Wed. 27th April: Carthaginian troops and weaponry

Hannibal’s famed Iberian infantry were of two main types: the light infantry, often known as caetrati, and the heavy infantry, known as scutarii. The caetrati were known to have dressed in distinctive V necked tunics with crimson edging, worn ‘sinew’ (leather?) helmets, and carried curved falcata swords and round buckler-like caetra shields. The falcata swords looked like giant kukhris, such as those carried by the Gurkhas, and are meant to be absolutely lethal, working like a combination between a sword and an axe.

The scutarii wore some armour – chestplates or even mail shirts, and carried big shields very similar to Roman scuta (hence their name), and short straight swords, which were made of very strong iron. They reputedly wore black cloaks too.

Getting into the Hannibal frame of mind, I’ve been buying some Carthaginian gear. First to arrive was an amazing caetra, manufactured by the Spanish armoury, Armillum. It looks amazing,I think! Next to arrive will be the hand forged falcata sword, made by Armour Class in Glasgow. I got the template for it from a leading Spanish archaeologist, so it will be the real deal. Given that I ordered this weapon 7 months ago, it’s eagerly awaited!

Note: the lens cap is in place to give a sense of perspective!

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8 Comments

  1. Posted 27 April 2011 at 14:43 | Permalink

    Oh shiny. I love weapons and armour (mostly Roman and Medieaval). Wish I could get me a Roman segmentata set, girl or not. 🙂 Chain mail unfortunately hugs the hips and I have too much hip to hug there, not to mention those other ‘outstanding’ features. 😉

  2. John Salter
    Posted 27 April 2011 at 15:18 | Permalink

    Ben – Looks great. Imagine a few thousand of them coming towards you? Oddly I was looking at my walls at home the other day and wondering what I can move so I can get some more goodies! Just ordered a Roman helmet circa AD40 (haven’t told the missus yet 🙂 though). If she’s good I’ll get her a nice scuta for crimbo and a copy of your new book! She not allowed to read mine because she ruins the covers and spine!

  3. Fabitaromunass
    Posted 28 April 2011 at 10:19 | Permalink

    That looks quite Danish actually. I like that in some ways warfare changed little in thousands of years. When I think of the Mongolian horde I always have to remind myself that it’s late medieval period and not BCE!

    Looks great that, is it pricey getting stuff like that made? Must have been scary to see a pissed off carthiginian wielding that at you who’s just been ordered to push some Elephants over the Alps!

  4. Posted 28 April 2011 at 11:27 | Permalink

    Looks great Ben…you and Mr Scarrow will be trading armour photos at this rate…his “boys room” has some very nice Roman Armour, swords etc..
    I have some Lorica Segmenta and a couple of swords, i would have spent out on shield as well but just no room….same with the armour stand…one day maybe.

    Do you have a nice display area ready?

  5. benkane
    Posted 28 April 2011 at 14:00 | Permalink

    @Gabriele: 😉

    @John: I think I would soil my pants if I saw thousands of them coming at me. Ditto legionaries! Your helmet sounds cool!

  6. benkane
    Posted 28 April 2011 at 14:05 | Permalink

    @fabitaromunass: I agree. A lot of shields remained very similar for centuries. So too did mail shirts. Depends what you mean by pricey – yes, I suppose it is, but the caetra has been made by hand, and is real high quality. It cost £165, including shipping from Spain. The falcata sword in my eyes is a real bargain. A crappy one made by a crappy manufacturer, which isn’t really an accurate replica, costs £200. This tailor made one, made to an archaeological template, by a swordsmith, is £300.

    @Parmenion: no room either, really! No display area either – they just hang out in my office, for me to pick up and wave around when I feel the need 🙂

  7. John Salter
    Posted 28 April 2011 at 16:06 | Permalink

    Those websites are fantastic Ben superb gear and translate into English so I can read them. I can feel my wallet reverberating like Romulus escaping those pesky arrows in the snow! 😉

  8. benkane
    Posted 28 April 2011 at 19:30 | Permalink

    @John: LOL!

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