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Roman army by Italery
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Écrit par Jakub Mroczkowski   

Here's nothing new on the earth and rather reflects general truth everybody knows about the Roman Infantry 6021 set; however, it is still the only one worth consideration set that represents roman soldiers of Julius Caesar days and the conquer of Gaul.
Figures are as always well sculpted with full of details and have good anatomical proportions but it lacks one important thing which should be a standard variety of poses, so that's what it might have been a reasonable set is only an "acceptable" one. So I did something unusual here. I decided to take infantry figures (namely 2 of them) out of cavalry set by Italeri (6028 - Roman Cavalry) joining them and treat as one to give deeper insight into roman infantry of those days.
The late republican army underwent a major changes in character, structure and appearance due to Marius reforms at the end of 2nd BC. The man who is responsible for the saving Rome from the hands of Germanic raiders Cimbri and Teutones, reformed roman legion making them fully professional army opened to all Roman citizens.
Traditional divisions between velites, triarii, principes and hastati disappeared for ever. Those who were willing to join the army and serve for 15 years or more as heavy infantrymen were given equipment, food and daily money. Eventually they were given a piece of land to settle down after finishing service and having enough luck to survive 15 years of constant battles and wars.
Italeri set aspires to depict such professional army of those "hot" days. A new model army was standardized in terms of equipment. As heavy legionaries soldiers were equipped in the best body protection of those days used previously only by the richest: chain mail also known as lorica hamata with a specific reinforcement of the shoulders.



A typical head gear was cheap, mass produced Montefortino type of helmet made of bronze. It had cheek pieces, small neck guard and a horsehair plum on the top.



Soldiers remained traditionally protected by large oval shield called scutum made of two or three layers of wooden strips covered with hide. It was reinforced with tape kind of boss and wooden spine in the middle.



Each soldier was equipped with two types of javelins known as pilum, a heavy and a light one. They were thrown on the signal at enemies from the distance of about 20 steps before final hand to hand combat. Pilum was made of wooden shaft and long iron head (1/3 length of the whole javelin) with a small and sharp tip.




Some say it was so long so that it could overweigh the enemy's shield but it was long enough to pierce the shield and kill a person hiding behind it - effective and fearful weapon.



When javelins were thrown it came time for close combat when short swords were the best for men fighting arm to arm, shield to shield. Everybody knows famous gladius, short and light but effective and sharp used for cutting and thrusting. Deadly weapon that gives Rome dominion over millions of people for hundreds of years (excluding the late Rome when spatha was seeing its triumph ... at least sometimes).



It was found in 4 main types: Gladius Hispaniensis, Mainz, Fulham and Pompei. It is hard to tell for sure which one is represented in this set but it could be Fulham as an evolution point between Mainz an Pompei or Pompei itself as it has parallel edges and triangular tip.
It was usually worn on the left side but in one case a soldier has it on the right which is inappropriate.



Each legionary was equpipped with a standard feet protection - sandals called caligae. A solid leather shoe with a long calf protecting ankle and a sole reinforced with iron or leaded nails.




The set includes a single figure of a signifer, cornicen and centurion.
A signifer, or standard bearer, was one of NCO officers. Here he is carring a signum. His head was covered with an animal skin such as lion, panther, wolf or bear.



A cornicen was a musician whose main job was to signal orders while on the battlefield using a horn called cornu made of bronze.



A centurion was an officer in charge of centuria (80/100men depending on time) and bigger units with higher rank. His distinctives were parts of his amour. An elaborated iron/bronze helmet (imperial gallic - in this case ) with a crest turned perpendicular to the front made of horshair or feathers.



Another distinctive was his body armour -lorica squamata- a scale armour made of iron or bronze. He also carried a small vine staff called vitis, a symbol of his rank and a tool to punish disobedient soldiers. He used to wear greaves on his legs and a sword on the right side unlike usual soldiers.