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Byzantine Auxiliary Light Cavalryman
An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath
17. BYZANTINE AUXILIARY LIGHT CAVALRYMAN
[Possibly based on a Byzantine Ivory Casket, 11-12th Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum A.8-1937]
The Byzantines employed large numbers of auxiliary light cavalry throughout this period until by the reign of Nikephoros II and thereafter light cavalry consisted entirely of allied horse-archers.
This figure is based on a source dating to the 10th-12th centuries and is practically identical to the figure described under 82 and despite his cleanshaven appearance he is almost certainly a Pecheneg, called Patzinaks by the Byzantines and one of the principal mercenary elements in the Byzantine army by the 11th century.
Other figures of the same type in a variety of sources carry shields of about 20 inches diameter and shortish, fairly broad-bladed swords, both probably Byzantine issue.
Next: 18. 10TH-11TH CENTURY BYZANTINE THEMATIC KATAPHRAKTOS in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath