Weapons as media: from Nasrallah to Augustus

I was thinking about that image of Hassan Nasrallah that I showed in class, with the weapon that both Ryan and Brendan pointed out was Israeli, and it occurred to me that it’s likely to have been a weapon they took off one of the Israeli soldiers they captured, either in 2000 or  2006 (or some other occasion I can’t recall).

and, indeed, a google search of Nasrallah and Israeli weapons turned up this:


A rifle from one of the captured soldiers in 2006, which set off the one-month war between Israel and Lebanon/Hezbollah;  although the Lebanese casualties were enormous compared to the Israeli ones, the fact that Israel couldn’t break Hezbollah led the latter to basically declare victory.

Similar displays and actions of captured weapons can be found in Roman media. The return of the legionary standards of Crassus’ army after its annihilation by the Parthians in 53BC is commemorated on the breastplate of the Augustus Prima Porta, as I mentioned today.

These standards were later placed in Augustus’ Temple to Mars Victor.  Likewise, images of captured Dacian arms (Dacia is the equivalent to modern-day Romania, more or less) figure prominently in  Trajan’s forum and column:


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