Cuman Mercenary c1300 by Angus McBride

based on the fresco of the Saint Ladislaus legend in the Velka Lomnica church


B2: Cuman mercenary, c. 1300
The sequence of Hungarian church murals at Vel'kej Lomnici on which this figure is based show that under the quilted hood he wears his hair very long, which was normal practice amongst the Cumans (see plate G1). The fact that he wears spurs indicates western influence, the Cumans more usually controlling their horses with just their heels and a short whip. Typically armed with a composite bow and sabre, other weapons might include a mace, light spear and javelins. Small shields, mostly circular but under Byzantine or Serbian influence sometimes almond-shaped, were also used. Superlative horsemen, Cumans are recorded to have been accompanied on campaign by up to 10-12 remounts, these being ridden in rotation so that a fresh mount was always available.

Men-At-Arms Series 287.       Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath & Angus McBride