Sunday, March 28, 2010

Celtic and Roman Wheats

I wrote a short article about Iron Age and Roman wheat varieties over at my wife's gluten free cooking blog, I also made the above illustration to go with it. It's an Iron Age British farmstead. What do you think?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mea Culpa

Ave, everybody. Not much new here in a very, very long time. I did just finish placing all the articles into a menu up top, but I'm afraid I have no new posts to add. Back in 2000 I started as a way to teach myself HTML. I figured there was no better way to learn, than doing. I had a fanatical interest in the Roman army at the time, so that was the focus of my self-taught web-design lesson. The site grew quite popular. Yet, I was not happy with the monthly web hosting costs, especially since I really wasn't adding to it very much in recent times. I am still very keen on all things ancient Rome, but my free time has been spent elsewhere the past couple years. To save money and keep the content on the web I moved over to this blog format several months ago. I will continue to add new articles. I just hope you readers will forgive the sporadic nature of these additions.

I have been doing illustrations for Ancient Warfare Magazine the past couple years. If there is an interest in seeing in-progress pics I will post them here. I like to debut the completed illustration in the magazine itself. Once it's off the shelves, I might post completed images on this blog.

Last year I started FerrousLands, a hobby blog for my historic miniatures painting and tabletop wargaming. It takes a lot less time to paint and photograph a 28mm Roman miniature than it does to research a topic and carefully write a scholarly article. So, that site has been getting most of my attention. It's a fun way to express my interest in ancients. In fact, I just posted a new photo of some painted 1/32 scale Roman toy soldiers.

Since 2006 I have been researching my grandfather's outfit in World War II. I'm close to finishing a book on the subject. The writing has totally consumed all my free time as of late. I expect I will be finished by the end of this spring. The finished product will half text half photographs/illustrations, much like an Osprey Publishing or Shire Books title. Once the book is published leisure time will return, and with it new RedRampant articles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Complete tower illustration

This appears in Ancient Warfare Magazine vol III, issue 6. This magazine is now available in US bookstores, so have a look next time your browsing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tower Painting

I just sent the final illustration to the editor. Here are two in-progress photos. You can see I moved away from Bédeoyère's Scarborough sketch. The article author didn't want crenelations on the tower walls (these weren't meant to withstand a siege). I initially wanted an isometric view from above, but in the end opted for a ground level view with another tower in the distance. Check Ancient Warfare Magazine vol III, issue 6 for the completed illustration. It was fun doing a night scene—those aren't so common.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Illustrating a Signal Tower for Ancient Warfare Magazine

This week I am starting work on an illustration of a Roman signal tower. It will be part of Murray Dahm's article, "An Ancient Enigma—Solving the Secrets of Ancient Military Signaling" in Ancient Warfare Magazine Vol III, issue 6. For a reference I am using the above illustration from Guy de la Bédeoyère's The Buildings of Roman Britain. This was a 3rd century tower situated at Scarborough. All examples of such towers appear to have had a walled courtyard and outer ditch.

The appearance of the tower itself isn't ground-breaking, but Dahm's interpretation of its signal fires is a fresh concept.

I will also be illustrating some Roman military tactics for Ross Cowan's article.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gaullic Shield Sculpture from Nîme, France

I'm trying to make a habit of posting ancient shield blazons as I come across them. I hope the graphics will be of use to wargamers, reenactors, and illustrators. This Roman sculpture depicts a Gaulic shield with carnyx. I scanned this from Espérandieu's Recueil Général des Bas-Reliefs de la Gaule Romaine et Pré-Romaine. Vol I, page 297. 1908. This Roman relief of captured equipment was found in Nimes, France. Note: crescent shapes also appear on the Gaullic shields on the Arc d'Orange.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Puteoli Block Praetorians

Naturally. the vast majority of Roman sculpture and artifacts reside in museums in Europe and along the Mediterranean. However, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology holds an object of keen interest to Roman military equipment studies. The Puteoli block was carved during the reign of Domitian and depicts his Praetorian guardsmen. One carries a shield emblazoned with a very nice vine and scorpion design. The scorpio, birth sign of Emperor Tiberius, often appeared on Praetorian equipment. Tiberius was so honored because he allowed the Praetorian camp to be built in Rome, centralizing their power. No other Roman legion appear to have used the scorpion emblem. A color interpretation of this shield blazon appears in The Praetorian Guard by Boris Rankov.

The above photo of the other half of the Puteoli block is courtesy of Jasper Oorthuys. It is housed in Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Thanks, Jasper! Images of both these sections are rarely found on the internet, so I definitely appreciate your contribution!

For a detailed study of this monument see Flower, Harriet. "A Tale of Two Monuments: Domitian, Trajan, and Some Praetorians at Puteoli" in American Journal of Archaeology, Vol 105. No. 4, October 2001. pages 625 - 648.