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The size of Imperial shields?
#1
Not long ago, I had someone point out that the size of the shields you see in columns and other carvings are quite a lot smaller than the common re-enactors shields you see today: [Image: main-qimg-8ded4c1e051a0e67c4d742b6794ea6c4]

Coupled with Polybius description on how the shield was used, it makes sense that it'd be that size, and not the pavise-sized shields we see many people today associate with them.

So my question is, how the hell did we go from that, to this:
[Image: 7671948e805f26710d4b7821284885f2.jpg]
Or am I missing something here?
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#2
Artistic license.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#3
On Trajans Column your seeing an artistic impression, if you want to know the true size of a shield then you need to look at archeological remains such as the evidence from surviving shields, their components and items like leather covers... off which there are quite a few, the current shield sizes are generally based on these artifacts not artistic impressions...

Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#4
(03-24-2019, 01:50 PM)Crispianus Wrote: On Trajans Column your seeing an artistic impression, if you want to know the true size of a shield then you need to look at archeological remains such as the evidence from surviving shields, their components and items like leather covers... off which there are quite a few, the current shield sizes are generally based on these artifacts not artistic impressions...

Wink

The thing being... that there aren't many that I know of

And again, the description of how they were used fits the small shield size more than it does the huge thing we see thrown around a lot.
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#5
(03-24-2019, 08:45 PM)Draugr the Greedy Wrote: there aren't many that I know of

Twenty-four whole or fragmentary shield boards were found at Dura Europos; of these, the complete rectangular scutum found in the ruins of Tower 19 measures 1.06 metres by 0.86 metres, and I believe this is the size usually adopted for reconstructions. A number of oval shields from the same site are of comparable size: 1.18x0.95 for the 'Homeric' shield, 1.17x0.97 for the 'Amazons' shield, 1.18x0.94 for the 'Warrior God' shield.

The 'republican'/Hellenistic oval scutum from Fayum in Egypt measures 1.28x0.6m, the native British oval shield from Doncaster is 1.25x0.6m, and leather imperial-era shield covers found at Vindonissa are of similar size to the Dura and Fayum shields.
Nathan Ross
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#6
(03-24-2019, 08:45 PM)Draugr the Greedy Wrote:
(03-24-2019, 01:50 PM)Crispianus Wrote: On Trajans Column your seeing an artistic impression, if you want to know the true size of a shield then you need to look at archeological remains such as the evidence from surviving shields, their components and items like leather covers... off which there are quite a few, the current shield sizes are generally based on these artifacts not artistic impressions...

Wink

The thing being... that there aren't any that I know of

And again, the description of how they were used fits the small shield size more than it does the huge thing we see thrown around a lot.

The legionary helmets were also altered, in this case  to better depict faces...


[Image: 5YsZ8DU.jpg]
[Image: 0rPWizH.jpg]
Looking at the Tropaeum Traiani , shield sizes are inconsistent between metopes...
aka T*O*N*G*A*R
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