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Red Plumed Roman Cavalryman Illustration

Red Plumed Roman Cavalry Illustration

A roman cavalryman on horseback charges with sword drawn and red cloak flying. It seems from wiki that the actual equipment used by roman cavalry is not as well understood as one might think...

Pictorial evidence for the equipment of Republican cavalry is scant and leaves several uncertainties. The earliest extant representations of Roman cavalrymen are found on a few coins dated to the era of the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). In one, the rider wears a variant of a Corinthian helmet and appears to wear greaves on the legs. His body armour is obscured by his small round shield (parma equestris). It was probably a bronze breastplate, as a coin of 197 BC shows a Roman cavalryman in Hellenistic composite cuirass and helmet. But the Roman cavalry may already have adopted chain mail armour (lorica hamata) from the Celts, who are known to have been using it as early as ca. 300 BC. Mail had certainly been adopted by ca. 150 BC, as Polybius states that the First Class were expected to provide themselves with chain mail cuirasses, and the monument erected at Delphi by L. Aemilius Paullus to commemorate his victory at the battle of Pydna (168 BC) depicts Roman cavalrymen in mail.[17][18] However, a coin of 136 BC and the Lacus Curtius bas-relief of the same period show knights in composite bronze cuirasses.

There is similar uncertainty as to whether cavalryman carried shields (not generally used by Greek cavalry until after ca. 250 BC) and the related question of whether they carried long lances (which normally precluded shields, as they would often be held double-handed) or shorter spears, the doru mentioned by Polybius.[19][20] Most representations show cavalrymen with the small parma equestris type of shield, but the Ahenobarbus monument of 122 BC and the coin of 136 BC shows cavalrymen without shields. Sidnell suggests that, since equites were expected to provide their own equipment, they may have chosen their own type and combination of armour and weapons e.g. long lance with no shield or short spear with shield.[21] But the evidence is too scant to draw any firm conclusions.

Although there is no pictorial evidence, it is certain from literary accounts that equites carried swords, most likely the same gladii hispanienses (Spanish swords) used by the infantry[22] or the longer spatha. The Ahenobarbus monument also shows a cavalrman with a dagger (pugio). There is no evidence that equites carried bows and arrows and the Romans probably had no mounted archers before they came into contact with Parthian forces after 100 BC.

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Red Plumed Roman Cavalry Illustration : Istockphoto

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Red Plumed Roman Cavalry Illustration : Dreamstime

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Red Plumed Roman Cavalry Illustration : Fotolia

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