Epirote Cavalry Officer

290 to 270 B.C.E.

As in every Hellenistic army since Alexander the great, the cavalry played a special role in the army of Pyrrhos. It was usually their task to decide the battle with their charge. Consequently Hellenistic kings oftentimes rode to battle together with their cavalry.

This impression is based on the finds from the village Prodromi in Thesprotia, which is located on the area of ancient Epiros. At the end of the 1970s a farmer discovered a cist-grave. The grave contained an iron breastplate, two iron helmet, one of which was covered in silver, an iron sword, and a matching iron sheath. The length of the sword, and the details of the breastplate lead to the conclusion that this was the equipment of a cavalry soldier.

The archaeologists discovered signs that sacrifices were made at the grave long after the burial, which led them to the conclusion that the deceased was a highly-decorated war hero from the campaigns of Pyrrhos. The iron arms and armour can also be dated to the early third century B.C.E.