About Mike Bishop

An archaeologist who walks, drives, cycles, flies, photographs, draws, writes about, and (once, in horizontal snow...) digs Hadrian's Wall, armed only with a trusty yet gleaming Creative Commons licence.

The Roman Army A to Z: xynema

xynema (Celt.)

Part of the hippika gymnasia involving throwing javelins whilst changing course on horseback (Arr., Tech. Tak. 42). [Hyland 1993]

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The Roman Army A to Z: vitis

vitis (f. pl. vites)

14003195852_6f4da13e05Carried as a badge of office by a centurio and made of vine wood. One man, Lucilius, famously breaking them whilst administering corporal punishment, was nicknamed ‘Broke Another’ (cedo alteram) according to Tacitus. Plin., NH 14.1.3; 19; Tac., Ann. 1.23; Luc. 6.146; Juv. 8.247. [Goldsworthy 2003]

The Roman Army A to Z: vinea

vinea (f. pl. vineae)

Literally a ‘vine arbour’, a wooden shed that formed part of a modular system for constructing covered walkways used by besiegers attacking a fortification. According to Vegetius, each was 8Rft (2.4m) wide, 16Rft (4.8m) long, and 7Rft (2.1m) high, with a roof covered in planking and sides in wattlework, an untanned leather or patchwork outer layer rendering the whole fireproof. Plaut., Mil. 2.2.113; Caes., BG 2.12.3; Veg., DRM 4.15. [Campbell 2003]