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Hello,

How much of an influence would the Gallic peoples of Gaul had over the occupying Romans during the Gallic War period? Was trade between the two cultures common? Would soldiers have traded or purchased Gallic items (such as shoes, and materials) when theirs wore out?
How would they have adjusted to the climate change?

I have heard that Caesar wore the long sleeved tunic (red) in the fashion of the Gauls, but what about braccae?

Some answers or insights would greatly help me.
The Romans soon found barrels to be much more practical than amphora, at least where wood was plenty.
Oh, there had always been trade and commerce, and probably the border between Gallic and Roman cultures was a lot fuzzier than whatever lines on a map they might have decided on. There was a whole network of political alliances among the various tribes and the Roman government, which was Caesar's excuse for getting into that area in the first place.

As for specific examples of Gallic material influence on Roman soldiers, the whole line of "Imperial-Gallic" helmets are derived from Gallic ancestors. Also the cavalry spatha, and probably a lot of horse gear in general.

A lot of "regulation" clothing and gear was made in the provinces, but certainly a lot of local fashions were adopted, too. When Vitellius' legionaries romped through Rome during the Year of Four Emperors, the locals didn't even recognize them as Romans! I think there's even a mention of animal hide cloaks. That sort of thing probably started pretty early on. Remember that Caesar raised a whole legion which he refers to as "Gallic", recruited from provincials. Not to mention that all the auxiliaries in those days were pretty much straight out of the trees--I'd be surprised if they looked as "Roman" as the auxiliaries do on Trajan's Column!

It is much harder to pin down specifics, such as the wearing of trousers. Footwraps and leggings might have been more common for a while, and can be very effective at keeping you warm without the need for trousers. So we're kind of left with generalities when it comes to reenactment. Oh, hit Graham Sumner's books on Roman Military Clothing--I'm probably forgetting something obvious!

Is that what you're looking for? Vale,

Matthew
I have both Roman Military clothing 1 and From Ceasar to Trajan, and from these two books buying them for the information at Ceasar period but the material is very scarce and really nothing helpful.

So Mathew, would I be right in asuming that a Legionary during the Gallic wars could posibly be eqipped thus:

Montifortino helmet - horse hair crest (such as Ahenobarbus Relief)
Maille Hammatta with leather or bar shoulder clasp
White woolen tunic
Hispeniensis Gladius
Fayum shield, felt covered with bull image

Heres what Im thinking for Gallic influence/trades:

Gallic shoes (old ones wore out and cheaper to buy from local traders - also I just dont think the Mainz Calligae is the right choice, so the Gallic shoes for now)
Gallic woollen focrul (skarf, i think the spelling is wrong)
Netherlands leg wraps (bog in Netheralnds) just to keep the legs warm.
Just to elaborate a bit on this point : the Romans seem to have adopted the Gallic 'Marne' or 'reversed jockey cap' helmets which were usually made of bronze and have been discovered in Northern Italy. Search the threads on RAT for more details, there are a couple of recent ones here :

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I'm glad I can wear a 'Marne' helmet as an alternative to those buckets (i.e. Montefortinos) for a Caesarian impression.
Big Grin

Also, there's the 'Agen/Port' helmet which may or may not be appropriate for Caesarian impressions. It might be more Augustan or 'Triumvirate' era.

Quote:As for specific examples of Gallic material influence on Roman soldiers, the whole line of "Imperial-Gallic" helmets are derived from Gallic ancestors.

Quote:So Mathew, would I be right in asuming that a Legionary during the Gallic wars could posibly be eqipped thus:

Montifortino helmet - horse hair crest (such as Ahenobarbus Relief)
Maille Hammatta with leather or bar shoulder clasp

~Theo
Quote:I have both Roman Military clothing 1 and From Ceasar to Trajan, and from these two books buying them for the information at Ceasar period but the material is very scarce and really nothing helpful.

I recommend you read "Rome's Enemies : Gallic and British Celts". There's a lot of archaeological information in that issue.But the most useful, single book you can get your hands on is "Roman Military Equipment" by Bishop and Coulston, 2nd Edition.

Good luck. Smile

~Theo
Quote:So Mathew, would I be right in asuming that a Legionary during the Gallic wars could posibly be eqipped thus:

Montifortino helmet - horse hair crest (such as Ahenobarbus Relief)
Maille Hammatta with leather or bar shoulder clasp
White woolen tunic
Hispeniensis Gladius
Fayum shield, felt covered with bull image

I'd be interested to see the general consensus on the above mentioned gear. Seems like you could go either way with the Mont. helmet or the Coolus. The Coolus was probably a tad later. I've only heard of the red tunic mentioned... when would the white have been used?

I'm not sure if Caesars men had a bull on their shield... as it seems the Republican era scutum was blank. But if that's not the case I'd love to see a reference. I'll see if I can't find my book that deals with the period. It's one I haven't gotten tor ead much (having focused my efforts on the Augustus era more than anything).
Theo is absolutely right that the Coolus helmet was also a Gallic derivation--I just forgot it! But like TJ, I also kind of hem and haw about using it as early as Caesar's Gallic wars. It *might* be perfectly right for that, but I always feel safer keeping it in Octavian's era or later.

At some point I'll have to go back through Graham's books with a fine-toothed comb, but there is still evidence for the use of white (or undyed) tunics in the army. That's what we mostly wear in Legio XX! It's not perfect or conclusive, and there is also imperfect and inconclusive evidence for red.

Ron, the only item I'd quibble on is the scarf or focale. My impression was that it was a later addition, possibly showing up to keep the lorica segmentata from chafing around the neck (and then hanging on simply as a spiffy bit of soldier gear!). Or do you have anything to suggest that it was a Gallic fashion item?

Valete,

Matthew
Quote:Theo is absolutely right that the Coolus helmet was also a Gallic derivation--I just forgot it! But like TJ, I also kind of hem and haw about using it as early as Caesar's Gallic wars. It *might* be perfectly right for that, but I always feel safer keeping it in Octavian's era or later.
How odd. According to Peter Wilcox, in "Rome's Enemies : Gallic and British Celts" page 65, the less developed form of the Roman Coolus dates from the 3rd century to the 1st century bC. These had no crest fittings, he says, and probably lacked metal cheek guards. It would be a simple cap with a brim serving as a small neck guard if I understand it correctly. OTOH the book is a bit old, so maybe there's been a reevaluation in recent years.

(BTW, I didn't say 'Coolus' :| )

~Theo
I did. Tongue I think he was combining comments. From the books I have here at home they coincide with your statement of at LEAST the 2nd Century BC use of the Coolus. They don't seem to mention any sort of evolution of the helmet though (from cheek plates, or crest fittings).

I'll be gone the next few days, but I'll be looking for this information in the half dozen books I own because I'd like to know the answer to his (the OP) questions too.
From a non archeologistic view, and a non research point of view, I have found that some sort of scarf around the neck makes wearing maille hamatta not dig into the back of the neck. Most people probably do not have a problem with this, but I find after wearing it after prolonged amounts of time it starts to become uncomfortable on the back of the neck. A rag tie around the neck helps with this. As there is no evidence of a focale before 1st C BC, it may not have been standard issue, but given "camp and land" experience it makes sense to do this if the material is on hand. Now this could be an old tunic cut into strips and distributed amongst the men who put their hand up for one.
In regards to the Bull motif on shields, I have read (can not remember where) that Caesars motif was the Bull, and I have also seen various Rep Roman re-enactors with this blazon upon thier shields.

Also, what sort of pilum would be common? I am thinking the socketed type for some reason but perhaps I am wrong. Was the Hasta still in use, and would this be an alternative to the pilum? Caesar mentions javelin in de Bello Gallico, are these javelins or pilum or are they the same thing?
Sorry, Theo, I was just shooting from the top of my head (to mix a metaphor), and just stuck with the term I'm more familiar with. You're right again about those helmets being earlier than I'd said. Been a while since I looked at all that stuff, and I know the "common knowledge" has been evolving. So yes, *some* sort of Marne or Coolus helmet does seem to be an option for a Roman of the Gallic War era, but it might not have been the Coolus C, D, or E that we are familiar with a little later. I think that's still on base, even if it's not the whole story!

Ron, I'm thinking that your hamata doesn't fit you correctly! Never heard of neck chafing like that before. I certainly agree that once the focale came into use it was probably not an "issue" item. It's pretty clear from a couple later documents that soldiers went through a tunic every month or two, and I firmly believe the old ones would be chopped up for socks, leggings, scarves, armor padding, and cleaning rags.

Pila in Caesar's time included both socketed and tanged varieties, though they were not always identical to what we find during the empire. Spears were certainly well known, though I don't think they were typical for legionaries. You have to be a little careful about translations, since a seemingly precise word in English might turn out to have been simply "tela" in Latin--"weapons". And there were other kinds of javelins in use besides the pilum, especially by cavalry and skirmishers, so even if the Latin says "javelin" we cannot assume it means "pilum".

Valete,

Matthew
I just stumbled across this thread today -- no idea how I missed it back in May -- but I was surprised to see that no-one mentioned Ancient Warfare magazine II.4 (Aug/Sept 08). There is a thought-provoking article on "Caesar's Legionary: Arms and equipment reinterpreted" by Fran├žois Gilbert, who ought to be familiar with the French/Gallic evidence.

Quote:In regards to the Bull motif on shields, I have read (can not remember where) that Caesars motif was the Bull, and I have also seen various Rep Roman re-enactors with this blazon upon thier shields.
Taurus the bull (by rather convoluted reasoning) was associated with Venus, the founder of the Julian clan, hence its association with Julius Caesar.

Quote:Also, what sort of pilum would be common? I am thinking the socketed type for some reason but perhaps I am wrong. Was the Hasta still in use, and would this be an alternative to the pilum? Caesar mentions javelin in de Bello Gallico, are these javelins or pilum or are they the same thing?
The word pilum is often translated as "javelin" in the Penguin Classics/Oxford World Classics editions (e.g. the famous quotation at BGall. 6.8, nostri pila in hostes immittunt, variously translated as "our men threw their javelins at the enemy" or even "our troops hurled their pikes at the enemy"). So your javelin is, indeed, probably a pilum.
@Matt about the focale. I don't see why it would not be used with a hamata too. Mine works a good groove into my neck if it makes it past the focale.
I don't know if there is evidence for leather trim around the neckhole? I have one that has it but not sure if it was attested to?
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