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ARMENIAN INFANTRYMAN

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


92.      ARMENIAN INFANTRYMAN

This figure is based on a 10th century Armenian casket and betrays considerable Byzantine influence - hardly surprising since up until the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 large numbers of Byzantine soldiers were recruited in Armenia, particularly as infantry; one source records how ‘in the wars of the Byzantines the footsoldiers of the Armenians marched, and they aided them greatly.’ As early as the mid-6th century.

Procopius records as many as 17 Armenian generals in the Byzantine army, and most of the Empire’s military aristocracy could claim Armenian ancestry. By the 9th-10th century Armenians formed as much as 25 per cent or more of the Empire’s total armed forces.

His corselet appears to be either quilted or leather and has broad pteruges at shoulder and waist. The shield is convex and relatively small, only about 24 inches in diameter. The helmet appears to have a leather aventail.
[Based on The Rome or David Casket in the Palazzo Venezia, Rome and its former attribution as Armenian.]



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