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An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath


This figure dates to c.615. He is armed with sword, dagger, and a long lance wielded in both hands called a contus (the Byzantine kontos), stout enough to lift an enemy from his saddle and hold him aloft according to Paul the Deacon. A shorter spear capable of being thrown could he substituted, and axes and javelins are also recorded.

Armour was rare in their early period and even after the establishment of their Italian kingdom only the wealthier cavalrymen were expected to serve with body-armour, the majority again probably resembling 54. This man wears a lamellar corselet, greaves called by their Roman name of ocrea, and an Avar-style helmet with cheek-guards, aventail and plume. 43a shows an alternative of spangenhelm construction. Lombard helmets often had a small cross instead of the plume. The shield was of lime-wood.

The Lombards certainly wore spurs and it seems probable that stirrups were introduced in the 7th century.
[Based on the Lombard helmet plate of King Agilulf, 7th century]

Next: 44. 7TH-8TH CENTURY LOMBARD INFANTRYMAN in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath