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Late Roman Cavalry and Artillery

The prestige units of the Imperial army were the cavalry generally referred to as Equites. There had been an increase in their numbers and importance since earlier armies, with more specialised units of skirmishing javelinmen and archers as well as heavily armoured cataphracts. Equites units had a maximum strength of 300 men under the later organisation, but this figure could be well understrength at times, with variations in the proportions of the various types between Eastern and Western armies. The high status of cavalry is reflected by the fact that although they had been detached at times as vexillationes they were not considered border troops.

The old style armoured cavalryman on an unarmoured horse was still prevalent in Western armies but less so in the East. These are readily collected from pack LR036. In the Western provinces, especially Gaul, it would be possible to mix in LR033 for the later period (from the 5th century). Standards would be of the vexillum type (a rectangular flag hanging from a crossbar), although at least some had an Imago (some explanation of the different types of Roman standard can be found in the Early Imperial Roman section). For examples see packs IR003, 5 & 6. Standard bearers and officers wore the same, if more ornate, equipment as the troopers, although characters are available in LR020.

Arthurian infantry and cavalry (5th-6th century Romano British) can also be used with the Late Romans and Saxons for greater variety and vise versa.

Click here to go back to the main Late Roman page for an article on the Late Imperial Roman Army by Adrian Garbett.