Lunetius Lacerna: Designer Notes


Lunetius, Tiberius and Walburga really come as a set. Not only were they born at the same time, they are designed to work together to form a full outfit. Not that this means that they can’t be made separately ;)

Lunetius the lacerna is the pattern that went through the most name-changes and iterations behind the scenes. Why? Because I found conflicting information in secondary literature about how this type of cloak was called and who wore it when.

To start at the beginning, I wanted a cloak that goes with the rest of my costume for my TTRPG character, a kind-of fantasy Roman. I knew it had to be red, but apart from that I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. So I started reading up on cloaks in the Roman military. While this may sound like an easy task, there was no real standardised “uniform” for Roman soldiers, contrary to common belief. It also really depends on the timeframe you’re looking at, “Roman” can mean anything from the days of kings to the late republic to the late empire, a timespan of a few hundred years. Things change. After narrowing the type of cloak I wanted down to a sagum or a lacerna, I went back and forth between them, because I could not find reliable information on them. First, the sagum seemed like the safer choice, because many historical reenactment sites referred to it, but digging a little deeper revealed that most of them linked to the same source (if they linked to a source at all), that appeared a bit questionable. That was when I abandoned the internet search and went to the university library, borrowing a stack of academic books on the subject. Those were very interesting reads! After finding more references for a lacerna in them then for a sagum, I went for the lacerna. Then I only had to agonise a bit over the exact shape of curve I wanted while looking at stone reliefs.

Coding the pattern was the easiest part of the whole process.

Oh, and why the name lunetius? Well, that actually is the name of the character I made this whole outfit for. And yes, he has a special relationship with the moon.