Friday, August 10, 2012

A Roman Saga III

Still shovelling down the backlog, up goes the third – and up to now, last – 'Warrior' unit of my growing SAGA warband.

These are rather uniformed troopers, in that most of their equipment is dyed or painted blue (achieved here with Foundry's Deep Blue, highlighted with Sky Blue of the same brand, and a favourite combination of mine). According to Graham Sumner's research this colour was probably attributed to naval troops. However, given the models' rather heavy armour (chain mail, greaves, breastplates), they are not very well adapted to rowing themselves into battle - like the 'marines' onboard a navis lusoria (kind of a patrol boat) would have had to do. So, that might be a theme for another unit…

This unit was more or less created around their shield design. The fancy image of god Mithras simply had to be included here, for it captures a distinct aspect of the 3rd century. Eastern deities had been 'imported' to Rome since the Republican era (to name but the cult of Kybele). However, their popularity was increasing during the 2nd and 3rd century, as soldiers engaged in more or less continuous campaigns against Persia were constantly exposed to oriental culture as well. Somewhat predominant became the cult of Mithras, a mixture of different religious traditions, Jewish-Christian ones among them. Its followers (males only) were organised in fraternities with a strictly hierarchical rank system – which obviously appealed to soldiers in particular. Perhaps such committed communities showed their allegiance by decorating shields and other equipment with religious imagery as portrayed here.
There is some individual evidence, but nothing to support a uniformed design. Whatever the truth, I quite like the look of it.

Painted July 2012. Miniatures by A&A Miniatures. Decals by Little Big Men Studios.


Brummie said...

Stunning work. nice bit of history as well thanks!

Dalauppror said...

Lovely paint job !!!

Will work nice for Dux Britanniarum to, the optional rules for continental eurpoe seting in the summer special was god.

Best regards Michael

Scion of the South said...

Breathtaking... and inspiring. TY

BigRedBat said...

I really love the subtle differences between each mini.

Cheers, Simon

Cyrus said...

Superb Middle Imperial Romans!

Rokurota said...

Great Work!

The Kiwi said...

The shields look amazing. The blue works really well.

I.Soloviev said...

great paintjob!
very inspiring blog.

if you're interested, follow me

Bedford said...

Fabulous stuff!

Just tell me the shields aren't hand painted?

Great bit of background too.


Bluewillow said...

fantastic work!



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