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Author Topic: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry  (Read 1391 times)

Offline nikkobourges

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question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« on: May 01, 2024, 02:59:28 PM »
Hello,
I'm considering painting a late Seleucid army (Antiochos III).
I'm planning to buy some Aventine Miniatures heavy cavalry but I have a question.
Should I only take cataphract units or were there also one or more mounted companion units ?
Nikkobourges

Offline Citizen Sade

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2024, 03:38:11 PM »
I’m no expert and my knowledge may well be dated, but the agema - reported to be 1,000 strong at Magnesia - are not believed to have been cataphracts. They are thought to have had partially boarded horses. Check out Relic Miniatures for an idea of what they might have looked like.

Offline SJWi

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2024, 06:01:02 AM »
Nikko, a quick look at my old Montvert book on the Seleucid army and Du Plessis book "The Seleucid Army of Antiochus the Great" implies a mix of cataphracts and less heavily armoured cavalry, albeit the latter do seem to ride partially armoured horses with chamfrons much in evidence. The Aventine figures are superb.

Offline VonAkers

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2024, 08:56:59 AM »
Hi Nikko
Also check out the RELIC  Cavalry .. wonderfull .
Cheers

Offline Citizen Sade

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2024, 10:33:33 AM »
Some snippets on guard cavalry from Bar-Kochva’s ‘The Seleucid Army: Organization and tactics in the great campaigns’:

Quote
… one regiment was called agema and another ‘the royal ala of companions’. Like Alexander’s chiliarchy, each of them totalled 1,000 troops, and, like the agema of Eumenes, that of the Seleucids was comprised of oriental troops.

Quote
Tarn rightly suggests that Antiochus transformed his regular cavalry into cataphracts after becoming acquainted with this types of horseman in the course of his invasion of Parthia in 210-206 B.C. The positioning of the Companions in the centre at Panion (Poly. 16.18.7) and the agema opposite a Roman legion at Magnesia suggest that by then the Guard contingents may have been turned into some sort of cataphracts as well. And indeed the Companions at Magnesia are defined as ‘with lighter armour for themselves and their horses, but otherwise with equipment not unlike the rest of the cavalry (i.e. the cataphracts)’ (Livy 37.40.11), which certainly means that they were heavier than the ordinary Hellenistic xystophoroi horsemen.


Offline nikkobourges

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2024, 01:47:29 PM »
Hello and thanks for yours answers,
In the meantime, one of my friends lent me Duncan Head's excellent book on the armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars.
So, I will buy some cataphract units and mounted companion units.
Nikkobourges

Offline SteveBurt

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2024, 10:28:02 AM »
Nik Sekunda's book on the reformed Seleucid army is also excellent if you can find it

Offline nikkobourges

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2024, 01:04:41 PM »
Hello and thanks SteveBurt,
I will try to find this Book.
Nikkobourges

Offline williamb

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2024, 01:19:40 AM »
At the battle of Raphia, 217BC the Seleucid cavalry of Antiochus III did not ride armored horses.  The cavalry converted to cataphracts following Antiochus III's expedition to recover Armenia, Parthia, and Bactria (212-209BC) where cataphracts were encountered.  Cataphracts in Seleucid service are first mentioned by Livy in 192BC.  At Magnesia there were two formations of 3000 cataphracts, one on each flank, 1000 Companions, and 1000 Agema.  The Agema are thought to be as heavily armored as the line cataphracts.  The Companions and Agema were the two guard cavalry formations.   Both were commanded by Antiochus at Raphia.  Another useful book on the Seleucid army is The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns by Bar-Kochva
« Last Edit: May 06, 2024, 01:23:40 AM by williamb »

Offline nikkobourges

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2024, 06:02:36 AM »
Hello and thanks Williamb,
I think it will be easier to find this book.
Nikkobourges

Offline SJWi

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2024, 05:13:45 PM »
The Bar Kochva book is still available from Mr Bezos. However it does date from 1976 so I do wonder if there is anything out there that may benefit from more recent research?

Online Atheling

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Re: question about late Seleucid heavy cavalry
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2024, 10:13:47 AM »
Hello and thanks SteveBurt,
I will try to find this Book.
Nikkobourges

Ah, I had one for sale but couldn't sell it because of the price (£50- the actual price I paid for it). I just gave it to my mate in the end.

 

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