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Cornicen was a legion trumpeter who played the kornu brass horn. They were standing next to the flag bearer, giving general warning sound commands.

Cornicene most likely served the same functions as bucinetor and tubucene . In the camp, they signaled the changing of the guard, the arrival of a legate, emperor, or general, as well as the announcement of various decrees and death sentences. On the march, he usually gave signals "to march", "to fight", "to drop anchor", etc. Kornitseny belonged to junior officers-principals.

Kornitseny on the march. The Aurelian Column. 2nd century AD

Cornu (Latin cornu - horn) - otherwise Roman horn-wind musical instrument in ancient Rome.

Kornu resembled bucina, also had a rounded shape, but was longer — up to 3 meters. Most likely, the sounds of these two instruments were close to each other, both in timbre and strength. The cornu was probably used in the same way as the tuba and bucina to signal in the Roman army and at ceremonies.

Kornu made of bronze. Roman Museum, Aalen, Germany. 1-2 century AD

The external distinction of Roman military musicians was an animal skin, draped over a helmet and tied with its front paws on the chest, like other representatives of the legion's banner group. The armament consisted of a gladius and a pugio. As a protective equipment, the Kornitsens used a lorica hamata or squamata, as well as a small round shield- parma, which was worn on the side on a belt.

Related topics

Legion Banner Group, Bucinator, Tubucene, Roman Army helmets, Gladius, Full name, Lorica Hamata, Lorica Squamata, Parma


E. V. Hertzman. Music of Ancient Greece and Rome


Mosaic with musicians and gladiators. 1-3 century AD
Mosaic with musicians and gladiators. 1-3 century AD