Military figures sketches- Byzantium

Byzantine war flag
Byzantine war flag

Posted by Powee Celdran 

For another time, I am back blogging about the amazing world of Byzantium, this time it would be plainly focusing on Byzantium’s interesting and very detailed military. he military was one of the major and most important parts in the history and civilisation of Byzantium. The Byzantine Empire, which lasted for about 1000 years dominating the eastern part of the world in the Middle-ages had a very detailed army, somewhat powerful but not overall powerful. The Byzantine army is best known for being diverse, having many different types of units such as cavalry, infantry, skirmishers, and hired mercenaries, some were not even from the empire itself. The Byzantine army then took design seriously but also fought effectively. Here it will show how different types of Byzantine military units look like, their armour, weapon sets, and colours shown in my sketches of different Byzantine soldiers.

my sketch of Byzantine army captain
My sketch of Byzantine army captain
sample Byzantine captain
Sample Byzantine captain

Above here shows my sketch of a Byzantine army captain, a set of weapons, and the standard of Byzantium’s military. First of all (shown in the first picture far above) is Byzantium’s war standard, a red flag with a yellow cross, and the eagle symbol at the centre together with 4 seals in each square, the shields used this same symbol too. In this panel right above, it shows the Byzantine war flag an its imperial symbol, the 2-hear eagle; it also shows a simplified set of Byzantine weapons including a mace, sword, bow and arrows, round shield, and a war flag. The army captain to the left has a distinct look, looking large and a lot stronger with a full lamellar armour or metal padded armour, though it has a distinct look for leading the different army units of Byzantium in battle. This army captain has a large protective metal helmet with a plume, a green cape, gold metal shoulder pads, metal bracers and greaves, and an ornate red silk outfit under the armour; for weapons, the captain holds a large one-handed xiphos sword. This Byzantine captain somewhat is based on an Elven army unit from LOTR and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien as the Elven races may resemble the Byzantines (in my opinion).

 

SCAN0219
My sketch of a Byzantine rifleman and infantry soldier

In this panel shown above are two types of different Byzantine army units, a rifleman (left) and a foot-soldier (right) together with the Byzantine war standard and the eagle symbol. On the left shows a Byzantine rifleman or arquebusier, this was however a unique type of Byzantine army unit which came a little later in Byzantium’s history, towards the end of the empire, during the Palaiologos dynasty when gunpowder from China was introduced to Byzantium making a new type of weapons for the arm, the gunmen equipped with rifles as their weapons. The rifleman does not carry any other weapon but the advanced weapon of a rifle powered with Chinese gunpowder, and on the other hand a Byzantine dagger for melee combat. The rifleman shows more of a Chinese appearance mainly because of the gunpowder it uses which comes from China as well as the silk it wears making it have an oriental pattern. The rifleman however is not and does not have to be fully armoured but instead wears a silk robe with a few pads for protection and a simple round helmet and a pack of gunpowder and bullets; these units are placed above buildings to shoot from above. On the right is a sketch of a Byzantine foot soldier, a common type of infantry soldier in the empire throughout the whole history of Byzantium, these units were called skoutatoi. This type of solider is most likely ordinary in battle only equipped with a regular sword and round-shield, it simply serves as a common soldier together with thousands of others. This foot soldier wears simply a round cone helmet with chain-mail protecting the face and neck but not covering the arms an body; protecting the body is a lamellar armour of metal plates with a sash and a sheathe, under is a tunic, also has a pair of greaves and bracers. This foot soldier is an evolved version of a Classical Roman infantry soldier. Both these soldiers shown above (the rifleman and infantry soldier) are both local Greek army men and not hired but recruited from within the empire making them not as advanced as Byzantium’s special forces but serving as auxiliary units. The rifleman however may not be accurate as it is based on the Byzantine rifleman from Assassin’s Creed Revelations (2011).

Byzantine crossbow soldier
Byzantine crossbow soldier

Above here, this single unit is a sketch of a Byzantine crossbow archer. This type of Byzantine soldier is not part of the special forces or elite army but part of the common infantry and under archers, as it is not a powerful in battle, these units are usually Greeks. This crossbow man is a later unit in the Byzantine military only appeared at the time of the Palaiologos dynasty before the fall of Byzantium. This is a more advanced version of a Byzantine army unit as it holds a more effective archery weapon, usually placed above buildings or on walls during sieges for short-distance shots on enemies. This crossbowman carries its basic weapon, the effective short-ranged crossbow and a short-sword for melee combat; the helmet may look more different designed for aiming with a wide brim. This soldier’s armour is a little more different, instead of metal cuirass it has a padded vest called epilorikon, and leather strips protecting the arms and thighs together with a cape covering. This soldier unit was sort of based on a type of Byzantine army unit from Assassin’s Creed Revelations.

 

Cataphract cavalry, elite forces
Cataphract cavalry, elite forces
Byzantine cataphract units, standard bearer and cavalryman
Byzantine cataphract units, standard bearer and cavalryman

Shown above here are 2 types of Byzantium’s elite forces, the Cataphracts (my sketch above), called Cataphractaii or Kataphraktoi in Greek. On the left is a different type of cataphract, a standard bearer holding the Byzantine war banner in battle; this unit has a round leather helmet and a cape with fur; for armour it has chain-mail underneath and lamellar over it, also additional leather strips. The standard bearer is shown fully covered up in winter battle outfit, although it carries basic weapons, a Byzantine one-handed sword and a cataphract’s pointed long shield. On the right is a cataphract cavalryman shown with its horse, both the horse and the soldier fully armoured.  The Byzantine cavalry cataphract such as this is in full armour from head to feet, it has a round pointed helmet with a plume sticking out and chain-mail flowing from head to body protecting the face and neck. The cataphract cavalryman has a full set of armour with chain-mail under and silver lamellar (plated) armour over it together with a cape, leather strips, a set of bracers and greaves. The cataphract cavalryman carries not just a single weapon but a number of them at the same time; it uses either a long kite-shaped shield called skouton or as shown here a large or small round shield; for melee weapons it carries a one-handed longsword for close-combat or a mace, it also holds a spear for lancing when riding; sometimes these horsemen carry bows as the first weapon they use; the horse as well is armoured. The cataphracts were basically fully armoured soldiers, this is what it means in Greek. The cataphracts were invented in the 10th century during the time of Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II, these units were inspired by eastern cavalrymen from the Sassanid and Parthian Persian empires carrying a set of weapons, which was very effective, these cavalrymen were mostly Greeks from Greece and Turkey, the major parts of the empire. The cataphracts were actually successful in the Byzantine army having horse archery and wedge-formation in battle, the performed tactics including missile throwing while spinning in a circle and shock charge with the wedge formation; these units however were not much used in the later period of Byzantium.

 

Varangians at battle
Varangians at battle
Byzantine Varangian guards
Byzantine Varangian guards

Above here (my sketch) shows 2 types of Varangian Guards, however these units were much alike an do not have much difference. The Varangian guards were the Byzantine elite units mostly serving as the emperor’s bodyguards at battle. These units were basically not from the empire and not Greeks but began as Viking, Germanic, or Rus’ (Russians) mercenaries originating as the imperial bodyguards during the reign of emperor Basil II after his conquests of Rus’, afterwards those warriors turned to serve Byzantium. For the next couple of centuries, these units became one of Byzantium’s most important army units and elite forces just as the cataphracts were. The cataphracts however were more effective as cavalrymen while the Varangians were more effective infantrymen and extremely skilled in battle and loyal soldiers. The Varangians were more trusted as they were not Byzantines but Norsemen or Russians making them brave and strong as well, there were also highly equipped and armoured. The Varangians had a double set of armour including a full helmet but not covering the eyes or mouth but having chain-mail protecting the face and neck going down to the body. They had either a wide round helmet with cheek guards or a 2 sharp points and scaled at the back, which sort of makes it look like a Samurai helmet, their helmets had a long plume sticking out. For armour, these units had chain-mail underneath sometimes or just their silk outfit but they always had their lamellar armour, their main protection over, their armour included leather strips, greaves, bracers, and a short or long cape either coloured red or green. The Varangian guards carried quite a lot of weapons including a one-handed longsword and a mace or war-axe carried at the same time as well as a large round shield, which was more of Viking use than Byzantine, these units however were not much of missile soldiers but heavy infantrymen for melee combat. The Varangian guards to simply put it were more more influenced by Viking war tactics than Byzantines, though they were in great use for their discipline and bravery in battle for over 500 years of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Byzantine units- Almogavar and archer
Byzantine units- Almogavar and Archer

Above here is another my Byzantium army sketches, this one shows two units far different from each other an Almogavar mercenary and an archer called Toxotai or PsiloiThe Almogavars although were not Byzantines within Greek territory themselves, neither from Turkey or nearby but were Catalans and Aragonese from the Kingdom of Aragon in Spain. The Almogavars have a distinct look from all Byzantine soldiers being bigger in size and heavily armoured however the real Almogavars were not as big in size and heavily armoured but were fully armoured in chain-mail and a round helmet carrying a shield with the red and yellow colours of Aragon. The Almogavar unit shown in my sketch is actually based on a Dwarven army unit from LOTR and the Hobbit, wearing a set of padded square-linked armour, chain-mail, a heavy battle-axe, a dagger sheathed, a tunic under, and covered in fur; though the exact Spanish Almogavars did not have this Dwarven look. On the right is a Byzantine archer unit, these were actually soldiers from Byzantine Greek territory themselves, coming from the regions of Asia Minor (Turkey). The archer shown here is a lot similar to how the exact Byzantine archers looked like, with padded lamellar armour, the standard round helmet, a tunic under, but with the bow as their main weapon. The archers were the standard infantry units of Byzantium, using archery as their skill though held a sword as their secondary weapon. The archers were not overall powerful forces but were important in the army especially as they fire arrows at the enemy having also to incendiary skill launching flame arrows, in battle, they were protected by the Cataphract cavalry, while the cataphracts shock charge, the archers are protected in firing arrows.

Byzantine weapon set part1
Byzantine weapon set part1
Byzantine weapon set part2
Byzantine weapon set part2

 

The Byzantine army carried a range of weapons too; their standard weapons and battle equipment were swords, spears, shields, war-axes, daggers, clubs or maces, bow and arrows, crossbows, and javelins. Shown above in my sketches are different types of basic Byzantine weapons. There were two basic types of swords most military units used called Paramerion, a thin-long curved sword and a Spathion, a long wide straight blade; the paramerion was a later version of a Byzantine bale inspired by eastern Scimitar swords while the spathion was a classic Byzantine swords inspire by the Roman longsword, Spatha, whig was however very heavy. For shields, the Byzantines used many different types, mostly inspired by Roman round and square shields with the same Roman colours red or blue however the Byzantines coloured their shields differently with red, green purple, black, or white having new Byzantine symbols this time such as the (PX) symbol, the Byzantine war flag symbol, or simply 2 coloured stripes; a common type of Byzantine shield mostly used by the cataphracts and light infantry was the skouton, or the long oval kite-shaped shield made with wood and iron. Other basic weapons included a spear, called Kontarion, which was 2-3m long, the main weapon for he cataphract cavalry use for thrusting when doing shock charge. The rest of Byzantine weapons included a shot war-axe as a secondary melee weapon and a mace or club together with a dagger. war-axes, maces, and daggers were used by most soldiers such as archers, cataphracts, and light infantry as a secondary weapon for the sword if the sword may be too heavy or too slow to pull out, it would be quicker to defend themselves with a shorter and denser weapon. Also shown above here are other weapons such as bows used by archers when firing at a long range and by cataphracts as one of their weapons; the Byzantines too used crossbows as an alternative for bows when at a short range, in the later period of the empire they began to use gunpowder weapons including rifles. Other battle equipment shown here is the Byzantine war standard with the (PX) symbol replacing the Roman (SPQR) and having the classic Byzantine yellow 2-headed eagle.

 

types of Byzantine shields
Types of Byzantine shields
sample Byzantine spatha
Sample Byzantine Spatha
sample full lamellar armour
Sample full lamellar armour
full Byzantine Varangian armour
Full Byzantine Varangian armour

In terms of armour, the lamellar plated armour was what was unique to Byzantium in the Middle-Ages as most of Medieval western European armies did not use this advance type of armour with decorations on them. The Byzantines used many different layers of armour, some were worn at the same time, though different units wore different types. The elite forces such as the Cataphracts and Varangians had 3 sets of armour including the Kavadion or tunic under the cuirass, Lorikion or chain-mail, and the paced lamellar vest called Klivanion, here the types of armour shown in the previous sketches are mentioned. In addition, some Byzantine soldiers wore the lamellar vest together right the chain-mail but some just wore either one of them. However there were more armour sets but used optionally such as the Epilorikon worn over the armoured vest or over a leather vest if the soldier did not use armour, and also the Kremasmata which was the leather strips used to protect the soldier’s legs and arms which were not really covered by armour, most soldiers usually used these leather strips. Another part of the armour required by all soldiers was the bracers and greaves to protect the arms an legs, either made of leather or metal. Of course the Byzantines had different colours over and under the armour, though this was not important in battle, just to show their empire’s colours. To make it short, Byzantine amor is an improved and more covering version of Roman armour, either heavy or light and is sort of a cross-over between Medieval European armour and Japanese Samurai or Asian armours but it it is its own.

sample Byzantine armour style with basic weapons
Sample Byzantine armour style with basic weapons

images

 

To simply describe, Byzantium’s warfare is its own but inspired by different warfares of different cultures from other empires before and during their time. Part of Byzantine battle strategies including armour and types of weapons were inspired by Roman warfare from the Roman empire before it. Part of Byzantine warfare such as cataphract cavalry and archers were inspired by the warfare of eastern empires such as the Sassanid Persians, and some parts such as the Varangians were inspired by the northern people. As it is inspired by different cultures, this is what makes the warfare of Byzantium interesting, but in fact it made it its own. This is all for now, it may have been long but surely interesting, anyway up next, more on Byzantine warfare… watch out for more!

Warfare- Ancient Eastern Empires

Hello everyone, I’m back again with my historical warfare posts featuring my sketches of different of armies from history. This time, I’d go in detail with the warfare of the Eastern kingdoms and empires from ancient times, parallel to times of Greece and Rome. Surprisingly the eastern empires of the world, located in Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and the Middle-east had battle strategies, weapons, and armor a lot different from those in the west. The empires and kingdoms that will be covered would be the Persians, Parthians, Armenians, and Sassanids, each of them were very different from the common places in the west.

Persian Empire battle standard
Persian Empire battle standard
symbol of Persian empire
Symbol of Persian empire
full extent of the Achaemenid Persian empire
Full extent of the Achaemenid Persian empire

The first part of this post would focus mainly on the 1st Persian Empire, also known a the Achaemenid Empire, or simply the Persian Empire. The Achaemenids were the first Persians to build an empire stretching across the Middle-east in a short matter of time. The empire began under Cyrus II the Great, the first king of Persia, and in his reign (559-530BC) he conquered the lands outside of Persia (Iran) extending to Asia Minor and Armenia. Cyrus the Great simply began being ruler of the small Persian kingdom in Iran and conquered regions beyond it such as Medea, Judea, Phoenicia, Babylon, and Lydia in Asia Minor, the Persian empire’s capital was Ecbetana. He was most famous for conquering Babylon but failed to conquer the Bactrian and Scythian tribes. His successors were Cambyses II, Darius I, and Xerxes I, in their reigns they expanded the empire conquering Egypt, Thrace, and parts of India. When building their empire, they defeated powerful rulers including extremely wealthy Lydian king Croesus and the pharaoh of Egypt. At the beginning of the 5th century BC, the Persians fought a series of wars with the Greeks, the Greek-Persian wars, here the Persians managed to invade Greece for a while but were driven away by the armies of the Greek city states combined. The Achaemenid Persians were overall a powerful empire having an army large in size, but not strong in battle, and a large powerful fleet, and had lots of wealth. The Persians are famous for inventing the messaging system and road systems building highways around the empire extending across the deserts, plains, mountains, rivers, and seas. For the remaining years after defeat in the war with the Greeks, the Persians continued to rule their great empire. The Achaemenid Persian Empire came to their end when their last king, Darius III was defeated by Macedonian king Alexander the Great, from then the Persians and all their lands including Egypt were ruled by the Macedonian Greeks; after Alexander’s death, the succeeding Persian empire would be the Seleucid Empire, though they were more Greek than eastern.

Persian warriors carved on walls
Persian warriors carved on walls
Persian army at battle
Persian army at battle
Persian Immortals in phalanx formation
Persian Immortals in phalanx formation
my sketch of Persian warriors
My sketch of Persian warriors

The Persian army was made up of a variety of units of all sorts of skills. The Achaemenid Persian army was many in number but majority were weak and untrained for battle. Only a few of them, called the Immortals, the elite army units and the protectors of the king. The rest of their army were untrained citizens from all over the empire simply asked to fight for Persia as slaves and not soldiers. In battle, the Persians relied mostly on missile weapons than melee weapons, these missile weapons they used included bows and arrows or javelins. The citizen army were mostly peltasts or hillmen weakly trained and only skilled with using missile weapons and usually used one of each and holding a dagger on their side. The only elite force highly trained for battle were the Immortals and the Cataphracts who handled a set of weapons such as a bow, a sword or axe, javelins, and a shield. The Immortals were more of an infantry force, at battle using the phalanx formation and using both melee and missile combat. The Cataphracts were more of cavalry men skilled in archery and lancing when on horse. The Persian warriors however did not wear much of armor, the Immortals and the Cataphracts though wore only padded armor or scales rather than full armor as the Greeks did. The Persian cavalry was usually made up of horses, camels, charriots, and sometimes war elephants. The Persian army did not take the use of armor seriously but instead carried more weapons as wearing armor would be too heavy when marching in desert heat. The elite warriors usually wore a sheet of padded armor around the body but not covering the arms, under they wore tunics and on their head they had headscarves and under they had pants and boots. Most of their soldiers were not armored and simply wore tunics and headscarves, or phrygian caps. For shields, the Persians either used large square shields for phalanx when using spears, or round shields with a curve when firing javelins, their shields were usually made of wood, some were metal; for their weapons they used different types of curved swords called kopis, they also used javelins, bows and arrows with the incendiary effect to burn down enemy armies. In my sketch above, it shows 2 Persian elite warriors, on the left a cataphract, on the right an immortal; also shown here are Persian weapons a bow, a set of arrows with a Persian quiver which had a design with a curve to hold both the arrows and the bow, also here is a Persian curved sword and dagger. Most of all, they used missle weapons as they were more of skirmishers in battle.

the Parthian Empire symbol
Parthian Empire symbol
map of Parthian Empire
Map of the Parthian Empire

The first empire, the Achaemenids fell under the Greeks for a matter of time dissolving to the Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid Empire (mentioned in the previous page) was more of Greek than eastern but had few parts of eastern culture. The Seleucid Empire stretched across the Middle-east from Mediterranean Syria and Turkey to eastern Iran, Parthia was one of the states of the Seleucid Empire. In the 2nd century BC, the Parthians formed their own faction and revolted against the Seleucids, later capturing their regions around Persia, the new empire was the Parthian or Arsacid Empire. A famous Parthian ruler was Mithridates I, he was responsible for building the empire and expanding it weakening the Seleucids after battles. The Seleucid Empire then fell to the Romans after battles, so did the Ptolemaic Egyptian empire, but the Parthians remained with most of the land in the east preventing the Romans to go through. After defeating the Seleucids, the Romans then tried to make their way to Parthia, though they lost at the Battle of Carrhae where Roman leader Crassus was defeated. Afterwards, for the next 2 centuries Rome and Parthia were always at war with each other, and there was no successful result, Rome never invaded them nor did they invade Rome, and at times they made peace. However, the neighboring kingdom to Parthia, Armenia was a weaker kingdom but allied with Parthia, however both Romans and Parthians fought for it. One of the significant fights between them was during the reign of Roman emperor Nero, which involved Roman general Corbulo to deal with the issue. At the end, Corbulo was able to capture Armenia from Parthia and claim it for Rome while Parthia stayed alone, but later on went through more conflicts with the Romans. Armenia then fell under Roman control for the longest time while Parthia was sometimes captured by Rome, however the Romans did not fully invade Parthia but took some of their territory. The Romans invaded until the Euphrates area while Parthia continued to keep their lands beyond it including Babylon and Persia; Parthia’s capital was still Ecbetana though the Seleucid’s earlier used Antioch as their capital, though the actual capital of Parthia was Ctesiphon in Iraq. The Parthian empire came to its close after their last war with Rome involving the last Parthian king Artabanus V and the Roman army, after the war, the Romans and the Parthians finally made a full peace after all. After the king’s death, the dynasty ended falling to the Sassanians, a new dynasty, they were to be the enemies of the Byzantines, the successor to Rome in the east.

Parthian cavalry at battle
Parthian cavalry at battle
Parthian war elephants
Parthian war elephants
A Parthian camel cataphract
A Parthian camel cataphract
my sketch of Parthian cataphract cavalry
My sketch of Parthian cataphract cavalry
other sketch of Parthian cavalryman
Other sketch of Parthian cavalryman

When it came to battle, the Parthian empire had a more organized and strategized army compared to the Persians. The Parthian army was mostly made up of cavalrymen, also called cataphracts,which were the most important part of their army. Their cavalry was made up of simple horsemen, then cataphracts which were more armored horsemen, also camel cavalry, war elephants, chariots, and an infantry. The infantry men were not as strong and carried limited choices of weapons, which were mostly missile weapons for skirmishing. Their infantry were mostly hillmen or skirmishers, though their cavalry was more advanced having different ways in battle from thrusting with spears, slashing with swords, throwing javelins, and shooting arrows while riding on horse. The Parthians used camels too as a way to be faster in riding, the soldiers on camels were mostly archers but also spearmen. The difference between the Parthian army compare to the earlier Persians was that they were more organized and had full armor, especially the horsemen, even horses and camels had armor. The Parthians used nearly the same weapons as the Persians though cavalrymen used a bow, sword, shield, and spear combined, this was much more effective and useful in battle. The Parthians too used large armored war elephants, which were also useful in creating bigger destruction on the enemy by ramming and archers shooting arrows from above. For armor, the Parthians used more of it, having a full set of body armor made of soft pads or scales, together with chain mail and a full helmet covering the face, though lined with scarves, and a cape. The infantry used simpler armor or just wore tunics, their military outfits had to be more fit for dessert combat. With their strong cavalry including archers and elephants, the Romans could definitely not beat them.

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Sassanid empire symbol
Sassanid empire symbol
full extent of Sassanid empire
Full extent of Sassanid empire

After the Achaemenids, Seleucids, and Parthians, the concluding dynasty of the Persian Empire was the Sassanids or Sassanians. After the Arsacid Parthian dynasty faded away in the 3rd century AD, the Sassanid dynasty took its place and changed the course of the empire, the new dynasty and empire began with Ardashir I, first Sassanian ruler. For the Sassanids, Ctesiphon remained as their capital, and they remained with the same Persian religion since the early days before the Persian empires began, Zoroastrianism. However, the Eastern Roman Empire turned to Christianity, and some of the Christians there settled in the Sassanid Empire following the Nestorian branch of Eastern Christianity, these Christians were a lot more different and traveled far to the east, probably even reaching China.The Sassanids were somewhat more different from the Parthians as they expanded their lands more to the north retaking Armenia and the east of Asia Minor, even capturing Syria and Egypt from the Eastern Romans. One of the most significant wars between the Romans and the Sassanids happened in the 4th century AD, when the eastern empire was still new, in fact in these wars, eastern emperor Julian was killed in battle with the Sassanids. One thing the Sassanids had was an army mostly made of cavalry just as the Persians did, they had the same elite cavalry unit called cataphracts, also had horse and camel archers, war elephants and chariots. The Sassanids had quite a lot of land around the deserts and traveling may have been easy in fact the Sassanids knew ways of getting to China by land; their empire spanned across the Middle-east going from Asia Minor and Armenia, the Caucasus mountains to the north, to the Arabian peninsula in the south, and as far as the Indian border in the Indus to the east. The Sassanid Empire came to an end when falling to the Arab conquests of the Muslims. Afterwards, the Sassanid Empire died and the Persian empires fully ended making the Islamic Empire be dominant in ruling the east and southern parts of the world. After that the world changed as the Persian world came to an end, though they were one of the most influential eastern empires.

Sassanid cavalry man
Sassanid cavalryman
Armenian hillmen
Armenian hillmen
my sketch, Sassanid cataphract (left) and Armenian hillman (right)
My sketch, Sassanid cataphract (left) and Armenian hillman (right)

Shown above is my sketch of a Sassanid cataphract warrior (left) and an Armenian hillman (right). The Sassanid army was usually made up of cavalry, mostly archers on horses or camels. These cavalry warriors had a round helmet with chain mail flowing down from their head to their body, a set of scarves on their head and carried together a bow, a spear, a sword, and a shield. On the left sketch shows a Sassanid cataphract infantry warrior, fully armored (drawing based on Easterling warrior from LOTR trilogy), this time for a difference it has a large square shield for infantry, holds a large curved scimitar sword, and at the back, a bow and a quiver with arrows. This warrior has padded armor in a hexagonal patter, an unusual helemet, and headscarves. The Sassanid cavalry army all looked the same, same padded armor, and chain-mail, and same set of weapons except only a small round shield for cavalry, though the Sassanid army was highly organized. On the right is an Armenia hillman, the Armenians though did not have a strong army with cataphracts or elephants, instead lightly armored hillmen or skirmishers without armor but tunics and a phrygian cap, holding a set of javelins, a wooden shield, and an axe, sword, or dagger for melee weapon, they also used slings though some hillmen used spears. These hillmen were not much organized but more of skilled skirmishers coming from the mountains of Armenia using mountain warfare. The Armenian skirmishers look a little similar to that of Scythian warriors, except not on horses.

To conclude the topic on Eastern warfare, to tell the difference, the eastern armies relied more on cavalry, archery, and skirmishing, though were very intricate in warfare. The eastern armies compared to the west came in more colors, having artistic designs, and different smart battle strategies of skirmishing or shock cavalry charge, they also had better styles of armor being more comfortable to travel through deserts and mountains. Their skills also matched the areas they were from, and in battle they came in large numbers, most of them however were unarmored but those who were well-trained and fully armored had unmatched skill in battle. Of course the eastern world had more gold and riches making the empires together with their army powerful as well. So this is it… hope you had learned, see you soon for more!

Warfare of the Greek World- part2

Here I continue my article on Ancient Greece, especially about Greek warfare, once again it is about the military of ancient Greece and its history. This time it would focus more on the empires made by the Greek world, not only in Greece itself but outside Greece, going south, east, and west. These other Greek nations and empires from outside Greece include Macedonia, the Seleucid Empire, the Egyptian Empire, and Carthage. These empires (except Macedonia) are from outside Greece but were still Greeks and dominated other parts of the world with Greek power. The one that was responsible for spreading Greek ideas including warfare outside Greece was the conquests of Macedonia.

map of Alexander's Macedonian Empire
Map of Alexander’s Macedonian Empire
Macedonian empire symbol
Macedonian empire symbol

First of all, Macedonia was just a small kingdom in northern Greece (the Balkans) next to Thrace, Epirus, and the Greek cities. What all changed it was the legendary general and king, Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC who conquered the lands to the east and south making the Greeks a world power. The person who started Macedon’s ambitions was Alexander’s father King Philip II who conquered the Greek cities making the Greeks fall to Macedonia and from then the Macedonians joined in with the Greeks and used Greek armies to expand their empire. In more than about 12 years of Alexander III the Great’s reign (336-323BC), Macedonian territory expanded from Greece going east all the way through Persia and Bactria, all the way to the Indus river, at the border of India, an to Egypt in the south, the Balkans in the west. Alexander conquered these lands with his powerful army with Macedonians and Greeks combined. As the conquests progressed, the Macedonians used different armies from all over the eastern world such as Persians and more. Part of the powerful army were holiness and the same Greek army units combined with battle tactics from Greeks and Persians. Afterwards, when Alexander died in 323BC, the Macedonian Empire was divided between his generals making the rest of the world Greek.

Macedonian hoplites in phalanx formation
Macedonian hoplites in phalanx formation
Macedonians with combined armies
Macedonians with combined armies
Macedonian hoplite with arms and armour
Macedonian hoplite with arms and armor
Macedonian cavalryman
Macedonian cavalryman

When building their empire, by the conquests of Alexander the Great through the known world in the east, the Macedonians expanded their territory by a large army having the same units as the Greek army, except with Macedonian and Greek armies combined. The Macedonian army had the same units of hoplites as their special forces. Although Macedonian hoplites had skills and looks different from Classical Greek hoplites; the Macedonian hoplites did not wear a full Corinthian helmet but instead a bronze helmet placed above and around the head but not covering the face, these helmets had a round shape only covering the head and sometimes had a round or pointed tip with a plume coming out.These hoplites did not wear heavy iron armor but the white leather cuirass with metal scales, this type of armor was lighter and more flexible in battle (though white may not be the exact color they used), the armor then was a lot more lighter and it came together with a tunic under and cape sometimes. These hoplites carried a spear as their primary weapon and formed phalanx in battle, for secondary weapons they held either a xiphos sword or a kopis sword if they had no spear, and a large round shield with the Macedonian vergina sun symbol. Most of the hoplites wore armor though the minor forces of Macedon wore just a tunic with a helmet. The Macedonian army was also made up of the minor Greek forces including peltasts (javelin men), archers, slingers, and cavalry men; the cavalry men though were in greater use in the Macedonian army than in the Greek army. The Macedonian cavalry was an important unit in their army, they were also armored with the usual white armor and had the round helmet covering the face, which is also called the Boeotian helmet, used by Greek horsemen, they carried spears as their main weapon and a sword too; to symbolize the Macedonian army in the conquests, they had a purple or red cape. However, the Macedonian army did fully use their own men but used the forces of the Greek city states to fight for them. The cavalrymen were mostly from Macedonia or Thessaly, the peltasts (javelin men) were hired from Thrace or the Greek islands or even Scythia so were the archers and slingers, while the hoplites were either from Athens, Sparta, or Macedonia. The powerful Macedonian army of Alexander fought against the Persians at the battles of Issus and Gaugamela, then conquered Persia and all their lands including Babylon, Egypt, Judea, and Medea. Afterwards, Alexander’s army hired the remaining Persian armies to fight at their side on their next conquest in India, though they failed as it was too far and the Indians had more elephants than men. Afterwards, the Macedonian empire and army id not die, they continued to expand with the new empires, although Macedonia later on grew to become a weak kingdom but its succession kingdoms grew and expanded and their armies changed with ideas form the east.

Seleucid cavalry soldiers
Seleucid cavalry soldiers
Seleucid cavalry soldier
Seleucid cavalry soldier
Seleucid war elephants
Seleucid war elephants
Egyptian infantry men
Egyptian infantry men
Ptolemaic Egyptian heavy infantry
Ptolemaic Egyptian heavy infantry

After Alexander’s death, the Macedonian Empire was divided into 3; Macedonia, and the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms. The Seleucid Empire was the next Persian Empire based in Syria, it was one of Macedonia’s succession kingdoms which was handed to Seleucus, one of Alexander’s generals giving it its name. The Seleucid Empire became a leading power for about 200 years in the east covering Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Babylon, Persia, until the Indus River, the border with India. The Seleucids though kept their empire with an effective army of both Greek and eastern battle strategies and units. The Seleucid army was mostly made of cavalrymen, which was their most important part in battle more than foot soldiers and hoplites. The Seleucids at battle though mainly used hoplites on horses and especially chariots, this is what the empire focused on in battle. Their chariots came in units with 1 or 2 soldiers riding on it firing arrows and the chariot itself was a weapon with blades at its wheels to slash the enemy army. The Seleucid infantry was not much of an effect, but they were still used, having peltasts, archers, and hoplites, a difference with them was that they used archers and javelin men more and as shields they used an lighter oval shield instead. Another part of their army was the use of Indian elephants, which was highly effective too, above them were archers or javelin men shooting arrows and javelins from above.

The Egyptian empire on the other hand, was a successor kingdom to Macedonia, it was then renamed the Ptolemaic kingdom as it was given to Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s generals. This new empire was a different version of Egypt as it became more Greek and even the army units changed. In battle, the Ptolemaic Egyptians used infantry men more compared to the Seleucids, and focused on javelins, archers, and spear men who were not much of hoplites but a less trained version of them. The difference here was that the Egyptians used plain white leather armor while the Seleucids used iron armor more. A similarity between them was that they both used chariots with archers above them and sometimes used war elephants, and for swords they rarely used the xiphos but the stronger curved-sword, kopis. The Ptolemaic Egyptians however did not have much of a powerful army but their navy was much more effective. Their types of armor were made for desert battle, especially in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, which makes the armor lighter and flexible.

Ptolemaic Egyptian symbol
Ptolemaic Egyptian symbol
Seleucid Empire symbol
Seleucid empire symbol
Egyptian infantry man (left), Seleucid chariot archer (right)
Egyptian infantry man (left), Seleucid chariot archer (right)

Shown above is my drawing of a Ptolemaic Egyptian infantry soldier and a Seleucid chariot soldier. On the right, is a newer version of the Egyptian army; this soldier wears an iron helmet not covering the face but surrounding the head, it has a different type of white leather armor and a cape behind it. This soldier is more of a peltast except fully armed and armored, having an oval shield with the Egyptian symbol, a set javelins for throwing, and a kopis sword. On the right, it shows a Seleucid Empire soldier fully equipped with a bronze helmet and iron cuirass armor with gold scales and a dark cape behind. This soldier for a difference wears a long-sleeve tunic under and holds a kopis sword too and a bow. This soldier ont he right is an elite force of the Seleucid Empire as it is on a chariot, shown behind.

th-21
Carthaginian empire symbol
map of Carthaginian empire with Rome
Map of Carthaginian empire with Rome
Carthaginian infantry soldiers
Carthaginian infantry soldiers
Carthaginian war elephant
Carthaginian war elephant

Another part of the Greek world was Carthage, though it may be far off from Greece and Greek lands, located in north-coast Africa, west of Egypt and south of Italy, its origins though are Greek, originating from the Phoenician settlers. Carthage however was not an empire itself but a republic, same as Rome and Athens and well known for their navy and wealth by trade more than their army. Carthage though had an effective army consisting of cavalry and infantry, though their cavalry was more of the important part. They had mostly the same army units as the Greeks did including peltasts, archers, hoplites, and an extensive cavalry. The unique part of the Carthaginian army was the use of war elephants, the elephants of Carthage were their most important and effective part. Carthage is most famous for fighting wars with Rome (the Punic Wars), here Carthaginian general Hannibal launched a large attack on Rome with the whole army including elephants, but at the end lost. The Carthaginian army had the same type of armor as the Greeks, usually the light leather ones but t eh difference is that that in Carthage they sometimes used chain-mail cuirass armor which Greeks did not use but the same bronze helmets. The weapons though were the same but the Carthaginians took the use of javelins more seriously; Carthage’s forces then are more similar to that of the Romans than the Greeks.

Carthaginiansoldier (left) and Macedonian hoplite (right)
Carthaginian soldier (left) and Macedonian hoplite (right)

Shown above is my sketch of a Carthaginian and Macedonian soldier, each look differently. The Carthaginian soldier (left)wears the classic Greek bronze head-cover helmet but instead of a leather cuirass, this soldier wears a chain-mail similar to that they used in Rome.This soldier would be classified as an elite pelatast or heavy infantry, holding a set of javelins with an oval shield, and a xiphos sword, these were the same types of units on Carthage’s war elephants. The Macedonian soldier (right) is classified more as a hoplite, except without a spear being used for light combat with a xiphos sword ans shield. This version of hoplite does not wear a full helmet but the bronze one and a light leather armor together with a smaller shield for sword combat and the classic Macedonian purple cape being part of their royal army. All these soldiers of my drawing may have looked the same, which is true since most of the units of the Greek world empires outside Greece had the same look and weapons and somewhat the same skills. The similarity all these empires mentioned (Egypt, Seleucids, Macedonia, Carthage) has is that they all met their end fighting wars with Rome and soon falling to what will be the new Roman Empire, combining all these empires.

the Greek navy
The Greek navy

Before this finishes, here is also a short topic on the Greek navy and the types of ships together with siege weapons. Aside from the army, the Greek city states, also the empires had a powerful navy, especially Egypt and Carthage. In the history of Greece and the Greek empire, famous naval battles are recorded, such as the Battle of Salamis where the Greeks won against the Persian invaders, some happened during Alexander’s naval conquests, also in the war between Carthage and Rome, ad lastly, the Battle of Actium, between the Ptolemaic Egyptians and the Romans when Rome finally took over the Greek world. There are different types of Greek ships in the navy and have different effects, the Romans to used the same type of ships as the Greeks, except stronger; other empires too such as the Persians had a similar navy.

sample bireme ship
Sample bireme ship
same trireme ship
Same trireme ship

The Greeks had a set of different war ships of different uses and were similar to the Roman warships. The ships came in different sizes and were different from each other by the number of rows of oars. For example, the ship called bireme is much smaller and used to hold archers and skirmishers, and had 2 sides of oars but only one row, it is much simpler in look and was an earlier form of these battle ships. The trireme was much more effective moved by a double row of oars and 2 sails, it held the archers in naval battle and in battle, its effect was ramming enemy ships with its sharp point in front. The quadrireme was a larger version of a trireme, this one held more soldiers, had a sharper edge, but was more used for siege weapons to destroy enemy ships, these types of ships also had a small tower mounted on it for skirmishers or siege weapons. Following it, there are larger types of ships which were more used for blockading; the Romans on the other hand used even larger ships having until 7 rows pf oars. At battle, these ships fought in a few different ways but had limited skills.

Greek naval warfare
Greek naval warfare
naval clash- Carthage vs Rome
Naval clash- Carthage vs Rome

The ships of all these empires of the Greek world and even Rome had the same appearance but their sails had each of the country’s symbol and sometimes ships itself had different colors. In battle, the ships often fought together as one fleet but each ships had different weapons and skills. The way naval battles were fought in the Greek world, also Roman world was by firing missiles such as arrows and javelins at enemy ships. By firing arrows or javelins, archers were boarded on the ships using their bows altogether to fire at the enemy; in naval battles though, first burning oil was thrown at sea where the enemy passes, then archers fire their flaming arrows at the oil burning the enemy, or they fired a singe flaming arrow at the ship itself which was made of wood, this was very much effective especially if the enemy ship were trapped but it would be hard to escape the trap. Another way Greek ships fought as by ramming directly at the enemy ship with the ship’s point in front, after ramming, the enemy ship would get beaten. Part of naval melee combat was also when ships hit each other, the soldiers would board the enemy ship, for the Greeks hoplites and infantry melee soldiers were boarded on triremes to board the enemy ship and attack the enemies on ship, sometimes the ships would be useless as the soldiers fought jumping from ship to ship. Another effective but slow way of combat in the Greek navy were siege engines mounted on ships, used for launching bolts or large hot stones or flaming hay balls on enemy ships. Using siege weapons were quite slow but the larger ships carried them and it took up more spacing having not much soldiers in them but siege weapon operators. These siege weapons included ballistas and catapults which had the effect of destroying enemy ships by burning or simply battering them. The famous naval battles of the Greek and Roman world like Salamis, the Greeks against Persians; Syracuse and Naxos, which was Athens against Sparta; and even in the Punic wars with Carthage and finally Actium used these naval battle tactics and had great effects in the wars.

Greek ballista
Greek ballista
Greek onager
Greek onager

The Greeks too had a set of siege weapons, the ballista and the onager were the classic and basically used ones. These siege weapons were both used in land and sea battles. The ballista was a commonly used one, a large crossbow low on the ground but pointed upwards, it was used on ships or in land battles when it came to siege walls and fortresses or to take down a number of enemy forces. Ballistas were also used on ships to fire flaming bolts a the enemy ships, the ballistas often fired bolts which were a larger version of arrows and had the flaming effect to burn down ships or burn the enemy lines. The onager was another type of weapon, this one was a small version of the catapult and moved on ground but needed about 6 men to operate. Onagers were both used in land to siege walls or destroy enemy ships by using heavy stones or flaming hay piles. These types of weapons then were overall used in the Greek world and also by the Romans, thought the Romans made improved versions of them.

Before this article ends, here’s to shorten the explanation of the Greek army, in battle they were different from each other having hoplites, archers, cavalrymen, siege weapons but they fought together as one and relied more on melee combat. Although the Greeks of the extended Greek world (Seleucids, Egyptians, and Carthaginians) did not fight that way anymore but individually as units and modified many parts of the Greek army. For the navy, they also fought together, and with their own military tactics, they were able to grow and build empires, dominating the known parts of the world for centuries. This topic may have been really long, but sure may have taught you a lot of things!!

Warfare of the Greek World- Part1

On this article on my blog, it is once again about historical warfare once again showing my military sketches throughout history. This time, the focus will be on Ancient Greece and the warfare of the Greek world; armor sets and weaponry. This topic on Ancient Greece focuses mainly on the warfare on ancient Greece and the city-states. (next one about the Greek world empires)!!

map of Greek city-states
Map of Greek city-states

th-1In the time of Classical Greece, Greece itself was not a full united kingdom or empire but several city-states, some ruled by a king, some a democracy. The well known city states of Greece (if you can see the names on the map above) include Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, Thessaly, and Epirus. Each of them had a different government, different way of life such as enlightenment in Athens and warfare in Sparta, and of course each had different armies. Armies of Ancient Greece, no matter from which city state somewhat looked the same, though to tell their difference, their colors were sometimes different, some city-states had different army units or different types of weapons, and the symbols on the soldiers’ round shields were different showing symbols of different city-states. For example, Athens used the owl symbol (for Athena), while Sparta used the lambda (^) symbol, and Macedonia together with other Greek cities used the vergina sun symbol. The Greek islands however were not counted as full city states but colonies or alliances to them especially when city-states of mainland Greece are at war. The city-states became united under one empire when the Macedonians took them over in the 4th century BC, afterwards the Greek army fought at their side.

I. Greek land Warfare (Hoplites)

sketch of Greek Hoplites in battle
Sketch of Greek Hoplites in battle
Greek hoplites in phalanx formation
Greek hoplites in phalanx formation

The armies of Ancient Greece had many different battle units but had the same formations in battle. For the Ancient Greeks, fighting together side-by-side in the phalanx was an important part of Greek warfare. At the same time it was effective too, as Hoplites, the elite military force of ancient Greece fought together in different groups forming a square formation but each hoplite holding a spear for attack and a shield for defense. The hoplites were organized in different rows, the spears pointed strait at the front and going upwards at the back rows. It was effective in a way that the phalanx slowed down the enemies trapping them especially with the front row spears, which was used to hit the horses of enemy cavalry while the upper spears pointed towards the horseman. The use of the phalanx however could be hard especially when fighting another army with he same formations such as fighting other Greek hoplites (which happened in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta against Athens) though the phalanx was effective when fighting cavalry men or soldiers who did not use the phalanx such as the Persian armies (during the Greek-Persian Wars); the phalanx though was vulnerable to cavalry shock charges though the hoplites were quick in action to slow them down and sometimes easily wipe out enemy armies by simply using the spears. The Greek army was also made up of skirmishers, including archers, javelin men, slingers, and shock cavalry, however the fully-armored hoplites were the important lie of defense as the Greeks in battle took close combat more seriously.

2 types of Greek hoplites
2 types of Greek hoplites

Shown above here is my sketch showing two types of Greek hoplites, a Thessaly hoplite (on the left) and a Sparta hoplite (on the right). In Ancient Greek warfare, hoplites were the important line of defense in battle and the elite forces (the spec-ops or marines of ancient Greece, the leading city states had to have hoplites in their army especially if they were at war with another city state or an invading empire. Hoplites served as the professional army and were the most well-trained and organized soldiers of the Greek world, in battle they were fully equipped with a full-face helmet which was called the Corinthian helmet, hey wore an iron and leather body armor called Thorax, a set of bracers, boots, and cape depending on their city’s color, and carried a one-handed sword, a dagger, a spear, and a large round shield. The Thessalian hoplite on the left shows a classic version of a Greek hoplite with the Corinthian helmet with a crest above, at the body is the thorax armor made of leather and iron scales (the white color though is not accurate to the original armor but a modern representation, the exact color of Greek armor though is unknown though it was made of bronze). The hoplite on the left wears a red cape, carries the phalanx spear called a Dory, the sword is sheathed and covered by a large round shield, curved outwards with the scorpion symbol. On the right is a Spartan hoplite commander; to tell the difference, the commander has the patterned crest sidewards but wears the same helmet and compared to all the Spartan hoplites with a red cape, this one wears a dark colored-one to differentiate himself from the army. The Spartan hoplite wears a full metal engraved armor and a tunic under; this hoplite also does not carry a spear but the classic one-handed leaf-edge sword, called Xiphos and a large round bronze shield curved inwards with the Spartan symbol.

combination of Greek hoplites
Combination of Greek hoplites
3 types of hoplites
3 types of hoplites

The upper picture shows a close-up of different types of Greek hoplites in battle itself with their melee weapons (swords and spears) ready for attack. The lower picture however, describes the functions of different types of Greek hoplites. The 3 types shown here is a Macedonian infantry soldier (left), Spartan Hoplite (center), and Athenian Hoplite (right) and an old sketch of mine which had appeared in a previous post. The Macedonian soldier (left) is a different form of hoplite, a lighter armed and armored one with a common Greek infantry bronze helmet, wearing the light armor (white with metal scales), and carrying lighter weapons for light combat in battle which is just another type of Greek sword (Kopis) used for harder sword combat if without a spear and holding a smaller round shield for foot-soldiers. On the center, this other version of a Spartan hoplite however does not do much of the action in fighting at the battlefield but instead carries the flag representing the Spartan army at battle, this hoplite as it does not fight full on the battlefield does not wear the iron cuirass armor but a leather cuirass mostly covered by a cape or a draping, although wearing the full helmet and carries a xiphos sword and instead of a shield, the Spartan war flag. The one on the right is a full armored and equipped Athenian hoplite with the full helmet with the crest, wearing iron armor for full protection when fighting full-combat; the Athenian hoplite is on standing formation holding up the spear and the shield with Athens’ symbol kept still, the sword is sheathed. The Athenian hoplite wears the blue cape showing Athens’ state color in battle, the Athenian hoplite at battle had more battle strategy than strength at battle as the Spartans did. As for weapons, hoplites used the spear as their primary weapon to hit the first wave of enemy, the sword was secondary used if the spear hit the target or fell or if the enemy is too close. Overall in ancient Greece, hoplites were the leading and most important part in battle being fully armed and armored and also organized whether they are many (in the 10,000’s such as the Spartans in the Persian Expedition) or a few (such as 300 in the Battle of Thermopylae); in ancient Greek warfare, melee fighting was what they highly focused on in battle.

II. Greek land Warfare (skirmishers and minor units)

The Greek army had more than hoplites, though hoplites were the leading and major part in the battlefield, the other soldiers were secondary forces or citizen armies. These other forces included cavalrymen, javelin men, archers, and slingers who were not in much use in battle but sometimes effective. These secondary units of ancient Greece were also used in battle but not on the front line of defines, but in at the sides or behind instead. These units in a way wore the same thing in battle, less and light-armored or sometimes without armour but a tunic and helmet, sometimes without a helmet but a hat.

Greek peltasts, samples
Greek peltasts, samples
Greek pelatast at battle
Greek pelatast at battle

A type of these alternative units were Peltasts, or Greek javelin (as shown in the peltast images above), a Greek javelin men in battle wore light armour for skirmishes and not in full combat as the hoplites, usually they did not fight on the field but shot javelins from behind, above or from bushes. The Greek peltasts wear either a set of light armour and a light bronze helmet only covering the head, carried a dagger and the main weapons were the javelins and the small crescent-shaped shield to hold javelins when aiming, this army unit did not usually wear armour and sometimes just the under tunic.

Greek slinger drawing
Greek slinger drawing

Another type of Greek army units were slingers, they also were skirmishers, though having not much effect their use was to basically scare the enemy with stones; the slingers were the most unequipped and less-trained Greek army unit having only the use of a sling and stones and a dagger and did not wear any armour but a tunic and a hat.

Greek archer sample
Greek archer sample

Greek archers on the other hand used the bow and arrows as a primary weapon, while the sword or dagger was the secondary one, when the enemy is too close or arrow run out. Archers however did not fight fully on the battlefield but skirmished the enemies from another point, sometimes using the effect of flame arrows to burn the enemy line of defines or shock them, first by setting up burning oil then by simply firing one flame arrow to burn down the enemy’s battle lines; the Greek archers usually did not wear armour except for light leather armour and barely wore helmets, instead wore large hats, instead of armour they would wear a tunic with a cape over it sometimes.

Macedonian (Greek) cavalryman
Macedonian (Greek) cavalryman

The cavalry then was a more important part in the Greek army and was of great use, they were highly trained also but were not equal in strength with the hoplites. This one shown above, a Macedonian cavalry man wears a light bronze hemet forming a round shape, wears light, white shaded leather armour, holds a spear, and to distinguish cavalrymen from the other units, they wore extra layers of capes with different colours, either blue, red, purple, or grey. Of course, the cavalrymen are mount on horses and their ability is to perform a shock charge on the enemy using their spears. As a secondary weapon, cavalrymen used their swords and sometimes carried bows or javelins; cavalry men often fought in a way by surprising the enemy too and later ambushing them. In Ancient Greece, city states however id not use horse men much at battle, though the Macedonians were the Greeks to really use them.

Greek peltast and archer (my sketch)
Greek peltast and archer (my sketch)

Shown above here (my drawing) for example is how a Greek peltast and archer with weapons. Here both wear helmets, even though they did not but usually they wore iron or bronze helmets in battle but no armour as they were there as skirmishers and the helmets protected their head. The peltast (left) wears a helmet only for the head and instead of light armour a simple tunic with a belt holding a dagger. The peltast’s main weapons here is a set of javelins to throw at the enemy, and the wooden crescent shield with a pattern, for defines and guiding the javelin. The archer (right) is another version of one as  it does not wear a hat but an iron helmet showing the face; its weapons include the bow an arrows and a xiphos sword, ins tea of armour the archer wears a tunic covered with a cape and held by a belt also for protection.

3 types of Greek infantry
3 types of Greek infantry

However, shown here is another version of javelin men and archers of Greece, over here (my drawing) displays a Greek archer (left), a Thracian peltast (centre) and Greek cavalry soldier (right). The archer here is a more classic version of one, wearing no amror but a tunic, belt, and cape, and ins tea of a helmet a leather hat; its weapons are the same bow and arrows with the sword. The peltast (centre) is a different type of Greek soldier, this one is not fully Greek but Thracian (from Thrace, north-east Greece), wearing a distinct tunic and a pointed leather cap, holding simply javelins and as shield, the Thracians however specialised in javelin warfare. The cavalryman (on the right) is however not on a horse but has the exact helmet, spear, and sword as the Greek cavalrymen do; for armour it has the same leather armour with metal scales and a cape covering it.

III. Greek weaponry 

As I have described the army units of Ancient Greece, here is the complete set of weapons Ancient Greek soldiers carried at battle…

set of Greek weapons- part 1
Set of Greek weapons- part 1

Part 1 of my sketch of Greek weapons used in the Greek warfare shows a variety of weapons from swords, to javelins, daggers, and skirmishing equipment. This weaponry set shows 2 of the sam javelins, used by peltasts in skirmishes and below it the skirmisher’s shield. At the upper part, it shows 5 types of Greek swords, 5 of them are the xiphos swords an one is a kopis sword, an a sword sheathe; the 4 types of xiphos have different hilts, some wide, some narrow depending on the blade whether the edge curves wily or narrowly, however these Greek swords have the same function, usually for stabbing the enemy at close melee combat. The other one sword is the kopis, the curved one-bladed sword, its function is usually for Greek hoplites or citizen armies without a spear but a strong weapon for an instant kill. At the right is a Greek bow which archers use sometimes with the flame ability to shoot arrows; below are two types of daggers, one is smaller version of a xiphos, beside it is a sheathe and the other is a sharper one; beside the sharper dagger is a Greek sling for shock skirmishes but not much effect.

set of Greek weapons, part2
Set of Greek weapons, part 2

Here’s part 2 of the Greek weapons, showing a little less of it. Here it shows 2 types of Greek spears (dory) used as primer weapons for hoplites and 2 types of large round Greek shields used by hoplites having Greek patterns painted on metal. Also shown here is an extra xiphos sword design and a Greek war banner used as the army’s flag in battle. Also here are 2 types of Greek siege weapons, the mini-catapult and he ballista. However, siege weapons would be discussed more on my next post.

spartan_lambda_shield_sticker-rddadb085d43548ecbb4f686b2b14567d_v9waf_8byvr_512

So that would be all for now but to conclude the article, the thing about Greek warfare is that it comes in many forms and strategies of each Greek city-state may be different. So this may be a good lesson on Greek warfare no matter how long it is. Up next, see some more of Greek warfare as it will be on the Greek world empires!!

Byzantium- architecture, fashion, arts

Posted by Powee Celdran

I am once again back on blogging, and my first time to blog in 2015, and as I said I would continue my historical blogging especially about Byzantium. Once again, I am back discussing the grew powerful Byzantine Empire, which lasted for about 1000 years. This time the topic would not focus on everything about the Byzantines but mainly on parts of Byzantine culture. In Byzantine Greek culture, art, fashion, and architecture had an important part and these things of their from long before still live on today.

Flag_of_the_Eastern_Roman_Empire

The Byzantine Empire was plainly the continued version of the old Roman Empire though a more developed version of it. Part of what the empire developed through the centuries was architecture. Throughout the centuries, architecture improved and more of Byzantine style buildings were built all over Constantinople, its imperial city, the new Rome, some of it were built beyond the city. Samples of Byzantine architecture can be found all over Constantinople (Istanbul) and in cities in Italy as it was for a time under the empire. Most of what they built though were churches but having their own form of architecture.

Byzantine architecture samples
Byzantine architecture samples
sample, Byzantine style church
sample, Byzantine style church
Byzantine architecture, interior side (my sketch)
Byzantine architecture, interior side (my sketch)
my sample, Byzantine style cathedral
My sample, Byzantine style cathedral

 

To describe Byzantine architecture simply, it usually consists of symmetrical blocks though with a lot of arches and arcades at the dies. Being inside a building of Byzantine architecture seems a lot more different, the interiors are quite massive with high ceilings though not such light comes in. Structures of Byzantine architecture were not designed with much light coming in through them but blocks out light leaving the indie to be cool and sometimes even stuffy with so much ornate things inside. Several arches were carved at the walls not much as entrances but for design. Above these buildings, especially churches were high and low domes. Larger churches or cathedrals had one major high dome with a late circumference surrounded by arcade windows for light to enter. The large one was supported by smaller size domes which had a semi-circular shape. The windows did not do much in bringing light but were mainly something to show colours. Most of these Byzantine architecture buildings though are churches found all over parts of Europe especial those that were once part of the Byzantine empire, some in Constantinople, some in Greece, and some in Italy. To easily identify something of Byzantine architecture, look for something made of more austere material and colour, having a round dome with jagged edges and arcades surrounding it, as well as arcades and arches at the side. To simplify it, Byzantine architecture is an advanced form of classical Roman architecture, however developing domes, circular structures, and supports.

details on Byzantine architecture
Details on Byzantine architecture
different types of Byzantine outfits
different types of Byzantine outfits
sketch of Byzantine outfits (my sketch)
Sketch of Byzantine outfits (my sketch)

Two panels above show samples of Byzantine fashion, the one above shows different types of Byzantine people like noblemen and women, a priest, and a guard. The lower one (my sketch) shows a sample of men and women’s fashion while the person on the right shows a sample of a Byzantine city guard and not an infantry soldier. In Byzantium, fashion played a really important part especially in the lives of the Greeks in Constantinople. Their fashion to make it simple is an improved form of Greek and Roman fashion having the same tunics and togas. However, the Byzantines improved simple Greek and Roman colours with more ornate colours and patterns even having gold and jewels attached to their togas. The materials for their outfits were not made from plain wool or cotton as the Greeks and Romans did, theirs was made of silk and embroidered with jewels. The Byzantines got silk for their outfits by trading with the far east, which was China as they found trade routes heading to China for silk. The Byzantines improved on the toga making it wider and more colorful with a set of patterns, under it was a tunic, a little tighter but with patterns too, both the tunic and toga were held up by a belt. The Byzantine fashion focused more on robes, everyone wore them especially priests having robes with simple patterns but wide and flowing, noblemen and noblewomen wore their robes with more jewels and gold, on their head they wore gold circlets with gems and their togas were clipped with large brooches. Both men and women though had similar styles.

 

Byzantine fashion samples- man, woman, and priest
Byzantine fashion samples- man, woman, and priest
Byzantine guards fashion
Byzantine guards fashion

 

The men wore tunics under and covered with a large cape with different patterns, the toga. The men wore belts with ornate design also holding their daggers. The women of Byzantium wore more jewellery at their head, arms, and around their necks, they also wore large togas with patterns covering most of them, under it was a tight dress with ornate patterns of gold and silver. The city guards too especially in Constantinople ha fashion as well, instead of just body armour, they wore coloured tunics under and over a large cape having patterns wrapping their padded-armour, they wore helmets or gold circlets and carried a few weapons such as swords or spears with shields too. Everyone’s hair in Byzantium ha to kept well and they had to be clean at all times and looking their best. In fact, those who wear barbaric outfits as the Germanic tribes wearing pelts, they were forced to leave the city and sent away as Constantinople was a sophisticated place where everyone dresses up and it would be inappropriate to look uncivilised. Overall, fashion had a large part in Byzantine culture, they even took it more seriously than fighting wars, this makes them a sophisticated civilisation in the Middle-ages.

assorted Byzantine patterns

Byzantine pattern art
Byzantine pattern art (possibly found at the palace ceiling)
Byzantine religious art
Byzantine religious art
late-period Byzantine art
late-period Byzantine art
Byzantine carved diptych art
Byzantine carved diptych art (possibly depicting Emperor Justinian I)

 

Part of Byzantine architecture and Byzantine life was the arts. Artworks were made part of the architecture as excoriation and as something that made up the cities. In Byzantium, nothing was plain and colourless, almost everywhere there was something of art, which also explains their fashion and colourful mosaics. They had also developed different patterns, mostly symmetrical and a form of art, ins tea of paintings, a compilation of different tiles forming figures. Byzantine art was different in so much ways from Western European Medieval art as theirs was more detailed, more colourful, and precise. When it comes to art, the Byzantines took it precisely and did it with math and measurements, by placing it on walls and ceilings. Another toe of Byzantine art are diptychs, carvings from ivory, here they carved figures out of ivory so detailed and precise. For their art, the most important subjects were Christian figures, which is shown by seeing them especially in the walls and ceilings of Byzantium’s churches. Mosaics were the common form of art in Byzantium found almost everywhere and in many different forms. Figures on mosaics however do not show much emotion and perspective is less compared to Renaissance art though it is more extravagant lined with gold tiles. The style of mosaic art changed throughout the centuries of the empire, the earlier period did not show as much detail but more colour while in the late period, the detail was sharper but the colours a little faded.  What Byzantine mosaic art often has is gold background surrounding icons of religious figures. Other forms of this art are carved ornaments on the walls and ceiling sod churches, made of gold and ivory; one of the best places to see Byzantine art is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the San Vitale church in Ravenna. To describe Byzantine art, it is an improved version of earlier Roman art with more colours especially gold and even shinier, also a more detailed version of simple and dull Western Medieval art. The Byzantines too made fresco art but made the images look more detailed tan the west, they had also put some writings in their art.

Byzantine literature page
Byzantine literature page
Medieval Byzantine jousts, sample
Medieval Byzantine jousts, sample

 

Of course there was more to art in the life of those who lived in Byzantium’s empire especially for those who lived in Constantinople. For them, art, music, and literature together with wearing fashionable colour patterned clothes was part of their lifestyle. One of Byzantium’s entertainment forms is jousts in the city hippodrome, it was their way to entertain others in an action packed way rather than watching real fights like in Rome. The golden age of Byzantine literature, arts, and architecture was the Komneneian period (the Komnenos dynasty of emperors) in the 12th century, under emperors Alexios I and Manuel I, Byzantium improved more with the arts but declined in military strength. With all the arts, architecture, literature, and fashion, Constantinople was the melting pot of cultures, where different cultures from the east and west met. The negative part about Byzantium being too much into art and entertainment was that it drew the people to it more rather than making them defend their empire causing lands to be lost. After all, by having the advance arts as well as sciences, this made the Byzantine Empire the most advanced civilisation in Medieval times.

 

alt__buzantine_flag_by_fenn_o_manic-d3gmllo

Now that’s all for now, watch out later for more of my Byzantium posts, next about the Byzantine military, hope you enjoy!

Early Middle-Ages- Byzantium and Eastern Europe- the basics, part 2

Here in Part II of Early Medieval Europe, it will describe the eastern world this time. The eastern world was not fully just the powerful Byzantine Empire but the lands it controlled and lands and people tom other areas. In the eastern part of Europe, the Byzantine Empire was located there in the time the ruled an beyond it were other exotic interesting kingdoms and empires. The Byzantine Empire is basically the continued Roman Empire in the east which lasted after the Western Roman Empire fell until year 1453. The history of the Byzantine Empire begins in the 4th century when Rome was divided between east and west after the reign of Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who also the 1st Byzantine emperor. The eastern half then became different from the west growing more advanced, civilised, and populated and when the Western Empire fell and kingdoms were built by barbarians, the east remained being the sole empire from then.

Byzantine empire at its height
Byzantine Empire at its height
Constantinople visualized
Constantinople visualized

To wole story of Byzantium is basically about Constantinople first, the one city of the empire also called Byzantium or Istanbul. It is located in the Bosporus sea which comes out in the Black sea; Constantinople is on the north-west part of the Bosporus, on the Europe side, it has another body of water going through it, the Golden Horn, and across the Bosporus is the extension of the cit, which is part of Asia. The history of this place begins after the division of the Roman Empire, Constantinople became the city’s name and was the capital of the Eastern Empire. At the fall of the Western Empire, Byzantium then rose to power becoming the sole empire and the surviving Roman Empire. They grew conquering an making alliances with other lands, and with the lands they conquered, they were inspired by some of there cultures. The Byzantine Empire’s foundations was the code of laws by Emperor Justinian called Corpus Juris Civilis, Byzantium was strong with law. The empire was not only known for law but for arts, literature, architecture, warfare, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Justinian's code of laws
Justinian’s code of laws
sample of Byzantine art
Sample of Byzantine art

First of all Constantinople was the empire’s centre and everything that influenced Byzantium came to Constantinople having buildings of grand architecture and art. With the east for example, the Byzantines were strong enemies with the Persians or Sassanids. At the same time being enemies with the Sassanid Empire in the east, they still borrowed cultures and things from them. The idea of the emperor wearing a golden crown and having absolute power and the senate fully limited and later disband came from the east. The Byzantine style of art with gold tiles and patterns forming mosaics came from the east as well, however the Byzantines mdd their own using their own themes. In architecture, the Byzantine style was most likely their own style influenced by themselves; their architecture was made up of high ceiling buildings with domes above and arches supporting it also symmetrical shapes forming different ices. Within he domes, it was decorated with mosaics, outside were arches, the Byzantines too also used some of Roman architecture.

Byzantine architecture in Constantinople
Byzantine architecture in Constantinople
Byzantine architecture drawing
Byzantine architecture drawing

The Byzantines too had other major cities all over the empire but Constantinople was the chief city, located in the Black Sea area. The main part of Byzantine territory was in Turkey and Greece and in the west coast of the Black Sea, these parts remained under Byzantine rule from when they began to when they ended in 1453. Other Byzantine major cities were the ancient cities from Greek and Roman times like Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Athens. However the cities of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch did not last under Byzantine rule but fell to different Islamic kingdoms and these cities became major cities for them while the Byzantines did not have such power anymore to take them back.

Sassanids against Byzantines
Sassanids against Byzantines
Byzantine Alexandria
Byzantine Alexandria

The Byzantine Empire too had control of the seas such as the Mediterranean, Bosporus, Aegean, and Black Seas, and with controlling the sea, they had a powerful fleet with powerful weapons. The Byzantines had different types of ships, both small and large and usually had their colours as sails. An example of a Byzantine ship was called a dromon, this ship carried a powerful deadly weapon called Greek fire which blew out waves of fire. An example of the Byzantine fleet out in battle was at the Black Sea between the Byzantine fleet of emperor Romanus and the Russian fleet of prince Igor of Kiev. The Byzantines trapped the Russian ships as the wind stopped and was able to fire them down with Greek fire making the Byzantines win. After all their navy was successful until the time their empire died.

Byzantine fleet
Byzantine fleet
Byzantine dromon ship
Byzantine dromon ship
Greek fire
Greek fire

In land, the Byzantines at times had a large empire covering the Mediterranean sea, Black Sea, and Balkans, from this they needed a strong army with different units to watch over it. At the beginning, they used simply barbarian German and Slavic mercenaries to fight for them and a few of there own east Roman legions, this however was at the early time of the empire under emperor Justinian and his legendary generals Belisarius and Narses. With the conquests of these generals, Byzantine territory reached to Italy, Illyria, Spain, and Armenia but after a time, the Byzantine army had to change having soldiers of their own from Byzantine territory. Having a new form of army, the Byzantines made a new unit which became their special forces, called cataphracts. The cataphracts were cavalry men forming a wedge formation with their horses in battle and performed a shock charge or fired arrows while ridding, they also protected the archers in battle. These units were armoured horsemen with armoured horses, inspired by the Parthian and Persian cavalry. However, the Byzantines were not fully successful with their military units and lost a few battles losing territory too. The greatest defeat of the Byzantine military was at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 to the Seljuk Turks from tactic errors.

Byzantine war flag
Byzantine war flag
Byantine cataphract cavalry
Byantine Cataphract Cavalry
Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert

Afterwards, the Byzantines relied on stronger units of mercenaries becoming the new special for units of Byzantium. One of these units of special forces were called Almogavres or Muslim Spanish mercenaries with strong melee attack. The most famous one was the Varangian guard, these were Russian and Viking mercenaries becoming the special forces and the imperial  bodyguard unit.

Almogavares mercenaries
Almogavares mercenaries
Varangian guard, imperial bodyguard
Varangian guard, imperial bodyguard
Byzantine army units from Assassin's Creed
Byzantine army units from Assassin’s Creed

Rather than the army, which was not overly successful leading to loss to territory, Byzantium’s specialty was art, literature, and sciences. The Byzantines established libraries, monasteries, and forms of entertainment too, the most popular was horse racing in hippodromes. What they also introduced was the education system wherein everyone could to school and be educated. In addition the Byzantines were focus on design, gold, and gems. It was no problem for them as their rich empire had simpler ways of getting colourful gems and silks with the trade routes. Silks of different colours patterned with gems were sometimes used for outfits and buildings were decorated with golden tile storming patterns of artworks.

Byzantine pattern design
Byzantine pattern design
Byzantine style outfits
Byzantine style outfits

Having territories across the sea, the Byzantines expanded north as well into eastern Europe. To the north, the Byzantines conquered the Slavic or Bulgar people fighting wars with them, the popular Byzantine emperor who fought them was Basil II the Bulgar Slayer. When they conquered the Slavs, they also converted them to Eastern Christianity but at the start did not bring Greek culture to them. Later on the Byzantines too brought Greek culture to them such as ancient Greek studies of philosophy, science, and literature making them more cultured. Another set of tribes to the north were called the Rus, these tribes were more Viking than Slavic as they originally came from northern Europe but travelled down to the Black Sea and ended up battling the Byzantines. After series of battles, the Byzantines defeated the Rus but did not fully conquer them as the Rus, who settled in Russia and above the Black Sea were converted to Eastern Christianity and learned Greek culture. The Viking Rus from Russia also chose to serve the Byzantine Empire as a military service serving as elite guard units. The Viking warriors then became the imperial protectors or Varangian guards.

The Rus in batttle
The Rus in battle
Varangians- Viking mercenaries
Varangians- Viking mercenaries and guard units

Back in Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire grew with their culture. Ancient Greek and Roman studies were a major part of Byzantine culture as people were educated with them making them one of the most sophisticated in Europe. The Greek language was Byzantium’s common language but the educated one too while Latin was more formal used in politics and the imperial court. In politics, the Roman senate still remained in the early days but their power was always limited by the emperor hough at times they would have power but the emperor had the ultimate power more than it was in Imperial Rome. Of course a major part of Byzantium was the Eastern Orthodox Church which also had ranks in the government but the Church remains powerful there too. The Eastern Church was led by different bishops in major cities called patriarchs but the one in Constantinople was the most powerful one; the rest were in Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Kiev, and Moscow. When the Empire fell, the Church was moved out the Church’s power then moved to Moscow. With the eastern Church, the Byzantines took traditions very seriously especially Christian celebrations, like on Easter and Christmas.

assorted Byzantine patterns
Assorted Byzantine patterns
additional Byzantine outfits
Additional Byzantine outfits
things of Byzantine culture
Things of Byzantine culture

The Byzantine empire however did not last but went on for more than 900 years. The exact fall of the Byzantine Empire was in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks. The last line of the Byzantine Emperors, the Palaiologi ended then and was amen over by the line of Emperor Mehmed II and the Ottomans continued. Parts of Byzantium still remains today even in Istanbul having great works of Byzantine architecture. It turns out for me, Byzantium and the Byzantines remain one of the most fascinating and inspiring topics in history I’ve learned.

So that’s it for P. Celdran’s everyday stuff for this year, see you again in 2015, which is not too long from now. Next year look forward to some more posts on Byzantium and Byzantine military as well as more things from history visualised, Happy New Year!!

Early Middle-Ages, Europe- the basics part1

The early Medieval era or the era of early Christendom was the age of the first kingdoms and empires of Europe when Europe began to form into how it is now. This first part of the article on the Early Medieval Europe basics will focus on the western side and the story of Europe’s kingdoms. First of all, most of Europe was under the Roman Empire (including Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece) but later on, the empire slowly lost these countries to invading tribes from the north and east of the boundaries. When these tribes invade, separate tribes took a part of the empire making their own kingdom out of it and at the end Rome itself fell to the barbarians and Italy became a separate kingdom. For the next hundreds of years, each kingdom grew though with the invasions and wars, it became the dark ages until the 8th century. 7751971_orig

I. The Frankish Kingdom (France)- Gaul (France) was once a major region of the Roman Empire and most of Rome’s resources came from there however, it was one of the last provinces Rome lost to the German tribes that invaded. These Germanic tribes from the east of Gaul were the Franks, Burgundians, Alemanni, and Thuringians. The Franks were the ones who actually occupied most of Gaul though they were from Belgium but established their kingdom in France and became the most powerful kingdom. The Kingdom of the Franks was formed by Clovis who became king and was baptised as a Christian making his kingdom Christian too and was known for forming the Frankish kingdom uniting Burgundy and other tribes into it by fighting wars. The line of the kings of the Franks or the first kings of France were the Merovingians and for the next years, France was divided into 4 kingdoms, Neustria, Austrasia, Burgundy, and Aquitaine, sac of the kingdoms were ruled by the Merovingian relatives. However, the Merovingian kings did not do well as they fought each other bringing the Frankish kingdom to decline, it was only when the Merovingian line ended and the Carolingian began with Charlemagne who expanded the Frankish kingdom, conquered barbarian lands and made peace also building an empire.

Frankish kingdom flag
Frankish kingdom flag
map of Frankish kingdoms
Map of Frankish kingdoms
Merovingian Frankish court
Merovingian Frankish court

II. Italy (Goths and Ostrogoths)- Italy was once the central province of the Roman Empire and where Rome is located, however the empire was divided and Italy was part of the west, Rome just being another city. Italy then became a major target for the tribes of Goths in the north-east. In the early 5th century, Rome was attacked by the Goths and the empire weakened until Rome was fully overrun by the Goths who took over Italy, later by the Ostrogoths, one of the Goth tribes that ended up ruling Italy. The new capital city of Italy for the Ostrogoth kingdom was Ravenna, which was before the capital of the Western Roman empire in its last days. The king who established the new Italian kingdom was Theodoric the Great, the kingdom also included Austria, Croatia, Hungary. The Italian kingdom went successful however the Byzantine Empire fought wars with it and during the reign of Emperor Justinian (Byzantium) Italy was conquered by general Belisarius and fell to Byzantium for the next years.

Europe map with Ostrogoth Italy
Europe map with Ostrogoth Italy
Ostrogoths (tribe)
Ostrogoths (tribe)
Ostrogoth Italy symbol
Ostrogoth Italy symbol

III. Spain (Visigoths)- Hispania (Spain) was another major Roman province and has been under Rome for a really long time. When the Roman empire was declining, the Germanic barbarian tribes of the Visigoths made their way to Spain and invaded it taking it away from Rome. The Visigoth tribes took most of Spain and parts of France though their lands in France were lost to the Franks leaving them with most of Spain. In addition, the Germanic tribe of the Suevi conquered the northwest part of Spain including Portugal while the Vandal tribes made their way through Spain and instead conquered the lands of North Africa. The Visigoths were left to rule most of Spain for the next hundred years later making an alliance with the Franks as Spain grew more powerful under the Visigoth kings, also became more civilised. The Visigoth period in Spain however did not last since a new set of tribes from North Africa in the 8th century, the Moors went across to Spain battling the Visigoths and took over most of Spain for hundreds of years until the native Spanish from Spain began the Reconquista liberating Spain from the Moorish kingdom and making the new Spanish kingdoms.

Visigoth and Suevi Spain
Visigoth and Suevi Spain
Visigoth Spanish art
Visigoth Spanish art
Visigoth warriors
Visigoth warriors

IV. Germany (the Germanic tribes)- When Europe was still under the Roman Empire, a part of Germany (Germania) was under Rome, however beyond the Rhine it wan’t as it was home to different Germanic tribes that invaded Roman lands. The tribes from central and western Germany were the Franks, Alamanni, and Thuringians, to at the south were the Lombards and Suevi, at the east were the Ostrogoths and Moravians, and at the north were the Saxons, Angles, and Frisians; tribes located farther to the east and north of Germany were the Goths and Huns (Avars). Some Germanic tribes in Germany succeeded making kingdoms such as the Thuringians who built their kingdom in Germany; the rest built their kingdoms in other lands such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths in Italy and Austria, the Franks in France, and the Saxons in England, the Frisians too in Netherlands.  However Germany was united in that time as it was made up several small states ruled by nobles, it was only until Frankish king Charlemagne untied them. Charlemagne fought wars conquering the tribes in Germany and beyond but also made alliances with them and united them forming the Holy Roman Empire, which was Germany’s empire.

early medieval German art
Early medieval German art
Germanic Frisian warriors
Germanic Frisian warriors
Frankish kingdom and Germanic tribes map
Frankish kingdom and Germanic tribes map

V. England (Anglo-Saxon kingdoms)- Britain was once part of the Roman empire falling to the west however the Romans left leaving the Celtic British on their own which made them need to as the Germanic tribes of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes from Germany and Denmark to help them. However these tribes did not just come to help, they ended up settling in the land and invaded making their own kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxons made 4 major kingdoms in Britain; Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, and Kent while the native Celts fled to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; also by then Christianity came to England and monasteries were built making the land more peaceful The Anglo-Saxons then became the official English and ruled England for a few centuries until a point in time when Vikings invaded in the 9th century pillaging villages, however the Saxons were able to rid the Vikings with Alfred the Great as king. King Alfred the Great fought the Vikings and was the greatest ruler of Saxon England, after him his line ruled England until 1066, when the Normans came in making the official kingdom of England.

The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England
The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England
Anglo-Saxon flag
Anglo-Saxon flag
Anglo-Saxon people
Anglo-Saxon people

That’s all for Part 1 of Early Medieval Europe, Part 2 will be on Byzantium and the eastern world.

Hamlet and I, Claudius- 2 best dramas

The two of my best dramas, both classics, and both British are Hamlet by William Shakespeare and I, Claudius by Robert Graves, both are things I can never be tired of. First of all, Hamlet is more of a tragedy and is one of the most famous tragedies ever, actually turns out to be the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays and for me it is the best and there only one of his plays which I like the most. Hamlet though has a fictional setting but related to Renaissance times, which was the same time as Shakespeare (15-1600’s) and is set in Denmark; it is best known as a revenge story of prince Hamlet who has a task of avenging his father no matter how hard it is as he has to kill his evil uncle, Claudius though his task ends making him go mad. I, Claudius on the other hand is another story but also a British classic but set in the Roman times during the time of the Julio-Claudian emperors (27BC-68AD) but mostly focuses on the life story of Emperor Claudius I and his unexpected story of becoming emperor, it is also called the epic that never was. It may be boring though but it is very interesting if you know it better; what I like about I, Claudius is just the tv series itself from 1976, it may have a boring style but it is full of energy from the actors and the story is very epic yet bloody and full of plots. The boring part though is that it is set in Roman times, which I find overrated but knowing about the inner parts of the Roman world, it seems fascinating. What I like most about it is the actors and their roles, both I, Claudius and the adaptations of Hamlet share the same actors if you noticed. hamlet_book_cover_by_snooly-d5rff4m14381918724_p0_v2_s260x420I. the backgrounds (I, Claudius): The epic of I, Claudius is based on real history but instead of the commonly known things about imperial Rome, it focuses on more detailed things of each members of the Julio-Claudian family, how they were like together. It was originally a book from the 1930’s written by Robert Graves and was made into film as a TV series in 1976, which was partly written by the author of it. The story focuses on the protagonist Claudius (full name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar Germanicus) who was a member of the family but writes his family’s history as he survived the plots and disasters that happened to the members of his generation and made it out to old age becoming emperor of Rome (41-64AD). There were other important members involved in his life story, some succeeded, some failed though most were part of the powerful and bloody business of the empire such as Emperor Augustus Caesar and his grandmother Livia Augusta, also his uncle Emperor Tiberius, his nephew Emperor Caligula, his mother Antonia Minor, his brother the general Germanicus, his father general Drusus, and others outside the family such as the ambitious cunning agent Lucius Sejanus and Claudius’ friends. There’s quite a lot more to tell in this story as it is full of everything you want to know about the imperial family.

Emperor Claudius meme
Emperor Claudius meme

II. Hamlet- summary and background: The story of Hamlet is a world-famous and celebrated drama and was made into film several times and has the famous lines of “to be or not to be, that is the question”, “what a piece of work is man”, “alas poor Yorick” . It is about prince Hamlet, the prince of Denmark who’s father, King Hamlet has been poisoned and killed by his brother, Hamlet’s uncle who’s name is also Claudius. Claudius becomes king and also marries Hamlet’s mother Gertrude in which Hamlet is not satisfied although his father appears to him as ghost telling him to do his task an avenge his death which means killing Claudius. Hamlet’s overall fully hated his greedy uncle and often kept on warning his mother about him, at the same time he is helped by his trusted friend Horatio and also is in love with Ophelia but this drives both him and her mad. At one point Hamlet’s tests the king’s conscience and nearly kills him but ends up arguing with his mother and kills the king’s advisor Polonius. This action made Hamlet be sent away to England while back in Denmark, Polonius’ son Laertes seeks revenge on Claudius for his father’s death though it was actually Hamlet that did it, the more he hates Hamlet as he finds his sister Ophelia going insane because of him. Claudius makes an agreement that both Laertes and Hamlet will settle their vengeances by duelling each other when Hamlet comes back. In the duel, the king still tricks Hamlet by making the cup poisoned since if he was a round he will drink though Hamlet knew the trick so he refused it but his mother drank it and died from it. Laertes hits Hamlet with his poisoned sword and Hamlet does the same with Laertes leading to his death, after this Hamlet knowing the poison from the sword will kill him strikes Claudius and gives him the poison killing him bringing his father justice. Shortly after out of the absorbed poison and exhaustion, Hamlet makes peace with Laertes and falls on his friend  Horatio soon afterwards he dies as an honourable hero. At the same time, he surrendered Denmark to the rule of Fortinbras of Norway who would be a better king and he gives Hamlet a soldier’s funeral recognising him as hero throughout history. 8fe83e6f3db7a1e31e50ae8349bf8f1c

Derek Jacobi as Hamlet (1980)
Derek Jacobi as Hamlet (1980)
Hamlet and Laertes 1980
Hamlet and Laertes 1980
Branagh Hamlet "to be or not to be, that is the question"
Branagh Hamlet “to be or not to be, that is the question”

III. Comparisons: The stories of Hamlet and I, Claudius are not far apart and have some similarities especially the actors who played the roles in I, Claudius may have played roles in Hamlet a few times. The settings of the stories may be different as I, Claudius is set in Roman times and Hamlet is set probably in the 1500’s although the films show Hamlet in different times either Medieval, Renaissance, or modern. Of course both stories have a character named Claudius the difference there is that the Claudius in I, Claudius is the main protagonist and hero who at the beginning did not do great but foolish but turned out to be the surviving one at the end as he use his foolishness to help survive becoming something powerful and ruthless at the end. On the other hand, the Claudius from Hamlet was always jealous of his brother the king and poisoned him to make himself be king, the interesting back story here is that Hamlet’s Claudius was named after the same Emperor Claudius I who in Shakespeare’s time was thought to be an evil power-hungry emperor though the author of I, Claudius Robert Graves disproved the fact and changed Claudius’ image. One of the similarities here when comes to the film versions is the actors, in particular Derek Jacobi starred in the TV series of I, Claudius as Claudius while at the same time, he also did a Hamlet film where he played Hamlet and later on in the 1996 Hamlet, he played Claudius. The 1980 version of Hamlet ha 3 cast members from I, Claudius in 1976 including Derek Jacobi as Hamlet, David Robb (Germanicus in I, Claudius) as Laertes, and Patrick Stewart (Sejanus in I, Claudius) as Claudius. For me the 1996 movie of Hamlet was the best very extensive and not just plain but with so much excitement an emotion; it was directed by Kenneth Branagh who starred as Hamlet, Derek Jacobi was here too as Claudius and one of my all-time best English actors, Brian Blessed (Augustus in I, Claudius) did the role of the ghost of King Hamlet. Both stories too have the same type of scheming plots and revenge scenes making them overall great works of literature.

Horror House- the making

The Horror House is not something new I’ve been doing, it has been going around for 6 years now, in the same location of my house. This year is the 7th event of the Horror House with the theme of Asylum. The Horror House is the event that happens each Halloween, and now it still survives at its 7th Halloween. These Halloween events are run by 2 friends, both the founders of it, me, Powee Celdran and Jake Consing. It is an exciting fun event that happens annually though the making though is stressful but still fun after all. The whole thing began in 2008, then went on through the years having different themes such as mythical creatures and monsters from the Philippines (2009) and from around the world (2010), haunted hotel (2011), and your worst nightmare with scares from both the Medieval and modern world (2012-13), this year it is Asylum, with scars all on insanity. The past horror House have brought successful scares, this year, the scares shall be much more frightening bringing more nightmares!! The Horror House this year has the Asylum set-up, with less dividers but 2 areas, the first the entryway and the exit, the other is the main hall itself. Around the walls are webs, curtains, and insane items.

the start of setting up
The start of setting up

The set-up began only a few days ago, and by Halloween day, its finished, although being stressful in setting-up, the set turned out to be well. It has one divider at the middle, then a hall going around it. The hall is separated with curtains, on the other side is the entryway and exit. The curtains are used as dividers.

setting-up
Setting-up
the masks and insanity items
The masks and insanity items

In the making of the Horror House, the curtains go first and making the place dark. Next is the positioning of props inside. Afterall, it turns out that the things inside have been positioned well having masks ad creepy images hanging, fake candles glowing, a few tables with stuff of insanity as well.

creepy vintage images
Creepy vintage images

The theme is Asylum based on insanity, making the props be based on Asylum. Part of this are creepy vintage images of people of the asylum placed on the table and mirror. There is also an alchemy table below with glowing candles and experiment items of the Asylum. These experiments on the alchemy table, were the ones that drove the people here insane, as part of the story here.

part of the alchemy and insanity items
Part of the alchemy and insanity items
part of the alchemy set
Part of the alchemy set

On the corners are chairs with scares behind them, the rest of the room has a few tables also with stuff on them. The props include fake hands, a chopped-off head, a lava lamp, and fake candles. Masks are hanging around the room too, sme props are hanging from webs and from above. IMG_6503

Some of the items inside are based on some stories of insanity or creepy stuff. One of the minor themes inside are based on the insane death of Germanicus, a Roman general and hero from the Julio-Claudian family, brother of Emperor Claudius and father of Caligula. His death was caused by seeing all sorts of crazy items that frightened him to death such as a chopped-off head, webs, his name on bloody messages and skulls that appeared on his room, these items are shown are shown here.

more of the set and props
More of the set and props

Part of the set is also props related to the play Hamlet with flowers and skulls lying around. As part of the asylum theme, there are bloody notes left around with crazy quotes based on insanity. Overall, the set looks and well though the scares and scarers make it complete. Part of the scares will be creepy music playing as people will come in for the scares. This should be a great success for the Horror House and should bring your most insane nightmares!! Happy Halloween!! to be continued…

It turned out to do successfully as the event happened for more than 2 hours and the team did well. It did not turn out exactly how it was supposed to be but was still a fun experience with a complete cast, a better set-up, and the team doing well (though I wasn’t there the whole time the event happened). The ones who made the ultimate Horror House happen included those from the past and those from this year’s only; myself (the chairman and Horror House team leader), Jake Consing (scares and set director), Sandro Yguico (sound-system), Santiago Roxas (organizer and producer), Villa de Asis (set organizer) and Renzo, Vince, Bobby (the scarers)

the team
The team

Of course we were prepared for this and the team did well overall, better of we had fin and scares! The making was a great unforgettable experience altogether.

Military Sketches, Classical Roman Age (Individuals) part 2

Well, here’s another set of sketches of soldiers and historical designs and symbols continuing the previous one, about Renaissance 16th-17th century figures, here’s another individual sketches set. This time, it is all on military figures with their country’s symbol and designs as well as descriptions from the Classical Age in Ancient times, this time going backwards in time. Here are 7 individual sketches, one ancient rimes nation in it with a military figure as a sample unit of their army to visualize how the soldiers of each ancient kingdom or empire looked different from each other, rather than the sample soldier, there is the country’s seal in each of the 7, and a cultural design in each of based on the country. Each of the 7 sheets have an ancient kingdom, empire, or confederation in each from all over the known world in the ancient Classical days from 300BC-200AD; Rome, Macedonia (Greece), Parthia, Carthage, Egypt, Gaul, and Britain; basically in the time of the Romans. This is all basically set in Roman times, with Rome leading, however it is not all about Rome but descriptions of the powers of that time. The descriptions of each ancient kingdom or empire is widely mentioned rather than the description of the soldier. In particular, these sample soldier units and descriptions are based on each of the factions of the Total War game series, Rome Total War II, which I based it on inspired by the game I have played before…. (7 sketches drawn last March-April 2014, posted only now)

I. Rome- The Roman Republic/ Roman Empire, 300BC-200AD; “strength, honor, duty”

Rome- starting as a small city state in Italy, through time the power ruling the world in the Mediterranean, Europe, west Asia, and North Africa all in one empire based in Rome. Throughout the years, having wars defending themselves from outsider enemies leading them to conquer and expand through time defeating their enemies from nearby to distant lands, grew powerful through many years and centuries by military strength and victory. The republic turned full-time empire, known for political skills and military strength.

The Roman faction
The Roman faction

The Romans- Culture type: Roman (Latin), from Italy; Origins/ base: Rome, Italy (with a few Greek origins); System: Republican(500BC-30BC)/ Imperial(30BC-300AD); Skills: Building, Politics, military conquest and power, excellent armies.

Sample Soldier unit- Legionary, Praetorian cohort forces, or special forces. army class; high-ranked guardsman soldier or praetorian, blue color coded; weapons used are sword (gladius), dagger (pugio), javelin (pilum), and legionnaire’s heavy defense shield for shield-wall formation; armor used are heavy armor sets of Roman legionnaire chest-armor, leg protection, praetorian soldier’s helmet, and blue cape; in battle a heavy armed defensive soldier.

Others: Rome’s official seal of the eagle and wreath with the symbol SPQR, with the Roman helmet, sword, and shield, above the Roman imperial gold pattern and red background.

II. Macedonia- The Macedonian Greek Empire, 400-140BC; “glory, order, power”

Macedonia (Greece)- First the several Greek city states of Athens, Sparta, Corinth etc. then the Greek kingdom of Macedonia builds up to be the leading Greek power in a short period of time conquering all the lands of the east but lasting shortly too. Their world power empire then was divided into 3, Macedonia, Seleucid Empire, and Ptolemaic Egypt Empire minimizing the real power of Macedonia, which became one of the successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great’s empire which he built earlier but divided to 3, Macedonia did not grow again to be a world power but lost its power and strength after time. When becoming smaller and weaker, the Macedonian kingdom lost Illyria and Greece but also allied with them but afterwards all of Macedonia and the nearby lands of Illyria, Thrace, and Greece were taken over by the growing empire of the Romans.

The Macedonian faction
The Macedonian faction

The Macedonians/ Greeks- Culture type: completely Greek; Origins/ base: Macedonia, kingdom in Greece; System: Republican (sort of democracy) however more of monarchy ruling the Macedonian kingdom/ empire (350-140BC); Skills: military power and conquest, having a strong army and navy having elephants, hoplites, heavy warships; secondary skills are alliances, diplomacy, with trade and commerce.

Sample Soldier unit- Greek Hoplite, or special forces infantry; type of soldier, special forces of the ancient Greeks (pike-man or spear-man); a high-ranked soldier unit in the Macedonian Greek army; weapon choices of Greek spear, sword, dagger, and hoplite’s round shield; armor used includes Greek hoplite cuirass armor, hoplite helmet, and protection for arms and legs; in battle, the close-combat melee warrior.

Others: The official Macedonian Empire seal of the sun or Apollo, the Spartan Greek shield and helmet, and above the pattern of the Greek chain.

III. Egypt- The Ptolemaic Egyptian Empire, 300-30BC; “legacy, independence, power”

The new Egyptian Empire- Egypt was once a powerful kingdom way back in the ancient days, however destroyed by the Persian Empire, but restored after Macedonian conquest. Egypt under the short Macedonian Empire became a succession kingdom to Macedonia once the empire was divided in 3; the other 2, Macedonian and Seleucid Empire, Egypt was the 3rd becoming the Ptolemaic Empire, it grew even more powerful and progressive than Macedonia. This restored Egyptian empire had a mix of both Greek and ancient Egyptian cultures, but more of Greek as it came directly from Macedonia, but having great progress. The Egyptians having a strong army made of Greek battle styles and units but a stronger navy as it is located in the south-east of the Mediterranean, based in Alexandria. It was in full power with the navy and trade but later on, it ended up being defeated and fully taken over by Rome.

The Egyptian faction
The Egyptian faction

The Ptolemaic Egyptians- Culture type: Greek (formerly Egyptian but not existing); Origins/ base: Egypt, Macedonia; System: kingdom/ empire (300-30BC); Skills: Naval power with powerful navy, outstanding army of Greek skills, hoplites, skirmishers, elephants, cataphract cavalry; skills also include building, shipping, and trade.

Sample Soldier unit- Egyptian light infantry peltast; soldier type, skirmisher javelin men, or missile infantry, middle-ranked soldier; weapon choices of curved sword, skirmisher light shield, throwing javelins set; armor used include Egyptian light armor, skirmisher light helmet, and protection for arms and legs; in battle, a range fighter, missile throwing.

Others: The Ptolemaic Egypt empire’s official seal of the eagle and blue background, an Greek-Egyptian helmet, a light shield, above the traditional Egyptian pattern.

IV. Parthia- The Parthian Empire from the east, 200BC-200AD; “tolerance, justice, profit”

The Parthian/ Persian Empire- Parthia was once before a small province within the Persian Empire in the east then ruled by the Seleucid Empire, the other succession kingdom to Macedonia. Parthia then rose up and fought the Seleucid Empire for their independence and crushed the Seleucid Empire beginning to expand Parthian territory controlling a big part of the east (Parthia, Persia, Babylon, and Syria. Parthia grew to the leading power in the east by conquests and by their wealth and riches which they have a lot of. Was later, the rival of the world power Roman Empire that bordered it in terms of wealth and power, fought wars after each other with Rome, though Rome never conquered them or Parthia never conquered the Romans. Parthia though has eastern origins and traditions but has a mix of Greek and eastern cultures as they tolerated all cultures; they remained dominant in power and Rome never conquered them.

The Parthian faction
The Parthian faction

The Parthians- Culture type: Eastern; Origins/ base: Parthia, Persia; System: kingdom/ empire (200BC-200AD); Skills: military conquest and power, having different types of units like cataphract units, spear-men, cataphract cavalry, cavalry archers, camel cavalry; also known for gold and wealth, trade, farming, and hunting.

Sample Soldier Unit- Parthian Cataphract cavalry; soldier type, heavy armed cavalry (though seen without horse), both archer and special forces with multi-weaponry, a high-ranking special force cavalry soldier; weapon choices of Persian sword, rectangular shield, cavalry spear, with a bow and arrows too; armor used includes Parthian cataphract heavy armor with chain-mail, heavy helmet covering face, with cavalry soldier’s cape; in battle, the type that uses any battle style especially in cavalry, both close-combat, spearing, and archery

Others: The Parthian empire’s official seal of the Persian lion, a Persian sword and shield, and above the Persian ornate pattern

V. Carthage- The Carthaginian Republic, 500-140BC; “democracy, commerce, faith”

The Carthaginian Republic- Carthage is based in the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, where Tunisia is today, however Carthage’s origins are from Phoenicia; started out as a Phoenician-Greek colony but grew to power in the Mediterranean.Carthage, just like Rome was a republic not a monarchy, it grew by naval power and strength; it conquered lands around it in the Mediterranean, all over North Africa, Spain, and parts of Italy with their powerful navy but also by trade. Carthage took trade and business more seriously than war and especially their ships, though their empire expanded by shipping and military conquests using Greek army units and elephants. Soon became Rome’s imperial rival and fought the series of the Punic Wars with Rome, at the end was defeated and destroyed by the Romans. Known for commerce, trade, and battle strategies.

The Carthaginian faction
The Carthaginian faction

The Carthaginians- Culture type: Phoenician (Greek-like race); Origins/ base: Carthage, North Africa (originally from Phoenicia; System: Republic (Democracy), around 800Bc-146BC; Skills: navy, shipping, trade, businesses, and military conquest and strategies using elephants, hoplites, skirmishers in battle.

Sample Soldier unit- Carthaginian Hoplite (Legionnaire); soldier type, light infantry skirmisher, middle-ranking hybrid hoplites using skirmishing weapons instead of spear; weapon choices of curved sword, hoplite skirmisher light shield, and set of javelins; armor used is light leather protection armor, over chain-mail, skirmisher helmet, and arm and leg pads, with cape; in battle, a range fighter or skirmisher, uses throwing skills

Others: The official seal of the Carthaginian Republic (from Rome Total War II) using a Phoenician symbol, below a Carthaginian helmet, and above a pattern of waves representing the sea, what Carthage has and controls.

VI. Gaul- The Gallic Tribes Confederacy, ?800BC-50BC; “belief, dignity, power”

The Gaul Confederacy- Gaul was not one kingdom or empire but a set of tribes in the same area, modern day France ruled by different kings and warlord/ generals growing to a powerful confederacy of the tribes that advanced towards areas around it and attacked them. Gaul however is not a common barbaric state but a more advanced and powerful one with full Celtic origins but with traces of Greek and Roman origins too making them the most advances and sophisticated tribes of the part of Europe, they are actually just a little bit more backwards version of the early Romans and people in Italy. The Gauls are strong in battle and have armies with strategies but some times disorderly but having strong soldiers and weapons, with that they ended up having conquests and wars with Rome, Spain, going as far as Carthage, even to Greece by massive invasions; they have skills in crafting, farming, and cavalry rather than being savage tribes. The Gauls fought many wars with the Romans since 200BC and lost some land to them, Gaul was fully conquered by Roman general Julius Caesar and the Romans by 50BC, the Gauls remained and afterwards had a powerful alliance with Rome.

The Gallic faction
The Gallic faction

The Gauls- Culture Type: Barbarian (not completely with Greek and Roman traces); Origins/ base: Gaul (France), partly from Italy and Aegean Greece; System: Feudal, ruled by chieftains and warlords (?800-50BC); Skills: war and conquest, military strength and invasions, crafting, cavalry, farming, trade.

Sample Soldier unit- Gallic Warrior, heavy infantry; melee fighting warrior, high-ranking in Gallic troops; weapon choices of heavy great-sword, Gallic shield, sometimes uses battle-axe; armor used are Gallic helmet, chain-mail armor, and Gallic green tunic and cape; in battle, a close-combat melee soldier.

Others: The Gallic tribes seal of the red wild boar and green background, a barbarian axe and shield, above the Gaul green and red pattern.

VII. Britain- The British (Celtic) tribes Confederacy, ?800BC-50AD; “iron, conquest pride”

The Celtic Confederacy- Britain back in the time of the Romans, before being conquered was not one kingdom or empire but an island made of several barbarian warrior tribes. The Celtic or British tribes from Britannia are a confederation of tribes around the large island ruled by warlord chieftains and have a druid culture. The tribes, like the Iceni are brave, warlike, and strong warriors having an army of frenzied warriors and mostly infantry. As an iron age nation, the British Celts have strong skills in iron and crafting weaponry as well as survival and hunting skills. The British tribes later fought wars with Rome and until 40’s AD, they were conquered by the Romans under Emperor Claudius I, but remained British tribes but sometimes revolted against the Romans, soon the British Celts became Romanized.

The Briton faction
The Briton faction

The Britons- Culture type: Barbarian; Origins/base: the Island of Britain; System: Feudal, tribes ruled by warlords and chieftains; Skills: war, skirmishing and charging, iron smiting, crafting, hunting, warrior infantry with blue painted warriors and chariots, survival skills

Sample Soldier Unit- Celtic tribes warrior, heavy infantry melee and missile infantry (special forces); high-ranking warrior in British tribes; weapons used include javelins, Celtic patterned long-shield, barbarian short-sword, heavy battle-axe; armor used include chain-mail, Celtic sheets and fur (although not supposed to wear chain-mail or blue tunic but shirtless and just fur and sheets), Celtic warrior bronze helmet, blue cape, protections for arms and legs; in battle, a type for frenzied or shocked charging as it is high with blue war paint, melee fighting, and missile throwing infantry warrior.

Others: The Iceni British tribes official seal of a deer with blue background, Celtic war-axe with blue patterned shield and Celtic wool sheets, above a Celtic tribal pattern.

VIII. Germania- The German (Cherusci) tribes Confederacy, ?800BC-20AD“blood, nobility, courage” 

The Germanic tribes- These tribes from the dense woodlands of Germany, northeast of Gaul, the Cherusci in particular is a tribe part of many tribes found in Germany with similar languages and beliefs. The confederation of the barbarian German tribes are ruled by different warlords or war chiefs having fierce and warlike warriors, most skilled in ambush tactics. The German warriors are lightly armed only with few swords and axes with either round, hexagonal, or rectangular wooden shields and also barely armoured, some of them have chain-mail or sometimes just cloth or fur but they are masters in performing surprise attacks by throwing missiles or shooting arrows from above the trees or behind bushes, the warriors are also skilled in doing berserk charges against the enemy. The Germanic tribes live in thick forests beyond the Rhine river, east of Gaul, some have been easily conquered by the Romans in the many years of the German campaigns, sometimes it was impossible for the Romans to beat the Germans’ surprise attacks, and also some of the distant German tribes to the east have never been conquered by the Romans.

The Germanic faction
The Germanic faction

The Germanic tribes- Culture type: Barbarian; Origins/ base: the German woodlands; System: Feudal, tribes ruled by war chiefs; Skills: war, metalwork, hunting, ambush tactics (shock charge, skirmishing, berserk warriors)

Sample Soldier Unit- Germanic tribal berserk warrior (heavy infantry); melee berserk warrior, high ranking soldier in the tribal units; weapons used include berserkers’ war-axe, barbarian short sword, a dagger, and large wooden hexagonal shield; armour used includes animal skin (a bear) over a bronze helmet, chain mail shirt over red tunic, belts and and suspenders to carry weapons and shield, also German tribal pants and boots; in battle, a melee type warrior skilled in performing berserk shock charges at the enemy by striking with the axe first and close combat with the sword and shield.

Others: The Germanic Cherusci tribes official seal at the upper-right, in the lower-right the traditional Germanic tribes war0axes and a round shield, above a traditional Germanic tribal pattern.

This is all for now of my Rome Total War II inspired soldier sketches postcards, it was quite a history lesson of the others kingdoms and empires from the time of ancient Rome. Hope you’ve learned something after this long discussion though it may be interesting. Anyway, this another set of my military drawings postcards but this one had a bit more of description and detail of the ancient world, this is all for now, goodbye!