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Encyclopedia > Roman military personal equipment

This article is part of the series on: Image File history File links Rmn-military-header. ...


Military of ancient Rome (Portal)
800 BC–AD 476 The Military of ancient Rome (known to the Romans as the militia) relates to the combined military forces of Ancient Rome from the founding of the city of Rome to the end of the Western Roman Empire. ...

Structural history
Roman army (unit types and ranks,
legions, auxiliaries, generals)
Roman navy (fleets, admirals)
Campaign history
Lists of Wars and Battles
Decorations and Punishments
Technological history
Military engineering (castra,
siege engines, arches, roads)
Personal equipment
Political history
Strategy and tactics
Infantry tactics
Frontiers and fortifications (Limes,
Hadrian's Wall)

Roman military personal equipment was produced in large numbers to established patterns and used in an established way. These standard patterns and uses were called the res militaris or disciplina. Its regular practice during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire led to military excellence and victory. The general word for army became exercitus, "exercise." When the Roman army ceased to exercise in the late empire, it was easily defeated by the superior weapons and methods of its enemies.[citation needed] The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. ... The Roman army is the set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military. ... This is a list of both unit types and ranks of the Roman army from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire. ... This is a list of Roman legions, including key facts about each legion. ... Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = supports) formed the standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC - 284 AD), alongside the citizen legions. ... // Manius Acilius Glabrio -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC) -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 91) -- Titus Aebutius Helva -- Aegidius -- Lucius Aemilius Barbula -- Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir) -- Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus -- Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (praetor 56 BC) -- Flavius Aëtius -- Lucius Afranius (consul) -- Sextus Calpurnius Agricola -- Gnaeus Julius Agricola -- Flavius Antoninus -- Marcus... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... The history of ancient Rome - originally a city-state of Italy, and later an empire covering much of Eurasia and North Africa from the ninth century BC to the fifth century AD - was often closely entwined with its military history. ... The following is a List of Roman wars fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date. ... The following is a List of Roman battles (fought by the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire), organized by date. ... As with most other military forces the Roman military adopted a carrot and stick approach to military, with an extensive list of decorations for military gallantry and likewise a range of punishments for the punishment of military transgressions. ... The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Roman military engineering is that Roman engineering carried out by the Roman Army - almost exclusively by the Roman legions for the furthering of military objectives. ... Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. ... Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. ... List of ancient Roman triumphal arches (By modern country) // France Orange Reims: Porte de Mars Saint Rémy de Provence: Roman site of Glanum Saintes: Arch of Germanicus Greece Arch of Galerius, Thessaloniki Hadrians Arch, Athens Italy It has been suggested that List of Roman arches in Rome be... For the one-off TV Drama, see Roman Road (TV Drama) A Roman road in Pompeii. ... Root directory at Military history of ancient Rome Romes military was always tightly keyed to its political system. ... The strategy of the Roman Military encompasses its grand strategy (the arrangements made by the state to implement its political goals through a selection of military goals, a process of diplomacy backed by threat of military action, and a dedication to the military of part of its production and resources... robert galusha is mad ass fucking hot Root directory at Strategy of the Roman military Roman infantry tactics refers to the theoretical and historical deployment, formation and maneuvers of the Roman infantry from the start of the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Map of all the territories once occupied by the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire. ... The limes Germanicus, 2nd century. ... // Hadrians Wall is a stone and turf fortification built by the Roman Empire across the width of Great Britain. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ...


According to Hugh Elton, Roman equipment (especially armor) gave them "a distinct advantage over their barbarian enemies." [1] According to Luttwak, who studied Roman strategy more than Roman tactics, Roman equipment was not of a better quality than that used by the majority of its adversaries.[2]


The Romans were known for their borrowing of good weapons from their enemies. Initially they used Greek and Etruscan weapons. On encountering the Celts they adopted Celtic equipment. To defeat the Carthaginians they constructed an entire fleet de novo based on the Carthaginian model. Once a weapon was adopted it became standard. The standard weapons varied somewhat during Rome's long history, but the equipment and its use were never individual.

Contents

Overview of infantry

Reenactment of a Roman legion attack.

Vegetius, 4th century CE author of De Re Militari, describes the equipment he believed had been used by heavy and light infantry earlier in the empire. The names of some weapons have been changed from the Latin to the Greek forms and Greek names have been preferred, for unknown reasons, perhaps because the center of Roman military power had shifted from Rome to Constantinople. Vegetius says in translation[3]: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3456x2304, 1630 KB) Roman soldiers about 70 a. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3456x2304, 1630 KB) Roman soldiers about 70 a. ... Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ... De Re Militari (Latin On military matters) was a treatise of late Roman warfare that became a military guide in the middle ages. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Map of Constantinople. ...

The infantry (armatura) was heavy, because they had helmets (cassis), coats of mail (catafracta), greaves (ocrea), shields (scutum), larger swords (gladius maior), which they call broadswords (spatha), and some smaller, which they name half-broadswords (semispathium), five weighted darts (plumbata) placed in the shields, which they hurl at the beginning of the assault, then double throwables, a larger one with an iron point of nine ounces and a stock of five and one-half feet, which was called a pilum, but now is called a speculum, in the use of which the soldiers were especially practiced, and with skill and courage could penetrate the shields of the infantry and the mail of the cavalry. The other smaller had five ounces of iron and a stock of three and one-half feet, and was called a vericulum but now is a verutum. The first line, of hastati, and the second, of principes, were composed of such arms. Behind them were the bearers (ferentarius) and the light infantry, whom now we say are the supporters and the infantry, shield-bearers (scutum) with darts (plumbata), swords (gladius) and missiles, armed just as are nearly all soldiers today. There were likewise bowmen (sagittarius) with helmet (cassis), coat of mail (catafracta), sword (gladius), arrows (sagitta) and bow (arcus). There were slingers (funditor) who slung stones (lapis) in slings (funda) or cudgel-throwers (fustibalus). There were artillery-men (tragularius), who shot arrows from the manuballista and the arcuballista. Modern reconstruction of a centurion helmet, second century. ... Roman scale armour fragment. ... A greave (from 12th century French greve shin, of uncertain origin) is a piece of armour that protects the leg. ... Scutum (Latin for shield) is a small constellation. ... Modern replica of a late Roman Empire spatha The spatha was a type of straight sword with a long point, measuring between 0. ... Plumbatae or Mattiobarbuli were lead-weighted darts carried by ancient Roman infantry. ... Reconstruction of a post-Marian pilum A Roman coin showing Antoninianus of Carinus holding pilum and globe. ...

In the late Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire, most Roman infantry used swords (gladii) and specialized throwing spears (pila) as their main weapons. In the middle and Late Roman Empire, most Roman infantry used thrusting spears as their main weapons.[4]


Personal weapons

Swords & Daggers

Almost all Roman swords and daggers had straight, double-edged blades, suitable for cutting or stabbing. Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the typographical mark, see dagger (typography). ...


Pugio

Main article: Pugio
Reconstruction of a pugio: a Roman soldier from a northern province.

A pugio was a small dagger used by Roman soldiers. It was probably a sidearm. Like other items of legionary equipment, the dagger underwent some changes during the 1st century. Generally, it had a large, leaf-shaped blade 18 to 28 cm long and 5 cm or more in width. A raised midrib ran the length of each side, either simply standing out from the face or defined by grooves on either side. The tang was wide and flat initially, and the grip was riveted through it, as well as through the shoulders of the blade. Pugio reconstruction: a Roman soldier from AD 70 Pugio reconstruction: a Roman soldier AD 175 from a northern province A pugio is a small dagger used by Roman soldiers. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1398 KB) Pugio. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1398 KB) Pugio. ... Bold text This article is about the weapon. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ...


Around 50, a rod tang was introduced, and the hilt was no longer riveted through the shoulders of the blade. This in itself caused no great change to the pugio's appearance, but some of these later blades were narrower (under 3.5 cm wide), and/or had little or no waisting, and/or had reduced or vestigial midribs.


Throughout the period the outline of the hilt remained approximately the same. It was made with two layers of horn or wood sandwiching the tang, each overlaid with a thin metal plate. Occasionally the hilt was decorated with engraving or inlay. Note that the hilt is 10-12 cm long overall and that the grip is quite narrow; it will always seem to be too small.


Gladius

Re-enactor with Pompeii type gladius.
Main article: Gladius

Gladius became the general Latin word for "sword". In the Roman Republic it referred (and refers today) specifically to the short sword, 60 cm (24 inches) long, used by Roman legionaries from the 3rd century BC. Several different designs came to be used; among collectors and historical reenactors, the three primary kinds are known as the Mainz gladius, the Fulham gladius, and the Pompeii gladius (these names refer to where or how the canonical example was found). More recent archeological finds have uncovered an earlier version, the gladius hispaniensis ("Spanish sword"). Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1968x3303, 1083 KB) Roman gladius 70 a. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1968x3303, 1083 KB) Roman gladius 70 a. ... This article is about the sword. ... This article is about the sword. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A centimetre (American spelling centimeter, symbol cm) is a unit of length that is equal to one hundredth of a metre, the current SI base unit of length. ... An inch (plural: inches; symbol or abbreviation: in or, sometimes, ″ - a double prime) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Roman legionaries, 1st century. ... The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... Reenactors of the American Civil War Historical reenactment is an activity in which participants recreate some aspects of a historical event or period. ...


Spatha

Main article: Spatha

A spatha could be any sword (in late Latin) but most often one of the longer swords characteristic of the middle and late Roman Empire. In the 1st Century, Roman Cavalry started using these longer swords, and in the 2nd Century, Roman infantry also switched, mostly to spears, but some to longer swords.[5][6] Modern replica of a late Roman Empire spatha The spatha was a type of straight sword with a long point, measuring between 0. ... Modern replica of a late Roman Empire spatha The spatha was a type of straight sword with a long point, measuring between 0. ...


Shorter weapons (short swords and possibly sometimes daggers) were known as semispathae or half-swords. A large 3rd-Century hoard from Künzing included one triangular-bladed shortsword and several narrow-bladed shortswords (with 23-39 cm blades). Bishop & Coulston suggest that some or all were made from broken spathae.[7][8]


Other Bladed Weapon Types

In the 1st Century, Sarmatian horsemen started using short narrow-bladed swords with distinctive rings on their pommels. In the 2nd Century, Roman soldiers copied this design.[9] Sarmatian Cataphract Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae (the second form is mostly used by the earlier Greek writers, the other by the later Greeks and the Romans) were a people whom Herodotus (4. ...


Spears & Javelins

Hasta

Main article: Hasta (spear)

Hasta is a Latin word meaning a thrusting spear. Hastae were carried by early Roman Legionaries, in particular they were carried by and gave their name to those Roman soldiers known as Hastati. However, during Republican times, the hastati were re-armed with pila and gladii and only the Triarii still used hastae. Hasta is a Latin word meaning spear. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Hunting spear and knife, from Mesa Verde National Park. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Reconstruction of a post-Marian pilum A Roman coin showing Antoninianus of Carinus holding pilum and globe. ... This article is about the sword. ... The Triarii (Latin singular triarius) was the third standard line of infantry of the Roman Republics army. ...


A hasta was about six feet in length with a shaft generally made from ash, the head was of iron.


Contus

Main article: Kontos

A contus could be an infantry pike or a cavalry lance. These were long, heavy, two-handed weapons. The Roman infantry did not use conti but some of their opponents did. Starting in the 2nd Century, certain Roman cavalry units carried conti as their main weapons.[10] The kontos was the Greek name for a type of lance used by Sarmatian cavalry. ... The kontos was the Greek name for a type of lance used by Sarmatian cavalry. ...


Javelin

Main article: Verutum

Although Romans often used the word pila to refer to all thrown javelins, the term pilum also means specifically the heavy Roman throwing spear of the legions. Lighter, shorter javelins existed, such as those used by the velites and the early legions. They specifically were called veruta. The verutum (plural veruta) was a light javelin used primarily by the velites. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Pilum

Main article: Pilum

The pilum (plural pila) was a heavy javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about two meters long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long with pyramidal head. The iron shank may be socketed or more usually widens to a flat tang, this was secured to a wooden shaft. A pilum usually weighed between two and four kilograms, with the versions produced during the Empire being a bit lighter. The iron shank was also designed to bend upon impact, weighing down the enemy's shield and also preventing the pilum's re-use against Roman troops. This would also prevent the enemy from pulling it out as it would have bent and it was rare to survive this. Once the enemy was within reach, legionaries aimed a shower of pila at them. Pila were used to lodge a spear in an enemy's shield, forcing him to throw both away. Reconstruction of a post-Marian pilum A Roman coin showing Antoninianus of Carinus holding pilum and globe. ... Javelin (Greek: ακόντιο, Latin: verutum, German: Wurfspeer, French: javelot, Spanish: jabalina, Dutch: werpspeer, Italian: giavellotto, Hindi: bhala) is the name of a pole weapon designed primarily for casting as a ranged weapon. ... See: Structural history of the Roman military The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ...


Bow

Main article: Sagittarii

The sagittarius was armed with the bow (arcus), firing an arrow (sagitta) with a wooden shaft and iron head. The normal weapon of Roman archers was the classic composite bow[11], made of horn, wood, and sinew held together with hide glue. However, Vegetius recommends training recruits "arcubus ligneis", with wooden bows. The reinforcing laths for the composite bows are found throughout the empire. Sagittarius may refer to: Sagittarius (constellation) Sagittarius (astrology), an astrological sign Sagittarius (music band), a musical band of which Lee Mallory was a member. ... // A composite bow is a bow made from disparate materials laminated together, usually applied under tension. ... Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ...


Dart

Main article: Plumbata (dart)

Plumbatae or mattiobarbuli were lead-weighted darts carried by ancient Roman infantry. Plumbatae or mattiobarbuli were lead-weighted darts carried by ancient Roman infantry. ...


Torso armour

Lorica segmentata

A reenactor dressed as a Roman soldier in lorica segmentata

The lorica segmentata was a type of armour primarily used in the Roman Empire, but the Latin name was first used in the 16th century (the ancient form is unknown). The armour itself consist of broad ferrous (iron or steel) strips ('girth hoops') fastened to internal leather straps. The strips were arranged horizontally on the body, overlapping downwards, and they surrounded the torso in two halves, being fastened at the front and back. The upper body and shoulders were protected by additional strips ('shoulder guards') and breast- and backplates. The form of the armour allowed it to be stored very compactly, since it was possible to separate it into four sections. During the time of its use, it was modified several times, the currently recognised types being the Kalkriese (c. 20 BC to 50), Corbridge (c. 40 to 120), and Newstead (c. 120 to 250) types. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1436 KB) ROman soldier in lorica segmentata Photographed by myself during a show of Legio XV from Pram, Austria File links The following pages link to this file: Lorica segmentata ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1436 KB) ROman soldier in lorica segmentata Photographed by myself during a show of Legio XV from Pram, Austria File links The following pages link to this file: Lorica segmentata ... Reenactors of the American Civil War Historical reenactment is an activity in which participants recreate some aspects of a historical event or period. ... Armour sucks ass alottttttttttt Armour was also commonly used to protect war animals, such as war horses and elephants. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattlehide. ...


So far as is known, only legionaries (heavy infantry of the Roman Legions) and Praetorians were issued with the lorica segmentata. Auxiliary forces would more commonly wear the Lorica hamata which is mail (frequently called chainmail) or Lorica squamata (scale armour). The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of... The Praetorian Guard (sometimes Prætorian Guard) (in Latin: praetoriani) comprised a special force of bodyguards used by Roman emperors. ... Detail of metal links. ... David rejects the unaccustomed armour (detail of fol. ... Roman scale armour fragment. ... Dacian scale armour on Trajans column. ...


Lorica hamata

Main article: Lorica hamata
Detail of chainmail. Replica from second century AD.

The Lorica hamata is a type of chainmail armour used during the Roman Republic at late periods as a standard-issue armour for the secondary troops (Auxilia). They were mostly manufactured out of bronze or iron. It alternated with rows of closed washer-like rings, and riveted rings running horizontally, this produced a very flexible, reliable and strong armour. Each ring had an inside diameter of about 5 mm, and an outside diameter of about 7 mm. The shoulders of the Lorica hamata had flaps that were similar to the Greek 'Lithorax' which ran from about mid-back to the front of the torso, and were connected by Brass or Iron hooks which connected to studs riveted through the ends of the flaps. Several thousand rings would have gone into one Lorica Hamata. Detail of metal links. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1343 KB) Detail of chainmail. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2304x3456, 1343 KB) Detail of chainmail. ... David rejects the unaccustomed armour (detail of fol. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ...


The knowledge of the manufacture of mail may have come from the Celts. There were several versions of this type of armour, specialized for different military duties such as skirmishers, cavalry and spearmen. “Celts” redirects here. ...


Although labor-intensive to manufacture, it is thought that, with good maintenance, they could be continually used for several decades. However modern testing has shown that this form of armour provided very little protection from enemy arrows to its users. It was later replaced by the more famous Lorica Segmentata that afforded greater protection for a third of the weight.


Lorica squamata

Main article: Lorica squamata
Roman scale armour fragment.
Detail of a fragment. Each plate has six holes and the scales are linked in rows. Only the "lower most" holes are visible on most scales, while a few show the pair above and the ring fastener passing through them.

The Lorica squamata is a type of scale armour used during the Republic and at later periods. It was made from small metal scales sewn to a fabric backing. It is typically seen on depictions of standard bearers, musicians, centurions, cavalry troops, and even auxiliary infantry, but could be worn by regular legionaries as well. A shirt of scale armour was shaped in the same way as a lorica hamata, mid-thigh length with the shoulder doublings or cape. Roman scale armour fragment. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 626 KB) Summary Photograph was taken in the Somerset County Museum in Taunton on 29-Oct-05. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 626 KB) Summary Photograph was taken in the Somerset County Museum in Taunton on 29-Oct-05. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 643 KB) Summary Roman scale armour, detail of a fragment. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 643 KB) Summary Roman scale armour, detail of a fragment. ... Dacian scale armour on Trajans column. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... French Republican Guard - May 8, 2005 celebrations Cavalry (from French cavalerie) were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. ... Roman legionaries, 1st century. ... Detail of metal links. ...


The individual scales (squamae) were either iron or bronze, or even alternating metals on the same shirt. They could be tinned as well, one surviving fragment showing bronze scales that were alternately tinned and plain. The metal was generally not very thick, 0.5 mm to 0.8 mm (0.02 to 0.032 in) perhaps being a common range. Since the scales overlapped in every direction, however, the multiple layers gave good protection. The size ranged from as small as 6 mm (0.25 in) wide by 1.2 cm tall up to about 5 cm (2 in) wide by 8 cm (3 in) tall, with the most common sizes being roughly 1.25 by 2.5 cm (1.5 to 1 in). Many have rounded bottoms, while others are pointed or have flat bottoms with the corners clipped off at an angle. The scales could be flat, or slightly domed, or have a raised midrib or edge. All the scales in a shirt would generally be of the same size; however, scales from different shirts may vary significantly. General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ...


The scales were wired together in horizontal rows that were then laced or sewn to the backing. Therefore, each scale had from four to 12 holes: two or more at each side for wiring to the next in the row, one or two at the top for fastening to the backing, and sometimes one or two at the bottom to secure the scales to the backing or to each other.


It is possible that the shirt could be opened either at the back or down one side so that it was easier to put on, the opening being closed by ties. Much has been written about scale armour’s supposed vulnerability to an upward thrust, but this is probably greatly exaggerated.


No examples of an entire lorica squamata have been found, but there have been several archaeological finds of fragments of such shirts and individual scales are quite common finds - even in non-military contexts.


Other

Light infantry, especially in the early Republic, were entirely unarmoured. If they wore any armour at all over their tunic, it would likely have consisted solely of stiff leather. This was both to allow swifter movement for light troops and also as a matter of cost.


Shields

Scutum

Main article: Scutum (shield)
A Roman Scutum (Shield)

Scutum is the Latin word for shield, although it has in modern times come to be associated with the standard semi-cylindrical type carried by Roman legionaries. The Republican curved body shield was oval -- as is shown by the Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus in Rome, the Aemilius Paullus monument at Delphi, or an actual example found at Kasr el-Harit in Egypt -- but gradually evolved into a rectangular (or sub-rectangular) shape during the early imperial period. Praetorian Guardsmen with curved oval scuta. ... Download high resolution version (1932x1288, 436 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1932x1288, 436 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... A shield is a protective device, meant to intercept attacks. ... A right circular cylinder An elliptic cylinder In mathematics, a cylinder is a quadric surface, with the following equation in Cartesian coordinates: This equation is for an elliptic cylinder, a generalization of the ordinary, circular cylinder (a = b). ... The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, a member of the noble Ahenobarbus family, accompanied his father at Corfinium and Pharsalus, and, having been pardoned by Julius Caesar, returned to Rome in 46. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus (229 BC-160 BC) was a Roman general and politician. ... Delphi (Greek , [ðeÌžlˈfi]) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ...


Rectangular scuta (plural) - sometimes convex, sometimes flat[12] - were constructed largely of strips of overlapping bentwood (possibly set in place by steaming over a curved form (in much the same way as a modern plywood chair is made) although no direct evidence survives to prove this) covered with leather. This meant the shield was strong and yet light enough (about 5.5 kg, or 7.5 kg with a reinforced boss[13]) to be carried over long distances. The best surviving example, from Dura-Europos in Syria, was 1.06 m (48 in) in height, a chord of 66 cm (26 in), with a distance around the curve of 86 cm (34 in), and a thickness of 5 mm to 6 mm. The curved shape of the shield allowed it to absorb (and deal) heavy blows, while the sides sloped away from the attacker, allowing arrows and enemy blows to glance off without transmitting the full force of the impact to the legionary sheltering behind it. The boss in the centre of the shield (the umbo), constructed either from copper alloy (brass or bronze) or iron, was itself used offensively, being heavy and dense enough to stun or wind an opponent (easing the legionary's subsequent strike with his gladius). Legionaries would typically advance alternately with the scutum and then (with the scutum partially raised, crowding and blocking the opponent) with the gladius. The edges of the shield were also bound in brass or rawhide, to reinforce and protect them, and may also have been used offensively. Bentwood is a term used to describe furniture made by steaming wood and bending it into curved shapes and patterns and is most often used in the production of rocking and cafe chairs. ... Toy constructed from plywood. ... The Temple of Bel at Dura-Europos Dura-Europos (Fort Europos)[1] was a Hellenistic and Roman walled city built on an escarpment ninety meters above the banks of the Euphrates river. ... A chord of a curve is a geometric line segment whose endpoints both lie on the curve. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Standard atomic weight 63. ... For other uses, see Brass (disambiguation). ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... This article is about the sword. ... A Legionary is a member of a legion. ... For other uses, see Brass (disambiguation). ... Rawhide is a hide or animal skin that has not been exposed to tanning and thus is much lighter in color than treated animal hides. ...


The shape of the scutum allowed packed formations of legionaries to overlap their shields to provide an effective barrier against missiles. The most novel (and specialised, for it afforded negligible protection against other attacks) use was the testudo (Latin for "tortoise"), which added legionaries holding shields from above to protect against descending missiles (such as arrows or objects thrown by defenders on walls). A century of Roman legionaires in testudo formation, as portrayed in the Rome: Total War computer game, copyright 2004 Creative Assembly and Activision In Ancient Roman warfare, the testudo or tortoise formation was a formation utilized commonly by the Roman Legions during battles, particularly sieges. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Parma

Main article: Parma (shield)

A parma was a type of oval shield used by Roman army, especially during the later period of Imperial history. It was used mainly by auxiliary infantry and cavalry, the legionaries preferring the heavier but more protective scutum, during earlier periods. It is a yard across and has iron in its frame making it a very effective piece of armor. A parma was a type of round shield used by Roman infantry. ...


Cetratus

A light shield used by Roman auxiliares.


Helmets

Main article: Galea (helmet)

Roman helmets, known as galea or cassis, varied greatly in form. One of the earliest types was the Montefortino helmet used by the Republic armies up to the first century BC. This was replaced directly by the Coolus helmet, which "raised the neck peak to eye level and set a sturdy frontal peak to the brow of the helmet"[14]. Modern reconstruction of a centurion helmet, second century. ... A Celtic soldier wearing a helmet similar to the Montefortino type The Montefortino Helmet was a type of Roman helmet of the Roman republican period named after Montefortino. ... The Coolus helmet was a type of ancient Roman helmet. ...


Other

Tunic

Main article: Tunic

The basic garment worn under the armour by all soldiers in the Republic and early Empire. Normally made of wool. The tunic originally worn by the Roman legionary consisted simply of a long piece of rectangular cloth sewed to an identical piece, with holes for the arms and head simply left unsewn. Later, it became fashionable for tunics to be produced with sleeves, and worn with braccae Tupa Inca tunic The tunic was the common masculine garment of Roman civilization. ...


Ballista

Main article: Ballista

The ballista was a powerful ancient crossbow, although employing several loops of twisted skeins to power it, it used torsion (instead of a prod). Early versions ejected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes. It developed into a smaller sniper weapon, the Scorpio. The ballista (Latin, from Greek ballistēs, from ballein to throw, plural ballistae) was a powerful ancient crossbow, although employing several loops of twisted skeins to power it, it used torsion (instead of a prod). ...


Balteus

Main article: Balteus (sword belt)

The balteus was a sword belt. The balteus was the standard belt worn by the Roman legionary. ...


Braccae

Braccae is the Latin term for woolen trousers. Braccae is the Latin term for trousers, and in this context is today used to refer to a style of pants, made from wool and apparently invented by the ancient Celts. ...


Catapult

Main article: Catapult

A catapult is any siege engine which uses an arm to hurl a projectile a great distance, though the term is generally understood to mean medieval siege weapons. Projectiles included both arrows and (later) stones. Replica catapult at Château des Baux, France For the handheld Y-shaped weapon, see slingshot. ...


Cloak

Main article: Poncho

There were two types of cloak in use, the sagum and the paenula. Both were made from wool, which insulated and also contained natural oil to repel water. It was fastened by fibulae. The paenula was hooded in colder climates. Typical Andes poncho in a flea market in Genoa, Italy Clear Plastic Rain Poncho modeled by Mark Allyn in Seattle, Washington A poncho is a simple garment designed to keep the body warm, or if made from an impermeable material, to keep dry during rain. ... Fibulae are ancient brooches. ...


Sandals

Main article: Caligae

Caligae (Latin; singular caliga) are heavy military sandals as worn by Roman legionary soldiers and auxiliaries throughout the history of the Roman Republic and Empire. Caligae (Latin; singular Caliga) are heavy military sandals as worn in ancient Rome. ...


The sandals were constructed from leather and laced up the center of the foot and onto the top of the ankle. Additionally, iron hobnails were hammered into the sole, serving three purposes:

  • to reinforce the caligae
  • to provide the soldier with better traction
  • to 'weaponize' the caligae (i.e. to allow the soldier to inflict damage by kicking with it)

Buccina

Main article: Buccina

A brass instrument used in the ancient Roman army. It was originally designed as a tube measuring some 11 to 12 feet in length, of narrow cylindrical bore, and played by means of a cup-shaped mouthpiece. The tube is bent round upon itself from the mouthpiece to the bell in the shape of a broad C and is strengthened by means of a bar across the curve, which the performer grasps while playing, in order to steady the instrument; the bell curves over his head or shoulder. The Buccina (also Bucina) is a brass instrument used in the ancient Roman army. ...


The buccina was used for the announcement of night watches and various other purposes in the camp.


The instrument is the ancestor of both the trumpet and the trombone. The German word for trombone, Posaune, is linguistically derived from Buccina.


Focale

The focale was a scarf worn by the Roman legionary to protect the neck from chafing caused by constant contact with the soldier's armor (typically lorica hamata or lorica segmentata) and helmet. Reproduction wool focale, worn by a Roman re-enactor The focale was a scarf worn by the Roman legionary to protect the neck from chafing caused by constant contact with the soldiers armor (typically lorica hamata or lorica segmentata) and helmet. ...


Sudis

Main article: Sudis (stake)

Stakes for construction of camps Sudes used as a simple picket fence. ...


Sarcina

Main article: Sarcina

Military pack carried by legionaries Sarcina as illustrated on Trajans Column. ...


Loculus

Main article: Loculus (satchel)

The loculus is a Latin word literally meaning little place and was used to indicate a leather satchel. Loculus illustrated on Trajans Column hung from the canopy of a boat. ...


Waterskin

Roman camps would typically be built over streams or similar to supply water both for drinking and also to provide running water for the communal latrines, but each soldier would have to carry his water for the day's march between each camp on him in a waterskin.


Food

Each legionary would carry some of his food. Although a Roman army on the move would typically have a baggage train of mules or similar to carry supplies such as food, after the Marian reforms legionaries were required to carry about 15 days worth of basic food supplies with them.


Shovel

Carried by legionaries to construct fortifications and dig latrines etc. Each legionary would typically carry either a shovel for digging, or a wicker basket for hauling earth, but not both.


Patera

A mess tin. A patera was a broad, shallow dish used for drinking, primarily in a ritual context such as a libation


Tribulus

A tribulus or caltrop (modern variation).

A tribulus (caltrop) is a weapon made up of four (or more) sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always points upward from a stable base (for example, a tetrahedron). Caltrops serve to slow down the advance of horses, war elephants, and human troops. It was said to be particularly effective against the soft feet of camels[15]. Caltrop (aka tyre spike) from http://www. ... Caltrop (aka tyre spike) from http://www. ... Caltrop used by the Office of Strategic Services. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A tetrahedron (plural: tetrahedra) is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... The elephants thick hides made them difficult to injure or kill and the high position made them favored by commanding officers War elephants were important, although not widespread, weapons in ancient military history. ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ...


The late Roman writer Vegetius, in his work De Re Militari, wrote: Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ... De Re Militari (Latin On military matters) was a treatise of late Roman warfare that became a military guide in the middle ages. ...

The scythed chariots used in war by Antiochus and Mithridates at first terrified the Romans, but they afterwards made a jest of them. As a chariot of this sort does not always meet with plain and level ground, the least obstruction stops it. And if one of the horses be either killed or wounded, it falls into the enemy's hands. The Roman soldiers rendered them useless chiefly by the following contrivance: at the instant the engagement began, they strewed the field of battle with caltrops, and the horses that drew the chariots, running full speed on them, were infallibly destroyed. A caltrop is a machine composed of four spikes or points arranged so that in whatever manner it is thrown on the ground, it rests on three and presents the fourth upright.[16]

The scythed chariot was a modified war chariot invented by the Persian emperor Cyrus by at least 401 BC. A scythed chariot was simply a war chariot with a blade mounted on both ends of the axle. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... The name Mithridates (more accurately, Mithradates) is helenized form of a Indo-Aryan Mithra-Datt, which means One given by Mithra. Mithra is the Indo-Aryan sun-god and Datt (Given by) derives from the Indo-European root da, to give. That name was borne by a large number of... The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of...

See also

The Military of ancient Rome (known to the Romans as the militia) relates to the combined military forces of Ancient Rome from the founding of the city of Rome to the end of the Western Roman Empire. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Elton, Hugh, 1996, Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 350-425, p. 110
  2. ^ In Luttwack, E., The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, JHUP, 1979, Luttwack states that "Roman weapons, far from being universally more advanced, were frequenetly inferior to those used by... enemies
  3. ^ Book 2 Chapter 15. The nominative singular of the weapon has been placed in parentheses.
  4. ^ Stephenson, I.P., 2001, Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire, p. 56
  5. ^ Stephenson, I.P., 2001, Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire, Tempus, pp. 58 & 60-75.
  6. ^ M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston, 2006, Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, Oxbow Books, pp. 82-83, 130, 154-157 & 202.
  7. ^ Stephenson, I.P., 2001, Roman Infantry Equipment: The Later Empire, Tempus, p. 79.
  8. ^ M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston, 2006, Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, Oxbow Books, p. 157.
  9. ^ M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston, 2006, Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, Oxbow Books, pp. 132-134.
  10. ^ M.C. Bishop & J.C.N. Coulston, 2006, Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, Oxbow Books, p. 130.
  11. ^ Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome (Paperback). M.C. Bishop, J.C. Coulston. Oxbow Books 2005. ISBN-10: 1842171593 ISBN-13: 978-1842171592
  12. ^ Santosuosso, A., Soldiers, Emperors and Civilians in the Roman Empire, Westview, 2001, p.130
  13. ^ Santosuosso, A., Soldiers, Emperors and Civilians in the Roman Empire, Westview, 2001, p.131
  14. ^ Santosuosso, A., Soldiers, Emperors and Civilians in the Roman Empire, Westview, 2001, p.131
  15. ^ Rawlinson, George. The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 6. (of 7): Parthia. 
  16. ^ "ARMED CHARIOTS AND ELEPHANTS", The Military Institutions of the Romans Book III: Dispositions for Action. 

 
 

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