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Hello guys,

My name is Martin and Im new here.
I would like to ask you for advice! Im from Slovakia and recently Im interested in Marcomannic wars (mainly in the scope of Slovak territory).

During excavations in Iža (smaller Roman military camp in the land of the Quadi on the opposite bank of Danube near Brigetio) there was a great amount of arrow heads found, as well as fragments of composite bows. Besides this there were found also two cavalry spathae and fragment (cheek piece) of Niederbieber cavalry helmet. We dont know the name of the garrison unit, but general opinion points to horse archers.

My question is: what could Roman horse archer of the Marcomannic wars look like? Please if you know any images, books or useful articles let me know about them! I would appreciate your help!

Thank you very much!
Welcome to the forum. I can't think off the top of my head of any images for these
troops, but I am sure you will get a reply soon.
Hi!
Nowadays the Niederbieber helmets are rather thought to have been Infantry helmets. The enormous neck-guards make them very dangerous for cavalry to wear. Normally, cavalry helmets had short neck-guards. So the presence of a Niederbieber cheek piece does not make the presence of a cavalry unit, neither does the presence of spathae at that time, as the spatha was also used commonly by infantry.
That is a good point on the neck guard issue.
I have often questioned the Witcham Gravel helmet for the same reason.
Quote:Hi!
Nowadays the Niederbieber helmets are rather thought to have been Infantry helmets. The enormous neck-guards make them very dangerous for cavalry to wear. Normally, cavalry helmets had short neck-guards. So the presence of a Niederbieber cheek piece does not make the presence of a cavalry unit, neither does the presence of spathae at that time, as the spatha was also used commonly by infantry.

Actually Im still quite confused about helmets of the late 2nd century. It is not that long I thought helmets like Niderbieber are typical for the 3rd century. Now I know that they were already in use during Marcomannic wars. Besides Niederbieber I know about Niedermormter (Imperial Italic H) and Theilenhofen. Are there any other possibilities?

But back to the topic. Author of the article in JRMES (our Slovak archeologist) Ján Rajtár wrote that it is probably Niederbieber and it really looks like that one, but I think very similar cheek pieces were used also on cavalry helmets weren't they? This is that fragment:

[Image: unled1o.jpg]

About that swords, yes I know that in this period spathae became quite popular for infantry, but were they 80 - 90 centimetres long? Was there any difference in lengh of infantry and cavalry spathae?

Thank you for replies!
For an archer unit in the vicinity you might like to consider Cohors I Hemesenorum Sagittaria Equitata - a part-mounted cohort (probably millaria), who were based during the 2nd-3rd century at Intercisa on the Pannonian Danube. They seem to have still recruited men from Syria at the time, so their equipment could have reflected some sort of 'eastern' influence or origin. But they could just as easily have been using standard Roman auxiliary kit.
So was it usual to meet legionary in Niederbieber helmet in about AD 170 - 180? If yes, were helmets of Niederbieber type used with segmental armour or there was squamata/hamata prefered?
Salve!

A couple of comments:

With respect to the garrison of Iza, I understand that many weapon finds from this site would not normally be associated with horse archers (pilum, rectangular shield boss, segmentata). This indicates a mixed garrison which would be quite normal in this historic context. Therefore a unit of conventional cavalry mixed with a unit of foot archers would be just as likely as horse archers in this case.

With respect to the equipment of horse archers, the evidence we have is inconclusive. Archaeologically the Niederbieber helmet from Butzbach may be connected to a coh. sagitt. eq. in garrison there. Another coh. sagitt. eq. in Jidava, Dacia, apparently also used Nieberbieber helmets but the site also yielded small fragments of Pseudoattic helmets. Finally, the conical helmet from Intercisa is connected to another coh. sagitt. eq.. Based on the turma inscription this helmet will have been worn by a cavalry trooper. Artistic evidence is not conclusive either. You can find some gravestones of troopers in the imagebase but they do not show much detail of equipment. Tiberius Iulius Rufus (Ala Scubulorum, Walbersdorf, AE 1906, 00111; AE 1909, 00198; CSIR Scarbantia Nr. 9) who is shown shooting his enemy in the eye with an arrow appears to wear a regular Pseudoattic cavalry helmet. I am not aware of any artistic evidence of use of conical helmets.

With respect to use of Niederbieber by infantry. First of all, I agree that it is impossible to clearly differentiate between Niederbieber and Pseudoattic cheek pieces, so a find of a cheek piece alone is not sufficient to qualify as a Niederbieber. Re. cavalry use of Niederbieber, I am not sure that the deep neck guard would exclude cavalry use (without ever having personally mounted as horse) as the Bodegraven helmet with its deep neck quard had a turma inscription.

There is ample evidence of infantry use which has been extensively discussed. You may want to search the forum for "Niederbieber". The earliest finds (Newstead) apparently date as early as 145 AD. Several sites from the time of the Marcomannic wars (Eining-Unterfeld, Musov) have yielded fragments. Our evidence is, however, certainly not sufficient to make any conclusions as the statistics of combinations of helmet and armour types.
Hi!
Jens is right of course.
@ bodegraven helmet:
http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/component/o...Itemid,96/

Here the neckguard points strongly downwards, protecting the upper back. In case of a drop from a horse, it´s not that dangerous.
In general a helmet found at a certain site is not easily attributed if it has no inscription. It might just be found there, because it was of no use to that specific unit, e.g. (Beware of Kossinna...), it may have been lost by a visitor, a vexillatio of a different unit may have been at the site, etc.

The cheek piece in the pic above cannot be attributed to a Niederbieber helmet exclusively...
That helmet neck guard is damaged and the actual angle would be quite similar to the Niedermormter, I think!
Those are stress creases. Confusedmile:
[Image: Leiden_Auxiliary_Cavalry_H-5.jpg]
[Image: Bonn_IIH_02b.jpg]

No, I would say it is way steeper. Also the neck guard is formed quite different, shorter, round edges, and it sits way deeper. If you look at the creases, they don´t leave that much space to move it up until the metal is even again.
Also:
Quote:The neck guard not only slopes downwards, but it also curves inwards.

Nonetheless it is possibly a Helmet that belonged to someone in a turma. Since it was found in an old arm of the Rhine, the context in which it was used is quite unclear. Could it be a votive inscription for a spoil? By several soldiers, maybe?
Quote:QV(intus) SALONIVS T(urma?) RONI", then POPNIS (l), CASTIC/TI(?) © and IVSTI ®.
But apparently not sure T(urma?).... Hm.

Anyway, most helmets that have a clear cavalry context have short neckguards. Which IMO is very sensible.
Quote:That is a good point on the neck guard issue.
I have often questioned the Witcham Gravel helmet for the same reason.

Btw - what is the evidence for classifying Witcham-Gravel as a cavalry helmet?
You tell me! lol

Apart from the enclosed earpieces, and it's dating....
To me it maybe was a legates helmet or a tribunes...mounted
but still in control of infantry...
But, that is just me...experts have said it is cavelry...so it must be! :wink:
So it was just decided at random? There is no explanation, no context?
Sorry, I have added some to my last post...

http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/index2.php?...-I_04a.jpg

This is what I would accept as a cavelry helm with minimal neck guard.

http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/index2.php?...-G_01a.JPG

But I see this as no different in the niederbieber...but again it is just me.

http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/index2.php?...ry+H-1.jpg
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