Classic Roman Scutum


These big rectangular shields come to mind to almost everyone when talking about Roman legions. Painted red and decorated with golden eagle-wings and thunderbolts. These rectangular shields were used in the times of Roman Empire, when Rome was on the peak of its power. Towards the end 3rd century CE legions changed back to oval and round shields but this traditional model has been etched in the history books as the most common protection of the Roman soldier. The curved surface of the shield naturally glances off enemy attacks and behind the big shield a legionary was fully protected from arrows, stones and javelins. Shields were often also used as weapons and a heavy blow with the edge of the shield or with the boss could deliver a surprisingly strong punch in the heat of the battle.

These shields were also often used to make a wall of shields to provide protection for the whole formation. When adjacent legionaries overlapped their shields the entire formation was able to protect themselves from arrows. Such protection is aptly known as the testudo (Latin for turtle).
This wooden shield is covered with canvas from both sides and is hand painted. The rim is protected with a brass edging/reinforcement. Shield boss is made of brass. The shield is reinforced from the backside with thin wooden strips.

Height 106.5 cm (41 9/10”) and width 59 cm (23 ¼”). Width of the shield measured along the curved surface 84 cm (33”). Weight 5.8 kg (12lbs 13oz).

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