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Full Version: ownership of arms
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On the subject of ownership of arms, I've already read a lot of different opinions about it. But still it's not completely clear to me. Could, for instance, a soldier on the completion of his service take his sidearms with him? And how about Roman arms in riverbeds or in sacred places?<br>
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Anyone out there who can clear things up for me?<br>
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Hans <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I'd imagine that you need to be more specific on the period. During most of the years of the Republic, for instance, the soldier bought and/or owned all his own equiptment, so the obvious answer seems to be yes. I'm not so sure about the situation under the empire, though.<br>
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Aaron <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

IIRC i read a reference to a mother getting money from the sale of her dead sons equipment.<br>
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a number of items have soldiers names punched onto them- some more tahn one name- indicating they have probably be sold on.<br>
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and i believe one of the Emperors in 69AD was supported by cash through the selling of equipemnt [belts?] by retired soldiers<br>
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I wish me brain worked so I could recall where the references were- but I dare say I could find them.............eventually<br>
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Indeed, Aaron, I should have made it clear that I was refering to the Principate period.<br>
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The private ownership of equipment items like belts, shoes,... seems to be obvious, like you pointed out, Vardulli. But is it the same for weapons like swords, daggers,...? I cannot imagine that the authorities would allow veterans to take (state issued?) swords home with them as such, even though during their active service they payed for their weapons (weren't there some pay-deductions for weapons?). By taking weapons home they could become a threath to the state. So this points to state-owned weapons the soldiers had to 'lease' (which could explain several 'owner's names' punched onto them). But this doesn't explain the fact that swords, spearblades, ... were found in temples and as votive gifts in riverbeds. This would indicate a certain right to 'dispose' of weapons and therefore a kind of private ownership.<br>
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I'm still confused.<br>
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Hans <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

isnt there reference to a cavalryman using as stake or getting a dagger through gambling?<br>
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Anonymous

You know, I don't know if they were really that worried about private ownership of arms as being that big of a threat to the state. I don't remember ever hearing about this being a specific issue; the flip side may be just as much a factor: they may have been rather happy at the prospect of a colony of veterans, who were well-armed, and had been thoroughly Romanized and indoctrinated through 20-25 years of faithful servants. Perhaps they even saw them as the sort of nascent citizen militia. (Remember that even in the empire, traces of the sort of civic attitudes of the Republic didn't die quickly.)<br>
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But hey, there's a heck of a lot I don't know. Anyone hear of a text where the weapons cache of veterans was seen as a threat? Anyone hear of any "sword hunts" of a similar nature to Hideyoshi's?<br>
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My instinctual conclusion would be: if the soldier had purchased the arms through pay deductions, he probably kept them or sold them, but they were his to dispose with.<br>
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Aaron. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I seem to recall some reference to veterans sailing to Sicily on their own initiative and appointing their own officers in order to stop a slave revolt....can't say I can recall the source. I've I'm right, this would indicate that they still had their equipment. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I own my own arms..... there are two of them.....<br>
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i use them every day...... happily i should mention.....<br>
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hehehehe<br>
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<p><span style="color:yellow;font-family:times new roman;font-size:medium;">M.VIB.M.<br>
V COH II<br>
LEGIO X GEMINA<br>
EX GER INF</span></p><i></i>
One big, one small? <p></p><i></i>