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In a particular passage it mentions thar legionaries were giving up their dona militaria to support Vitellius for emperor.

Did it mention if the Dona Militaria were phalerae and did it mention if they were silver or other precious metal. I do not specifically remenber the entire story.

Does anyone know of the excerpt.


The donatives were probably in the form of money. he had ten willing legions plus auxiliaries under his command.

Where did you get the info?
I read that too! Year of the 4 Emperors maybe?
Best root out Suetonius' 'Lives of the Caesars' and Tacitus' again then!

I'd rather read the original source :wink:
or it could have been Tacitus.... :roll:
Quote:I'd rather read the original source :wink:

So would I. Unfortunately, I can't read ancient Greek or Latin, and have to rely on modern translations..... :roll: :lol:
Thanks for the reply.

I could have sworn that the passage mentions dona militaria and that it was discussed once before here on RAT?.

The reason why I am asking is because I am having a set of phalerae made and I do not know if it is more accurate to have them made from sterling silver or have them made from brass and then silvered.

This is why on the previous posts I was wondering about the Lauresfort and if they were silvered brass or completely silver.

I though that the Vitellius story could lend to the idea of silver phalerae.

I had to look this up when I first saw this thread this morning. I used Lacus Curtius site of Suetonius. There are both Latin and English translations for those of you who can read the original. All I learned was that Vitellius was a thoroughly despotic guy but saw no reference to what you asked above. Maybe another source will have more. Big Grin
Taticus, Histories 1.57:
…nec manipuli quoque et gregarius miles viatica sua et balteos phalerasque, insignia armorum argento decora, loco pecuniae tradebant…

[not only did wealthy civilians and officers help to finance the campaign] but units and ordinary soldiers handed over their viatica or in place of money, their belts and phalerae, and the beautiful (or honourable) silver insignia on their arms.

As Maxfield (Military Decorations) points out, phalerae could be horse harnesses or the military decorations known as phalerae. She prefers the latter; I agree, partly because of the context – the phalerae are clearly in association with the belts, and Tacitus is talking here about ordinary legionaries – the vast majority of whom were infantry. Insignia could mean indications of rank, but again here is more likely to mean military decorations, and they’re silver. In answer to the original question, Tacitus does not indicate what metal(s) the phalerae are made from, but I’d suggest it’s pretty safe to assume that they’re silver, or silvered, at the very least.
"the beautiful (or honourable) silver insignia on their arms.....Insignia could mean indications of rank, but again here is more likely to mean military decorations" Or perhaps silver/ gold torques or bracelets worn on the arm?

For example, from Corinium Museum
[Image: A160.jpg]

This is not the only example- from the on-line Corinium write up of this exhibit
"This is a well-carved fragment; the hand is approximately half-size and grasps the shaft of a lance cut square rather than round; on the wrist is a band circa 0.015 m. to 0.02 m. wide with turned-over terminals. Griffiths has noted a similar feature on the tombstone of the trooper, T. Flavius Bassus, of the Ala Noricorum, who was buried at Cologne, and also on that of the centurion M. Caelius of Legio XVIII, who wears a broad band on both bare wrists (no doubt hinged at the back). The Aquilifer Cn. Musius, of Legio XIV Gemina, is shown on his stele at Mainz with a band of four ridges fastened to the wrist of his right arm only. Finally there are faint indications of a band on the right wrist of Flavius, standard bearer of the Ala Petriana, whose tombstone is in Hexham Abbey. As all these wrist-bands are different, it must be presumed that they were personal items and not normal equipment. They would have provided protection to the inner side of the wrist where the blood-vessels are near the surface and therefore vulnerable to sword cuts."
Ah, the latin word's armorum which is arms (military equpiment, armour etc.), not limbs. I gave it a literal translation because I didn't want to suggest that Tacitus is any more specific than that: the Oxford World Classic translation uses 'uniform', but since I'm not happy about that concept in the ancient world, I ain't using it! One could interpret it, perhaps, as decorations attached to armour - possibly things like torques therefore.
Thank you Kate.

Yes it is Tacitus since I have Suetonius and could not find it there. This is the passage I was referring to. Yes if they used their military belts or phalerae as money then silver phalerae would be logical.

However even silvered orichalum phalerae could be possible since orichalum was used for maoney as well.

Thus my phalerae reconstruction would be just as accurate in pure silver as they would be in silvered brass.

Right, although tinned brass would be just as shiny and lots cheaper. The ones I've seen look great. Let us see yours when you get them.