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Tim Hall




Location: Stafford/Fairfax, VA
Joined: 17 Aug 2009

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 7:55 am    Post subject: Arms and Armor in Roman Britain         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a book, scholarly article, or reliable source for information on the arms and armor of pre and post-Roman Britain.

I am considering how Romans may have influenced the arms and armor in Britain as a topic for a paper in my Roman Britain class.

Also, I tried to search for information in the forums but was unable to find anything, If there was any topic related to this that I may have over looked please let me know. Happy

Thanks for the help!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's not really my interest, and it's a bit later than what you asked for but it wouldn't hurt to leaf through H.R. Ellis Davidson's "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England".

If you are looking for some kind of continuing "Celtic" influence, I can recommend to take a look at the Fetter-Lane pommel, now in the British Museum. This is from the late 8th century AD, so well later than Roman times: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highligh...ommel.aspx
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Tim Hall




Location: Stafford/Fairfax, VA
Joined: 17 Aug 2009

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you, I'll take a look at those.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,272

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

You'll probably get way more information than you want over on the Roman Army Talk board,

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/

However, good starter books include "Greece and Rome at War" by Peter Connolly, and "Roman Military Equipment" by Bishop and Coulston. Details on my Legio XX Bibliography page:

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/bibliog.html

Pre-Roman Britain obviously has its own rich culture, but arms and armor development pretty much came to a halt after the Roman invasion. The Romans were not interested in sitting on a thriving society of armed warriors, so any locals who didn't join the auxiliaries were generally disarmed. After the Roman government officially pulled out of Britain three and a half centuries later, everything is much different! Naturally the post-Roman Britons didn't have to start entirely from scratch, since there were plenty of local militia troops, but Roman equipment had been constantly evolving, and British gear evolved further from there. Though we don't know much of the details!

So the short answer is that Roman equipment largely replaced British equipment! Though we *do* have a few things which are clearly locally-influenced, such as the Hod Hill sword:

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/HdHlhlt.jpg

But apparently there just isn't very much to show that native gear continued to exist alongside Roman gear for very long, nor did it continue to evolve on its own. This was firmly Roman turf. HOWEVER, there may be more in-depth analyses that I simply haven't seen, so I'm don't want to sound like Gospel!

That get you started? Good luck and Vale,

Matthew
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Tim Hall




Location: Stafford/Fairfax, VA
Joined: 17 Aug 2009

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, that is basically what I have found so far(that roman arms and armor replaced what was there before). I have also read that once the Romans left, the people in Britain would have used what Roman equipment they could find mixed with whatever they were able to put together. This would have created a new type of style mixing the two(pre and post Roman occupation), which is what I would like to write about if I can find enough information.

Thank you both again for your help!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 3:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
But apparently there just isn't very much to show that native gear continued to exist alongside Roman gear for very long, nor did it continue to evolve on its own. This was firmly Roman turf. HOWEVER, there may be more in-depth analyses that I simply haven't seen, so I'm don't want to sound like Gospel!


Yes, but the Fetter-Lane pommel does not seem to follow the typical Anglo-Saxon / North-Sea Germanic design, like the Sutton Hoo sword does. So maybe some kind of styles did survive the Roman era?
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