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Roman Armor- Changes Over Time, Place, Purpose?

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Rome throught the years has had lots of cool armor designs. Scale, chain, bands. I was wondering if these armor types were divided amongst troops based on their role, or was it just the 'fashion' or 'style' of the time?

 

Also, when I think of the Roman army, I imagine everyone in the same armor. Were there variants for light infantry, cavalry, or heavier infantry?

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Rome throught the years has had lots of cool armor designs. Scale, chain, bands. I was wondering if these armor types were divided amongst troops based on their role, or was it just the 'fashion' or 'style' of the time?

 

Also, when I think of the Roman army, I imagine everyone in the same armor. Were there variants for light infantry, cavalry, or heavier infantry?

Not just the fashion of the time, but much depended on cost and availability as well. There is the misconception that Segmentata was the only armor used in the imperial period, or that there was complete uniformity throughout the legions. In the east, Mail and Scale were still widely used. Auxilia, of course, could be equipped according to their cultural identity, and also by time period. Roman armament was much less uniform than is generally depicted.

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Roman armament was much less uniform than is generally depicted.

But at the same time more uniform than most armies would ever be, which is why it is conceived as uniform today.

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Yes, I meant uniform as an entire military. One particular legion in Germania was very likely to be similarly equipped between soldiers. Another legion in Syria may have a completely different style (ie hamata vs. segmentata) but most of the legion would be equipped with the same gear.

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When I see a mental picture of a roman legionare I see the good old picture the segmenta armor but also that the cloth is red. Almost all pictures I have seen on reenactment events they also have red cloth. What does the color of the cloth mean to the roman soldier?

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