The Development and Training of Cavalry in Greece and Rome

Ann Hyland

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Development and Training of Cavalry in Greece and Rome

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This chapter explores the development and training of Greek and Roman cavalries. Xenophon discussed Greek and Roman cavalry training, and much of his advice is present in modern horsemanship techniques. He showed that Athenian cavalry and care of horses had degenerated. Arrian discussed complicated cavalry maneuvers, which have certain affinities with some modern equestrian competitions. A strong thread of Roman horsemanship in modern riding has been observed. The description of the opening of the Cantabrian Gallop is a rather confused set of orders, no doubt understood by those used to such maneuvers. An exhibition of long-range javelin-throwing by the most proficient horsemen is then reported. Spatha has been a major weapon used by the Roman cavalry. Arrian's maneuvers exhibit the depth of training given to the best Roman cavalry.

Keywords: cavalry training; Greek cavalry; Roman cavalry; Xenophon; horsemanship; Athenian cavalry; Arrian; cavalry maneuvers; Cantabrian Gallop; spatha

Article.  7246 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies

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