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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Mar, 2015 9:18 am    Post subject: About Cataphracts Efficiency: 10th to early 13th warfare         Reply with quote

I wonder how effective were these cavalry units during the Macedonian dynasties and Komnenian in relation to Serbian, Hungarian, Norman, Arabic and Turkish Military. Western knighthood methods - since 11th - were more efficient? Was there any change in their equipment after contacts with european heavy cavalry? Is there any difference between Cataphracts and Clibanarii?

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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Mar, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject: About Cataphracts Efficiency: 10th to early 13th warfare         Reply with quote

It's very hard to guess how effective the cavalry units were during the Macedonian and Komnenian periods. Sadly, I'm no expert on Byzantine history but I think there is someone here who can help answer your questions, Pedro.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term "cataphract" might not even be relevant in the 12th and 13th centuries -- the last mention we can find of them in official Byzantine records is in 1091 (or even 1071), and afterwards Byzantine heavy cavalry seems to have been largely made up of Latinikoi (Western European mercenaries). Regardless of however effective the cataphracts might have been tactically, they were very expensive to maintain at the strategic and operational level (not to mention in peacetime), so it's by no means surprising that the Eastern Roman Empire might not have been capable of supporting such units anymore on a long-term basis after Manzikert and the ensuing loss of productive Anatolian lands.
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
The term "cataphract" might not even be relevant in the 12th and 13th centuries -- the last mention we can find of them in official Byzantine records is in 1091 (or even 1071), and afterwards Byzantine heavy cavalry seems to have been largely made up of Latinikoi (Western European mercenaries). Regardless of however effective the cataphracts might have been tactically, they were very expensive to maintain at the strategic and operational level (not to mention in peacetime), so it's by no means surprising that the Eastern Roman Empire might not have been capable of supporting such units anymore on a long-term basis after Manzikert and the ensuing loss of productive Anatolian lands.




In fact, the Byzantines employed many knights as mercenaries or as regular units. How a Latinikoi would be?


But I think at that time, mainly from the thirteenth century, they still retained groups, although minor, of Cataphracts, like the image below:



I just don't understand much why klibanion was less seen in cavalry and practically nonexistent in the infantry. In mean, the lamellar cuirass was the best torso protection, even Timur knew that. Of course, the empire was not so wealthy as it was in Komnennoi or Macedonian Dinasties, but, in west, much of the western lower nobility (such as knights and barons) could afford with the increasingly advanced armor costs, although they only overcome the byzantine harness after the middle of fourteenth century. I also noticed that:

"As Western European metalwork became increasingly sophisticated, the traditional image of the cataphract's awe-inspiring might and presence quickly evaporated. From the 15th century and onwards, chain mail, lamellar armor, and scale armor seemed to fall out of favour with Eastern noble cavalrymen as elaborate and robust plate cuirasses arrived from the West; this, in combination with the advent of early firearms, cannon and gunpowder, rendered the relatively thin and flexible armor of cataphracts obsolete. Despite these advances, the Byzantine army, often unable to afford newer equipment en masse, was left ill-equipped and forced to rely on its increasingly archaic military technology. The cataphract finally passed into the pages of history with the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453, when the last nation to refer to its cavalrymen as cataphracts fell (see Decline of the Byzantine Empire)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataphract#Cataphracts_in_East_Asia

and that:

"However, by the reign of Manuel I the Byzantine kataphraktos was the equal of his Western counterpart.[98] Although Manuel was credited by the historian Kinnamos with introducing Latin 'knightly' equipment and techniques to his native cavalry, it is likely that the process was far more gradual and began in the reign of Alexios.[99] Manuel’s enthusiastic adoption of the western pastime of jousting probably had beneficial effects on the proficiency of his heavy cavalry. The kataphraktos was famed for his use of a fearsome iron mace in melee combat.[100]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komnenian_Byzantine_army#cite_ref-98

It could be possible that the Greeks adopted the same techniques of Western cavalry (saddle, stirrups, couched lance and so on)? If anyone knows of any study material for this period I would be very grateful ....
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
In fact, the Byzantines employed many knights as mercenaries or as regular units. How a Latinikoi would be?


Just a plain Western European miles. Maybe a little more gaudily dressed, what with Byzantium's silk market and all.


Quote:
But I think at that time, mainly from the thirteenth century, they still retained groups, although minor, of Cataphracts, like the image below:


I'm sorry, but an Osprey illustration doesn't constitute good evidence. Neither is a quotation from Wikipedia with no primary source support for the assertion that the cataphract lasted all the way to 1453 (or indeed at any point beyond the turn of the 12th century).
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Just a plain Western European miles. Maybe a little more gaudily dressed, what with Byzantium's silk market and all.


You mean something like a byzantine equivalent of fiefs or "knight's fee"? Perhaps the Pronoia?

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I'm sorry, but an Osprey illustration doesn't constitute good evidence. Neither is a quotation from Wikipedia with no primary source support for the assertion that the cataphract lasted all the way to 1453 (or indeed at any point beyond the turn of the 12th century).


That's sad kkk. Where I live most of "historical resource" comes from poorly described educational History books. The best source I found was an Phyllis G Jestice book about Medieval War Timeline. This is my last resource (since I don't speak much of greek to learn in Greek Armours website):

http://www.levantia.com.au/


Quote:
Later sources from around the empire and nearby show that the already-ancient practice of fitting cavalry helms with mail hangings covering all but their eyes continued throughout the period. In the eleventh century we see occasional pictures showing the splinted upper sleeves of the tenth century being replaced by scales, and then later by inverted lamellar, which also came to be used sometimes for skirts. A very few innovations were influenced by the West, such as the mail chausses, and the use of long (“kite”) shields. The historian, John Kinnamos, credits Emperor Manuel I Komnênos with introducing Frankish cavalry methods to the Roman army, specifically mentioning the replacement of round shields with kite shields.1
The “Phrygian cap” helm was a fashion that became very widespread across cultural and religious boundaries in the twelfth century, appearing in Roman pictures as well.2

The saddle is, of course, modern, but less different from a Byzantine one than from a European type. The high European war saddle did begin to be adopted along with other Western cavalry methods, but did not become prevalent until the thirteenth century.


Just of the section of Militaria > Field Armour of the Rômiosi > The twelfth century

I mean, Cataphracts were not an class like noblemen, they were just outfit with "greek barding" and heavy armour, which I'm not certain that this "heavy armour" could be across the times ....
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, 99 reference cames of John Kinnamos, 112, 125, 156–157, 273–274. And 100 from Niketas Choniates, p. 89

Both of them were contemporary historians of Manuel Komnenos and Angeloi Dynasty ...
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Apr, 2015 1:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Just a plain Western European miles. Maybe a little more gaudily dressed, what with Byzantium's silk market and all.


You mean something like a byzantine equivalent of fiefs or "knight's fee"? Perhaps the Pronoia?


I don't understand. I thought we were talking about what the Latinikon cavalry looked like.


Quote:
That's sad kkk. Where I live most of "historical resource" comes from poorly described educational History books. The best source I found was an Phyllis G Jestice book about Medieval War Timeline.


If you're really curious about how the Eastern Roman army worked from the 9th-11th centuries, I'd recommend this book, which contains translations of Byzantine military manuals from the period: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&a...0884022244


Quote:
Quote:
Later sources from around the empire and nearby show that the already-ancient practice of fitting cavalry helms with mail hangings covering all but their eyes continued throughout the period. In the eleventh century we see occasional pictures showing the splinted upper sleeves of the tenth century being replaced by scales, and then later by inverted lamellar, which also came to be used sometimes for skirts. A very few innovations were influenced by the West, such as the mail chausses, and the use of long (“kite”) shields. The historian, John Kinnamos, credits Emperor Manuel I Komnênos with introducing Frankish cavalry methods to the Roman army, specifically mentioning the replacement of round shields with kite shields.1
The “Phrygian cap” helm was a fashion that became very widespread across cultural and religious boundaries in the twelfth century, appearing in Roman pictures as well.2

The saddle is, of course, modern, but less different from a Byzantine one than from a European type. The high European war saddle did begin to be adopted along with other Western cavalry methods, but did not become prevalent until the thirteenth century.


Just of the section of Militaria > Field Armour of the Rômiosi > The twelfth century


That information is a bit suspect on some points, since "kite" shields appeared in Eastern Roman iconography at around the same time as in Western Europe, so we can't tell which one copied it from the other. Besides, the idea that the kite shield is a cavalry shield is patently false -- both in the West and in the Byzantine army, it was extensively used by the infantry too. The Byzantines even had a special design with the pointed bottom cut off (and made flat) so that the shield can be easily rested on the ground if necessary.

It's also worth noting that Timothy Dawson is a bit of a controversial name in Byzantine studies. He has made some important contributions that have become part of the current orthodoxy, but on the other hand he also has the tendency to see Byzantine connections in everything even when the supporting evidence is tenuous or ambiguous at best. The best-known case to the myArmoury community would be his article several years ago about similarities between the guards in the I.33 sword-and-buckler manual and certain swordfighting positions found in Byzantine iconography. Sure, those similarities exist. No problem with that. But then he proposed the idea that this similarity meant the I.33 could have had Byzantine origins, which is probably going a bit too far since the I.33 itself said that everyone used those guards anyway and we don't have further proof of similarities between Byzantine iconography and the actions that proceeded out of the I.33 guards.


Quote:
I mean, Cataphracts were not an class like noblemen, they were just outfit with "greek barding" and heavy armour, which I'm not certain that this "heavy armour" could be across the times ....


But they were a distinctive troop type with a distinct tactical role and well-defined standards of equipment, and we don't see this kind of troop type anymore in Byzantine official records past the end of the 11th century.
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Apr, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Lafayette C Curtis, you helped me a lot.


Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Just a plain Western European miles. Maybe a little more gaudily dressed, what with Byzantium's silk market and all.


You mean something like a byzantine equivalent of fiefs or "knight's fee"? Perhaps the Pronoia?


I don't understand. I thought we were talking about what the Latinikon cavalry looked like.


Thats too, but it's because I read that Byzantines employed western knights as regular units rather than just mercenaries. They would be paid or grant Pronoia "fiefs". And that made me very interested about it, they did some kind of chivalric vows or anything like that? How was the byzantine native cavalry from the Komnenoi Dynasty? Since the cataphracts practically become less important or even disappeared from the roman armies, how the wealthiest soldiers (usually fought on horseback) would display themselves in the army?


Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
That information is a bit suspect on some points, since "kite" shields appeared in Eastern Roman iconography at around the same time as in Western Europe, so we can't tell which one copied it from the other.


This is very interesting, in general, is used to show the Kite Shield as a Norman innovation, I also didn't know that had variations on the point of the shield to be suitable for support on the ground, perhaps for arrow protection?

The problem with byzantine studies is that they are rarely explored in general, the best reconstructions I know are made by Dawson and Hellenic armours, yet, I never visited any of them armor exhibition.



By the way, you are the Lafayette from Youtube channel?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beatson's reconstruction is better than Dawson's. His wacky riveted construction makes no sense. Those dots you see in the illustrations are not rivets but small bosses just like the ones on the lamellar found in places like Doneshkoe.
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William P




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Beatson's reconstruction is better than Dawson's. His wacky riveted construction makes no sense. Those dots you see in the illustrations are not rivets but small bosses just like the ones on the lamellar found in places like Doneshkoe.


embossing?? thats a new one.. the issue i see with that is. how then does it fasten to the rest of the lamellar sheet since in a lot of the illustrations, the dot on the lameller is right on the point at the top of the lame where it would be fastening to the next row of lames..

i dont like dawsons interperetation either but i cant find a rational alternative other than saying that the byzantines didnt know how to draw armour. i can also see how the artwork supports his banding theory. since im not sure how else to interperate it and the fact that it shows the bands between rows over and over as a fairly consistant feature how else SHOULD it be interpereted? https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1604367_10152195287334884_1916288705_n.jpg?oh=202e36ba81e3828161800bdc89e82d19&oe=55A3159B&__gda__=1436817713_efb7c83a99199c97965aab6e4fe1d35b

and interestingly. this one shows the embossed regions of a different colour. one associated with silvery/ shiny colours https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t31.0-8/p180x540/1502375_10152195212104884_1793190258_o.jpg

as for dawson claiming byzantine links. well. in his article on levantia about the makhaira. he suggests perhaps, based on the hilt design in a piece of artwork (but doesnt indicate the blade shape or length in any way since it;s hidden behind a person) that due to links between byzantium and germanic areas at the time. perhaps it influenced the development of the later german messer.. which feels kinda ludicrous at least to me

would it be possible to interperate this lamellar as perhaps something closer to a reverse scale armour?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 2:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
the dot on the lameller is right on the point at the top of the lame where it would be fastening to the next row of lames.

It isn't a fastening rivet, it is a reinforcing boss just like this

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William P




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Apr, 2015 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
William P wrote:
the dot on the lameller is right on the point at the top of the lame where it would be fastening to the next row of lames.

It isn't a fastening rivet, it is a reinforcing boss just like this


..oh wow i knew about embossed lamellar but i didnt know there were examples of finds with the boss exactly there

do we have evidence for lames with teo embossings side by side in the same position

have wwe found examples that are clearly meant to be overlapped and laced together like lamellar?

the question i have then is... how does this lamellar fasten to itself as lameller lanmellar kind of requires a way to fasten one row to the next that stuff looks only suitable for scale armour
(also, what's the provenance for those scales? )
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was really amazing, but maybe you can clear my mind: enbossing really makes any significant effect on the protection? In my lay's view, this enbossing only hinder the making of the lamellae as would have little practical application. However, riveting the lamellae the left considerably firmer, out it would be much easier to make a hole for the lamellar.

We can say that the embossing technique was actually the Byzantine style of lamellaes or that it was just another alternative that emerged during the eleventh century? If an alternative, how common it was? This ever happened?

http://www.hellenicarmors.gr/products.php?pageId=24&lang=EN


I also had read that the byzantine lamellar were considerably more efficient than the western mail armor, including Alexíada narrates the escape of Alexius Comnenus while it was stuck several times by the Norman infantry spears, coming to camp with several of these stuck in his armor.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2015 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
That was really amazing, but maybe you can clear my mind: enbossing really makes any significant effect on the protection?

It strengthens the plate. It probably doesn't make much difference to the level of protection but it makes the plates a lot more durable.

Quote:
I also had read that the byzantine lamellar were considerably more efficient than the western mail armor, including Alexíada narrates the escape of Alexius Comnenus while it was stuck several times by the Norman infantry spears, coming to camp with several of these stuck in his armor.

Except that the text never says what armour he was wearing. A lot of Byzantine officers preferred mail, not lamellar. Comnena specifically says that Frankish mail was proof against arrows. We have plenty of eye witness accounts saying that mail could stop mounted lances.

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