Stratiotai were the mainstay of Roman horsemen. Wearing an “esolorikon” ( ¾ inch thick padded gambeson) and a chain mail “lorikion” hauberk they were the mainstay of Komnenoi era cavalry. Their helmet is the western inspired “kassidion”. It has been suggested that perhaps as much as 50% or 60% of all cavalry forces were Stratiotai. The Roman Empire fielded them in great numbers because they were definitely a good solid force of cavalry and their unit design was a great compromise between speed, availability and armor. Good enough to hold the line as well as break through. More armor layers as well as the absence of horse barding kepth them from competing with their heavier armed Kavallarioi and Kataphraktoi brethren. Still their sheer numbers can easily overwhelm heavier foes. Once the Roman Empire is able to field enough of them, Stratiotai should be the backbone of their cavalry forces. Historically Stratiotai were often thought to be medieval or later era troops, yet a monastery document from the time of the first Komnenos’ emperor proves that they did infact exist at that time. The name stratiotai became so intertwined with the army in general that now it means soldier in present day greek. This should speak volumes of just how many of them were, and how good they must have been if their unit designation is to mean “soldier”, and “foot soldier” at that. They were general use cavalry, which could fight well, but heavier opponents and pikes would destroy them.