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Roxolani and Iaziges
#16
Quote:The Iaz were NOT Sarmatians. And they did NOT have cataphracts, and therefore did not use a contus. This "legend" has filtered though so many quasi-historical books that it has somehow been accepted as fact. For good info on who the Iaz were, read Janos Harmatta's book on the Sarmatians and their language. The Roxolani WERE Sarmatians, being the lead group of Alanic society that followed the Iaz into Pannonia.

Hi,

As far as I know Hungarian academists have a common agreement that the iaziges were sarmatians. I have just read a compilation of studies published by the Erkel Ferenc Museum of Gyula and the Móra Ferenc Museum of Szeged in 1998 called Jazigok, Roxolán, Alánok - Szarmaták az Alföldön (Iaziges, Roxolans, Alans - Sarmatians on the Great Plain) and it is explicitly stated that the the Iaziges, Roxolans and Alans were all Sarmatians.
In addition I ran a quick google search about János Harmatta's publications and found this:
http://www.kroraina.com/sarm/jh/index.html

I didn't have the time to read the full text just gave it a quick look, but i found no trace of Harmatta saying that Iaziges were not sarmatians.

I'm confused (not about the use of contus but about the statement that iaziges were not sarmatians) :???:
Valete,

József Janák
Miles Gregarius
Legio I Adiutrix
Pannoniciani Seniores
Brigetio, Pannonia
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#17
Back to you both,

Perevalov seems to have a good handle on it. Actually, the first author (in the English language) to note that the Roxolani were Sarmatians... and that the Iaz were something else... was Simonenko. Harmatta doesn't actually say the Iaz were "not" Sarmatians; he just mentions the big difference.

The first recorded mention of the contus comes from Tacitus, who puts it in Roxolani hands... along with the long (Chinese influenced) sword. Harmatta goes into detail on Iaz graves in Pannonia, being flat, containing short swords. He then mentions the Roxolani arriving next, following the Iaz and settling in Pannonia. Roxolani graves were barrows and contained long swords. We can see that the Iaz were culturally related to the Western group-- the Scythians. And we see that the Roxolani were the first Alans-Sarmatians to enter Europe, a tribe which was culturally related to the Eastern group, the Saka-Massagetae. Even Ammanianus confirms this. Also, the Iaz and related tribes, like the Testosages, had slaves. The Roxolani-- "the shining Alans"-- did not have slaves, and all Alans/Wusun/Sarmatians/Saka/Massagetae were free men and women.

The contus was developed far to the east, as was the long 40-41 inch sword. It's certainly probable that Tomyris used cataphract tactics when she defeated Cyrus the Great. The contus, heavy armor, and "barbarian clothing," were all adopted by the Chinese by the late Spring and Autumn Period... in other words, the very early Warring States Period. The Wusun cavalry was used by Emperor Wudi, who also traded noble Chinese women, including princesses, for Wusun horses... which he then called "Heavenly Horses." They came from the earliest recorded Alanic homeland, the River Ili Valley, just below the Tien Shan... the "Heavenly Mountains."

This eastern group-- the Wusun, Alans, Roxolani, Massagetae, Saka-- shows up in the west with all things "Sarmatian." There are misconceptions on the role the Iaz played in history; and the idea that they were Sarmatians, rather than the Sauromatae they actually were, persists in the writings of so-called knowledgeable writers until this present time. But Sima Quan and Tacitus knew one from the other, and Simonenko and Harmatta defined the difference in the 20th century. In the cited link to Harmatta's book, please refer to the subchapter "The Disappearance of the Roxolani," para. 184 to 189. Harmatta used the phrases Sarmatian and Sarmatae indescriminately BUT he did get the archaeological significance correct, including the mentioning the LONGSWORDS "which the Iazyges had never before seen."

I'm a Roxolanus by penchant, and have studied the eastern group for more than a decade. They were in no fashion related to the Iaz. :whistle:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#18
Alanus wrote:
Quote:I'm a Roxolanus by penchant, and have studied the eastern group for more than a decade. They were in no fashion related to the Iaz.
Which brings me to my next question as I see you have a passion for archery.
Were horse archers still an important component of Roxolani warfare or were they all "contus bearers". Just an extra thought! I often feel that Sarmatians and Iazyges being herders, the use of the lasso as a weapon is underrated. See link below
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hunnen.jpg
Huns in battle with the Alans, 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805–1880).
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#19
Back to you, Michael

The Roxolani and all Alans/Massagetae/Saka (as far as I know) rode with both heavy and light cavalry. Archers were important in 2 situations.

1) For "softening" the enemy up at the beginning of a battle. Typical, too, of the Mongols.
2) For quick raids, in and out, upon an enemy encampment.

Interesting are the Rox tactics mentioned in the post above-- Tacitus (the earlier writer) describes heavy cavalry-cataphracts, while Strabo (the later writer)describes light cavalry, aka archers.

I imagine that Tomyris used both cataphracts and archers at the River Axartes against Cyrus. The Massagetae attacked the Persians, then retreated, drawing Cyrus' forces into a canyon. Once well into the canyon, the Massagetae turned around and decimated the Persian forces. (from Julius Frontinus) This battle raised Tomyris to one of the greatest ancient generals, albeit a woman.

Here is GOOD NEWS for those of us putting together a Sarmatian or Gothic impression. I have received the first shipment of Roxolani helmets. These are real spangenhelms, not pot helmets, and they are applicable for Rox in c.AD 100 and Gothic impressions up to the 5th century. A very versitile helmet. They have chainmail aventails. My next bunch will have scale aventails. Can't wait to see what they look like! When I get them all, I'll post photos in the New Products section.

Oh! About lassos. I checked out the 19th century painting of the Huns vs. the Alans on Wiki. More likely, the steppe lasso looked more like those still used in the American west... long and plaited, and a bit stiff. I think women were more the lassoers and archers, but we have a grave in the Lower Don of a female cataphract, complete with heavy armor, sword, and contus head. Wow! She must have been one mean lady! :woot:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#20
Perhaps I should split part of this discussion off to a new toipc?
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#21
Hello, Robert

Good idea. I don't know who started this but the topic is more like, "Roxolani and Iazage Fighting Tactics." Or maybe, "The Difference Between the Roxolani and Iazages."

My best to you,
AJ Confusedmile:
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#22
Hi,
can somebody tell me if i can use this helmet for a Sarmatian archer?

[attachment=6322]IMG_0716low.jpg[/attachment]


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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TiTvS Philippvs/Filip
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legioxi.be">www.legioxi.be
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#23
Robert Vermaat wrote:
Quote:Perhaps I should split part of this discussion off to a new toipc?
Sorry about that my fault, I got carried away with fighting tactics and forgot this thread was about Sarmatian Warrior impression. In future I will start another topic.
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#24
OK, I split this from the 'Sarmatian Impression' thread.
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#25
Quote:Sorry about that my fault, I got carried away with fighting tactics....

Back to you, Michael

Not only should we consider the above mentioned weapons as typical Sarmatian, but we must remember the general use of the sagaris. It dates back to bronze age, used by Scythians (and Iaz) and also by the Saka/Sarmatians. This was a very mean weapon, used mostly from horseback. Basically, it was an axe similar in heft to a tomahawk but with a nasty spike on the reverse... a spike that could punch through a helmet and skull. :woot:

PS: Thanks, Robert, for splitting this thread.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#26
Quote: . . . we have a grave in the Lower Don of a female cataphract, complete with heavy armor, sword, and contus head. Wow! She must have been one mean lady! :woot:
Can you say where this is published? I would very much like to know what her armour looked like.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#27
Alanus wrote:
Quote:I imagine that Tomyris used both cataphracts and archers at the River Axartes against Cyrus. The Massagetae attacked the Persians, then retreated, drawing Cyrus' forces into a canyon. Once well into the canyon, the Massagetae turned around and decimated the Persian forces. (from Julius Frontinus) This battle raised Tomyris to one of the greatest ancient generals, albeit a woman.
Hi Alanus, there is an interesting discussion on another thread about "Cavalry and Chariots against Infantry" which made me think of the contus and I have a question which you would probably know better than me and it is Was the contus "and better armour as well as well as "bigger?" horses which would still have to be fast to catch the lighter armed horse archers" developed for fighting infantry or was it developed to come to grips with enemy cavalry? I was reading "Warhorse" by Philip Sidnell and he mentioned a battle at Mount Scoroba (I assume the Sarmatians were fighting for Mithradites against Nicomedes) where 100 Sarmatian cavalry routed 800 of Nicomedes remaining cavalry although I don't know about the quality of Nicomedes cavalry. He also mentions where Arrian's "Ars Tactica" refers to the "Contarii" as those who charge enemy ranks and drive them off with their lances like the "Alans and Sarmatians". I think this is backed up by Tacitus' account of a battle between Sarmatians(Alans I presume)and Parthians in 35AD in which the Parthians fanned out in open order to give themselves room to shoot their arrows as they knew their bows would outrange the Sarmatians's bows but were shocked when instead of shooting back the Sarmatians attacked with lance and sword which eventually broke the Parthians. Anyway I digressed enough although I have a few questions about the "Draco" but I will scan the threads as I think that particular subject has been discussed before.
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#28
Hello, Michael

I'm not sure what your question is, but in the steppe world there wasn't a whole lot of infantry. Horses were everywhere, each tribe having a huge inventory of livestock. The large horse was probably developed for heavy armor and the contus, yet it was also a status symbol-- only the elite had big horses. At the same time, every tribal member (man and woman) was an expert rider before they reached their teens. Most women used the bow, sometimes a sword; and at least one woman has been found buried in complete armor with multiplex weapons... indicating she was a cataphract. Confusedmile:

Renatus, I'll try to find the archaeological source for this tidbit. The armor was typical scale.

Although the Iaz were light horsemen, it's believed that they were instrumental in intoducing the draco as a Roman army symbol. No doubt the Roxolani had a hand in its popularity, too. At first it was at the forefront of cavalry units, but it was adopted by infantry cohorts as well.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
Reply
#29
Alanus wrote:
Quote:I'm not sure what your question is, but in the steppe world there wasn't a whole lot of infantry. Horses were everywhere, each tribe having a huge inventory of livestock. The large horse was probably developed for heavy armor and the contus
Hi Alanus, sorry I get carried away with my quotes etc. No question in general but the Romans faced Parthian heavy cavalry before. Why do you think that Sarmatian cavalry seems to have made more of an impression on Roman military thinking than their encounters with the Parthians, with the introduction of Contarii and taking up the "Draco" standard? I like to think that even though they had faced Parthians they didn't know much about "Steppe warfare". But I don't know? Maybe the Draco for example was not used simply as a "windsock" for horse archers and had some psychological value to Sarmatians in a charge with the noise made. Also one last question in regards to Roxolani horsemen and the "akinakes" would a Roxolani have both a longer sword and an akinakes as I read in one of your previous posts on another thread that sometimes back mounted swords were used?
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#30
Alanus wrote:
Quote:Not only should we consider the above mentioned weapons as typical Sarmatian, but we must remember the general use of the sagaris. It dates back to bronze age, used by Scythians (and Iaz) and also by the Saka/Sarmatians. This was a very mean weapon, used mostly from horseback. Basically, it was an axe similar in heft to a tomahawk but with a nasty spike on the reverse... a spike that could punch through a helmet and skull.

Hi Alanus,in regards to the sagaris. I went through some books and found this pic in a book I have called "The Armies of Bactria 700BC-450AD" by Valerii P Nikonorov of some Bactrian horsemen and I was wondering is that weapon that the rider on right holding a sagaris.

[attachment=6525]bactrian2.jpg[/attachment]

Regards
Michael Kerr


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Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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