»No horse collars in Roman times!« Most English science books on Rome and the Middle Ages say so. According to them, the ancient world was economically hampered by inefficient horse or mule harnessing. A problem which, they say, was only solved at the height of the Middle Ages. This theory dates back to the 1931 French book of Lefebvre des Noettes which shows a large collection of pictures from Roman to modern time. But unlike in his 1924 book he omitted all evidence for Roman collars. This website is the first attempt to present all source pictures on Roman collars.
A History of Collar Harnessing in Source-Pictures
- The Roman Collar in Shoulder Traction
- The Roman Collar in Neck Traction
More pictures of neck traction were published by George Raepsaet (1982).
- The Roman Collar, Miscellaeneous
Unlike later collars, the Roman one contained much iron structure. This evidence is crucial to understands its design.
- Collars of the Middle Ages
After the iron penury in the early Middle Ages, the design changed to a bulkier wood/leather construction without any iron. LdN's book contains more pictures, especially of the late MA. This is only a small selection, presented here as an overview.
- Collars of Modern Times
For exact literary sources, see the bibliography in Judy Weller's article on Roman traction systems.
HTML by Erik Möller
Content by Seneca