What Did Romans Wear In Battle

What Did Romans Wear In Battle

The Roman Empire and its expanse in the geographical map show that its might must have been formidable. It could be easily termed as the super power of its time. The relatively small kingdom in Europe had not only conquered and annexed its neighboring territories but made cross-continental inroads into Asia and Africa as well. Some two thousand years ago when the technology of communication and aviation was nonexistent, it was the grit, physical valor and disciplined gallantry of the Roman forces that helped them achieve significant victories over their opposition. Since the Roman civilization was fairly developed and remained on the crest for some centuries, there are many different written as well as historical evidence available today which describe their times. The life and other activities during those centuries can be understood from the historical remains and relics that have been excavated from different archeological sites.

Roman battle clothes

The outstanding war victories of Roman soldiers over oppositions explain that they were a better equipped, trained and disciplined unit which made them highly successful. In those days when the wars were mostly fought man to man with traditional swords, spears, and the similar weapons; the battle gear was aimed to provide personal safety from injuries inflicted by these weapons. Importantly, the personal protective gears needed to be light weight to allow free movement to the soldier. The similarity in the forms of personal safety armor between modern uniforms and ancient ones is understandable. Like present times, the safety of head and torso was the main objective. The metal helmets with cheek pieces were mostly used to protect the head and face from wounds. The helmets also had guards in the neck to prevent sword injuries. The different types or variants of helmets used by ancient Roman soldiers like Imperial Helmets, Cool Helmets, Monteferino Helmets, etc. Show that the technology of making improvised safety gears was encouraged in those times. The body armor of the times is similar to bullet proof vests (or jackets) used now. Only it was not as sleek and comfortable as modern vests made from advanced materials. The body armor of the Roman soldiers was considerably heavy, and it was made of metal strips and leather. The armor was made with overlapping iron strips that were hooked or laced in front and hinged at back. This arrangement gave adequate protection to the main body below the neck and also gave sufficient flexibility. The metal strips were held together by strong vertical leather strips on the inside. The specially made battle shoes made of leather and canvas with metal nails in the soles helped the soldier to maintain firm grip and balance. The arm guards and shin guards made of thick clothing with thin metal reinforcements were also common. Two types of leather belts also formed the important part of the battle wear. The baldric was belt worn over one shoulder and was typically used to carry the weapon as the sword. The balteus were the standard waist belt to tuck in the clothing as well as hold weapons.