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"Roman Terror Signs" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 May 2018 5:17 a.m. PST

…The painted warnings including Roman eagles with blood-stained beaks, and the slain and decapitated bodies of the defeated victims of the victorious Roman legions were shown alongside Latin inscriptions on carved stone slabs placed along a Roman rampart in Scotland…


And seems to confirm – Roman cloaks were RED.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

All it proves is that the Romans had access to red and yellow paint!

Some of the horses on the Bayeux Tapestry are blue. But that doesn't confirm that the Normans rode blue horses….

Scott MacPhee10 May 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

I see tunics in that relief, but no cloaks. It's pretty firmly established that the sagum was a mustard brown, no?

ScottS10 May 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

And seems to confirm Roman cloaks were RED.

Kinda like how Beetle Bailey confirms that today's army wears plain green uniforms.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

No, but Beetle Bailey does reflect that the US army at the time of the character's creation and for much of its established run wore plain olive-green uniforms. Which it did.

So, in the same manner, the red paint on a depiction of legionairres on a Roman site certainly indicates that red attire was indeed a common expectation for the legions in that area, or at least accepted as representative of Roman soldiers in general. Sort of like depicting US Navy sailors in white or light blue, as the late 20th century, and not those ridiculous blue "pixel" camos used today.

arsbelli10 May 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

One of the problems with this article is that the only Roman cloak depicted on any of the fifteen Antonine wall distance slabs is worn by a single cavalrymen on the Bridgeness slab:


The horseman on the Summerston/Balmuildy slab does not appear to wear a cloak, and none of the figures that might represent legionaries on any of the slabs are depicted as wearing cloaks: link .

We do know that Roman commanders traditionally wore red cloaks:


On the other hand, ordinary cavalrymen in the imperial Roman army were non-native auxiliaries. So even if the horseman on the Bridgeness slab was originally depicted wearing a purely red cloak, rather than one that was brown and red or yellow and red, it says nothing about what Roman citizen legionaries might have worn.

In short, there needs to be a great deal more evidence beyond a few microscopic bits of pigment on a single depiction of a cavalry cloak on a relief, before any sweeping generalizations can be made. I look forward to seeing that evidence, when it has been compiled and presented.

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