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Jeremiah Swanger




Location: Hershey, PA
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Aug, 2004 8:13 pm    Post subject: Rome under Hadrian         Reply with quote

Hey all,

I was wondering... which Gladius and Spatha patterns would have been in use by the Romans under Emperor Hadrian (the Architect emporer). I believe we're talking something like 120 AD...

Thanks in advance!

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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Eric Bergeron




Location: New Hampshire
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Aug, 2004 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably looking at the Mainz pattern and pompei pattern gladius. They both were around the mainz being very rare but some of the soldiers preferred it over the pompeii.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For Infantry, they would have used Pompeii-pattern gladii. It's probably a bit too late for the Mainz pattern at this time, so if encountered they would have been uncommon. As for spatha, I would venture a guess that the spatha was still largely a cavalry weapon at this time and had not begun to replace the gladius as the standard sidearm in all units.
Also, quite possibly, the ring-hilted "semi-spatha" may have begun to appear on the scene at this time.

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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"ring-hilted 'semi-spatha' "? please elaborate.

thanks!
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Jeremiah Swanger




Location: Hershey, PA
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Wilson wrote:
For Infantry, they would have used Pompeii-pattern gladii. It's probably a bit too late for the Mainz pattern at this time, so if encountered they would have been uncommon. As for spatha, I would venture a guess that the spatha was still largely a cavalry weapon at this time and had not begun to replace the gladius as the standard sidearm in all units.
Also, quite possibly, the ring-hilted "semi-spatha" may have begun to appear on the scene at this time.


So, the Mainz and Fulham would have seen most of their use before Trajan and Hadrian, it sounds like. So, Pompeii pattern would have been the main sidearm. It also sounds like the Early pattern Spatha would be in use at about this time, as opposed to the Late or Koln patterns?

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon Janusz wrote:
"ring-hilted 'semi-spatha' "? please elaborate.

thanks!


The "semi-spatha" was probably derived from the Sarmatians roughly about the time in discussion. It is not a true "spatha" in that it is usually a bit shorter, nor is it a gladius. The tang is formed into a ring at it's terminus (unlike the "Irish ring hilts" where the ring is intersected by the tang), hence it is referred to as a "ring hilt". I don't know how widespread it's use was among the Romans, it apparently was used by infantry and maybe cavalry as well (not too sure about that either).
Unfortunately I don't have any pics of one to post or to link to.....

David K. Wilson, Jr.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremiah Swanger wrote:
David Wilson wrote:
For Infantry, they would have used Pompeii-pattern gladii. It's probably a bit too late for the Mainz pattern at this time, so if encountered they would have been uncommon. As for spatha, I would venture a guess that the spatha was still largely a cavalry weapon at this time and had not begun to replace the gladius as the standard sidearm in all units.
Also, quite possibly, the ring-hilted "semi-spatha" may have begun to appear on the scene at this time.


So, the Mainz and Fulham would have seen most of their use before Trajan and Hadrian, it sounds like. So, Pompeii pattern would have been the main sidearm. It also sounds like the Early pattern Spatha would be in use at about this time, as opposed to the Late or Koln patterns?


Right, the Pompeii would be about it.
If you're talking about Albion's spathas, the early one would be the best choice for the time. The Koln dates to the 3rd century, IIRC, however it's not too different from some earlier spathas.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, okay, here's something that vaguely resembles a "ring hilt semi-spatha":


Link: http://www.armouronline.com/var/storage/varia...746735.jpg

David K. Wilson, Jr.
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Gary Venable




Location: Kansas City
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One theory for the change was that after the battle of the Teutoburg Forest (9 AD) a simpler design was adopted to reduce the time it took to make the swords to help make up for the tremendous amount of equipment lost in the battle. It was also during this time the the legions switch from the Lorica Hamatain (mail armor) to the "Lorica Segmentata" Segmented Armor. This would have been during the rein of Augustus 27 BC -14 AD and Tiberius I 14-37 AD. By the end of Tiberius reign the Mainz would have been uncommon.

Of course another theory is that the new patterns cost less to make. Those practical Romans Wink

Gary
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Enlil O. Ball




Location: West Virginia
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Aug, 2004 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What pisses me off about the Teutoberg forest is that Augustus disbanded around 30 legions only a few decades before this battle. No offense Gary, but IMHO, with all the swords and chain mail surplus just hanging around and getting rusty, you really dont need to start creating massive amounts of replacement equipment. Three legions were lost, 5400X3 plus the bagage train, and while this was a heavy blow to Rome, Augustus could have easily reformed the fallen 17, 18, and 19th Roman legions plus even more to smash the problomatic Germanic tribes above the Rhine. Doing so would of changed world history as we know it...

Oh and the switch from chain mail to the segmented armor would never be completly achieved with diversity of both armor being common, and chain mail would come back again at the later stages of the Empire to replace the Lorica Segmentata as it was cheaper to produce.

Have you ever tried to wear Lorica Segmentata? Its terrible to put on, feels terrible, and matience is a real bummer...

Chain mail offers decent protection against slashing weapons the Germanic tribes usally had, less restrictive, and when it got a bit rusty, just throw the thing in a barrel of vinegar!

Now with swords I cant tell you that much... Im still trying to save up enough money to buy myself a Mainz gladius to go along with the Mainz helmet...

Enlil O. Ball
XIX Legio Germanica Centurio
Http://www.geocities.com/XIX_Legion
Si Vas Pacem, Para Bellum
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Gary Venable




Location: Kansas City
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2004 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Enlil O. Ball wrote:
What pisses me off about the Teutoberg forest is that Augustus disbanded around 30 legions only a few decades before this battle. No offense Gary, but IMHO, with all the swords and chain mail surplus just hanging around and getting rusty, you really dont need to start creating massive amounts of replacement equipment. Three legions were lost, 5400X3 plus the bagage train, and while this was a heavy blow to Rome, Augustus could have easily reformed the fallen 17, 18, and 19th Roman legions plus even more to smash the problomatic Germanic tribes above the Rhine. Doing so would of changed world history as we know it...

Oh and the switch from chain mail to the segmented armor would never be completly achieved with diversity of both armor being common, and chain mail would come back again at the later stages of the Empire to replace the Lorica Segmentata as it was cheaper to produce.

Have you ever tried to wear Lorica Segmentata? Its terrible to put on, feels terrible, and matience is a real bummer...

Chain mail offers decent protection against slashing weapons the Germanic tribes usally had, less restrictive, and when it got a bit rusty, just throw the thing in a barrel of vinegar!

Now with swords I cant tell you that much... Im still trying to save up enough money to buy myself a Mainz gladius to go along with the Mainz helmet...


No offense taken. I had not read were Augustus disbanded 30 legions before 9 AD. As I said it was a theory I have seen and read several time but it is just that a theory. I myself like the explanation of the second theory better... i.e. they cost less.

Gary
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Enlil O. Ball




Location: West Virginia
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2004 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not bought a sword for myself yet, but I've held a few Roman swords from Albion at a few reinactment shows. The Albion Pompeii is a slighty lighter sword then their Mainz. However in a straight thrust it is much more comfortable and far deadlier then most gladii, although its appearance might say otherwise. And being lighter is always a soldiers friend, for enemies come and go, but fatigue is always a constant enemy.

I really dont think that these replacements were cheaper, maybe only slightly, but I feel they were made to counter the threat of the ever improving arms and armor of the Germanic tribes. Remeber the dacian falix? That sword caused the Romans to start equiping soldiers with greaves, shoulder and arm segmented armor, and a few other improvements.

Enlil O. Ball
XIX Legio Germanica Centurio
Http://www.geocities.com/XIX_Legion
Si Vas Pacem, Para Bellum
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Chuck Perino




Location: Roseburg, Oregon
Joined: 22 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2004 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Enlil O. Ball wrote:
Have you ever tried to wear Lorica Segmentata? Its terrible to put on, feels terrible, and matience is a real bummer...


Have you built your own segmentata? or are you basing your judgement on a "one size fits all" commercial segmentata from India?

I built a segmentata last year from patterns from Legio XX and a lot of assistance from the guys at Romanarmytalk.com and I can assure you that the segmentata was rather easy to put on (like a heavy suit jacket) essentially I rested it on a table or a tree stump and put it on like a coat, it was heavier than the hamata, but the weight was better distributed providing less fatigue overall. Along with a properly fitted subarmalis, the segmentata was very comfortable to wear based on my experiences in chain mail.
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Enlil O. Ball




Location: West Virginia
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2004 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ive tried on a few legionaries segmented armor during a few reinactments in Maryland. In one case, when I put one on a few of the leather straps snipped from the shearing of the plates... In my opinion the best segmented armor available is from Legio VI out of California. http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org/ftmac2002_2.html (RLQM)

Regardless, platemail can never offer the comfort that chain mail can. And segmented armor is so much more restrictive. Chain mail allows the body to still be able to turn or move in any direction.

Anyway, my legio will never have to worry about segmented armor, for the legio was destroyed in 9 A.D.
I, myself, wear a brass breastplate, and being a solid peice, does restrict my movement somewhat, but its custom made, and allows exellent movement of the arms, which is the most important part when fighting with a gladius.

Enlil O. Ball
XIX Legio Germanica Centurio
Http://www.geocities.com/XIX_Legion
Si Vas Pacem, Para Bellum
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Chuck Perino




Location: Roseburg, Oregon
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed, Rusty makes a great set of armor.

I guess we are getting into the old "ford vs chevy" debate, to each his own.

I do know that after creating my own segmentata properly, made for my body, and properly subarmallified (is that a word? Eek! ) that I personally would not choose to wear the hamata based on comfort and mobility.

I find your assumption that a breastplate would be a better armor for use of the gladius as interesting, while fighting in tight formation with my cohort, and utilizing the gladius as the thrusting weapon that it is from behind my scutum, I would much rather have the increase neck, shoulder and upper arm protection of the segmentata.

I am always up for the defense of my bravado! If you find yourself in Oregon, bring your hamata, I'll bet ya a beer I can huck a Pilia farther in my segmentata!! Laughing Out Loud
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Enlil O. Ball




Location: West Virginia
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2004 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I never said my armor was better for use of the gladius. I forgot to state the reason why it comfortable fighting with a gladius is that it does not come down over the shoulder like the lorica segamenta and chain mail.

Now with pilum tossing I havent got my pilum yet, so im tossing a make up one I made. I can get the thing 40-50 feet throwing up in the air, and around 20-25 feet throwing straight at the enemy tree... Republican soldiers use two pilums, a heavy square pilum for fighting calvary that still has the ability to be thrown, and the light socketed pilum which can be tossed at higher velocity and distance then the heavy square. I've ordered a few pilums from RLQM, and awaiting their arrival. Sadly he doesnt sell the socketed pilum, so if you know where I can get a unstained (Rusty's is stained!!) socketed pilum from, please let me know...

Enlil O. Ball
XIX Legio Germanica Centurio
Http://www.geocities.com/XIX_Legion
Si Vas Pacem, Para Bellum
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2004 5:48 pm    Post subject: Lorica Segmentata at Teutoberg Forest         Reply with quote

Enlil O. Ball wrote:

Anyway, my legio will never have to worry about segmented armor, for the legio was destroyed in 9 A.D.
I, myself, wear a brass breastplate, and being a solid peice, does restrict my movement somewhat, but its custom made, and allows exellent movement of the arms, which is the most important part when fighting with a gladius.


I don't know a great deal about this subject. However, I wanted to point out that Ross Cowan claims, in his book, Roman Legionary 58BC - AD69, that the lorica segmentata was in use before Teutoberg Forest. In fact, he says that lorica segmentata (or at least fragments) have been found at the battle site at Kalkreise.
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