Macedonian Shield, or what a difference a clean strike can make!

Image links to entry

RRC 415/1

I was looking for a specimen or three which clearly represent the far left hand figure on the reverse of this type.  (An illustration for my talk in Boulder, CO in March — all about coins, so probably more blog posts to come!)  But here I noticed that at least on this die the trophy has been carved specifically to represent Macedonian armor.  This is made most clear in the tell tale scalloping pattern on the shield.   Numismatists will recognize the pattern from Macedonian coins, both before and after the Roman conquest.  It’s use to represent Macedonian armor is known from both Roman monuments like that of Paulus at Delphi.  Notice the pattern on the shield of the fallen Macedonian and contrast it with that of the Roman rider.

And also from Macedonian self representations:

Image links to Jstor article

Why do I care?  Well because it nicely fits into this idea I keep coming back to about Roman appropriation of the symbols of their defeated enemies.

Update 1/8/16:

Image Links to entry

Here’s another case of a clear specimen making the type more comprehensible.  Notice the two objects on either side of the base of the trophy.  Those aren’t wooden supports (never a feature of the trunk of a trophy)!  They are in fact two more Macedonian shields leaning up against the post. 

Update 5/17/21: “one [is] a small thureos, the other a small buckler, not Macedonian peltai.” – Thanks Paul Johnstono!

This is the same iconographic strategy as that used in RRC 281/1.

Update 10-5-22:

A nice use of a Macedonian Shield on a Campana plaque (relief):


2 thoughts on “Macedonian Shield, or what a difference a clean strike can make!”

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