Late Imperial Roman General

Back in 2014 I proudly declared I was starting a Late Imperial Roman army, and showed off my first test model.  I adhered to the time-honoured tradition of planning an army, buying an army, telling everyone about my plans… then only painting one figure before quietly packing everything away and never mentioning it again.   But the hiatus is over!  Here is the second finished model – Praeses Lanceas Araneus.

Late Imperial Roman General

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Doctor Birley, not Doctor Who

The Tenth Doctor wore pairs of Converse for his adventures through time. For my own adventure into the Late Roman era I found Converse quickly get buggered.  Sturdier footwear is required for archaeology.

Yes, this last week I have been excavating a Roman military fort  Vindolanda  just south of Hadrian’s Wall.

Curis on Roman flags

Here’s my epic trench, where I’ve (literally) unearthed Roman paving slabs.  These represent floor level of the last Roman fort, built in 370AD.  No-one has stood on these for centuries.  The stone used in the later phases of construction at Vindolanda were recycled from earlier forts, and so there’s a chance these slabs were previously dedication stones, and’ll have Latin inscriptions on the back.  Doctor Birley has promised me a bottle of champagne if I get an string of at least 5 characters, and the abbreviation VSLM is disallowed.


There’s a wealth of pottery fragments just under the soil.  These aren’t much to get excited about as they’ve spent centuries being churned through the soil by farmers’ ploughs.  They do, however, let you compliment people on their muddy rim.  (Hey, they do say if you dig up the past you get dirty.)

Amy's Sesterce

Amy’s dug up a 2ndC bronze sesterce of Hadrian himself.    We’re not allowed to show this off online, but it’s a big fat dobber of a coin with a likeness of her third-favourite Emperor.

The further down we get, the better the finds will be.  I wanna dig up some Latin.  Or a gold or silver coin to trump Amy’s.