Roman Heavy Cavalry (2) - AD 500–1450
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
In the twilight of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th–6th centuries, the elite of the field armies was the heavy armoured cavalry – the cataphracts, clad in lamellar, scale, mail and padded fabric armour. After the fall of the West, the Greek-speaking Eastern or Byzantine Empire survived for nearly a thousand years, and cavalry remained predominant in its armies, with the heaviest armoured regiments continuing to provide the ultimate shock-force in battle.
Accounts from Muslim chroniclers show that the ironclad cataphract on his armoured horse was an awe-inspiring enemy: '...they advanced against you, iron-covered – one would have said that they advanced on horses which seemed to have no legs'. This new study, replete with stunning full-colour illustrations of the various units, offers an engaging insight into the fearsome heavy cavalry units that battled against the enemies of Rome's Eastern Empire.