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Thread: Shields?

  1. #1
    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Shields?

    I noticed in some pictures that shields will not be uniform. I can understand this for barbarians, nomads, and non-professional armies. but will the romans have uniform shields? otherwise that would be almost a gamebreaker for me. i cant imagine having roman legions with different shields, it makes me want to gouge my eyes out
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    EB II Romani Consul Suffectus Member Zaknafien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    of course they wont have uniform shields. The very idea is rediculous, even in the late principate.


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    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    well....there goes the neighborhood....
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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Shields?


  5. #5
    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    man john. We got now that you won't like EB II and have very ... well...special imagination of historical accuracy. Now go and let the others enjoy the accurate non-uniformed shields
    Last edited by SwissBarbar; 03-26-2009 at 17:20.
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    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    romans should have uniform shields. if not exactly then maybe only 1 or 2 variations. i challenge you to give me evidence otherwise
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    Member Member paullus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Roman naval ships on the Pompeii frescos are a great example. There aren't a lot of sources for shield decorations in the Roman army. Most of the shields will be pretty simple, and in that sense, they'll be uniform.
    "The mere statement of fact, though it may excite our interest, is of no benefit to us, but when the knowledge of the cause is added, then the study of history becomes fruitful." -Polybios


  8. #8
    Satalextos Basileus Seron Member satalexton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    please don't start this here, not in the .org please.....




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    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    i cant do it at TWC, i was banned for calling someone a "lunatic" because he started a thread ranting about how EB's naked units should be uncircumcised.
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    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Just because I am interested in this topic, and would like to know whether there were uniform shields in the early Republic, I did a little research to post on here. Sorry if you wanted this post forgotten, Stalexton.

    I could not find my evidence in my quick search that the Romans used specific designs on their early shields, so a 'uniform design' (for example, such as the Spartans had), might not have existed, but rather that no design was warrented, thus creating a sort of uniformity in their common blankness.

    I've found some basic evidence. The first two show the Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus, dated about the end of the Second Century BC (not particulary early, I know...), but they do show two Roman legionaries with very blank shields. Obviously any design may have been lost in time, and I expect it had, along with any detail possibly etched into the relief.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    This one is of an actual Roman Scutum recovered from Kasr el-Harit in Egypt. Again, little chance to see a design here. Sorry.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    There is, however, a passage from Polybius, which describes the early "scutum" in his "Histories":

    "The Roman panoply consists firstly of a shield "(scutum)", the convex surface of which measures two and a half feet in width and four feet in length, the thickness at the rim being a palm's breadth. It is made of two planks glued together, the outer surface being then covered first with canvas and then with calf-skin. Its upper and lower rims are strengthened by an iron edging which protects it from descending blows and from injury when rested on the ground. It also has an iron boss (umbo) fixed to it which turns aside the most formidable blows of stones, pikes, and heavy missiles in general".

    He does not mention any specific design or uniform colouring (red..?) but this also suggests that, with no design, the shields may have appeared at the very least similar if not identical.


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    Member Member Bucefalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    I share the view exposed that the romans would probably had uniformity on materials (and base colors) but each soldier would decorate his own shield with different patterns, much like in medieval times knights decored his own shields and flags. Probably those designs were not invented or just put there because they were "cool" or something like that, most designs would have a significance, like being the symbol of a noble house or of a god (a devoted man would trust his weapons to the god of war). So my assumptions is that the romans were not different in this era to others peoples, and probably the only uniformity they would have is that their armours/shields and other panoply of war would be of the same material and probably similar colors.

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    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    And before the Marian reforms, equipment was self supplied, yes?
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    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    yes, exactly my point. At the beginning of the Republic Rome had kind of a Milita-system, meaning they had no standing army. The citizens had to arm themselves every single time when war was brought upon them. These citizens were divided in 5 classes, after their assets, because they had to afford their own weapons. Rich = equites, less rich = heavy infantry (3 different classes, triarii, principes, hastati), poor = skirmishers, cannon fodder or didn't have to serve.

    Though at the end of the second century BC there were voluntary professional soldiers existed, but still recruitments were made.

    104 BC, Marius' reforms: NOW the equipment was given by the state, and the recruits were divided in classes by their experience, not equipment, therefore triarii = badasses, principes = future badasses, hastati = greenhorns.

    Therefore, at least to me, it is very clear that until 104 BC no uniform equipment could be found in the Roman army.
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    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    But how are you defining 'uniform', Swiss?
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    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    [/IMG]http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/romans/images/soldiers/shield/tort.jpg[/IMG]


    meaning EB looking like this

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Shields?

    i presume they will look somewhat like this i don't realy see a prolem with differences like that.
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  17. #17
    Sage of Bread Member Rilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Those shields aren't uniform! One has a Copyright!

  18. #18
    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Wheres the evidence that they were dyed red, or had those patterns on them?

    I'd genuinly like to know where the seemingly global acceptance that the Romans were red comes from.
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    Sage of Bread Member Rilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    LEGIO LXXVII HOLLYWOOD

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    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Was it really Hollywood? Someone would have pointed that out by now, surely. As in life, not in this topic. I mean, was it really a case of Santa turning red because he was sponsered by Coca-Cola? Or were the Romans actually armed with red shields?

    I do believe they had the customary red (cheapest dye[?])tunics to designate them as soldiers, but I think that was later, when equipment was provided by the state. Was the same rule followed with shields?
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    Sage of Bread Member Rilder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    I actually don't know for sure, just wanted to say that :P, maybe the red was something like battlefield heraldry to help distinquish friend from foe.

  22. #22
    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissBarbar View Post
    yes, exactly my point. At the beginning of the Republic Rome had kind of a Milita-system, meaning they had no standing army. The citizens had to arm themselves every single time when war was brought upon them. These citizens were divided in 5 classes, after their assets, because they had to afford their own weapons. Rich = equites, less rich = heavy infantry (3 different classes, triarii, principes, hastati), poor = skirmishers, cannon fodder or didn't have to serve.

    Though at the end of the second century BC there were voluntary professional soldiers existed, but still recruitments were made.

    104 BC, Marius' reforms: NOW the equipment was given by the state, and the recruits were divided in classes by their experience, not equipment, therefore triarii = badasses, principes = future badasses, hastati = greenhorns.

    Therefore, at least to me, it is very clear that until 104 BC no uniform equipment could be found in the Roman army.
    ooooohhh......well in that case, i think that the early militia should be non-uniform, but the later army should have uniform equipment and armor.
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    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Then that would be uniformalism, surely.
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  24. #24
    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rilder View Post
    I actually don't know for sure, just wanted to say that :P, maybe the red was something like battlefield heraldry to help distinquish friend from foe.
    that makes sense, as that is the primary function of a uniform....

    anyway, you have to admit that the shields were at least the same basic shape/materials
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    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    at least we can be quite sure, that their shields were not read, decorated with white painting called "COCA COLVM"
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  26. #26
    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    lol. I think instead they read "Manishewitz Red Wine"

















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  27. #27
    urk! Member bobbin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    I imagine the sheild type will be the same for marians onward but the decoration will vary form soldier to soldier.


  28. #28
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    You also must consider cost of shield decoration. The poorer classes would have fairly basic shields with cheaper colors/paints/simpler designs while the more affluent would have more decorated arms and armor. Since everything they had was pretty pimped out. There really isn't any argument against showing off who they were on the biggest and most visible surface.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 03-26-2009 at 22:18.
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    EB II Romani Consul Suffectus Member Zaknafien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    actually Romans dissapproved of shield-painting altogether at least until the early principate.


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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields?

    So no "Gaius Corvus slept with you mum" enblazing you shield in 3 different languages huh?
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 03-26-2009 at 23:09.
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