Song Army, in Colors!!! 宋軍



I have recently came upon this Yuan era scroll detailing the various Song dynasty royal detachments. They are mostly cavalry archers and processional wagons but the armors and the weapons are authentic. Please feel free to zoom in to see more details. You can find a full sized version here.

Note that this is largely a semi- religious ceremony, so the armor and armaments may be lighter than an army on the campaign.


Heralds and wagon attendants. The lower ranked attendants are marked by their black servant's caps, the mandarin officials are distinguished by their long wing like flaps. Like this:




Royal attendants and overseers followed by cavalry crossbowmen garbed in brigandine armor. Notice how in this period in order to counter the heavily armored steppe cavalry, even the horses are heavily armored. Note the large exaggerated size of the crossbows. The crossbow men are followed by armored cavalry archer in similar equipment. They are in turn followed by armed attendants.


Horse archer detachment, with bannermen flying the banners of either Daoist saints or those of Daoist Heavenly guardians. The central banner is that of the big dipper, or the North Pole Star, a symbol of supreme power that was in use even before the first Emperor's time.


Religious wagons, decked with ceremonial priests and seances.


Rear guard, consisting mostly of cavalry archers and attendants armed with ranged weapons.

Scroll painting is a long held Chinese tradition, usually designed for marking important events and obvious propaganda for the court. This scroll's style is rather typical in format, as noted by this scroll from the Tang dynasty which preceeds the Song by some 200 years.



And the Ming era scroll, full size here, that vastly surpasses the Song scroll in scope and length.




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