Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Ersatz Legionaries

After the Roman Legions smashed the Carthaginian and Hellenistic armies in quick succession there began a fashion for copycat Legionaries among armies such as the Numidians, Seleucids and Pontics. The assumption was that it was the weapons of the Legionaries that made them invincible, rather than their training or other factors.

So what does a fake legionary look like? Who knows, but this is my go at modelling some.

For my Pontic army I took Wargame Factory's inexpensive Cesarean Legions and (i) trimmed and painted the pilums to make them look more like general purpose spears/javelins, (ii) replaced the Roman heads with Hellenistic and Pontic heads, and (iii) painted the shield in more Hellenistic colours.


  1. Dear John,

    In the case of Mithridates VI we _do_ know that he was equiping troops with captured Roman equipment. (I believe Livy states this to be the case with Hannibal also, but it's been decades since I read Livy.)

    After one of the Roman disasters, a legionary who'd been missed in the fighting decided to kill the king rather than to try to escape. He wandered about the Pontic camp without attracting notice until he got close to the king, then rushed him. As I recall, before he was cut down he wounded Mithridates though not fatally.

    Mithridates responded by calling his troops to fall in. That way other Romans (I don't believe there were any) would be spotted by members of whichever small formation they tried to join.

    That clearly shows that there were no visible differences in equipment or markings between Roman and Pontic Romanoid troops.

    See the value of a classical education?

    All best,

    1. I never doubted the value of a classical education, Dave.