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Faction: Byzantines


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55 minutes ago, Palaiogos said:

How close are the art and units to being released?

Most of it was already committed at https://github.com/0ADMods/millenniumad

Although, in order to have a stable gameplay, it is recommended that you use the SVN version of the game to test it.

Otherwise, you will have to wait for the official release at ModDB


Most of the content that you see here are often committed after a few hours or a couple of days after being posted here. :)

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However, in the early 7th century, the Byzantine Empire had fought its final and destructive war with the Sassanid Persians (which was part of a 700-year-long conflict known as the Roman-Persian wars). By this time, the empire had changed its official language to Greek under the emperor Heraclius, who had also scored a final victory against the Sassanid Persians by 628 AD. Ultimately however, both the Byzantine and Persian empires were exhausted after decades of successive warfare: the rise of Islam in 632 spelt the end of the Sassanids, and the Byzantine Empire was severely weakened. The latter had lost its holdings in Spain, Africa, Syria and Egypt to the first Islamic empire, the Rashidun Caliphate, by 698 AD. Between the 7th and 9th centuries, the Byzantine Empire was largely relegated to a defensive role. It had to contend with a great number of foreign incursions: it fought a fierce series of wars with the Germanic Lombards in Italy, lasting from 568-750, fought off various incursions into the Balkans by migrating tribes such as the Magyars, Slavs and Bulgars, and also defended its Middle Eastern and Mediterranean holdings against the Arabs from the Islamic Caliphates. That this empire managed to survive until 1453 AD given to the number of its enemies, is testament enough to its defensive, and also offensive, capabilities


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Infantry types and equipment


Skutatoi: The bulk of the byzantine infantry were the skutatoi, named from the word skutos, for their large oval shield. These men were professional soldiers paid by the state. The skutatoi evolved from the Comitatenses of the later empire and were equipped much as the same as these legionaries. Their armor and weapons included:

  • kresamata: A quilted, green skirt hanging below a soldier's cuirass to protect his legs.
  • κlibanion (κλιβάνιον): the characteristic Byzantine lamellar cuirass, usually sleeveless. In addition, pteruges (leather hanging strips) were worn to protect shoulders and hips.
  • zaba (ζάβα) or lorikion (λωρίκιον): mail hauberks, usually reserved for the heavy cataphracts.
  • bambakion (βαμβάκιον): A padded leather or cotton under-garment, worn under the cuirass.
  • epilorikion (επιλωρίκιον): A padded leather or cotton over-garment, worn over the cuirass.
  • spathion (σπαθίον): The typical Roman spatha, a longsword (about 90 cm), double-edged and very heavy.
  • paramerion (παραμέριον): a one-edged scimitar-like sword, girded at the waist.
  • kontarion (κοντάριον): a long spear (about 2 to 3 m), the kontarion was used by the first ranks of each chiliarchia (battalion) in order to fend off enemy cavalry.
  • Helmet: the helmet varied by region and time period, but was generally a simple, conical-shaped piece of steel, often with exttra neckguard.
  • skutos (σκούτος): a large and oval (later kite-shaped) shield made of wood, covered by leather and reinforced with steel. Each unit had different shield decoration.
  • Unarmoured light infantrymen, often armed with javelins, were known, as in classical times, as peltastoi.
  • Toxotai or Psiloi: The standard light infantry of the empire, in each chiliarchia they made up the last three lines. These soldiers, highly trained in the art of bow, were formidable archers. Most of the Imperial archers came from Asia Minor, especially the region around Trebizond on the Black sea, where they were raised, trained and equipped.

Their arms included:

  • Composite bow
  • Bambakion
  • spathion or tzikourion (small axe) for self-defence.

Although military manuals prescribed the use of light armour for archers, cost and mobility considerations would have prohibited wide-scale implementation of this.


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1 minute ago, tlauick_19 said:

Asedio árabe de Constantinopla (717-718). Los bizantinos destruyen la flota árabe con fuego griego. Autor Peter Dennis


Agregare el fuego griego como upgrade del bireme bizantino si es que logro crear un template que funcione sin estar muy roto
I will add this greek fire as an upgrade to the bireme if i can achieve a working template whitout being overpowered.

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Macedonian Dynasty Naval



The Byzantine navy reached its highest point under the able sovereigns of the Macedonian dynasty (867-1056). It was divided into the imperial fleet, commanded by the Great Drungarios, the first recorded lord high admiral, and the provincial or thematic squadrons, under their strategoi. Of these there were three, the Cibyrhaeotic (Cyprus and Rhodes), the Samian and the Aegean. The thematic squadrons were maintained permanently for police purposes. The imperial fleet, which was more powerful when in commission than all three, was kept for war. A peculiar feature of the Byzantine navy was the presence in it of a corps answering to the seaman gunners and gunnery officers of modern navies. These were the siphonarioi, who worked the siphons (aujxaves) used for discharging the Greek fire.


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The term “Greek Fire” was not attributed to the concoction until the time of the European Crusades. Some of the original names it was known by include “liquid fire”, “marine fire”, “artificial fire” and “Roman fire”. The latter was most probably due to the fact that the Muslims (against whom the weapon was most commonly used) believed the Byzantines to be Roman rather than Greek.

Greek Fire is believed to have been created in the seventh century (673 AD) by a Syrian engineer named Kallinikos (or Callinicus). The weapon was first used by the Byzantine Navy, and the most common method of deployment was to emit the formula through a large bronze tube onto enemy ships. Usually the mixture would be stored in heated, pressurized barrels and projected through the tube by some sort of pump while the operators were sheltered behind large iron shields.

The means of its production in the harbour of Galata was kept a state secret, and its components are only roughly guessed or described through secondary sources as Anna Comnena:

“This fire is made by the following arts. From the pines and the certain such evergreen trees inflammable resin is collected. This is rubbed with sulfur and put into tubes of reed, and is blowing by men using it with violent and continuos breath. Then in this manner it meets the fire on the tip and catches light and falls like a fiery whirlwind on the faces of the enemies."

To its effect, the Greek fire must have been rather similar to napalm. Burning fiercely, it could even stay ablaze underwater for a short period.


The Imperial Tagmata

The Tagmata (ταγματα, "Regiments") were the standing army of the Empire, typically headquartered in or around Constantinople. The remains of Diocletianus's armies became the first tagmata, who were turned into the thematic forces under the Heraclids. Around the same time, some tagmata were formed as social clubs for the well-connected (δυνατοι) of the capital. Iustinianus, for instance, is said to have amused himself by including one of these units, the 'Scholae', in mock active deployment lists, thus causing a panic amongst their upper class gentlemen-soldiers, who had no desire to leave the safety of Constantinople for the discomfort and danger of an actual military campaign.

After the first set of thematic revolts reminded the emperors of the utility of a loyal standing force, however, the tagmata were reformed under a separate adminstration, improved in equipment and training, and continued to be used until the end of the empire.

The four most prestigious tagmata, in order, were

  • the Skholai (Gr. Σχολαι, the "Schools"),
  • the Exkoubitoi (Gr. Εξκουβιτοι, the "Watchmen");
  • the Arithmoi (Gr. Αριθμοι, the "Numbers") or Vigla (Gr. υιγλα, the "Watch"); and
  • the tagma ton Hikanaton (Gr. Ικανατοι, the "Worthies").

All of these were cavalry units consisting of from 1-6,000 men each. A strength of 4,000 each appears to have been standard. The Numeroi (Gr. Νουμηροι, "Bathhouse boys" for their base of operations in the city), the tagma ton Optimaton (Gr. Οπτιματοι, the "Best"), and the tagma ton Teikheon (Gr. Τειχεον, the "Wall") were infantry tagmata. The Vigla and the Numeroi assisted in the policing of Constantinople; the tagma ton Teikheon, as the name suggests, manned the Theodosian walls and was generally responsible for the defense of the capital.

In addition to these more or less stable units, any number of shorter-lived tagmata were formed as pet units of various emperors. Mikhael II raised the Tessarakontarioi, a special marine unit, and Ioannes Tzimiskes created a corps called the Athanatoi (the "Immortals") after the old Persian unit.


Foreign and Mercenary Soldiers

Foreign troops during the late Empire were known as the Foederati ("Allies") and continued to be known as such until about the ninth century (although the title had by then been Hellenized to Phoideratoi (Gr. Φοιδεράτοι). From this point, foreign troops (mainly mercenaries) were known as the Hetaireiai(Gr. Εταιρείαι, "Companions") and most frequently employed in the Imperial Guard. This force was in turn divided into the Great Companions (Μεγάλη Εταιρεία), the Middle Companions (Μέση Εταιρεία), and the Minor Companions (Μικρά Εταιρεία), commanded by their respective Hetaireiarches. These may have been divided upon a religious basis separating the Christian subjects, Christian foreigners, and non-Christians, respectively. (Source: The Book of Ceremonies by Konstantinos Porphyrogenitos)


Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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6 minutes ago, Alexandermb said:

Almost there, just need to figure it out what im doing and move the fire at the front of the ship:

It was certainly not launched almost vertically with an arc like that to bombard other ships; your own ship would risk going up in flames (especially if the wind changes direction) before the enemy's. Greek fire was a short range possibly hand-held weapon that would be directed at the target horizontally:


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Just now, Nescio said:

It was certainly not launched almost vertically with an arc like that to bombard other ships; your own ship would risk going up in flames (especially if the wind changes direction) before the enemy's. Greek fire was a short range possibly hand-held weapon that would be directed at the target horizontally:


still WIP i want to achieve what reference has, not so much height but the template is a mess and still figuring out why it goes that high and why its fired from the root even when i specifiy the projectile prop point

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ok so, correct me if i'm wrong this are the stats:



i've placed the bireme against the same faction trireme, and leave it around 15% hp before die (the fire ship) and put around 20 archers in the same spot and the bireme killed them all but took some time like 1.5 hp per sec, and against building don't do so much dmg or should i give buff against buildings?

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The tenth century onwards: the Taktika of Leo “the Wise” and the Composition on Warfare of Nikêforos Fôkas

Emperor Leo IV, known somewhat debatably as “The Wise”, sat upon the Golden Throne from 886 to 913. It was under his rule that the literary renaissance of the tenth century was launched. A particular feature of this trend was a renewed attention to codifying and recording military practice and technology. Two manuals were compiled during his reign, the Taktika attributed explicitly to him and the Syllogê Taktikôn (Latinised = Sylloge Tacticorum). These works contain amongst other things, the first recorded reference to lamellar armour as a staple of regular troops.
Presently there are no complete English translations of either of these manuals, although Charles Oman includes some of the Taktika in his book on warfare in the middle ages.

The Composition on Warfare (commonly known by the Latinised title Praecepta Militaria), a military manual written about 965 by Nikiphoros Phokas, goes into much detail about the optimal arms and armour for Roman troops of the time. When correctly read in the light of other source material and practical knowledge, it is an invaluable basis for reconstructing Roman arms and armour of the late tenth to twelfth centuries.
The most accessible edition is contained in Eric McGeer, Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth, Washington 1995, however the parallel English translation and notes are not to be relied upon too readily.

It was to take another two centuries or more before Western armour was to approach the quality of the best described in these sources. Some of the most basic forms, such as padded garments, were to become European staples in the wake of contact with Levantine cultures during the Crusades.

Retrieved from: http://livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/Levantia_light/armour.html


Infantry equipment

A photograph of a soldier, 39kB

For the front line infantry the Composition on Warfare (I.3-4) describes a set of minimal equipment consisting of a turban over a thick felt cap and a coat (kavadion) made of coarse silk quilted with cotton wadding “as thick as can be stitched”. To avoid the encumbrance to movement that such a stiff, heavy garment would inflict, the arms are to pass out through openings in the armpits and the sleeves buttoned back to the shoulders. LeoÕs Taktika is more optimistic, implying that such troops might have mail or lamellar, helmets and other armour.
This man also wears padded leggings, kampotouva or touvia and the type of boot probably called mouzakia in our source.1
These troops were to be armed with spears 4 to 5 metres long, “belt-hung swords” and either a mace or an axe. This variety of axe is called a tzikourion.

Later sources imply that something very like this remained in use to the late twelfth century, and probably beyond.2

Retrieved from: http://livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/Levantia_light/infantry.html


Composition on Warfare horse archer


The Composition on Warfare (III.8) says that a horse archer should wear a helm, lamellar klivanion and coat which protect his legs and part of his horse. The cut of this coat is based upon one found in a grave in the Caucasus.1 Its divided skirt is the only practical way such a heavily padded coat could be made to acheive that effect. A solid skirt of heavy padding would be impossibly clumsy.

Run your mouse over the picture to see the other side.

Retrieved from: http://livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/Levantia_light/archer.html


Composition on Warfare medium cavalry

A medium cavalryman, 39kB

The prokoursatores were a medium cavalry arm whose job was to harass small groups of the enemy and pursue fugitives. They could be equipped in a simple klivanion like the horse archer, or they could wear mail as here.(PM II.3) Their standard armament was a mace, sword and round shield.
The saddle is, of course, modern, but less different from a Roman one than from a European type of that time. The high European war saddle did not begin to be adopted in Romania until the twelfth century.

Retrieved from: http://livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/Levantia_light/prokoursator.html


Heavy cavalry of the tenth century



In the Syllogê Taktkôn and Taktika of Leôn the arms and armour available to the troops are listed unsystematically and without any recommendations as to which troops ought to have what. As supply was only semi-centralised and evidently often supplemented out of the trooper's own resources, there was doubtless considerable variation, with the different classes of troops (light, medium and heavy) merging haphazardly into each other. This reconstruction is based upon almost the most heavily equipped a cavalryman could be. It lacks one item of protective equipment, the epilôrikion, or padded surcoat, for precisely the same reason these are virtually never illustrated in pictorial sources – it would conceal the fact that the man is wearing characteristically Roman body armour of the period.


The Composition on Warfare of Nikêfôros is much more prescriptive about all the soldiers. Kataphraktoi were to wear helms with 2 layer mail hangings covering all but their eyes, klivania with upper sleeves, most probably splinted, skirts and lower sleeves of padding faced with mail rather than a full mailshirt as shown here, and grieves, again most probably splinted. Nikêfôros also recommends that a katafraktos also carry a mace holstered on each side of the saddle, and one of each sort of sword (spathion and paramêrion) in an arrangement you can see below which allowed ready access to either. Cavalry lances were the shorter kontarion in this period, and apparently still mostly used with the ancient, loose under- or overarm stabbing technique rather than couched.


Such panoply was very nearly perfect in terms of pre-gunnery warfare and clearly survived through the next two centuries, where economics permitted.

Run your mouse onto the main picture and then off to see the man from other angles.

Retrieved from: http://livinghistory.co.uk/homepages/Levantia_light/katafrakt.html

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