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Greetings!

I have a three-fold question about the "Optio"

1. How is it pronounced? Op tee' oh, Op she' oh, Op show... I am confused.
2. Does anyone have indepth information on this position during the 1st century or where I can
find it?
3. Pictures or drawings of helmets, reliefs, tombstones, with crests and feather placement.
How and where on the helmet was the feather/s fastened? Special Feather? And what type of
Helmet would it have been?
4. Also... I'll sneak this in, in the movie "THE EAGLE" it has the Centurion in a Muscle
Cuirass... I have not searched the threads yet, but is that accurate?

Thanks to all for your patience with me... I am certainly new to this and have been non-stop reading and studying for the past 6 months.

Patrick
Optimus Taurus
I assume "op tee' oh". He was the second in command of a century (80 soldiers) underneath a centurion.
And do not use "The Eagle" as a reference for anything, half decent movie, but horribly inaccurate. A legate would most likely have a musculata, centurions (depending on what period) would most likely wear a lorica hamata or segmentata. This guy has lots of phalerae.
Also an optio would still wear his gladius on the right side, he still does not count as an officer.
Greetings!

I have a three-fold question about the "Optio"

1. How is it pronounced? Op tee' oh, Op she' oh, Op show... I am confused.
2. Does anyone have indepth information on this position during the 1st century or where I can
find it?
3. Pictures or drawings of helmets, reliefs, tombstones, with crests and feather placement.
How and where on the helmet was the feather/s fastened? Special Feather? And what type of
Helmet would it have been?
4. Also... I'll sneak this in, in the movie "THE EAGLE" it has the Centurion in a Muscle
Cuirass... I have not searched the threads yet, but is that accurate?

Thanks to all for your patience with me... I am certainly new to this and have been non-stop reading and studying for the past 6 months.

Patrick
Optimus Taurus

“Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
By careful of following any modern reconstruction too carefully. Most re-enactors who portray optios wear a pair of feathers on their helmets. However, there is no evidence for this and it is simply a practice begun by the Ermine Street Guard and slavishly copied by other groups. Quite a lot of surviving infantry helmets feature feather tubes as well as a central crest fitting but there is nothing about any of them to suggest that they were particular to any specific rank. There is rather more evidence to suggest that they may have had more to do with distinctive cresting arrangements used by entire units. There is evidence for instance, for the possibility that the two Adiutrix legions may have preferred copper-alloy helmets and wore a central crest on an anther type support along with a pair of side plumes.

The only distinctive items which we know of which identified optios were a staff with a round knob on one end and a large ring worn on one finger. The matter of which side an optio wore his sword on is also unknown, but the matter of which side soldiers wore their swords on is far from agreed anyway, with the Rhineland stelae showing swords worn on the right and Josephus describing soldiers wearing them on the left. The reality may have been that practice differed between units.

The word would be pronounced either as 'op-tee-oh' or 'opt-yo'

Crispvs
Quote:The matter of which side an optio wore his sword on is also unknown
The tombstone of the optio Caecilius Avitus at Chester (RIB 492) shows him with the sword on the right.
Is that the Marine Optio?
[attachment=4667]Stele.jpg[/attachment]

His is on the right.
Quote:His is on the right.
... if it is a gladius and not just a pugio...
Quote:The tombstone of the optio Caecilius Avitus at Chester (RIB 492) shows him with the sword on the right.
He is also the bloke with the big stick, that Michael Speidel decided should be called a hastile (based on Maurice). (Speidel says there's another optio with hastile in Budapest, but I can't think of the sculpture. Can you?)
"The tombstone of the optio Caecilius Avitus at Chester (RIB 492) shows him with the sword on the right."

Thanks Renatus,

I'm familiar already with Caecilius Avitius but what I was getting at was that Josephus' statement that the longer of the soldiers' two sidearms was worn on the left, along with a soldier on one of the Mainz column bases who is also shown with his sword on the left, should lead us to be careful about making the assumption that the depiction of soldiers in the Rhineland sculptures and British sculptures (which were probably part of the same tradition as the Rhineland examples) was typical of the army in all parts of the empire, or even in different units.

Crispvs
Quote:Is that the Marine Optio?
His is on the right.
As always, I am open to correction but I think that the optio is the one setting up the tombstone, not the deceased shown in the relief.

Quote:Speidel says there's another optio with hastile in Budapest, but I can't think of the sculpture. Can you?
Alas, no.

Quote: . . . what I was getting at was that Josephus' statement that the longer of the soldiers' two sidearms was worn on the left, along with a soldier on one of the Mainz column bases who is also shown with his sword on the left, should lead us to be careful about making the assumption that the depiction of soldiers in the Rhineland sculptures and British sculptures (which were probably part of the same tradition as the Rhineland examples) was typical of the army in all parts of the empire, or even in different units.
If the soldier on the Mainz column base is one of those I think he is, I would not put too much store by it and, generally, the tradition (if that is what it is) demonstrated by the Rhineland and British tombstones must be based on something. However, you are right to point out that differences may well occur in a far-flung empire. Josephus, after all, is describing an army in the East. Different enemies will require different styles of fighting and this may dictate such issues as the type of armour worn and the side upon which the sword is carried. I doubt, however, whether the particular unit in which a soldier served would, on its own, be a determinant.
Could be. It's too bad the top of the stele is damaged.
Quote:Speidel says there's another optio with hastile in Budapest, but I can't think of the sculpture. Can you?
Could this be the one (CIL III, 3530)?
http://www.ubi-erat-lupa.org/imagelink/i...hp?Nr=2938
Quote:Could this be the one (CIL III, 3530)?
Big stick and writing tablets. Very nice!
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