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Aquilifer – Roman soldier signifer

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Aquilifer, or Roman ensign
Aquilifer, or Roman ensign

Aquilifer was Roman Roman soldier signifer bearing the eagle standard of a Roman legion. He belonged to a group of legionaries (principales) and was entitled to double pay (duplicarius). He enjoyed enormous prestige and belonged to the best protected people in the legion during the battle. Not only he did carry the sign of the legion, whose loss was the greatest dishonor for the individual and Rome, but he also probably kept watch over the money of the legion. For this reason, soldiers surrounded him with special protection.

Signifers wore on their heads bears or lions’ skins or – it is difficult to determine basing on the reliefs – most likely leopards, cheetahs. However, it is mistakenly believed that they wore wolf skins.

The skin was worn on the bare head, or on some hat or smaller helmet, which was not visible under the skin.

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