13/06/2021

Medieval Byzantine Armors

Medieval Byzantine Armors
900-1500 A.C.

The armors of Byzantines are unknown to the general public largely because there are no sufficient archaeological findings to allow an easy and immediate reconstruction of their original form. However, one may easily admire the icons in the Orthodox churches as well as other religious art forms, e.g. reliefs, ornaments etc.

7F6AD8E6 5B46 49B5 8DC7 DE4ED4474BBB

17691FEA CBDA 41AD B4C8 3C2E63CF35A2

0E6B7F59 B5AE 40B1 94F2 B66F525A0933

D91EC181 576B 4D35 A7DE 7BB7E6988328

D1577C07 EDE1 400A B17A BA8A0E2DC5A1

CC7A02B5 06B0 4616 A5B1 D22FE32DA9E1

B6514FDE C610 4A15 8F4A 23B5A3E465D5

A3A1036C 592C 4B91 9879 74D92F960279

A740BB14 C74F 4C0C B3A8 1FDEEB3D85B7
As was the case of Monarchs of the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Roman and subsequently the Eastern Roman Emperors attained the realm of deification / sanctification / legend only through armed conflict and victorious struggle – their immortality had to be deservedly won through successful campaigns. These metaphysical notions were already expressed in the art of the Hellenistic period with secular and religious displays of armed Kings which continued virtually unchanged in Imperial Roman and Byzantine periods.

The armors of Orthodox Military Saints reflect precisely the power of the Byzantine Emperors, the invincibility of the Byzantine army, the grandeur of the Empire, the triumph of victories, the Roman military virtues (virtus invicta, virtus perpetua, auctoritas, dignitas, virtus, pietas), the Divine Protection and Welfare. So far there has not been found any manual that describes the exact detailed structure of Byzantine armors (also known as “Klivania”), so we are not able to know the exact method of construction.

References to Byzantine armors can be found in the following essays, manuals and textbooks:

In “Strategicon” (“Στρατηγικόν”) of Maurice, late sixth century.
In “Tactica” (“Τακτικά”) of Leo the Wise, written around 905.
In “Sylloge tacticorum” (“Συλλογή τακτικών”) written at the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitos, about 950-960
In the very important “Praecepta militaria” by despot Nikephoros (“Στρατηγικὴ ἔκθεσις καὶ σύνταξις Νικηφόρου δεσπότου”) which is attributed to Nikephoros II Phocas, written in the period 963-969
In the “Tactica” (“Τακτικά”), written by Basil II’s most worthy general, Nikephoros Ouranos, around 1000
In “Alexiada” (“Αλεξιάδα”) of Anna Comnena which contains descriptions of the warfare in her contemporary period, 1081-1118
The Byzantines had an innate preference for armors of composite construction, leather and metal being the two key elements of their Klivania. The main types of Klivanion armor of 10th and 11th centuries were the following:

Scale armors (Klivanion)
Chain mail
Padded armors
Plate armors (Muscle cuirass)
Lamellar armors
The combination of these types of armor resulted in the production of a wide variety of defensive weapons. A heavily armed Byzantine Cataphract was almost immune to enemy attacks.

hellenicarmors.gr

ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΑΚΟΜΗ

ΣΧΟΛΙΑΣΕ ΤΟ

ΔΗΜΟΦΙΛΗ

ΔΗΜΟΦΙΛΗ