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Anonymous

To my knowledge, there hasn't been any evidence of standard bearers, or centurions for that matter, wearing anything but hamata or squamata. Does this mean that when a soldier was promoted to this rank, that they went down to the legion quartermaster, exchanged their lorica segmentata, and received less protective mail or scale? Isn't this logistically making more work? Wouldn't you want these guys as protected as possible? Or was this some kind of tradition?<br>
<br>
Thanks, <p>Tiberius Lantanius Magnus<BR>
CO/Optio,<BR>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix"<BR>
(Matt)</p><i></i>

Guest

Salve,<br>
<br>
All the extant depictions of standardbearers that show body armour display them clad in mail or scale armour, just as those positively identified as centurions wear mail, scale or an anatomical cuirass. This is no conclusive proof that these soldiers only wore these types of armour, but there is simply no evidence available for the other types of armour known to have been used by the Roman army. It may be just coincidental or it may represent some general rule, but it cannot be determined for sure. The segmented armour is depicted on relatively few (surviving) works of art. Scale armour appears to be rather popular with soldiers of higher status, according to the surviving depictions being worn often by cavalrymen, guardsmen, noncoms such as standardbearers, centurions and even emperors. This may be related to its flashy and spectacular appearance.<br>
<br>
There is a passage in Vegetius on the equipment of the standardbearers and centurions which may be relevant, though I do not know whether it is V.'s own work or cut and pasted from an earlier work. Some of the details provided (animal skins on helmet for standardbearers, transverse crests for centurions) match pictorial evidence, but there are terms used peculiar to later Latin such as <i> cataphracta</i>, perhaps a result of paraphrasing, perhaps an indication of Vegetius own mind at work here.<br>
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Vegetius, <i> Epitoma</i> 2.16<br>
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<i> ... Omnes antesignani vel signiferi, quamvis pedites, loricas minores accipiebant et galeas ad terrorem hostium ursinis pellibus tectas. Centuriones vero habebant catafractas et scuta et galeas ferreas, sed transversis et argentatis cristis, ut celerius agnoscerentur a suis.</i><br>
<br>
'... All troops fighting before the standards and standardbearers, although infantrymen, used to receive small suits of armour and helmets covered with bear skins to inspire fear in the enemies. Centurions on the other hand used to have body armours and shields and iron helmets, but with transverse and silvered crests in order to be recognised faster by their own men.'<br>
<br>
The <i> lorica minor</i> or <i> loricula</i> means a small(er) or light(er) body armour, but it does not determine what type (mail, scale or other). The term <i> cataphracta</i> appears to be used interchangeably with <i> lorica</i> in Vegetius, and may be used in a general sense of body armour rather than a more specific manner of scale shirt.<br>
<br>
Regarding the need for extra protection of standardbearers, <i> discentes signiferorum</i>, trainee standardbearers are attested in relatively high numbers in epigraphy, though that may be just a coincidence.<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Sander van Dorst <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showLocalUserPublicProfile?login=sandervandorst>Sander van Dorst</A> at: 1/31/02 10:15:39 am<br></i>

Anonymous

I've been wondering about this, too...If the time ever comes that I'm promoted to <i> signifer</i>, I don't want to have to make an all new <i> lorica</i>! E EM <p><BR><p align=left><font color=gold><font size=2>
_________________________________<BR>
CASCA TARQVINIVS GEMINVS<BR>
<a href=http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org> LEG IX HSPA COH V CEN VIII CON III </font></font><BR>
<font color=gold><font size=2>
VIRES ET VALOR PRO GLORIA ROMAE<BR>
_________________________________</font></font></p><i></i>
Avete!<br>
It seems to me that hamata or squamata would offer more overall protection than a segmentata, since they are generally longer. True, we think of the plates of the segmentata being better protection, but mail seems to have been good enough to make it very popular for about 1500 years. So it was apparently the guys wearing it didn't see it as a big disadvantage.<br>
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There doesn't seem to be much at all known about turning in gear or upgrading it (Sander?), but the promotion comes with a pay raise so you should be able to pay for new duds. But yeah, that's tougher for us! Making a whole new kit is the main reason I'm an optio, not a centurion!<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Matthew/Quintus <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Have you guys seen this website by Dave Pearson? He has compiled fairly detailed and researched information on all the types of armour used by the Romans. He also experimented with reconstructions to see which armour could defend better against missile hits and that type of thing. Here is the URL:<br>
rubens.anu.edu.au/student.projects97/armour/<br>
<br>
Thanks for the information, <p>Tiberius Lantanius Magnus<BR>
CO/Optio,<BR>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix"<BR>
(Matt)</p><i></i>

Guest

Salve,<br>
<br>
Soldiers could be issued with government kit as a special privilege in early imperial times, though in the course of the third century this seems to have become increasingly common. Such items were to be turned in when leaving military service though. The reference in Tacitus to a mix up of equipment for praetorians, legionaries and auxiliaries may have to do with issues of owership, the provincial troops generally having to pay for their own while the guards had theirs on loan from the emperor free of charge. The former category had the <i> custos armorum</i> or <i> armicustos</i> while the latter had a <i> fisci curator</i>, someone looking after the privy purse's property.<br>
<br>
Kit was also turned in for repair and this seems to have been charged for, just as arms and equipment had to be paid for by the majority of troops. There is an entry in a papyrus mentioning a sum set aside for repair of equipment.<br>
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P. Vindb. L72<br>
<br>
<i> in refec(tio) arm(orum)</i><br>
<br>
'for repair of weapons'<br>
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To be properly kitted out as officer cost a small fortune. Plinius mentions in one of his letters that a man for which he had secured appointment as a centurion received 40.000 <i> nummi</i> (10.000 <i> denarii</i>) to equip himself for his new function. To get an idea of the relative expense the annual pay for a legionary at that date was 300 <i> denarii</i>.<br>
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On ownership and acquisition/issue of weapons and kit in the Roman and Byzantine armies:<br>
<br>
Bishop, M.C., and J.C. Coulston, <i> Roman military equipment</i> (London 1993) 256p.<br>
Breeze, D.J., 'The ownership of weapons' in: <i> Britannia</i> 7 (1976), 93-95.<br>
Haldon, J., <i> Warfare, state and society in the Byzantine world 565-1204</i> (London 1999) 389p.<br>
Speidel, M.P., 'The weapons keeper, the fisci<br>
curator, and the ownership of weapons in the Roman army' in: <i> Roman army studies</i> II (Stuttgart 1992) 430p.<br>
Treadgold, W., <i> Byzantium and its army 284-1081</i> (Stanford 1995) 249p.<br>
Woods, D., 'The ownership and disposal of military equipment in the Late Roman Army' in: <i> Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies</i> 4 (1993).<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Sander van Dorst <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showLocalUserPublicProfile?login=sandervandorst>Sander van Dorst</A> at: 2/1/02 4:11:13 pm<br></i>
In the potboiler "Centurion" there is an illustration of a centurion with segmentata under his phalerae, which looks very uncomfortable.<br>
<br>
I meant to ask: were phalerae solid silver or hollowed? I was wondering about the weight of the entire harness in addition to the chain mail. The hamata alone is 25 pounds and the phalerae if solid another 25 pounds? Whew.. already the centurion is wearing three times the weight of an soldier in segmentata. They must not have worn them all the time! <p>Aulus, Legio XX.
the HIGH NOISE/low signal person for RAT.
ICQ 940236
</p><i></i>
Hi Rich,<br>
In my Mainz-travelogue is a picture of a set of phalerae conserved there. They seem to be thin embossed plates. Can't weigh much surely.<br>
<br>
<p>Greets<BR>
<BR>
Jasper</p><i></i>