RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Late shield grips
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Just a thought that struck me....it's accepted that planked construction became more common....still with horizontal grips...BUT..it's also accepted that contemporary germanic shields had vertical grips...OK,with a round shield it's a debatable point as to what's horizontal or vertical(depends which way the planks go...)...does make me wonder if the "H" grip was mainly used on oval shields for infantry use....??
Steve
Quote:Just a thought that struck me....it's accepted that planked construction became more common....still with horizontal grips...BUT..it's also accepted that contemporary germanic shields had vertical grips...OK,with a round shield it's a debatable point as to what's horizontal or vertical(depends which way the planks go...)...does make me wonder if the "H" grip was mainly used on oval shields for infantry use....??
Steve

The Dura Europa shields I think are of the type you are describing. They still show decoration which indicates which way is up. In these cases the grip is definitely horizontal with a keyhole shaped cut out. The direction of the planks can be seen to be vertical as some of them have fragmented.

That doesnt mean that there werent any vertical grips.
Horizontal or vertical probablydepended on the use to which they were being put.
Cavalry would need diferent than skirmish troops, & than heavy infantry.
Different ways of fighting require different handling requirements.
Also different ethnic influences would possibly play a part.

Hilary
That's pretty much the conclusion I'd come to....seems logical,just wanted to see if anyone had a definative answer..well,as definative as anything for this period!
Steve