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Late Imperial Roman Army - special Chariobaude

Posted by PhilC on 15 Dec 2016, 23:25

Hi everyone !

These days, I've read several articles on the excellent blog Comitatusgaulois by our friend Chariobaude: https://comitatusgaulois.wordpress.com/
and I must say that I am impressed with so much research about the late roman army in Gaul.
If I try to paint my minis as accurate as possible, I must say that I also choose the colors or the patterns of the shields according to my taste, and not to recreate real armies on the field... and I can not identify every unit !

Here you are the beginning of my late roman army for DBA (not based, not yet, sorry).

First of all, the legionnaries: I can identify them as the Pannoniciani seniores:
Image

The second unit represent Auxilia Palatina - at least I suppose, because I could not identify the shield pattern - maybe our scholar members may help ? I followed the illustration on the Hät box.
Image

then I finished an element of heavy cavalry, the cataphactarii:
Image

The infantry units: I think the colors fit well together
Image

The army so far:
Image

Any suggestion for Late Roman Medium Cavalry shield patterns ? I consider painting this one:
Image

Would it be ok ?

PhilC.
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Chariobaude on 16 Dec 2016, 10:01

WOW Phil, this is a really an amazing work ! Especially what you did on the shields of the pannonciani seniores : i wish i could do the same. This is precisly those units i just can't paint. One shield pattern like this one is difficult to paint, but imagine when you have to paint...40 of those !

the second unit you showed is not an auxilia palatina. The notitia dignitatum, a document where all the late empire units are recorded, with shield patterns (except border units), location, rank and operationnal specialization does not contain that pattern.
Its belong probably to a limitanei legio/auxilia (border troops, the lowest ranked but still good units !). I guess the pattern has been chosen because of that mosaic : Image
if you want to depict a coherent army, then the legio palatina of the pannonciani seniores belongs to the italian army, so your limitanei unit should be one of this (under the dux raetia prima et secunda command) :
Praefectus legionis III Italicae
Praefectus militum Ursariensium
Tribunus cohortis IX Batavorum
Tribunus cohortis III Brittorum
Tribunus cohortis VI Valeriae Raetorum
Tribunus cohortis I Herculeae Raetorum
Tribunus cohortis V Valeriae Frygum
Tribunus cohortis III Herculeae Pannoniorum
Tribunus cohortis Herculeae Pannoniorum
Praefectus numeri barbaricariorum
Tribunus gentis per Raetias deputatae

The last to are the less likely, because they are barbarian warbands under roman command, not real roman units.

Concerning your medium cavalry, the shield pattern you choose belongs to a unit based in Gaul, but i planned to make it too, so i really want to see your version!! :-D

C.
PS : thank you for your kind words on my site ! i guess it is made by and for "crazy" lovers of late roman warfare, and by writing it in French i made it incomprehensible for the majority... one day i will translate it, but as you can read, i'm not particularly fluent in english :-)
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Chariobaude  France
 
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Posted by Kekso on 16 Dec 2016, 12:58

This is very interesting topic and pictures are very nice.
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Kekso  Croatia

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Posted by PhilC on 17 Dec 2016, 11:04

Hi, thank you for the comments.

M. Chariobaude, your incredible knowledge, and more widely, the quality of this forum, inspires me. I find here all the elements I appreciate in this hobby:
- history, and this particuliar subject, ancient history: I love to increase my knowledge as much as possible, and you give me some very interesting elements
- researching: as a scientist, I appreciate to read explanations, and arguments, and hypothesis base upon solid sources... and even more when people can change their point of view when discovering new facts, so comments and criticism are ALWAYS welcome ;-)
- toy soldiers: I got my first historical minis (Atlantic, Airfix) years ago, and I am still painting them (as shown in this topic about greek hoplites viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17492&p=192276#p192276)
- painting: because of the concentration needed, I almost think of nothing else :mrgreen: and I like focusing on shields (but you are right, I could not paint 40 times the same shield... although I wish I could!)
- and finally playing with all these minis

Chariobaude wrote:the second unit you showed is not an auxilia palatina.


This is highly interesting. I know the Notitia Dignitatum (for those interested, look at this excellent site by Luke Ueda's Sarson: http://lukeuedasarson.com/NotitiaPatterns.html), and because I could not find that shield pattern in it, I needed help, I can not find the mosaic you showed in your post, can you tell us where it is located (or a reference to a book, a site...) ?

By the way, It also means that I will have to paint another unit (a real auxilia palatina) in order to have a proper DBA late roman army - suggestions welcome, with challenging shields if possible :-D

If I find time, I will start painting new units this week-end, probably the medium cavalry, I will complete this topic when I have new pictures.

Of course I will keep on following your excellent project ! Thank you again for your help.

PS: your english is perfect for me, your french even more :mrgreen:
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by sberry on 17 Dec 2016, 12:23

Great paintjob! Some of the poses of these HäT figures are a bit difficult, but your painting style brings them to life. I love the color scheme you are using.
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sberry  Germany
 
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Posted by Chariobaude on 17 Dec 2016, 12:32

Merci Phil ! ;-) Finding another crazy lover of history and miniature is always a pleasure !

Concerning the mosaic, it comes from a villa of the fourth century in Sicily called piazza armerina. It displays scenes of hunt mainly, with many very interesting details on clothes or shield patterns like those :
Image
Image

About your project, i was thinking maybe you could make the army of Julian against the Alamanni. Pannonciani were located in Gaul during those times (and in first line during the battle of Argentorarum), and then you can paint the medium cav with the shield you proposed before.
Cataphractarii are ok too (even they were blamed for their cowardness during the same battle, except for their officers who died, abandonned by their men on the right wing).
Limitanei are ok, Roman commander Severus commanded several units of limitanei, located on the left wing.
So you want challenging shield pattern, hmm ? :P

here three possibilities of auxilia palatina in Gaul:

Mattiaci seniores.
here are mine Image, made by a very talented companion (this is above my painted skills....)
you can see more pics of that unit here : https://comitatusgaulois.wordpress.com/ ... s-seniors/
the pattern in the notitia :
Image

Cornuti iuniores :
Image Yes, it is written sagittarii nervii but it is an error in the notitia.


One of my favorite, but i won't even try to attempt to paint it : the classic beheaded barbarian on a red pike of the leones seniores :
Image (not iuniores, same error) Good luck with that !

And... the victores iuniores ! A pattern with a victory inside mainy circles....
Image

is it challenging enough ? Look forward to know your choice Phil !
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Chariobaude  France
 
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Posted by PhilC on 17 Dec 2016, 13:09

I can't believe it !

The style of the mosaic reminded me first of Piazza Armerina, a wonderful villa I visited a few years ago, although it was difficult to take photos because of the shadow of the structure of the roof, as you can see below:

Image

So I checked my photos yesterday, and it seems that I missed your guy :(, hence my question.

I will look for documents describing these mosaics. you are right to say that they mainly represent hunt scenes. On the second picture, the hunters are looking for african animals, probably for the games in the Coliseum (or similar places). One of the horsemen has a shield that looks like one of those you painted yourself, am I right ?

Concerning the auxilia palatina: I like your Mattiaci Seniores very much ! And I like the shield pattern, so why not ? The Bructeri are even more tempting (but you call them Victores Iuniores ? A mistake in the Notitia Dignitatum ?)
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Chariobaude on 17 Dec 2016, 14:28

so you even went to that place, lucky you ! :yeah:
Abd you're right i used that pattern :
Image
for my milites dalmati, a limitanei unit (without pattern recorded so) because we know that it has illyrian origins...
Image

Yes, it is victores iuniores and not bructeri. To explain briefly, the monks who were in charge of copiing the original document forgot one pattern, so all the others shifted of one rank...
Well, the victores pattern is beautifull, and i propose it last because it is surely the most hard to paint : you really like the challenge, and i really want to see the result !
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Chariobaude  France
 
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Posted by PhilC on 17 Dec 2016, 15:10

Ok, agreed :-D
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by PhilC on 18 Dec 2016, 23:23

Hi again !

As Chariobaude proposed, I've just started a unit of not-so-Bructeri-but-more-likely-Victores Iuniores :mrgreen: .
This is a picture of the test mini, and I must admit that the shield took most of the painting time. What do you think of it ?

Image

His colleagues are on the way.
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Chariobaude on 23 Dec 2016, 00:31

WOW, this is precisly the pattern recorded in the notitia !!
the mass effect of all the unit will be absolutely amazing. You can't imagine how i envy your painting skills :mrgreen:
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Chariobaude  France
 
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Posted by Mr. Cryns on 23 Dec 2016, 13:34

I love it very much to see how you French guys are excelling in exchanging and sharing with us this historical research material about this late Roman and often under-exposed period of early Christian history.

:notworthy:
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Mr. Cryns  Netherlands

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Posted by PhilC on 23 Dec 2016, 14:20

Hi Mr Cryns !

We do it for science :mrgreen: !!!
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Mr. Cryns on 23 Dec 2016, 14:31

PhilC wrote:We do it for science !!!

Exactly. Otherwise its just playing with plastic toys... at our age :eh:
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Posted by PhilC on 23 Dec 2016, 14:51

Well, that's what my therapist thinks, too... You aren't a disguised therapist wearing a military dress and rabbit ears, are you ? :affraid:
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Mr. Cryns on 23 Dec 2016, 15:08

Did you discuss this hobby with your therapist?
If so, would you mind tell us a little bit more about his or her conclusions?
Because that would be helpful for most of us I think.

PhilC wrote:You aren't a disguised therapist wearing a military dress and rabbit ears, are you ?


Well, I am afraid I am not allowed to tell you very much more about this.
Only that the rabbit ears are fake.
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Posted by Michael Robert on 23 Dec 2016, 22:08

Bonsoir PhilC,

tumbling over your post I see that you share the same passion for late Roman period with Chariaubade. I agree this is a very interesting period with a lot of dramatic changes in history and in warfare, but I have never been attracted to this period - mostly because of lack of appealing figures (except Cataphracts).
When reading about this topic I remember that there is quite a lot information about late Roman period in the Roman and Celtic museum in Mayence. There collections are ever increasing.

One question. Cataphracti to me are closely linked to eastern empires - mostly Sassanides and Perses and also Sarmatians on the Balkany. I understand the Romans copied these units from these cultures. Are they documented in battles out of the middle-eastern or balkan region?

Joyeux Noël :merrychristmas:

Michaël
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by PhilC on 24 Dec 2016, 00:23

Good evening Michael.

As far as I know (I take my information from Osprey Warrior 15 - Late Roman Cavalryman), cataphractarii were introducted in the roman army in the 2nd century AD, and modelled on the Sarmatians, while Clibanarii were probably introduced during the 4th century AD and inspired by sassanid Persans.
As explained in the book, many Sarmatians were settled in Gaul, and several units had gallic names.
So it seems likely that cataphractarii were sometimes engaged in battle in western Europe.

Well, this is only one secondary source of information, maybe the honorable members of this forum might help us answer your interesting question ?
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PhilC  France
 
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Posted by Chariobaude on 24 Dec 2016, 13:04

Michael Robert wrote:Bonsoir PhilC,



One question. Cataphracti to me are closely linked to eastern empires - mostly Sassanides and Perses and also Sarmatians on the Balkany. I understand the Romans copied these units from these cultures. Are they documented in battles out of the middle-eastern or balkan region?

Joyeux Noël :merrychristmas:

Michaël


Hello Michael,
yes, like many other tactics, skills or equipments, romans did copy very heavy cavalry from both sarmatian/alans and sassanids.
strange thing is that cataphractarii has always prooved to be an useless option : Romans managed to always defeated heavy cavalry units with their disciplined infantrymen without any problem.

But, at the end of the second century, it became "in" (or "badass" :mrgreen: ) to have such units, starting in reality with cavalry officers or regular units called cataphractarii because of their heavy equipment. If i remember well, the first unit composed by only cataphractarii is the ala nova Firma milliaria cataphractaria. Diocletianus created a dozen of units, mainly in Egypt, Gaul and north italy.
In a speech of Julian, his uncle Constancius II is described as the emperor who really developped that weapon (so around 350).

Concerning their use in battle (on the roman side), we have three direct sources :
Julian, in the same speech, deals with cataphractarii on the Constancius side, but we don't have any other information on it.
And Ammianus, who described the battle of Argentorarum, wrote that on the left wing two roman commanders of cataphractarii died bravely but the two vexillatio (300 horses each) they commanded ran away on contact with the barbarians.
Zozimus wrote that Julian was very upset, but due to the lack of troops, he couldn't punish them as he wanted (like decimatio), but found an another (funny) way : the cataphractarii had to parade in front of all the army... dressed as women !
It seems that the punishment was so shameful that the men were transformed into lions in successive combats ! :-)

Ah, et joyeux Noël à toi ! :merrychristmas:
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Chariobaude  France
 
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Posted by Peter on 29 Dec 2016, 21:57

Great painted figures but also a nice history lesson! Thanks for sharing! :thumbup:
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