Author Topic: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army  (Read 1354 times)

Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 07:24:50 PM »
or even a different design intrinsically for a helmet etc. One wonders how much enforcement of standards was applied to teh rank and file...?
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Jim Webster

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2020, 07:45:35 PM »
or even a different design intrinsically for a helmet etc. One wonders how much enforcement of standards was applied to teh rank and file...?

I suspect it was a case of  "We sold you a good helmet we want a good helmet back"

I suspect that if you got a fancy one as loot, it could be cashed in or if it looks Roman you could swap it for your own

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Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2020, 08:26:36 PM »
one wonders as time went on, the requirement for equipment might have become generic ie make sure you turn up with a helmet, spear and shield in the cohorts colours or expect the Centurions vine staff to be inserted somewhere where the sun doesnt shine.....
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Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2020, 08:28:23 PM »
if fact, a thought just occured to me. Maybe an allowance was given for the said prerequisite equipment and that you could 'purchase' from the quartermaster or buy a fancy set of stuff from a local vendor...?
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Jim Webster

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2020, 08:35:01 PM »
I suspect spears etc were 'generic' and they'd have plenty in store. One of basic jobs was probably going through the store, reshafting those that needed it.
Shields would be standard and yours probably had your name on it and the front would have the unit colours
Swords were probably acceptable 'within reason' but decoration on belts, scabbards and similar was what you wanted. Remember culturally dressing up for war was the done thing. The unit would probably have approved of it
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Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2020, 08:51:47 PM »
probably more so as the Roman Army became more Germanic in outlook and dress.....
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Duncan Head

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2020, 08:57:15 PM »
Shields would be standard and yours probably had your name on it and the front would have the unit colours

"Lest the soldiers in the confusion of battle should be separated from their comrades, every cohort had its shields painted in a manner peculiar to itself. The name of each soldier was also written on his shield, together with the number of the cohort and century to which he belonged" - Vegetius.
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aligern

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2020, 09:03:52 PM »
Duncan, does the Vegetius quote imply that this was no longer the case if it ever was?
The shield patterns on Trajan’s column look as if they're by legion and that the  sculptors included the shields so that the units on the expedition could  be  identified?
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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2020, 07:54:41 AM »
Famously, during the wars of the triumvirate, new arrivals were picked out by their shields, so the assumption has been made that a legion was identifiable by their shields. If cohorts were different, then that makes it a tricky assumption to maintain. Unless there was an overall legion colour or similar and cohort distinctions?

I'm currently about to start painting a bunch of late republican Romans so it's important!
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Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2020, 08:24:21 AM »
timely question Doug! If I were painting an early Roman army I would stick to the tried and tested same design per legion BUT thats just me and for convenience!
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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2020, 08:35:16 AM »
Just for variety, I am going with vexillations from two separate legions - one experienced, the other trained but inexperienced. I am justifying it on the basis that the inexperienced vexillation is ordered to accompany the old grunts on various minor expeditions to build up their confidence and skills.

Now all I need to do is arrange a swap shop for unused LBMS transfers, I am going to have a ton of type Y left over while needing  or 2 of type Y.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2020, 08:48:17 AM »
Duncan, does the Vegetius quote imply that this was no longer the case if it ever was?

It's in his description of the old legions, so he's not saying it's current practice, but that needn't mean it isn't.

Quote
The shield patterns on Trajan’s column look as if they're by legion and that the  sculptors included the shields so that the units on the expedition could  be  identified?

I'm not sure how we can tell whether the shields on the Column are meant to be per-legion or per-cohort. However note that Rossi reckoned that the legionary shields with wreath blazons were XXX Ulpia (I forget why) - but there are two distinct legionary wreath-patterns. Two cohorts of the same legion?

Alternatively, the Connolly "legion panorama" with each cohort having the same blazon but on a differently-coloured shield would still fit Vegetius' statement.

Famously, during the wars of the triumvirate, new arrivals were picked out by their shields, so the assumption has been made that a legion was identifiable by their shields. If cohorts were different, then that makes it a tricky assumption to maintain. Unless there was an overall legion colour or similar and cohort distinctions?

I'm currently about to start painting a bunch of late republican Romans so it's important!

Tansey's article discusses the evidence for Late Republican soldiers putting their commander's name on their shields.
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DougM

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2020, 08:57:09 AM »
'Alternatively, the Connolly "legion panorama" with each cohort having the same blazon but on a differently-coloured shield would still fit Vegetius' statement.'

Which would fit the cohort distinction but be impossible to see at a distance, so identification of a new legion would be virtually impossible. Thanks for the Tansey link. Will try and get to that at lunch-time.

I'm tending to think that it may be a common shield colour, with cohort distinctions. But what would be the purpose? Unit pride? I can't imagine it would serve any tactical purpose, as you couldn;t distinguish at any distance and as a commander you want to be seeing the backs of men's shields, not the front! (Which would be a tactical hint you might be in the wrong place.)
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Holly

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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2020, 09:57:14 AM »

I'm tending to think that it may be a common shield colour, with cohort distinctions. But what would be the purpose? Unit pride? I can't imagine it would serve any tactical purpose, as you couldn;t distinguish at any distance and as a commander you want to be seeing the backs of men's shields, not the front! (Which would be a tactical hint you might be in the wrong place.)

If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium and you are already dead!  ;D
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Re: Who produced the weapons for the Roman army
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2020, 04:47:16 PM »
Don't forget that being an effective killing machine was only one part of the legionary role. They all seemed to be expected to have another craft or skill including construction and different sorts of engineering and were often put to work as a state construction company when not physically defending the empire (or supporting the latest usurper). Archaeologists have found remains of iron smelting in various fortresses, so it is likely that some equipment manufacture / repair was carried out locally. Whether this made them self-sufficient or just resilient if the supply chain - in whatever form that took - failed, I don't know.
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