Saturday, 26 May 2012

Greetings from Roman Pula

This week I had the pleasure to present a paper at the International Conference of the National and University Library of Zagreb at Pula City Library in Croatia. Having a little spare time before the conference I took the opportunity to explore some of Pula’s cultural sights. Some of which date back to the 1st Century AD if not before. In addition to visiting the Roman Arena and the Archaeological Museum of Istria in search of inspiring reliefs and statues for the Early Imperial Roman Army I am currently working on.  My efforts were rewarded with a number of pieces contemporary to the 1st and 2nd centuries.

1st Century AD Arena at Pula, Croatia  

Sea battle depiction circa 1st or 2nd Century AD Temple of Augustus, Pula

 This first image is from a relief depicting a sea battle. The figure on the left is depicted wearing a breastplate fashioned in the style of a torso. The figure he appears to be in combat with on his right seen from the back has his sword suspended across his body. This relief suggests that these methods were used at this period.

The imposing figure from the Temple of Augustus 1st or 2nd Century AD ?

Detail of the breastplate

The remains of a statute, possibly Augustus,  has been placed on display in the Temple to Augustus for a 1962 exhibition in Pula. The remains of the statue offers us a fine example of a breastplate with some extraordinary details of the head of Medusa over two eagles.  

The Temple to Augustus Pula  

In the Archaeology Museum I came across another example of a breastplate on the remains of a statue.  This statue is smaller and less ornate than the example in the Temple of Augustus. However, the detail of the trimming around the bottom of the breastplate decorated with cameos caught my eye and is noteworthy.  

A statue from the Archaeology Museum of Istria 

Naturally replicating this level of detail on a 15mm figure is well beyond my skills, nevertheless, having taken the time to seek these pieces out provides me with greater context for future painting sessions on Roman figures. I will be reminded of a delightful few days I spent with colleagues from south east Europe in the beautiful and friendly City of Pula in the future months as I stoop over my work bench painting away.       


  1. Nice post...even if it is far away from France!

    1. Je suis visite Paris aprochment semine !!

    2. I wish you a wonderful visit...don't forget the camera, I hope you are going to post some photos!

    3. Many thanks Phil , To your knowledge , are there any Wargameing shops I could visit while in Paris ?

  2. I think you'd better look on the web! I don't go to Paris very often, and it is usually more to go to "Le Louvre" or "Notre Dame" than visit Wargaming shops, I'm sorry! But I can ask in my club...

    1. Phil, I can confirm that there is a Games Workshop store opposite St Lazzare Station, in Paris. There is also a figure shop at the Palais Royal which mainly has 25mm figures and flats.