By Timothy Dawson, Giuseppe Rava
Considered as the elite arm of the army throughout the center Byzantine interval, the cavalry done excessive pace reconnaissance, agile arrow barrages and crippling blows to enemy formations. Its ranks have been stuffed basically via direct recruitment or hereditary carrier by means of holders of army lands, yet in occasions of challenge irregulars will be quickly enlisted. Few books offer any obtainable research of the medieval Romaic soldier's existence, and this colourful addition to the Warrior sequence seeks to redress this imbalance. providing a radical and distinct exam in their education, weaponry, costume and everyday life, this publication re-affirms the significance of cavalry troops in army victories of the interval. employing unique Greek resource fabric, and that includes unpublished manuscript photographs, this follow-on quantity to Warrior 118 Byzantine Infantryman c.900-1204 brings the realm of the Byzantine cavalryman vividly to lifestyles.
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Additional info for Byzantine Cavalryman C.900-1204 (Osprey Warrior)
Given their construction, and the fact that the manuals are very detailed about their form, they were probably a specialized item more commonly supplied by central arrangement, and therefore likely to be more uniform in their appearance, perhaps, like the tunics, of a common colour by unit. In the latter part of the period there are hints that the epilorikia of the more eminent and wealthy cavaliers could be brightly coloured, if not patterned, or decorated with quasi-heraldic emblems, anticipating the appearance of later Western knights.
The effect of these rules was to create blocks of uniform colour and style whenever men of similar rank were gathered together. Hence, it is most likely there was a conspicuous division between provincial thematic units and metropolitan tagmatic corps, with the former tending to diversity, and the latter to uniformity following the example set at court, particularly in view of their occasional involvement in imperial ceremonies. Hunting has always been one of the most common ways in which a man of the equestrian fraternity maintained his skills when not committed to the battlefield.
Curiously, however, the one forbidden recreation that is mentioned by name in Leo's Taktika, for its supposed negative effects on discipline and the troops' physique, is dancing. The campaigning season was usually confined to the period between late spring and early autumn. Outside this time the strateioumenoi would usually demobilize back to their farms, while the tagmatic soldiers retired to their permanent barracks. A notable exception to this rule happened in the late tenth century when Nikeforos II decided to keep his expeditionary army in the field in Kappadokhia through winter.