Roman Playmobil Fun
One of the features of the exhibition in the LWL Roman Museum in Haltern am See was the display of three legions of playmobil Romans spread all over the museum. The 15,000 figures were to demonstrate the number of Romans marching through the German forests towards their doom.
LWL Museum, Haltern
A part of the Roman army on the march can be seen in the middle of the photo (the red guys in the background), another in the upper part (blue ones) - both on boards suspeded from the ceiling. The greater part of the marching column walked on boards above eye height and was a bit tricky to photograph. I managed to get some acceptable closeups, though.Some legionaries
We are Marius' Mules, one, two, three, and a-marching we go.
Sometimes also called Caesar's mules, but it was the consul Marius who standardized the Roman soldier's marching gear during the wars against the Cimbri and Teutones, another bunch of unruly Germanic tribes.Legionary cavalry
Heh, you sorry footsloggers. We have horses, neiner, neiner.
Each legion had 120 cavalry soldiers, but overall the Romans relied on auxiliary cavalry from conquered or allied countries.Part of the train
A legion on march had a train, mostly consisting of the larger baggage, the official families of the officers and sometimes the inofficial families of the soldiers (who were not allowed to marry), and provisions.Poor sod
Some of the Playmobil soldiers got lost on the way, like this poor guy. Twisted his ankle when he stumbled over one of those damn tree roots.
There was a game for the kids who visited the museum to find all the stray figures.Special polishing duty
Damn, how many of those helmets are
there and why did I piss the centurion off again?
Romans soldiers had a lot of work to do besides walking (and sometimes fighting), like cleaning their armour, cooking, and digging trenches for the camp. Digging ditches
Is that ditch no. 287 or 288? They never told us about that
when they recruited us for the great of Rome and fame and regular pay.
Romans erected a fortified camp with trenches and palisades every night on a march, and they even did it the first night of the Varus battle, which says a few things about Roman disciplinePlaying at dice
We should hide behind the tent. If the centurion sees us, it's polishing helmets again.
Dice was the most popular game, but there were also more strategical ones like nine men's morris or one a bit like backgammon.Roman potter
If Gaius Incitus breaks another oil lamp, he can sleep in the dark. Or buy a bronze one, provided he wins
at dice for a change.
Repair of armour, weapons and other items was mostly done in the forts, but there were always soldiers with special skills who could do emergency repairs on the march. They were called immunes
because they were exempt from some of the regular soldier's duties, like digging.Aquilifer
Oops, where is my lion hide?
I suppose Playmobill doesn't produce those, but the aquilifer
, the bearer of the legionary standard, was dressed in a lion fur with the headpiece over his own head. I've yet to figure out where that custom comes from.More Roman soldiers
Another closeup of some marching legionaries with their pack mules. Every contubernium
, a group of eight soldiers who shared a tent and cook fire, had a mule for the larger items the men didn't carry themselves, like tent poles and the portable millstone to prepare the daily grain ration.
I was tempted to buy a Playmobil soldier in the museum shop, but managed to resist.