Maurikian Byzantine

Historical Overview Section

The Maurikian era began inauspiciously. After a period of balance between the various power groups in the Middle East established by Justinian and his armies, Emperor Justin II refused to continue to pay off the mighty Sassanid Persian Empire - a course of action which soon brought the Byzantine Empire again to the brink of war. Meanwhile, the Germanic Lombards invaded Italy opening up a second front for the manpower-needy Byzantines; by the end of the century only a third of Italy was in Byzantine hands.

Justin's successor, Tiberius II made the logical decision to choose between his enemies and bribed the Avars while taking military action against the Sassanid Persians. Although Tiberius' general, Maurice, led an effective campaign on the eastern frontier the payments failed to restrain the Avars. They captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium in 582, while the Western Turkish and Khazar Turks began to make inroads across the Danube. Maurice, who in the meantime had become Emperor, made peace with the Sassanian Emperor Khosrau II, achieving access to Armenia and then forced the Avars and Early South Slavs back across the Danube by 602.

After Maurice's murder (I hope you are following this) Khosrau used the accession of the murderer Phocas as a pretext to reconquer the Roman province of Mesopotamia. Phocas, an unpopular ruler who is invariably described in Byzantine sources as a "tyrant", was also the target of a number of senate-led plots and was eventually deposed in 610 by Heraclius.

Following the accession of Heraclius the Sassanid Persian advance pushed deep into Asia Minor, occupying Damascus and Jerusalem and removing the True Cross to Ctesiphon. The counter-offensive of Heraclius took on the character of a holy war, with Icons carried at the head of his armies. Similarly, when Constantinople was saved from an Avar siege in 626, the victory was attributed to the icons of the Virgin which were led in procession by Patriarch around the walls of the city.

The main Sassanid Persian force was destroyed at Nineveh in 627, and in 629 Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony. The war had exhausted both the Byzantine and Sassanid Empire, and left them extremely vulnerable to the Arab Conquest forces which emerged in the following years. The Byzantines as a result suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Yarmuk in 636, and the Persian capital Ctesiphon fell in 634.

Using the army in ADLG

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You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site
Many manufacturers produce just one "Byzantine" range, not specifying which era they are for (but most are Maurkikian era I suspect). All generic "Byzantine" ranges have been listed here, together with any specifically noted for particular eras. For Latin or other allied troops, use Crusader or other knights of a similar timeframe.

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  • Essex Miniatures - Several Byzantine ranges. 8 Maurikians, 7 Thematics, 10 Nikephorians & 5 Generic Psiloi for all era in their Ancients ranges.
  • Donnington 22 Byzantines, including a Belisarius general figure (a clue to them being fairly early maybe..) plus a 23-strong C12-13 range
  • Museum Miniatures - 17 Byzantines, reasonably early period.
  • Black Hat Miniatures (previously Gladiator Games) - 10 Komnenans in their Crusades range
  • Old Glory 15's - 12 Belisarians, and 22 codes in a "7th-13th Century Byzantine" range
  • Minifigs - 21 Byzantines, from C7-C11 in their Dark Ages range, 5 more C11-13 ones in their Crusades range
  • Irregular Miniatures - 21 Byzantines, with Nikephorian, Tagmatic, Thematic, Maurikian and Belisarian cavalry listed as well as CC7-10 oval-shield foot and C11-13 kite-shielded foot
  • Tin Soldier 21 10th & 11th Century Byzantines
  • Battle Line Miniatures (NZ) Same range as Isarus
  • Alain Touller - almost 20 Byzantines with both kite and round shields
  • Isarus - sold by 15mm.co.uk 18 Byzantines, kite-shielded lancers and round-shielded bowmen
  • Outpost Wargame Services 10 Crusade-era Byzantines
  • Khurasan Miniatures - 20-odd Nikephorian Byzantines (kite shield infantry)
  • Viking Forge - Generic range of 20 or so Byzantines, Tagmatic and Thematic cavalry are listed
  • 50 Paces/Miniature Wars - 10 -strong Belisarian (early) range

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Roll Call 2019 - 5th place
4 Elite Boukellarii HC Impact Bow
3 LF Javelin
1 LF Bow
2 Defensores Medium Cavalry Impact Bow
4 Defensores MCv Impact Bow
1 Cursores LH Bow
4 Defensores MCv Impact Bow
1 Cursores LH Bow

Britcon 2018
126 maurikian
Ord Included
4 Boukellarioi * Heavy cavalry impact bow Elite
2 Cursores Light cavalry bow ------
3 Lazoi Javelinmen
1 Light infantry bow Light infantry bow
4 Defensores Heavy cavalry impact bow
2 Cursores Light cavalry bow
4 Defensores Medium cavalry impact bow

200 Points - Britcon List 2016
====Brilliant, Included
1 Boukellaroi* (General) Heavy cavalry impact bow Elite
3 Defensores Heavy cavalry impact bow ------
1 Cursores Light cavalry bow ------
2 Bowmen Bowmen ------
2 Light infantry Light infantry javelin ----
====Competent,Included, Unreliable
3 Boukellaroi* (General) Heavy cavalry impact bow Elite
1 Defensores Heavy cavalry impact bow ------
1 Cursores Light cavalry bow ------
====Competent Included Ally (Sassanid)
4 Asavaran* (General) Heavy cavalry bow Elite
1 Sassanid levy Levy
1 Light infantry bow Light infantry bow ------

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