AR-052, Roman Tribune!!!!!???????????
Saw this guy but was too tired (lame?) after watching T:TSCC last night to make a post. However, do have a few thoughts on it:
1st, their "potted history" of a Tribune is somewhat skewed and cockeyed!! Tribunes were of two classes -- especially in the Legion. There were six. One was a rather young man, often not much more than 18, and of senatorial rank; the tribunus laticlavius
, literally the "broad-striped officer" who was nominally second in command of legion. Five more were tribunus angusticlavius
, literally the "narrow striped officer" of equestrian rank who served as legionary staff officers but who could also take temporary independent commands as directed by the actual legionary commander, the legatus legionis
, who was himself a senator. Normally a tribunus angusticlavius
would have already held some administrative post or posts in the civil administration of a major (or minor) city, or of a province, and would also have successfully commanded a cohort of auxiliary infantry of about 500 men as a praefectus cohortis
. If successful, he could hope to advance praefectus alae
, commander of a cavalry unit of about 520 men. Most officers would, after another civil job somewhere, and if his fitness reports were adequate, achieve the tribunum militi
. Messala, the villain in Ben Hur
was a tribune of a legion ostensibly serving in Judea. A truly gifted officer could hope (sometimes after another one of those civic jobs) to advance to the coveted job of tribune of a cohors millaria
of 800 auxiliary infantrymen, or even better of a cohors equitata millaria
consisting of 760 foot and 240 horsemen, and if truly lucky or gifted, or both, to be tribunus equitum
, cavalry commander of a 720-man alae millaria
. Such an officer would be truly remarkable among his peers, as there were only 11 (or 13?) of these in the whole empire! One was stationed in Britain, on Hadrian's Wall.
2nd, as to the figure, almost every piece of gear would appear to be a "rehash" to one degree or another of kit already issued with other figures. For example, his Attic helmet changes only the black horse-hair crest coming on the yet-to be seen new legionary for red (rumor has it the new legionary will ship today -- the 14th -- from some vendors, tho' this we shall see!). His corslet is surely the same plastic one issued with Caesar, repainted in "iron" with gilded vice blue (yuk!) fixtures. I must inject here I am not happy with the Caesar corslet, as it does not hold up well to handling -- I have broken one of the internal "locks" that keep it joined!! Too fragile!!!
Though a modification of the ptereges
that came with the first Centurion, it seems these are a major modification. They've removed the frilly fringe and replaced that with studs (brads no doubt). In addition to making this set a double-layer as already noted, it also seems they've added tabs at the "waist," just below the rim of the corslet.
3rd, what the HECK a "Tribune" is doing brandishing a Centurion's "vine stick" is beyond me!!!!!!! :sadshake But I have several Centurions who lack theirs (the first two didn't come with one after all, so that will address a fault).
4th, when more information is released by IGNITE it will be interesting to see if he comes with anything else? The bog-standard Roman spear and/or pilum perhaps? And a shield? And if so, which shield?
For now, I confess I am happy. No need now to go chasing specifically after any parted-out Attic helms from the new legionary. The officer that should be wearing them will be coming eventually!! I must say I am tempted (if I thought I could) to cancel my pre--order for several legionaries, as now, the officer(s) I intended to create by kit-bash will be here SOME time between now and next Christmas!!! :lol
Here is an old card I obtained in the UK many moons ago. While a few fine points of detail may be held outdated by some archaeologists today (not that I am aware, but always safe to hedge one's bets! :lol), it still shows a legionary command group quite nicely.
The two officers in the background are tribunes; that on the right the artist rendered as being a tribunus laticlavius
. The two in the foreground are the Legate, and the primus pilus
. Contrary to HBO, the thinking amongst most historians is that term means something like "first pillar," not "first spear." This has to do with a lengthy discussion of the derivation of the term "Hastati" (literally "spearmen") for the guys in the front ranks of Republican legions vs. Carthage, men throwing the proverbial Roman "pilum," and the guys behind them, especially the "Triarii," who WERE "spearmen," not having such a title instead.
In brief, the earliest known use of the word hasta
is by Ennius (d. 169BC), and he was speaking of a throwing not thrusting weapon. Therefore the hastati
carried hasta velitares
, while the rear ranks carried thrusting spears, hasta longae
. It is thought that "pilani" means, in this context, "pillar" or "column" as the triari
were also called pilani
, meaning they marched at the rear of the column... The PP
was the senior centurion of the legion, and his position had derived from being the senior leader of the senior-most troops of the old republican legion. The most successful of these would aspire (and achieve) the coveted post which was the de facto
if not de jure
second in command of the legion, the praefectus castrorum
, or "camp prefect." As the title suggests, they had by then achieved through graft & corruption, or hard work (or both!), the necessary property qualification to be elevated into the ranks of the equestrian order (if they had not started out as such, as some centurions did).
Now, who would not want a figure like THIS guy from IGNITE!!??? :thumb