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Roman gladius scabbard piece mainz or pompeii style


Material  Silvered Bronze/Copper Alloy
Dimensions  6.75cm long x 7.5cm wide

0.5-0.6 mm thick. overall

Lip: 1.09mm thick

Decoration end point: 0.54mm

Roman Empire  Early 1st Century

Gladius mainzensis Scabbard top used during the early and mid 1st Century AD.  The upper attachment clamping the wooden pieces of the scabbard together near the hilt of the sword.  Ornate openwork symmetric design pattern on plate, with hearts and stars around a central point.  The hearts are punched out and are actually made by two side by side circles with a triangular end.  An adaptive use of the tools to make a more unique design.

The top of the scabbard is curled outwards, which is believed to have provided a "lip" to help keep water out of the scabbard.   

There are two "legs" now partially broken, which would have attached to a further bronze plate in ancient times. This ornate pattern would have continued down the length of the scabbard creating a wonderful sword scabbard/locket.

Visible silvering still remains on the surface indicating that it would have been very visible during its use.  This sword most likely did not belong to an auxiliary, but to a soldier of more wealth and stature. (1)

-painting by John Warry



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Reverse View




Top down View

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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 111 & 114 2002.

(2) Reference to similar items: BISHOP, M.C & COULSTON, J.C.N; Roman Military Equipment "From the Punic wars to the Fall of Rome", page 81 2006.

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014