Wednesday 1 April 2015

Roman Transport - 4 (Strelets)

Another Addition to the ancients range and some new recruits for the town of  Scalpere Aedificere.
13 Bods,  two Litters,  Two mules, Two Oxen and a parrot.
The 10 Standing bods.....
...and the 3 sitting ones...and Polly the  parrot.
They had a couple of species of parrots/Parakeets kept as pets in ancient Rome. My Version is a Ringnecked Parrakeet from India.
A parrakeet Mosiac (from Pergamon  ca 200BC) of an Alexandrine parakeet or Alexandrian parrot (scientific name Psittacula eupatria, ) named after Alexander the Great, who is said to have first sent several of the birds from the Punjab to the west.
Pliny the Elder  wrote  instructions for teaching parrots to talk which included hitting them on the head with an iron bar!!
Probably didn´t work that well and ended up with an ancient Roman forerunner of the dead parrot sketch.
The one on the right. An Amanuensis, ("within Hands reach") a slave who worked in the capacity of personal assistant or secretary to the Dominus /Domina. The one on the right a Baiulus ("porter" or "bearer") a slave who performed tasks similar to that of a normal footman.
Another pair of Baiuli. The one at the front, getting the box bashing into him, looks like he has literally got the "bum deal"

A letica (transportable Couch) and the leticarii (Couch carriers)

So far, so good. Everything is fine. Very Little Flash to be dealt with, nice Details and poses.  The Bods are a bit slimmer (more finely sculpted) than their previous contempories but fit well alongside them.

The other Transport Piece in the set.  Where can I start?
The historical accuracy?
The earliest reference I can find to  horse carried Sedan chairs (or litters) is from the medieval period. The best  reference I found is  a painting by Jean Fouquet about an Event in 1378 called Entrée de l'empereur Charles IV à Saint-Denis,   or Entrée de l'empereur Charles IV devant Saint-Denis painted between 1455- 1460.
I´ve found no  references to Roman litters,  even ones for high Nobility, being carried by horses. That´s not to say the romans couldn´t have come up with the idea but , at time of writing and lacking any´s historically innacurate to portray them doing so.
It doesn´t look like anything from the Roman period, it´s more a 17th / 18th century design.
The construction?
The poles across the doors would mean they would have to be removed to let passengers in or out. Considering the length  and possible weight of the carrying poles, and having to set the cab down and release the poles from the mules,   this would be a difficult Task to say the least.  Virtually every example of a sedan chair has an opening to the front but in this case it would again be impractical. The passengers would have to Exit between the cab and a mule (danger of getting kicked if at the front) and then duck under the pole.

Apart from that, it fits together reasonably well. The width of the carriage means the carrying poles need bending slightly inwards to make it possible to attach them to the mules but when attached they stay put.
The set Comes with three passenger bods. At a squeeze only two would fit and then opposite each other but it looked very uncomfortable.
Still, I like the look of the cab and I like the idea,  so with a bit of Alteration it will be given a use in Bodstonia.