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"Greaves on Later Republican legionairies" Topic


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475 hits since 26 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

wmyers26 Jun 2018 1:22 p.m. PST

I was wondering about any evidence for or against greaves worn by Late Republican Roman troops (ie for Caesarean era).

I know it is common to represent Centurions with two greaves.

Earlier Republican (ie Carthaginian wars) Romans are shown with one greave (left) for legionaries.

Did Marius eliminate them?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 4:18 p.m. PST

Certainly, the Praetorians who marched against Spartacus discarded theirs on the march!
I don't remember seeing any on Caesars army.

Mars Ultor Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 9:41 p.m. PST

There are a lot of changes that are attributed to Marius that may have in fact happened over time. Assuming that they wore the left greave up until the Marain changes, it was done away with. I can't prove a negative, but I've never seen any evidence of greaves on a normal Marian
legionaire.and its not in any of the mainstream books.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jun 2018 1:29 a.m. PST

I don't think there is much evidence for them, but they were worn before Marius, and later, occasionally, in the Early Empire (e.g vs. Dacians) so it's possible that the odd Marian legionary might have worn them.

GurKhan27 Jun 2018 2:09 a.m. PST

The legionaries on the Aemilius Paullus victory monument at Delphi lack greaves, and that's as early as 168 BC. So they may have ceased to be standard equipment some time before Marius. The legionaries on the so-called "Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus" don't have greaves either; and although that is one of the classic illustrations of "Marian" legionaries, it was actually made a few years before the "Marian reform" (122-115 BC is the usually suggested date range).

wmyers27 Jun 2018 9:57 a.m. PST

Thank you.

I was wondering the appropriateness of using Victrix's Republican Roman Legion box with chainmail for Cesarean troops.

Yes, the feathers are not plumes, but they can be cut off.

Mars Ultor Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2018 1:14 p.m. PST

Gurkhan,
As the Ahenobarbus altar (so-called) shows the legionnaires showing up in front of a censor in Rome, I wonder, even if they had greaves, would they have worn them on that occasion. Probably would have been pictured with them as standard soldier archetypes, perhaps. Afterall, they did fix crests.

Any thoughts?

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