Optio, Legio XX Valeria Victrix, Britannia, AD 61
Model kit. Requires assembly and painting.
1:12 scale resin bust. Sculpted by Ramón Martínez. Boxart by Marc Masclans. Kit includes: 11 pieces
The Roman conquest of Britain was a long, hard and unfinished project. The first contacts with the Romans were made by Julius Caesar expeditions on 55 and 54 BC, which set the basis of a great influence of the Latin culture on the British Islands, especially in the southern part of England. The actual conquest didn’t start until AD 43 when Emperor Claudius set up an invasion plan involving a few legions and the usual diplomacy strategy that exploited the rivalries among the local tribes.
Progress got less steady as the Romans reached the Northern parts of Britain, due to the harsher nature of the land and the weather and the wild nature of the local tribes. Eventually, they set a fortified frontier at the limits of the pacified lands, Hadrian’s Wall and renounced to push forth to the north, setting effectively the actual frontier of Scotland and England.
Romanized Britain became an important province of the Empire but it took years to fully pacify it. Revolts were commonplace, especially at the beginning. One of the most famous revolts was the one of the Iceni, led by the mighty Boudicca. The revolt started on Colchester and spread to other areas, gaining support enough to defeat the Legio IX Hispana and destroying Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St. Albans). The Romans reorganized the remains of their troops, including the Legio XX Valeria Victrix and managed to defeat Boudicca, ending the rebellion, at the Battle of Watling Street on 61 AD.
Optios were soldiers that had a position similar to a modern first sergeant. After the centurion, they were the second in command of the Centuria. Our bust portrays one of these soldiers from the Legio XX Valeria Victrix with some particular pieces of equipment. A Lorica Segmentata, the imperial helmet with the characteristic crest and side plumes and the Hastile, the distinctive staff they carried as a sign of rank that was used to keep the legionaries in rank.
Text courtesy of FeR Miniatures