RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Reference works; and where to start research
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OK, so I talked to a couple of other RAT members who live in my area. There's no active group here so we're going to start our own. Legio XIIII (or would it be XIV?) circa 60 AD. Right now, due to all I've read in print or online, I have a good general idea of what I want my impression to look like. But the devil is in the details, and I don't know where to look to learn about them. I've come to understand that if you don't get the details right, it won't be authentic, thus killing all your effort.

So what I'm asking for is recommendations of authors, classical, recent and modern, whose works would help me 'get it right'. I've also learned that a lot is conjecture, but what was actually written about legionaries would be a very helpful guideline.
XIIII is what's written on the Musius tombstone so I think is the preferred way of writing '14' at least when it comes to the Legio. In fact, I seem to find 'IIII' a common way of writing the number '4'- I recall reading somewhere that 'IV' is a more modern convention but not exactly where.

So what specifically are you interested in knowing? If you've been thorough with respect to knowing about LEGXIIII itself, you're probably reasonably well-informed as I doubt there are volumes of information known. If it's about the equipment and nature of a solider/Legio ca. 60AD, that's more-or-less what the majority of people here seem to do, so there's a lot around.
Matt is quite right. The subtractive method of Roman numerals is modern. In Latin epigraphy IV would have also stood for Juppiter, and it could have been ambiguous. Although I have read that it was used inconsistently throughout the middles ages.

XIIII is probably better, since it is easier for people to count to four than to subtract one from five.
Well, if it's on an ancient tombstone, that's good enough for me. Plus it occurs to me, the average Marcus might not have had basic math tables drilled into him the way we have, so an easier numerical system would make sense in that light. But what I was asking is...

Are there books by archaeologists about their finds on legionary digs, and who? Like information on armor, weaponry, kit and helmets that were intact enough to see how it would be reconstructed 2000 years later, by people like us? What I'm looking for is archaeological and scupltural evidence to base my works on, when I build and buy my kit. I may be a little too insistient, but I want to look as much like a Roman guy in the army as I can.
Quote:Are there books by archaeologists about their finds on legionary digs, and who? Like information on armor, weaponry, kit and helmets that were intact enough to see how it would be reconstructed 2000 years later, by people like us? What I'm looking for is archaeological and scupltural evidence to base my works on, when I build and buy my kit. I may be a little too insistient, but I want to look as much like a Roman guy in the army as I can.

Probably one of best single sources for you to start from is:

Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome: Second Edition by M. C. Bishop and J. C. N. Coulston

You can use the bibliography as a starting point for research in greater detail then.