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Plumbata
#1
I AM LOOKING FOR SAME INFOS ABAUT ROMAN WEAPON PLUMBATA.

<p></p><i></i>
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#2
It looks like the Jelling Dragon sells them; though no pictures, from the pugio I'll bet Len Morgan makes them.<br>
<br>
www.jelldragon.com/rmn_weapons.htm<br>
<br>
Sander mentions them in his site:<br>
members.tripod.com/~S_van...rarmy.html <p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX<br>
<br>
</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/[email protected]>RichSC</A> at: 4/2/03 9:53:08 pm<br></i>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#3
Hi,<br>
<br>
We're not sure what they looked like. There was the Martiobarbulus, the Plumbata mamillata and another, spiked version, the Plumbata tribolata. We've found only the weighted head of the mamillata version, and trials have given several results which are inconclusive as to conclusion about the total length. Some say it was a shorter dart, some say it was about a metre long.<br>
<br>
Vegetius talks about them:<br>
<br>
Epitoma 1.17:<br>
... Quinos autem mattiobarbulos insertos scutis portare consuerunt, quos si oportune milites iactent, prope sagittariorum scutati imitari videntur officium. ...<br>
<br>
'... They used carry five marsbarbs inserted into the shields, which if the soldiers throw them skilfully, almost makes the shieldbearers appear to imitate the function of archers. ...'<br>
<br>
Epitoma 2.15:<br>
<br>
... plumbatas quinas positas in scutis ...<br>
<br>
'... five leadweighted darts placed in the shields ...'<br>
<br>
---------------<br>
<br>
I posted a picture of a shorter version from the French group 'The foederati':<br>
<img src="http://www.fectio.org.uk/plumbata1.jpg" style="border:0;"/><br>
<br>
Len makes the longer version, I'll post a picture of that one later.<br>
<br>
Cheers,<br>
Robert<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk/" target="top]FECTIO[/url] <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 4/3/03 12:49:05 am<br></i>
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Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#4
Salve,<br>
<br>
Some passages from the <em>Epitoma rei militaris</em> by Vegetius:<br>
<br>
1.17<br>
<br>
<em>Plumbatarum quoque exercitatio, quos mattiobarbulos vocant, est tradenda iunioribus. Nam in Illyrico dudum duae legiones fuerunt, quae sena milia militum habuerunt, quae, quod his telis scienter utebantur et fortiter, Mattiobarbuli vocabantur. Per hos longo tempore strenuissime constat omnia bella confecta, usque eo, ut Diocletianus et Maximianus, cum ad imperium pervenissent, pro merito virtutis hos Mattiobarbulos Iovianos atque Herculianos censuerint appellandos eosque cunctis legionibus praetulisse doceantur. Quinos autem mattiobarbulos insertos scutis portare consuerunt, quos si oportune milites iactent, prope sagittariorum scutati imitari videntur officium. Nam hostes equosque consauciant, priusquam non modo ad manum sed ad ictum missibilium potuerit perveniri.</em><br>
<br>
'The training in leadweighted darts, which they call <em>mattiobarbuli</em> ('Marsbarbs'), must also be given to the recruits. For a while ago there used to be two legions in Illyricum, which used to have six thousand soldiers, which were called the marsbarbs, because they used these missiles with skill and strength. It is established that for a long time all wars were most vigorously decided by them, so that Diocletianus and Maximianus, when they came to power, on account of their bravery judged that these <em>Mattiobarbuli</em> be called <em>Ioviani</em> ('Juppiter's own') and <em>Herculiani</em> ('Hercules's own') and to prefer them over all legions. They used carry five marsbarbs inserted into the shields, which if the soldiers throw them skilfully, almost makes the shieldbearers appear to imitate the function of archers. For they wound men and horses, not just before hand to hand combat can occur, but even before the throwing of missiles.'<br>
<br>
2.15<br>
<br>
<em>... Haec erat gravis armatura, quia habebant cassides catafractas ocreas scuta gladios maiores, quos spathas vocant, et alios minores, quos semispathia nominant, plumbatas quinas positas in scutis, quas primo impetu iaciunt, item bina missibilia, unum maius ferro triangulo unciarum novem, hastili pedem quinque semis, quod pilum vocabant, nunc spiculum dicitur, ad cuius ictum exercebantur praecipue milites, quod arte et virtute directum et scutatos pedites et loricatos equites saepe transverberat, aliud minus ferro unciarum quinque, hastili pedum trium semis, quod tunc vericulum, nunc verutum dicitur. ... Post hos erant ferentarii et levis armatura, quos nunc exculcatores et armaturas dicimus, scutati (qui) plumbatis gladiis et missibilibus accincti, sicut nunc prope omnes milites videntur armati, ...</em><br>
<br>
'... This used to be the heavy armament, because they had helmets, body armours, greaves, shields, larger swords, which they call <em>spathae</em>, and other smaller ones, which they call <em>semispathae</em> ('half-swords'), five leadweighted darts placed in the shields, which they throw in the first charge, two throwing weapons as well, one larger one with a triangular iron head of nine inches, a shaft of five and a half feet, which they used to call a pilum, now it is called a <em>spiculum</em>, in the throwing of which soldiers used to be trained especially, because aimed with skill and strength it often used to transfix both shieldbearing infantrymen and armoured horsemen, the other smaller one with an iron head of five inches, a shaft of three and a half feet, which then was called a <em>vericulum</em>, nowadays a <em>verutum</em> ... Behind these were the <em>ferentarii</em> and the light armament, which are now called <em>exculcatores</em> or <em>armaturae</em>, shieldbearers equipped with leadweighted darts, swords and missiles, ...'<br>
<br>
2.16<br>
<br>
<em>Post omnes autem acies triarii cum scutis catafractis et galeis ocreati cum gladiis semispathiis plumbatis binis missibilibus locabantur, qui genu posito subsidebant, ut, si primae acies vincerentur, ab his quasi de integro reparata pugna posset sperari victoria. ...</em><br>
<br>
'Behind all these lines though were located the <em>triarii</em> with shields, body armours and helmets, wearing greaves, with swords, half-swords, leadweighted darts and two missiles, which sat down on one knee, in order that, when the first battle lines were defeated, by them the fight could be taken up anew again in the hope of victory. ...'<br>
<br>
3.14<br>
<br>
<em>... Quartus item ordo construitur de scutatis expeditissimis, de sagittariis iunioribus, de his, qui alacriter verutis vel mattiobarbulis, quas plumbatas nominant, dimicant, qui dicebantur levis armatura. ...</em><br>
<br>
'... The fourth line likewise is composed of the most battle ready shieldbearers, of younger archers, of those who fight vigorously with <em>veruta</em> and marsbarbs, which they call lead weighted projectiles, whom they used to call the light armament. ...'<br>
<br>
The <em>legiones<em> I <em>I</em></em></em> and II <em>Herculia</em> had detachments attached to the emperor's following (<em>sacer comitatus</em>) which formed the nucleus of field armies. Other detachments though served on the frontier, where <em>legio<em> I <em>Iovia </em></em></em> is attested in garrison. In the <em>Notitia Dignitatum</em> their units rank among the first, behind those of <em>lanciarii</em>. There is no independent confirmation for Vegetius to confirm that these units were specialised in fighting with leadweighted darts. By the sixth century these missiles were in more widespread use, by both infantry and cavalry. They were by that date primarily in use by infantry skirmishers, while heavy infantrymen retained a javelin.<br>
<br>
See also this earlier thread.<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Sander van Dorst <p></p><i></i>
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#5
Hi. Why I am asking abaut a plumbata. I am archeologist working on a Roman site in Slovena near Novo mesto in vicinitiy of Roman via publica Emona Siscia.Site is calld Draga 3. Plumbata was one of many Roman army linked finds we excaveted until now. Works are still in progress. It looks that we are digging on a small Roman army camp. Solders were controling a passage.<br>
"My" plumbata is in very good condition. There is a spike and 9 angle weight. Plumbata in Slovenia is not a rare find I know abaut 10 items. <p></p><i></i>
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#6
Salve,<br>
<br>
Can you give an indication of the approximate date of the layer where the weapon was found?<br>
<br>
Related reading on the subject:<br>
<br>
Dennis, G.T., <em>Maurice's Strategikon. Handbook of Byzantine military strategy</em> ( Philadelphia 1984) 178p.<br>
Eagle, J. 'Testing plumbatae' in: C. van Driel-Murray (ed.), <em>BARi 479: The sources of evidence</em> (Oxford 198, 247-253.<br>
Milner, N.P., <em>Vegetius: epitome of military science</em> (Liverpool 1993) 152p.<br>
Völling, T., 'Plumbata - Mattiobarbulus - Martzobarboulon? Bemerkungen zu einem Waffenfund aus Olympia' in: <em>Archäologischer Anzeiger</em> (1991), 287-98.<br>
Völling, T., 'Plumbatae sagittae? Anmerkungen zu Waffenfunden aus dem augusteischen Lager von Haltern' in: <em>Boreas</em> 14-5 (1991/1992), 293-6.<br>
<br>
Regards,<br>
<br>
Sander van Dorst <p></p><i></i>
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#7
No. Plumbata dates the layer. Whole site was much destroyed during time specialy last year when construction of road started. <p></p><i></i>
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#8
Do you have any images of the plumbata? <p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX<br>
<br>
</p><i></i>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#9
Yes, images, please? There are not so many images of a plumbata around these days. Are all of the plumbatae of the so-called 'mamillata' version, that is with the lead ball on the shaft? Or are there possible any spiked ones amongst the apparent many which have turned up?<br>
<br>
Cheers,<br>
Robert <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#10
Oh yes, please, images or, at least, descriptions!<br>
Are the heads barbed?<br>
Is the shank square in cross-section?<br>
Which is the lengt from point to lead weight and to the tip of the tang?<br>
Is the lead weight biconical or spherical?<br>
In case the point is barbed, is the lead weight broader or narrower than the barbs?<br>
Is the attachment to the wood socketed or tanged?<br>
Has anybody realized that I'm now in the process of constructing plumbatae for my group?<br>
Many thanks!<br>
<br>
Aitor <p></p><i></i>
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
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#11
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Hi. Why I am asking abaut a plumbata. I am archeologist working on a Roman site in Slovena near Novo mesto in vicinitiy of Roman via publica Emona Siscia.Site is calld Draga 3. Plumbata was one of many Roman army linked finds we excaveted until now. Works are still in progress. It looks that we are digging on a small Roman army camp. Solders were controling a passage. <hr><br>
Has anyone heard from Primozpredan since March. If you read this, could you tell us of develoments, or show us some picures?<br>
<br>
You can mail me [email protected] off-site if you want.<br>
<br>
Valete<br>
Valerius/Robert<br>
<br>
[url=http://www.fectio.org.uk" target="top]FECTIO[/url] <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#12
Oh yes, Primozpedan, please reappear and tell us something about those new plumbatae! <br>
<br>
Aitor <p></p><i></i>
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
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#13
Well, nothing from Primozpedan, but I came across these images from a private US collection:<br>
<br>
<img src="http://www.romanofficer.com/Images/permcol11tn.jpg" style="border:0;"/> <img src="http://www.romanofficer.com/Images/permcol11-2tn.jpg" style="border:0;"/> The caption says [url=http://www.romanofficer.com/permcol.html" target="top]here[/url]:<br>
"These two Plumbata (lead-weighted hand thrown dart) tops are extremely rare in that they are weighted with clay rather than lead. Evidently if the dart upon impact would not penetrate an enemy's shield then the clay's fragmentation would have effect. A late edition to Roman weapons, the Plumbata had more range than any other hand-thrown missile, including the spear and javelin. "<br>
<br>
Clay weights sure would be different from lead weights, but they would primarily be lighter. The sources we have on plumbatae (mainly Vegetius) never mention clay used as weight.<br>
However, bearing in mind this collector also claims to own Sarmatian armour from Britain (discussed earlier on RAT) and misdating crossbow brooches by 2 centuries, I am thinking this clay needs not be original, but just may be an art-dealers' attempt to make the items a bit more attractive.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 10/24/03 7:31 pm<br></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#14
Is it true that the penetration of a plumbata is less than that of a spear or other heavier throwing weapon ??<br>
<br>
And if so, I would suppose it wouldn't have been a problem since the majority of the Roman enemies didn't wore armour. <p></p><i></i>
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#15
Hi Civettone,<br>
A Plumbata may not penetrate as deep on a horizontal trajectory, but these weapons were meant to hit you from above. With the added weight, a plumbata could penetrate armour and shields without difficulty, if coming from high enough. The head and shoulders are the main areas in danger.<br>
There are not enough data available to say for sure weather the opposing forces geberally wore less armour than the Roman forces. For one, sometimes the Roman forces were made up of a high number of foreign troops. Sometimes, such as after the defeat of several East Roman forces at the hands of the Goths in the late 4th c., the Goths equipped themselves with the armour of the defeated Romans.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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