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Stratum plus. 2016. No 4

D. A. Kostromichyov (Sevastopol, Crimea)

A Soldier’s Tamga: Sarmatian Stylein Roman Military Equipment

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Pages: 125-138

The paper addresses articles of Roman military equipment decorated with tamga-shaped symbols. The existence of such artefacts testifies to a Sarmatian influence on the Roman army, which was previously documented in tactics of cavalry battle and adaptation of some types of weapons. Tamga-shaped symbols occur on horse harness details and Roman soldiers’ belt fittings, and therefore they should not be interpreted as signs of property of a family or a clan. This is also the reason to understand such artefacts as stylized Sarmatian symbols only. The idea is to term all the artefacts with tamgashaped symbols “the Sarmatian style in the Roman military equipment.” Perhaps, the zone of contacts of the Romans and the Sarmatian tribes where this “Sarmatian style” appeared was either the Lower Danube or the Crimea. The impact of the “Sarmatian fashion” is documented only in the second century AD. It was short-term and therefore did not leave a particular long-lasted tradition of the use of tamga-shaped symbols by Roman military men.

Keywords: Roman Empire, 2nd century AD, Roman army, Roman military equipment, Sarmatian style, tamga, belt, horse harness.

Information about author:

Daniil Kostromichyov
(Sevastopol, Crimea). Candidate of Historical Sciences. The State Museum-Preserve “Tauric Chersonesos”. Drevnyaya St., 1, Sevastopol, 299045, Crimea
E-mail: [email protected]

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