll probably ride by.


Well, gallopping along here…

For a kit, what’s your preferred period? Big Grin

I have never found sources that would confirm that the cavalry that was transported to Britain (and may have left for the most part within years) consisted of heavy cavalry. Perhaps ‘heavy’ in the sense that they may have used the contus instead of throwing javelins or being horse archers, but never in the sense of armoured horses, if you are thinking of that.

Apart from some weapons (such as the bow or the sling), I have found no evidence that troops which entered Roman service retained their own tribal equipment. To the contrary, and despite the unfounded thoughts of Linda malcor about this, the Sarmatian troops were most probably, like very other non-Roman soldier, kitted out by the Roman military. Within a short time, Sarmatian cavalry would have looked very much like the other cavalry in Roman service, where armour, helmets, swords and shields are concerned. Of course clothing and jewellery could/would be different.
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#38
Wow John! . that is some horsemanship! Big Grin
bachmat66 (Dariusz T. Wielec)
<a class="postlink" href="http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/">http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/
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#39
Quote:Alan I do find “steppe culture” a fascinating subject.
Wow John! . that is some horsemanship!
bachmat66 (Dariusz T. Wielec)
<a class="postlink" href="http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/">http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/
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#40
Quote:Apart from some weapons (such as the bow or the sling), I have found no evidence that troops which entered Roman service retained their own tribal equipment. To the contrary, and despite the unfounded thoughts of Linda malcor about this, the Sarmatian troops were most probably, like very other non-Roman soldier, kitted out by the Roman military. Within a short time, Sarmatian cavalry would have looked very much like the other cavalry in Roman service, where armour, helmets, swords and shields are concerned. Of course clothing and jewellery could/would be different.

Hello Robert,

Ah! You caught my references: Ammianus (reliable, mostly) and Malcor(unreliable). :wink:

While I usually agree with you on most points, I'm not too sure Sarmatian-Alanic recruits discarded their "native" armor and weapons in favor of prevelent Roman ones. By the late 2nd and 3rd centuries, we see an increase in longer swords, spathas. This could be a steppe influence or possibly "self generating," the latter being doubtful.

We have a "Roman cavalryman" on the Arch of Galarius (c.300) wearing a nice early spangenhelm. The funerery stele of the draconarius at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, shows a man who can be no other than a Sarmatian, wearing a native-styled helmet, scale armor, with (the real clincher) an akinakes strapped to his right leg. I would think he was not a fresh recruit, but someone who was endeared to his men, perhaps even a veteran. I'm thinking of John Conyard's statement in the above "recycled" post. The introduction of weapons and armor, to each culture-- Roman and Sarmatian-- was a two-way road. And you do not discard something that works if it's not broken. :grin:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#41
Quote:First: what are your sources? Ammianus Marcellinus? Or Littleton & Malcor?

The British Museum has a ring-pommeled sword dated to Commodus, along with coins. It's probably Iaz and it's short. Also see Janos Harmatta, a good authority on Sarmatian cultures on the Hungarian Plain. He notes the differing burial styles, Iaz and Roxolani, and the equally different sword lengths. Timewise, I think the last quarter of the 2nd century saw the beginning of the Iaz-Roxolani mergance. Thereafter, both tribes were recorded as "Sarmatians."

Tacitus describes the Roxolani (an Alanic subtribe) as being cataphracts. But I don't think the Iazages were described in original sources as such. Recent authors oft "interpret" what they want to see or promote, but more than a few are not familiar with weapon styles. The long lance and long sword was Alanic, an extension of the Massagetae lance and Han Dynasty sword.


Alanus,

You are quite correct. I had time to go over what I had read earlier and I misinterpreted the article. :oops:
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#42
Hailog, George

From what we can tell, principally those weapons and modes of armor adopted by the Roman army, the greater influence came from the Alans. I personally do not refer to them as Sarmatians, although they could be called Eastern Sarmatians. The number of tribes and subtribes of this culture included the Wusun (Chinese for "Alan"), Aorsi, Roxolani, and the Taifali. This culture arose as the northeast Saka-Massagetae, from the Altai and moving down to the Pamirs, Ili Valley, and Issyk Kul. The Iaz, on the other hand, were related to the Sauromati which descended from the western Scythians which accounts for the short sword and lack of heavy armor.

An interesting sidelight: the style of armor and sword used by the Alans/Wusun was replicated fairly well in John Woo's film, Red Cliff. The helmets and body armor are almost identical to that found on the Orlat Battle Plaque.

The name and purpose of this thread (Show Your Sarmatian Impression) is to encourage an active display of Sarmatian-Alanic gear and weapons. No kit is entirely correct, as John Conyard has pointed out. The hardest item to find is the style of helmet found on Trajan's Column and the Arch of Galarius. Spangenhelms made today in India are of the Norman type, a long way from the steppes in design. Armorers like Gzregorz Kulig can make a copy of the originals but the price is STEEP! :roll:

Whenever possible, use original sources: Ammianus Marcellinus, Herodotus, and Arrian among the best. Authors like Littleton & Malcor had an agenda, and a not very accurate one. Archaeological work by Harmatta and Treister comes in handy. There is link on the internet to an archaeological book written by several Russians and edited by Jennine Davis-Kimbal. We see, for instance, the "trail" of the Chinese longsword, early enough that bronze examples have been found in Sarmatian Two graves. This trail fascinates me, since a number of Alanic influences found their way to Gaul and Britain, including the ceremony of using round-bottomed cups with bear-shaped handles, forerunners of the Grail.

Good luck on your impression. :-)
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#43
Do you know of a source that describes the Iazyges helmet? I'm particularly interested in them for the simple reason they settled in the area of the Banat/Backa region. My mother's side of the family comes from there. Today it's called Vojvodina in the former Yugoslavia. I strongly doubt there's any Iaz bloodlines of course but it would be fascinating if it were soWink
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#44
Quote:The name and purpose of this thread (Show Your Sarmatian Impression) is to encourage an active display of Sarmatian-Alanic gear and weapons.
Trying to provoke a discussion, eg: by relating, via Sauromatae, the Iazyges to the the western Scythians and repeating the 'old lore' about the short swords and lack of heavy armor, don't you?
bachmat66 (Dariusz T. Wielec)
<a class="postlink" href="http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/">http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.com/
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#45
Quote:Do you know of a source that describes the Iazyges helmet? I'm particularly interested in them for the simple reason they settled in the area of the Banat/Backa region. My mother's side of the family comes from there. Today it's called Vojvodina in the former Yugoslavia. I strongly doubt there's any Iaz bloodlines of course but it would be fascinating if it were soWink

George,

Sorry, but I don't, at least published in English. Maybe you have access to Hungarian archaeological articles. If any Iazyge helmets survived, they would have been in the ground.

To bachmat66,

Not sure what you're getting at by claiming I was "repeating old lore." Most of what has been revised is actually "new." Recent studies (post 1980)show there was a difference in the two cultures, Scythian-Sauromatae (western) and Saka-Massagetae-Alani (eastern). The eastern culture had slightly different art-forms, weapons, and a significant percentage of Asian physical admixture, about 30% in females. The cultural "break" line, when the tribes reached the Danubian border, was between the Iaz and related tribes, and the Roxolani ("Shining Alans) and related major Alannic group. :-)

Nothing "old" here. It's just a physical fact.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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