THE  EMPEROR  SPEAKS  WITH  DACIAN  LEADERS.

 

HE  IS  SURROUNDED  BY  HIS  PERSONAL  GUARD  (PRAETORIANS), WHO  ALSO  WEAR  PURPLE.  THEY  CARRY  SPECIAL  STANDARDS  AND THE  BEARERS  WEAR  ANIMAL  SKINS.

 

THE  STANDARD-BEARER  IN  RED  (CENTRE)  CARRIES  THE  FAMOUS  EAGLE  STANDARD  (AQUILA)  MADE  OF  GOLD  OR  SILVER.  REPRESENTING  AN  ENTIRE  LEGION  WAS  A  VERY  IMPORTANT  JOB!

 

BEHIND  THEM  WE  SEE  A  ROMAN  FORT  WITH  TOWERS,  USED  AS  MODELS  FOR  THE  LUNT  FORT  GATEWAY.

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The reconstructions at the Lunt  are, of course, notional. The reconstructions rise from their original post holes, but their precise appearance above ground level is unknown. The images of gateway structures on Trajan’s Column were the primary sources used to inform the reconstructed Eastern gateway of the Fort.

The gateway, seen in the background of the photo of Drusus in the gyrus, has two levels. The first is a fighting platform, which would probably have mounted one or two ballistae to command the direct approaches. These machines would possibly have been supplemented by archers (sagittarii). Using a bow on the ramparts to fire down into the killing zone between the double ditches (as I have done) gives a real sense of command. The upper level provides  excellent  views of the surrounding area – a great panorama of the centre of the modern city of Coventry. Many a freezing watch duty must have been undertaken on it!

The Lunt would have been a tough nut for any attacking force to crack. When  fully garrisoned by a cohort of auxilia (500 men) I estimate that a war-band of at least 3000 Celts  would have been needed to stand any chance of breaching the ramparts. There is, however, no archaeological evidence that the fort was ever attacked. This is not surprising. Like most Roman forts, the Lunt was offensive, rather than defensive in its intent. It was not a place for the Romans to hide and await attack. The Romans used their forts to dominate surrounding areas, and they were normally  part of extended and sophisticated offensive or counter-offensive  systems.

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