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Forum LockedThe Early Byzantine Military (306-610)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2006 at 23:54
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

Originally posted by Nestorian Nestorian wrote:

Please don't take this as a concept for a unit in MTR:AOA, it is just for fun.
What if Byzantium never declined after 1071? Could they have produced Kataphraktoi influenced by western and eastern influences in the 1350s?
WHo knows. Its just for fun
 
But these ideas might be used for the "what-if" aspect of the mod!  If theoretically you play the game right and Byzantium lives on into the late 15th and early 16th centuries, we need to think what the military units might look like and from where they derive influence. 
 
In the late period, for all we know, the kataphraktoi might have survived in one form or another.  If they did survive, there could be several possibilities as to what they wore and were armed with.
 
Perhaps the kataphraktoi of the late period were the kavallarioi.  In this case they would have a heavy Western influence or would be Western European themselves.  The latter is more likely since they were Latin mercenaries or Byzantinized Latins.  The Eastern influence on heavy cavalry is less likely, since the Turks had mostly light-armed cavalry and horse archers.  If they were influenced by the East in armor, it would probably be from the Mongols.  Some 14th and 15th century icon representations show soldiers wearing plate half-armor in the Mongol style.
 
What about the Influence from Pecheneg Cuman and Bulgarian Heavy Cavalry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nestorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2006 at 10:51
They did find a face mask in area of the Byzantine Great Palace complex in Istanbul, its undated but it resembles kind of face masks Cumans wore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2007 at 23:25
Viking lords (for lack of a better term) would sometimes act as imperial gaurds for Byzantine Emperors. My questions are as follow.

1. Did the Vikings adopt Byzantine tactics or ideologies about fighting battles?

2. What were the impressions of these Vikings in literature and public opinion (this might be hard to tell since there are no gallup polls from the time)?



Edited by King John - 16-Jan-2007 at 23:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 11:50
Perhaps commander would be a better word?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 16:13
"Lord" is generic and works just fine. Many of them would probably have answered to the title "Jarl/Earl", but there were all kinds of funny titles used in Scandinavia at that time so there's no guarantee. Besides, the majority of the Vikings in Byzantine imperial guard service were hardly noblemen.

King John, to answer your first question; the Vikings fought in their own particular manner with shield and a long-shafted, bearded battle-ax, sometimes refered to as a "Danish axe". But of course, ideally they'd follow the overall strategy of the Byzantine supreme command, which no doubt they did. When it comes to ideology, that's a rather vague term unless you say what exactly you mean by "Byzantine ideologies about fighting battles", if you're talking about the religious aspect then both yes and no; some Vikings converted to Christianity while some didn't, but as time went on I'd expect them all to be more or less Christian.

The image of the Varangians among the Byzantines seems to have been two-sided; on one hand they were acknowledged as loyal and capable bodyguards of the Emperor, on the other hand people whispered how they were also a bunch of wine-bags. IIRC, "The Emperor's Wine-Bags" was a common byword for the Varangian Guards.

I sugges that all who are interested in the part played by the Varangian Guard in Byzantine history read up on Basil II's reign, especially his rise to power and defeat of Bardas Phocas' navy.

Edited by Reginmund - 17-Jan-2007 at 16:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Patrinos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 17:47
Can you give me any information about the Apelatai?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2007 at 00:05
And while anyone else is at it can I get some information on the Stratiotai as well? It is a special unit in Rise of Nations
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2007 at 11:53
Originally posted by Ponce de Leon Ponce de Leon wrote:

And while anyone else is at it can I get some information on the Stratiotai as well? It is a special unit in Rise of Nations
 
I don't think there is much historical accuracy in the Stratiotai unit in Rise of Nations.  In the medieval age the Greeks get Companion Cavalry, which is strictly a designation for units in ancient times under Alexander.  The Stratiotai appear in the gunpowder and enlightenment ages as heavily armored knights, in plate armor nonetheless.
 
Of course, the Greek word stratiotai became a generic term for soldiers in the Byzantine period.  They were not of any particular type or use.  You can make distinctions, however, based on the method by which the soldier was remunerated. 
 
In the Komnenian period, some soldiers received payment in military lands - stratiotika ktemata.  In return they were obligated to perform military service - strateia.  A further distinction was made between the man who owned the military land and the person who performed the service.  Eventually, however, the strateia was converted into a military tax which the obligee payed instead of serving.  Some scholars believe pronoia arose out of the fiscalization of the strateia tax.  See Haldon and Bartusis' books for more detailed information.
 
Originally posted by Patrinos Patrinos wrote:

Can you give me any information about the Apelatai?
 
Haldon mentions that, in the middle period, the Apelatai were regular thematic soldiers who were drafted into the regular army because of their poor financial status.  They are often associated with borderland skirmishes where they gained a reputation for operating like "bandits." 
 
John Haldon. Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World, 565-1204. London: UCL Press, 1999.
 
Mark C. Bartusis, The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.


Edited by Byzantine Emperor - 24-Jun-2007 at 18:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2007 at 18:46
Thanks so much Byz for enlightening me on that subject that has been plauging me for some time now!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arm-Legionary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jul-2007 at 03:33
Smbat Minasyan www.armenian-hstory.com

I wrote article about Armenian legions in Roman Army

Also I'd like to share  my information with you and be more informed  about this issue
 

Armenian First Legion

"Legio  Armeniaca" translated from Latin as "Armenian Legion" and "prima" as "first". Armenian First Legion was one of the later period Roman empire legions. This Legion is mentioned in the late-antique text known as Notitia Dignitatum. Most Likely that  Armenian First Legion was formed in 2nd or 3rd  centuries A.D. in Western part of Armenia and had mission to protect that Armenian lands from intrusion. It should first have been the garrison of Armenian lands which had been under the control of Roman Empire.

Armenian First Legion took part in the ill-fated Persian campaign of the emperor Julianus Apostata  in 363.

I think Armenian First Legion wasn't destroyed in 363, and later came a part of Byzantine army.

 

 Armenian Second Legion

Armenian Second Legion like Armenian First legion was one of the later period Roman empire legions. This legion also mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum. Armenian Second Legion probably was created at the end of 3rd century or in the beginning of 4th century. Armenian Second legion had a permanent camp in one of the Northern provinces of the Orient. This legion built a camp in Satala. Armenian Second legion is furthermore mentioned in the year 360 as a part of the garrison of Bezabda (anciently called Phoencia) at the upper Tigris. In Bezabda Armenian Second Legion served together with Legions Parthica and II Flavia. In 390 Bezabda were taken by the Persians and a terrible bloodbath was held under the inhabitants and garrison. Nevertheless the legion seems to have survived this battle, because it appears in Notitia Dignitatum which have been written in 5th century.

Later on Armenian Second legion became a part of Byzantine army.



Edited by Arm-Legionary - 30-Jul-2007 at 03:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeroen72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2007 at 11:37
Hi there,
 
Images from:
 


Edited by Jeroen72 - 03-Aug-2007 at 13:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2007 at 17:26
Who was Gainas and what battle did he die at?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeroen72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2007 at 11:52
Gainas:
 
Gainas was an ambitious Gothic leader who served the Eastern Roman Empire during the reigns of Theodosius I and Arcadius.

Gainas began his military career as a common foot-soldier, but later commanded the barbarian contingent of Theodosius' army against the usurper Eugene in 394. In 395, he combined his forces with those of Stilicho and Eutropius to bring about the fall of Rufinus. In 399 he replaced the Magister Militum Leo after the latter failed to put down invasions led by Ostrogothic chieftain Tribigild. Gainas too failed to put down the invasions, although he blamed his failure on Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius' palace chamberlain (cubicularius) Eutropius, whom he had executed.

Frustrated further by his inability to control the situation, Gainas ordered the removal of more ministers. Gainas' compromises with Tribigild led to rumors that he had colluded with his fellow Goth and, when he returned to Constantinople in 400, riots broke out and 7,000 of his fellow Goths were murdered by the populace who had been incited to action by the Empress Eudoxia.

In response, Gainas and his forces attempted to flee back across the Hellespont, but their rag-tag fleet was met and destroyed by a third Gothic chieftain, Fravitta. After this battle, Gainas and his few remaining forces were caught by the Huns under Uldin while trying to escape north of the Danube. Gainas was killed and his head was sent by Uldin to Arcadius ca. 400 as a gift.

(from wikipedia)

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Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Oct-2007 at 16:57

I have a question about the importance of Anatolia to the Byzantines.

On most forums, I have seen people emphasis the importance of Anatolia, especially in terms of manpower and economy.
 
But isn't this a little overestimated?
The Byzantine Empire was largely agriculturally orientated, possesing little or almost no Urban elements. Yet from what I read, Anatolia is pretty poor itself, apart from certain coasts. It's economy is based around sheep, cattle, maybe goats? I'm not sure, but I heard that the mineral resources have been exhausted there by the medieval times.
 
Further Anatolia is made up of mainly hot dry "hills", inhabited by a population which did not identify itself as Greek, and owing no real "patriotic" alliegiance to Byzantium. So was the loss of Anatolia so terrible to the Empire?(The people there might have been rough "warlike" hillsmen, but the Empire could not rely on them)
 
Another question is: I read a rather general and very vague statement from a historian, that the Byzantines populace(Especially in the inner lands of the Empire) still held "pacifistic" Early Christian views, and in such sort of pacifistic culture the people were reluctant to take arms, and thats why Byzantium never developed a sort of popular(i.e people's) military tradition. How accurate is this statement?
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Oct-2007 at 22:29

"Greekdom" was not the unifying factor of the "Byzantine" Empire, there were numerous Emperors that weren't exactly "Greek." The Empire was based on Romannes, Romanitas if you will, and all could partake if they were Christian, and part of the "Byzantine" cultural sphere.

All agrarianate level societies have a huge reliance upon agriculture as a staple industry. However, that does not omit any city based societal aspects to the Empire as well.
 
Refer to Marshal Hodgson for a good overview of agrarianate level societies.
 
The Anatolian peninsula was the chief recruiting ground for the Empire, just like Illyria used to be centuries before that. The terrain, and the conditions provided a tough environment, and good conditioning perfect for soldiers. Illyria is much the same omit dryness.
 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vladzo2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 23:15
Originally posted by Perseas Perseas wrote:

Originally posted by rider rider wrote:




Some infos about Themata units. During 6th century according to the Strategikon of Maurice, a thema unit had two divisions called "Meri" with highest number of troops 16.384.

 

The subvisions are:

- 'Phalangarchia' (sp?) 8,192 highest number of men

- 'Merarchia' 4,096 men

- 'Chiliarchia'

- 'Pentakosiarchia'

- 'Sintagma'

- 'Taksi'

- 'Tetrarchia'

- 'Dilochia'

- 'Lochos'





to perseas :::::::::::::::::::::

mathematicaly this would continue as ;
chiliarchia - 2,048
pentakosiarchia - 1,024
sintagma - 512
taksi - 256
tetrarchia - 128
dilochia - 64
lochos -32

however, linguisticaly this seems incorrect. as far as i remember greek, chilia is 1,000; and a chiliarchia would be the rule of 1,000. penta has to do with 5, or 50, or perhaps even 500; but not 1,000. the rest of the words are greek to me; except for lochos, or locharchia which i belive was 16, or two lines of 8 with a leader called a locharkos and subleader call an ouragos. or was that ancient greek.

?what do you (perseas) know about that? or what does any one know.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 23:35
That picture with the man holding the Dacian Draco, that's interesting. I know units from around the black sea were called "scythians" though thats a generic term.

Edited by Carpathian Wolf - 10-Jun-2008 at 23:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 02:17
Can anyone tell me when the byzantine army first started to use stirrups?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 02:24
As far as I know, there isn't any definitive battle or instance where stirrups were introduced, in the source record. I believe they first started to use them towards the end of the 6th century. Because they are meant to have adopted the stirrup from the Avars, and Emperor Maurice campaigned against them in the 580s in the Balkans, that is when they would have been introduced on a large scale.


Edited by Knights - 26-Nov-2008 at 02:27

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