Roman legionary. Second Dacian war, c.105 AD
Trajanus ascended the throne in 98 AD. A vigorous soldier-emperor, he was to extend the empire to its greatest extent with special emphasis on the Danube frontier where the campaigns of his predecessor Domitianus had cost many casualties including the total loss of two legions. In 101-102 he led ten legions in an offensive which ended with agreed terms and garrison planted in Dacian territory (the modern Romania). In 105 the warlike king of Dacians, Decebalus, attacked the Romans across the Danube. Trajanus reacted with a force of thirteen legions and similar number of auxiliaries. Defeated the enemy and incorporated Dacia into the Roman Empire.
The figurine represents a roman legionary of the described period.
The historians have no real idea how uniform roman equipment was in any given unit at any given time. Armour was presumably made by many dispersed smiths; the modern idea of mass production to exact patterns was alien to their culture. Metal lasts for years, difficult to be discarded while still serviceable. Since individual taste and wealth were allowed and given the inevitable transfers and replacements of parts among soldiers, a cohort might have presented a fairly mixed appearance and not particularly uniform.
Sculptor: Gianni La Rocca
Historical research and translation: Riccardo Carrabino