Full Version: Torso: where?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I haven't seen this one before, nor the apron coming out like that. Where is it, and has anyone reproduced it?
Do you know where this was found? The figure appears to be wearing a Fascia Ventralis and is wearing a Baldric with no sign of a scabbard. There also seems to be some type of box inside the front of the belt, maybe a Tabella?
I haven't seen this one before either. I looks particularly interesting as it appears from the photo that it might have been carved in the round, meaning there could be a rear side to see.

The soldier's tunic looks typical for a Rhineland carving. He appears to be wearing a paenula, unusually depicted with only one side thrown back over one shoulder, rather than both, which is more commonly seen and he certainly does appear to have the band of cloth identified as a fascia ventralis wrapped around his waist. The item which seems to be tucked into it can be seen on a number of other stones and it has been suggested that they may be intended to show writing tablets or purses tucked into the fascia ventralis. There does seem to be something passing across the body, but is could not be a baldric as the soldier is already wearing both a dagger belt and a sword belt. It may be an example of the strap which seen in a number of depictions and which appears to be for the purpose of gathering up excess tunic material which might impede the sword arm.

Moving down, the apron is of the type created by dividing the free end of the belt into several straps and passing one of these through the buckle, then allowing all of the straps to hang down as an apron. You can see this depicted on the Gnaeus Musius stele and Mike Bishop illustrated several examples in his article on aprons. The pugio features a rare depiction of a cruciform pommel expansion, a few examples of which have survived in the archaeological record and yet again demonstrates to the unbelievers out there that the lower suspension rings on the pugio sheath were not used. The sword has evidently been broken away.
The sword belt has at least four plates, including the buckle and the dagger belt has at least six plates, including buckle and two frogs. The free end of the dagger belt hangs down with the divided ends of the sword belt to become one of the apron straps.

It would be fascinating to know if the carving is actually in the round, as it would allow us to see how far the belt plates extend around the body if it was. According to the present evidence there should be more plates on the dagger belt than the sword belt and it could therefore be quite instructive to see the back, if there is one.

As a number of features of this stone appear to be unusual, I wonder if it was perhaps not a funerary sculpture but perhaps part of something else, such as a triumphal monument of a public building. I am here reminded of the Camomile Street soldier and the soldiers from the Trajanic arch at Puteoli.

The statue is from Cassaco (North Italy). Published in Claudio Franzoni: Habitus atque habitudo militis: monumenti funerari di militari nella Cisalpina Romana, 1987, p. 41, Tav X, XI
Thanks Cesar,

Have you read this book? If so are you able to tell us anything more about it?

Interesting that the apron straps hang down on the right side, rather than in the middle. Are there other examples of this?
Crispus, i havent read it. It's online in google books, with some pictures, but the exact page where talk about the thing is not free.

I think the soldier belongs to a grave stone, so probably the backside is not carved.

By the way, Graham Summer knows the sculpture so probably have pictures. He talk about that gravestone in one of his Osprey clothing books.
I think that those are not Apron straps as such but multiple Straps from the two belts.... Mike.Bishop has an article "The early imperial 'apron' " although I cant see this particular example in it... there is a similar example shown in that article for a single belt (see fig 5 relief 13) " the excess material of the belt is in four separate strands, one of which passes through the buckle" ..... also a belt in fig 12 relief 45....
That is very similar to the praetorian tombstone in Assisi (Italy).
The inscription starts with: