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Osprey Men-at-Arms 247 : Romano-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th Century
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Osprey Men-at-Arms 247 : Romano-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th Century

The Byzantine Empire was, of course, merely the Eastern part of the old Roman Empire under a new name - the disappearance of the Western half in the 5th century generally being regarded as the moment of transition. Though deeply Christian, Byzantium was very militarised and as cruel as any of its foes, with religious strife being almost as common as religious debate. The Sassanian invasions of the early 7th century were also very destructive. For a generation Byzantium lost Egypt, Syria and eastern Anatolia. Most cities were destroyed, the overall population of what is now Turkey declining for another five hundred years until the Turkish conquest led to a revival. Although the Byzantine Empire was a continuation of the Roman Empire and faced similar military problems, its solutions were very different. In North Africa, for example, Rome's large army concentrated on securing main roads and urban centres. Byzantium's smaller army built more fortifications and took a defensive stance. The most striking characteristic of later Byzantine military thinking was, however, the theme or provincial army system, which owed nothing to ancient Roman tradition. David Nicolle examines the history of Romano-Byzantine armies from 4th-9th centuries accompanied by eight full colour plates by Angus McBride, and many other illustrations.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Collapse and Survivial
  • Justinian and his Successors
  • Triumph and Disaster
  • Revival and Counterattack
  • Allies and Neighbours
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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