mercoledì 15 aprile 2015

The speed of the Roman Army at Caesar time

The Roman army at Caesar time was known for its speed of movements. But how much was this speed? Average speed of rapid military march was 60 km/a day with a weight of about 30 kg on the shoulders.
But let's make some exemples to understand better what it means:

From Milano to Pavia (92 kms) it took about 1 day and half (nowadays you will take about 19 hours by feet, without any package and with no stops!)

From Boulogne-sur-Mer to Paris (248 kms) it took about 4 days (nowadays you will take about 2 days by feet, without any package and with no stops!)

From London to St. Albans (35 kms): it took about 0,5 days (nowadays you will take about 7 hours by feet, without any package and with no stops!)

Source: Stanford University web site Orbis:

The defensive wall of Maediolanum

The walls, made of brick, were placed on a massive base protruding, in large pebbles inward and in large fragments of stone to the outside  to form a water-filled ditch. The Republican walls was 3500 meters long with 6 gates: Jovia, Vercellina, Ticinese, Romana, Eastern and Comasina. 
The door was constituted by a dual arc flanked by two towers.It was the custom that every door was consecrated to a pagan deity.

IOVIA GATE: The Republican name of this gate is unknown; later called "Iovia" in honor of Diocletian who so liked to be called;

VERCELLINA GATE: So called because oriented Vercelli. It was dedicated to the goddess Venus, of which there was a statue above the gate.

TICINESE GATE: so called because oriented "Ticinum" today Pavia. It was dedicated to Mercury, the god of commerce.

ROMANA GATE: so called because oriented Rome. It was dedicated, according to some, to Mars, according to others to Apollo. On its arch there was this inscription: "Tell, traveler who are going to pass this gate:'Hail second Rome, imperial decorum of the Kingdom; very venerable and full of riches city. People fear you; powerfull people bend their neck to you. In the use of the army Thebes, in the wisdom Athens you win.'" It is sure that Caesar passes this cage when he was directed towards Gaul.

ARGENTEA CAGE: It was dedicated to the Sun and to Apollo. The name derives  from the town where it was directed towards "Argentiolum" today Gorgonzola

COMASINA CAGE (OR CUMANA): It was dedicated to the Moon

martedì 14 aprile 2015

La cinta muraria di Maediolanum

Le mura, fatte di mattoni, erano poste su un massiccio basamento sporgente, in grossi frammenti di pietra verso l'esterno e in ciottoloni verso l'interno riempiti d'acqua a formare un fossato.  La cinta muraria repubblicana di Milano (Maediolanum) era lunga 3500 metri con 6 porte: Jovia, Vercellina, Ticinese, Romana, Orientale e Comasina. La porta era costituita da un duplice arco fiancheggiato da due torri.
Era usanza che ogni porta fosse consacrata ad una divinità pagana.

PORTA GIOVIA: Non si conosce il nome che aveva questa porta in tempi repubblicani, successivamente denominata "Giovia" in onore di Diocleziano che così amava farsi chiamare;

PORTA VERCELLINA: Così chiamata perchè orientata verso Vercelli, era dedicata alla dea Venere, di cui c'era una statua sopra la porta stessa.

PORTA TICINESE: così chiamata perchè orientata verso "Ticinum" l'odierna Pavia. Era dedicata a Mercurio, il dio del commercio.

PORTA ROMANA: Così chiamata perchè rivolta verso Roma. Era dedicata, secondo alcuni, a Marte, secondo altri ad Apollo. Recava sull'arco questa incisione: "Dì, o viandante che t'appresti a varcare la porta:'Salve, seconda Roma, decoro imperiale del Regno;città molto veneranda e di dovizie onusta.Te le genti temono;a te piegano il collo i potenti.Tu nelle armi Tebe, tu nella saggezza vinci Atene'"
Di certo ci passò Cesare diretto verso la Gallia.

PORTA ARGENTEA: Intitolata al dio Sole e ad Apollo, Il suo nome deriva dalla cittadina verso cui era rivolta "Argentiolum" l'odierna Gorgonzola

PORTA COMASINA (O CUMANA): Era dedicata alla Luna

domenica 2 novembre 2014

 A new siege weapon for the XIII: 

The Aries

giovedì 21 novembre 2013


2013 ROMA Ludi Plebeii Festival Schedule

23rd November

The Feast of Jupiter - 10am
The beginning of the Ludi Plebeii is Jupiter's Feast in the ROMA Forum. Beginning with an audience with the Capitoline Triad outside Their temple on the Capitoline Hill, where a ritual to ask for Their blessings will be performed. Immediately after the ritual, a procession down to the Forum, where the feast will begin - with food, wine, and dancing in the company of the Gods.
ROMA Subura Chariot Races - 12pm (Noon)
In honour of Jupiter, Best and Greatest, Divine Mother Juno, and Wise Minerva, there will be chariot racing in the Subura! We invite all to come join in this spectacle, to cheer on the racers (or join in the racing themselves) as they navigate a tricky figure-8 loop through the narrow streets - hopefully without taking out anyone's domus (or themselves) in the process!

Thanksgiving Turkey Hunt - 1pm
In honour of the American and Canadian custom of Thanksgiving - we will be having a turkey hunt - but there's a catch - these turkeys are *TINY*. Barely the size of a large chihuahua, they are agile, speedy, and extremely difficult to tag - but if you can tag the most turkeys in 1 hour, you'll earn yourself $L1000 to have your own thanksgiving feast! (Or maybe just to buy that fancy new outfit you've had your eye on.) How many turkeys can you tag? Join the hunt and find out!

24th November

Autumn Hot Springs Brunch - 10am
To say farewell to the warmer days in ROMA, we will be having a social brunch in the ROMA Hot Springs! Steaming water, good food, and dancing round the pools - a wonderful way to relax, socialise, and enjoy the last of the good weather before the snows come to ROMA!

Jupiter's Grand Feast - 12pm
The theme of this feast is Modern Gods and Heroes! So dress up as whomever you worship or admire  (this can be celebrities, important world figures, or sports stars) and enter our Grand Feast Costume Contest. There will be two categories - Best God and Best Goddess, and the winners will each receive $L1000. There will also be dancing and live music by Taunter Goodnight. Don't miss it!

Ludu Plebeii Naumachia - 1pm
Watch and be entertained as the Legio XIII Classis Nautica engage and practice naval warfare with a naumachia! The ancient Romans since Emperor Nero would watch and be entertained by extravagant naval combat by filling up the basin of amphitheatres with water and letting loose ships of war onto the waters. Only, these ships weren't regular naval vessels - they were gladiators' ships and the marines were the gladiators themselves, almost certainly convicts sentenced to death! Thankfully, our Emperor Julian is a much kinder fellow to even our most depraved citizens... Instead, watch as our brave soldiers of the Legio XIII Classis Nautica take to the seas!

lunedì 18 novembre 2013

Soldiers grave stones - a source for the study of Roman army (by Signifer Q.Claudius Secundus Petilianus)

this short conference is about roman gravestones as an epigraphic source on the roman army research

The sources are the starting point and the control for each reconstruction. We have three different types of sources:
1 written records
2 pictorial representations
3 original finds

Each of these sources provides many opportunities, but also problems of interpretation. The interaction and knowledge of the interpretation to give a fairly accurate picture of the object of contract, in this case the Roman army in the first century.

I would like to give a brief insight into the epigraphic sources that tell us about the Roman army this time information

What is epigraphy?
The Epigraphy Epigraphy or ("Inscription", from the Greek epigraphs επιγραφή "inscription") is an auxiliary historical science, which is particularly important for the Ancient History; she deals with inscriptions and inscriptions on various materials such as wood, stone , glass, marble, metal, leather, etc.

Since such inscriptions are more durable than ordinary writing documents on materials such as paper or parchment, epigraphic sources are often the only means to obtain information on contemporary defunct cultures. The main types are dedication, grave, construction and honorary inscriptions.

For the study of the roman army of the first century Roman soldiers grave stones are particularly valuable because there are so many finds of them

they provide not only information about the appearance of the soldiers and their equipment, but also provide statistical data of great accuracy, for which no other army before 17 century exists

Roman grave stones provide information on the origin, the retirement age and the period of service of the soldiers, so that you can make general statements about the Roman army, this time due to the large number of finds

I will not go into the inscriptions per se, as this is beyond the scope of a short talk at this point. I want you with several examples to show how you could do because Roman grave stones reconstructions of their equipment

1.this is the grave stone of the legionary Caius Valerius Crispus, about 75 AD, here's he served in the Legio VIII Augusta. At his death he was 40 years old and had served 21 years

2.Here we see one of the problems of interpretation of the early history research
Roman grave stones were, as well as columns and statues, painted, and depending on the amount of the cost of the grave stone and the financial position of inheriting, who allowed set the stone, the stones were not always fully prepared by the stonemason

The grave stone of Caius Crispus why you went out of a leather armor and put on his pants. in reality it is the pterygesstripes of the subarmalis and there is not a single hint of leather armor. they also make no sense

3.This stone is perhaps the most famous grave stone of a Roman soldier. it is the stone of  Caeliusl,who was killed 9 AD in the battle against Varus
You can recognize his military awards, the phalerae

4. here is a painted reconstruction of his gravestone

5. This is Publius Flavoleius Cordus, son of Publius, soldier of the Legio XIV GEMNINA, 43 years old, died after 23 years of service.
he wears Tunica, the typical military belts of the early 1 century, sword, dagger and sagum over his shoulder hangs an oval shield and he holds a pilum in his hand

6.The aquilifer Gnaeus Musius, 32 years old.

7.Petilius Quintus Secundus, son of Quintus Petilius, probably originated from Milan and was part of the constituency (tribe) Oufentina. Petilius was a soldier of the Legio XV Primigenia, which had its actual location in Vetera near Xanten. Likely to carry out construction activities, he was reassigned to the Roman camp in Bonn. The XV Primigenia was almost four years stationed at their main camp Mogontiacum (Mainz-Weisenau). [1] He died at the age of 25 years, after he had completed five years of service. His legacy had it made for Petilius a grave stone because of the will.
I have also chosen these names for my avatar ;)

8. stone of Marcus Favonius Facilis, son of Marcus, centurion of the Legio XX
about his under garment with pteryges he wears a short chain armor, a wide, ornate belt, the sword with the left side of the stock vine wood

9. here an example of another kind of grave stone. He does not show the person, but the equipment of his military rank

it is the stone of Titus Calidus Severus from Carnuntum (near Vienna).
the inscription says, that he first was in cavalry, then decurion in the cohors I Alpinorum and finally centurion in Legio XV Apollinaris. He was 58 years old and served 34 years

10. to the conclusion I would like to show a presentation of Trajan's Column in Rome here. It shows a Roman legionary who is wearing a lorica segmentata.
very strange is the circumstance that on no single grave stone such equipment appears
why this is so, we are still discussing about it

so i hope u enjoyed a little this conference, the next will be about the original finds and the reconstructions

many thanks for your attention