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Turma! Roman Cavalry Charge

posted Jul 2, 2017, 11:02 AM by Gordon Doherty   [ updated Dec 9, 2018, 5:32 AM ]
Just back from a top weekend in Carlisle watching many groups of experts and re-enactors coming together to put on a rather amazing Roman cavalry display. We had Legionary battles and displays, horse parades and mock-battles (Hippikia Gymnasia), all judged by Emperor Hadrian himself. And just how intimidating and spooky are the masked, plumed elite riders?!
One of the many things I took away from this was the sheer 'presence' of a turma. I have been guilty of writing about such a 30-strong group of horsemen as mere skirmish-fodder, but these guys showed just how much a unit this size, draped in full armour, standards and colours could inspire awe and fear in those they might be fighting or protecting. Here are a few pics:

Left: Me and my mucker, Simon Turney. Right: the Ermine St Guard on the march

Left: Hadrian leading his elite cavalrymen. Right: Perfect ranks cantering past.

Left: The elites - how intimidating would it be to face them in their emotionless, steely masks and bright, rippling plumes? Right: a bit blurry, but here they are hurling blunted lances at one another, watched by Emperor Hadrian.

Published at on 2nd July 2017