The Invicti Iuniores Britanniciani
Apart from displaying the weapons and fighting skills of the period, members of Earlyworks also show the civilian aspect of military life; the food they ate, the clothes they wore and aspects of family life. We aim to quash some of the myths of the Romans that have built up over the years and perhaps reveal how much we have in common with these people.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kurt Hunter-Mann, one of our founding members, for his research and help in our projects.
The Invicti Iuniores Britanniciani (IIB for short) are a unit recorded in the Notitia Dignitatum relating to the Western part of the latter Roman Empire. Found in the field army of what we now call Spain, the name hints at an origin of its soldiers on the island of Britannia. Some of them may of remained in separate vexillations after the main force was deployed overseas.
A school boy translation gives us the name ‘unconquered (or invincible) junior legion of the British.’ The meaning of the name is not entirely clear. Britanniciani points to unit being raised in Britain, but whether this was a new force or built on an older unit is uncertain. It is possible that if the unit was newly raised this may of happened after the battle of Adrianople in 378 when many Imperial units were destroyed.
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Marching Bag - The full contents of a Roman loculus or marching bag, laid out and explained.
Sleeping Rough - Experiments to replicate the adhoc tents and shelters used by Roman legionaries in the Late Empire.
Legionary Rations - A discussion on Roman marching rations. What was carried, how was it cooked, what did it taste like?
Crests for Ridge Helms - Traditionally, Late Roman ridge helms are without crests, but one example of an Intercisa in the Mainz Roman Museum was found with a slit in the crown. A crest attachment? Mainz museum have created a replica using horsehair. My replica uses the slot attachment, and crow feathers in lieu of horsehair.