Hello everyone and welcome to this part 2 of "what is wrong with this image."

For context, here is part 1, which will be important to the rest of this:

Threadreader for those who want it:
threadreaderapp.com/thread/1326642… Image
We're gonna start with where we left off with what @mikeaztec28 mentioned: should Aetius even be in standard military attire?

This is the Diptych of Flavius Constantius Felix, 428 AD. Felix held the same title as Aetius: Magister Utriusque Militae, until he was executed. Image
Felix's dress is a lot different in this image from Aetius' on the Monza Cathedral Diptych. It's bureaucratic in form, consisting of a Stikharion (a Delmatikion with two vertical clavii) over a Kamision with a consular Trabea worn over it. Image
It actually took a LOT of research by combined members of the reenactment community (mostly Stilicho and Dr. Dawson, as well as myself and others) to figure out how these over-garments of the Consular and Praetorian Prefect ranks were constructed.
Dr. Dawson outlines the evolution of the pattern here. Fundamentally this is three garments: the "Trabea" or "Lorum/Loros" over a combination of a late antique Paenula and a Pallium. ImageImage
Dr. Dawson has an outline of the Trabea/Loros and its various later forms into the middle and late Byzantine period, from his book "By the Emperor's Hand": Image
So now we have to ask, what dress was required of Aetius on this particular day? A solid case can probably be made for either, we don't have the particulars of how dress for functionaries operated in the Roman empire until the Kletoroulogion and De Cerimoniis.
I think the most solid case can probably be made for Consular dress - Aetius was before the Roman senate, allegedly, and meetings of the senate would have dictated such civilian attire. Which now brings the question, what about the others?
I'll get to Valentinian III tomorrow, I need more time for that, but I do want to talk a little bit about Heraclius and Eunuchs' costume. Heraclius held the title of Primicerius Sacri Cubiculi, and most of our evidence for his dress is really middle Byzantine.
The Kletoroulogion tells us that the Primikerios wore a white tunic with gold shoulder panels decorated with stars. The garment was probably then either a Stikharion Delmatikion or a Delmatikion (Dalmatica) in late antiquity, which was replaced by the Divitesion for men.
Stikharia Delmatikia can be seen throughout the contemporary Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore mosaic cycle. Here are angels and what may be a Primicerius sacri cubiculi or a standard cubicularius alongside Galla Placidia (Mary), as evidenced by his gold cloak. Image
In the Kletoroulogion and the De Cerimoniis, the cloak is called Paragaudion, not to be confused with the late antique tunic. It is described as gold in color. Considering it is a solid color, this probably means it was a rich saffron and not gold thread.
One of the issues that discounts this figure as a cubicularius, however, is the presence of a beard. Beards are... a tricky subject in the empire, as their popularity waxes and wanes frequently. Now throw on top of that, the fact Eunuchs weren't men. They were a third gender.
Depictions of eunuchs show them always without a beard, but Santa Maria Maggiore shows this figure with one. There might be an explanation here, in that religious conventions are superseding the reality since the Cubicularius is portraying Joseph, and Joseph was a proper man.
Joseph's staff might specifically mark him as an Ostiarios (doorkeeper or usher), first mentioned under Justninian in the 6th century. The Kletoroulogion assigns a gold staff with a gem encrusted head to this position.

The issue of course is back-dating the position to the 400s.
Either way though, Heraclius would not have had such a staff, as it was not the emblem of the Primicerius' rank.

What he does have is a knife, with which to stab Aetius. This begs two questions: what kind of knife, and would he have worn the Cingulum?
Women and Men wore belts in the empire, regardless of whether they actually were in the militia or strateia. We have plenty of finds of womens' belt fittings and civilian mens' belt fittings from the principate and late antiquity. But this wasn't the military cingulum.
There is no source on the wearing of belts for Eunuchs - as far as I have read, neither Lydos, nor Isidore, nor the Kletoroulogion or De Cerimoniis mention it. However, they were in service of the militia/strateia, so it seems likely they had belts for their position.
The San Vitale Basilica mosaics may support this, as the Empress Theodora's chamberlain wears a gold Khlamys with purple Tavlia, probably signifying his position among the ranks of the Cubicularii. And we can just barely see he wears a narrow belt. Image
Belts of this period had simple fittings with loops to suspend necessary accessories. A small hunting or utility knife would be easy to conceal under the cloak. This 4th century utility knife from Zwentendorf, near Carnuntum, is a great example: Image
There are other possibilities, but unlikely ones. Simancas-type daggers (left image) were in use but they're almost entirely found in Spain. Short seaxes had made their way into the Roman army such as this mid 5th-century one from Brighthampton, but they also seem unikely. ImageImage
Whatever knife Heraclius had, it would have been small.

And this is where I'm going to close out tonight. Tomorrow we ask the question, "Why is the singing prince from Monty Python stabbing Aetius?"
@eranudturan Ducks

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Evan Schultheis

Evan Schultheis Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @EvanSchultheis

27 Nov
This one was also one I advised on. The only real inaccuracy, in this piece is the decoration on the tunic (which I recommended they either decorate the sleeves and tighten the cuffs or remove all decoration.) Every other piece here is datable to the 5th century.
The sword fittings are all from Nydam 1d, and although hourglass hilts (Behmer Type-V) are primarily a North/Baltic sea phenomenon, we have plenty of evidence for extensive recruitment from this region under Aetius.
The strap end is an Amphora-type, which are pretty common in the 4th-5th centuries. Bohme has a specific typology breaking them down, with the one here being based on an example from Lauriacum.
Read 9 tweets
13 Nov
Greetings all and welcome to part 3: "But I don't want any of that, I'd rather... I'd rather, just, sing!"

Part 1:

Part 2: Image
And the reference, for those who don't get it:
Read 47 tweets
11 Nov
So first of all, congrats to Dr. Wijnendaele on his paper. But that's not why I'm retweeting this.

I'm retweeting this because art like this is why reenactors are important. Because things like reconstructing clothing is actually important but almost nobody pays attention to it.
And this piece is a great example of how lack of research affects pop culture depictions (e.g. Hollywood) which then in turn colors the knowledge and perceptions of artists, which then goes back and affects the ones doing historical pieces.
So let's take the deep dive: What is wrong with this image?

First for context, this is an image of the assassination of Aetius in 454 AD. the three figures are Aetius, the eunuch Heraclius, and Valentinian III.

I guess we'll work through the figures left to right.
Read 33 tweets
13 Aug 19
Roman Helmet Evolution 2: "Screw you Baldenheims" Boogaloo

A thread:
First: sorry the edges are cut off slightly, my scanner was being a pain.

As you may have guessed today's rant is brought to you by the recent late 5th century finds from Tsaritsyno and the fact that the Gultlingen helmet was in use from 460 to 480. But we'll get there in a bit.
In my last thread I outlined some of my thoughts on Roman helmet evolution, and I'll probably repeat them here.

Read 58 tweets
3 Nov 18
Hypothetical reconstruction of Late Roman Helmet evolution, based on new research that's been coming out over the past decade and a half or so. (1)
Going from left to right, the first to look at are ridge helmets. Commonly divided into just two types, there are actually 6 distinct variants of ridge helmets. The first of these is the "Comb" Helmet,, typified by the examples from Berkasovo-I and Budapest.
Next are what I classify as "Quadripartite-Type Ridge Helmets." Formerly usually referred to as the "Berkasovo-Type" which I found inadequate because there were fundamentally different constructions for many of these helmets. Only two have been found: Burgh Castle and Concesti.
Read 53 tweets
5 Jun 18
So about a week ago I put together a survey on Nuclear Power opinions and awareness among internet users. After 215 responses and several days of no activity, I figured I had a pretty decent response. Here are the results (Thread) (1/?)
Of 215 participants, 24.2% of them said that they lived within 50km of a nuclear power plant. When asked whether their local power plant engaged in public education about nuclear energy, I had more responses than people who said they lived near a plant. (2/?)
So this one is a bit baffling, but I think we can infer that those who stated "yes" probably were the ones who lived within the radius of a power plant. But even so, it seems like "No" and "I don't know" are still big chunks. IMO, plants need to do more public engagement. (3/?)
Read 41 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!