the dona militaria, and were worn as a badge of military distinction with the torques and the corona muralis.

Figure 16
They appear to be always grouped in unequal numbers, and very commonly in sets of nine. There is no doubt that many of these objects are very closely related to the phalerae employed to decorate harness. The form and decoration must have been very similar. But, when used on harness, phalerae were placed at the points of junction of straps, and were furnished on the back with strong loops sufficient to withstand a considerable strain. This is a function which the light rivets of the discs we are discussing would have been ill-fitted to perform. They are much more suited for fastening the metal plates to a leather tunic or on bands of some strong material, to be worn over the breast on ceremonial occasions.

Phalerae on Monuments

Probably the best known monument illustrating the wearing of such military decorations is that of the centurion Marcus Caelius, found at Xanten on the Rhine and now preserved at Bonn. It dates from the early first century On the breast of the effigy are five phalerae ornamented heads in high relief. Similarly, with Gnaeus Musius, the standard-bearer of the Fourteenth Legion, whose tombstone, illustrated in Fig. 16, is in the Museum at Mainz, wears nine plain circular phalerae, while the centurion Q. Sertorius Festus at Verona has likewise nine phalerae decorated with a Gorgon, Bacchic heads, an eagle, and a horse. So far as can be seen, the selection of designs was purely arbitrary, but possibly the more elaborate forms belonged to the officers of highest rank. Not infrequently the phalerae on their leather framework appear in a panel on a tombstone. Thus they can be seen, nine in number, displayed on the monument of the horseman Caius Marius at Bonn.