Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
I doubt you will get an adequate answer from here. Not because the people here don’t know what they are doing, but rather because you are writing about a time and a culture completely different to that anyone here is from, or probably familiar with. So, basically, you will be getting entirely modern answers that won’t reflect anything about what any Byzantine ever did. Not to mention that probably no one on this forum has ever ridden their horse in a pitched battle. And I’m not writing this as just speculation, I am doing an anthropology PhD so I do have some idea about representing things cross-culturally.
What I would suggest is going to a few history departments in some universities and talk to any academics you can find who specialise in Byzantine history; this should give you a better general idea about the culture you are dealing with (if you haven’t already done that of course, I’m guessing you already know how o do research). Then you have to translate byzantine concepts etc into a modern language that will reach your audience; and this is the hard part, I know, I’m trying to translate Bedouin culture into something comprehensible to English speakers without losing the meaning of it, or transposing my own meanings onto theirs; I sympathise with you, it’s a tall order.
Personally I would use the term “spurred” the horse onwards, it can be taken literally or metaphorically and still be accurate, and it is understandable to a modern audience.