RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: How long were Augustan-style shields in use for?
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Salvete Omnes!

I've been looking looking at the figures on Tropaeum Traianai and can see what appear to be augustan-style shields being used by some of the soldiers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AdamclisiMetope37.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AdamclisiMetope36.jpg

How long did the Romans use this shield design for?



- Lorenzo/Virilis
I assume you mean the type with straight top and bottom, and curved sides, probably derived by 'cutting down' the original 'ovoid' shape?

Judging by the iconography, this type appears around 10 BC, still with the original 'spina' and 'barleycorn' boss/umbo, and as you correctly point out, is still depicted on Trajan's column and the Adamklissi metopes, alongside a slightly modified similar type with circular boss/umbo.

It seems to have still been in service at least as late as 175 AD, for on the Marcus Aurelius column both are depicted, along with the straight-sided 'scutum' and the 'new' late Roman dished oval type, all in use by 'Legionary' type troops....
It has always amused me that the terms "barley corn" and "spindle" are used as helpful guides to describe the shape. Who in the 20th or 21st century knows what either of those things looks like? But having Googled "barley corn" I can see that is a good comparison.
Probably because the terminology first came into use in the 19 C.....when such items were common....Wink

The latin 'spina' translates as spine....