Osprey Warrior 15 : Late Roman Cavalryman 236-565 AD
The twilight of the Roman Empire saw a revolution in the way war was waged. The drilled infantryman, who had been the mainstay of Mediterranean armies since the days of the Greek hoplite, was gradually replaced by the mounted warrior. This change did not take place overnight, and in the 3rd and 4th centuries the role of the cavalryman was primarily to support the infantry. However, by the time of Justinian's reconquest of the west, in the 6th century, the situation had been completely reversed, and it was the infantryman who found himself in the supporting role. Late Roman Cavalryman 236-565AD gives a full account of the changing experience of the mounted soldiers who defended Rome's withering western empire. Conditions of service, equipment, the experience of battle and life on campaign are all given separate and careful treatment. Evidence from Roman military treatises such as the Strategikon and Arrian's Tactica is used to aid the author in his quest to pursue the changing tactical role and organisation of the late Roman cavalry. The different types of mounted unit are examined, including more specialised troops such as the heavily armoured cataphractarii or shock troops and the increasingly important mounted archers from the east. The tactical role and battle formations of the cavalry are also discussed as well as a comprehensive account of the military evolution of the Roman horseman. This is combined with an account of the more personal aspects of the individual soldier's life to give a fully-rounded and researched view of the Roman cavalryman in the 3rd to 6th centuries. Text by Simon MacDowall with illustrations by Christa Hook.
- Historical Background
- Conditions of Service
- The Experience of Battle
- The Soldier on Campaign