My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology


29.1.09
  The Centurion Found the Stones

And poor Gaius Numerius and Quintus Didius are back at work.

The wine has not been found, but an investigation about the illegal trade of Roman weapons has been started. It could take some time, though, and the culprits will most likely be back in Rome by then and produce some evidence supported by high ranking patrons that they never did anything wrong.

As far as I know, the Roman army was the only one that regularly tasked the soldiers with building forts and border defenses or constructing roads. They also never entrusted the auxiliaries with those jobs. Made by Romans meant something back then. :)

Copyright of the comic unidentified.
 
Comments:
Heh heh - fun cartoon!
 
Great cartoon.
Colleen McCullough makes much of the legionaries' experience of digging in her Rome series, where it's a sort of standing joke between Caesar and the soldiers.

I have a vague idea that the Assyrian army had a engineering division. Maybe it only did sieges and not infrastructure.
 
Yeah, Caesar had a liking for dikes and earth walls.

Edward II would have thrived in the Roman army more than on the English throne. Lots of digging, pretty boys, and no Isabella. :)
 
Didn't the Romans disapprove of "Greek" practices, though? Or was that more in theory than in practice?
 
Depends on the period, Carla. It was not well tolerated in the Late Republican and Early Imperial army, but later, when Hadrian openly lived with a boyfriend, I suppose it was less of an issue.
 
Ergh, you go away for a while and this is what you miss!

Love the cartoon. Poor boys. They deserve an extra ration of cervesa for their efforts. If that's not gone missing too, that is...
 
Knowing that army staff, I'm afraid the cervesa is missing, too. :)
 
I think any army would expect a fair amount of digging, to be honest, they don't equip you with an entrenching tool (trowel) as standard for no reason and most war memoirs I've read involve a fair amount of `digging in' for improvised cover. The full-scale fortification is a bit less usual, but even then, the forces Edward the Elder used in his tenth-century reconquest of the Danelaw operated largely by moving into an area and throwing up a fortress till the Danes rolled back to somewhere safer, as far as one can tell from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. I don't know that they were supposed to last, but then the average Roman marching camp wasn't either, am I right? Hadrian's Wall is a bit of a different matter of course but the same sort of duty.
 
Hi Jarrett, the average Roman marching camp was indeed a short term structure that would leave few traces behind (though they have recently discovered one near the Porta Westfalica) and the Romans took the palisade timbers with then. A structure like Hedemünden was a intended to last a bit longer, so the walls and trenches were on a larger scale, and there are stone foundations for some buildings, probably the granaries and maybe the headquarter. The size and the fact there are camps on both sides of the river, plus the use over several years, makes Hedemünden something in the way of a summer camp (I use it as Varus' summer camp in my novel).
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
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I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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