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An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath
12. BYZANTINE SAILOR
This man represents a lower bank oarsman. He wears a lamellar corselet over 2 thicknesses of leather (probably a bambakion) and is armed with a bow and sword. Upper bank oarsmen, marines and other deck fighters were equipped more like skutatoi with helmet, mail or lamellar corselet, vambraces, greaves, long spear, javelins and sword. Heavy cloth surcoats, probably quilted epilorikia, were sometimes worn as additional armour. Leather and wood shields of a type called dorkai were carried by both sailors and marines, sometimes with polished iron plates stitched on.
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