|Houten, posing 2003
May and I had just received the helmet. What better
excuse to show off the new tunic and acquired plumbatae?
The light was very bad for the first three shots, though.
We did better in August, when the next batch of pictures
were shot. The last in the series was in late October.
The new woollen tunic.
The plumbatae are lethal darts.
The Intercisa iv is judged to be an
infantry type helmet, but it remains doubtful if
a clear type existed.
Plumbatae, as they were possibly
Detail of the back of the shield.
The red woolen braccae (trousers) are best not
worn when it's hot. The new tunica has bright
red broad clavi (vertical stripes) across the
shoulders and orbiculi (roundels) at shoulders,
waist and back. Although normally woven, I've used plain
ones for now. This woollen tunic is not for the summer
either, as is the woollen large cloak, the sagum.
This, too, has two orbiculi on front and back.
It's fastened with a 4th-century bow brooch, which is
associated with the military. These brooches were
mass-produced in Pannonia (Hungary) and shipped
all over the Empire. I also altered the shoes to a type
more commonly worn during the late 3rd century and into
the 4th. The cingulum (belt) was not been
changed but for a new red strap end. Belts like these
were mainly worn during the 4th century and are
associated with Roman soldiers, but are also know from
Germanic federate soldiers serving in the Roman army.
The Fectienses Seniores showing the
latest kit. To the left Chariovalda in
dress- down fashion, to the right Valerius
in battle dress.
Chariovalda of the Salian Franks. The
lance is the main weapon of the Late Roman
Valerius Vitalis, born of the Chamavi,
in full armour...
.. and armed with just the (bloodied) sword.
Chariovalda with his new tunic.
The cassis or galea (helmet) is a
so-called infantry type found near Intercisa in former
Yugoslavia and is called an Intercisa type iv.
The metal crest has led to assumptions that this would be
an officer's helmet, but there has been no confirmation
for that. Helmets like these, even much more adorned
ones, were worn by common soldiers as well, and similar
helmets on grave monuments are not restricted to officers
Defensive posture, the scuta hiding most
of the body to enemy fire..
By carrying the lance under the upper arm, the
least of the body is exposed.
Main sidearm of the infantryman was the Contus
(lance, spear), which could be between 1.9 and 2.7 metres
long. Most battles were fought with this weapon. The spatha
(longsword) was the sidearm for the infantry as well as
the cavalry. Contrary to convention I wore mine at the
time on the right hip, because when marching it
constantly banged into the scutum (shield). This
was very bothersome, and I had still to find out why it
apparently did not hinder the ancient infantryman. But
New in the armoury were the plumbatae
(lead-weighted throwing darts). These were not hurled
horizontally like modern darts, but rather hurled
underarm with great speed in a wide arch. That way, they
were intended to land vertically on top of the enemy, who
stood little chance due to the speed, weight and
penetration power of these things. I have attempted a
reconstruction of how these darts could have been
carried, which can be seen above.
to our new 'base', the fortress of Vechten, and did a
session to get a feel of the place. The light was very
good, if not too bright, but all the autumn colors really
gave the place a special atmosphere. Of course, it IS a
19th-century fortification, so one is constantly
surrounded by thick brick bunkers and walls, but most is
overgrown with grass and trees, so it does not disturb
overmuch. After all, the whole fortress was constructed
right on top of the vicus of the old fort, which was
abandoned by the end of the 3rd century. The wood in the
background has just been sawed for the upcoming replica
of the Roman watchtower:
Chariovalda with his new fibula.
Posing for another shot.
Miles of the late 3rd century.
Chariovalda and Valerius, milites
Crossing the spatha..
..defending the Empire!
Autumn, and a last posing session this
year. The light is getting less, but adds to the color of
the tunic, which has been dyed a warm purple. The light
went in my backyard, so we moved to the street in front
of the house, to the joy of the son's kindergarten..
The happy trooper..
A comitatensis in the woods..
Throwing the plumbatae.
Or more like a private militia?
Study of the helmet.
There were some changes besides that. I
had 5 plumbatae now, all nicely painted in a
color scheme provided by the 5h-century De Rebus
Bellicis. As Vegetius recommended, 5 are
carried in the shield, ready for use. I now reconstructed
the cingulum to properly attach the spatha
on my left side. That way, I could dump the baldric, and
get a steady sword. The strap end now goes properly to
the right, as it does on the Vienna statue.