“Byzantine Naval Forces, 1261-1461”

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“Byzantine Naval Forces, 1261-1461”

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:41 pm

>>>> “Byzantine Naval Forces, 1261-1461” <<<<

>>> Book Review <<<

Beginning with the recapture of the city of Constantinople from the alleged ’Latin Empire,’ as it was known, the next step would be to reconstruct and rebuild what was left of the Imperial Navy. During the remaining two centuries of the Byzantine Empire it was faced with a consistent set of concerns. This was added to by a number of Civil disturbances which erupted into wars between opponents, and the consistent military threat of a variety of tribes and countries; Bulgars, Serbs, ‘Latins’ (Italians and Franks), and finally the worst of all, and the final threat, the Ottoman Turks.

So the Emperor Michael VII Palaiologos set about the task. He raised regiments of marine infantry from the imported Greek settlers from the Peloponnese and in this book is described, illustrated, and reconstructed the existance of these very last marines of the Roman Empire.

Despite the Roman Empire’s maritime heritage from previous years, the Byzantium naval forces were in very serious decline during the latter part of the 12th century, which in turn was a large contributing factor to the loss of Constantinople to the Crusaders in 1204. This new fleet with its new marine infantry regiments would go on to show its quality in campaigns in the mid 1200s and later in the very late 1200s against an expedition led by Charles d’Anjou.

However the Empire’s enemies surrounded them, and the internal politics and struggles for power were intense, which weakened the Empire significantly. At this point, the Empire’s strength was only a mere small part of the formidable strength and numbers of the former Imperial Navy, however, these new marine regiments proved well their ability and worthiness in their continuous confrontation with the outside enemies of the empire, in the internal palace eruptions, coups, and political wrangling, as well as the nomad conflicts of that period.

The Contents of this book are listed below for your perusal:

>>> Introduction;

>>> Chronology;

>>> History Of The Naval Forces;
--Rebuilding the fleet after the reconquest - the ships - central and provincial fleet bases -- fleet of the Trebizond Empire;
--Manning the fleet;
--Disbandments and aftermath;

>>> The Regiments;
--Gasmouloi -- marine, Tzakones -- Prosalentai.

>>> Fleet Organization and Strength;
--Command -- later strengths -- ship’s armament:
‘Greek Fire’ and artillery -- character and social status of naval personnel.

>>> Dress and Equipment;
--Sources for reconstruction;
--Weapons: swords, daggers, spears, javelins, and bows;
--Defensive equipment: helmets, body armour, and shields;
--Shield blazons of the Tzakones;
--Naval flags.

>>> Representative Actions;
--1275: Philanthropenos’s victory at Demetrias;
--1275-80: campaigns of Likarios;
--1427: Campaign of Leontarios - battles of the Echinades Islands and Galata.

>>> Select Biography;

>>> Plate Commentaries;

>>> Index;

>>> Color Illustrations -- fifty-five;

>>> Black and white Illustrations -- three;

>>> Pages -- forty-eight;

>>> Reviewer’s Comments:

“I found the content of the book extremely interesting and the Bibliography an additional source of detailed information. The mention of ‘Greek Fire’ in the text added a bit more information to my collection of data regarding that weapon. The construction of ships and their armament, as well as, the weapons of the armour, and weapons of the crews, was also of great interest to me, and added significantly to my collection of data regarding hand weapons. I shall value this book in my Byzantine library, both for its textual and illustrative value, and for its large number of Ancient and Historical Sources, as well as the list of Modern Works. I find the book to be a good buy and a valued addition to my library.”

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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