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Full Version: Who uses the parma?
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I used to think that this small, round shield was the ensign of standard bearers and (maybe) centurions (though I suspect some centurions who carry it on the march may just be looking for an excuse not to carry a scutum).<br>
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On sorting through my slides, however, I came across a gravestone from Bismantha. It shows an unarmored man carrying a substantial spear and a small, round shield with a central boss. Now, at the Istanbul Archeological Museum they labelled this one '2nd century AD' despite the obvious ring buckle on the belt and left-side scabbard ending in a prominent circular chape, so I figured it could be anything, including the local artists' trouble with perspective and proportion, but it made me wonder. And then I came across a relief from Puteoli dating to the 2nd century AD in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin: No question of problems with proportion or such here, this is a masterful work. The dating seems much clearer, too, with the soldier (identified as a Praetorian by the label, though i can't see on what basis) in question wearing a paenula and clearly visible gladius on the right. And yet - same weaponry, a substantial thrusting spear and a small round shield tucked under (!) his left arm. The relief has been reconstructed in places, but the fingers on the left hand are clearly curling around the lower rim of the shield, so it's unlikely this was ever bigger, and aside from the fact that he is barefoot, I can see no evidence this picture was influenced by classical conventions (he wears neither armour nor helmet, but short tunic and paenula, and his belt end is sticking out Roman-fashion). There is no indication he may be a standard bearer, either, though I can't make out whether the spearhead is original or reconstructed.<br>
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Is this perhaps one of the elusive Marines? Or simply an indication that parma-style shields were more common than I thought? They certainly look the better choice for patrol duty and police work.<br>
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Any pointers and other parmae welcome<br>
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Volker<br>
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PS: Unfortunately, I can't post the pictures. I don't have a scanner, only slides. If anyone wants to digitalise them for me I'll most happily send them, though<br>
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<p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=carltonbach>carlton bach</A> at: 2/13/05 3:32 pm<br></i>
Hi Volker,<br>
Until I read your last line, I was about to shout: "Tombstones we don't have yet! I want, I want!" But I'm sure we could make some arrangement.<br>
Anyway, in the imagebase you'll find more tombstones with round shields. I think most of them, if not all, come from the east and definitely look like 3rd century. If you have access to a university library, look for Pfuhl and Mobius, Roemische Grabsteine (or something like that).<br>
Would love to see those pics! <p>Greets<br>
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Jasper</p><i></i>
I'm still in the process of sorting through my slides (bad underestimation on my part - there's more than 1500 in total), but I have the tombstones all set aside. If you can tell me which ones you still need I can have a look and then send you selected slides. They are mostly from Rome, Mainz, Trier, Cologne and Istanbul, but I can't say off the to of my head which exactly.<br>
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Which still leaves that guy from Puteoli. That said, the parma-bearer on the Cancellaria relief is usually identified as a beneficiarius, so it is quite possible that's what this fellow is. The general style (paenula, tunic, no armour, but balteus and sidearms) seem to fit. <p></p><i></i>
Hi Volker,<br>
You can see in the imagebase which tombstones we have. Broadly speaking, Cologne (apart from the new stone that was just found!) and Mainz are complete. I'd be interested in all others! <p>Greets<br>
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Jasper</p><i></i>
just found it<br>
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I can offer you<br>
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Mikkalus (Arch Mus Istanbul, originally from Perinthus) 4 pictures<br>
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Aprilis Spectatus (Arch Mus Istanbul, originally from Bisantha) 1 picture (and I'm not 100% he isn't a paramilitary)<br>
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1 unknown footsoldier from Perinthus (ditto Istanbul), I'm guessing 3rd century, the plaque said 2nd<br>
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All my stuff from Trier you already have. Where should I send the slides?<br>
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Volker<br>
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PS: I'll be going to Berlin this April. Anything you want photos of, particularly?<br>
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PPS (edit): Not traditionally considered military gravestones, but I have pictures of the Ludovisi and Battle sarcophagi. Would they count as 'officers funerary art' as they most likely are? <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=carltonbach>carlton bach</A> at: 2/13/05 6:16 pm<br></i>
Hi Volker,<br>
If you send me a message at JasperATromanarmy.com, we can exchange details and stuff. Thanks! <p>Greets<br>
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Jasper</p><i></i>
Aprilis is a soldier btw, member of a Numerus, but a soldier nonetheless. He's already in the imagebase on the basis of a drawing. He's here. <p>Greets<br>
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Jasper</p><i></i>