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This is the photo of a relief I saw in the 1980s in the museum of Sevilla (photo by a friend of mine, much more recently). It must have been excavated in Andalusia. I think it is from the Republican age, but many of you know more about the development of legionary armor than I do, so what do you think about it? i find it pretty intrigueing that one of the soldiers appears to be wearing a tunica, and no armor at all.
[Image: sevilla_mus39.JPG]
Indeed, when we look at the scuta, which are longer and have spinnae, this suggest a republican age. The whole representation supports that, too (in my view).

The soldier wearing only a tunic is also more regularly seen, as you can see in the new book of Graham Sumner where he discuss this into detail. Anyway, another well know example is from Mainz (B&C2 fig 5)
Ah, interesting! I started a thread about this very relief years ago:

link from old RAT

... but didn't have a decent picture of the thing itself. Apparently it was excavated at Urso, or Osuna. It seemed to me, and still seems in fact, that the figure on the right is wearing some sort of padded armour - unless those diagonal lines represent a patterned tunic (?). The rest of the kit is well detailed and seems accurate for what we know of the late Republican era - montefortino helmets, mail, long oval-ish shields. On the right-hand figure, though, we have these diagonals, apparently meeting in a V at the side, with pteruges or something similar showing beneath and thick bands at the collar and perhaps sleeves/shoulders too. Some garment more substantial than a simple tunic is clearly being depicted here! (I still don't think it's squamata either :wink: )

- Nathan
It reminds me of our Praetorian friend here :

[Image: praetorianguardsman.jpg]

Notice both figures have some kind of fringe on the hem of their tunics ?

The Seville relief reenforces my confidence in the authenticity of the Louvre one.

Quote:Urso, or Osuna
Hey, that's good news. I've always liked that place, where I once spent a delightful holiday... :wink:
Looks like both soldiers are wearing greaves? Right? Smile
Looks to me like those shields are both a little flatter and wider at the top than at the bottom. Reminds me of the description of Samnite trapezoidal shields by Livy, cited in the Osprey book "Early Roman Armies" by Sekunda and Northwood. They even include a couple pictures of a miniature shield of that shape.

While I have no problem with the interpretation of what the right-hand man is wearing as being just a tunic, I was struck by another point from Livy just now as I read that quote. Livy apparently says the Samnite warrior wore a "sponge" ("spongia") as a chest protector. Sekunda and Northwood say that's obviously a pectoral (which we know were used), while other authors have said that's obviously a mailshirt (which we know were also used). But it just struck me--maybe Livy was using "spongia" to describe something (relatively) soft and squishy, like a padded tunic? Hhmmmmmm......

Quote:It reminds me of our Praetorian friend here

I did wonder whether the diagonal lines might be intended to represent the pleats or folds in a tunic, and the Louvre relief does have some similarities, but it's just too different a carving to compare really. The Seville relief isn't as 'artistic' - it's provincial, maybe vernacular. Some similarities with the Adamklissi reliefs perhaps? The Mainz column bases also, IIRC, show a soldier in a tunic, but that too looks very different. The carving of the right-hand figure here is very specific, with parallel lines that do not follow the folds of a tunic. The armour of the left-hand figure is a sort of sculptural shorthand - regular square marks to represent mail. I'd say the chiselled lines on the other man's garment are also intended to represent something specific - the sculptor wouldn't have gone to the trouble of cutting those regular lines - in the wrong direction to the 'hang' of a belted tunic - without intending them to be read in a particular way.

'Spongia' - interesting idea, but let's hope the name doesn't catch on!

- Nathan
I reckon that's just an everyday tunic on the right, where the folds are gathered by a belt, and a knot is tied at the back behind the neck. There are other examples clearly showing just a tunic being worn, so I'd personally read nothing significant. The example we know of showing a padded argument leaves no dispute - it's definitely a stitched padded garment with regular pattern stitching.

The 'sponge' may refer to felt, which I feel is an often overlooked and sidelined form of very effective armour, especially amongst agrarian cultures. Translations of words themselves are a much discussed subject.
Quote:I reckon that's just an everyday tunic on the right, where the folds are gathered by a belt, and a knot is tied at the back behind the neck. There are other examples clearly showing just a tunic being worn, so I'd personally read nothing significant. The example we know of showing a padded argument leaves no dispute - it's definitely a stitched padded garment with regular pattern stitching.
No, hold on, I just took another look. It looks like a separate garment on top of the tunic. If you look at the figure's right shoulder, and the hem of the tunic.

It may well be a padded garment.

My bad. :roll:

What's really cool is we can see the form of the greaves - they return halfway around the leg. And the handguard of the sword looks like an earlier hispaniensis, or even celtic (curved downwards where the blade turns into the tang).
Quote:Looks like both soldiers are wearing greaves? Right? Smile

I spotted that too! And also they are wearing a pair of greaves each, not just on one leg.
This relief comes from Estepa and is dated by F. Quesada arround the 1st century BC. This relief, as Quesada says, depicts two Roman legionaries because of their convex scuta, metallic helmet and because they're wearing a lorica hamata. Quesada also notices that the quality of the depiction is very bad, but in spite of this fact he states that the scuta are clearly convex and thus, Roman.
There are mainly two bibliographical references (in Spanish):

- NOGUERA CELDRÁN, J.M. (2003). "La escultura hispanorromana en piedra de época republicana". L. Abad Casal (ed.) De Iberia in Hispaniam, Alicante, pp. 151-208.
- VVAA (2007): Roma. SPQR. Madrid. (This is the catalogue of an exposition done in Madrid).
Quote:This relief comes from Estepa
OK, Estepa, not Osuna. I can live with that.
Intersting sculpture. I've seen drawings but never a photo before. A few quick observations and questions:

Any chance these might be a couple of gladiators? I don't know much about Roman gladiators at all, I'm afraid, but isn't two greaves a bit unusual? Supposedly, legionaries wore a single greave around the time of Polybius, but abandoned greaves all together by the early 2nd century, and didn't adopt them again until, what, the Dacian wars?

On the other hand, I believe there's a sculpture of a cornicen from Osuna that is clearly wearing two greaves (and no other armor at all). The Telamon figurine (which is probably a Roman soldier), dated cir. 250 -150 BC, also has two greaves, as well as a helmet, but no other body armor.

Also, though you can't tell on the left hand figure, the right hand figure obviously doesn't have a sword scabbard visible. I don't believe gladiators carried sword scabbards, but if it is a soldier, wouldn't that mean his scabbard is on the left hand side, hidden by his shield? And wouldn't that possibly indicate that he's a centurion?

There are quite a number of dipictions of Roman soldiers without armor, often engaged in combat, dating from the 3rd c. BC to 1st c. AD. I'd hesitate to say the figure on the right was wearing some kind of padding, if only because the Romans had some strange and stylized ways of showing the natural folds in tunics.

I note that the hilt on the sword is curved, a Hispaniensis?
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