Roman Aquila Eagle Standard - Brass with wooden shaft - AH6729

Roman Aquila Eagle Standard - Brass with wooden shaft

Retail Price:$846.00

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This Roman Legionary Eagle Standard has a large and imposing (and weighty!) Eagle of brass and a two-part wooden shaft. The shaft has two metal grips that are painted to match the wood. The eagle is secured to the shaft with a retaining pin. The socket for the eagle is slightly larger than the wood shaft itself, so the eagle, though attached, does have some movement.

The soul of the Legion, the Eagle standard led the way forward on the march and into battle. Roman armies had a plethora of standards by which troops could rally and commanders could view the placement of their forces from afar, and these standards had all manner of banners and Roman symbols mounted atop them. Every Imperial Legion however, had a single Eagle that was the foremost standard and symbol for the entire Legion.

The Eagle was considered a sacred object and its bearer, the Aquilifer, had a sworn duty to maintain and protect the Eagle at all times. Oaths would be sworn in the presence of the Eagle, and it was kept in a shrine at the Legionary HQ when at peace. When at war and on the march, the Eagle would be given its own tent.

The loss of an Eagle was considered a severe dishonor of the highest sort and entire battles were fought to regain the Eagle and to regain Rome’s pride. The loss of three Eagles at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest was considered a severe black mark on the honor of Rome, the Legions and on Emperor Augustus. His successors wrought revenge on the Germanic peoples and the three lost Legionary Eagles would, in time, be recaptured after Roman successes against the Germanic Tribes.

The original military standards of early Rome were simple bundles of straw held aloft on a pole. Later Legions would be led into battle with standards featuring wolves, oxen and boars (as well as eagles). It was Gaius Marius in 102 BC who declared that the primary Legionary Standard could only be an Eagle that instituted an Empire-wide adoption of Legionary Eagles and the military cult of the Legionary Eagle. This would be modified in some cases in the later Empire to a two-headed eagle to represent both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.

Overall Length: 84 5/8''
18 lb 8.6 oz

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