True cavalry with men mounted on horse back started to appear from the 9th century BC, as chariots were slowly replaced. Imposing they were used in shock charges, their rapid movement made them ideal for reconnoissance, screening an army and for chasing down the enemy. Though despite there usefulness they only remained a small part of a Mediterranean army, comprising of perhaps only some 10% of the total numbers. In the late Roman empire period cavalry drawn from Northern Europe became more prevalent.
The expense of the horse and equipment often made it the province of aristocrats, creating at times divisions in social and political status between that of the infantry and cavalry.
In this episode Jasper, Josho, Murray, Lindsay and Michael consider questions of the tactical roll of the cavalry, the logistics of providing for the cavalry and their weapons and equipment, and the social status of the cavalry and use of “Barbarians”.