The armors of Byzantines are unknown to the general public largely because there are no sufficient archaeological findings to allow an easy and immediate reconstruction of their original form. However, one may easily admire the icons in the Orthodox churches as well as other religious art forms, e.g. reliefs, ornaments etc.
As was the case of Monarchs of the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Roman and subsequently the Eastern Roman Emperors attained the realm of deification / sanctification / legend only through armed conflict and victorious struggle – their immortality had to be deservedly won through successful campaigns. These metaphysical notions were already expressed in the art of the Hellenistic period with secular and religious displays of armed Kings which continued virtually unchanged in Imperial Roman and Byzantine periods.
The armors of Orthodox Military Saints reflect precisely the power of the Byzantine Emperors, the invincibility of the Byzantine army, the grandeur of the Empire, the triumph of victories, the Roman military virtues (virtus invicta, virtus perpetua, auctoritas, dignitas, virtus, pietas), the Divine Protection and Welfare. So far there has not been found any manual that describes the exact detailed structure of Byzantine armors (also known as "Klivania"), so we are not able to know the exact method of construction.
References to Byzantine armors can be found in the following essays, manuals and textbooks:
The Byzantines had an innate preference for armors of composite construction, leather and metal being the two key elements of their Klivania. The main types of Klivanion armor of 10th and 11th centuries were the following:
The combination of these types of armor resulted in the production of a wide variety of defensive weapons. A heavily armed Byzantine Cataphract was almost immune to enemy attacks.
Πολύ συχνά προκύπτει το ερώτημα για το κατά πόσο η επιλογή ενός ολομεταλλικού θώρακα (αρθρωτού ή μη) κρίνεται καταλληλότερη σε σύγκριση με έναν οργανικό θώρακα (σύνθετου ή μη) και δευτερευόντως, ποιος από τους δύο αυτούς τρόπους θωράκισης ήταν πιο προσφιλής στους Έλληνες της Ηπειρωτικής Ελλάδος από τον 15o μέχρι τον 5ο π.Χ αιώνα.