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HWS: Antiquity - Roman Women Warriors Concept

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By Gambargin   |   
A concept study of Ancient Roman Women Warrior for the Historically Wrong Sketch Series - Project Antiquity which aims to portray Women Warriors of various cultures in a fictitious anachronistic historical settings based on the Classical Antiquity Era of Warfare. To be fairly honest, Classical Antiquity Era is a new continent for me to explore and there's no better place to start than the civilization which is mostly studied, the Ancient Roman Civilization!

Inspired by the music: Ryse of a Hero - RYSE: Son of Rome OST


Studying the history of Roman Civilization and her army took me few weeks on rummaging on various historical books and looking at different artifacts, but overall the credit must go to Pelycosaur24 :iconpelycosaur24: for her brief crash course in Roman History. She was generous with her time and kindness to provide me the information that eventually led to the creation of several concept for the drawings of Roman Women Warrior for the antiquity series. Do bear in mind that historically speaking, Roman Women were forbidden in participating in any military activity or serving the army, so this representation of female Roman soldier is purely fantasy, albeit historically inspired. Regardless, since the history and military of the Roman army varied greatly from its early time in 8th BCE till the later stage of the empire in 3rd CE, I have divided their depiction into three categories.

  • The First is the EARLY ROMAN/ITALIAN era focus more on the founding of the roman state, from the time of its Kingdom as well as early republic. Most of the depictions are speculative at best, since I took various sources from the Etruscan, Samnites, Venetic-Illyrian and Italo-Attic artefacts. Their representation may look different than what people often associated the ancient Romans with.
  • The Second would be the REPUBLICAN ROMAN ERA, which roughly correspond to the timeline of the punic war till Caesar's conquest of Gaul. By this time, Rome had somewhat adopted a more standardized equipment, that saw widespread equipments of foreign influence, like the Gladius and Gallic ringmail armor. At the moment, I'm still deciding if bronze cuirass with female body shape would be appropriate.
  • The Third goes with the IMPERIAL ROMAN ERA, who is no doubt, the most famous of them all. After the Marian reform, roman military equipment became standardized and military service changed into professional career. I opted for the mail armor instead of lorica segmentata to allow a more feminine image of the warrior, at least for the common infantry or specialized troops, which goes the same with the cavalry troop. For officer/tribune rank, I decided to use the "Lorica squamata" Scale armor, again, to allow more feminine image. Various helmets, shields and armaments will included in the final representation.
  • Lastly, the Fourth deals with the LATE IMPERIAL ERA in the 3rd century, where the attitudes of the roman army gradually switched into defensive. By his time, the long sword Spatha was widely used and hung from the left, with mail armor and reinforced helmet becoming more and more common. Any depiction after this would go on a different project that deals with the migration period.

Feel free to drop any suggestions or feedback :)

Image size
8415x8092px 13.94 MB
Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery14.0.8081.709
anonymous's avatar
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kinhj's avatar
kinhjHobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks detailed
Sedeslav's avatar
pretty much accurate reconstructions .
Dork-Ork's avatar
I love your work! The only thing I couldn't help but wonder, what's with the backwards swastika in the second era diagram? (top middle)
Gwiber49's avatar
Gwiber49Hobbyist Filmographer
Swastikas were once used 1,000 years ago as symbol of good luck by Hindus and Buddhists.   Eventually, the symbol made its way into the west, where it was used for the same purposes.    But the symbol was stigmatized by the Nazis, when they made an attempted to make Germany into an empire that would last for thousands of years, and would be dominated by a tow-headed, blue-eyed race (even though none of the Nazi leaders had such features).   The roman soldier (top middle) probably lived during a time when the swastika was a good luck symbol.   So, yeah.   I hope that answers your question.

P.S. Hindus are trying to take the swastika back from the fascists and make it a good luck symbol once more and let's just hope it works!
Dork-Ork's avatar
It does, thank you.  I hope they succeed, though I think they'll have more luck in India than Europe.  Thank you for getting back to me.
Gwiber49's avatar
Gwiber49Hobbyist Filmographer
You're welcome!
OberstJurten's avatar
OberstJurtenHobbyist General Artist
That's epic!!!
Denis-V's avatar
Oh my, you really have fantastic figure approach! :nod: And research you do for your works is outstanding! :D Fantastic work man! :D
Hanoko's avatar
HanokoHobbyist General Artist
I hope you'll include that in your future book ^^
DC-26's avatar
They all look totally badass.  Great poses.
Zarmarza's avatar
ZarmarzaHobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG, this is so awesome! 
lavenderl's avatar
lavenderlHobbyist General Artist
This is very interesting!
TheSkaldofNvrwinter's avatar
TheSkaldofNvrwinterHobbyist Digital Artist
I would love to see larger versions of each piece...
AlessiaHV's avatar
AlessiaHVStudent Digital Artist
These sketches could be an enormous source of inspiration, Gamb! *_*
Sebistara's avatar
SebistaraHobbyist Digital Artist
guess what
you wont see anything of this in rome 2 or attila <3
Caledwiwer's avatar
CaledwiwerHobbyist Traditional Artist
They made some very poor choices, to say the least
Sebistara's avatar
SebistaraHobbyist Digital Artist
you can say the same to those who buyed the games
Caledwiwer's avatar
CaledwiwerHobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah. I'm one of them :/
Sebistara's avatar
SebistaraHobbyist Digital Artist
Yukow's avatar
YukowHobbyist Traditional Artist
I always love roman empire :heart: lovely drawing :icongrandparomeplz:
DeathNyx's avatar
DeathNyxHobbyist General Artist
Really well done.
anonymous's avatar
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