Crown of Grass.
This is coolbert:
More wiki stuff on the Romans and their legions.
The highest military decoration that could be awarded to a Roman soldier was a CROWN OF GRASS!!!???
"Roman military decorations and punishments"
[the Romans did have a whole range of punishments for soldiers that did not go their duty. This blog entry concerns only the highest award for superlative achievement!!]
"Grass Crown- (Latin, corona obsidionalis or corona graminea) was the highest and rarest of all military decorations. It was presented only to a general or commander who broke the blockade of a beleaguered Roman Army"
A Roman legion or army, surrounded and beset by an enemy, in danger of annihilation, is rescued by a relief column of other Roman legions. The general at the head of the relief column, receiving the award, "it was never conferred except at a crisis of extreme desperation, never voted except by the acclamation of the whole army".
[a general would have the soldiers of his own army confer this decoration by acclamation!! AND ONLY THEN!! Whoa!!]
"the highest and rarest of all military decorations in the Roman Republic and early Roman empire. It was presented only to a general or commander who broke the blockade around a beleaguered Roman army, thus saving a legion or the entire army."
"The Grass Crown can be compared the the contemporary Medal of Honor [OR Victoria Cross], which is awarded for valor 'beyond the call of duty',"
"Pliny also lists the persons who by their deeds won the grass crown":
* Lucius Siccius Dentatus.
* Publius Decius Mus. (received two grass crowns—one from his own army, and another from the troops which he had rescued when surrounded)
* Fabius Maximus.
* Marcus Calpurnius Flamma.
* Scipio Aemilianus Africanus.
* Gneius Petreius Atinas.
* Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
* Quintus Sertorius.
Traditionally, according to military historians of the U.S. Army, military units besieged and blockaded normally ONLY survive BY RELIEF FROM OVERLAND COLUMN. Such military operations by their very nature are fraught with great danger and are difficult to perform!!?? Alesia, Kut, Khe Sanh!!
Augustus also was award a Crown of Grass, but as a political, symbolic award, NOT for rescuing a beleaguered Roman military force. Think Wainwright and Mac Arthur in modern times??!!