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An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066|
by Ian Heath
[Based on David and Goliath in the Psalter of Basil II, Byzantine, c.1017. Marcian Library, Venice, Italy, (Cod. Marciana Gr. Z. 17.)]
19. LATE-10TH OR 11TH CENTURY BYZANTINE SKUTATOS
This figure, from a ms. of 1017, differs very little from figures 2-4 except for his helmet, which is of a new variety that became standard and occurs in most 12th-13th century sources. 8-10-foot spears may now have been becoming more common than the 12-foot kontarion, which probably largely disappeared in the course of the 11th century. The oval skuta too, though it remained in use for much of the 11th century, had by c. 1080 at the latest been generally replaced by the kite-shield.