I would like to have your opinions on this. No book on sarmatians I've read mentions they wore some kind of armour to protect their legs (upper and lower legs). As they fought against the Romans, they must in my opinion have had complete leg protection.The reason for this is that the Romans were at the time of their fights against the Sarmatians almost entirely an infrantry-army.Fighting an infrantry-army as cavalry means that the most vulnerable part of your body are your legs, especially the lower legs.That's why I think the Sarmatians must have used some sort of leg armour. What do you think? Greetings
Great pics. In my opinion the second picture is very realistic.The figures on Trajan's column have scale armour down to the feet.Most authors say that in this case the Romans have exagerated.I don't think so because fighting the Romans means that their legs would have been very vulnerable, so I suspect the Sarmatians used additional leg armour.In contrary to fighting on the steppes against other cavalry in which case their upper body would have been the most vulnerable part(stabbing kontos at the height of the chest). They may have picked up the leg armour from the Meotian tribes they met.
Maeotian military must have been much the same as Scythian military.As they came more in contact with sedentary people they must have been better equiped and more heavily armed.The only picture I know of a Maeotian warrior can be found in the book on Scythians by Osprey(see pictures of steppe warriors page 1: Sindo-Meotic warrior). As the Massagetae were nascent Sarmatians, the Sarmatians in the beginning must have worn more body armour(legs, arms). During their travel on the steppes, they must have dropped this protection for arms and legs (not necessary when fighting against cavalry, because then arms and legs aren't vulnerable parts).When they met more sedentary opponents (western part of the steppe), they must again have picked up this protection. We may not forget that protection evolved and depended lergely on the forces which were the opponents. Greetings
Although the Maeotians as the Scythians certainly used the hit and run tactic (bows), a part of their forces must have relied more on fighting with the long spear. Military warfare which the Yuezhi, Kushans and later the Parthians fully developed by using the longer Kontos. Greetings
Post by H. Ihsan Erkoc on Jul 11, 2007 19:33:50 GMT 3
Indeed, that was also true during the Blue Turk (Gök Türk, Tūjué 突厥) period. Chinese and Islamic sources differentiate light cavalry made up of mounted archers with the heavy cavalry made up of lancers. The Turkic inscriptions do not make any distinction between cavalry units but when we examine them in detail, we see that armored warriors, such as the prince Köl Tigin, were expert at using lances.
Nomad, rider of the ancient east
Nomad, rider that men know the least
Nomad, where you come from no one knows
Nomad, where you go to no one tells
Maybe the grafitti on a Bosporan stelae (depicted in the Osprey book on Sarmatians) can be seen as another proof of Sarmatians at least wearing a form of leg protection.The grafitti depicts a cavalryman wearing unusually long armour which reaches to midcalf.The leg which is visible seems to emerge from the armour through a horizontal slit which is situated well above the underside of the armoured skirt. Although the author says that the depiction of the leg may well be an artistic interpretation, I do feel that it may well be a correct projection of the real armour.Why? Because an emerging leg through a split made in the side of an armoured skirt, skirt which itself reaches well below the split, does have a great advantage.The pressure namely, wich is generated by the inner side of the leg against the bottomside of the skirt, would hold the skirt nicely in place around the rider's leg and against the side of the horse. Maybe this is the reason why the Sarmatians made this peculiar adaption to the armour. On another grafitti (can also be seen in the Osprey book) we see a Sarmatian wearing a very peculiar Parthian or Sassanid helmet. A drawing of the same type of helmet can be seen in the Osprey book on Parthians and Sassanids.This means the Sarmatians would have had contacts with Parthians or Sassanids, so copying parts of those people's extra heavy armour surely belongs to the possibilities.