Cataphract vs Knight

Oct 2011
543
Croatia
I have found accounts which point that couched lance charge was actually utilized in Roman Empire (Byzantine) often enough to be known as "Rum style of war". In fact, it is possible that couched lance charge spread from Byzantine Empire westwards. OTOH, there are also statement to the effect that Byzantines only adopted couched lance charge after Latinization of their army, and that before that main melee weapon of cataphract was a mace - apprently, couched kontarion was only adopted cca 1100.

I found those:
 
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Oct 2018
2,057
Sydney
I was under the impression that Roman cataphracts had long used maces, axes and swords as secondary weapons, with the contus Sarmaticus their primary weapon.
 
Oct 2011
543
Croatia
I was under the impression that Roman cataphracts had long used maces, axes and swords as secondary weapons, with the contus Sarmaticus their primary weapon.
Roman cataphracts of Ancient period, yes, though it was not used in a couched lance technique. For Byzantine-era cataphracts, mace was apparently the primary weapon, with lancers being positioned at the wings of formation.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,968
UK
I thought they adopted the couched lances from their experiences in engaging Otto, but I could be wrong.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,968
UK
I thought they adopted the couched lances from their experiences in engaging Otto, but I could be wrong.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,128
Australia
There is nothing magical about the couched lance. All you are doing is tucking a spear under your arm while on horseback. The Sasanians used it before the Byzantines. Their longer spears were supported by the second hand. The Roman horned saddle would have made it easy to use the couched lance.