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Fabricae – Roman armory

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Until the fourth century CE, the production of armor and weapons in the Roman Empire was centralized and their execution was the responsibility of the so-called fabricae. Armories were deployed throughout entire provinces and their main task was the production of military equipment.

The relatively simple construction of Roman equipment allowed for mass production to satisfy the infinite needs of the army. Most often fabricae were located near borders or in the vicinity of military activities, but with such protection, so as not to fall into the hands of the enemy. In addition, an important requirement was that fabricae would be on the road, which facilitated the transport of the equipment.

Fabricae were divided into specializations, and some of the armories were focused on performing basic weaponry, and others on more specialized production. Produced, for example, cataphract armor, bows, swords, artillery accessories or helmets.

The production of military clothing was probably not the responsibility of fabricae, rather other, also centralized, “factories”.

  • Bishop, M.C., The military fabrica and the production of arms in the early principate [w:] The Production and Distribution of Roman Military Equipment, Proceedings of the Second Roman Military Equipment Research Seminar, 1985

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