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Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen 925-1025: The Tághmata and Imperial Guard (Elite) Paperback – 20 Aug 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen 925-1025: The Tághmata and Imperial Guard (Elite)
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  • Byzantine Cavalryman c.900-1204 (Warrior)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849088500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849088503
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 0.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

."..this book is an interesting look at colorful and exotic cavalrymen who helped keep Byzantine Emperors on the throne at home and served as their elite troops in the field. The gorgeous color illustrations by Giuseppe Rava are worth the price of admission to this book on their own."
- "Toy Soldier & Model Figure "(January 2013)

..".this book is an interesting look at colorful and exotic cavalrymen who helped keep Byzantine Emperors on the throne at home and served as their elite troops in the field. The gorgeous color illustrations by Giuseppe Rava are worth the price of admission to this book on their own."
- "Toy Soldier & Model Figure "(January 2013)

...this book is an interesting look at colorful and exotic cavalrymen who helped keep Byzantine Emperors on the throne at home and served as their elite troops in the field. The gorgeous color illustrations by Giuseppe Rava are worth the price of admission to this book on their own. "Toy Soldier & Model Figure (January 2013)""

Book Description

Featuring specially drawn full-colour artwork and written by a noted authority, this book depicts the colourful regiments of the Byzantine Imperial Guard, the elite troops who protected their sovereign and formed the heart of the Empire's formidable field armies in its heyday.

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was impatiently waiting for this book and prepared to love it. Instead, I was very disappointed. Arguably, Osprey's series often tend to be "hit or miss", largely because authors face severe space constraints - typically no more than 48 pages for Men-at-Arms and 64 for the Elite series - when covering their topic. This booklet faces these problems, but it also has others related to its structure, its contents and to its rather atrocious editing.

First, most of the book, that is the section title "The Regiments - Formation and Organization" (with the term Tagmata meaning "The Regiments") is in fact a summary of John Haldon book, "Byzantine Praetorians", published in 1984, out-of-print for years and rather hard to find. This in itself would not necessarily be a problem and could in fact give value to d'Amato and Rava's book if it wasn't for one fact. Haldon's book covers the period AD 580 (the reforms of Emperor Maurikios) to about AD 900 (roughly the end of the reign of Leo VI who reign 886 - 912). This book, however, covers the period 925-1025 but present the same material in a summarized form. The implicit assumption - which is not even presented in the book - here is that the organization and structure of the Tagmata that existed in 900 did not change for over a hundred years, something that is somewhat difficult to believe.

Second, there is some text on the Regiments formed after 900, in particular the Athanatoi (the Immortals) of John I Tzimiskes and the Varanguard of Basil II, but they get no more than a paragraph, respectively 26 lines and 12 lines for the Varanguard! Even knowing that the authors have published a similar booklet on the Varanguard a couple of years before does not justify such a cursory and superficial treatment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While not as knowledgeable as some on this subject, and consequently cannot see the faults that have been highlighted on other reviews, I must say that this book is a good addition to my growing collection of Byzantine militaria. The text was brief and really something of a summary throughout, but then a book of this size can never hope to match the detail that exists in 'proper' books such as the History of Byzantium' by John Julius Norwich. The colour plates are simply magnificent and worth one big star by themselves. I think this illustrator is probably at the present moment the best that Osprey utilise.

I agree that I would like a little more on the military background and campaigns but maybe this will come in the future when, hopefully, Osprey release books about Basil or John Tzimisces or Nikephorus Phocas and their wars. At least I hope so.
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....and informative, as virtually all these titles tend to be. For anyone who puzzles over what happened to the Roman army after Rome...
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A good interesting basic guide to the subject, though I feel a little more basic byzantine history on my behalf would be useful
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