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Legionary Equipment During Reign of Marcus Aurelius
#16
(02-18-2018, 05:15 PM)brennivs - tony drake Wrote: By this time belts probably had no apron, but probably had a metal terminal on the strap end as in the find from Lyon dated 197 AD.

From Roman Military Equipment. M Bishop, C Coulston
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin

Thanks. So the belt would look like that, but the baldric would have been thin and the sword placed on the legionnaire’s right?  The column of Marcus Aurelius shows the soldiers with thin baldric and sword on their right. I did notice there were no aprons however.  

I wonder where Bishop gets the rectangular bit from, as the shields on the column of Marcus Aurelius are almost all cyldrical ovals. 

He also seems to suggest the Italic H was more during the reign of Commodus, and the Italic G covered the Marcus Aurelius period, but that seems counterintuitive, since one would expect such an evolutionary design improvement (which I think the H is over the G, from a protection perspective) to happen during the constant warfare period that marks the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
Russ 
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#17
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3329849661...d12cc99885

This is pretty much what I think a legionnaire during the reign of Marcus Aurelius would look like. I know the spatha was gaining traction as the legionnaire’s main sword and think it looks more substantial than the shortsword gladius. I notice he opted for the Italic G over the H. Bishop seems to believe both existed during this timeframe. The only real knock is the small, flat oval shield. My understanding is the scutum would have been convex and larger than presented in this picture. Other than that this seems to be the look I am going for.
Russ 
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#18
(02-23-2018, 02:21 AM)Valerian Wrote: This is pretty much what I think a legionnaire during the reign of Marcus Aurelius would look like.

I would guess that's more of an auxiliary c.AD100 look. I think it's Adrian Wink (aka Peroni), in fact.

I could be wrong, but it appears he's wearing the 'Brigetio' helmet, which probably dates to around the Trajanic period, rather than an Italic G. But it could be the later 'Theilenhofen' infantry helmet (which I've seen referred to as an Italic G, but I think is actually different). The 'Theilenhofen' probably dates to some time around AD200, and apparently had one of those big pointed 'Niederbieber' brow-guards in its original state.

The book I mentioned above (Simon James, Rome and the Sword) is very good on the changes in infantry equipment around the Antonine period (not just swords!). It's a complex era though, and still very little understood, I think.
Nathan Ross
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#19
Thanks Nathan. Let me try again. Do these illustrations approximate a legionnaire for the first half of Marcus Aurelius’ reign (Parthian war) (161-166)?

https://pin.it/73hrmr3lzaw54u

https://pin.it/3ckvmpwbmdryx7

I did buy Rome and the Sword on your recommendation and will start reading. Thanks again v
Russ 
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#20
This is an excellent 3rd c. re-enactment group from Germany:
http://www.populares-vindelicenses.de/pages/home.php
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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#21
Thanks. I looked to see if there were any groups that spanned the the middle of the second century, particularly during the Roman-Parthian War of 161-166. Anybody know of any groups that spans that period, per chance? I did not find one.
Russ 
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#22
Two books that might be helpful are,
Roman Legionary 69 -161 AD.
Imperial Roman Legionary 161- 284 AD.
Both are Osprey titles and have some excellent images as well as kit. It also gives you a good over view of the what was before during and after your period which is always good to understand the bigger picture.
         
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#23
(02-26-2018, 12:30 AM)Valerian Wrote: Do these illustrations approximate a legionnaire for the first half of Marcus Aurelius’ reign (Parthian war) (161-166)?

Probably. I'd say more Severan, if I was being picky (!) - I have a hunch that legionaries only began wearing the long sleeved tunic in the early 3rd century, although it's a matter for debate (and certain Osprey books disagree!). The equipment looks pretty good though.


(02-26-2018, 01:05 PM)Valerian Wrote: Anybody know of any groups that spans that period, per chance?  I did not find one.

And I think you're discovering why! There's a comparatively large amount of Roman military equipment from the later 1st century and the mid 3rd century (although not all that large, even so!), but very little indeed from the entire 2nd century (infantry equipment anyway - there's quite a bit of cavalry 'sports' stuff, I think). So the Antonine period is a bit of a grey area; we have an idea of the situation beforehand and the situation afterwards (roughly), so we can sort of guess what the average soldier of the period might have looked like... But that doesn't give reenactors much to go on, which I suppose is why they tend to avoid the period generally.
Nathan Ross
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#24
Resurrecting this thread. Would this period have been too early for the introduction of the Spatha as regular issue for a legionnaire? I know by the end of Commodus’ reign, and certainly by the time of Septimius Severus, the spatha was the main side arm of the legions. Input appreciated as always
Russ 
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#25
(04-03-2018, 02:06 AM)Valerian Wrote: Would this period have been too early for the introduction of the Spatha as regular issue for a legionnaire?

Spatha was not a definite term, and gladius just means 'sword', so it's hard to know where one type of weapon ends and another begins!

Take a look at Simon James, Rome and the Sword, page 185 - he gives some average blade lengths for the mid to late 2nd century. It seems that the rather short-intermediate blade (600-700mm) was most common until about 201, when average blade length suddenly increases. James also suggests that the two swords from the Canterbury burial (shown p.184) might have been typical of this sort of longer 'gladius' pattern weapon of the later 2nd century.

(Legionary is the more accepted term for a Roman soldier, btw; 'legionnaire' usually refers to a soldier of the French Foreign Legion!)
Nathan Ross
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#26
Thanks Nathan. I actually purchased the book and read the section detailing the middle empire. Fascinating read. So it appears 70% of the blades were of the short-sword variety in the first century, through early 2nd. During the mid to late 2nd century, 50% were of the short-intermediate variety, and about 15% were longer spatha. So I wonder if infantry began to use the longer spatha as their main sidearm sword and if so what kind of baldric and scabbard were used? Perhaps at this time the 3rd century styles were starting to take root? Did those 15% wear their swords on the left? Interesting questions. One thing is clear, the equipment of legionary of the middle to the end of the second century were NOT inferior to earlier periods (sword smithing techniques and sword quality, lorica segmentata newstead, Imperial Italic G and H helmets, semi-rigid lorica squamata, chestplate hamata bindings, etc), and arguably were superior. Also there appears to have been much variation in how the blades were formed. During the Antonine Period, blades were tapering, some were of the Pompeii gladius mold, etc. It appears that the ring pommel sword gained prominence during this period, but quickly faded after the Antonine period. However, "traditional" Roman type grips and pommels continued during this period (I.e. ring pommel swords were not exclusively used).
Russ 
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#27
(04-05-2018, 08:07 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:  It seems that the rather short-intermediate blade (600-700mm) was most common until about 201, when average blade length suddenly increases.

I wonder if the intermediate-length blade is Vegetius' semi-spatha.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#28
(04-06-2018, 02:30 PM)Renatus Wrote: Vegetius' semi-spatha.

The semispathium in Vegetius is always carried with another weapon, either a spatha or a gladius (probably the same sword, in reality!)

So I don't think we need to look any further than the pugio - perhaps the larger 3rd-century variety- for what he is describing here.


(04-06-2018, 01:50 PM)Valerian Wrote: the equipment of legionary of the middle to the end of the second century were NOT inferior to earlier periods...and arguably were superior.

Absolutely!
Nathan Ross
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#29
It's that bleeding Vegetivs fault for all this mix up  Angry Nathan is spot on. Valarian I would drop the mention of spatha, you need a infantry sword slightly longer than the 1st AD sword. To me the spatha is a cavalry weapon at this time. My research into the depiction of soldiers well into the 3rd AD shows soldiers wearing  swords that comes just below the knee so approximately a 2ft blade. I have made quite a few spathas from 3rd AD onwards and have a good knowledge of how they lie against the body. Also the increase in finds of spatha style swords from 3rd AD onwards, they is no context of the swords found that says, infantry soldiers were using these swords, considering the increase in the use of the cavalry. My thoughts are after around 25Os AD then swords  start to become in the style of a spatha blade and with the other longer styles found going into the 4th AD onwards. Even looking through Miks book at blades with the classic spatha profile, the length of the blades of around 2ft is a comftable length of a usable infantry sword but it is not the same blade profile as the longer wider stabbing style blades that run along side them. Even some of the swords classified by Miks as spatha I would say they are infantry swords by there profile. So good luck with your choice of blade.  Smile
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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