Reviving the “Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies”
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Categories: Ancient

Reviving the “Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies”

Horseman canters at a dummy thrusting a lance overhand and underhand into a dummy on a post
A typical page from the old JRMES: “after many costly and fruitless experiments” John Duckham wields his 10-cubit lance on horseback

The Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies used to publish finds of Roman banded armour, reconstructions of Roman saddles, and experiments with sarissas on foot and on horseback. Like quite a few journals in the humanities it was published in evenings and weekends by scraping together a contribution here and a grant there, and in 2002 it had to cease publication for lack of funds. There are now three volumes of finished articles waiting for funds to print them. Mike Bishop, the original editor, has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds to print these issues and found a society to support further volumes.

While I do not know much about these Romans, other than that they are some barbarians in the darkness beyond the seas where no King of Babylon has gone, I enjoyed the first phase of JRMES. I can vouch for Mike Bishop, whom I know online and through “Bishop and Coulston” (a book which also faces a new edition!) I have contributed a bit, but I am a PhD student not Sigismund Rich-in-Coin. So if you enjoy learning about weapons and armour through their cultural context, or ancient cultures through the tools that they used, I hope you can throw something in the hat! Military historians, craftsmen, and reenactors all have something to learn from and something to contribute to JRMES, but as of Wednesday only 32 contributors have stepped forward. The campaign has reached its funding goal, but the new JRMES will not last without several hundred subscribers.

Further Reading: Indiegogo page

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