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RVPG 7618

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Roman shield (scutum)

Roman shield (scutum) mid-3rd century A.D., Painted wood and rawhide, 105.5 x 41 x 30 cm (41 9/16 x 16 1/8 x 11 13/16 in.). Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos. This is the only known surviving example of the semicylindrical shield known as a scutum, used by Roman legionaries and known from literary sources. Found flattened, in thirteen pieces, and missing its umbo(central boss), the shield was reconstructed by the Yale-French excavation team. The painted decoration reflects Roman iconography of victory, including an eagle with a laurel wreath, winged Victories, and a lion.

Yale University Art Gallery

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