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Thread: Kataphraktoi

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Kataphraktoi

    Hey friendz,

    Can you give me info about Kataphraktoi??? Articles and links....
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    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Kataphraktoi, is just a greekafied(lol) term for Cataphracts. Here's a website that is very informative: Cataphracts

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    IIRC, their depiction in MTW is incorrect. Their name in MTW should be klibanophoroi instead of kataphraktoi, since kataphraktoi were an all-purpose cavalry that could skirmish as well as deliver nasty charges. Klibanophoroi meanwhile were the first to practice the couched lance technique on a large scale, and they were armored like the old Roman clibanarii (the word itself comes from Pahlavi griwbanar coming from griwbanwar coming from griva-pana-bara which is Old Persian [?] for "neckguard-wearer") and were instituted under Nicephorus Phocas.



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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    From where the hell to do you know all these things???!!!

    Thanks for the info though.... That cleared by question about Kilibanophori as well....

    Cheers!
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    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Edyz, if you like getting really deep into the different types of warfare techniques and weapons I suggest you get an Osprey book. Look at the Osprey thread and find the one about byzantine armies, all the information you'd ever want about that is in there.

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    On another note, BP, have you recieved my two PMs? One had your name under it, but the other had an empty space below the title, making me wonder if it actually sent.



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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Many Kataphracts under the Byzantines were armed with bows. I believe the ones that weren't as good with the lance specalized in bows. I think the primarily archers sometimes took up about a third of the "unit" of Kataphracts.

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    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Get the book Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath, published by Osprey. Has good info on the Kataphraktoi and klibanophoroi.
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    Member Member Magister Pediyum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    There are only three army text books about armys of romeic empire i have read all three and not one specifies what is the difference about Kataphraktoi and klibanophoroi.Come on people Romeic text writhen by Romans not mine or yours presumptions on what they supposed to look like.One text one evidence and i will back off.Only one.

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Magister Pediyum, it isn't just guesses. And I have read a difference. Klibanophoroi are heavy armoured elite cavalry, while Kataphraktoi were not as heavy.

    Read Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath, published by Osprey.

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    Member Member Magister Pediyum's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Kataphraktoi

    IF you read it carefully at the end of the work there isn't one single conformation about Romeic sources just description of other nations ''semiliteral barbaric people who fought most as infantry' about Romeic cavalry .Heavy cavalry in late medieval days a those in 6the or even 8the century is like a tanks now and in 1905.And further more JO.BA.Burry is telling us that when Komnenni dynasty ruled Romans from 1081 to 1185 old wheys have gone from the Roman army we have a source from 1151 and campings of Emperor Manuel I under the walls of Antioch,that claims even the emperor himself rides more as a latin the as greek.

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    ''semiliteral barbaric people who fought most as infantry' about Romeic cavalry
    Well, if you aren't going to be biased, why even bother?
    Besides, it was those "semi literiate barbarians who fought on horse who created the entire heavy cavalry type.

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    Member Member Magister Pediyum's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Kataphraktoi

    Don't give me wrong when i said semiliteral barbaric people i meant in the eyes of the Romans well slavs where amongst these barbarians also.
    What i want to say it is needed for one to claim such thing as a fact that one has to have solid evidence in history and really i for six yars of studying medieval history didn't came up on one single thing.
    We Don't now for fact what was the evolution off the Kataphraktoi but i pesonaly like the idea that something off another form was included in the Roman army.
    We have in Belgrade some pictures from the campings of the Emperor Leo VI the Wise that can give you some insight into whath Klibanophoroi may have looked like i will send you the pictures if you give me your e-mail.

  14. #14
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Sounds interesting. And sorry, didn't mean to jump down your throat, I'm just very sensitive to calling people barbarians.
    Here you go:
    steppemerc@hotmail.com

    To me, the heavy cavalry of the Byzantine era in particular seems very much based on Sassanian heavy horse, but that's the sort of stuff I know of. Certaintly the Byzantines took many ideas from the Persians and later steppe style armies.
    Does Anna Kommena (or something like that) mention anything about klibanophoroi and kataphraktoi? I know she mentions numerous soldier types, though I've only read bits and pieces of her work myself.

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Basically around the time Anna Comnena wrote the Alexiad, the Byzantine army had changed, away from the Nicephorian reforms, becoming more reliant on feudal pronoai contracts and mercenaries, especially Normans and Turks. That is not to say the thematic system was gone, but it was certainly in decline.



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    Member Member Magister Pediyum's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Kataphraktoi

    Yo Steppe Merc here you can tray this:
    http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/basis...Alexiad00.html
    it will give you compleat text.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard
    Basically around the time Anna Comnena wrote the Alexiad, the Byzantine army had changed, away from the Nicephorian reforms, becoming more reliant on feudal pronoai contracts and mercenaries, especially Normans and Turks. That is not to say the thematic system was gone, but it was certainly in decline.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Well, I remembered I had seen the kataphraktoi mentioned in the Alexiad, and due to some weird twist of memory, I recalled the first time there was a reference to them, that's Book B',VII , so I decided to search for it in the E. Dawes' translation, provided by the above link to the fordham site.
    Not surprisingly enough, kataphraktoi are translated as "heavily armed soldiers", thus making me want to dig out the original text;)....although the Alexiad isn't extremely informative in military affairs per se.
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    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard
    Basically around the time Anna Comnena wrote the Alexiad, the Byzantine army had changed, away from the Nicephorian reforms, becoming more reliant on feudal pronoai contracts and mercenaries, especially Normans and Turks. That is not to say the thematic system was gone, but it was certainly in decline.

    ~Wiz
    The Theme system had been in decline after Nicephorus II took over. The Nicephorian reforms strenghtened the tagmata and Byzantine armies, making them more offensive with better salaries and equipment. However, this meant several costs increases and they had to be taken from somewhere. Most thematic armies received lesser pay, and some Themes were even disbanded militarily, and the scutage was introduced instead, where those themes had to pay a certain sum each year as scutage, or military tax, instead of contributing soldiers.
    Each theme farm was supposed to support one armed cavalryman, and when the tagmata's numbers were increased, the reliance on themes didn't become so great as before, as the tagmata supplied armoured horsemen.

    This is from memory after reading several sources:
    The Kataphrakoti were the pre-Nicephorian tagmata cavalry, and thematic cavalry, which were not so heavily armoured as the MTW Kataphrakoti, more akin to Byzantine Lancers.

    The klibanophoroi were according to Byzantine Armies 886-1118, a creation of Nicephorus II, where the horses had heavy lamellar armour covering all the horse, except its hooves and a small opening in the front that eased movement. The rider himself was also heavily armoured. The cost to maintain these troops must have been expensive, so they were limited to the tagmata.
    And since the tagmata was virtually wiped out at Manzikert in 1071, the author Ian Heath wrote that this battle saw the end of them.
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    Member Member Azi Tohak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Hey Mr. Wizard...I thought the Normans taught the couched technique to the Klibanophoroi. Alexius was none too pleased to be on the receiving end at Dyrrahacium (Durazzo whatever).

    Azi
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  20. #20
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Azi Tohak
    Hey Mr. Wizard...I thought the Normans taught the couched technique to the Klibanophoroi. Alexius was none too pleased to be on the receiving end at Dyrrahacium (Durazzo whatever).

    Azi
    Funny, I was born 31 km away from Durres(Dyrrachium). I've been there many times, haven't seen any castles though, just some WWII bunkers.

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    Bringing down the vulgaroisie Member King Henry V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    There was indeed a battle in Dyrrachium when Robert the Guiscard, King of Sicily, landed to raid Roman lands. A large number of English Saxons, who had left the country after the Conquest in 1066, fought and died. They were too enthiusiastic to kill the cousins of their oppressors and over reached themselves, got exhausted and were cut down. The survivors joined the Varangian Guard.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Kataphraktoi

    Just for clarity's sake, Robert Guiscard wasn't King of Sicily, actually by 1081 Sicily was not even a Kingdom.
    His intentions weren't to raid the byzantine lands, but to conquer a big chunk out of Balkan Byzantium, with not-so-secret imperial ambitions as well, under the guise of restoring the dethroned emperor.
    The battle of Dyrrachium was between the Byzantine emperor Alexius and the Norman Italians of Robert. Those English Saxons were already a part of the Varangian Guard, and were cut down viciously due to getting exhausted after breaking the norman right flank and chasing the routers and finally receiving a norman cavalry charge from the rear.

    I thought the Normans taught the couched technique to the Klibanophoroi. Alexius was none too pleased to be on the receiving end at Dyrrahacium (Durazzo whatever).
    The Klibanophoroi of the 10th (when they actually saw lots of action) didn't actually charge in the same way as Franks and other westerners. They did have lances and all, but moved forward in relatively slow speed, nowhere near charging though. In the following centuries, heavy cavalry forces used by Byzantium were basically western mercenaries.
    The military dogma during the 11th century and as the Turks and other steppe forces interacted more closely with Byzantium was starting to promote light cavalry forces and horse archers in some quantity. The Norman invasion found the Byzantines unprepared to deal with the massed heavy cavalry charge, but eventually they evolved their tactics and beat the invaders. Ofcourse, they didn't face the norman cavalry at its best, but it was still quite formidable.

    And since the tagmata was virtually wiped out at Manzikert in 1071, the author Ian Heath wrote that this battle saw the end of them.
    This is a misconception, if it is meant in actual military terms, as newer studies reveal that no more than 10% of the byzantine army was destroyed. Contemporary accounts show that many units that took part in that battle are found later on serving near the western borders of Byzantium.
    The blow to the empire was of another nature, much more destructive than a military defeat, and only due to intelligent and canny emperors like Alexius did Byzantium manage to extend its survival.
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