I noticed that Rome has always fought against equestrian nations and they weren't always successful. Gauls, Parthians, Huns and Turks had many battles with the Romans. I heard that the Romans before compartmentation engaged in many battles in which they would need non-auxiliary cavalry but were confident in their victory because they trusted the strength of their Legion.

Set aside Romans it is simply ridiculous that Byzantines still used Heavy cavalry and Heavy infantry. I know it is the Medieval Age and that's the way armies were organized back then but considering the Huns' and the Turks' similar fighting style and after all the Hunnic business I find it strange that Anatolia was conquered by Turks. Can someone explain this to me?

  • The Gauls were predominantly an infantry force - despite the high quality of their mounts. Read Gallic War. Caesar's German cavalry auxiliaries, on Gallic mounts, regularly bested their Gallic opponents even when outnumbered. Nov 18, 2019 at 3:16
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    Welcome to History:SE. What has your research shown you so far? Where have you already searched? What did you find? Please help us to help you. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask. Nov 18, 2019 at 3:16
  • Thank you for clearing the Gauls. But what about the Byzantines. Why have they lost against the Turks ? Nov 18, 2019 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


What makes you think that the eastern Roman or "Byzantine" army was helpless against cavalry?

What makes you think that heavy cavalry and heavy infantry would be useless against enemy cavalry forces? What makes you think that the "Byzantine" army didn't also have light cavalry and light infantry, etc., etc.?

Here is a link to an article about "Byzantine" military manuals:


Have you read any of them and what they say about the strategy and tactics to use against different types of enemies with different tactics?

Why do you assume that the Turkish invaders of Asia Minor were some sort of tactical super warriors who were invincible against the "Byzantines"? The Battle of Manzikert was a defeat because the Roman army was not very loyal and cohesive and some of the commanders traitorously failed to do their duties. After Manzikert the Turks took over almost all of Asia Minor because the leading "Byzantine" politicians were too busy fighting for power to do anything to defend against the Turks.

Here is a link to an article with a table listing estimates of the area and population of the eastern Roman or "Byzantine" Empire at various times.


Note that in 1097, 16 years after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the population is estimated at 5,000,000 people and the area at 555,000 square kilometers.

In 1143, only 46 years later, the population has doubled to about 10,000,000 people and the area has increased to 950,000 square kilometers, an increase of 71 percent in size.

So the eastern Roman or "Byzantine" empire seems to have had a lot of political and military success in the period of 1091-1143, considering that it doubled its population and increased its land area by 71 percent.

Here is a link to a map of the "Byzantine" Empire in 1025:


Here is a link to a map of the Roman or "Byzantine" Empire in 1081, when Alexios I Komnenos became emperor:


Note that by then the Turks have conquered almost all of Asia Minor.

Here is a link to a map showing the Roman or "Byzantine" Empire in 1180:


Note how much the Roman or "Byzantine" control of Asia Minor has increased.

Obviously there were a number of battles, sieges, campaigns, and wars between "Byzantines" and Turks during the period of 1081 to 1180. Considering how the map changed between 1097 and 1180, which side would you estimate was the usual winner in such conflicts?

If matters had gone just a little bit better for the Romans or "Byzantines" during that period, EmperorCinnamon would probably speak Greek and consider themself a Roman citizen.

So the idea that Turkish tactics were invincible against the "Byzantines" seems to be a little bit inaccurate.

  • Thank you for answering although it sounded like you were trying to insult me. I know that Byzantines were not helpless against cavalary. Actually 2/3 of their army were cavalry. And obuviously heavy cavalry and heavy infintary can't be effective against horse archers and hit-run tactics. They also had light units but the majority of their armies didn't consist of them. And I didn't say that Turkish Armies were invicible because I am a Turk. In fact I never even said so. Nov 19, 2019 at 5:48
  • And yes Byzantines reclaimed lands after their inital losses but they were eventually defeated by Turks and I don't speak greek so? I don't know. And yes please get ower the idea that everyone wants to glorify their nation. Some just want to learn history. Back to the question. Huns and Sassanids were way more powerful than Turks. But Turks won eventually. Maybe It's because the Byzantines were in a crisis. Maybe not. But they have lost a War against them not only because Turkish mercanaires and officers betrayed the Byzantines but because they weren't preperad. I am asking why weren't they ? Nov 19, 2019 at 5:52
  • Also also also my history teacher told me that the main reason the Byzantines lost was because they didn't match up against hit and run and faigned retreat tactics made by the light cavalry. Nov 19, 2019 at 6:00

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