Throughout the history of the Byzantine – Persian wars, an important role was played by the Sassanids. This Persian dynasty was founded by Ardasir in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. They first fought against the Byzantine empire at the Battle of Nisib in 230 A.D.. In the middle of the III century the Persians seriously challenged the Empire, claiming back all the land that had previously belonged to them. Constantine the Great gave power to the Empire, with the founding of Constantinople, its capital, in a unique strategic and geographical position. Towards the end of his life Constantine the Great declared war on the Persians. Saporis II invaded Asia Minor, causing great destruction . Later, in the Age of Emperor Julian, the fighting was renewed, and continued up to his death at the age of 32, in June 363 A.D., after which there followed a peace agreed between the two sides. After many decades, in 502, the two enemies went back to war, with Kabades the King of the Persians and Anastasios the emperor of the Byzantines.
The model ‘Sassanid Heavily Armed Knight’ belongs to the Army of Gyan – Avspar Peshmerga (IV – V century A.D.).This was a heroic clan of warriors, ready to sacrifice their lives in battle. He is armed in a unique and complex way. Wearing body armour with metal plates and chain mail. He is wearing a leather jacket with the “sun” medal covering his chest area, and metal decorated straps over the stomach area. His horned helmet is a complex “Spagenhelm” with full face protection. His weapons consist of a large wooden club, reinforced with metal bands. He carries a wide double-bladed sword with a cross-shaped handle, and a dagger. His defence shield is small and rounded with radial metal reinforcements.
Text by: Costas Rodopoulos.
Inspired by an original illustration of Christos Giannopoulos- Historical Artist, released in 2005 for Periscopio Publications – Greece.