Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)  (Read 697 times)

IanN

  • Legionary
  • *
  • Posts: 143
    • View Profile
Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)
« on: January 05, 2022, 12:43:00 PM »
Am seeking info on use of Chi-Rho patterns on late Roman shields - specifically the Sub-Roman patterns as per LBMS (below)



I am building a Western Foederate Roman based on the Gallic legions (425-460 CE), which want to extend to the Gallic Roman Foederae (460-480 CE). I am aware that the (early) Gallic Legions had 'regular' shield patterns as specified, but am unsure if these continued during the latter period. Am aware that Constantine introduced the Chi-Rho pattern, and that this was applied on a unit by unit basic.  Have used the LBMS transfers below for some legions and question what time period (apart from sub-Roman British) is appropriate for them
Many thanks

nikgaukroger

  • TWZ Team
  • Imperator
  • *
  • Posts: 3925
    • View Profile
Re: Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2022, 01:45:23 PM »
Whilst beloved of wargamers the Chi-Rho symbol was not in fact much used by the "later Romans" at all - if you look through the Notitia's western shield patters you will see exactly zero use it for example. The possible/probable use of it by Constantine is just documented for 1 battle as I recall.

As far as I am aware the LBMS ones for the post-Roman Brits is not based on anything either other than, maybe, Arthurian mythology.

Personally I have gone with Notitia patterns for my Roman(ised) units in that period on the basis that there could have been continuity but equally you could use pretty much any Roman-Germanic iconography mash-up as equally plausible IMO. There are good arguments that the army that the Gallic Foederate army represents was just a Frankish army anyway ...
"The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

Ambiorix

  • Legionary
  • *
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2022, 05:57:06 PM »
Indeed, I find it personally very sad that LBNS and VVV shield transfers donít pay more attention to the details of the Notitia dignitatum as their transfers are often wrong, confusing legions with auxilia or are sometimes complete fiction.   A real pity as the Notitia dignitatum provides excellent evidence on the roman shield designs and their corresponding units.  Unique in ancient military history, so donít understand why transfer manufacturers donít adhere more closely to itÖ.
 :( :( :(

nikgaukroger

  • TWZ Team
  • Imperator
  • *
  • Posts: 3925
    • View Profile
Re: Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2022, 06:31:21 PM »
IMO at best the Notitia is a guide and not a wholly reliable source - after all the versions we have available are all copies of a Roman original. Not blindly following it is not an issue IMO.
"The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

Ambiorix

  • Legionary
  • *
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: Late Roman Shields (Chi-Rho Symbols)
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2022, 01:25:03 PM »
True, it contains some inconsistencies but it is still based upon primary sources, so why 'make up' new designs if already many hundreds are 'historical' available...