A “Vine Staff” was a 3-foot long piece of semi-shaved or hand finished Vinewood, shaped into a Staff. The Vine Staff was carried by Roman Officers and certain other Ranks, as both a symbol of Authority and to provide “direction” when pointing out required deployments of Soldiers.
From The 2nd Century BC forward, The Vine Staff became a fixture of Command Rank, although no set regulations were ever put forth for it’s manufacture or required carry. In addition to being an “Adjustment Tool” for deployments, Centurions also used The Vine Staff to occasionally beat “sluggish” Troops in Line of March.
A popular style was to use a semi-twisted Vine Staff, preferably one that was more or less straight. They were never painted or likewise adorned. Often, when an Officer retired, it was customary for him to break his Vine Staff, often in the presence of The Emperor or his designate. The Vine Staff is often seen as the origin of The “Swagger” Stick and to some degrees, The “Pace Stick”.