-composition is borrowed from the great and unfortunately already deceased illustrator Angus McBride.You may see his original painting here:
-and secondly-Angus original is one of my favorite Roman battle scenes and I always wondered how would it look like if the battle was placed in another time.This is kinda my humble tribute to him
So I used this image for my personal training and set it almost two hundred years ahead to 394 in which Western Roman Empire fought a bloody battle with Eastern Roman Empire.It is known that Western army fought under old pagan symbols and Eastern under new Christian ones and that question of religion played very important role there.It was last great hurrah for pagans in roman state but Eastern empire won and just a few months after,Christianity was declared the only allowed religion in all of Roman Empire.
I love the vibrant colors and the care you've put in rendering the details of the armor, the helmets, the sword handles and the shields. This piece is a treat to look at. Good work.
Yeah paganism is right in the same hypocritical boat as with the other faiths in murdering and doing harm! So before you go say "LONG LIVE PAGANISM!!!" do a little history check.
Honestly, I think you are just as good as Angus McBride.
In the original Angus McBride (RIP; great artist) illustration why is there a mid to late 3rd century Roman soldier wielding an cage with an eagle inside? The rest of the McBride drawing is great
And about caged eagle in original painting-Author of this book(one of my favorite)had Mr Mcbride paint it like this becouse of contemporary grave stone carving where an aquilifer is clearly holding an eagle in some sort of cage.The more controversial thing about this is that eagle is shown as a living bird!Which is interesting idea but most probably mistaken as Author later discovered out that in this period a classical golden artifical eagles were offten bearing in iron protective cages, so this was not to keep a living animal at place.But otherwise battle Angus draw take place in 218AD so this is still quite relevant time for having aquila in the field as it would still be at the begginig of the 4th century.Actually eagle standarts were never completely ceded from service in the roman army,it was still in use long into medieval byzantine era as one of less important secondary standarts.
I will wait eagerly to see which other marvellous artworks you have to show us here.
Thanks for sharing.
historical note:In this painting Eagle and Hercules images on the shields of pagan side are just general representation used for identification of Western soldiers,as we know from scarce historical records they fight under the symbols of Jupiter(thunderbolt,the eagle I used here on shields and of course they have old Aquila standart)and Hercules(His whole figure,just club or a lion).So in this case it doesn't represents units of Ioviani and Herculani(They would probabli use by this time what we know for them from notitia dignitatum shield designs)although I took as a model for this symbols carved on Arch of Galerius which might actually showing us original patterns of these two units at the beginning of 4th century.
Thanks for sharing so wonderful artworks lately.
And my speculative opinion is that I dont believe in an option of survival of paganism in Roman state.Not even purposeful and systematic Ruler like Julian wasn't able to stop it so I guess puppet emperor like Euginius would not succeed in this as well,even if his army won...but maybe estern part would become officialy Christian and Western would stay for little bit longer politeistic and more tolerant state .
The soldier with the green tunic and squamata is awesome!