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Ancient Roman Bronze Militaria Plaque AD200 $29.99

For Customers outside of USA

Handsome Ancient Roman Bronze Militaria Plaque AD 200.

CLASSIFICATION: Roman Bronze Artifacts, Belt End, Armor Scraps (?).

ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Thracia), 3rd Century A.D.

DETAIL: A very handsome plaque containing three pieces of Roman bronze militaria. One of the pieces is clearly the bronze end of a belt or strap of the type commonly used by Roman Legionnaires. The other two pieces also came from the same area – a site where clearly a Roman military outpost was maintained – so it is safe to assume the pieces were likely used by Roman Legionnaires. But exactly what the pieces are and how they were used, whether directly or indirectly in the performance of their duties, is open to various interpretations.

The Roman Legionnaire was by and large a heavy infantryman, and various bronze implements including belts, straps, and bronze plates were not uncommonly employed as armor or accessories. Although the Roman Legions were a magnificent military and political force, they were almost entirely heavy infantry. They relied on foreign “auxiliary” units to add complements of archers, slingers, light cavalry, and light infantry. Most archers, slingers, light infantry, and mounted cavalry were auxiliary units (Cretan, Numidian, Baleric) recruited from Roman Provinces, whereas the heavy infantryman of the Roman Army was armed with short sword, spear, shield, and body armor.

Lower paid than the Roman citizen-soldiers, such auxiliary units were nonetheless permanent units attached to specific Legions. Numidians were used as early as the third century B.C. by the Romans to provide light infantry armed with slingers, bows and arrows, as well as cavalry armed with bows and javelins. Though the Numidians provided both light infantry and light cavalry for the Roman Legions, and in the form of archers, spearman, and slingers; they were most favored for their spearmen. Julius Caesar for instance preferred Baleric slingers and Cretan archers (Baleric from a Mediterranean Island off the coast of Spain; and Cretan from of course Crete). These beautiful bronze fragments of history have been mounted onto an oak frame plaque with a brief narrative outline of the history of the Roman Empire.

It would make a great gift, for yourself or a friend, and would surely delight a son or daughter. It would not only make a very handsome display, but would be very educational as well. As you can see the bronze artifacts evidence only moderately light porosity, and that is really only noticeable under magnification (as in the photo enlargements here). They do not exhibit the gross corrosion or porosity (surface pitting caused by burial) so common with most smaller ancient metal artifacts. The fragments possess a very nice, rich tone characteristic of ancient bronze.

HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.).

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousands years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of “booty” from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before they went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire.

These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price.

Due to its fragile and bulky nature this particular piece is only shipped in an oversized box with lots of Styrofoam peanuts. Domestic shipping is $9.99. Domestic rates include USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). International shipments are $17.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."