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Below is a (new to me) sculpture of a 5th century cataphract photographed by Guy Hallsall in Lyons Museum http://darkagewargaming.wordpress.com/20...ataphract/

I'm trying to decipher the inscription- I can get as far as DM (Dis Manibus) To the eternal memory...and then I'm lost. Can someone help? Or knows more about this?

I see a crested helmet, cloak with brooch on shoulder, a kontos (held in both hands?) , a shield bearer on foot and a spear bearing groom leading the horse. And DM (Dis Manibus is an unusually archaic and pagan inscription for 5th century?

[Image: Lyons5thccataphract.jpg]
Quote:I'm trying to decipher the inscription- I can get as far as DM (Dis Manibus) To the eternal memory...and then I'm lost. Can someone help? Or knows more about this?

CIL XIII 1848

D(is) M(anibus) / et memoriae aete/rnae Kl(audi!) Ingenui / centenari(i) ex num(ero) eq(uitum) / cataf(ractariorum) sen(iorum) qui vixit an/n(os) p(lus) m(inus) XXXV Candida c/oniugi karissimo / [f]ac(iendum) cur(avit) et sub asc(ia) d(e)d(icavit)
Why do you think this is 5th century, particularly? Looks like it could more easily be 4th...

"To the Gods below, and the eternal memory of Klaudius Ingenuus, centenarius of the numerus of catafracti seniores, who lived more or less 35 years. His dear wife Candida caused this to be set up and dedicated it with the first stroke of the axe [or chisel?]"

:unsure:

EDIT - 'sub ascia dedicavit' seems to be a peculiarity of Lugdunensis and Narbonensis, and most of the inscriptions using it look to be 3rd-4th century.
Quote:His dear wife Candida caused this to be set up and dedicated it with the first stroke of the axe

Sounds like a murder to me.

Great find, if it's fifth century that's considerably interesting to know that they could still afford Cataphractarii under Stilicho/Constantius/Aetius
Quote:'sub ascia dedicavit' seems to be a peculiarity of Lugdunensis and Narbonensis, and most of the inscriptions using it look to be 3rd-4th century.

Auguste Allmer, a French epigraphist of the 19th century and a long-term curator of the Lyons Museum, dated the inscription by the form of the letters and the presence of the formula "plus minus" from the end of the 4th century to the beginning of the 5th.
Quote:Auguste Allmer...dated the inscription by the form of the letters and the presence of the formula "plus minus" from the end of the 4th century to the beginning of the 5th.

Aha, ok! Letter forms maybe, but the 'plus minus' appears to have been used over a wide timespan (perhaps wider than M. Allmer was aware at the time he wrote?) It's late, certainly, often christian, but I think there are a couple of inscriptions to praetorian guardsmen in Rome that use it as well - so very early 4th at the latest for them...
The dating I had came from Guy Halsall "Here is a photo I took in the Archaeological Museum in Lyon last Spring. It is of the tombstone of a cataphract from the fifth century. The cavalryman is followed by an unarmoured infantryman with a large oval shield. Noteworthy is the evident lack of armour of our cataphract, apart from a lavishly-plumed helmet and possibly some protection to the torso, although that (like the whole depiction) could be no more than convention. Certainly he has a long stout spear, or a lance. Perhaps the cataphracti of the fifth-century west were ‘shock’ lancers rather than especially heavily armoured…" To be fair, he is a Professor of History at York University, where his doctoral research was in the archaeology and history of the Merovingian region of Metz (north-eastern France and southern Germany), c.350-c.750. Profile here http://www.york.ac.uk/history/staff/profiles/halsall/.

Thats not to say that he is infallible- except of course on one of his marathon attacks of Peter Heather on barbarian migrations....

His blog is here http://600transformer.blogspot.co.uk/201...stion.html Always thought provoking and worth a read, even (perhaps especially?) when you don't agree.
You have good eyesight to see a broach in that image... :unsure:
I deduced a brooch from the lie of the cloak. Anyone know anything about the cataphract unit?
Quote:The dating I had came from Guy Halsall

Who probably read it on the museum's info card, which in turn probably derives from Allmer's 19th C estimate. Still, it could well be correct...

The catafractarii seniores are unknown, I think, besides this one stone. The Notitia Dignitatum has the Equites catafractarii iuniores stationed in Britain, but no senior unit. Perhaps a reason to think that this stone predates the ND, and the unit had been lost or renamed by then?



Quote:except of course on one of his marathon attacks of Peter Heather on barbarian migrations....

I do like Guy Halsall's blog, but I've never really got into the Halsall v Heather debate. Simon James uses a lot of Heather's arguments in Rome and the Sword (not uncritically), which makes me think I think should read up on their respective positions.

Then again, everything after the end of Ammianus' history sort of falls off the map as far as I'm concerned!...
Quote: Anyone know anything about the cataphract unit?

Not my period, I'm afraid. Most of my cavalry references end late 3rd to mid 4th C and it's not mentioned specifically as 'numerus catafractarii seniores' ; and not in Spaul. (Hardly a suprise, but nothing to clearly indicate a previous formation name or anything is what I really mean.)

It's an interesting stele, nonetheless, as it is clearly in a different style to earlier cavalry ones, although that may just have to do with the passage of time. Is he carrying a contos? The end looks a bit big (again, could just be the vagaries of the sculptor). Perhaps its a standard not a spear? - eg Genialis at Cirencester

[attachment=6216]Genialis_2.jpg[/attachment]
I'm with Nathan on this one, it could just as easily be the gravestone of an early 4th Century Catafractarii as it could be 5th Century.

There are other gravestones from the 4th Century showing Catafract riders on unarmoured horses so it does not surprise me at all that this one shows a similar scene.
Quote:on unarmoured horses

I'm not 100% sure we can deduce that the rider has no armor, nor the horse. The chest area of the rider certainly has a lot of vertical texture, that is far more in depth than the cloaks of the other people in the marble. I would wonder if it could not represent some type of armor, be it lamellar or something similar. Is there not significant documentation of color being used on these carvings? Would it not be possible then that color was used instead of carving texture to further create details of the images, such as armor etc. The fact that the soldier already is depicted with his crested helmet, certainly adds to my belief in that they are fully armored.

Even looking closer actually at the person escorting the horse and rider, there are clear rows of triangles visible in the "cloak". This appears to me to be scale armor.
It is nice to have a decent photograph of this tombstone. Both Schleiermacher (M. Schleiermacher, Römische Reitergrabsteine: Die kaiserzeitlichen Reliefs des triumphierenden Reiters, Bonn, 1984, no. 93) and Harl (O. Harl, 'Die Kataphraktarier im römischen Heer - Panegyrik und Realität', JRGZ 43 (1996), 601-627 at 611), following Hoffmann, date the stone to the 4th century.
Nice picture!

Quote:The catafractarii seniores are unknown, I think, besides this one stone. The Notitia Dignitatum has the Equites catafractarii iuniores stationed in Britain, but no senior unit. Perhaps a reason to think that this stone predates the ND, and the unit had been lost or renamed by then?
I think you are correct - the ND shows more than one unit without a 'sister' unit present. Likewise, we have the Deurne inscription about a Stablesia VI, which is no longer present when the ND is drawn up.
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