Thursday 14 December 2023

Late Imperial Rome - eastern army

The collection of Late Imperial Roman replaces an older one sold earlier this year. That one had many Germanic figures filling the Roman ranks and would fit well for the Patrician era. Since their sale, I noticed Old Glory remodelled its Late Roman legionnaires and auxilia and I found my interest rekindled. 


The thirty-two elements form two commands, complete with extra elements added for optional choices. Selection of shield patterns and colour schemes were prepared in advance and painting began as soon as the figures arrived. Applique decorations were moulded on the figure making painting a breeze. All legionnaires had crests on their helmets, the auxilia only half. New shield patterns were selected for two elements as these would represent Germanic units (Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome). 

Draco standards were added to the bases of the legionnaires and cataphract. Extra standards were placed with the light horse units, improving their appearance. The Chi-Rho vexillum and purple draco are for the CinC and the ‘victory’ banner, for the second in command. 


The collection represents an eastern army comprising of units selected from the Magister Militum Praesentalis (field army) and Magister Militum per Orientem (frontier army). The Notitia Dignitatum give no cavalry patterns for the eastern army, but, comparing both lists (western and eastern) similar units stationed in both western and eastern armies. These may be the same unit but, representing the senior and junior status of its recruitment. For the cavalry units, I kept the design, but varied the colour combination. 

Source: Notitia Dignitatum

Auxilia Infantry

Legionnaires and artillery

Cavalry and light horse 

Cataphract and Clibanarii

General and sub-general

Army in Battle Array

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