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Kabadion1. Made of few layers of hand-woven cotton. The upper fabric is hand-spun and hand-woven cotton that was natural indigo dyed. The whole piece of clothing was sewn by hand with thread pulled out of the fabric.

This kind of clothing derives from the outfit of Persian horsemen. It was adapted by the Byzantine army in ca. 10 century2. This clothing was mainly worn by cavalry. It might have been long and cover legs (horsemen) or end up near knees (infantry).  The sleeves were short or long with a slit near armholes in order to enable putting arms into them as well as to provide comfort during the fight. They could also have been fixed with loops to shoulders3. The textile armour was either quilted or sewn together layer by layer.


Reconstruction photo.

I. St. Nestor, Church of Saint Nicholas tou Kasnitzi in Kastoria, about 1180 A.D.
II. Icon, Saint Demetrius, begining of the 12th century.
III. Codex Græcus Matritensis Ioannis Skyllitzes, National Museum in Madrid, 12/13th century.



Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Edited by ALEXANDER P. KAZHDAN, Oxford University Press 2005, p. 182.
2 Piotr Ł. Grotowski, Arms and Armour of the Warrior Saints, Tradition and Innovation in Byzantine Iconography (843–1261), Kraków 2011, p.166.
3 Sylloge Tacticorum quae olim “Inedita Leonis Tactica” dicebatur, wyd. A. Dain, Paris 1938, p. 59-60.

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