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Quote:Sorry, but there is somewhere a list of plumbatas, place of the find and current location?
YES - on my pc! :twisted:

The one you saw might be from Augst, but it's not clear - it's indeed hopelessly wrong among Etruscan armour.. Weren't there a few caltrops nearby?
Yes, just one (but quite big), explained as "projectile weapon" sigh! :roll:

well, they can be thrown against the enemy, but they are a handicap when after the battle you want to "take share" of what they don´t need more... :twisted:

I can ask for the weight of the plumbata to the museum 8)
Foto taken in Sofia Archaeological museum (there are some other terrific finds but I was not able to take pics since that it was forbidden, this was one was taken in the moment when they were not watching me Smile ) Approximate length of the find is some 10-12 cm
Damien/Kervenec/Miles Sylvanus from Herculiani told me that he handed some in Serbia. According to him and some articles he read, the iron and lead are about 110-150g and the length between 8 an 16,5 cm

With our blacksmith we tried to rebuild some plumbatae with as less material than possible. So we used small pieces of trash steel, liquid lead, 33cm of a 1cm diameter wood branch and a two feathered rawhide tail. and that's absolutely all. A single man need about a quarter hour of work to produce one if all is well organised.

On this model we made two sharp plumbatae and two "blunt" for reenacting

First tests taught us that this is a one shot weapon whose wood break after the shock (so we later made a full pipe though not the historical fixing, it's better for the experiment needs).

The sharp ones cross a 8mm Pine board. The blunt ones are dreadful enough to cause a cerebral concussion despite the helmet.

A good thrower can be quite accurate at 50 to 60 m

So it is really a dangerous little "dart"

Here are the raw results of what we got just after the blacksmith
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... /?edited=1

If you have some informations on archaelogical weights and lenghts, I'm interested in, I try to make a board and graph on the question.

Bye

Grég
Quote:Foto taken in Sofia Archaeological museum
Thanks Stefan! The first one that I know that actually came from Bulgaria!
Any info on weight, dating and place of origin perhaps?
Is that shaft torqued or smooth?
Thanks for the picture, especially since you braved the guards, much appreciated!

Quote: Damien/Kervenec/Miles Sylvanus from Herculiani told me that he handed some in Serbia. According to him and some articles he read, the iron and lead are about 110-150g and the length between 8 an 16,5 cm
Hi Grég, could you please ask me about that information? Notes perhaps? The articles?

Quote:If you have some informations on archaelogical weights and lenghts, I'm interested in, I try to make a board and graph on the question.
I have information about up to 121 plumbatae. I like to think that it's quite a database. :wink:
Lenghts vary a lot, but most seem to be between 110 and 140 mm. Weights also vary a lot, and information about that is extremely sparse (of the 121, I know only the weight of 17 of them!) but most seem between 70 and 115 grams.[/quote]
Hi Robert,

Kervenec is back to Serbia to dig a roman site and we exchanged by mail but when he will come back, I will ask him.

About databases, I initially wanted to make a board with length, weight, type of head, type of fixing, place and datation. My aim was to see if we could note some evolution or exceptionnal pieces, hiding perhaps another way of use. Do you think it's possible ?

Bye !
Hi Greg,
Quote: Kervenec is back to Serbia to dig a roman site and we exchanged by mail but when he will come back, I will ask him.
If you could, please! Serbia should yield so much more plumbatae..

Quote:About databases, I initially wanted to make a board with length, weight, type of head, type of fixing, place and datation. My aim was to see if we could note some evolution or exceptionnal pieces, hiding perhaps another way of use. Do you think it's possible ?
Hardly. Cry Most publications give very few hard data. Types or evolution of types are therefore extremely hard to establish.

Number of plumbatae in my database: 121 (38 sold through eBay, etc.)
Length: 75.
Weight: 21 (5 only the point)
Type of head: 70
Fixing: 5 or so. Almost none have been X-rayed.
Place of origin: about 90. The eBay ones are of course all unknown.
Dating: only 20 have a date attached to them, most dating attempts are guesses.

I also include shaft (smooth or torqued), shaft form (round or square), and weight shape (oval or square) in my plumbatae table.
Damian is right now in Iustiniana Prima. We met before and I know that he was able to copy prof. Vujovics thesis on Roman Military equipment in Moesia sup. So I suppose that his informations on plumbatae are from that source.

Regarding plumbata from Sofia museum I just have the pics, if I get some info I'll post it in this topic.
Thanks!
Hi Murray,

I received my copy of AW only last, so I just finished your article about de Rebus Bellicis. My attention was drawn to your description of the plumbatae described by the Anonymous. You seemed to describe both as proposals/inventions of the author and you compared them to the 'common' "plumbata gladia" (spelling may be wrong, I don't have the article at hand).

Questions:

1 - have you seen the (Medieval) images of the DRB manuscript?
2 - have you seen the comparison between the 'plumbata mammilata' and the archaeological finds?
3 - have you seen 'hypothetical reconstructions' of the 'plumbata et tribolata' from the DRB MS?
4 - where did you come across the description 'plumbata gladia' (sp.)?

You see, from what I've come across so far, one of the plumbata (plumbata mammilata) was no invention but a description of the by then common weapon. The image from the various MS seems to confirm that. Whereas the second one, a combination of the common plumbata with a caltrop, was indeed an innovation by the anonymous, but as yet not found by any archaeologist.
I have never come across the description of the common plumbata as a 'plumbata gladia' (sp.).
Answer from Murray Dahm:

Quote:Hi Robert,

A Christmas without AW! Argh (the podcast for the near-east issue was done Christmas week so I was immersed (that is not intended to make you jealous!). No I don't mind if the question is posted at all. Feel free to edit the below if you want to - or I can repost it when you have posed your question.

The major sources I used were the E A Thompson 1952 edition and translation (reissued by Ares in 1996) and the BAR De Rebus Bellicis special from 1979.

These do have the medieval illustrations although it is pointed out that there are discrepancies in them in comparison ot the text (I have also seen photos of the Bodleian copy (or it may be the Munich) which my supervisor took for his book on the Notitia (Peter Brennan, whose work has been long forthcoming and still is I'm afraid!).

The idea that both the plumbata et tribulata and the plumbata mamillata were innovations comes from Thompson (pp. 67-68) and it is his idea (p. 67 n. 3) that 'this must be distinguished from the plumabti gladii with which almost all soldiers were armed in the time of Vegetius', referring to 2.15. This seems to be a reading of Vegetius' text itself which has (2.15.6 in Reeve's 2004 Oxford edition) 'plumbatis gladiis et missibilibus accinti.' In Stelten (1990) this is 'plumbatis, gladis et missibilibus'. In the translations I have this sentence is translated as: 'lead weapons, swords, and missiles (Stelten); 'lead-weighted darts, swords and javelins' (Milner) and 'loaded javelins, swords and common missile weapons' (Clark). But the two words can be seen to go together so that (perhaps understandably) the ferentarii or light troops would not be expected to engage with swords but would be missile troops alone - this makes much more sense (to me at least) and thus plumbati gladii may be an original phrase. Gosh, if that is a new idea I'd better reserve it! Or we could share it if you are so inclined! Smile

Thompson also distinguishes the plumbata mamillata from the mattiobarbulus.

My sentence, which links the plumbaiti gladii to those carried on the inside of the shield (the mattiobarbulus of Vegetius 1.17 and 2.15) after my understanding of Thompson and Vegetius' phrase that 'just as almost all soldiers seem to be armed today', is perhaps misleading and I am sorry. Re-examining Vegetius, however, it seems possible that the light armed troops version of the plumbatae may have been distinguished from the mattiobarbulus by Vegetius (or his source, and Vegetius has misunderstood the distinction and thus said almost all soldiers are armed that way which may refer to the mattiobarbulus and not the light armed version of the plumbata, and may or may not have been carried on the inside of the shields of the ferentarii). No shield is mentioned in the equipment of the ferentarii and so, perhaps, we are dealing with a different weapon altogether. (A cat among the plumbatae pigeons?) What do you think?

I read the descriptions of plumbatae by Philip Barker ('The Plumbatae from Wroxeter') in the BAR edition (but did not research too thoroughly anything more recent I am afraid). He notes that the MS illustrations do not include the bulbous head (mamillata) as described by the Anonymous. He also notes that the plumbatae finds from Wroxeter are 'the clearest evidence for the sort of weapon of which the Anonymous' two missiles were adaptations.' If there has been more recent material which argues differently, I am sorry to say I am unaware of it and did not take it into account in my article.

I haven't seen any hypothetical reconstructions of the plumbata et tribolata.

I hope that helps. They are just some ideas (and a paper trail of where my material came from - if you need scans or anything please let me know). I defer to you in matters of plumbatae however.

The next two AWs will have Vegetius articles from me although I am a little daunted by the prospect of tackling such a well read author (in comparison to my usual fare of unread works (dare I call them masterpieces - at least I think they are). I had to split it in half - one to deal with the history of the text and the authorship and then one on the content and the issues it raises - this plumbatae question raises, perhaps, another issue.

Yours

Murray
Quote: The idea that both the plumbata et tribulata and the plumbata mamillata were innovations comes from Thompson (pp. 67-68) and it is his idea (p. 67 n. 3) that 'this must be distinguished from the plumbati gladii with which almost all soldiers were armed in the time of Vegetius', referring to 2.15. This seems to be a reading of Vegetius' text itself which has (2.15.6 in Reeve's 2004 Oxford edition) 'plumbatis gladiis et missibilibus accinti.' In Stelten (1990) this is 'plumbatis, gladis et missibilibus'. In the translations I have this sentence is translated as: 'lead weapons, swords, and missiles (Stelten); 'lead-weighted darts, swords and javelins' (Milner) and 'loaded javelins, swords and common missile weapons' (Clark). But the two words can be seen to go together so that (perhaps understandably) the ferentarii or light troops would not be expected to engage with swords but would be missile troops alone - this makes much more sense (to me at least) and thus plumbati gladii may be an original phrase.
OK, that makes things more clear. I must say that so far amongst scholars, Thompson’s reading stands alone. I cannot say if he was wrong or not, the reading of Vegetius’ text is indeed read like Stelten and Milner have proposed. That would mean that the unique ‘plumbata gladiis’ is most probably an invention of Thompson, at any rate it is mentioned nowhere else.

Quote: Thompson also distinguishes the plumbata mamillata from the mattiobarbulus.
How so?

Quote: Re-examining Vegetius, however, it seems possible that the light armed troops version of the plumbatae may have been distinguished from the mattiobarbulus by Vegetius (or his source, and Vegetius has misunderstood the distinction and thus said almost all soldiers are armed that way which may refer to the mattiobarbulus and not the light armed version of the plumbata, and may or may not have been carried on the inside of the shields of the ferentarii). No shield is mentioned in the equipment of the ferentarii and so, perhaps, we are dealing with a different weapon altogether. (A cat among the plumbatae pigeons?) What do you think?
Vegetius surely mentions the carrying of up to 5 plumbatae ‘within the hollow of the shield, but he never said that this was the only method of carrying plumbatae. And since Vegetius also mentions the plumbata as armament for those guarding the wagons and even sailors, I assume that we might think of alternatives for carrying these missiles. Maurikios mentions carrying bags, so I think that’s good enough if no shields are involved.

Quote: I read the descriptions of plumbatae by Philip Barker ('The Plumbatae from Wroxeter') in the BAR edition (but did not research too thoroughly anything more recent I am afraid). He notes that the MS illustrations do not include the bulbous head (mamillata) as described by the Anonymous. He also notes that the plumbatae finds from Wroxeter are 'the clearest evidence for the sort of weapon of which the Anonymous' two missiles were adaptations.' If there has been more recent material which argues differently, I am sorry to say I am unaware of it and did not take it into account in my article.
As with Thompson, most studies of the last 3 decades no longer argue that the Medieval image from ‘de Rebus Bellicis’ is different from the plumbatae that have turned up so far in the archaeological record. Indeed, the lead weight seems to be missing from the image, but it is thought that this might have ‘evolved’ as a result of copying – the colours seem to indicate a metal part where the lead should be:
[Image: plumbata22.jpg]

If the ‘mamillata’ was also to have been an innovation, it’s unclear to me in what way it would have been. Therefore I am inclined to interpret the ‘plumbata mamillata’ as the regular plumbata found so far on dozens of sites, and the ‘plumbata et tribolata’ as an innovation by the anonymous which so far has not turned up anywhere.
It looks as if there are 2 versions of weapon there, the 'plumbata ettribolata' looks as if it is the weighted version, albeit in a stylized form. :?:
Quote:It looks as if there are 2 versions of weapon there, the 'plumbata ettribolata' looks as if it is the weighted version, albeit in a stylized form. :?:
And since an 'un-weighted' plumbata does not make much sense Big Grin it would imho be more logical to asssume that the original drawing showed a (classical) weighted plumbata and an 'innovated' one with a caltrop added.
I can't imagine what offensive value a caltrop would have, although I can imagine a slimline weight to allow unimpeded penetration. But I do see the possibility of 'artistic error' creeping in, if that is a medieval image as opposed to a contemporary one?

If it was to make it difficult to pull the pumbata out of your shield? You can still grasp the quirrel end for that....to disperse caltrops at a greater distance in front of advancing enemy, a bucket full launched from an onager would be more effective? Smile
I juss dinnae ken, ye ken! :?
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