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Lorica Segmentata and auxiliaries
#1
I was toddling around the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle upon Tyne this afternoon, and I noted the mannequins with the HR Robinson armour on; I see that on the legionary, the label says that lorica segmentata was worn by both legionaries and auxiliaries. Is this label just very out of date? because I was under the impression that no-one really believed that any more.
Carus Andiae - David Woodall

"The greatest military machine in the history of the universe..."
"What is - the Daleks?"
"No... the Romans!" - Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens
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#2
Most of the larger finds of segmented armour seem to come from sites of known auxiliary garrisons. (Corbridge for example)

One for mike Bishop to answer methinks! :wink:
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#3
I thought it was the other way around. Armour worn by auxilia and legionaries used to be thought to be distinctly different (partly influenced by the Columns), but now it seems more likely that the distinction was less so in reality. But IIRC it is not unfeasible for legionaries to have also been posted at auxiliary forts which might explain the presence of segmentata.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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#4
Last I heard there was no evidence to support the wearing of Lorica Segmentata by Auxillaries (i.e. no clear depictions) and whilst absence of evidence is not evidence, there still is no actual evidence, but it is within the realm of possibility.

Matthew James Stanham
It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one\'s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)
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#5
Bishop and Coulston make a very compelling case that the Lorica Segmentata was worn by legionaries and not by auxiliaries.

Although they do not completely rule it out, they make a very convincing argument on pages 254-259 of Roman Military Equipment (2nd Edition).

With regard to most of the segmentata finds coming from "auxiliary garrisons," thus leading to the possible conclusion that this type of lorica was also used by auxiliaries, Bishop and Coulston state the following:

"Accepted notions about Roman garrisoning behavior, which can be summarized simplistically as legionaries at legionary bases, auxiliaries in forts, are in fact a stereotypical impression derived from perceived 2nd Century and later military 'policy'." (page 258)

They expand on this statement in later paragraphs to conclude that Roman military operations/garrison activity was much more flexible.

This argument is further supported by Goldsworthy in his "Complete Roman Army." Good discussion of the benefits of combined arms and tactical flexibility.

So, a couple of resources for you to check to form your own opinion, but I tend to believe these authors.

Cheers,

Calvus
Gaius Aurelius Calvus
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#6
There is a photograph in H R Robinson which (he states) shows legionaries in segmented armour. I disagree, as the image seems to show what appear to be cavalry helmets with hair embossing in the 'Weiler' or 'Butzbach' helmet style. This would point at auxiliary soldiers wearing seg.

Then of course we have the depiction of the cavalrymen wearing mail with seg shoulder guards from Arlon.
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#7
Very interesting, Adrian.

I wonder what Mike Bishop has to say about that?

Calvus
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#8
Idea wonder if the segs that were battered and repaired were passed onto auxilliary troops?
"...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."


a.k.a. Paul M.
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#9
Nah -- I'm thinking they were passed on to the new recruits first! Big Grin
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#10
Quote:Then of course we have the depiction of the cavalrymen wearing mail with seg shoulder guards from Arlon.

Very Interessting! I have wondered about this, I´ve seen a strange sholderpiese with mail on that Virilis showed me pictures of. Is there possible there was crossovers?

And is it possible that someone has pictures of these cavalrymen from Arlon?

Sorry for the OT!

M
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#11
Quote:Then of course we have the depiction of the cavalrymen wearing mail with seg shoulder guards from Arlon.
_________________

Quote:Very interesting, Adrian.

I wonder what Mike Bishop has to say about that?

I think Mike Bishop believes they are poorly sculptured mail shirts with shoulder doubling edged in leather not segmentata shoulders at all.

Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#12
I wonder if the destinction between Leg. and Aux. was as clear as we tend to belive! Could it have been more of diffrent dutus then diffrent troops. I mean If a soldier did heavy infantry fighting he was a Leg. but if he did guard duty on a fort he was a Aux. Might have had both kinds of armour for diffrent jobs if he could afford it? Speculation on my behalf of course.
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#13
Hi all,
does anybody have a picture of the Arlon cavalryman? I have read about it on this forum before, but never seen it. Sad
Thanks.

Alexandr
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#14
I should have known better than to expect a simple answer!

Sadly I don't have access to Bishop/Coulston, but Goldsworthy is reasonably convincing.

I note that Goldsworthy refers to what I assume is the Arlon depiction, and interestingly accepts that it is combined segmented and mail (sadly not illustrated) - or rather says that this is what it appears to be!
Carus Andiae - David Woodall

"The greatest military machine in the history of the universe..."
"What is - the Daleks?"
"No... the Romans!" - Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens
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#15
The Bishop/Coulston argument is even more compelling than that of Goldsworthy.

Again, I am not advocating one opinion or the other, just citing some resources so that others can be informed and decide for themselves.

Adrian makes some good points, as do others, and I am not arguing with them at all...since I firmly believe that all of us would be in store for some REAL surprises if we could go back in time and see events as they actually were.! Smile

Calvus
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(Edge Gibbons)

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