Byzantine Warrior (12th Cent infantry) - Historical research





Padded coat (kavadion, or gambeson),woolen tunic,linen shirt, breeks and woolen hose. Felt cap, turban and soft leather boots, leather belt. Accessories, belt knife and small battle axe.
Main reference the Osprey series book on Byzantine infantry of the 9th to 12th cent. written by T. Dawson.
Longest time was taken on the gambeson/kavadion, although no one really tries to kill you in reenactment, I've always believed that if it represents armour, which is what this is, then it should provide a certain minimum level of protection. People make assumptions and behave accordingly. So this thing is about one to one and a half centimetres thick, varying from 12 to 16 layers of cotton linen and silk, the outer layer is raw silk, as per the original spec. it weighs a ton, and broke more sewing machine needles than I care to remember.
The Kuhla, black felt cap, was the crown of a reblocked 17th cent style hat I had, I cut the brim off, and it did just fine.
The boots I made in a hurry for Kelmarsh, The pattern I had used before, see 16thC merc. and I had some nice soft Goatskin leather I had bought a couple of years ago at a Ren. Fair. Sewn on my old treadle Singer, with glued reenforces, and internal sole stiffeners. I use copydex a lot for that sort of thing.
Much of the rest is stuff that I have around in the prop box, or made for other costumes.
I like the kit, after years of wearing helmets and mail or plate, this stuff is much lighter and far more flexible.
I am currently working on a new sword, an early medieval sabre varient, and looking for a reflex bow to go with the steppe type quiver I made earlier.


eternal_aranel posted on 26 November, 2010 - 16:14
Wow! I love the Byzantines! Lovely arabic designs! Looks really good.

Anonymous posted on 2 December, 2010 - 12:52
ah yes I see ^.^ I allways have been a sucker of Byzantine desighn XD very nifty threads.

Sephirayne posted on 29 June, 2011 - 19:38
Wow! Nicely put together. Really looks the part.

Anonymous posted on 29 June, 2011 - 19:41
ahhh this is so cool, and the festival and setting is really wonder, love love LOVE medieval!! <3333

Silantre posted on 29 June, 2011 - 19:56
Really nice work! It looks like you walked straight out of history

Joshua posted on 1 July, 2011 - 10:54
Thankyou everyone. In summer I tend to go to the reenactments, and winter is the season for cosplay. So more outdoor stuff to come, hopefully.

RanmaSyaoran posted on 21 May, 2012 - 21:59
A home made gambeson?! -Bows-

Progress Journal

29th November 2010

More pics.

Tim came round today with a disk of the photos taken last week, so uploaded a few of them. I plan to edit/photoshop some of them to make them more evocative of the Eastern Empire, and perhaps a bit more fun.

26th November 2010

Posting the outfit.

I was invited to take part in the Kelmarsh Festival of History, with the group "Hetarei Palatou" who reenact 10th 11th Cent Byzantium, a place and an era I have been interested in for years.
Some of the stuff, padded coat, boots etc, had to be made from scratch for this event. Other bits like woolen hose and linen wear I already had. Today I posted a couple of pics from that event, taken with me unawares. Later I will post some from a recent photo session.