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North British Warrior
#31
Here is one interpretation of a northern British warrior beyond the Wall: a Pictish warrior of moderate status. His clothing is not dyed, and remains in its natural colours. The tunic does include some threads of blue and red. But not many. It has a tablet-woven border.

He wears the distinctive Pictish hood, and wears a large pen-annular brooch; it serves as decoration and status only, coming from his plain brown wollen cloak, which he is not wearing on this foray. His belt is thin and plain, with a boars-head buckle and decorated strap-end. Tucked into the belt is a hunting knife with antler handle, and a small hessian sack for carrying rations (dried mutton, bannocks, an apple), plus firekit. Hanging around his neck is a waterskin. In Pictland, water is everwhere! This is for the re-enactor's own use on his trek. Perhaps the Pict could carry heather ale? Or mead?

Below the waterskin hangs the ubiquitous leather sling. No ammunition is carried, it is plentiful on the ground. His shoes are simple British skin-shoe pattern, pulled tight with a leather thong, sturdy and well-used.

His shield is a plank construction with rawhide edging sewn on. Leather facing is painted black using charcoal pigent, and decorated with leaping wolves a design taken from a Pictish stone carving. The shield is small, suitable for skirmishing - the main type of warfare in this period. He carries two javelins, and a simple spear-head (this one is purposefully blunted) mounted on an unfinished shaft. He is a spearman, with two javelins to throw on the offensive. His hunting knife and sling provide backup.

I will test this kit out in two weeks time with a 12 mile march along Hadrian's Wall. I will be raiding the gift shops and looting any tourists I see Big Grin
~ Paul Elliott

The Last Legionary
This book details the lives of Late Roman legionaries garrisoned in Britain in 400AD. It covers everything from battle to rations, camp duties to clothing.
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#32
Excellent!!!
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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#33
Very nice impression Paul :wink:
"O niurt Ambrois ri Frangc ocus Brethan Letha."
"By the strenght of Ambrosius, king of the Franks and the Armorican Bretons."
Lebor Bretnach, Irish manuscript of the Historia Brittonum.
[Image: 955d308995.jpg]
Agraes / Morcant map Conmail / Benjamin Franckaert
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#34
The excavation report about the Pioneer helmet:
http://www.archaeology.org/9711/newsbriefs/saxon.html
"O niurt Ambrois ri Frangc ocus Brethan Letha."
"By the strenght of Ambrosius, king of the Franks and the Armorican Bretons."
Lebor Bretnach, Irish manuscript of the Historia Brittonum.
[Image: 955d308995.jpg]
Agraes / Morcant map Conmail / Benjamin Franckaert
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#35
Many thanks, Ben and Robert. I wouldn't dare try a Germanic impression, I imagine the stereotyped build to be big and muscular - and not me! But the Picts, as small dark people - raiders, ambushers, living in lonely brochs, on remote islands and on crannogs on Highland lochs - I can relate to these people!
~ Paul Elliott

The Last Legionary
This book details the lives of Late Roman legionaries garrisoned in Britain in 400AD. It covers everything from battle to rations, camp duties to clothing.
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#36
Nice kit Paul – well done. I’m going to have to start on another project now to keep up with you. In the mean time I’ll enjoy hitting you in your new kit on the walk. (Did I say that out loud – sorry only jealous).

I hope it’s not too windy on the crags that weekend. I might take off with the size of my shield. Big Grin

See you soon
Jamie (Domitius)

DEO IANVS

C.S.I
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#37
Very nice Paul.
Laudes for you
Visit my Website at
[url:n6bls2l1]http://ilustro.webs.com/[/url]
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#38
Stephen Atkinson is an experienced post-Roman re-enactor who has developed an impressive Anglian warrior impression. Here he wears a good copy of the Pioneer helmet discussed 'upthread':
~ Paul Elliott

The Last Legionary
This book details the lives of Late Roman legionaries garrisoned in Britain in 400AD. It covers everything from battle to rations, camp duties to clothing.
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#39
Wow, you guys really know your stuff!

This [url:3uacxb3y]http://www.durolitum.co.uk/articles/helms.html[/url] is a ridge helmet. That and the Fankish spangenhelm were probably the most available amongst the Britons, especially in South Britain and Armorica. The ridge helm would probably have been more common in the North.

Like Angus McBride's picture shows, the British nobility probably relied on mail and scale armor, like the kind shown in the Vergilus Romanus, a manuscript whose illustratrions probably came from Vth Century Britain.
[url:3uacxb3y]http://www.arthuriadofcatumandus.com/i/badon.gif[/url]

underneath it all he probably wore a simple long sleeved tunic(depending on his rank), trews (possibly striped in the Celtic style, especially if he came from Gododdin or Strathclyde), and riding boots or Roman style caligae (see the link above). Over it all he would have worn a cloak (orange/tan for commoners, rebed for warriors and elite, purple for royalty--again see above) with a brooch.

He would have been armed with a spatha sword, a dagger (possibly a seaxe), throwing javelins, and a roound shield with a metal boss, probably with a cross, twin fish, or the Phi-Rho symbol.
[url:3uacxb3y]http://www.aurorahistoryboutique.com/products/R000009.jpg[/url]

[url:3uacxb3y]http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.grippingbeast.com/sizeimage.php%3Fsize%3D150%26image%3Dphotos/ART%2520SMALL%25201.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.grippingbeast.com/shop.php%3FCatID%3D59&usg=__DSGakF-9ycHvJ3_cpFH2Tp9DGXA=&h=150&w=117&sz=26&hl=en&start=7&sig2=qDZfsravJ2Nh-DEab0iQjg&um=1&tbnid=eTadessk2bX33M:&tbnh=96&tbnw=75&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dlate%2Broman%2Bshield%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=AMjsSeKKNcGOkAWZu82pCA[/url]

As for leather greaves and vanbraces, I definitely imagine those beign utilized in the late Vth/early VI Centuries. However, leather equipment like that probably didn't last very long over time and use.

As for the use of heavy cavalry, I'm not much of an equine expert. I know that Roman saddles lacked stirrups, so couching the lance was out of the question. horsemen using the contus, however, could still put it to deadly use in a cavalry charge (see comitatus.net) My question is, could these horses be used in an all out frontal charge to open up the enemy ranks, or were the put to better use attacking from the sides or flanks? Also, the horse armor of the cataphracts may have been too rare and expensive, but could leather armor have substituted?
Ryan "the Wolfman" Hatch
Aspiring halfwit
2 wins, 0 lossess

[Image: britonessenioresxl0.jpg]
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#40
Quote: The ridge helm would probably have been more common in the North.
Why?

Quote:Like Angus McBride's picture shows, the British nobility probably relied on mail and scale armor
What other armour would you say was available to them?

Quote:underneath it all he probably wore a simple long sleeved tunic(depending on his rank),
Why depending on rank?

Quote:trews (possibly striped in the Celtic style, especially if he came from Gododdin or Strathclyde),
Why 'striped in the celtic style'? Why would you say that 'Celtic style' was striped. What would you say would be evidence for such an assumption? And lastly, why would this 'striped style' be more common for Goddoddin and Strathclyde?

Quote:and riding boots or Roman style caligae (see the link above).
You are now just looking at Mcbride's picture, aren't you? :wink: Why riding boots? Do we have evidence for 'riding boots' in this period? And why caligae as an alternative, when caligae had for some time (a 100 to a 150 years) been out of fashion?

Quote:Over it all he would have worn a cloak (orange/tan for commoners, rebed for warriors and elite, purple for royalty--again see above) with a brooch.
Whyn these colours? 'Rebed' for warriors and elite - how do you figure that? Purple for roytalty? How would they have found the materials for that colour?

Quote:a round shield with a metal boss, probably with a cross, twin fish, or the Phi-Rho symbol.
Why the crosss or the twin fish? The chi-rho (not phi-rho) symbol would of course ne Christian, but do you have evidence that it was actually used on any British shield in the late 5th or early 6th century?

Quote:As for the use of heavy cavalry, I'm not much of an equine expert. I know that Roman saddles lacked stirrups, so couching the lance was out of the question.
I'm sure that several experts on this forum can tell you otherwise.

Quote: My question is, could these horses be used in an all out frontal charge to open up the enemy ranks, or were the put to better use attacking from the sides or flanks? Also, the horse armor of the cataphracts may have been too rare and expensive, but could leather armor have substituted?
Of course you could use cavalry in a frontal attack, but I'm not so sure that a) it would have the preferred result or b) the horses could be used again. Harrying the front, using weak spots and of course the flanks or better, rear, would generate a better result I'd say.
Personally I'm not so sure if the British would have been able to keep such very costly units. If we look at gaul, Spain or other provinces of the Empire, where such units vanished probably even before Roman effective rule ended, it's hard to accept that Britain, for a reason other than whishful thinking, would have been an exception. Even the far richer East Roman empire did not manage to retain such units continually and in large numbers.
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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#41
Quote:
dux bellum:3pw03ny3 Wrote:The ridge helm would probably have been more common in the North.
Why?

Quote:Like Angus McBride's picture shows, the British nobility probably relied on mail and scale armor
What other armour would you say was available to them?

Quote:underneath it all he probably wore a simple long sleeved tunic(depending on his rank),
Why depending on rank?

Quote:trews (possibly striped in the Celtic style, especially if he came from Gododdin or Strathclyde),
Why 'striped in the celtic style'? Why would you say that 'Celtic style' was striped. What would you say would be evidence for such an assumption? And lastly, why would this 'striped style' be more common for Goddoddin and Strathclyde?

Quote:and riding boots or Roman style caligae (see the link above).
You are now just looking at Mcbride's picture, aren't you? :wink: Why riding boots? Do we have evidence for 'riding boots' in this period? And why caligae as an alternative, when caligae had for some time (a 100 to a 150 years) been out of fashion?

Quote:Over it all he would have worn a cloak (orange/tan for commoners, rebed for warriors and elite, purple for royalty--again see above) with a brooch.
Whyn these colours? 'Rebed' for warriors and elite - how do you figure that? Purple for roytalty? How would they have found the materials for that colour?

Quote:a round shield with a metal boss, probably with a cross, twin fish, or the Phi-Rho symbol.
Why the crosss or the twin fish? The chi-rho (not phi-rho) symbol would of course ne Christian, but do you have evidence that it was actually used on any British shield in the late 5th or early 6th century?

Quote:As for the use of heavy cavalry, I'm not much of an equine expert. I know that Roman saddles lacked stirrups, so couching the lance was out of the question.
I'm sure that several experts on this forum can tell you otherwise.

Quote: My question is, could these horses be used in an all out frontal charge to open up the enemy ranks, or were the put to better use attacking from the sides or flanks? Also, the horse armor of the cataphracts may have been too rare and expensive, but could leather armor have substituted?
Of course you could use cavalry in a frontal attack, but I'm not so sure that a) it would have the preferred result or b) the horses could be used again. Harrying the front, using weak spots and of course the flanks or better, rear, would generate a better result I'd say.
Personally I'm not so sure if the British would have been able to keep such very costly units. If we look at gaul, Spain or other provinces of the Empire, where such units vanished probably even before Roman effective rule ended, it's hard to accept that Britain, for a reason other than whishful thinking, would have been an exception. Even the far richer East Roman empire did not manage to retain such units continually and in large numbers.

I forgot I was talking to more profesional people about history that's more conjectural.

1. The ridge helms may possibly have been more common than the spangenhelms or the Frankish helmets in the north, b/c the southern kingdoms had more access to continental trade (via ports like Tintagel). We don't know much about the markets or trade in the north, but on the whole I don't think helmets were that common at all in Britain. The horsemen on the Aberlemno Stone (probably British) are wearing what appear to be spangenhelms, however. The only reason the Britons in the North may have had access to ridge helms may be because some may have been left behind in the Roman foundries after the Romans left.

2. There is the possibility that Lamellar armor could have been utilized, or they could have worn a simple leather Jerkin.

3. This is just on te assumption that a nobleman or king's tunic would be of better quality, since they could afford it.

4. Well, that's why I said "possibly", since no one really knows. The Celtic style wasn't really "striped", but had more tartan or checkered pattersn [Image: image015.jpg]but The men of Strathclyde and Gododdin lived north of Hadrian's Wall, in the area probably known as Valentia. Since Hadrian's Wall pretty much marked the extent of Roman influence, and given their close proximity to the Picts and Scotti of Dal Raida, it seems likely that the Men of the North retained more of their celtic heritage than, say, men from Dumnonia or Powys.

5. Hehe, yes, and also the image from the Vergilis Romanus (the men seem to be wearing the same kind of footware). The riding boots notion comes from Geoffrey Ashe's description, though in truth I don't know how reliable that is. as for the caligae, I only said that b/c I didn't remember the name of the later footware.

[Image: badon.gif]

6. Wow, apparently I need spellcheck :oops: :lol: . Once again I'm drawing from the several illustrations and motifs from the Vergilis Romanus, as well as Gildas' description of Ambrosias being born "of the purple". Any dyes or fabric needed for these cloaks could have come from trade, especially with Byzantium.

7. I admit, this comes mainly from all the illustrations I've seen, as well as the descriptions by Nennius and the Welsh Annals of Arthur bearing either the cross or the Virgin on his shield ("shoulders"). While I'm sure that the subordinates also had the crests of their lords on their shields, I don't know if they adopted the Roman symbols after the last cohorst left.

8. I heard somewhere on another forum that you could chain or tie a lance to a mount to get the same impact as a couched lance, but I seriously doubt that. If there was a common way for cavalrymen to couch their lances without vaulting out of the saddle on impact, please let me know. Smile

I agree with most of that in regards to cavalry. I'm sure cavalry was utilized and quite possibly one of the richer British kings from the south may have purchased a few heavy war horses from the east, but I think most likely that Briton cavalry worked either like that of the Plains Indians or lighter Mongol cavalry, showering with javellins or arrows and then charging into the sides or rear of the enemy. If a force is held in place by opposing infantry, especially uphill (since the Britons apparently loved to fight around fords and hillforts), then armed horsemen coming from behind could possibly have been both frightening and devastating.
Ryan "the Wolfman" Hatch
Aspiring halfwit
2 wins, 0 lossess

[Image: britonessenioresxl0.jpg]
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#42
a lot of battles (hastings,waterloo...etc)show that you can't get a horse to charge into a compact organised body of noisy infantry waving sharp objects....if they hold their ground.
they could however harass the infantry with missiles,cut down any stragglers and pursue infantry when and if they routed.
mark avons
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#43
Quote:4. Well, that's why I said "possibly", since no one really knows. The Celtic style wasn't really "striped", but had more tartan or checkered pattersn [Image: image015.jpg]but The men of Strathclyde and Gododdin lived north of Hadrian's Wall, in the area probably known as Valentia. Since Hadrian's Wall pretty much marked the extent of Roman influence, and given their close proximity to the Picts and Scotti of Dal Raida, it seems likely that the Men of the North retained more of their celtic heritage than, say, men from Dumnonia or Powys.

Nice picture. Very macho. What exactly is a "Celtic style" checkered pattern? Is it the identical tartaned tweeds found in the Hallstadt salt mines and China's Takla Macan desert? Apparently they were woven by the Tokarians and Saka (aka Sarmatians) These tweeds, made on similar looms, are still worn by the Chinese; and I have a great picture of colorful tartans hanging as votice rags at a sacred spring near Issyk Kul. They're Kyrgaz.

Did Hadrian's Wall mark the extent of Roman influence? Then why did Cunedda, a chieftain of the Votadini, have a greatgrandfather named Tacitus... and a grandfather named Paternus of the Red Cloak? Also, most current historians preclude Valentia as north of the wall. But true, the "average" man of the north probably considered himself a Celt, not a Roman.

Quote:5. Hehe, yes, and also the image from the Vergilis Romanus (the men seem to be wearing the same kind of footware). The riding boots notion comes from Geoffrey Ashe's description, though in truth I don't know how reliable that is. as for the caligae, I only said that b/c I didn't remember the name of the later footware.

I have two illustrations of Romano-Brythonic mosaics showing horsemen wearing high-ankled boots. Were they common? Were they an artistic exaggeration?

Quote:6. Wow, apparently I need spellcheck :oops: :lol: . Once again I'm drawing from the several illustrations and motifs from the Vergilis Romanus, as well as Gildas' description of Ambrosias being born "of the purple". Any dyes or fabric needed for these cloaks could have come from trade, especially with Byzantium.

The actual quote is "for their merit" the family of Ambrosius wore the purple. True, it did come from the murex snail, found in the eastern Med. But the reference was probably about Ambrosius Aurelianus, a praefect of Gaul prior to 350, possibly (or quite likely) the grandfather of Ambrosius. A praefect wore a purple robe falling to the knee, shorter than the Emperor's robe.

Quote:7. I admit, this comes mainly from all the illustrations I've seen, as well as the descriptions by Nennius and the Welsh Annals of Arthur bearing either the cross or the Virgin on his shield ("shoulders"). While I'm sure that the subordinates also had the crests of their lords on their shields, I don't know if they adopted the Roman symbols after the last cohorst left.

The Welsh Annals are spurious medieval additions to a late copy of Nennius (or Mark the Anchorite). The reference to the virgin and cross comes directly from the period of the Crusades, the 12th century. Personally, I think Arthur carried a bottle of Perrier Water and a Ham Sandwich. 8) Or was it a Ruben without the saurkraut?

Quote:8. I heard somewhere on another forum that you could chain or tie a lance to a mount to get the same impact as a couched lance, but I seriously doubt that. If there was a common way for cavalrymen to couch their lances without vaulting out of the saddle on impact, please let me know. Smile


The standard method of holding a contus was two-handed, illustrated quite frequently in ancient graffitio. The saddles were substantial enough that the rider remained seated, even after running-through two men at once. This is mentioned in the Parthian wars, long before the period and better saddles of post-Roman Britain.

What we don't know about Men of the North is much more than what we do know. Big Grin But it's a good rallying subject.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#44
The illustration also shows the tatooing or body painting often mentioned in connection to the Picts. Was that wide spread among the Celtic groups or restricted to a few? And do we know whether it was permanent tatooing or tempiorary painting?
"Fugit irreparabile tempus" (Irrecoverable time glides away) Virgil

Ron Andrea
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#45
Quote: But true, the "average" man of the north probably considered himself a Celt,

Bet he didn't. I bet he'd never even heard of the word. I doubt very much that there was any sense of a 'national' rather than a tribal identity at all.
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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