In the military of classical antiquity, a clipeus (Ancient Greek: ἀσπίς) was a large shield worn by the Greek hoplites and Romans as a piece of defensive armor, which they carried upon the arm, to protect them from the blows of their enemies. It was round in shape and in the middle was a bolt of iron, or of some other metal, with a sharp point.The clipeus was more-or-less identical to the earlier aspis.
Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.
An aspis, sometimes also referred to as a hoplon, was the heavy wooden shield used by the infantry in various periods of ancient Greece.
Pliny the Elder also describes the custom of having a bust-portrait of an ancestor painted on a clipeus, and having it hung in a temple or other public place. From this round bas-reliefs in a medallion on sarcophagi and in other forms are known as clipeus portraits.
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of emperor Vespasian.
The clipeus was used by Romans during Roman Kingdom and early Republic but was replaced by the legionary scutum , a convex rectangular shield, in the later Roman Republic. However, the scutum disappeared during the Crisis of the Third Century. All troops adopted the auxiliary oval (and sometimes round or hexagonal) shield ( parma or clipeus).Shields, from examples found at Dura-Europos and Nydam Mose, were of vertical plank construction, the planks glued, and faced inside and out with painted leather. The edges of the shield were bound with stitched rawhide, which shrank as it dried improving structural cohesion. It was also lighter than the edging of copper alloy used in earlier Roman shields.
The scutum was a type of shield used among Italic peoples in antiquity, and then by the army of ancient Rome starting about the fourth century BC. The Romans adopted it when they switched from the military formation of the hoplite phalanx of the Greeks to the formation with maniples. In the former, the soldiers carried a round shield, which the Romans called a clipeus. In the latter, they used the scutum, which was a larger shield. Originally it was an oblong and convex shield. By the first century BC it had developed into the rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield that is popularly associated with the scutum in modern times. This was not the only shield the Romans used; Roman shields were of varying types depending on the role of the soldier who carried it. Oval, circular and rectangular shields were used throughout Roman history.
A parma or parmula was a type of round shield used by the Roman army, especially during the later period of imperial history since 3rd century.
Dura-Europos, also spelled Dura-Europus, was a Hellenistic, Parthian and Roman border city built on an escarpment 90 metres above the right bank of the Euphrates river. It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in today's Syria. In 113 BC, Parthians conquered the city, and held it, with one brief Roman intermission, until 165 AD. Under Parthian rule, it became an important provincial administrative center. The Romans decisively captured Dura-Europos in 165 AD and greatly enlarged it as their easternmost stronghold in Mesopotamia, until it was captured by the Sasanian Empire after a siege in 256–57 AD. Its population was deported, and after it was abandoned, it was covered by sand and mud and disappeared from sight.
The Clipeus virtutis, Latin for "shield of bravery", was awarded to Augustus for his "courage, clemency, justice and piety" by the senate and displayed in the Curia Julia.
The Curia Julia is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC, when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla's reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. Caesar did so to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and the Roman Forum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the Senate and cleared the original space. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theatre of Pompey, where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar's successor, Augustus Caesar, in 29 BC.
Imago clipeata is a term in art usually used in reference to the images of ancestors, famous people or deceased on round shields. In the Roman world they were used to depict the ancestral family tree in patrician houses of the Republic as described by Pliny.
Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Hoplite soldiers utilized the phalanx formation in order to be effective in war with fewer soldiers. The formation discouraged the soldiers from acting alone, for this would compromise the formation and minimize its strengths. The hoplites were primarily represented by free citizens—propertied farmers and artisans—who were able to afford the bronze armour suit and weapons. Hoplites were not professional soldiers and often lacked sufficient military training. However, some states did maintain a small elite professional unit, known as the epilektoi ("chosen") since they were picked from the regular citizen infantry. These existed at times in Athens, Argos, Thebes (Greece), and Syracuse, among others. Hoplite soldiers made up the bulk of ancient Greek armies.
A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat.
The pilum was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about 2 metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 millimetres (0.28 in) in diameter and 60 centimetres (24 in) long with a pyramidal head. The shank was joined to the wooden shaft by either a socket or a flat tang.
The phalanx was a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar pole weapons. The term is particularly used to describe the use of this formation in Ancient Greek warfare, although the ancient Greek writers used it to also describe any massed infantry formation, regardless of its equipment. Arrian uses the term in his Array against the Alans when he refers to his legions. In Greek texts, the phalanx may be deployed for battle, on the march, or even camped, thus describing the mass of infantry or cavalry that would deploy in line during battle. They marched forward as one entity.
The limitanei or ripenses, meaning respectively "the soldiers in frontier districts" or "the soldiers on the riverbank", were an important part of the late Roman and early Byzantine army after the reorganizations of the late 3rd and early 4th centuries. The limitanei, unlike the comitatenses, palatini, and scolae, garrisoned fortifications along the borders of the Roman Empire and were not normally expected to fight far from their fortifications.
Bucellarii were formations of escort troops used in the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. They were employed by high-ranking military figures or civil office-holders. The word is derived from the type of bread rations eaten by these troops, so-called buccellatum. The term bucellarii came into common use during the reign of Emperor Honorius.
Roman military personal equipment was produced in small numbers to established patterns, and it was used in an established manner. These standard patterns and uses were called the res militaris or disciplina. Its regular practice during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire led to military excellence and victory. The equipment gave the Romans a very distinct advantage over their barbarian enemies, especially so in the case of armour. This does not mean that every Roman soldier had better equipment than the richer men among his opponents. According to Edward Luttwak, Roman equipment was not of a better quality than that used by the majority of Rome's adversaries.
The Shield of Heracles is an archaic Greek epic poem that was attributed to Hesiod during antiquity. The subject of the poem is the expedition of Heracles and Iolaus against Cycnus, the son of Ares, who challenged Heracles to combat as Heracles was passing through Thessaly.
A javelin is a light spear designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a ranged weapon, but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the bow and arrow and slingshot, which shoot projectiles from a mechanism. However, devices do exist to assist the javelin thrower in achieving greater distance, generally called spear-throwers.
The Goths, Gepids, Vandals, and Burgundians were East Germanic groups who appear in Roman records in Late Antiquity. At times these groups warred against or allied with the Roman Empire, the Huns, and various Germanic tribes.
In modern scholarship, the "late" period of the Roman army begins with the accession of the Emperor Diocletian in AD 284, and ends in 476 with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus, being roughly coterminous with the Dominate. During the period 395–476, the army of the Roman Empire's western half progressively disintegrated, while its counterpart in the East, known as the East Roman army remained largely intact in size and structure until the reign of Justinian I.
The East Roman army refers to the army of the eastern section of the Roman Empire, from the empire's definitive split in 395 AD to the army's reorganization by themes after the permanent loss of Syria, Palestine and Egypt to the Arabs in the 7th century during the Byzantine-Arab Wars. The East Roman army is the continuation of the Late Roman army of the 4th century until the Byzantine army of the 7th century onwards.
The palatini were elite units of the Late Roman army mostly attached to the comitatus praesentales, or imperial escort armies. In the elaborate hierarchy of troop-grades, the palatini ranked below the scholares, but above the comitatenses and the limitanei.
Triarii were one of the elements of the early Roman military manipular legions of the early Roman Republic. They were the oldest and among the wealthiest men in the army and could afford high quality equipment. They wore heavy metal armor and carried large shields, their usual position being the third battle line. They were equipped with spears and were considered to be elite soldiers among the legion.
Roman cavalry refers to the horse-mounted forces of the Roman army throughout the Regal, Republican, and Imperial eras.
The Late Roman ridge helmet was a type of combat helmet of Late Antiquity used by soldiers of the Late Roman army. It was characterized by the possession of a bowl made up of two or four parts, united by a longitudinal ridge.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the vice-chancellor known as the delegates of the press. They are headed by the secretary to the delegates, who serves as OUP's chief executive and as its major representative on other university bodies. Oxford University has used a similar system to oversee OUP since the 17th century. The Press is located on Walton Street, opposite Somerville College, in the suburb of Jericho.
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