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78 & 79. 11TH CENTURY SLAV INFANTRYMEN

An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath


78 & 79.      11TH CENTURY SLAV INFANTRYMEN

Due to her eastward ambitions, particularly in Poland, the states along the Eastern frontier of the German Ottonian Empire soon became westward in their outlook.

78 is a Pole of the mid-century. He carries a circular shield, sword suspended from a baldric, and spear. As noted earlier, the Poles also made considerable use of archers, to the discomfiture of German cavalry! 79 is a Hungarian of 1086. He wears baggy linen trousers and a tunic with contrasting bands at cuffs and collar and a vertical panel down the chest. His kite-shield is shorter, broader and more convex than those shown in most western sources, this kind being prevalent in Eastern Europe where they are usually referred to as almond-shields rather than kite-shields.

Their costume is otherwise no different to that current in Western Europe, the Slavs being greatly influenced by foreign fashions of dress. Cloaks could be worn by either, while furs and sheepskin would be commonly worn in winter.

Southern Slavs were more influenced by Byzantine styles of clothing and armour.



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