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"Late Roman spear shafts" Topic


9 Posts

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742 hits since 17 Jun 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Stephen Thomas17 Jun 2017 6:09 a.m. PST

Were late Roman spear shafts left natural wood or painted. If painted what color,if so were they?

Stephen

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

They could be painted- certainly were at times- and in complicated patterns. There is a pic of some in the "Late Roman Cavalry" Osprey. Sometimes I paint mine, other times (mostly) I don't bother. Perhaps such painting would be more common with the elite units?

picture

picture

Perris070717 Jun 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

Nice work!

GurKhan17 Jun 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

You can see spearshafts painted in bands or spirals on various of the illustrations of the Notitia picture for instance and the Ravenna mosaic link

Others appear to be plain picture

Shardik Inactive Member17 Jun 2017 10:13 p.m. PST

I imagine the more a unit expected to fight, the less they would bother painting their (breakable) gear

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

It might also be that those painted spears are parade items, with plain wood spears used for campaigning.

basileus6618 Jun 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

Maybe they are parade items, as Shardik and TKindred point out. However, it also may have been a simple way to tell units apart, either for tactical or esprit de corps purposes. You shouldn't discard the morale benefit that carrying a distinctive item of equipment might have had.

Regardless what their actual purposes were, they look beautiful in a wargaming unit. If you have the time and the painting skills needed to make them look well, I would say go for it.

Personal logo wrgmr1 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 6:44 p.m. PST

I agree with basileus66.

Stephen Thomas21 Jun 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

Thank-you for the input/information/links.

Stephen

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