Roman Military Phalera, 1st century AD Found in Bedfordshire, UK

obverse and reverse

Roman Military Phalera, 1st century AD. 51mm X 16 mm. 24.8 gm. Bronze phalera military mount comprising a discoid plaque with incised concentric lines and three studs with rosette detailing, central stepped boss. Found in Bedfordshire, UK. Cf. Chapman, E.M. A Catalogue of Roman Military Equipment in the National Museum of Wales, BAR British Series no.388, Oxford, 2005, item Tc06. Harness fittings of the auxiliary and legionary cavalry of the early Imperial period are believed to be heavily influenced by Celtic equipment. The main harness consisted of five junctions which, along with the girth, served to hold the saddle firmly in place and combined both functional and decorative elements. The junctions consisted of a cast ring with strap ends that were decorated in mould relief and often had pendants hanging from them. During the reign of Claudius (41-54 AD) a new type of junction came into favour utilising concealed loops behind discs known as phalerae which could be plain or, more often, heavily decorated and often had pendants hanging from them. Phalerae were also incorporated into the uniform of the soldiers where they held leather straps in place on the armour. Choice condition with original green patina. Rare.


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