Lascus Polonus. Nearer to the time of Trajan we find the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, and another marble one on the first platform of the orator's staircase, nudas ferro ungulas habent; at the bottom, also, two statues of Trajan himself on each side of the Arch of Constantine. But lest it should be asserted that details were not intended to be shown on these statues, it so happens that the artist has designed the soles of the shoes worn by the soldiers with iron nails, which Festus and Isidorus in their Orig. xix. cap. ult. termed “clauta” and to which kind of shoes and sharp nails Josephus in “De Bell. Judaic.” frequently refers.’
Joachim Camerarius asserts that the ancients were not accustomed to shoe their horses."
Guido Pancirolus observes, that some are of this opinion, because such shoes are not seen in the equestrian statues; the reason for which was not known to him. He, however, cites Nicetas for an equestrian statue shod with iron shoes; but as that Byzantine historian lived in the 13th century, when shoeing was well known, it is extremely likely that the statue was either a very recent one, or the horses' feet were armed in the same fashion as Eustathius caused Homer's horses to be.
Isaac Casaubon was of opinion that shoeing was not known very anciently.
- Raphadis Fabretti. De Col. Trajani, cap. vii. p. 224. Romæ, 1683.
- Thesaur. Graec. Antiq., vol. xi. p. 822. De Curandis Equis. ‘Prisci solea ungulis assigere non cofisiievere.’
- Nova Reperta, Tit. 16. Sunt etiam qui velint ne calceatos quidem olim fuisse equos: eo quod in equestribus statuis ferrea ista calceamenta non conspiciantur; cujus rei causam sane haud scio.
- Aristoph. Equit., 549. Vetustissimos homines hoc ignorâsse certum est.