The Komnene Dynasty

One thing I love about writing reviews for Pen and Sword is that I get the chance to read stuff I just didn’t know existed for one and about relevant topics on tribes and dynasties that again I didn’t know existed..

In this review, I will be discovering all about the Komneni.

Yeah I know, who?

The Komneni Dynasty was a part of the Byzantine empire which spanned over 1000 yeas, but the Komnene Emperors seems to have almost keep the dynasty alive longer than its neighbours would have liked.   

They also seem to have keep the Muslim and Western Christian empires apart by acting as a buffer. And by the reading, it looks lie this was not a choice made by the Komnene.

John Carr’s book is a great insight into the struggles of Empire when both the Western Norman wanted to destroy Eastern Christendom and the Muslim Turks of the east also wanted to destroy them too..

The books cover the two centuries of the Komnene heyday.

What stood out for me in the thought that the Komneni were one of the first to introduce military techniques we now know as asymmetrical warfare.  I guess attacks on all sides meant they had to be creative.

Interestingly the military might and prowess of the Komneni were very much dependant on the emperor on the throne at the time. Another facet is the make up of the army tended to include Kelts, Franks, Russians, Armenians and even Turks.  

I did find all the name a bit confusing, reinforced by the index of just names mentioned at that back of the book.  Hats of to the author for keeping all those straight in his head…

I think this would be good book for any wargammer looking recreate battles in this period as they could use a wide variety of armies to fight each other.

From a military history point of view, this is a really interesting book.  I will need to reread it at some point, and highlight more of the warfare tactics once I have caught up with my other reading.

You can buy this book direct from Pen and Sword Books

Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.