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"Best sources for Rus army 1220-40s appearance" Topic


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Lets party with Cossacks07 Jan 2022 2:16 a.m. PST

Hi, first time poster on Medieval Boards. I have a new project for Rus v Mongols 1220s-40s and from what I found on the net am uncertain about the appearance of Rus armies at that time. The project is for To the Strongest rules, which define Rus troop types to be Druzhina nobles and retinue; horse archers or Mordvin, Cuman, Hungarian & Lithuanian allies; Polk town militia spearmen; Smerdy peasant levy and peasant bowmen. The army lists also speak of Poles and German Knights.

I have ordered Osprey books on some of these, and have access to Ian Heath Books on the Dark and Middle ages, and have done some googling but have some very basic questions.

Were there any distinctive colours which non-peasant troops listed above used? Were there any distinctive colours which even the peasant levy used which might identify them to belonging to a particular command? Was that even a concept then? I get that most cloth/wool would have been undyed and that it was what it was, so plenty of earth tones. But I wanted to get some idea of what defining colours I could use, and if those colours were in any way organised, before I start giving way to my imagination…

Your ideas or even other/better sources would be very much appreciated.

Lets party with Cossacks07 Jan 2022 2:16 a.m. PST

Hi, first time poster on Medieval Boards. I have a new project for Rus v Mongols 1220s-40s and from what I found on the net am uncertain about the appearance of Rus armies at that time. The project is for To the Strongest rules, which define Rus troop types to be Druzhina nobles and retinue; horse archers or Mordvin, Cuman, Hungarian & Lithuanian allies; Polk town militia spearmen; Smerdy peasant levy and peasant bowmen. The army lists also speak of Poles and German Knights.

I have ordered Osprey books on some of these, and have access to Ian Heath Books on the Dark and Middle ages, and have done some googling but have some very basic questions.

Were there any distinctive colours which non-peasant troops listed above used? Were there any distinctive colours which even the peasant levy used which might identify them to belonging to a particular command? Was that even a concept then? I get that most cloth/wool would have been undyed and that it was what it was, so plenty of earth tones. But I wanted to get some idea of what defining colours I could use, and if those colours were in any way organised, before I start giving way to my imagination…

Your ideas or even other/better sources would be very much appreciated.

Cuprum2 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2022 5:38 a.m. PST

Russian banners of this period could carry princely family emblems, emblems of Russian cities and principalities, or Christian symbols. The same rule applied to the emblems on the shields, although various abstract patterns were also widely present here.
No special differences in clothing and armor were usually used.
The princes and noble warriors of the squads had expensive clothes made of richly decorated fabrics, often brought from the East, decorated with gold embroidery. In Russian traditions, it was necessary to dress, whenever possible, bright and catchy. The lower the warrior's wealth was, the simpler the clothes became.
The peasants and the FOOED urban (it could be partially mounted) militia did not go out to fight in the field. On foot against the excellent cavalry of the steppe (the main enemy of the Russians at the time), they would have been uselessly doomed. These people could only fight on the walls, while defending or capturing fortresses. An infantryman in Russia at that time was not even considered a warrior.
The clothing of the poor was mostly made of flax and other "vegetable" fabrics. The color of the woven garment is usually white and light colors (light gray, something like light beige, etc.) with decoration whenever possible. Woolen clothing was less common than in Europe, since sheep breeding in Russia was less developed.

Cuprum2 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2022 5:49 a.m. PST

picture

Emblems of Russian principalities: Galich (present-day Western Ukraine), Kiev, Pskov (North of Russia), Suzdal (future Moscow principality).

picture

Ancestral (pre-Christian) emblems of Russian families.

Christian symbols on shields.

The color of the images is important only on the emblems of principalities.

The most favorite color for decoration is red. In a direct translation, the name of this color in Old Russian is "beautiful")))


Some images can be found here, but be careful when choosing a prototype there is a lot of kitsch and other rubbish here)))

link

Druzhina08 Jan 2022 9:02 p.m. PST
Lets party with Cossacks10 Jan 2022 10:03 p.m. PST

Hello Cuprum2 thank you for your posting it is very much appreciated. Real life intervened preventing an earlier reply.

Am I right in thinking that the pre Christian symbols continued to be used after the apparent Christianisation of the Rus in 988 (I understand there is debate over that date)? If so, is it known how long roughly they were still in use?
Fascinating that Red meant "Beautiful". I guess that should be a predominant colour.

Many thanks Druzhina for the links. They too are fascinating. I can see significant red in the first you provided, and will wander through the rich list of images you have collected.

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