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Umschlagabb.: Lapis Satricanus (ca. 500 v. Chr.

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STERNBERG, E.CHL. VAN DER VLIETUND R.W. WALLACE Staat und Staatllcbkeltln der frilhen rOmlschen Republlk:
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The Antiquarian Tradition 159

armour correct;3 this is even true of coins. And it was apparently, in

Rome, even possible to collect fine, presumably contemporary weapons
as a connoisseur - or at least so Cethegus claimed in 63 B.C., according to
Cicero, when a cache of weapons was found ·in his house. 4
What of the armour of the past? How much interest was there in
that? In fact the Romans were surrounded by it. Many of them even had
ELIZABETII RAWSON t it affixed to the doors of their own homes. As Pliny says, describing the
houses of great men of old, 'outside the door and by the threshold there
The Antiquarian Tradition were other presentations of these mighty spirits, for enemy spoils ":'ere
fastened to them, which even a new buyer of the house was not allowed
Spoils and Representations of Foreign Armour*
to unfix, and the houses eternally celebrated a triumph even though
they changed their masters'. It may be that generals were only allowed
to affix spoils to their houses if they were granted .,i. triumph; piles of
The Roman tradition about the Early and Middle Republic is extremely
captured arms were a normal feature of the celebration, and. the
complex. There is the role of oral tradition; the limitations of which we
begin better to understand. I am not myself a great believer in the triumphator could do what he liked with his booty. 5 At all events,
reading this passage, and the rest of Pliny's description, of the wax
tabulae dealbatae kept by the pontifices, at least as a major component
masks in the atrium and the stemmata with lines running to painted
of the accounts we have. 1 As soon as histories began to be written. an
portraits, on~ understands very well how, during the Republic, a
awareness of what was expected of this Greek genre must have had a
damnatio memoriae involved the destructions of the criminal's
deforming effect; and in some hands, of course, historiography came to
resort to extremes of artifical elaboration and even invention. But mansions.6
But it was not only the houses of the magistrates, both patrician and
vestiges of the past survived all round the Romans, in institutions and
plebeian, which were made conspicuous among the rest, as Livy makes a
customs, in works of art and other objects, to some extent in documents.
speaker note during the Struggle of the Orders, by the spoils of Rome's
If the Romans wanted to try to reconstruct their past, the material lay to
enemies fastened to the walls.7 (I see little reason to suppose that
hand, and Greek scholars had shown ways of exploiting it. I want to take
a single example that may suggest what was, or could have been done. plebeian magistrates laid more weight than patrician ones on the right
to have their houses. so adorned). He also shows how during the
The ancients were, understandably given the large part played in
Hannibalic War the Senate was replenished from those who had spoils
their lives, and their ideology by war, deeply interested in arms and
fixed to their houses.8 And Polybius is plainly referring to ordinary
weapons. Historians of their own time, like ethnographers, desCribe the
methods of · fighting of peoples with whom they deal - peoples
sometimes that their readers might find themselves facing. (The most 3 For example, from the second century B.C. and Italy, the frieze of battles
notable example of a historian is of course Polybius).2 The visual arts between Roman (or Latin) and Macedonian soldiers recently found by F.
were often concerned with scenes of contemporary warfare, and it is Coarelli at Fregellae; and cf. H. Kahler, Der Fries vom Reiterdenkmal' des
accepted that they frequently go to trouble to get details of arms and Aemilius Paullus in Delphi, Berlin 1965.
4 Cic. Cat. 3,10
5 Plin. N.H. 35,7. See T.P. Wiseman, Conspicuae pastes tectaque digna deo: The
Public Image of Aristocratic and Imperial Houses in the Late Republic and
Frau Dr. Rawson verstarb wenige Monate spliter in Peking nacb dem AbscbluB Early Empire, in: L'Urbs: Espace Urbain et Histoire, (Coll. de l'Ecole franc. de
eines Universitatskurses in China. Die Teilnehmer des Symposiums beklagen Rome 98), Rome 1987, 393. He notes that Prop. 1,16,1~4 suggests that the
zutiefst den Verlust dieser herausragenden Gelebrten, die sie als menschlich wie triumphal procession, laden with spoils, in fact ended at the triumphator's
wissenschaftlich vorbildliche Kollegin in Erinnerung bebal_ten werden. house.
6 Sp. Cassius, Sp. Maelius and M. Manlius, but also apparently M. Fulvius Flaccus
The basic information about spoils is collected by F. Lammert, RE 3A 2, 1929, and Satuminus, not to mention a Mancinus of whom nothing is known. See
1843, s.v. Spolia, and J. Marquardt, R~mische Staatsverwaltung II (3.Aufl.), esp. Val. Max. 6,3,lc; Paul. Fest. 117 Lindsay, s.v. Mancina tifata. Also the house
Darmstadt 1957 (=2nd ed., Leipzig 1884), 560f. I am grateful to members of the in Rome of Vitruvius Vaccus of Fundi, Liv. 8,19,4. 20,8.
symposium for their helpful discussion of the preliminary version of this 7 Liv. 10,7,9. Later, 38,43,10 - a speech - envisages Fulvius Nobilior in 187 fixing
paper. the spoils of Ambracia postibus suis; and Plut. C. Gracchus 15,1 shows Fulvius'
I E. Rawson, Prodigy Lists and the Use of the Annales Maximi, CQ 21, 1971, 158. followers arm themselves with the Gallic spoils in his house (from his victory
2 Pol. 6,22ff.; for an early Roman example, note Cato Orig. frg. 123 Peter - Greek in his consulship, after which he triumphed).
8 Liv. 23,23,6.
shields are round (though all his readers must have known that).
160 Elizabeth Rawson The Antiquarian Tradition 161

soldiers when he speaks of Roman military rewards in general. one of done for the purchaser's immediate personal glory, and the arms were
which is the right to hang up spoils in the most conspicuous position of a thus contemporary ones, rather than in an attempt to provide ancestors
house. 9 Clearly anyone who killed an enemy in single combat after a with res gestae, in which case anachronisms might well occur. Cato's was
challenge - a custom that Dr. S. Oakley has shown in an excellent article of course a period in which claims to· triumphs and other symbols of
was much commoner than usually believecttO - had this right; these are military glory proliferated.1 8
A. Gellius' spolia provocatoria.11 But there were others as well. L. Siccius, When the custom of fixing spoils to one's house began we do not
the 'Roman Achilles', according to Valerius Maximus, took 36 spoils, only know; possibly only in the period around 300 B.C. in which Roman
eight of which were from formal duels ex provocatione. (Miinzer is aristocrats are often now seen as developing various new and more
probably right that the information about Siccius comes ultimately from sophisticated ways of celebrating their own and their family's
some sort of monument, presumably inscribed aitd probably dated far achievements in visible fashion, as Holscher convincingly showed (he
too early by Roman antiquarians and annalists.)12 Promachoi were often, does not however refer to spoils on the houses either of generals or
perhaps most often, members of the elite; but not necessarily always. private soldiers).19 This date is the more likely if Latte is right in seeing
The custom of fixing spoils to one's house was not extinct in the late spoils as having in very early times to be destroyed, because thought of
Republic, at least where triumphators were concerned. Pompey's house as still an actively dangerous part of the enemy .20 In accordance with an
was adorned with the rostra of pirate ships.13 Later, Propertius envisa- old custom they were sometimes burnt on the field of battle by Roman
ges Maecenas, and Tibullus Messana, as adorning their doors with spoils. generals even at quite a late period. HOischer notes, on the assumption
Ovid refers only to the doors of the Princeps;14 and there seem to be no that spoils had originally to be destroyed, that the first Beutedenkmii.ler
later references. It seems probable that this was one of the distinctions, of generals date from the period shortly before 300 B .C. Perhaps then
like a triumph· itself and the right to build grand buildings in Rome from from about this time come the rules, believed by the Romans to be very
one's booty, that was no longer open to generals after the early old, concerning the sacrifices and payments due from captors of various
Augustan period.1 5 Perhaps it was no longer open to ordinary soldiers kinds of spoils; 21 and the habit of hanging them at a door, whether that
either; certainly duels had become rare to say the least. But Suetonius of a temple or a house, has been seen as still having a religious meaning;
bears out Pliny's remark that the spoils attached in early days to private they had to be left outside a peaceful building, and perhaps also
houses survived many masters; in the Great Fire of Rome under Nero, he magically defended it.22 It is thus tempting to suppose that spoils were
notes that the domus priscorum ducum arserunt, hostilibus adhuc spoliis not in Rome fixed to private houses at least before the later fourth
adornatae; few of the families of prisci duces still survived in 59 A.D. century; but in Greece they were certainly dedicated in temples much
Such mansions according to Suetonius were part of quidquid visendum earlier, and the habit of single combat was surely older in Roman
atque memorabile ex antiquitate duraverat until this date.16 Visendum; campaigns too. Of course, the real date of the spolia opima attributed to
we can accept that the Romans looked carefully at these things. Of Cornelius Cossus (in the mid fifth century), let alone those attributed to
course, there could be fraud; the Elder Cato, perhaps as censor, wrote a Romulus, which were at least preserved to be dedicated in a temple, is
speech entitled ne spolia figerentur nisi de hoste capta , 17 and we may uncertain.23
possibly assume that what he objected to was that people were buying
arms for the purpose of adorning their houses; but perhaps this was
18 There were often two or three, once (in 175) four triumphs in a year.
19 T. HOischer, Die Anfil.nge rfimischer Reprlisentationskunst, MDAl(R) 85, 1978,
9 Pol. 6,39,10
!i S. Oakley, Single Combat in the Roman Republic, CQ 35, 1985, 392.
Gell. N.A. 2,11,3
20 K. Latte, Rflmische Religionsgeschichte, Munich 1960, 129, cf. 204-5. Cf. Herod.
8,37,1 - od1e 8'owv for anyone to touch arms in the temple at Delphi (but they
12 Val. Max. 3,2,24; F. Mtinzer, RE 2A.2, 1923, 2189f., s.v. Siccius 3. appear miraculously outside it).
13 Cic. Phil. 2,68 21 Fest. 202 Lindsay, s. v. Opima spolia
14 Prop. 3,9,26; Tibull 1,1,54; Ovid. Trist.3,1,33 22 G.Ch. Picard, Les Trophees Remains, Paris 1957, 122.
l5 W. Eck, Senatorial Self-Representation: Developments in the Augustan Period, 23 See the well-known account in Liv. 4,20,2, with R.M. Ogilvie, A Commentary on
in: Caesar Augustus. Seven Aspects, ed. F. Millar and E. Segal, Oxford 1984, 129 Livy. Books 1-5, Oxford (1965) 1978, ad loc. and on 1,10. (The fresco from
does not mention the possibility. Augustus' touchiness about spolia opima, a Pompeii showing Romulus with the spoils - helmet with three feathers and
special case, is of course notorious; he seems to have been given the right to modelled cuirass, apparently small round shh,~ld - is probably fanciful: V.
dedicate these even though he had not personally taken them from the SpinazzOla, Pompeii alla luce degli scavi nuovi di Via dell'Abbondanza, Rome
opposing general, Cass.Dio 44,4,3. 1953, pl.184, but Plut. Rom, 16 describes statues of Romulus with his spoils in
l6 Suet. Nero 38,2 Rome, and the type may conceivably have been based on what remained in the
17 Cato orat. frg. 97 Malcovati temple of Jupiter Feretrius.) The belief that the Pila Horatia had originally
162 Elizabeth Rawson The Antiquarian Tradition I 63

Whether from the later fourth century or earlier, spoils were influenced· by the introduction of the cult of Victoria to it in 29 B.C. But
certainly dedicated in Rome in temples and public buildings; one need the passage does perhaps bear out that Romans might look at the spoils
only mention, for example, the rostra which gave their name to the in · their temples with a historically or ethnographically interested eye;
speakers' platform in the Forum.24 There is far more evidence of various and one Suspects that the chariots for example might reflect Gallic
kinds, literary (for Rome) and archaeological (for much of Italy as for examples hung up somewhere in Rome. 29
Greece) than we can attempt to collect here. Where Rome is concerned, Greek temples or other public buildings of course were also full of
w.e will for example, when prodigies involve arms in a temple, think of arms dedicated by victors; some striking examples have been turned up
dedications (e.g. Livy 33,26,8 [196 B.C.] ad Monetam duarum hastarum by . the archaeologists. above all the great sanctuaries (notably Olympia),
spicula arserunt.) The temple had been vowed by M. Furius Camillus in and Greek antiquarian sources sometimes note others.3° (Pausanias
the war with the Aurunci, and dedicated in 344. More precisely, mentions the bronze shield of Pyrrhus in the temple of Demeter at
Obsequens says that in 124 B.C. a shield was struck in the temple of Argos, where he died - something travelling Romans would surely have
Iuno Regina; it is significant for the interest taken in these matters that been interested to see.)31 By the Hellenistic perio_d at least people also
the shield is described as Ligusticum.25 Doubtless correctly; this must be sometimes dedicated their Own armour - a practice I think only attested
the temple of Juno Regina near the Circus Flaminius vowed by M. in Rome by the poets, unless in the case of a gladiator.3 2 As the
Aemilius Lepidus cos. I 87 in his battle with the Ligurians and dedicated examples from Olympia. in particular, remind us, it was easy to inscribe
in I 79 - not the great Camillus' temple on the A ventine.26 Perhaps all the names of victor and vanquished on the objects concerned - though
temples in Rome which had been vowed in war and dedicated after a dates, alas, are not found on them.33 Occasionally Greek dedications,
victory - especially after a triumph, in which piles of captured arms frustratingly, only mention the deity concerned and say vaguely 'from
were a regular feature of the procession - had their spolia. the enemies'34 - this no doubt in sanctuaries where 'the dedicators at
U_nfortunately, we cannot take seriously Silius Italicus' description of least were obvious enough. Names of generals or rulers are found, but
the Curia before the Hannibalic War; here, he says, in foribus sacris the Greek cities usually claim victory in the name of their citizens. One
primoque in limine templi there hung captive chariots, the armour of doubts if Roman generals were often so modest, It is worth observing
hostile generals, .battleaxes, perforated shields and other arms, weapons that Fabius Pictor, around 200 B.C., thought it natural that a Roman
still stained with blood, and the bars of city gates; also rostra from the general should wish to inscribe his name on spoils.35 For a later period,
First Punic War, helmets of the Senones, Brennus' sword, Gallic arms Eck has an excellent discussion of the importance laid in Rome on
from Camillus' triumph, Pyrrhus' standards, bristling Ligurian coni honorary inscriptions on buildings and elsewhere,36 and this importance
(helmets or caps), ~ude Spanish parmae and Alpine g a es a. might go back to a considerable degree at least even to a period in other
Unfortunately the first lines are closely based on Virgil's description of respects not fully literate, or at least not very document-minded. For the
the palace of King Latinus in the Aeneid - hence the chariots, battleaxes assumption that spoils would be labelled in some way, one can also turn
and· bars of city gates all come; and one does not suppose that the to Ennius, writing in his praetexta, Sabinae (and thus in a Roman
objects more specifically tied by Silius to particular wars are more context),
genuine; 27 there is no other evidence for spoils in or on the Curia cum spolia generis detraxeritis
(though Messalla's painting of his victory in Sicily was on the outer
waII, 28 and may give us to think), and Silius may possibly have been
29 Dion.Hal. 51,22,1-2
30 A convenient collection of exampleS in A.M. Snodgrass, Arms and Armour of
the Greeks, London 1967, 100, with 141 n.16.
been adorned with the spolia won by Horatius from the Curiatii suggests that 31 Paus. 2,21,4. Compare a nice example from Gaul, Plut. Caes. 26,4: t~e Arvemi
the Romans did believe the exposure of private spoils to be a very old custom. show a sword in a temple as taken from Caesar; his friends urged him to
24 F. Coarelli, 11 Foro Romano I, Rome 1983, 145f. remOve it but he smiled and refused, saying it was sacred.
25 Obseq. 27. 32 Porph. ad Hor. Ep. 1,1,4, the gladiator; Prop. 4,3,71-72 possibly attests dedication
26 For the basic references see S.B. Platner, T.S. Ashby, A Topographical Dictio- by or for returned warriors of their aims at the Porta Capena (with, n.b., a
nary of Ancient Rome, London 1929, s.v. Iuno Regina. subscription). Ovid. Her. 13,50 and 144 does not refer to Rome.
27 Sil. Ital. 1,621ff.; Verg. Aen. 7,183ff. for which cf. T. Wiseman (above, n.5) - 33 See.. n.30.
meant to evoke Augustus' house? (Virgil imagines arms decorating temples 34 J,-L. Zimmermann, La. Fin de Falerii Veteres: Un t6moignage archeologique, in:
elsewhere in the Aeneid: 3,286ff.; 5,359ff.; 11,778. And now Gallus, for Caesarian The J. Pa:ul Getty Museum, Journal 14, 1986, 37 (I owe the reference to Professor
or triumviral Rome: R.D. Anderson, P.J. Parsons, R.G.M. Nisbet, Elegiacs by A. Giovannini), on an unpublished corselet from a Greek shrine in South Italy.
Gallus from Qasr !brim, JRS 69, 1979, 125-55, esp. 138.) 35 Fab-.Pict. frg. 18 Peter
28 Plin. N.H. 35,22; cf. F. Coarelli, II Foro Romano II, Rome 1985, 53. 36 See n.15.
The Antiquarian Tradition 165
164 Elizabeth Rawson
argentariae, and he links this with the reconstruction of the tabernae,
quam inscriptionem dabitis?31 with projecting balconies, or maeniana attributed to C. Maenius, censor
and of course. whatever their real date, the spoils supposedly taken by in 318; he thinks the shields might have been attached as the shops
Cornelius Cossus were inscribed; perhaps even those supposedly faken were finished (actually Livy seems to think they were only brought out
by Romulus (had a reference to the Romans been misread to apply to at festivals).41 This is attractive, but typically bold, and cannot be
Romulus?). Armour was often also inscribed when in use to identify the regarded as certain. That there were shops in the Forum at this period is
owner, normally unobtrusively or at the back; in an amusing tale, however not to be doubted.
Pythagoras had to get a shield from in the . spoils of Troy taken . down But Livy is surely telling the precise truth when he says, v,ery
from a wall in Argos to show that it was marked on the back m the circumstantially, that the spoils of King Cleonymus of Sparta, or a~ least
name of Euphorbus (whom Pythagoras claimed to have been). 38 what were believed to be such - and we have seen that the evidence
Are references to the setting up of spoils by the Roman historians could have been good - were visible within living memory in the old
generally trustworthy, or are they si~ply top~i b~sed on _the frequen~y temple of Juno at Patavium (his own birthplace).42 He also specifi~ally
of the practice? An interesting case 1s found m Livy. As 1t stands, Liv. notes that little remains of -the dedications made by Marcellus the victor
9,40,16, on the gilded Samnite shields he has just described being of Syracuse in Rome (largely or wholly works of art, not arms), and this
divided between the domini of the argentariae (or accordmg to the MSS looks like his own addition to Polybius' account. 43 It is extremely
argentarii) for use in adorning the Forum after a victory of the elder significant that Livy talks of Samnite arms being placed in the temple of
Papirius Cursor in 309, does not inspire great trust. There is an Quirinus, in the Forum, and in the temples and public places of socii and
aetiological story involved - this was the origin of the aediles: custom of coloniae finitimae after the battle of Aquilonia, won in 293 by the
adorning the Forum at festivals of the gods - and there 1s no clear younger Papirius Cursor. 44 The temple of Quirinus was -rebuilt by
suggestion that these particular arms are still used f~r this purpose. ~nd Augustus, after a fire in 49 B.C. mentioned by Dio, 45 but this gives
there may be an anachronism in talking of argentariae (or argentarzz) - plenty of time for a mention of objects there to get into the antiquarian
bankers or money-changers' shops at a date when Rome had apparently and annalistic tradition. In fact it seems likely that the story of the
not yet begun to use coinage. Andreau rather tentatively supposes that dedicaiion of arms by his father is a doublet; father and son could easily
there were argentarii who bought the foreign silver coinage that was not be confused, especially as the son is supposed to have dedicated the
yet current in Rome,39 but it seems doubtful ~f a _who_le row o~ shops was temple vowed by his father, and the Forum is mentioned in relation to
needed for this purpose. However, some deahng m stlver bulhon, and of both men.
course in bronze (there was already a monetary unit in the form of a Did something survive saying (e.g.) L. Papirius de Samnitibus, in the
bronze weight, the as) must have gone on, though the word argentarius temple of Quirinus - and also at the back of a shop in the Forum?
may not yet have been in use. But Crawford is right to stress that Roman Continual shifting about of the shields used for the tabernae on the
. 40
literary sources are extremely confused about ear1y monetary htstory, occasion of festivals would not be good for them. But perhaps there
and a complete mistake is as possible as a mild anachronism. Coarel_li survived traces of gilt; indeed, is this where the obviously exaggerated
notes that Varro in De vita populi Romani 2 (which covered the Repubhc tradition about the Samnites' gilt and silvered arms in Livy comes from?
down to the Pyrrhic War) referred to an increase in the dignitas forensis The gold could possibly have been applied in 309 (or if one takes the
when the tabernae lanienae, butcher's shops or stalls gave way to
41 F. Coarelli, 11 Poro Romano II, Rome 1985, 142ff. There was a fire in 210, Liv.
37 o. Ribbeck, Tragicorum Romanorum Fragmenta (2.Aufl.), Leipzig 1871 (Reprint 26,27,2, which destroyed some of the shops. In the firs_t centu~ B.C. there. were
Hildesheim 1962), v. 279. · scuta Cimbrica on the tabernae novae (at least one pamted wtth a Gaul, C1c. de
38 See n.23 above. Owner's names: note lLLRP 1254, 1255 (helmets). For a later or. 2,266).
period R. MacMullen Inscriptions on Arms and the Supply of Arms in the 42 Liv. 10,2,14: rostra navium spoliaque Laconum. G. De Sanctis, Storia dei Romani
Rom~ Empire, AJA 64, 1960, 23. Pythagoras: Died. 10,6,2. A tempting avenue is II, Florence 1960, 330 n.7, thinks spoils from an earlier defeat of a Greek force,
opened by Zon. 7,21 who says (as do oth~r, very late,. sou~ces) th~t gold crowns, e.g. that of Dionysios I., might be in question, but accepts that Cleonymus is
apparently alone among military decorations, were . mscnbed with the. na~es more probably concerned.
of those who won them. Could this suggest that Livy depends on .ant1quanan 43 Liv. 25,40,3: quorum perexigua pars comparet.
evidence in stories of gold crowns won in the fourth century? It would be rash 44 Liv. J0,46,8; E.T. Salmon, Samnium and the Samnites, Cambridge 1967, 272 n.4,
to suppose so (e.g. 7,37,1: P. Decius' achievement as military tribune, in an doubts this, thinking all the booty was used for the colossal statue of Jupiter,
unpromising context) and it is not clear what happened to a gold crown after Plin. N.H. 34,4'3; but Papirius would not necessarily use all the spoils,
the death of its winner. particularly the items not of bronze, for this.
39 L Andreau, La Vie FinanciCre dans le Monde Romain, Rome 1957, 340ff.; earlier 45 Aug. R.G. 19,2; Cass.Dia 54,19,4; 41,14,3 (but it can hardly have been as disastrous
works (there referred to) were often more sceptical. as Dio says, since Caesar's statue was placed there in 45).
40 M. Crawford, Coinage and Money under the Roman Republic, London 1985, 17ff.
166 Elizabeth Rawson, The Antiquarian Tradition 167

later and probably better date 293); some Romans would have seen the generation, would not help. And one might also think of the frequency of
gilt shields set up on the temple of Delphi by the Athenians in 340/39;4 6 fires and floods. Anyone attempting to reconstruct military history from
but it may date from a later and richer period. spoils would not find the task an easy one.
The account of the younger Papirius' battle and triumph has been Nonetheless, here was a mass of evidence about the warfare of the
much elaborated by Livy's sources; but the doublet suggests that there past, some of it probably going back to quite distant periods. It was, of
really was a foundation for the dedication of arms, which is not an course, evidence for the warfare of Rome's enemies rather than that of
automatic annalistic motif. Rome itself; and also, of course, the great limitation of arms as a source
There are of course very specific notices in Livy for this period of of information, as modern historians know too well, is that they do not
dedications in temples and elsewhere which may come from the early, give more than minimal guidance on tactics.
antiquarianly minded annalists, and which are generally accepted; for The late Roman annalists who are the main sources of Livy and
example, the inscription set up in the Capitoline Temple by the dictator Dionysius are notoriously cavalier about the early warfare. They assume
T. Quinctius, claiming to have taken nine towns in as many days, and that the Roman manipular army of the later second century B.C. was in
Praeneste as the tenth - this was also carefully interpreted by the late operation from the regal period on, and that not only the Romans but
Republican or early Augustan antiquarian L. Cincius in his Mystagogica, their Italian enemies all fought with the long shield or scutum, the
a guidebook (as its name shows) to that and perhaps other temples in throwing pilum and the sword. 51 There are the three ranks of hastati,
Rome.47 The Samriite spoils, in spite of their over-literary context, principes, and triarii; there are cohorts (hardly mentioned even by
should be accepted along with such notices. Polybius), including a cohors praetoria; there are even legati, certainly
Temples fell into decay, or became overcrowded. Unwanted not an early office.
dedications were frequently buried. But Plutarch tells us in his Rom an The antiquarian tradition is a different matter. As I have argued
Questions that spoils (crtc'U~a.) were allowed to disintegrate with the elsewhere, some of the second century historians, notably Cassius
passage of time, and that it was not proper to move or restore them.4 8 Hemjna and L. Piso, drew on antiquarian techniques - topography and
He is perhaps talking of spoils on both private and· public buildings etymology in particular - though with no great sophistication, and
(though we do hear of clipei being taken down from the columns of the perhaps sometimes used inscriptions, as Cato seems to have done (and
Capitol in the early second century and military stand3.rds removed). 4 9 as we know Timaeus, whom they must all have read, did).52 It was only
Disintegrate of course they would, especially iron weapons if exposed to at the end of the second century that the annalistic and antiquarian
the weather, or shields made of wood and covered with leather, as tradition split, which the antiquarians developing the scholarly treatise
Polybius says those of the Romans were; but from the antiquarian's for their discussions, and the annalists on the whole becoming more
point of view this bari on restoration had its advantages. However, it is interested ill rhetoric and, sometimes, political Tendenz, than learned
not clear that all spoils, especially those on private houses, were labelled discussion. I tried, in PBSR 1971, to work out what the antiquarians had
with the name of the victor and/or the vanquished. We should also to say about Roman arms and armour, and how accurate or inaccurate
recall Pliny's stress on the houses' changes of master, remembering that they were.
Roman inheritance customs made the survival of individual pieces of What of the armour of Rome's enemies? What was known about that,
property in the hands of a single family for many generations unusual, and where did the information come from? Well, much of it probably
in the late Republic at least;SO this might lead to the origin of spoils (and came through Varro, who has been seen as, for example, the source for
the interpretation of paintings, etc.) becoming confused. Roman habits of the exotic weapons which Virgil gives his Italians in the Aeneid;53
nomenclature, with the same name and filiation from generation to though I do not think that all this material can come from the digression
in the De gente Populi Romani, dealing with quid a quaque traxerint
46 T. HOischer, Anfiinge (above, n.19), 350, from W. Gauer, Weihgeschenke aus den Romani gente per imitationem, as has been supposed - the Romans
Perserkriegen, MDAI(I), Beih.2, 1968, 261. surely never, for example, borrowed the Teutonic cateia, probably a
47 Liv. 6,29,9; L. Cincius, frg. 11 Funaioli (p. 375) boomerang, referred to in Aeneid 7,741:
48 Plut. Quaest. Rom. 37 Teutonico ritu soliti torquere cateias.
49 Liv. 40,51,3 (179 B.C.). Verres carried off loricas and galeas caelatas opere
Corinthio (and hydriae of the same material) that Scipio Aemilianus bad
dedicated in a temple in Sicily. Cic. Verr. 2,4,97-98; Cicero is shocked at violata 5l E. Raws<fn, .The Literary Sources for the pre-Marian Army, PBSR 39, 1971, 13.
religio, but also at the removal of spolia hostium and monumenta ducum. (The 52 E. Rawson, The First Latin Annalists, Latornus 35, 1976, 689; ead., Intellectual
inscription remained.) Life in the Late Roman Republic, London 1985, 215ff.
SO E. Rawson, The Ciceronian Aristocracy and its Properties, in: Studies in Roman 53 E. Wendling, Zu Posidonius und Varro, Herntes 28, 1893, 335. Cf. N.M. Horsfall,
Property, ed. M.I. Finley, Cambridge 1976, 85. Aclys and Cateia, C & M 30, 1969, 297.
168 Elizabeth Rawson The Antiquarian Tradition 169

The name probably occurred in some historian of Marius' wars; A . of the campaign (both were involved60); but in fact, of course, the
Gellius lists it among various names for weapons found in old reference serves as the sort of precise date there· is little parallel for in
historians.54 But it is far from certain that Varro or another could have Greek inscriptions on armour at least.
seen an actual cateia fastened somewhere on a Roman wall - in or As important, I think, is the matter of the Samnites. Here even Livy
outside Marius' temple of Virtus, or the Porticus of Catulus, which we makes an effort, laying stress on the nature and splendour of Samnite
know was adorned by his Cimbric spoils;55 or even on their houses or weaponry. In 9,40 we learn that the Samnites had long shields, broader
those of some of their men. at the top, and covered with gold or silver, spongia pectori tegumentum,
The cateia is not important ..But Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1,21 tells whatever that may be (a padded corselet?) and a single greave on the
us that at Falerii and Fescennium Argolic shields and spears, in other left- leg. Their helmets were crested, and they wore white or striped
words hoplite armour, survived for a long time. (This, for Dionysius, is linen tunics. Mme. C. Saulnier, in her recent book 'L'Armee et la Guerre
an argument for the surely substantially correct theory that the Romans chez les Peuples Samnites' 6 1 regards most of this as simply wrong,
too once fought in a phalanx). He does not say what his evidence was, though of course helmets with crests of upright feathers are well
and one can think of different possibilities; Fescennium was conquered attested in South -Italian paintings. She believes that the archaeological
by the Romans too early for Dionysius or his source to have had much evidence, both from weapons in tombs and representations, especially in
chance of seeing surviving spoils from it in Rome; but Falerii was finally painted tombs, shows that at the time of the Samnitei;' wars with Rome
reduced only in 241, and armour from this victory may well have been the former were very hellcnized, using round hoplite-type shields and
visible in Rome. Zonaras says that the arms, cavalry, gods and slaves of thrusting spears, though fighting in a more open order than the phalanx
the city were carried off,56 and there was a theory, recorded by Ovid in proper. Certainly Livy explicitly connects his account with the weaponry
the Fasti, that the temple of Minerva Capta contained a statue of thC? of the class of gladiators developed in Campania and known as
goddess taken from Falerii (possibly but not certainly the theory was 'Samnites'. This might have diverged from that used by real Samnites at
based on an inscription),57 Where there other mementos of the same a considerably earlier period - though the name does suggest that the
victory here? certainly very hellenized Campanians thought that the Samnites wore
In fact, the front part of a splendid corselet, of late fourth century different armour from themselves.
Greek manufacture, has now turned up, inscribed But the Roman antiquarian tradition that the Samnites had long
Q LVTATIO CF A MANLIO CF shields and throwing weapons - and indeed that the Romans took over
CONSOLIBVS FALERIES CAPTO this way of fighting from them - is very strong. It is seen for instance in
Zimmermann suggests58 that it could come from a trophy set up on the the attempt to derive the very name Samnite from am5viov; Virgil refers
field of battle (but in fact it seems unlikely that the Romans had yet to the veru Sabellum, and even his Campanians are armed with the
taken over this Greek custom),59 in a temple or a tomb, but that the last aclys, a throwing weapon, sometimes at least fitted with a casting
is likeliest as it is so well preserved. It is probably from outside Rome, strap.62 Indeed the Romans thought that their own pilum was of
but while the Romans might give spoils to allied or other communities, a Samnite origin, though this cannot be precisely right, since nothing at all
non-Roman with their army might also have his privately won spoils. like a: pilum survives, it seems, in the tombs. But Mme. C. Saulnier
Though we might prefer to have a shield, Zimmermann notes that the admits that some of the spears found in tombs may be throwing
use of a Greek corselet fits what Dionysius says about the style of weapons, and that the representations of shields sometimes show them
fighting at Faleri{ well enough. He also suggests that, rather than a as oval (no actual shields survive); and even that sometimes a tomb
proper consul date, we have in the reference to the consuls a description seems to contain only a single greave. I think it remains very possible
that some of the tribes in the interior, less- hellenized than the
54 Gell. N.A. 10,25, 2 Campanians, had armour different from theirs and fought in a manner
55 Val.Max. 6,3,lc. more suited to their rugged terrain. Of course, the literary sources will
56 Zon. 8,18. have exaggerated the splendour of the accoutrements, or generalized to
57 Ovid. Fast. 3,844-5; n.b. littera prisca docet - but this could be a literary source the whole army what only the leaders wore - it was often only the best
(or even an invention).
58 See above, n.34.
59 G.Ch. Picard, Trophc!es (above, n.22), 103ff. Flor. 4,12 says the Romans first set
up throphies (towers with trophies on top) in 121 B.C. One may perhaps accept 60 See T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (MRR) I, New
that it was not an old habit; trophies appear on late second century victoriati York 1951, 219.

(see E.A. Sydenham, The Coinage of the Roman Republic (RRC), London 1952, 61 Paris 1983
44ff.), but they copy Greek types. 62 Verg. Aen. 7,730f. cf. N.M. Horsfall, Aclys (above, n.53).

170 Rawson The Antiquarian Tradition 171

of the spoils that were dedicated to the gods. Or. indeed, as I have (312); did somebody see some spoils inscribed by a Decius in the temple
already suggested, the gold shields derive from the subsequently gilded of Ceres and invent this version?65)
shields - scuta, not clipei, though clipei were what the Romans came to Surviving paintings or other representations were probably also
use for purely decorative purposes63 - put up in the Forum at least, if scrutinized. We know that •antiquarians did look at these. Varro, for
not in the temple of Quirinus and elsewhere. In general, the example, in De lingUa Latina, suggests that ferentarii, mentioned in early
archaeologists seem happy to accept Livy's description; there will soon sources as part of the Roman army, were light cavalry with missiles - on
be much new evidence. the basis of an old painting in the temple of Aesculapius (an early third
Ii is even possible that the Romans were right in supposing that they century foundation).66 Festus knows that the toga picta worn by
borrowed this method of warfare themselves - though if, as I still hold triumphing generals was once just known as the toga purpurea and was
we should, we ,are to take seriously Dionysius of Halikarnassus 20,11, quite plain - sine pictura - because this was how it appeared on two old
possibly from a good contemporary Greek source, which states that the paintings of triumphantes, one of M. Fulvius Flaccus (who triumphed
Roman principes at the battle of Beneventum used heavy thrusting over Volsinii in 264) in the temple of Vertumnus, and one of L. Papirius
spears, then -perhaps only the front rank, the hastati, had changed their Cursor (probably for his triumph in 272) in that of Consus.67 The latter,
weapon by Pyrrhus' time. It will be recalled that Polybius still described if it showed spoils being carried in Cursor's triumphal procession, would
the last of the three rows. the triarii, as armed with thrusting spears in no doubt have shown the armour as distinctively Samnite.- We also know
his own time, or just possibly a little before it. Dionysius 20,1,5, that Roman antiquarians (and probably the often antiquarianly minded
incidentally. refers to 'tfi l;cxuvt'tii5v 0upecx<j)Opqi <j)'Y'fl at the battle of historian Dionysius) looked at the paintings by the first Fabius to be
Asclllum - reliable contemporary Greek corroboration for the Roman called Pictor, in the temple of Salus.68 These almost certainly dated to
antiquarian .belief, or late annalistic uncritical assimilation of Italian to the late fourth century and very probably represented episodes in the
Roman?6 4 Samnite wars - for the temple was dedicated by a victorious general in
If the Romans knew the facts about Samnite armour, how did they 311 B.C. There were no doubt also paintings in the atria of houses once
do so? Oral tradition is not inconceivable; Fabius Pictor might have owned by these generals - or even in their tombs, or in the houses or
known the truth this way, and it is even possible that in his day the tombs- of humbler men.
Samnites, now allies of Rome, kept a somewhat difference appearance And in fact we may have one of these tomb-paintings - the famous
from the Romans, though it is likely that by the second century the fresco from the Esquiline, not mentioned by Mme. Saulnier, which • is
weapons and methods of fighting of Rome and other Italian peoples had probably not later than the middle of the third century B.C. and may
become similar (as the late annalists usually supposed they had always well show episodes from the Samnite wars. Filippo Coarelli reads the
been). But if so, I feel sure that antiquarian evidence also came to be name of what may be an enemy leader as -anio(s) St(ai) f., which could
adduced - surviving weapons in spoils very possibly. notably those at well be Samnite, and argues that the painting bears out Livy strikingly,
the temple of Quirinus and perhaps at others of the numerous temples not only on Samnite use of white (linen) tunics and helmets crested with
to warlike deities vowed and dedicated in these wars; or indeed upright feathers, but even on gilt and silvered arms.69 The Samnite
elsewhere. (There is in fact a curious puzzle here; the De viris illustribus, leaders (or it may be one leader who -is shown twice) has two greaves,
the sources of which are unknown but which often has interesting but an ordinary soldier in · the painting perhaps does not; while one of
material, has a completely isolated statement that Publius Decius Deci the chiefs definitely has a long shield. He seems to have an ordinary
Filius was the first to triumph over the Samnites; spolia ex his Cereri corselet, not the so-called corazza italica made of three circles of metal,
consecravit. According to Livy he was ill in Rome in his first consulate let al0ne anything one could identify as a spongia, but a leader might

65 Vir.ill. 27. For all other sources see T.R.S. Broughton, MRR I (above, n.60), 159.
66 Varro 1.1. 7 ,57
67 Fest. 228 Lindsay.
63 Note clipei dedicated in the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus by aediles from 68 Cic. ·Tusc. 1,4; cf. probably Dion.Hal. 16,3,2 (a fragment appreciative of some old
fines (Liv. 35,10,12); perhaps the gold clipeus of Marcius with the portrait of mural paintings). Dion.Hal. 15,1,4 also ·knows that Valerius Corvus (or Corvi-
Hasdrubal also there (Liv. 25,39,17); and of course the clipei with portraits of nus) was always shown in representations with a bird on his helmet; the whole
his ancestors stuck up Martio exemplo (Plin. N.H. 35,13) by Lepidus cos. 78 on or story of the raven that assisted Valerius in his duel with the Gaul may go back
in. the Basilica Aemilia (and by an Ap. Claudius on the temple of Bellona, either to such a representation, or to a helmet (once owned by a Valerius?)
probably shortly before: N.H. 35,12). Real clipei, of bronze, would last well. with a bird as a crest. I am grateful to Professor C. Ampolo for reminding me of
6-:1, 8'Upcxaaq,o'prp. M.P. Leveque, Pyrrhus, Paris 1957, 280 for the rather confused this case of Valerius.
source position. 69 In: Roma media reppublicana, Rome 1973, 200ff.
172 Elizabeth Rawson
The Antiquarian Tradition 173

well have a more developed cuirass. More recently, however, La Rocca scholarly standards, its attempts at dating objects or inscriptions were
has argued for a possibly later date, and for. a scene involving only usually pathetic; 'old' may mean vir_tually anything. (One wonders what
Romans; 70 this does not explain why the shields vary in colour was the real date of the statue of Aeneas at Alba on which Varro based
(yellowish and bluish, which have been taken to represent gold and his portrait of that hero in the Imagines, apparently thinking it gave
silver), but I doubt anyway if it was yet believed in Rome that the genuine information about his arms and general accoutrements 72 .) We
Samnites had gold and silver shields. can rarely accept the statements of antiquarians unless they give their
If the Romans knew about, and were interested in Samnite armour, evidence explicitly, and often not then; or unless we can bring our own
would they have regularly put their knowledge to use? We cannot say; archaeological or other evidence to bear, as has been possible with the
perhaps they would have. Michael Crawford has argued t~at the well- armour of the Samnites. But they were sometimes correct, and can
known coin of Veturius (no. 234 in RRC, dated to 137 which shows the sometimes help us to get back at least to the fourth and early third
killing of a pig on the occasion of some kind of treaty must refer to ~he centuries, to a period, that is, before the earliest literary evidence.
agreement made at the Caudine Forks in 321 by the consuls T. Vetur~us
Calvinus,71 presumably an ancestor of the moneyer, and Sp. Postum1us I fear this paper has been ·only indirectly relevant to the subject of Staat
Albinus. Crawford supposes that Veturius was alluding to the treaty und _Staatlichkeit. But anything 'that throws light on the military outlook
made by Hostilius Mancinus with the Numantines, similarly under of late fourth century Rome must be of some importance. In particular,
duress, and urging it be kept, by claiming that the Caudine agreement if it "is right to connect with one of the Papirii at least the pro~ision of
was a real treaty, and was kept as such; he was, perhaps, a cousin of Ti. shields to adorn the shops in the Forum, it is interesting to note that
Gracchus, whose honour was bound up with the ratification of the symbols of Rome's military glory - or of the glory of the Papirii (a
Mancinus treaty. patrician family) - are entrusted to persons who are not members of the
The coin shows a figure in armour at the right, presumably a Roman, 6Iite (or presumably clients of the Papirii either) but rather
and one in a sort of kilt on the left, whom Crawford assumes is non-
representatives of the Populus Romanus as a whole.73 Even more
Roman and in fact a Samnite. But if the Romans, perhaps already (or significant is it if, with increasing secularization, the display of personal
still), were aware of what Samnite armour had looked like, wou~d spoils was allowed to private soldiers as well as to great generals at
Veturius not have shown it, and perhaps especially a crested helmet, m about the same time - without, apparently, the Senate having to
a coin meant to refer to 321? Quite apart from the fact that the moneyer authorize it. In general, it will do us no harm to remember that from the
would hardly wish to draw attention to a disgraceful episode in his mid fourth century at latest, wherever one walked in Rome one's eyes
family history, and could hardly hope to get over quite so complicated a would have fallen on reminders of particular wars and victories.
message as Crawford supposes, there are other similar coins of
pigslayings, which certainly do not refer to the Caudine Forks .. There
have been numerous attempts at interpretations, most very fanciful. It
may be· best f:o suppose that in all the coins the unarmed fi?ure ~s the
fetial, the priest who presided, or was supposed to have presided m the
past, over the making of treaties; and . that the c~ins simpl_y evo~e
Rome's fides in the making and keepmg of treaties. Vetunus com
should then not be used in attempts to reconstruct the tradition on the
Caudine Forks.
I do not wish to claim too much credit for the Roman antiquarian
tradition on this or any subject. Among many other failings by modern

70 E La Rocca Fabio o Fannio. L'affresco medio-repubblicano del'Esquilino come

r~flesso dell:arte 'rappresentativa' e come espressione di mobilita s~ciale,
DArch 3a ser., 2, 1984, 31-53, following to some extent A. Alfaldt, Der 72 Lyd. mag. 1,12
frUhrfimische Reiteradel und seine Ehrenabzeichen, Baden-Baden 1952 (repr.
Rome 1979): a ceremony of the distribution of dona miljtaria. E. La R:occa would 73 J. Andreau, La Vie (above, n.39), points out that there is no evidence that early
think St(ati) f. a possible filiation for a Roman, Fanmus, whose famdy was, as argentarii in Rome were Greeks, and some that they were Roman citi~ens; they
the Fannii might be, of non-Roman origin. He has not persuaded all fellow- would be likely to be men of some substance. The same would be true if we take
archaeologists. thC MSS reading and think of domini argentariorum, implying that the men
actually active in the Forum were slaves. Their masters might then even
71 M.H. Crawford, Foedus and Sponsio, PBSR 41, 1973, 1. belong to the elite, though perhaps are not likely to be senators.