Subject: miles gregarius heavy infantryman
Setting: Marian reforms, late Roman republic 1stc BC
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Bennett 1998 p213
"miles gregarius ordinary soldier of the Roman army who did not have special duties of higher pay. The term coligati ('booted one' or 'footslogger') was a frequently used synonym."
* Fields/Dennis 2014 p28 caption
"Based on a Celtic design, this helmet pattern was basically a hemispherical bowl beaten to shape, with a narrow peaked neck guard, large cheek pieces and an integral crest knob, which was filled with lead to secure a crest pin. The Montefortino was the most successful helmet type ever designed, winning almost total acceptance in the Roman army, where it was used virtually unchanged for nearly four centuries. The curved shape of the helmet helped to deflect sword blows and arrows. Other common features include a rope design around the rim, and pinecone-type patterning on the crest knob."
* Wilcox/McBride 1985 p15
"The Montefortino 'jockey cap' evolved about the beginning of the 4th century BC, the finest examples of these beautiful headpieces being found in Italy although they originated in barbarian Europe. They were to prove extremely popular throughout both Roman and Carthaginian armies. When later versions were mass produced, their quality deteriorated. The helmet was held in place by straps which ran from the neck guard, where they were attached, to metal loops, hooks or studs on the lower part of each cheek guard. Crests were of several types, known examples having several knobs at the apex, metallic branches from a central insert, and hollow finials to accept feather or flowing horsehair plumes. The helmet shell was sometimes fitted with slots or pockets for flat metal 'horns' to be slid into place on either side of the skull."
* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/Larocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p25-26 (Peter Connolly, "Greece and Rome" p20-29)
"[W]e can be reasonably sure that the legionary sword of Caesar's day was very similar to the large numbers of long-pointed swords found in the Rhineland. These are referred to as Mainz-type swords. A Mainz-type sword recently found in the River Saône is probably Caesarian. Mainz-type swords have a blade 20-24 ins/50-60 cm long and 2-21/2 ins//5-6 cm wide, and bear a slight resemblance to the hoplite sword in that the width of the blade increases slightly before tapering to the point, the taper beginning about three-quarters of the way down the blade. The tang is a Celtic-type spike around which the handle is fitted. This normally consists of three pieces: a thick rounded hilt, a grip with four ridges to fit the fingers, and a characteristic bulbous pommel.
"One of the swords found in the Rhine near Mainz has an almost complete scabbard consisting of two pieces of thin wood sandwiched round the blade and clamped together by a semi-cylindrical bronze strip running down either side. The two side strips are held in position by a broad decorated plate wrapped around the top of the scabbard and three cast bronze strips, the upper two of which are fitted about a third of the way down the scabbard and hold the suspension rings. The third one is wrapped around the scabbard where it begins to taper to a point. The front of the scabbard is faced with a sheet of tinned bronze."
* D'Amato/Gilbert 2021 p24
"The so-called gladius hispaniensis, inspired by a combination of Iberian prototypes with Italic traditions, was a double-edged weapon used both for cutting and especially for thrusting when in dense fighting formations, a technique in which the milites were particularly trained. The main characteristic of the original Iberian sword, according to a medieval lexicon attributed to Suda, was essentially the pattern-welding of the blade (lamina), forged in several hard layers of steel." [reference omitted]
* Fields/Dennis 2014 p34 caption