Continued from Part 2
Mongol cataphract, 13th century.
By Periklis Deligiannis
Περικλής Δεληγιάννης – Ιστορικές Αναδιφήσεις®
[This is a republication from the “People of the British Isles” project of the University of Oxford. You can read this paper in conjunction with my paper AFTER ARTHUR: a synoptic study on the fate of the native Briton population after the Anglo-Saxon invasion and prevalence ]
The Byzantines used to call generally “Franks“, “Celts”, “Latins” etc, various Western European peoples that they encountered at first in Italy and then in the Balkan Peninsula. Finally they encountered them as Crusaders in the walls of Constantinople in 1204, losing this decisive battle. But in 1261, the Byzantines managed to reclaim their capital.
At first the Byzantine Empire confronted in Italy the Franks (the “genuine” Franks of Gaul and Germany) and the Longobards (known later as Lombards), especially during the 6th-8th centuries AD. The fighting tactics and strategy of these Germanic peoples, which could not be compared with the ‘scientificity’ of the Byzantine/East Roman tactics, were characterized largely by the vehemence and fighting spirit of their barbarian ancestors, but also by the lack of efficient organization.