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40761.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 2:17 am Reply with quote

Trajan’s Column is a record of Emporer Trajan’s conquest of Dacia and is just about the best record we have for a great deal of the detail regarding Roman military equipment and methods (armour, kit, ‘flat-pack’ wooden forts etc.)

Dacia was located roughly where modern day Romania is.

Trajan's Column is a monument in Rome raised by order of emperor Trajan. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum. Finished in 113, the spiral bas-relief commemorates Trajan's victory in his military campaigns to conquer Dacia. See Dacian Wars.

The Dacian Wars (101-102, 106-107) were two short wars between the Roman Empire and Dacia during Emperor Trajan's rule.

gerontius grumpus
40927.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 2:44 pm Reply with quote

The Tropaeum Traiani at Adamklissi gives a more accurate portrayal of the soldiers on campaign in Dacia. It shows how they had to adapt to the Dacian style of fighting, in particular the use of the falx.
Legionaries are shown wearing long mail or scale armour and segmented armillae and greaves.
Quite interestingly, not a single example of lorica segmentata is shown.

41004.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:29 pm Reply with quote

OK! I guess that's got the makings of a QI question then!

Even if this turns out not to be the case I'd be interested so be a sport gg and post a source (maybe the big print starter version for the until recently totally bewildered), the Wiki entry appears to be in German so it's not much use to me. There's

but it's not specific about what's depicted in the reliefs.

gerontius grumpus
41190.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:54 pm Reply with quote

Trajan's column is a magnificent piece of classical sculpture depicting slightly stylised soldiers of the Western Roman army on campaign. It provides a lot of evidence for general field manoeuvres.
The Topaeum Traiani is thought to have been made by army sculptors and the artwork is inferior but the depiction of armour and equipment is superior.

The Dacians' main weapon was the falx, a long curved sword or polearm with which they could lop off the arms and legs of their opponents, hence the extra modifications to the legionaries' body armour.

gerontius grumpus
41227.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:21 pm Reply with quote

The Dacian king at that time was another D, Decebalus.
His oppidum was Sarmizegetusa.

42807.  Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:22 am Reply with quote

I knew about the falx and the later falchion but I wonder if I 'know' to the extent I believe I do. A recent depiction of the falchion that I have seen shows the falchion as being shaped like a vertically extended D (ie heavy bladed but with a pointy bit at the top) but I believe that the falx blade was shaped like that of a naginata but with the ground edge on the other side of the blade. If you're unfamiliar with the naginata blade shape it's like an inverted j, in the case of the falx the inner curve of the j would be sharpened.

Are there a variety of falx shapes? Is the heraldic falchion shape simply that* and the more machete-like, front heavy falchion shape closer to a falx (whilst still being different in several regards)? Is the falx you are familiar with closer to a khopesh than a falchion? The description of the khopesh as being an extended military form of the sickle would seem to suggest this.

The above shows a number of illustrations and a modern replica which indicate that I'm on the right track but it cites Trajan's column for the variety of shapes and I was wandering if you had better knowledge in this regard.

*It seems that I'm right and that I can confirm the heralds must have heard of falchions but never actually tried to used a short handled D shaped weapon.

Last edited by Celebaelin on Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total

gerontius grumpus
43161.  Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:45 pm Reply with quote

Roman inscriptions seem to depict two kinds of falces, the sword-like falx which resembles an elongated billhook and the polearm falx which is similar to a modern slasher.


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