Joined: 02 Nov 2012
|It should be mentioned, however, that the breastplate was something more than a mere plate of metal worn over the breast. It sometimes covered all the fore part of the body, and extended a little way over the arms; not far, however, for this would have diminished their activity. By shoes, too, appear to be meant, cases for the whole leg, almost from the foot to the body. As to their shields, they were sometimes very large; and it was not uncommon for a warrior to have an armour- bearer to go before him, and carry his shield for him. Indeed, all the armour was heavy. In the Atheneum of Boston, are pieces of ancient armour preserved, such as helmets and breastplates; the great weight of which would surprise you if you should see them.
BELLONA. "Bellona is the goddess of war, and the companion of Mars; or, as others say, his sister or wife. She prepares for him his chariot and horses when he goes to fight. It is plain that she is called Bellona from bellum. She is otherwise called Duel from duellum, or from the Greek word belone a ' needle,' whereof she is said to be the inventress. Her priests, the Bellonarii, sacrificed to her in their own blood; they hold in each hand naked swords, with which they cut their shoulders, and wildly run up and down like madmen; upon which people thought that (after the sacrifice was ended) they
were able to foretell future events. Claudian introduces Bellona combing snakes; and another poet describes her shaking a burning torch, with her hair hanging loose, stained and clotted with blood, and running through the midst of the ranks of the army, uttering horrid shrieks and dreadful groans.The groan still deepens, and the combat burns. "Before the temple of this goddess there stood a pillar called Bellica, over which the herald threw a spear, when he proclaimed war.