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1st century AD

A horseman of the ala of the 1st century AD.

For protection wears chainmail, a ‘gallic’ helmet and carries a large, oblong shield.
His weapons consist of a long hasta (spear) and a long sword (spatha).
For practical purposes the cavalry did wear short trousers of sorts.

Italian cavalry never did too well on the battle field. Spanish, Gallic and Numidian cavalry proved much superior. So by the first century AD Roman cavalry consisted almost entirely of horsemen raised from the various provinces of the empire.

Note that the Roman cavalry rode without stirrups.


This page was last updated on 4th June 2008.