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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 2:52 pm    Post subject: providence of the Romanized Gaul statue from Vacheres?         Reply with quote

I am intrigued by this statue of a Romanized Gaul wearing a Lorica Hamata. What little I could find out about it was that it was discovered near Vacheres France in the mid to late 19th century. I believe it is said to be carved from limestone. I am wondering if anyone knows anything about the suspected date of the site it was discovered at, or the likely origin of the statue (Roman era creation, or later period creation.)


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Hugo H




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
you say romanized Gaul, wearing a Lorica Hamata. I believe the Celts/Gauls, (sorry being very broad here) also had mail shirts with shoulder capes on them. It would seem to me that this was a gaulish warrior wearing wearing celtic armour. The Greeks do attribute the invention of chain mail to the celts. (greek writer Strabo 63bc-ad24) "refers to mail as celtic". Just my opinion, hope you find more information on this. As far as the statue is concerned, I have seen it in a couple of books. They don't come to mind right now. I will try to get the names. Good luck in your search.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Hugo. I do not exactly disagree with you. Proof of origin of maille is relatively obscure. Some Roman records (Notitia Oreins) indicate that Roman maille was manufactured within Gual. The idea of invention of maille among the Celts seems best corroborated by the Hedegaard maille and metalolurgical analysis of it. (I am aware of two separate analysis that seem to reach compatible conclusions that maille near 1st century A.D. matches North Germanic iron fabrication composition.)

That said, to an extent, some Gauls seemed to have integrated into Roman economic and organizational aspects after the early conquests. Many served as auxiliaries with some known to have elevated to significant status; "equites singulars Augusti", as opposed to equites peregrine or general auxiliary forces. Rome had a strong presence in the supposed region of the statue from 1st century B.C. through 4th century A.D. Anyhow, I had thought the detailed image of a Gaul/ or Celt in hamata style armour was unusual. It the statue's origins were known, it might reveal more about plausible Celt/Gaul origins of maille.

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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The hilt of the sword doesn't look particularly Roman...

Other than that I have no information about it.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugo H wrote:
Hello
you say romanized Gaul, wearing a Lorica Hamata. I believe the Celts/Gauls, (sorry being very broad here) also had mail shirts with shoulder capes on them. It would seem to me that this was a gaulish warrior wearing wearing celtic armour. The Greeks do attribute the invention of chain mail to the celts. (greek writer Strabo 63bc-ad24) "refers to mail as celtic". Just my opinion, hope you find more information on this. As far as the statue is concerned, I have seen it in a couple of books. They don't come to mind right now. I will try to get the names. Good luck in your search.

This isn't a Celtic shoulder cape but a Greek Tube-and-Yoke style armour. The mail is definitely Roman, so is his clothing, but the wearer is said to be a Celt. The sword is definitely Celtic. What is interesting is the weave of the mail runs the wrong way. The statue doesn't tell us anything about the origins of mail because it is too late (1st C BC). The current body of evidence suggests that mail was invented in central Europe in the 3rd century BC and soon adopted by the Celts and then the Romans.



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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think there's still debate about that tunic, Dan. The split hem and turned-back cuff are really not Roman! Probably the best interpretation is that it is a Roman statue of a Gallic warrior. But I don't have any details on its actual provenance. There should be a discussion on Roman Army Talk about it, somewhere.

Valete,

Matthew
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found an article in French with an abstract stating that the statue's providence was considered to be during the reign of Augustus (~60 B.C. to somewhere around 7 A.D. going on memory) Since I can't read the main body of the article (reference is on a different computer from which I now type as well), I do not know why that conclusion was drawn. The armour does look very "Roman Hamata like" to me, and several have made the observation about rings hanging "vertically" (untypical).
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
I think there's still debate about that tunic, Dan. The split hem and turned-back cuff are really not Roman! Probably the best interpretation is that it is a Roman statue of a Gallic warrior. But I don't have any details on its actual provenance. There should be a discussion on Roman Army Talk about it, somewhere.


I think the cuff is more likely to be part of a glove, not a sleeve. This and the split skirt suggests that he is a cavalry man. I agree that he is probably Celtic, not a native Roman.
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Cam H.





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PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
I found an article in French with an abstract stating that the statue's providence was considered to be during the reign of Augustus (~60 B.C. to somewhere around 7 A.D. going on memory) Since I can't read the main body of the article (reference is on a different computer from which I now type as well), I do not know why that conclusion was drawn. The armour does look very "Roman Hamata like" to me, and several have made the observation about rings hanging "vertically" (untypical).


There isn't really a lot of contextual information on the find spot that help date the piece. All that can really be said is that Vacheres has lots of scraps of Gallo-Roman material -- statue fragments, tiles, etc.

The view that it dates from the Augustan period (roughly 31 BC - 14 AD) is based on stylistic criteria, most of which have been noted here. It's worth adding that the figure is wearing a torc around his neck. Given that Vacheres falls close to what were the territories of the Vocontii and the Albici during the end of the first century BC, the thinking is that the statue probably represents a Gallic warrior who served as a Roman auxiliary or a mercenary. It was probably once part of a funerary monument.
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