Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Plumbata
#16
Interesting Robert,<br>
<br>
I also think that there was a higher use of Roman armour and weapons by certain tribes than generally thought.<br>
<br>
Certain tribal leaders, Alaric and Attila being the most famous ones, were also Roman high officers (magistri militum). This would enable to make full use out of the production of the Roman fabricae.<br>
Perhaps the Germans and Huns preferred their own weapons, and did not want to use armour, but in any case they had the ability to do so, and a certain number of barbarians no doubt took that chance. <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#17
As promised, a few pictures of my own plumbatae (manufactured by Len Morgan) and the way I think they possibly could have been attached to the scutum:<br>
<img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/2003pos12s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/2003pos13s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata1s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata2s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><br>
<br>
(Enlarged pictures can be found:<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/2003pos12.jpg" target="top]Shield[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/2003pos13.jpg" target="top]Shield detail[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata1.jpg" target="top]Plumbata detail[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata2.jpg" target="top]Plumbata full lenght[/url]<br>
<br>
Of course, as stated earlier, we don't as yet know how long the shafts actually were. From what I've tried out so far, I would propose that they were attached to the right side of the shield only. Reaching for them behind the left elbow would be troublesome. Of course, if the shield was resting on the ground this problem would not occur. It could, however, be an answer to why Vegetius sets the highest number of plumbatae carried at five only. Carrying them at both sides of the hand would make a number of 4 or 6 equally possible. Maybe 5 (on the right only) would be the maximum weight before the shield would get too unstable.<br>
<br>
My two cents, anyway..<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert<br>
<br>
<p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 8/18/03 6:12 pm<br></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#18
Good job Robert, you've got to elaborate more your idea, though!<br>
Unfortunately, our plumbatae developement program is halted for the moment just after manufacturing 30 barbed heads!<br>
The important question is, how do you avoid the barbs to get tangled with the upper thong when you draw out the plumbata? or better, do they tend to get tangled?<br>
<br>
Aitor<br>
<br>
PS My first pair of campagi are now finished (I'm wearing them while I'm writing this, the first ones since the end of Fourth century! ) <p></p><i></i>
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
Reply
#19
Hi Aitor,<br>
The thong presents no problem, as the head will be horizontal to the shield anyway. If you keep the thong a little loose, you can pull the shaft towards you when drawing the dart. That way, the head will point to the shield in drawing it and you'll have no problem with the thong. However, my shield is flat, which makes drawing easier.<br>
A bigger problem is my reinforcing bar, which should be removed when attaching plumbatae in this fashion. However, if your shield is properly curved (as yours are, right?), the bar would be out of the way anyway.<br>
Lastly, entangling. Len has made these (I presume) without wanting them attached to a shield. The flights are not in a 45-degree angle to the head. I think they should be, so that 2 of the 4 flights will stabalise the plumbata in a fixed position. Mine aren't, so the heads aren't sitting flat against the board, and they will tangle if I'm not careful when drawing them. However, if you give them enough room, you can pull the one on the right a centimeter or two from the rest, so they won't tangle in drawing.<br>
<br>
How long will your plumbatae be?<br>
<br>
Campagi? Wow. Pictures, please (new thread?).<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert<br>
<p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#20
And what about the plumbata being simply stuck into the board?<br>
It would work even better with dished shields.<br>
In this case they would be stuck at the bottom of the shield (between rim and board in the case of flat shields) and the shafts held by the thumb.<br>
The use of the shield should not be impaired since the plumbatas were thrown before contact. And five seems to be the maximum number you can hold with you thumb extended horizontally from the hand grip.<br>
In this case of course the plumbatas would be carried in a bag of some kind and the shields "loaded" only shortly before battle.<br>
Just a suggestion. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/[email protected]narmytalk>Antoninus Lucretius</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://localhost:1094/Homesteads/_1750094854/files/Cesar_triste.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 8/18/03 11:25 pm<br></i>
Reply
#21
Yes, I also thought about sticking them into the board. However, there'd be some evidence. Simply sticking them into the wood wouldn't do, for you can't obviously get them in too deep, so at some point the point could get loose. Inside the rim wouldn't give them enough safe space to stay where they are. I've tried that, and you'd need about 2-4 cm for a safe margin, which would mean a big rim. My current solution will keep them safely in place, even at a run. I've used rawhide because the material was available (rim's of the same stuff), it's light and it's plyable. A wooden rim would of course do as well, as would a strip of cloth maybe, but we've found no wooden rim and I think the cloth would tear.<br>
<br>
Also, I've chosen the thong instead of holding the shaft with the thumb because the latter could not be done for a great lenght of time.<br>
<br>
Funny you should mention the bag, because this is exactly what came up in discussing all this at <em>ARCHEON</em> last sunday. Indeed, we looked at javelins being carried in a quiver a concluded this could have been the way to carry a set of plumbatae, with 5 carried at the ready, just like modern soldiers would carry extra magazines on them.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 8/29/03 8:10 am<br></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#22
Hi Robert,<br>
Our plumbatas will be (if ever finished!) around 41 cm long.<br>
I'm trying to post a picture of my campagi, but I think that I'll do on another thread (that on late Roman shoes, I think)<br>
<br>
Aitor<br>
<p></p><i></i>
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
Reply
#23
Salve,<br>
<br>
The <em>Strategikon</em> 12B5 records leadweighted darts carried in leather cases.<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Sander van Dorst<br>
<p></p><i></i>
Reply
#24
A quick update of the latest version, now with the possible 5 plumbatae attached to a scutum (thanks, Len):<br>
<img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata4s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata5s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata6s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata7s.jpg" style="border:0;"/><br>
<br>
(Enlarged pictures can be found:<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata4.jpg" target="top]Missile1[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata5.jpg" target="top]Misile2[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata6.jpg" target="top]Shield 5[/url]<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/groep/plumbata7.jpg" target="top]Shield detail[/url]<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 1/17/04 10:11 pm<br></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#25
Greetings Robert!<br>
<br>
I am the owner of the Roman plumata that you had posted from my webpage on this forum. Although I am always open to new information I think that your conclusions concerning the authenticity of the plumata are incorrect. I am sure that my plumata are authentic - There is absolutely no appearance of any tampering with these artifacts. Both plumata are quite heavy in that the clay feels and looks more like petrified rock - I take that this could mean that something had been added to the clay. A Weapons Collector friend of mine obtained his own Roman plumata artifact about a year ago and he stated the same - His plumata also has a clay body and is also quite heavy.<br>
<br>
You are correct on my fibulas being misdated - It's been something I have been aware of for a while as I have had tons of new information to add to my website business and collection. The reason that I have not gotten around to this is that I have been busy with other matters - I was vol. invol. mobilized with The US Marines and just returned home last month.<br>
<br>
Additional information on my Roman Sarmatian Scale Armor Piece:<br>
<br>
The Roman style scale armor piece is the finest that I have ever seen and I have handled dozens of Roman scale armor pieces - The gold gilt is almost completely intact. As far as I know the only Europeans that gold gilded their scale armor in antiquity were the Euro/Asiatic Sarmatians. Hence my conclusion that the scale armor is Roman Sarmatian.<br>
<br>
The piece was sold to me by an English Dealer who is really more of a Collector in that he rarely sells artifacts but owns one of the largest weapons specialty collections (not ancient) in England - Roman artifacts were all new to this Dealer/Collector. I bought the piece from this Dealer as "Roman Bronze" Scale Armor found along Hadrian's Wall.<br>
<br>
Last year I was doing a research project with Linda Malcor (Co-author of From Scythia to Camelot) and Linda requested that I find out more about the Roman Sarmatian Scale Armor Piece. I then asked the Dealer that I had made the buy from if he could obtain any more of the armor and also if he could find out the precise location where the armor piece had been found - Nothing like the mercenary drive to motivate! The Dealer agreed and went on an overnight trip to see the Digger. He returned a few days later with a few Roman Cavalry items but no armor pieces. He told me that the Digger had only two more pieces of Roman scale armor and that the Digger had decided to keep them. In all the Digger had found 4 pieces including the one I bought from the Dealer plus one that he had sold to someone else. The Digger gave the Dealer the precise location along Hadrian's Wall where the armor pieces had been found - As promised the Dealer then gave me that information. I then told the Dealer that the scale armor that I had bought from him was gold gilded- I also told him that if the Digger ever changed his mind on selling that he should buy the piece for himself. I bought one of the Roman Cavalry bronze pieces as to assist with the Dealer's buying trip. After reviewing all the information given the Dealer decided to keep the rest of the Roman Cavalry pieces and as far as I know is a Collector of Roman Military Artifacts!<br>
<br>
I have not had contact with this Dealer since we concluded our business in Dec. of 2002!<br>
<br>
<br>
All My Best!<br>
<br>
David Xavier Kenney <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#26
Hi David,<br>
<br>
Are you sure that the weights on your plumbatae are made of baked clay? Couldn't they be made of (now) heavily oxydiced lead? It sems to me strange that baked clay can be so heavy as you say.<br>
<br>
Greetings,<br>
<br>
Aitor <p></p><i></i>
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
Reply
#27
Hi David,<br>
<br>
Thank you very much for all the information. Again, my apologies if I was a bit harsh last year (I fear it was me who asked all these questions, which may have prompted Linda). I must confess that I still feel a pang of regret when artefacts such as these, very intriguing as they are, can only be speculated about as they are retrieved from the soil by a 'Digger' and not an archaeologist. Not your fault that this 'Digger' is not able to date the objects.<br>
<br>
For instance, the armour, (I have already discussed this with Linda), we can't ever be sure now when it went into the soil. Was it Sarmatian? Even if you are correct and it was only the Sarmatians who gilded armour, we can't be sure if it was worn by a Sarmatian. It could have been Alanic, it could even have been worn by a Roman. Dating it would have made us a little more sure of that. What it can't do now, sadly, is provide an answer about Sarmatian presence in north Britain.<br>
<br>
Back to the topic at hand, the plumbatae. May I say they look very good? Surely a centrepiece of your collection? I'm glad that they are not tempered with, as you say, the world has seen too many fraudulent pieces already. But, if the weight is clay-with-addition, they are unique. Could there be lead in the clay (hence the name, 'plumbatae')? Aitor may be right about the oxidised lead. can you weigh them to find out? I'm sure there must be another plumbata around to check against.<br>
<br>
Anyway, many thanks for all the info.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#28
Well if I wanted to make a forgery, I'd put lead there and not clay, so I'd go with Aitor's idea of oxydized lead.<br>
To be really sure you'd need to analyze the strcuture and to do that means destroying the piece.. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/[email protected]narmytalk>Antoninus Lucretius</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://localhost:1094/Homesteads/_1750094854/files/Cesar_triste.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 8/29/03 2:39 pm<br></i>
Reply
#29
Well, Antoninus,<br>
In my devious mind I reasoned that a valuable piece should be out of the ordinary, and lead plumbatae are common. But clay-weighted ones aren't, so a devious forger would rather go for such a one, and a higher price.<br>
<br>
However, if the weight is indeed as heavy as David thinks, it may be oxydised lead, or a new method of construction.<br>
<br>
Note for wannabe forgers: there has as yet not been found a plumbata with spikes!<br>
<br>
Valete<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#30
Greetings Aitor!<br>
<br>
Thanks for the interest! I cannot say for sure what is mixed in with the clay but it would have to have been neutral or khaki color. Because of this I am not sure that oxidized lead is the answer. Then again is there a type of oxidized lead that can be made neutral in color? When I bought my first plumbata a few years ago I thought that the clay was petrified due to some kind of unique conditions. Then I bought my second one two years ago and it was the same so I figured that this must have been a brand of plumbata. Then last year I found a third plumbata (on e bay) and it looked like it was the same type. I called my friend that collects ancient weapons and he snagged it. Once again the body was clay like in appearance and texture but hard like a rock and with a bit of weight. I have heard that it wasn't until recent times that is was discovered how the Romans made their brand of cement. It could be that the Roman Army was using some kind of terra cotta mortar to make their plumbata. Perhaps the reason for this was as I have speculated (impact frag), or that it was quicker and cheaper, or that is was for all those reasons!<br>
<br>
All My Best!<br>
<br>
Dave <p></p><i></i>
Reply


Forum Jump: