Bronze Shield Trim Fragment

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Roman bronze shield trim


Material  Bronze/Copper Alloy
Dimensions 5.5cm long x 1.4cm wide

Thickness: ~0.5mm

Scutum Edge Thickness (measured at nail): 3mm

Roman Empire 1st to 3rd Century AD

A piece of bronze believed to be part of the trim of a Roman shield. One rivet is still intact where it would have secured to the edge of the shield, providing further strength and support.

The bronze is still in good condition and has a nice green patina. This piece is not from a Scutum style Legionary shield as those pieces generally had a trim with small outlying section where the rivets would have attached.  Numerous shields have been found however that only had a straight edge trim, mainly on the flat oval and round shields used in the later empire.  The measurement of the length of the nail/rivet indicate that the shield was approximately 3mm thick at the edge.  This is consistent with other known examples or shield and edgings.

There is evidence that Legionaries and Auxiliaries alike had flat oval shields especially in the later empire when there was far less distinction between the two units. So this piece of trim could have been used by both a Legionary and an Auxiliary on their shield. (1)(2)

-painting by John Warry


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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 88-93 2002

(2) References to similar items: STEPHENSON, I.P; Roman Military Equipment "The Later Empire", page 15-24 2001.

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014