By Raffaele D'Amato
The hundred-year interval finishing in 1025, from the reign of the Emperor Constantine VII to that of Basil II 'the Bulgar-Slayer', encompassed the final nice period of Byzantine aggression and dominance within the close to East and Balkans. in the course of that point, a succession of soldier-emperors challenged and defeated an array of rivals on land and at sea and reconquered substantial swathes of territory. on the center of the Emperors' forces have been the pro, hugely cellular Tagmata or Imperial safeguard regiments, initially shaped to protect the Emperor¹s individual within the capital yet always deployed as elite strive against troops. becoming a member of those heavy cavalry devices, have been numerous unique mercenary devices recruited from foreigners, significantly the mythical Varangians. that includes particularly commissioned full-colour art, this vigorous examine sheds new gentle at the vibrant regiments of the Byzantine Imperial protect, the ambitious warriors who supplied the Byzantine emperors with an insurance coverage within the capital, and the elite in their box armies while on crusade.
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Additional info for Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen 925-1025: The Tághmata and Imperial Guard (Elite, Volume 187)
The military mantle, the chlamis, was mainly of white for the four Tághmata, but all the four colours of the Circus factions are mentioned in De Ceremoniis. WEAPONS & EQUIPMENT Research concerning the weapons and military equipment used in the Eastern Roman empire, previously based mainly on textual references and depictions in frescoes and other pictorial sources, has now been supported by archaeology. In recent decades artefacts have been recovered not only in the former territory of the empire – especially Bulgaria and Turkey – but also in the lands from which the Byzantines recruited the best mercenaries for their army.
OTHER GUARD UNITS The Archontogennhematai This word means literally ‘the sons of the officers’. These guardsmen were selected from among the youth of the most illustrious Byzantine families, whose fathers had formerly served or were still serving in the Tághmata. They were chosen for their looks and bearing, and performed the role of pages during public ceremonies. The Sardoi There is a reference in the mid-10th century Liber de Ceremoniis to a greeting being sent to the Vasiléfs by a particular bodyguard unit called Oi Sardoi, probably meaning men from Sardinia.
II, 669–670). Note also the masked helmet (kassidion avtoprosopon), and the leather shield (dorka), based respectively upon the Great Palace ﬁnds and the Menologion of Basil II. 2: Kentyrion of Pedatoura The old-fashioned ‘muscled’ armour of this oﬃcer of the Constantinople ‘urban police’ or City Guard can be explained by his traditional position in the command hierarchy of the city Éparkhos. Some oﬃcers’ helmets were covered with oriental ornamentation, and perhaps by a hood of woven silk and costly damask.