Mercenaries in the Late Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire, as viewed by the Sources

Foreign mercenaries made up a substantial part of the Byzantine armies long before the late thirteenth century. Despite the high cost of their maintenance, their constant readiness and mobility made the employment of mercenaries an attractive option. As long as they proved themselves a competent force on the battlefield and were well handled by the government, the sources do not doubt the expediency of employing them. Continue reading “Mercenaries in the Late Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire, as viewed by the Sources”

West-European soldiers in the armies of the Empire of Nicaea

The capture of Constantinople by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 accelerated the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire, and was followed by a period of intense political fragmentation and military conflicts between the small political entities that were established on the territories that had belonged to the Byzantine Empire. Continue reading “West-European soldiers in the armies of the Empire of Nicaea”

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