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Panoply in the Roman Republic
#1
I have posted a draft article on academia.edu on Roman military equipment int he Republican period. I would be interested in feedback from this forum, given the wealth of knowledge here on the topic. 

https://www.academia.edu/37575298/Panopl...y_Republic
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#2
Good article. You mention it briefly in the end but I think exploring which side of the waist that swords were carried could reinforce your theory. Roman legionnaires carried their swords on the right, officer classes, from centurion on up, on the left. Celts were carried on the right, Greek on the left.

Also, Ken Doll comment, while funny, might not be understood by all who read it.
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#3
Because the Celts were not just another example of the ethnic diversity of the Italian peninsula, but rather the ultimate barbarian ‘Other,’ a group who had sacked Rome in 390 BC, were subject to genocidal campaigns in the 230s B.C.

Isn't too much strong? With some celtic tribes Rome lived without problems, with other tribes it engaged deadly wars. The discriminant was not "Celts or not celts", but how each celtic tribe reacted to Roman policies (and expansion).
- CaesarAugustus
www.romanempire.cloud
(Marco Parente)
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#4
Well, here I am referring particularly to the campaigns against the Senones, which did seem to approach what might have be termed ethnic cleansing in the 1990s Balkans. But I've modified this a bit in the evolving draft.
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#5
Interesting read, thank you.

- Is the belief in a fair variation between the actual panoply worn by the earlier Republican soldiers (given they are responsible for bringing/purchasing their own kit) supported by the evidence, or more an assumption of the circumstances?  Would it perhaps be likely that equipment was produced to a somewhat standardised 'pattern'?

- Is there a tiny mis-type for the dimensions of a 'standard' scutum - "120cm x 65cm" - instead of, perhaps, '120cm x 75cm'; which better approximates Polybius' 4ft x 2.5ft?

- I'm not sure the short passage on 'Scots, Uhlans and Zouaves' actually adds anything and is, perhaps, not entirely relevant nor accurate.  British armies contained 'Scots' in their kilts - because they were troops raised from the Scottish Highlands who traditionally wore the kilt.  That the British Lancers of the 19th Century were directly modelled on the French Napoloeonic Lancers - the first unit of which were directly recruited from Polish troops (Uhlans).  And finally, particularly with the 'Zouaves', this is much more a trend of 'fashion' that was prevalent with units that were raised and, moreover, funded by individuals out to make a statement.  If ever a more useless item of military apparel than the pelisse (whilst almost universally adopted across Europe to equip Hussars) existed, then I'd certainly be curious!

- And I do have to ask - even though I've looked through the last 50 pages since I went into hiding - the majority are still happy with the idea of the Romans fighting in 'open order'?  I've no wish to re-hash old threads, but still remain sceptical in the extreme.
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#6
I do think that after a while there was somewhat standardized production, sometimes in army camps, by contractors (publican) who supplied the army and even by craftsmen who specialized in making equipment to the the homogenized standard.

On the scutum, I follow Treloar who suggested that the shield was 75 cm wide before it was curved, the actual frontage fo the shield was about 65 cm. The Fayum scutum is 63.5 cm wide.

My point about the 19th century armies was simply to raise the possibility that an aesthetic could enter into military service precisely because it was an aesthetic (and you are right to note the variation in origin of European armies, sometimes based on actual hinterland recruits, sometimes importing a distant fashion)----but in the end I don't think thats what happened here with the Romans.

I'm personally comfortable with notions of open order! But that might be a fight for another day...
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#7
Well, I have come to believe that the shields/scuta are indeed 2.5ft 'wide' as an actual measurement across the chord; but, even so, one that was that before curving to a depth of "one hand" (10cm for arguments sake) would only contract by a maximum of 5cm rather than 10cm (by simple trig').

That said, as your article well points out - there's every possibility that the Fayum shield is Celtic rather than Roman...
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#8
Mark, the history of the short kilt is interesting.  The short kilt is not a traditional garment, but was invented in the 18th century by the foreigners who were recruiting gangs of labourers in the highlands and wanted a cheap garment which did not get in the way.  It then spread after the British Army adopted it as part of the uniform of Scottish and Highland regiments, probably because it was much cheaper than the traditional great kilt and looked Scottish to an Englishman, and was redesigned by professional tailors into a garment with sewn-in pleats.  By the middle of the 19th century, creating 'Highland regiments' with distinctive uniforms and swords and bagpipes was all about the 'frontier chic', just like Michael says.

The way Scottish and Highland culture were redefined and appropriated after the '45 and the novels of Sir Walter Scott is a great example of the invention of tradition and how people borrowing from another culture usually change what they borrow and decide what is "authentic" by what feels right not asking people from the culture they think they are imitating.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#9
In short, I think that Michael Taylor is absolutely right that the 19th and 20th century armies who dressed like Polish Uhlans, African Zouaves, or "Mohawks" were engaged in sympathetic magic not just copying niece pieces of kit. If they dressed like tough, victorious foreigners they might become tough, successful fighters themselves. It is the same logic we see in business books: copy the visible trappings of some famous company (open-plan offices, a charismatic leader with a reality distortion field, agile development, ...) and hope that thereby you copy the indefinable something which makes them rich and their competitors bankrupt.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#10
Thanks Sean - I've known of the 'traditional' kilt (ie the long wrap of tartan cloth), but wasn't aware of the particular introduction of the 'short' for that reason (apart from the fact that it was indeed worn) and its subsequent proliferation.

However, that does lead to the 'fashion' diagnosis, although the term "sympathetic magic" (which I'd not come across before - my latest hate is "optics" indeed!) is very similar.

Overall, I think the comment I'd really pass for Michael's consideration is that I think the section detracts from the rest of the paper - but that's just me perhaps.

As an aside, you might wish to review your signature ;-) - I have had to change username, update avatar - what did happen? I've never really known a forum that allows a change of username - it's certainly less secure}
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