Kontos wrote:Disappearance makes sense given the predominantly mounted migrations into western Europe during the fall of Rome and the subsequent "Dark Ages".
I love musing about this sort of change. I would have said that most armies migrating into Western Europe and causing the fall of Rome-W were foot (Franks, Saxons, Burgundi, Angles, etc.). There were a bunch of Knight armies as well (Gepids, Goths, Vandals) but the early Vandals were primarily foot (only becoming mounted after already trashing Roman Africa), and the Gepids only came in after W.Rome was already doing the final swirl around the toilet rim of history.
I'm not sure whether the Goths (Ostro and Visi) can really be blamed here for the change -- my personal thought is that it has more to do with the fall of Rome-West (as the foot forces of the west became more and more crappy and poorly trained) vand the evolution of Rome-East into a mounted force based upon fighting Sassanids, Bulgars, Avars, Huns. As foot became less important, having Elite Foot (and Raiders, which are in some ways Elite Light Foot) became less useful. The Dailami are the next appearance of elite open-order foot, and they lived and fought in a civilized world. Vikings appeared about the same time (far away) and are definitely not civilized, but fought in a very different cultural mix -- their historical opponents are almost all foot armies, as compared to the Dailami who fought against armies with a lot of mounted (horsebow and Javelin Cavalry).
And as always, it's hard to tell cause and effect. Did the ineffectiveness of Raiders against their foes cause the loss of W.Rome, or did the loss of W.Rome cause the abandonment of Raiders as a troop type?