The Scutum of Dura-Europos is the only surviving example of a Roman scutum shield. The wood was well preserved by the dry climate. From Syria. 3rd cent. A.D.

Margie Jones
07/11/2023

Scutum is the Latin word for shield, this legionaries’ semicylindrical shield is one of a kind. Only one, until now, have survived the time, the so-called ‘Scutum of Dura-Europos’. Found in a excavation between 1928 – 1937 by the Yale-French team in Dura-Europos in Syria, this shield was found flattened, fragmented in 13 pieces and missing its umbo (central part for protection – “boss”). The Yale-French team was responsible for the restoration of the shield; the decoration “reflects Roman iconography of victory, including an eagle with a laurel wreath, winged Victories, and a lion”. Today the scutum rests on display in the Yale University Art Gallery.

Date ——————————–mid-III century AD

Materials ————————Wood and Rawhide

Dimensions ———————105.5 × 41 × 30 cm (41 9/16 × 16 1/8 × 11 13/16 in.)

Weight —————————–6.3kg (13.8 pounds)

Sources: Yale

The Scutum – the Shield of the Roman Legionaries

 

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