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Byzantine Naval Forces 1261-1461 : The Roman Empire's Last Marines (Paperback) (Raffaele Du2019amato)
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After the recapture of Constantinople, Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos was determined to bring glory back to the Byzantine Empire. To achieve this, he established an Imperial Fleet and raised new regiments of elite marine troops. This work provides a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the unit history and appearence of these men, who were at the cutting edge of the last great flourish of Byzantine naval power. They won victory after victory in campaigns in the Aegean in the 1260s-70s, and though successive periods of decline and partial resurrection followed, these marine units survived until the last flickers of Byzantine resistance were extinguished. Soldiers still bearing the names of Michael VIII's 13th-century marine regiments were to be found fighting on land in sources from as late as the 1420s, right up to the Turkish conquest of Trebizond in 1461. Drawing upon early literary sources, the rich evidence of period illuminated manuscripts, frescoes and other iconography, Raffaele D'amato details the lasting legacy of the swansong of Byzantine naval power.