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Roman Army Gallery
Qty: 1 2 3. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Bishop Paperback, About this product Product Information Rome's rise to empire is often said to have owed much to the efficiency and military skill of her armies and their techlogical superiority over barbarian enemies.
Details for Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome
But just how 'advanced' was Roman military equipment? What were its origins and how did it evolve? The authors of this book have gathered a wealth of evidence from all over the Roman Empire - excavated examples as well as pictorial and documentary sources - to present a picture of what range of equipment would be available at any given time, what it would look like and how it would function.
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Synopsis This book brings together evidence from all over the Roman Empire to examine the development of Roman military equipment. Buy New Learn more about this copy. The last recorded use of this armour seems to have been for the last quarter of the 3rd century AD Leon, Spain.
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There are two opinions as to who used this form of armour. One is that only legionaries heavy infantry of the Roman legions and praetorians were issued lorica segmentata. Auxiliary forces would more commonly wear the lorica hamata , or lorica squamata. The second viewpoint is that both legionaries and auxiliary soldiers used the segmentata armour and this latter view is supported, to some degree, by archaeological findings.
The lorica segmentata offered greater protection than the lorica hamata for about half of the weight, but was also more difficult to produce and repair. The expenses attributed to the segmentata may account for the reversion to ring-mail after the 3rd to 4th century.
Alternatively, all forms of armour may have fallen into disuse as the need for heavy infantry waned in favour of the speed of mounted troops. Lorica hamata was a type of mail armour used during the Roman Republic continuing throughout the Roman Empire as a standard-issue armour for the primary heavy infantry legionaries and secondary troops auxilia. They were mostly manufactured out of iron, though sometimes bronze was used instead. The rings were linked together, alternating closed washer-like rings with riveted rings. This produced a very flexible, reliable and strong armour.
The shoulders of the lorica hamata had flaps that were similar to those of the Greek linothorax ; they 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.
Although labour-intensive to manufacture, it is thought that, with good maintenance, they could be continually used for several decades. Its utility was such that the later appearance of the famous lorica segmentata —which afforded greater protection for a third of the weight—never led to the disappearance of the ubiquitous mail, and, in fact, the army of the late empire reverted to the lorica hamata once the segmentata had fallen out of fashion. Lorica squamata was a type of scale armour used during the Roman 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. 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. Since the scales overlapped in every direction, however, the multiple layers gave good protection. Many had rounded bottoms, while others were pointed or had flat bottoms with the corners clipped off at an angle. The scales could be flat, slightly domed, or have a raised midrib or edge. 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.
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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. 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.
The parma was a circular shield, three Roman feet across. It was smaller than most shields, but was strongly made and regarded as effective protection. This may have been due to the use of iron in its frame. The parma was used in the Roman army of the mid-Republic , by the lowest class division of the army — the velites.
The velites' equipment consisted of a parma , javelin, sword and helmet. Later, the parma was replaced by the scutum. Used by tribesmen from Hispania, Mauretania, and Britannia.
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Roman helmets, galea or cassis , varied greatly in form. One of the earliest types was the Montefortino helmet used by the Republic armies up to the 1st 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". From early imperial times to after the fall of the Western Empire, some troops wore segmented armour on one or both arms. Greaves, sheet metal protecting the legs, were widely used in the late republic, and by some troops in the imperial army.
A military pack carried by legionaries. The pack included a number of items suspended from a furca or carrying pole. Items carried in the pack included:. The ballista was a powerful crossbow, powered by torsion in bundles of sinew, rather than torsion in the arms. Early versions projected heavy darts called bolts, or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes.
Roman Military Equipment: From the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome - University of St Andrews
The scorpio was a torsion-powered catapult-type weapon used for precision fire and also for parabolic shooting. It fired bolts capable of piercing enemy shields and armour. The Roman army supplied 60 to each legion. A catapult is a siege engine which used an arm to hurl a projectile. The Roman version was called an onager.
Projectiles included both arrows and later stones. 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 was bent around upon itself from the mouthpiece to the bell in the shape of a broad C and was strengthened by means of a bar across the curve, which the performer grasped while playing, in order to steady the instrument; the curves over his head or shoulder.
The buccina was used for the announcement of night watches and various other announcements in the camp. The instrument is the ancestor of both the trumpet and the trombone. The German word for trombone, Posaune , is derived from buccina. A tribulus caltrop was a weapon made up of four sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always pointed upward from a stable base for example, a tetrahedron.
Caltrops served to slow down the advance of horses, war elephants , and human troops.
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