Continued from Part 2

Mongol 3

Mongol cataphract, 13th century.

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By Periklis  Deligiannis

Sassanid cataphract

A Sassanid cataphract, 4th-5th centuries AD (credit: V. Vuksic and Z. Grbasic)

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Byzantine Klibanaphoroi cataphracts, 10th  cent.,  in an artwork by Krsto Vukoje (credit).

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Norman

The Norman, Frankish and Franko-German  heavy cavalry of the 11th-13th centuries were among the ‘descendants’ of the earlier cataphracts.

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Cuman

A Turkic Kipchaq (Cuman) heavy cavalryman, 12th cent (credit: V. Vuksic and Z. Grbasic). Actually the horses of many of these cavalrymen were armoured and in this case they are classified as cataphracts. The Russians adopted the cataphract cavalry from the Cumans (see below) and they did not differ significantly from them.

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Mongol 2

Mongol cataphract, 13th century.

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Russian cataphractsRussian cataphracts of the late 14th century, by Angus McBride (credit Angus McBride/Osprey Publishing).

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22A Mamluk cataphract, 16th c. The Mamluk, Ottoman, Persian, Central Asian and other Moslem cataphracts of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era were among the descendants of the earlier Sassanid and Turkic cataphracts (Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Port Doha, Qatar.).

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knight

The European Knight of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance is probably the most famous descendant in the Western World, of the late ancient/early medieval European cataphract. Thereby, the occasional comparisons between “the Cataphract and the Knight” which we randomly find in various texts seem to be invalid and make no sense.

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The well-known Samurai “knights” are also descendants of the earlier cataphracts of the nearby Continental regions, mainly of the cataphracts of Korea, China and Mongolia.

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VietnameseA Viet Cataphract of the Trần Dynasty. The Vietnamese adopted the cataphract cavalry from the Chinese and the Mongols.

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NigeriaAnd finally, possibly the last ‘survivor’ of the ancient/medieval Cataphract in the Modern Era: a Bornu cataphract from North Nigeria of the late 19th century. The climate of this region allows the use mainly of fabric for the armour of the rider and the horse.

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Periklis Deligiannis

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