Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pewter Calathus featuring scenes of Vespasian's Legio II Augusta unique holiday gift

A few days ago I received an email from Calix Imperium, a new giftware company in the UK, that is offering, just in time for the holidays,  a beautiful pewter beaker called a Calathus after a vase-shaped basket often found in Greek painting and sculpture that represented fruitfulness.  The company's first release depicts three members of Vespasian's Legio Augusta - a centurion, an aquilifer and a legionary dressed in an Imperial Gallic helmet and the famous lorica segmentata body armor.

"He [The centurion] is depicted wearing the Imperial Gallic helmet (Cassis) surmounted with the insignia of his rank, the transverse crest. His body armour is mail (Lorica Hamata) with strips of leather (pteruges) protecting his upper arms and groin."
"Over his mail he wears a harness, on which are attached his various medals (phalarae). The large shield (Scutum) with a central boss is adorned with the Legion emblems, the CAPRICORN and the edge of the PEGASUS. These shield emblems where found on the Arch of Orange in France and deemed to be associated with Legio II Augusta." 
"The Centurion is seen wielding his principal weapon, the short sword (Gladius); his secondary weapon, the dagger (Pugio) is shown on his right side. To complete his body armour he is wearing greaves (Ocrea), in this case with decorative embossed Lion heads." - Calix Imperium

More pictures and descriptions may be viewed on the Calix Imperium website.  These 5 1/2" beakers are exceptionally detailed and would be a great addition to any Roman history buff's collection!  I wonder if my husband is listening??!!
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