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Anonymous

What were the Roman Marines like? Were they foot soldiers just put on the ships? were they well trained in tactics for the sea? What was their equipment like? Did they have chain mail or no armor so that they would not sink? I do not know a thing about them and it just came into my head one day. Thanks, Aug33 <p></p><i></i>
I assume you're referring to the early empire? Basically, we don't know. There was probably only a small distinction between the sailors responsible for sailing the ship and the troops responsible for defending it. In fact, there's just ONE reference in all of the ancient literature and one inscription relating to a legionary which indicates a difference.<br>
As to their equipment: the situation is not much better. If you call up all (6) 'Naval Personell' from the Imagebase on Romanarmy.com, you'll see that some of them are depicted as armed soldiers. No armor though, but that's very rare on 3rd century tombstones (which these are). In other words: we don't know. Does that help? <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

I kind of expected that but what can we do. I thank you for the help, I was just interested and was more baffled at my self for never even thinking about the subject until recent. Thanks again. Aug33 <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

There are three helmets which appear to have originated from Legio I and II Adiutrix- both raised by Nero from marines based in Ravenna. All the helmets were found where these units were based (and at the right time) and a matching cheek piece was found at Caerleon where a vexillation of II Adiutrix was based. So- a good case for these being marines' kit.<br>
One is shown below<img src="http://www.legionsix.org/gallicIside.jpg" style="border:0;"/><br>
from the very wonderful http://www.legionsix.org/Real%20Gear.htm
All three helmets are made from orichalcum- similar to Bronze. If you are on board ship, the last thing you want is corroding gear- and orichalcum will not rust like iron.<br>
The helmet above was owned by "Lucius Iunius Sabinus of (the century of) the Centurion Titus Sario", and before him "Marcus Antonius and Publius Ripanis Aturianus, both inthe century of Titus Maximus (based on inscriptions on the helmet). One scholar suggests that the last owner served in the Dacian and Pannonian wars under Domitian and Trajan.<br>
Deepeeka make a rather good copy of one version which can be seen below<img src="http://www.larp.com/legioxx/GalI5.jpg" style="border:0;"/><br>
More infor on Legio II Adiutrix at http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/ii_adiutrix.html
<br>
Regards<br>
<br>
Paulus <p></p><i></i>
Interesting and could be true. However, to be strict, that is not necessarily a case for 'marines' equipment'. We do not know if the former naval troops were re-equipped. In fact, in the case of I Adiutrix, the naval troops were first slaughtered while (prolly unarmed!) clamouring for official legionary status by Galba, then defeated at Bedriacum. In other words: it's quite probable that the legion had to be heavily reinforced (from where?) after the Civil War. The best you probably can say about this equipment is that they represent Italic (emergency) armaments. <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

Another case for Marines' equipment is shown in the Praeneste relief (Peter Connolly, Greece & Rome at War, page 272), dating from late 1st C BC and probably commemorating Augustus' victory over Antony and Cleopatra. Perhaps someone can scan this and post it?<br>
The marines are shown wearing helmet (Attic), tunic , and shield (one with a trident motif- very appropriate). Again, very practical on board ship, where wearing body armour could be lethal to the wearer ifyou fell overboard. One (the officer?) appears to be wearing pteruges and a more ornate chest belt. A further marine, standing on the edge of the boat, wears a muscle cuirass.<br>
IIRC, there were also a number of Roman shield designs involving dolphins etc that have been tentatively linked to the Roman marines?<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Paul <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Here is a picture of Praeneste relief in full splendor:<br>
<br>
luna.cas.usf.edu/~murray/...de0012.htm<br>
<br>
"The marines are shown wearing helmet (Attic)"<br>
<br>
It has been argued that the Attic helm was a figurative topos and the helm was not really in use except in military parades, or certain religious rituals. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=taivaansusi>taivaansusi</A> at: 12/17/04 1:48 am<br></i>
And to make it more complicated: in the 1st C BC, legionaries were very regularly used as the military complement on board ships. So what do we see on that relief? <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

"However, to be strict, that is not necessarily a case for 'marines' equipment'. We do not know if the former naval troops were re-equipped. In fact, in the case of I Adiutrix, the naval troops were first slaughtered while (prolly unarmed!) clamouring for official legionary status by Galba, then defeated at Bedriacum. In other words: it's quite probable that the legion had to be heavily reinforced (from where?) after the Civil War. The best you probably can say about this equipment is that they represent Italic (emergency) armaments." Seems odd that there should be such similar helmets; perhaps a regimental/legion tradition could also be in play here. For example, the First Cohort of Aelian Dacians at Birdoswald still sculpted falxes on their stones on Hadrian's Wall (www.roman-britain.org/pla...anna.htm). British regimental traditions may be another parallel.<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Paulus <p></p><i></i>
Why is that odd? I & II Adiutrix were raised in 69 & 70 AD. 10.000+ troops needing equipment all at once. The Romans might have enlisted the help of all blacksmiths to make one helmet to a single design?<br>
If it were a regimental tradition, I'd expect that +/- 15.000 naval troops in Ravenna and Misenum for 300 years would have at least brought one such helmet to light. However, to be fair, their bases have hardly been excavated. <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

"I & II Adiutrix were raised in 69 & 70 AD. 10.000+ troops needing equipment all at once." Assumes they needed re-equipping and didn't already possess helmets as marines?<br>
Still, I'm getting into serious conjecture here <p></p><i></i>
See, the whole trouble with that presumption is that there were armed troops aboard roman ships at all. And that is VERY hard to prove. On two occasions in 69-70 AD both the Misenate and Ravennate fleet were reinforced. Once with Urban & Praetorian cohorts, the other time with gladiators.<br>
The only thing you can actually prove is that the cohortes Classicae, founded in about 26 BC, did not originally consist of marines, but were raised from surplus naval troops. <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

"See, the whole trouble with that presumption is that there were armed troops aboard roman ships at all." The Praeneste relief seems fairly good proof, showing armed troops on a Roman ship!<br>
Similarly, from an earlier thread :-<br>
"The Albenga ship was one of the largest Roman trade vessel wrecks known, about 40m long.<br>
It belonged to the type called myriaphora, meaning that the ship could carry more than 10000 amphorae (about 450 tons).<br>
The cargo was composed mostly of wine amphorae, Dressel 1 type (above). The ship sunk at the beginning of the first Century B.C., probably in consequence of adverse weather conditions: the bow still heads to the coast. The wreck lies at a depth of -42m, on a muddy bottom off Albenga.<br>
<br>
.Among the most interesting findings there are some bronze helmets possibly used by the crew as a defense against pirates attacks, some fragments of the hull with its lead cover and some lead anchor stocks.<br>
Part of the cargo was recovered and its disposition rebuilt by Professor Nino Lamboglia in the Naval Museum in Albenga."<br>
I think it is proven that there were armed men on board. The question is, I think, were they crew with helmets/ spears, legionaries loaded on board, or specialist marines? Certainly the first two seem likely to have existed; given the raising of Legio I and II Adiutrix and the general specialisations of the roman army, it seems highly likely that specialist marines also existed.<br>
<br>
Regards<br>
<br>
Paulus<br>
<br>
<br>
<p></p><i></i>
I'm not denying that armed soldiers were aboard in the first century BC. That's easy to prove. The trouble is in the imperial period, where evidence is completely lacking, except for one quote in Tacitus (about the Classis Germanica). Significantly, all naval personnel call themselves miles, manipularis or gregalis (soldier, prolly pointing to their legal status) but none (out of about 1000) call themselves epibata (=marine). The only tombstone where that does happen, and which proves the Romans used that term in the imperial period as well, is from a legionary of Legio VII Claudia.<br>
Keep the arguments coming though. I have to do a paper on Roman marines in the early empire in March.<br>
<br>
What is interesting in two early diploma's is that they are for remiges et trierarchi: rowers and captains of the Egyptian and Misenate fleets. All later diploma's refer to 'classiarii' or 'classici' (naval troops, but these words could possibly have a subtle difference in meaning). <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=jasperoorthuys>Jasper Oorthuys</A> at: 12/18/04 8:20 am<br></i>

Anonymous

Yes, its a really tricky one.<br>
The only other (rather dodgy) evidence I know is from a damaged relief of Marcus Aurelius reused in the Arch of Constantine, where there is a shield with inter-twined dolphins and tridents. Similar to the Praeneste relief shield in that the trident is vertical, with twin dolphins entwined above and below the umbo. Does this symbolism indicate a Marine? Only possibly.<br>
<br>
I don't know the Tacitus quote- what does it say?<br>
<br>
Another source (Michael Lane- The Order of Battle for the Civil Wars 68-70 AD) says that one reason for the enthusiasm of sailors/ marines to join Legio I and II Adiutrix was that the pay would have trebled. Given that generally pay=status, is this a reason why individuals would have preferred to refer to themselves on their gravestones as soldiers rather than marines?<br>
<br>
"all naval personnel call themselves miles, manipularis or gregalis (soldier, prolly pointing to their legal status) but none (out of about 1000) call themselves epibata (=marine)"<br>
I think that miles/ manipularis/ gregalis all would equate to Roman citizens? Again from Lane- "they (the ex-Marines joining up) do not appear to have been granted citizenship until the completion of their term of service". Don't know the evidence for this.<br>
<br>
Epibata is an interesting word- my Greek is non-existent, but epi normally means on/ upon/ above. Bata I don't know the meaning of (bar that it means boat in Gaelic- sadly irrelevant ). Now IF it did mean "on boat" could it simply be a catch all description for a soldier/ armed sailor on a boat i.e. you might be a miles on shore, but step on board the liburna and you are an epibata?<br>
<br>
Your thoughts? Good luck with the paper on marines- a tough one, I think!<br>
<br>
Regards<br>
<br>
Paulus<br>
<p></p><i></i>
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