(Wikipedia) : Pendant qu'Antigone, Séleucos et Lysimaque se disputent, Mithridate (fils de Mithridate de Kios, un Perse au service d'Antigone, tué en 301 av. J.-C.) s'empare du Pont et se déclare indépendant. Il lui faut de longues guerres, mal connues, pour s’affranchir définitivement des Séleucides. La langue officielle du royaume du Pont était le Grec ancien. Lors de la création du royaume, la capitale est placée à Amaseia ; elle est déplacée à Sinope quand cette ville est rattachée au royaume en 183 av. J.-C.. Le royaume est très prospère : il dispose de terres fertiles, et d'importantes mines d'argent, qui permettent un monnayage abondant et répandu à partir de Mithridate III du Pont. Le royaume est relativement homogène territorialement, grâce aux communications faciles, terrestres et maritimes. Devenu une thalassocratie en Mer Noire, il s’agrandit progressivement à la côte est, puis nord de cette mer, incluant la Crimée. Les colonies grecques de la côte ouest, autour des Bouches du Danube, deviennent ses alliées. A l'intérieur de l'Anatolie, Mithridate V reçoit de Rome la Phrygie, mais son successeur Mithridate VI, doit la restituer.
L'armée du Pont : Du fait de son origine Perse, l'armée du Pont était au départ probablement constituée de la fameuse trilogie perse piquiers-archers-infanterie d'assaut, aux côtés de cavaliers armés de lances, acrs, javelots et haches. Mais son fondateur Mithridate I Ktiste ("le fondateur"), bien que également Perse, était fortement hellenisé et connaissait parfaitement l'art militaire des diadoques. Il entrepris rapidement de transformer l'armée du Pont sur un modèle clairement hellenistique, faisant appel au besoin à des sujets gréco-macédoniens installés comme colons à son invitation. Le Pont étant prospère, des colons et des mercenaires devaient constituer une bonne part de l'armée, composite et colorée, chose qui s'accentua au cours des siècles suivants. Avec l'extension tardive maximale du Pont, à la veille des guerres Mithridatiques, le Royaume du Bosphore et pratiquement toute l'asie mineure et les côtes de la mer noire passèrent sous la domination du Pont, qui était de fait devenu un véritable empire. Outre les troupes déjà bigarrées d'asie mineure, Phrygiens, Bythiniens, Cariens, Galates, Cappadociens, Chalybes (proto-georgiens), des armées de Thraces et de Scythes furent levées pour renforcer encore le noyau dur constitué par la phalange des Leucaspides et Chalkaspides d'élite. Une part de cette armée hellenistique tardive était d'ailleurs romanisée, avec des troupes légères armées de thureos, glaives, javelots et xyston. Une autre particularité de l'armée du Pont était le grand nombre de cavaliers armés de javelots, hérités de l'ère perse, et des terrifiants chariots cataphractes tirés par quatre chevaux, une arme totalement désuette à cette époque, mais que les seleucides et le Pont employèrent avec un certain succés contre des troupes mal entraînées...
Le point d'orgue de cette armée du Pont fut atteint durant les guerres Mithridatiques, en particulier lors de la bataille de Chéronée qui fut menée par une armée de 120 000 hommes de nationalités les plus diverses, dont de nombreux esclaves libérés, contre les légions de Scylla totalisant 40 000 homes avec des auxiliaires gréco-macédoniens qui avaient fait défection. Scylla plaçant judicieusement ses troupes sur de hautes collines escarpée, les chariots, la cavalerie et même la phalange furent inefficaces... Cette défaite fut largement compensée par la victoire retentissante en 61 av.jc. remportée par Pharnacès grâce à l'ajout d'une nombreuse infanterie réformée "romanisée". Elle coûta aux Romains quelques 38 000 morts et quelques 8000 prisonniers...
This was 2310 years ago...
(Wikipedia) : T he term did come to apply to a separate state after the establishment of the Kingdom of Pontus, beyond the Halys River (Kızıl river). The Persian dynasty which was to found this kingdom had during the fourth century B.C. ruled the Greek city of Cius (or Kios) in Mysia, with its first known member being Ariobarzanes I of Cius and the last ruler based in the city being Mithridates II of Cius. Mithridates II's son, also called Mithridates, would become Mithridates I Ktistes of Pontus ("Ktistes" meaning "The Founder"). During the troubled period following the death of Alexander the Great, Mithridates Ktistes was for a time in the service of Antigonus, one of Alexander's successors, and successfully maneuvering in this unsettled time managed, shortly after 302 BC, to create the Kingdom of Pontus which would be ruled by his descendants mostly bearing the same name, till 64 BC. Thus, this Persian dynasty managed to survive and prosper in the Hellenistic world while the main Persian Empire had fallen. As the greater part of this kingdom lay within the immense region of Cappadocia, which in early ages extended from the borders of Cilicia to the Euxine (Black Sea), the kingdom as a whole was at first called "Cappadocia towards the Pontus", but afterwards simply "Pontus," the name Cappadocia being henceforth restricted to the southern half of the region previously included under that title. This kingdom reached its greatest height under Mithridates VI or Mithradates Eupator, commonly called the Great, who for many years carried on war with the Romans. Under him, the realm of Pontus included not only Pontic Cappadocia but also the seaboard from the Bithynian frontier to Colchis, part of inland Paphlagonia, and Lesser Armenia.
Pontic army : Due to the pontic roots, Pontic army was mixed and original. Mithridates was clearly a persian ruler, but heavily hellenized. His army was composed by greek style and persian style warriors. The "old" army, those of the beginnings in 300bc, was probably still heavily persian in style. It could have counted on levy spearmen like the sparabara, light mountaineers assault troops as the kardaka, and archers. Elite units would have been probably of royal takabara and kardaka style. Pontic cavalry was described having units of numerous horse skirmishers, an unusual fact as most eastern horsemen use bows instead. This was a product of the ancient persian style cavalry. Local troops were also available in large numbers, from cappadocia for the most, scythians from the black sea as mercenaries, even sarmatians. Nearby armenian mountaineers could also make valuable and cheap raiding infantry. Lately, in 150 bc., Pontus accesses to its greatest extent during Mithridates VI reign, and troops from all minor asia were available. A large part of the infantry was now composed of light "romanized" soldiers, driven from the light successors thureophoroi and the thorakitai evolution. Although this army was still impressive, it was no match against the Roman legions which crushed them definitely at Chaeroneia, when the pontic commander, Archelaus, gathered an army of 120 000 composed of Pontic, Thracian, Bithynian, Cappadocian, Scythian, Phrygian and Galatian troops. Sulla's tactic for his 40 000 roman legionaries and greek-macedonian defected troops rendered the famous pontic scythian chariots useless while having his infantry on the top of the chaeronian hills.
PANTODAPOI (Pontic levies) : Equipped with a light wicker shield and a light spear, these men were quickly raised from the local peasantry, but poorely trained and of no use against professional soldiers. Their main efficience resides in their numbers, and the dissuading power of their spearheads against any cavalry. They can act as a reinforcement also, but with their lack of protection and poor morale, an heavy load of arrows can broke their ranks easily. Using them as a local garrison is always judicious.
SPARABARA : The ancient Persian army relied heavily on these spearmen, which formed the bulk of their tactics. With their large, cumbersome wicker shileld, they were very efficient as a defence infantry, especially when the archers were stationed behind in a pitched battle. They were poorely equipped however. Unlike the "true" sparabara or royal sparabara, they were levies, with no armor or weapon outside their spear, or a small akinakes (the persian dagger). They were not an attack infantry, beeing a living wall, advancing slowly in close ranks, archers and light javelineers behind. They were almost useless on rough terrains, and in close-battle. For the wealthiest of them, their main armor outside their shield was the classic and ancient quilted jacket, and linen soft cap. This last, called "tiara" was a scarf well described by Herodotus, beeing made of many sheets of linen glued together, and were thick and flexible as well. This technique was later adopted by the greeks for their own linen armors. Sparabara were relatively cheap units, but well-trained and desciplined, although not of high morale especially against phalanx-like troops.
PERSIKOI PELTASTAI : Eastern typical peltasts, using crescent-shape wicker shield and armed with an akinakes as secondary weapon. It was clearly unsufficient against macedonian style heavy peltasts, but supported well the archers, and were capable of fast tactical moves on rough terrain as well. They were driven from levies inside the local peasantry, but generally young, agile, and courageous.
TAKABARA : The Takabara were "taka" bearers, a typical wicker crescent shield in wide use amongst eastern infantry. It was lighter then the Dipylon or "violin" shield, and used by peltasts and other light troops of the teme. The takabara was the attsault infantry, usually composed of picked-up recruits, strong, courageous men which were well-suited both by their physical strenght and agressive behaviour. Their main weapon was the saka-persian sagaris battleaxe, relatively cheap and perfect to crush shields and armors with ease. It was not efficient as a sword however, and some takabara would have been perhaps equipped also with an akinakes. They probably precedes their assault with javelin throwings. They were generally posted at the wings and rear, and lauched when archers and javelineers were short of ammunitions. They were line-breakers, to be followed by the heavy troops, takabara and kardaka spearmen. Although this tactic was successful during centuries, it was proven completely unsuccessful against the deadly forest of macedonian sarissas. Takabara were driven from mountaineers, or tribal warriors renowned for their banditry and raiding natural skills. They were then used at best in flanking attacks and tactical manoeuvers on rough terrains.
BASILEION TAKABARA : Also called "apple-bearers", these were descendants of the persian immortals, although not archers-spearmen but spearmen only, equipped with the classic spara shield but also the apple-bottom short spear, an akinakes and a sagaris battle-axe for close-combat. Their protection was clearly better than current takabara, while using scaled linen armors with pteryges and crested helmets. It was a royal elite unit inside the whole army, beeing heavily trained as soldiers, professionals and not levies. Their equipment was not sufficient however to deal with the phalanx, but they were quite superior in defence than any other spearmen in the ancient persian-style army.
KARDAKA : These "hoplite-like" heavy infantry were a late adoption of the achaemenid persian army, inspired by the greek hoplites in mercenary service. They had "karda" shield (aspis), quilted or scaled composite armor, but also soft caps or leather/linen composite headgear instead of metal helmets. Their secondary weapon was generally an akinakes dagger. Although fightning in close order with a better equipment and more agility than the sparabara, these chosen, trained professional soldiers were a few, and still not efficient while facing the macedonian phalanx. They were used at best against lighter troops like the heavy peltasts and in flanking moves.
TRALLIAN SLINGERS :
PERSIAN ARCHERS : A generic term for a large amount of levies archers, from the former Persian satrapal districs. Most of them were skilled, accostumed to a harsh life, and got a minimal equipment. Most of them were given akinakes and light pickle-axe for close combat. This was not necessary as long the Pontic early army mustered large amounts of spearmen to proctect them...
PERSIKOI HIPPAKONTISTAI : Slightly better equipped than average median horse skirmishers, these were given a simple bowl-like helmet, a good shield and a large provision of missiles. Their force resides in their speed and accuracy at close range, especially against foot skirmishers, but they shared many common tactics with the mythical numidian horsemen, as their landscape was roughly similar in many ways. They fought with an axe at close range, and an akinakes to finish the job...
utiliser comme base heavycav et merc
PERSIKOI HIPPEIS : The "persian" cavalry at is was known, heavy with linothorax, a characteristical helmet, javelins, and a battle-axe. At the very beginning of the pontic kingdom, they were probably still a current style of equipment and warfare, product of a long tradition.
PERSIKOI ARISTOI HIPPEIS: A kind of mounted heavy javelinmen, they were fully cladded with bronze scales and used a sword at short range. Beeing nobles, they were chosen cavalrymen and received the best equipment available
gallic royal cav
PHRYGIOI HIPPEIS : (Phrygian cavalry) : An early cavalry unit, available in asiatic minor AOR, this king of cavalry is related to the persian empire, In fact, Phrygia was a part of the Thracian Lysmiachus empire. After that, the kingdom fell to the Seleucids, and centuries after, into the Mithridatic sphere of influence. Although old-fashioned to see, these lancers ware also javelineers, and fight closer with a sagaris or a double-edge axe. They were a colorful and old-fashion unit, cladded with a greek and persian mixed equipment.
PONTIKOI SOMATOPHYLAKES : This impressive bodyguard unit was a product of enlisted cappadocian cavalrymen in the king's service, rewarded and promoted as royal bodyguards. Assurely an ultimate crack cavalry unit, they only charge on the crucial point and the decisive momentum with all the weight of their combined own heavy armour and heavily cladded nisean horse, to decide of the fight...
HELLENISTIC ARMY (and Pontic AOR) :
PONTIKOI DORATOPHOROI : A kind of levy, suceeding to the old-fashion sparabara. They were like most of the black sea spearmen, wearing a cloak and trousers, soft cap, and a thureos. They were unarmoured, but given a short akinakes dagger for close defence. They were drawn levies, not well trained, but numerous and costless, and formed the bulk of the reformed pontic army. They were disciplined and can hold the line to protect psiloi with efficience...
LEUKASPIDAI : The "white shields", were known as the basic pontic phalanx, part of the heavy infantry. It was the backbone of the whole pontic army, beeing driven from locals, and amongst them freed slaves. It was not as efficient as the true macedonian pezhetairoi, but they were well-trained and very well-equipped. The quilted armor was a classic, just as the phrygian helmet and boots of late reformed hellenistic troops.
CHALKASPIDAI : Well-known elite phalangites, these were famously equipped with bronze shields, and constituted the elite of the whole phalanx. When did they were formed as a regular unit ? This fact is subject to discussion. It was first described by Pliny about the beginning of the Mithridatic wars. These Chalkaspidai were locals, chosen, picked-up between the Leukaspidai, and equipped with the best armors (probably linen and scale made) and richest equipment available. This was really the very last time a phalanx was involved in pitched battles, and as Mithridates saw himself as the "defender of the hellenistic world", these phalangites were designed to be efficient but also to have an impressive look. They could have been compared to the seleucid argyraspidai, and did well against the Roman legions.
a voir modele generique katoikoi
KATOIKOI PHALANGITAI : Greek and Macedonian settlers in the rich Pontic region were a kind of "regular" mercenary and invited at high price by the Pontic rulers. They were well-equipped, and seen as better trained and more efficient than local phalanxes, due to their inheritance. The Miithridatic propaganda about the Pontic sacred mission of defending the greek world against the Roman hegemony and richness were about the reasons for these men under roman domination to settle in the Pontic lands, just like the seleucid and Ptolemies did in the past.
PELTASTAI : Greek and various origin mercenaries were recruited to form peltasts units, in a strong and old hellenistic tradition. They used a thureos and bronze helmets, sometimes also greaves, a xiphos as secondary weapon, and were agile and useful, mostly on the forefront than in the wings as they could barely expect to repel a cavalry attack.
THUREOPHOROI : These classic infantry, developed during the diadochi wars, began quickly the backbone of the greek spear infantry. They were more capable than the heavy peltast, especially against cavalry, and capable of forming a phalanx, and beeing equipped with long spears. As such they replaced successfully the intermediate "Iphikratean" hopltes.
PHERASPIDAI (HELLENIKOI PELTASTAI) : These heavy peltasts were equipped as greek peltasts, but with a linothorax, a bronze-faced aspis with chalcidian or thracian helmets and fought with a xiphos after thowing their heavy javelins. They were an elite related to the Hypaspistai, and seems to have been used as a flanking fast-moving infantry, and to follow the heavy cavalry like the hypaspists did.
THORAKITAI : Late infantry equipped like thureophoroi, with thureos shield, xiphos, and javelins, but with a chainmail or flexible scale armour instead of their linothorax. They were compared to the "mock legionaries", although beeing born before the ascepiodotal reforms, and retained their spearmen use on the battlefield.
PONTIKOI HYPASPISTAI : This kind of infantry was completely obsolete far before the Mithridatic wars, but in fact, like in the seleucid army, various elite guardsmen were still equipped with aspis shields rather than thureos. They were also still used as fast elite spearmen at the weakest part of the phalanx, and sturdy in all occasions.
BITHYNIOI EPILEKTOI : These auxiliary spearmen were picked-up warriors from the Bithynian kingdom, allied to the Pontus, and equipped with large aspis to serve as an honour guard and protect the flanks of the phalanx. They were equipped in a very similar way to the macedonian style hypaspistai, but were replaced later by thorakitai argyraspidai and romanized infantry in the late pontic army.
PONTIKOI AGRIANOI : This kind of heavy infantry was related to the famous Agrianes, Alexander thracian mercenaries which became his most famous assault infantry. The way of fightning, duty and equipment of these warriors derived form any ethnic origin and were known as a new specific unit in its own right, like the "neo-cretans" and Tarentine cavalry. They were given a Thureos, javelins, an axe and a sword. Most of htem were of Phrygian and Bythinian origin. They were an impressive sight for any foe, fightning merciless alongside thracian mercenaries.
PHRYGIOI AKONTISTAI : Phrygian peltasts wore trousers, phrygian soft cap, handling a wicker crescent shield, and given a heavy load of light javelins (Akontos) and an akinakes as seconday weapon. They could be used at best on rough terrains, beeing sturdy and disciplined.
BYTHINIOI THUREOPHOROI :
PHRYGIOI TOXOTAI : Driven from an old tradition of warfare, these phrygian archers were used since the pelloponesian wars alongside scythian archers, with similar skills and efficience...
SKYTHOI HIPPOTOXOTAI : These auxiliary horse-archers were recruited from the western Scythia or travelled from the Bosporus, then a sturdy ally, to settle and fight for the king of Pontos.
SKYTHOI ARISTOI : These scythian noblemen fought as auxiliaries, first as mercenaries, coming from scythia minor with their full retinue (their own squadron of light horse-archers). Then, they settled and ultimately began local mounted auxiliaries. During the Mithridatic wars, many other Scythian noblemen came directly from pontus to fight against the Romans.
LATE MITHRIDATIC ARMY :
This is the reformed late hellenistic army featured by Mithridates, which is known by several authors, mostly the Roman Appian and the Greek Plutarch, it saw three major wars, in 88-84 bc, another in 83-81 bc, and another in 75-63 bc. This was an epic moment in the struggle for dominating asia minor, the citadel against nomadic incursions towrd the Roman empire. It was also a rebellious client kingdom, and mithridates saw himself as the legator of the entire hellenistic civilization. In these wars, the very last lead by a mixed hellenistic-persian army, including imitation legionaries and reformed phalanx (by a Seleukos general in 160 bc), the traditional combined-arms tactics were completely defeated, although with a far bigger number of soldiers, by the roman war machine, then invincible.
DOULELEUTHEROS PHALANGITAI (Freed slaves phalanx): As a desperate measure, this kind of levy phalanx was raised in emeregency to add more weight to the phalanx, as greek and macedonian born experienced phalangists who formed the Chalkaspidai were a few. They were by no means a quick-trained levy, equipped with second-rate armament and equipments from Royal depots.
KAPPADOKIOI SAGARISPHOROI (Cappadocian axemen)
KHALYBIOI PEZOI : Chalybe infantry was a proto-Georgian people recruit, mostly as mercenaries. They were described as having a short spear, several javelins and an akinakes dagger, a round shield, and agressive, bloodthirsty behaviour which gained them the reputation of beeing the "eastern thracians".
KARTVELI PELEKOPHOROI : Caucasian and Iberian infantry living into the eastern coast of the black sea, a mountaneous and rough, dry country. Iberians were poor but fierce, fightning in a tribal fashion and essentially throwing spears and javelins. Their main melee was probably the akinakes and sagaris axe. A lot of Iberian mercenaries were hired by Mithridates, but they couldn't match the Roman legions of Pompey the Great. On the other side, "Caucasian" warriors, inhabitants of the rugged caucasian mountains were fierce and undaunted, well-use since the persian era as and auxilary infantry, most of them beeing part of the famous "takabara". Their main weapon, alongside the akinakes, was the sagaris battleaxe.
HELLENIKOI THUREOPHOROI : This kind of late infantry was related to the final defeat of Macedon after the Roman crushing victory at Pydna. A greek general and councillor of Antiochos, called Ascepiodotos is credited with a broad-style reform of the seleucid Army, quickly imitated by the Ptolemaic kingdom. This reform was not - contrary to some opinions - consisted into replacing the whole phalanx system by light romanized troops, but instead, to use the ancient Lochoi unit phalanx system in "legions", organized along roman lines. But as the phalanx core slightly reduced in size, it was strongly supported by numerous light troops derived from the "thureos bearers", peltasts and the like. Slighlty heavyer than peltasts but lighter and more mobile than line heavy thureophoroi, this kind of "imitation legionary" was mobile and agile, usable for various duties. They are well depticted mostly on Seleucid tombs and painings like at Sidon, and the Dioskourides Stele. They had no armor but a tunic and a wide cloak, a lighter thracian evolution local helmet, a xyston, some javelins and the xiphos for close combat. The Roman legionaries used their heaviest Pila like a spear, but they wore a chainmail. These light late successors infantrymen were not trained as hardly as the romans, not able to make difficult tactic formations, and not as strong-minded than the Romans in battle. These were however local professionals well-trained soldiers, an evolved form of the pantodapoi. They did well during the Mithridatic wars, especially during the famous battle of Ennium.
THORAKITAI ARGYRASPIDAI (SINOPEAN GUARDS) : These elite infantrymen were the cream of the new trained infantrymen into roman fashion. They were thorakitai because of their heavy armour, but fought with heavy javelins, roughly comparable to the pila, and a xiphos, roughly equivalent but slightly lighter than the Roman Gladius Hispaniensis. This elite infantry was formed at Sinope, and gave excellents accounts of themselves during the Mithridatic wars.
PONTIKOI MACHAIRAPHOROI : This romanized infantry was an emergency levy, a "mock legion", used during the second mithridatic war. They were about 90 000 in all, and their action was decisive. Some of them were free slaves, just in the same concept than the Marian legions, but most were armenian recruits, as stated Appian. Their equipments were a mix between old persian and greek-style wargrear, however, as they used a xyphos as main weapon, coupled with two heavy javelins, and get a thureos, their action was efficient. They wore tunics, trousers and had simple mass-product helmets. Chainmail were probably reserved to the professionnal imitation legionaries. despite their lack of training and light protection, their action was decisive in the battle of Ennium where they flanked the phalanx under Pharnakes command.
THORAKITAI PELTASTAI : Another kind of late infantry, these were an evolution of the heavy peltasts, beeing far more heavy, almost equipped like hoplites. Some said they were a modernised version of the Pheraspidai, introduced the thureos instead of the aspis, in order to be more agile against Roman infantry. They even exchanged their deadly but expensive machaira for a more versatile short xiphos, another response to the roman gladius. They would have been certainly successful in greater numbers, but the whole sword infantry was made of levies equipped with tunics.
THUREOPHERONTES : Beeing a typical unit of the Bosporan kingdom, these heavy elite archers and spearmen were modern version of the persian immortals, in fact a product of the mixing of scythian archery tradition and modern thureophoroi infantry. They were primarily archers, of various origin, equipped with a good quality armor, a large but light composite thureos, a powerful compsite longbow which was designed for range more than speed, a kopis or xyphos sword (or even an akinakes or battleaxe for some scythian recruits) and a xyston spear, used overhead like fast hoplites. These were elite soldiers of great versatility, efficient against cavalry and infantry as well, and could have acted without the usual buffer of protective infantry. They were costly, and recruited in the black sea regions. Their recruitments were probably mixed, with a majority of Boporan soldiers, but also scythians and sarmatians as well.
DREPANOPHORA HAMATA (Pontic heavy chariots -Prometheus model and skin) : Although totally obsolete by the beginnings of the Mithridatic wars, the scythed chariots were an old tradition of the east, preserved by both the Seleucids and Pontic kingdom, and proved successful many times against not disciplined, protected, or well trained troops. It has nothing to do with the old urartian and assyrian or even persian war chariots, which were used by javelineers, archers and spearmen, but these late chariots were very fast, design like race chariots with four horses (quadrigai) on a suspended light framework, two huge scythe blades beeing riveted to the framework, through the wheel axis. The pilot post was cladded with iron straps, leathered wood panels, and the pilot himself was heavily armoured, like ancient mycenanean chariot crew.
PRODROMOI : These scouts were generally lightly equipped, wearing tunics and cloaks, boots, in a thracian or macedonian fashion. They were sturdy mounted javelineers, fighting in close range with a machaira sword.
THRAIKOI PRODROMOI : These cavalrymen were driven from the thracian tribes, thracian settlers and mercenaries. They were successors prodromoi, probably quite heavy for scouts, both for their armament and tactics, and could fill melee fighting and charging as well, using javelins, battleaxe or machaira and a xyston, and were well protected.
XYSTOPHOROI : A classic unit, these were used to replaced the provisionnal sarissphoroi in the former macedonian army, and became a true heavy cavalry alongside the classic hetairoi, the main difference resided in their lower status and relatively light equipment, although quite better than ancient sarissphoroi.
KAPPADOKIOI KATAPHRAKTOI : probably the most famous cavalry unit in the whole area from Caucasus to Phrygia, these very powerful cavalrymen were already a crack unit in the army of the king of kings. They were noblemen, wonderfully equipped with cataphract nisean horses, skilled as bowmen, swordsmen, macemen, and capable of a devastating charge with their kontos. they still formed the backbone of the late Pontic cavalry.
AGEMA HETAIROI (Pontic late bodyguards) : Probably the ultimate mix between the late hellenistic influence and the cataphract noble tradition form Parthia and Armenia, these late bodyguards were surely unmatched opponents for any army.
GALATIKOI KELTOPHOROI : Basic galatian swordsmen-javelinmen, they were not particulary well-equipped, but courageous and hardened, they formed a valuable front line shock infantry, not expensive and fierce.
KUAROTHOROI : These famous mercenaries were the best known galatian warriors, they were mostly used by the seleucids, but also by Pergamon, and the Bythinian king, which recruited them in 280 bc when they were settled in Tylis, Thrace, raiding the rich south-east Byzantium lands. The kuarothoroi were named after the greek name "kouros" meaning "young man", but in fact, after a century of mercenary service, these Galatians were heavy warriors, well equipped and experienced. Beeing though and valiant, of dubious loyalty, always given to the most offering, they were the perfect line-breakers, cladded in a heavy chainmail, making turmoil with their long celtic sword. Most of them were versatile, using heavy javelins and spears also (gaesos).
brit light chariot merc
GALATIKOI DREPANOPHORA (Galatian war chariot) : They were not used as the pontic war chariot, but in the celtic style, well described by Polybius, Caesar as other authors, their main tactic beeing to fight on foot and beeing everywhere they were need at the same time. The warrior was often a noble one, offering his services as mercenary, and the charioteer his servant (Ambactos) who could fight as well. It is not sure that galatians chariot ever had scythes on their wheel axles.
KARIOI PELTASTAI : Carian tribal warband. These warriors were given javelins, falx or axe, the classic phrygian helmet, and fought bravely as a light-medium infantry. They were not well protected but fast and agile, beeing useful on rough terrain, for raids and ambushes.
KILIKIOI PEIRATES : Although undisciplined and difficult to manage, cilician warbands were a source of valuable recruitment for the Ponttic rulers. They came from all the merditerranean, and were accostumed to harsh life conditions and agressive behaviour, fighting with javelins and axes, like most asia minor tribal warriors.
PHRYGIOI SAGARISPHOROI : Phrygian mercenary axemen : These infantrymen were recruited during the persian era, and were a valuable assault infantry, usually used as a complement to the takabara. They were generally better equuipped, with a phrygian helmet, or soft cap, quilted armor, and wide crescent or Gerron (violin-shaped) wicker shield, quite similar to the greek Dipylon.
THRAIKOI ROMPHAIORIOI : Thracian mercenaries with the classic war-gear, they were given a tunic but also a heavy-face-protected phrygian helmet, a thureos, iron tipped javelins and a frightening falx shorter than the usual romphaia. Some settled in Pontic lands, others were Bithynian mercenaries equipped as their thracian blood-brothers.
SKYTHIOI TOXOTAI : Mercenary scythian foot archers were quite common throughout the antiquity in this part of the world. The connectio between Pontus and black sea peoples, and lately Bosporan kingdom, allowed many scythian mercenaries to be enlisted. They were fast-firing due to their powerful short composite bow, reliable and fierce as well. Their large Gorytos contained another bow in spare-parts and a wide variety of specialy shaped arrows, including some which were really designed to provoke the most awful wounds...
merc lite persian cav
SKYTHOI HIPPAKONTISTAI : A kind of fast mounted javelineers, they were impressive and efficient as well. Most of them were southern Scythian horsemen, with connections with the Medians and Dahae peoples.
SKYTHIOI HIPPOTOXOTAI : Really efficient in all-time, fast, agile, and capable of inflicting heavy casualties while beeing impossible to catche by any infantry or cavalry, the scythian horsemen were impressive and efficient, beeing undefeated by the persians or any other people on the known world. Proud and fierce with an old tradition of warfare in the middle-east, they have been recruited in large numbers by Pontus kings.
SKYTHOI ARISTOI HIPPOTOXOTAI : Scythian nobles were also a very effective cavalry, equipped with a greek armour, gorytos, composite fast-firing bow, sagaris battle-axe, sword, and akinakes dagger. Versatile a nd skilled, they were also costy, but far most effective than common horse-archers.
SAUROMATAE HIPPOTOXOTAI : Standard light sarmatian cavalryman. As the Roxolani are mentioned as the sarmatians mercenaries hired by Mithridates, we could only guess that most of them were lighlt equipped. The main difference between Sarmatian and scythian light horse-archers remains in the capacity of the first to fight systematically with their kontos after firing all their arrows. The Scythians fought closer with their akinakes and sagaris, but could not even thinking to do this with a foe sarmatian cavalryman, keeped away because of the lenght of the kontos. This is one of the reasons which explained the defeat of the Scythians when faced the sarmatian armies. This kontos was brought in two parts, probably layed on the side of the stirrup, and assembled just before the charge was ordered.
ROXOLANI HIPPOTOXOTAI : Tribal light horse-archers from the Sarmatian Roxolani tribe, these were impressive horsemen, fast and capable of inflicting heavy casualties while using a composite bow more powerful than the scythian bow, capable of outrange any other cavalry of the same kind. They were unarmoured, but given a dagger and a kontos, generally carryied in two parts, it was 5 meters long and really effective in close combat, which made these horsemen fast lancers as well, making charge after charge to break the enemy after spend all their ammunitions...
SAUROMATAE ARISTOI HIPPOTOXOTAI : These heavy sarmatian tribal archers were better-equipped, with the famous composite helmet which was direct the ancestor of the dark-age spangenhelm. These lesser nobmes were also given a full scale armor and fought with a bow and kontos, making them really versatile, their close-range weapons beeing daggers, axes and swords.
LAZYGAI HIPPEIS : These Sarmatian horsemen were well-equipped and relatively heavy.
SAUROMATAE KONTOPHOROI : These famous heavy cavalrymen were probably the costier mercenaries available, but they were really impressive. Although beeing mounted on Nisean horses, completely protected, they were still fast and agile, using their formidable Kontos as main weapon, and a sword or even mace in close-combat. The cavalryman himself was entirely cladded with a fine scale armor, which was still light and flexible, but impenetrable by hardly any missile, and the typical conical Sarmatian composite helmet.