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The Komnene Dynasty (ePub)

Byzantium's Struggle for Survival 1057–1185

Colour eBooks

By John Carr
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 7.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781526702319
eBook Released: 7th November 2018


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The 128-year dynasty of the Komneni (1057 to 1185) was the last great epoch of Byzantium, when the empire had to fend off Turkish and Norman foes simultaneously. Starting with the extremely able Alexios I, and unable now to count on help from the West, the Komneni played their strategic cards very well. Though the dynasty ended in cruelty and incompetence under Andronikos I (the Terrible), it fought a valiant rear-guard action in keeping eastern Christendom alive. The Komnene dynasty saw several changes in Byzantine military practice, such as the adoption of heavy cavalry on the western model, the extensive use of foreign mercenaries and the neglect of the navy (both of which were to prove a huge and possibly fatal disadvantage). A chapter is devoted to the famous Varangian Guard, which included many Saxons in exile following the Norman conquest of England. The terrible defeat at Myriokephalon in 1176 sealed the doom of the dynasty, preparing the way for the conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusaders.

I think this would be good book for any wargammer looking recreate battles in this period as they could use a wide variety of armies to fight each other.

From a military history point of view, this is a really interesting book.

Read the full review here

Medieval Sword School, Jason Hulott

Featured in

VaeVictis, January/February 2019

About John Carr

Throughout that career he has been steeped in Greek affairs, ancient and modern, which gave him the incentive to reinvent himself as a military historian specializing in southern Europe.

Since his teens he has also involved himself in music, and recently recorded a CD of self-composed instrumental rock, his main spare-time interest apart from writing.

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