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Whilst trying to find that image of the stumbling horse showing the horned saddle for a question from FB RAT, I happened across another image of a horned saddle from the "stele of Silius" that I hadn't seen before:

http://ilaria.veltri.tripod.com/tack.html
Do you know what the stele of Silius is dated to?
I haven't seen that date yet, but did find this paper on Roman cavalry iconography which shows several reliefs with the horned saddle.

http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewc...ontext=etd
Quote:Do you know what the stele of Silius is dated to?

Totenmahl tombstones (with the deceased reclining above, his hardware & wetware on show below) like that of Silius, are generally held to be Flavian (roughly AD70s to 90s).

[Image: 6801879759_40f68853bb.jpg]

Mike Bishop
Bryan, have look at his excellent 1988 paper Mike Bishop kindly made available through scribd. More tombstones and sources are listed in there.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/12892006/Caval...A-D#scribd
Does anyone know the iconic evidence for a four horned saddle? And when the first instance of use by Roman cavalry (citizen or allied)?
The above reference is a good starting point.
Quote:The above reference is a good starting point.

The article states 1st century AD. Was there no evidence previous to that period?
It depends on what your point of research is. Evidence of a fighting force using a tried and tested design which lasted for a minimum of four centuries could indicate (in my opinion only, of course) that the saddle was in use before this time.

The image from the Republican period (admittedly tenuous but room for the tunic and pteruges to be depicted without the encumbrance of horns) and the Scythian saddle (traced from 5th C BC - see here:
http://dariocaballeros.blogspot.co.uk/20...d-bit.html ) have trees but no horns.

The horns add stability and suggest a difference to the way of fighting or the terrain over which the cavalry was fighting - such as Northern European forests and hills/valleys ie Gallia in all its forms - . It may even suggest the transfer from mounted infantry to cavalry; a point for debate for sure.

[attachment=12408]003a798c831504dafca028ba.jpg[/attachment]

From my own perspective the development of the tree-less pad saddle to the horned saddle indicates a difference as described above but does not necessarily instantly mean the use of wooden trees in the saddle. (Why reinforce wooden horns with bronze fittings?) Connolly made that assumption due to his observation of stretch marks on a leather saddle cover; no more than that. Yet it is slavishly followed by re-enactors who produce copy of copies and ignore the evidence from Connolly himself and John Duckham, the principal rider in the reconstruction saddle, that the wooden frame and the necessity for lots of padding under it to protect the horse makes it inherently unstable - hardly something you would wish when carrying lance and shield.

Add to this that the saddle is only as good as the bit on the bridle and the bit is only as good as the rider's hands.

PS - the Scythian saddle depicted in the link above bares a very strong resemblance to the Argentinian Gaucho saddle which is also made from two tubes of thick hide tubular columns to take pressure off the horse's spine.
Vindex,

I'm mostly researching Roman citizen cavalry during the late republic and the first instances of Gallic cavalry being extensively used by the Romans as auxiliaries. I'm wondering at what point padded saddles would have been in use (versus a simple saddle cloth), when the Romans would have borrowed the four horned saddle, from whom, whether it came from the Gauls, etc. Most of the sources I've read focus extensively on the Principate era and the few that cover the Late Republic cavalry (McCall and Sidnell) don't actually include any info about the saddles.

Do you have the link to a larger and more detailed image of that cavalry stele you posted? I can't make out any details about a saddle or anything.
Moi,

Were you aware that the Carlisle saddle leathers clearly showed the impressions of trees? I fancy I can see the lower horizontal bar of a tree on Silius' saddle too.
Incidentally, the clear impressions on the Carlisle covers suggested that the saddles were not heavily padded on the upper surfaces of their trees and were thus not designed for the comfort of the riders, which may explain references to cavalrymen stuffing their saddles with straw. The state of preservation of the Carlisle covers also demonstrated that they could be removed from their trees, which might explain why some bronze saddle horn fittings have names scratched or punched into them.

On the matter of saddle horn fittings, I have often looked at the holes and felt they looked like stitching holes, which had suggested they were attached to the outsides of covers, both for re-enforcement and to act as locators when the covers were being fitted over frames. However, as far as I know, neither the covers from Valkenburg or those from Carlisle show evidence of the necessary corresponding stitching holes on the leather of their horns. A puzzlement, as Pooh would say.

Sorry for the OT ramble, by the way.

Crispvs
I accept all of that but the Carlisle leathers show potential structure marks but they still don't necessarily have to be made by a supporting wooden structure.

As for the bronze fittings; yes, they were stitched on. Possibly onto felt wrapped around the saddle horns and I am an advocate for them being under the saddle cover not on the outside. The main reason for this is that if the saddle needs adjusting to fit either horse or rider it is a lot easier if the saddle cover can be removed. The fact that the covers are often found supports this.

From experience the side boards on the current re-construction remakes of Connolly's design are positively uncomfortable for the rider without any padding. This again, I feel, adds against the wooden frame argument. There are other ways of reinforcing the saddle without it needing wood. The main argument in favour of wood, however, is that it does not need as much care and attention as the other possible materials particularly when the latter get very wet.
Quote:Vindex,

I'm mostly researching Roman citizen cavalry during the late republic and the first instances of Gallic cavalry being extensively used by the Romans as auxiliaries. I'm wondering at what point padded saddles would have been in use (versus a simple saddle cloth), when the Romans would have borrowed the four horned saddle, from whom, whether it came from the Gauls, etc. Most of the sources I've read focus extensively on the Principate era and the few that cover the Late Republic cavalry (McCall and Sidnell) don't actually include any info about the saddles.

Do you have the link to a larger and more detailed image of that cavalry stele you posted? I can't make out any details about a saddle or anything.

I'm looking for the image - sorry, I didn't realise that one was quite so small.

I think if McCall did not include the details it is because they are hard to find Smile

I have a link to Iron Age cavalry (sic). Just trying to remember where I filed it...
Found it...nothing on saddles or saddle covers which is annoying as it is a bog find discussion Wink

[attachment=12409]11_278-282_Lau.pdf[/attachment]
Rich,

When I read your original post again, I found myself wondering if you meant the sculpture showing a stumbling horse with a four horned saddle which Peter Connolly illustrated in his original 'The Roman Army' in 1975 when dealing with saddles. I don't know where it was from but I do recall that he said it was a Gallic sculpture. Someone else might know it. I recall it also exhibits the draping side panels which survived on the Carlisle covers but had been lost from the Valkenburg ones.

Moi,

In the absence of stitching holes on the leather horns I too had concluded that the bronze fittings must have been fitted to the underlying frame and that the names were scratched onto them so that they could be teamed up with their covers again when after the covers had been repaired or stored away for whatever reason. The Carlisle covers showed extensive evidence of repairs. As we also now know that the saddles were not sewn under like those depicted in Connolly's 1988 reconstruction, we can envisage them being fairly easy to remove, either for maintenance to the cover or to the tree. Then again it may have been easier to store a turma's saddles by stacking the (uncovered) trees into one another while the covers were looked after by the men who used them. Assuming that the trees were modified for each horse and rider to ensure the best mount it would make perfect sense to have the user's name marked on it. That might also be a reason that modern reconstructions, which often are not make with a particular horse or rider in mind, are sometimes less than satisfactory.

Crispvs



Crispvs
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