Meyer, Giganti, Graf, and the Strange Poor Soldiers


Freifechter Guild - Hellas

‘Mercenaries in the Tavern’, of Urs Graf. Two Greeks (Romioi) Stratioti are sitting in the same table with the German mercenaries the famous Landsknecht. ‘Mercenaries in the Tavern’, of Urs Graf. Two Greeks (Romioi) Stratioti are sitting in the same table with the German mercenaries the famous Landsknecht.

By George. E. Georgas, fencing coach, Pammachon Hellenic Martial Art Instructor, and Research Scholar for the Meyer Freifechter Guild.

I thank my student and member of the Academy of Historical European Martial Arts ‘Leontes’, Mr. Aggelos Pilidis for his translation from Greek to English language.

After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, many Greek warriors migrated to the West and organized the ‘Stratioti’ units, often also called ‘Strange Poor Soldiers’. Even though their existence is, sadly, mostly unknown in modern Greece, they were very famous in Europe, since not only did they resist and fight bravely against the mightiest military force of the time, the Ottomans, but they also fought against armies of the West, which not long after they served under. Consequently, many of them…

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