Imperial Byzantine diplomatic bodygards (Boukellarioi) – the might of the Empire in enemy lands.

Imperial Byzantine diplomatic bodygards (Boukellarioi) – the might of the Empire in enemy lands.

By Alexander Koev (M.A.), member of the Academy of Historical European Martia Arts “Leontes”

I dedicate my article as a Christmas gift for Leontes Academy.

1. Introduction

Byzantine Empire had to conduct an active foreign policy. It included sending diplomatic representatives to foreign lands, which already implied escorting them with most trained bodyguards in order to reach safely the location where diplomatic negotiations should take place. (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 21-28)
Byzantium existed in highly violent and aggressive world. The travel was dangerous and it may end up lethally. Also, it was the right of the mighty and no compromisses could be reached easily. Thus, a mighty Byzantine warrior could prove a warlord or enemy king in a contest with his/her knight that Byzantium should be feared of and respect is necessary. (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 21-28)
As a result, one can see from the aforementioned that Byzantium invested in knoweledge and learning both mental and physical. Byzantium was an amalgam of Greco-Roman culture and to follow the principles already placed by Ancient Greeks, spread by Alexander the Great, firmed by the Hellenic States, continued by the Romans and passed to Byzantium for protection was of great imprortance for the Empire. (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 21-28)

2. What is Byzantium?

Byzantium, generally speaking, is the remainder of the Roman Empire’s provinces in the East. It can trace its history to 330 AD – the founding of Constantinople by Constantine the Great as the capital of the Roman Empire. Then, division of the Roman Empire to West and East in 395 AD. This established a new power in Europe for the next 1000 years and Byzantium ended in 1453 AD by the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. It was a center of culture in Europe and its turbulent history was marked by constant warfare where Byzantium managed to survived for a thousand years. Although Roman at the begining, the Greeks were the leading force of the Empire and Latin language was replaced by Greek. Its religion was Christianty and after the Great Schism in 1054 AD when Christianity split to Roman Catholic in the West and Orthodoxy in the East – Orthodox Christianity was the main faith of the Empire. However, Byzantium became very weakened after the Fourth Crusade took Constantinople in 1204 AD, which led to the fall of Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans. Its culture and heritage survive today by taking into account the Orthodox religion in various countries. (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 21-28)

3. Display of Power

I would like to quote here an interesting article by Iver Neumann: “The diplomatic set-piece of having barbarians standing around the throne wearing their native gear (axes at the right shoulders for Vikings) and holding rods and swords belongs to domain of staging not covered by Longinus. But the effect striven for, usually successfully, was indeed a knock-out effect.” (Neumann: Sublime Dimpomacy, p. 6) Thus, Byzantium employed mercenaries and most probably Viking (so called the Varangian guard), who fought for Byzantium and protected its interests. This display of might was key to survival. Here, I would like to refer to the following quote in order to demonstrate further the use of bodyguards in Byzantium: “In addition to guards entrusted with the defense of the palace (Hetaireia), there were small units designed to protect the person of the emperor; when the Emperor traveled, the palatine somatophylakes guarded him.” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p.299) I would like to mention that it is important to know that these guards are often mercenaries from foreign lands as well as Byzantines. In order to supoort this claim, I would like to quote the following: “Bodyguards were often recruited from foreigners in West and East. Protection of the emperor was also assigned to some courtiers.” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p.299)
It is important to know that Byzantium’s guards might be placed not only to the Emperor, but his agents, especially generals (military) and ambassadors (diplomatic). Here, I will quote the following moments: “High ranking military officers and influential private individuals might also have bodyguards (sometimes called Boukellarioi).” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p.299) I strongly refer and argue that Byzantium assigned bodyguards to its agents, because interpreters and translators worked for the high ranking officials. Here, I quote, the following: “Ambassadors, who also collected intelligence, were assisted by a corps of interpreters” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p. 634-635). All this is logical as nowadays, it is normal for us to see vip persons using security for protection.
Skillful Byzantine warriors could take part in a knight tournament and prove Roman Catholic powers, for example, that Byzantium is strong and it is a true power. As a result, Byzantine guards should have been great fencers and skillful in armed and unarmed combat. As a proof that Byzantine knights were engaged at tournaments, I would like to point attention to Emperor Manuel Comnenus himself: “The Greek emperor, Manuel Comnenus, fought in person at the tournament held at Antioch, and by a single thrust of his lance unhorsed two French knights, whom he threw to the ground one upon the other.” (Deeping: Evening Entertainments, p. 321). Byzantine discipline and training was of greatest quality. Example of Byzantine power would have be a good victory in a tournament, which would give a bonus in diplomatic negotiations.
I would like to make clear who took decisions on foreign policy. The foreign policy was set by the Emperor or the Magister Officiorum (later Mesazon). (Oxford Encyclopedia, p. 634-635) Thus, foreign policy was the art of the intelligence agents of Byzantium. In order to avoid war – gifts, bribes, disinformation, assasinations could be freely used as nowadays (Sun Tzu: Art of War, Ch. XIII. THE USE OF SPIES). Of course, skillful people who are versed in combat were used to protect and argue in favor of Byzantine interests. Byzantium could do all this, because it was an Economic Powerhouse with adaptable economy. (Angeliki Laiolu: The Economic History of Byzantium, 73 page). As a result, employment of extra protection could never be a problem for Byzantium, if in rare cases unskilled Emperor was in charge. Byzantium had turbulent history and it even has continuation today in the face of Patriarchate of Constantinople. Although, of course, Byzantium was destroyed in 1453 AD. However, even when Constantinople fell, there were remnant territories, which had longer survival time as in case with Trabzon. Thus, Byzantium fascinates how it existed for more than 1000 years.
I periodically write these small articles for Leontes Academy and I mentioned a manuscript – Die Blume des Kampfes (“The Flower of Battle”), ca. 1428 A.D. in my previous article. It is attributed to the Italian master Fiore de’l Liberi. Thus, I would like to point out that many styles of armed combat were similar in European countries and a culture of physical training was very prominent in Medieval Europe. Many techniques can be discovered and reworked to fit Byzantine style, flavor and weapons nowadays. As a reuslt, Byzantine guardsmen used similar techniques described in Old manuscripts of Italian fencing masters.

4. Conclusion

In order to summarize the aforementioned, I would like to point out the main conclusions, which this article makes. Firstly, Byzantine guardsmen or bodyguards existed and were active in Byzantine foreign policy. Secondly, the Mesazon most probably indirectly assigned these guardsmen and they were ancient intelligence agents of Byzantium. Thirdly, they were highly trained locals or foreigners. And fourthly, old Italian manuscripts may hold a key to rediscovery of ancient Byzantine fencing techniques. In conclusion, this article provides a new window to further studies of Byzantine armed and unarmed combat techniques used by Byzantine most skillful knights.

5. Literature

Deeping, J.B.: Evening Entertainments. London: 1822.
de’l Liberi, F.: Die Blume des Kampfes (“The Flower of Battle”). Italy: ca. 1428.
Haldon, J.: Byzantium At War. Ospfey Publishing Ltd., Oxford, England.
Laiou, A. E.: The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh Through the Fifteenth Century. Volume 1. Dumbarton Oaks, 2008.
Neumann, I.: Sublime Dimpomacy: Byzantine, Early Modern, Contemporary. Antwerp, 2005.
Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Ed.: Alice-Mary Talbot. 3 Vol.. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991
Sun Tzu: The Art of War. Translated by L.Giles. London: Luzac, 1910.


Οι πολεμίστριες του τακτικού Βυζαντινού στρατού

Του Γεώργιου Ε. Γεωργά, προπονητή ξιφασκίας και εκπαιδευτή Παμμάχου και ιστορικής ξιφασκίας

Τα τελευταία χρόνια έχει επικρατήσει η λανθασμένη ιδέα ότι οι γυναίκες στα Βυζαντινά χρόνια δεν είχαν δικαιώματα και ζούσαν σε μια σκληρή ανδροκρατούμενη κοινωνία. Αυτό είναι εντελώς λάθος αφού η Βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία ήταν το μοναδικό μεσαιωνικό κράτος όπου κυβερνιόνταν από αυτοκράτειρες. Ενώ ήταν ένα Θεοκεντρικό (και όχι Θεοκρατικό ) κράτος που η γυναίκα είχε ιδιαίτερη θέση αν σκεφτούμε την Παναγία ως Υπερμαχώ Στρατηγό.

Νέες έρευνες μάλιστα έφεραν στο φως και άλλα στοιχεία όπου οι γυναίκες είχαν ενεργό ρόλο σε ένα πεδίο που για αιώνες θεωρούνταν αμιγώς αντρικό θέμα. Τον πόλεμο.

Βυζαντινή τοξότρια του 12ου με τουρμπάνι και καβαδιο

Στα περίφημα στρατηγικά εγχειρίδια των Βυζαντινών αυτοκρατόρων μας αναφέρουν μια συγκεκριμένη στρατιωτική ομάδα η οποία είχε ένα πολύ σημαντικό ρόλο στο στρατό. Αυτοί οι ειδικά εκπαιδευμένοι άνθρωποι είχαν τον ρόλο να διεισδύουν πίσω από τις γραμμές του εχθρού, να χαρτογραφούν, να κατασκοπεύουν και να μαζεύουν πληροφορίες από τον εχθρό και να τις μεταφέρουν με ασφάλεια στους ανώτατους αξιωματικούς τας αυτοκρατορίας (θα δούμε παρακάτω για αυτό). Παράλληλα κατά τα τακτικά εγχειρίδια πάντα, έπρεπε να είναι εκπαιδευμένοι και στη χρήση των όπλων αν έπρεπε να πολέμησαν για την ζωή τους. Οι Βυζαντινοί τους ονόμαζαν εξπλοράτορες. Η έκπληξη έρχεται από τον Θεοφάνη όπου αναφέρει ότι υπήρχαν και γυναίκες εξπλοράτορες. Εδώ θα πρέπει να υπογραμμίσουμε ότι η δουλειά του εξπλοράτορα ήταν υπερβολικά δύσκολη, αφού έπρεπε να διεισδύσει σε περιοχές πιθανός αχαρτογράφητες, να ξέρει τα ήθη και τα έθιμα καθώς και τη γλώσσα του λαού που είχε διαταχθεί να κατασκοπεύσει, παράλληλα έπρεπε να είναι γνώστης κάποιας πολεμικής μεθόδου για να προστατευτεί αν χρειαστεί, να γνωρίζει ιππασία, κολύμβηση αναρρίχηση καθώς και προσανατολισμό και αν τυχών αιχμαλωτιστεί να μην προδώσει την αυτοκρατορία. Δηλαδή να είναι έτοιμος να πεθάνει. Συνεπώς μιλάμε για ένα καλά εκπαιδευμένο στρατιώτη – κατάσκοπο- ανιχνευτή. Και αυτό το ρόλο τον είχαν συχνά και γυναίκες τη περίοδο του μεσαίωνα.

Βυζαντινή αξιωματικός. Ο βαθμός της φένινταν από το λευκό πέπλο στο κεφάλι της.
Βυζαντινή αξιωματικός. Ο βαθμός της φένινταν από το λευκό πέπλο στο κεφάλι της.

Αν πάμε τώρα στη Θεσσαλονίκη του 12ου αιώνα ο Ευστάθιος Θεσσαλονίκης μας δίνει μια πολύ σημαντική πληροφορία. Στο έργο του «Ιστορικόν της Αλώσεως της Θεσσαλονίκης υπό των Νορμανδών» στο οποίο έζησε τα φριχτά αυτά γεγονότα, αναφέρει ότι τη περίοδο αυτή ο διοικητής της Θεσσαλονίκης ο Δαυίδ Κομνηνός, στρατολόγησε ακόμα και τις γυναίκες για να πολεμήσουν ενάντια στους πολυάριθμους Νορμανδούς που αριθμούσαν γύρο στους 80.000 πολεμιστές. Οι γυναίκες έλαβαν την βασική στρατιωτική εκπαίδευση και είχαν το ρόλο να προστατεύουν τα τείχη της πόλης. Οι πιο πολλές ήταν τοξότες και σφαιντονίτες (ψιλοί) ή εκτόξευαν πέτρες από τις επάλξεις στους Νορμανδούς. Επειδή η επίθεση των Νορμανδών βρήκε τους Έλληνες του μεσαίωνα απροετοίμαστους, οι στρατολογημένες γυναίκες, που πολλές από αυτές έλαβαν τα όπλα εθελοντικά, έφτιαξαν και τον προστατευτικό εξοπλισμό μόνες τους. Κατασκεύασαν βαμβακερά τουρμπάνια επενδυμένα με μετάξι καθώς και καβάδια από χοντρό βαμβάκι ίδια με των στρατιωτών της αυτοκρατορίας. Η Θεσσαλονίκη μπορεί να αλώθηκε από τους Νορμανδούς, ωστόσο η γενναιότητα των υπερασπιστών ήταν αξιέπαινη τόσο των Γραικών όσο και των ξένων συμμάχων (εκτός των Γερμανών που στο τέλος πρόδωσαν την αυτοκρατορία και άνοιξαν τις πύλες στους Νορμανδούς) που πολέμησαν ενάντια στον εχθρό.

Εφόσον υπήρχαν γυναίκες κατάσκοποι, εξπλοράτορες και μερικές φορές πολεμίστριες σε μια κοινωνία όπου οι γυναίκες είχαν τους δικούς τους χώρους, υπήρχαν και αξιωματικοί οι οποίες ήταν γυναίκες. Αυτές επόπτευαν και διαβίβαζαν διαταγές στους κατώτερους ή ανάφεραν στους ανώτερους. Φορούσαν τα καθημερινά ενδύματα ωστόσο ο βαθμός ήταν διακριτός από ένα λευκό πέπλο που φορούσαν στο κεφάλι τους.

Όπως βλέπουμε η Ρωμαϊκή αυτοκρατορία του μεσαίωνα, ο μεσαιωνικός Ελληνισμός, είναι γεμάτος έκπληξης. Η έρευνα συνεχίζεται.

Ευχαριστώ τον κ. Νίκολας Πέτρου ιστορικό για τις πληροφορίες που έφερε στο φως με την ερεύνα του.



  • ‘Ιστορικόν της Αλώσεως της Θεσσαλονίκης υπό των Νορμανδών’ του Ευστάθιου Θεσσαλονίκης
  • ‘Χρονογραφία’,του Θεοφάνη του Ομολογιτή
  • ‘Η Ιστορία των Σταυροφοριών’, του Στήβεν Ρανσιμάν
  • ‘Τακτικά’, του Λέοντος του Σοφού

Byzantine Infantry Mentality, Training and Equipment: A Brief Review

Byzantine Infantry Mentality, Training and Equipment: A Brief Review

Image: Digenis Acritas art of Dimitrios Skourtelis academic member of the Academy of Historical European Martila Arts ‘Leontes’

By Alexander Koev (MA) academic member of the Academy of Historical European Martila Arts ‘Leontes’

  1. Introduction.

I am writing this article with great pleasure for the Leontes Academy [Hellenic Academy of Historical European Martial Arts ‘Leontes’] on the topic of Byzantine Swordsmanship. I will try to analyze and describe possible combat and military preparation techniques that were used in the Byzantine army training. As well I will discuss battle mentality and equipment. My article may seem descriptive, but it tries to unravel forgotten or unnoticed facts. I would like, firstly, to quote although unrelated, but interesting Far Eastern sourse: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.” (Sun Tzu: Art of War, par. 31, Ch. Terrain)

Byzantine Empire was the part of the Roman Empire, which survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D. Byzantium was the keeper of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman culture and traditions. It continued to exist in the East up to 1453 A.D. There, Latin languge was replaced by the Greek and its main religion was Orthodoxy in contrast to the Roman Empire where many cults existed, for example, the one of Mithras in the late timeperiod of the Empire. Here, I will quote books also from Roman history in order to reestablish a possible hand-to-hand combat experience, which I try to reconstruct for Leontes Academy.

Image 1: Byzantine Weapons and Armor, Hosias Loukas, Greece, 11 century.
  1. What made Byzantines so Unique in Battle Readiness?

I would like to quote the following words written by Julius Caesar related to military maneuvers: “On the seventh day, as he did not discontinue his march […]” (Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars, Book 1, Chapter 41,). These words describe the following: seven days Caesar’s Legions marched without a rest. I may even speak more boldly by suggesting that his soldiers did not sleep for six days. As a result, this shows how military discipline and training are important. One must adopt a new way of life in order to be able to live as a warrior. Here, the old Latin saying is good to mention: “Labor et patientia omnia vincunt” [Work and patience conquer all]. Additionally, Byzantine discipline was unriviled by most of their enemies: “The Byzantine army, at least as represented in the narrative histories and in the military treatises, prided itself on its order and discipline.” (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 63)

Byzantine Empire as mentioned above was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East and in order to survive up to 1453 A.D. its soldiers had to have, firstly, elite discipline and training. I would like to mention here some information from the book of Leo the Wise [886–912] – Byzantine Emperor: “[…] swords sharpened and brightly shining, regular shields as well as the larger ones called thyreoi, other small shields, formerly called peltasts, for the foot soldiers, other shields of iron, round and well polished […]” (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 74). These is some of the equipment that was used by the Byzantines and which Leontes Academy may adopt for training. The Emperor Leo VI continues: “A weapon is appropriate and serviceable if it matches the strength of the person who is to wield it.” (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 74) Moreover, “Daggers. [and] Large, single-bladed swords.” were used (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 74).

Now, Emperor Leo VI mentions what armor should be used:

“Body armor down to the ankles that can be caught up with straps and rings, as well as leather carrying cases for them. If possible, the armor should be made completely of chain mail, but if not, some of it may be of horn or dry cowhide. Surcoats over the armor. Breastplates of iron or of some other material […].” (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 74)

The Emperor continues about headwear and additional armor: “Full helmets, foot coverings, and gauntlets of iron or some other material. (Taktika of Leo VI: pp. 74-77) One should also say a particular word about the battle readiness: “Devote particular attention to the weapons needed in battle. Make sure that they are always maintained polished and sharpened, so as to terrify the enemy.” (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 79)

Byzantine Warrior had to provoke fear in his enemies. Thus, some elements of fighting, which may have remained unnoticed will be discussed in my work.

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium provides description of Byzantine Armor: Thorax (Body Armor) for cavalry men was produced of chainmail or lamellar, combining small plates with leather backing; these protection is called zabai, lorikia or klibania (Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium: Armor, p.182). Byzantine military paid significant attention to the cavalry. Thus, I also mention their battle armor. However, Infantrymen had more simple armor – knee lenght quilted coats – kabadia from felt or linen (Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium: Armor, p.182). Byzantines wore gauntlets called manikia, helmets called kranea or kassidia, which were made from iron – segmented or cast whole, usually with flaps of chain mail or felt in order to protect the face and neck (Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium: Armor, p.183). Shields – oval, rectangular and kiteshaped were made from wood and covered with iron or leather, ranging from 1,4 m to 80cm in diameter (Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium: Armor, p.183).

Image 2:Byzantine Weapons and Armor, Byzantine Warrior,Reims Cathedral, France.
Image 2:Byzantine Weapons and Armor, Byzantine Warrior,Reims Cathedral, France.

Additionally, I would like to add the following, which pertains to battle mentality and leads us to what I said in the beginning concerning the warrior’s way of life: “We order you, above all and with all, to have the fear of God, a sharp mind, and serious intent in every time, place, and affair, as well as to be ready for every eventuality.” (Taktika of Leo VI: p. 79). Moreover, battle mentality is characterized by the belonging to the Orthodox faith: “Many men who had completed their service in the army […] entered a monastery.” (Haldon: Byzantium At War, p. 62). Courage was above all important in order to decrease casualties: “Of the Romans only eighty were killed, and these were the men who stood in the ranks where they had to withstand the first shock of the Frankish charge.” (Holmes: The Age of Justinian and Theodora, p. 665). One has to say in relation to training and education the following: the adaptability of the Byzantines in their economical, i.e. all other practical matters as well. (73 page, The Economic History of Byzantium: Angeliki Laiolu). Thus, Byzantines had self educational way of adaptability leading to adopt new practical ways in order to cope with a given situation.

Byzantine hand-to-hand combat techniques can be searched in Old Russian or more precisely Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavonic manuscripts, because “Интерес к военной культуре Византии проявляли киевские князья, а затем русские военные теоретики вплоть до начала XVIII в., когда все основные военнотеоретические работы византийцев были переведены на русский язык. [Interest in the military culture of Byzantium was shown by the Kiev princes, and by the Russian military theorists until the beginning of the 18th century, when they translated all main military theoretical works of the Byzantines into Russian language.]” (Разин: История военного искусства [History of Military Art], Vol. 2, p. 249).Thus, Military treatises of the Byzantine could have been copied by others as mentioned above about the Kievan Rus.

One can observe that hand-to-hand battle with swords could not last long time, i.e. forever. One opponent is struck down at the end. Only careful training or luck helps be victorious. I would like to quote the following: “Единоборству друг против друга с использованием щитов и палок […]” i.e. [Fencing hand to hand against each other through use of shields and sticks] (Кучма: Стратегикон Маврикия [Strategikon of Maurice], p. 204). One can make a conclusion from the aforementioned that Byzantines could adapt to battle conditions through knowledge and practical necessity. Byzantines had to understand the limits of one’s strenght and victory or defeat in hand to hand battle. Here, I would like to give to paragraphs from Julius Caesar’s Book showing importans of fast reactions, short time to combat and battle shouts to inspire fear in the enemy:

“Varenus rushes on briskly with his sword and carries on the combat hand to hand, and having slain one man, for a short time drove back the rest: while he urges on too eagerly, slipping into a hollow, he fell. To him, in his turn, when

surrounded, Pulfio brings relief; and both having slain a great number, retreat into the fortifications amid the highest applause. Fortune so dealt with both in this rivalry and conflict, that the one competitor was a succor and a safeguard to the other, nor could it be determined which of the two appeared worthy of being preferred to the other.” (Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars, Ch. 44, Book 5) [and]


“The shouts which were raised by the combatants in their rear […]” (Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars, Ch. 84, Book 7).

And summarizing the battle shouts, I would like to give the following words that serve as a proof that they existed: “Что касается боевого клича, который иногда по обыкновению издается во время сражения, именно клича «С нами Бог!» [Concerning the Battle Cry, which is heard sometimes in battle, namely, – God with Us]” (Кучма: Стратегикон Маврикия [Strategikon of Maurice], p. 97).

Byzantines also practiced combat training trough such activity as hunting: “В мирное же время охота для стратиотов необходима. [In peaceful time, hunting for Stratiotes is necessary]” (Кучма: Стратегикон Маврикия [Strategikon of Maurice], p. 83). Physical training and Intelligence played a role for the preparation of hand-to-hand combat: “людей трезвомыслящих, бдительных, быстрых и хорошо выглядящих [people with clear thought, careful, fast and well built” (Кучма: Стратегикон Маврикия [Strategikon of Maurice], p. 94). On the training, one can say the following: “Ведь полная победа заключается не в том, чтобы слегка отбросить врага и на этом остановиться, но и поражения не произойдет, если немного отойти, а затем снова повернуть назад. И поскольку итог военного противоборства знаменуется этими обоими показателями, необходимо сражаться так, чтобы познать их до конца. [After all, a complete victory is not to push the enemy slightly and stop at this, but there will be no defeat if you move away a little, and then turn back again. And since the outcome of the military confrontation is marked by these two indicators, it is necessary to fight so that they can be fully understood.]” (Кучма: Стратегикон Маврикия [Strategikon of Maurice], p. 111). As a result, these are some of the important elements, which could teach Byzantine soldiers in training.


  1. Conclusion.


All these facts from pre-Byzantine and Byzantine history stress how military discipline, philosophy, training, equipment and mentality play a role. In conclusion, Byzantine commanders most probably hid many details about the training, but these secrets were most probably stolen or taken and written in Byzantine enemies’ or admirers’ texts and some may lie in monasteries or safe heavens, which remain hidden. Archeology may help uncover more facts. However, the practical and living continuation preserved this valuable knowledge, which exists up to this day and this knowledge is recreated, for example, at Leontes Academy. Here, I would like to give as an Appendix some images of Byzantine armor and warriors. Summarizing the aforementioned, one can conclude that Byzantines believed in self-development through personal experience and observation, while guided by strict discipline, motivation and order. Byzantine warrior had to self learn through self imposed way of life of adaptable training in relation to his enemy by understanding the oppossite side and using its weakneses and his strenghts.


  1. Bybliography.

Haldon, J.: Byzantium At War. Ospfey Publishing Ltd., Oxford, England.

Holmes, W. G.: The Age of Justinian and Theodora. London: Gorge Bell and Sons 1907.

Julius Caesar. The Gallic Wars. Translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn, 1994‐2000, Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.

Laiou, A. E.: The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh Through the Fifteenth Century. Volume 1. Dumbarton Oaks, 2008.

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Ed.: Alice-Mary Talbot. 3 Vol.. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991

Sun Tzu: The Art of War. Translated by L.Giles. London: Luzac, 1910.

Taktika of Leo VI. Ed.: John Duffy. Dumbarton Oaks Washingtoniae, D.C.: MMX.

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