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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Body armor types...? Reply to topic
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another example. This was found in Zeguma, Turkey.


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Zdenek Starek




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Apr, 2010 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:
On October 2005 parts of Frankish lammelar armour were discovered in Kranj in Slovenia at archeological dig. They also discovered parts of frankish fort foundations from 6.th century, a well perserved angon and several other items.


Hallo Blaz


Do you know anthing more about this armours? I would like to know more, it is very , very interesting.

here are two pictures, which I have found.





Shoulder piece of armour



Shoulder piece of armour after konsevation



Do you have any other pictures? Do you know any literature about this find?

thanks, Sidney
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2011 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:
Elling Polden wrote:
Lamelar scales have been found in viking era scandinavia, as well. Probably imported from the east. (This causes half the north european viking reenactment comunity to wear one, because they are lighter than maile... :/ )
There was one Lamelar found at Visby, as well, probably imported as well.


I am one of those who feel it was very likely that the Vikings did use lamellar armour, after all they knew about it, it was available and it was probably cheaper than mail. In addition Norsemen also served as Varangian guardsmen in Constantinople, I think it is possible that some poorer Varangians who couldn't afford mail bought lamellar instead, then took it home with them. Its also possible that Norsemen got hold of lamellar armour as loot when carrying out raids in Russia.

However a fellow member of the myArmoury.com Forums has pointed out to me on another thread, that although Viking era lamellar has been found at Birka in Sweden, there is no evidence that it was actually worn by native Norsemen. I got the distinct impression that this is a rather controversial subject among people interested in Viking armour. Big Grin


forgive me if someone already answerd this several years ago, but i assume your referring to the varangian guard,
not the varangian people i.e the rus.

these guys were the emporers bodyguard when your in the pay of the king himself you should be able to find money for armour
i get the feeling that if they didnt enter service with armour already, then i would think that the emperor would see to it that he got them some armour.


i have a question regarding varying types of armour, in the case of the plate harnesses in the 16th century like the demi lancers and 3/4 plated cuirassiers etc

could someone explain the diff between full, half and three quarter harnesses?

i look at it this way, full plate has all the pieces i.e you have plates covering your whole body head to toe., legs chest shoulders arms, hands head throat and feet etc.

what gets reduced to make a half armour, and what gets reduced to make 3/4 armour. im looking mostly at austrian , 16th century armours from the graz armouries (the kind that have the black and white decoration, with burgonets.
and thats not giving me much of a clue
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Elling Polden wrote:
From the above pictures one can see that the Parthians wear the laminated arm deffence and scale/lamelar, while the sassanids wear mail. on their arms, and the same kind of laminated leg deffence.

Oh come on. It is ridiculous to make such a claim based solely on artistic evidence. Segmented plate is but one possibility, and IMO unlikely to be the most likely possiblity. If you can find some additional evidence to support your claim then I would be more willing to entertain the notion. Something in the primary sources or archaeological record, not more artistic interpretations.

Quote:
Would the parthinan grand vizer, and all his Katapracts, go to war without metal armour on his arms or leggs?

Why not? Quilted cloth offers much better defence than you seem to think. It is capable of resisting arrows and sword cuts.

If this segmented plate was so wonderful on the battlefield then why did the Romans restrict its use largely to the arena? Maybe you could also tell me how you are supposed to put them on since none of the effigies show any hint of straps or buckles.

they didnt reduce it to use in the arena.
remember that the roman legions used the manica in dacia and thrace to counter the falx and rhomphaia (not to mention reinforcing cross bars on the helmet to counter the heaver barbarian weapons.) *shudder*

one other thing , since were on the topic of roman armour .
when i attempted to correct someone who said an image of a roman next to a han chinese horseman that he wore the rare segmentata compared to the standard issue hamata (i assumed were talking about 1st and second century AD)
by saying the legionaires used the segmentata LS and hamata LH interchangably within their ranks even during the 2nd century AD
he mentioned this
"Legionaires wore everything, and auxillaries often wore the same armor as legionaires. Hvy aux infantry usually fought in the same way as regular legionaires. LH was always more common than LS, even during the LS's peak use during the 2nd century.
Trajan's column is a Roman propaganda piece created by a Greek who didn't know anything about the battle. A more accurate column is the Adamclisi Tropaeum, which portrays legionaires and auxillaries all wearing scale.

And when I say propaganda piece, I mean the LS is typically considered shiny parade armor. It was given to border troops and sometimes Praetorians. (even though it was far more costly and not that much better than chainmail hamata) "

whats your take on the Adamclisi Tropaeum and, i did a quick look and indeed legionaires are shown using scale,
and the assertions of the the LS being 'shiny parade armour' though dan, if what you say is true it was actually the segmentata that was cheaper than the hamata

funnily enough, alot of the metropes from the monument attest to the legionaires using the manica laminata (armguard)
[/u]
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
remember that the roman legions used the manica in dacia and thrace to counter the falx and rhomphaia (not to mention reinforcing cross bars on the helmet to counter the heaver barbarian weapons.) *shudder*


Careful. The segmented manica and cross-braced helmets show up all over the Empire, not just in Dacia. Their appearance opposite the falx could be coincidental. One radical theory is that the falx was used *to counter heavy Roman armor such as manica and greaves!* Not sure I agree with that one entirely, but I like it! The rhomphia, by the way, is a very much earlier weapon, possibly not even related to the falx. Don't confuse them.

Quote:
when i attempted to correct someone who said an image of a roman next to a han chinese horseman that he wore the rare segmentata compared to the standard issue hamata (i assumed were talking about 1st and second century AD)
by saying the legionaires used the segmentata LS and hamata LH interchangably within their ranks even during the 2nd century AD
he mentioned this
"Legionaires wore everything, and auxillaries often wore the same armor as legionaires. Hvy aux infantry usually fought in the same way as regular legionaires. LH was always more common than LS, even during the LS's peak use during the 2nd century.
Trajan's column is a Roman propaganda piece created by a Greek who didn't know anything about the battle. A more accurate column is the Adamclisi Tropaeum, which portrays legionaires and auxillaries all wearing scale.

And when I say propaganda piece, I mean the LS is typically considered shiny parade armor. It was given to border troops and sometimes Praetorians. (even though it was far more costly and not that much better than chainmail hamata) "


Lorica segmentata was far from rare, but it was indeed used alongside hamata in the legions, quite possibly in the auxiliaries as well. I would not call it "parade armor", though it does polish up nicely. The pieces we've found have been fully functional, but then, most surviving armor is! We don't know who created Trajan's Column, and I hate to dismiss it too blithely. It does seem a bit stereotyped, but I would say those are *Roman* stereotypes. They exist for a reason. The Column also lays out the sequence of events very nicely, and includes confirmed historical events such as the capture and death of Decebalus. We don't want to try to cull too much detail from it, but hey, it's a valuable pictoral source.

Arguments still rage about the comparative costs and effectiveness of segmentata versus hamata. Let's not go there...

Quote:
whats your take on the Adamclisi Tropaeum and, i did a quick look and indeed legionaires are shown using scale


Seems realistic enough to me, as if created by an eyewitness. I remember someone (an art historian?) denouncing it scathingly, but couldn't understand what his objections were. The details are crude, of course, but have a ring of accuracy that the Column lacks. Obviously, as with any source, use with caution. But as far as legionaries using mail and scale, we know that's the case from a number of other sources, so it's no surprise. The utter lack of segmentata is curious, though!

Quote:
funnily enough, alot of the metropes from the monument attest to the legionaires using the manica laminata (armguard


Right, this is the basis for the theory that the manica and cross-braced helmets were introduced *in response* to the falx. Since there is no literary evidence to back that up, and archeological evidence that could be seen as contrary, "theory" is as far as we can stretch it. Correlation is not proof!

Matthew
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd rely on the Adamclisi Tropaeum before Trajan's Column. Trajan's Column is good for telling us what happened but is of little use for detemining details about equipment.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
And when I say propaganda piece, I mean the LS is typically considered shiny parade armor. It was given to border troops and sometimes Praetorians. (even though it was far more costly and not that much better than chainmail hamata)

LS is definitely functional armour and works well. IMO it was the Roman equivalent of munitions plate issued to troops who couldn't afford anything better such as mail or a breastplate. There isn't a single depiction anywhere of a Roman officer wearing segmentata. It would have been the cheapest and quickest of all the metal armours to manufacture.

And the theory that Romans adopted segmented manica and reinforced helmets because of the Dacian campaign is complete bollocks IMO. It is baseless speculation. Just like viking lamellar.
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Ralph Grinly




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a couple of photo's of armour from area's one wouldn't normally associate with armour

First is a coconut fibre armour from Kiribati, Oceania. One story I've heard ( posiibly fiction) is that the women of the tribes would accompany their men to the battle and stand in background throwing stones at enemy. Hence the large shield-like extensions above the shoulders - to avoid "friendly fire" from an irate spouse ?? Big Grin


Next one is an Unuit bone (whalebone??) armour collected in Alaska, 1830. Anyone notice the similarity to the ancient Chinese armour from the Terracotta Warriors tombs ?
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OOPS..drat. images dont seem to have worked Confused Let me try posting as attachmnts



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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
First is a coconut fibre armour from Kiribati, Oceania. One story I've heard ( posiibly fiction) is that the women of the tribes would accompany their men to the battle and stand in background throwing stones at enemy. Hence the large shield-like extensions above the shoulders - to avoid "friendly fire" from an irate spouse ?? Big Grin

Some North American armours have this shield also and the same myth is given as to why they are used. More likely is that the fighters regularly turn their backs during a skirmish and the shield is designed to protect their heads from the enemy.
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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
William P wrote:
And when I say propaganda piece, I mean the LS is typically considered shiny parade armor. It was given to border troops and sometimes Praetorians. (even though it was far more costly and not that much better than chainmail hamata)

LS is definitely functional armour and works well. IMO it was the Roman equivalent of munitions plate issued to troops who couldn't afford anything better such as mail or a breastplate. There isn't a single depiction anywhere of a Roman officer wearing segmentata. It would have been the cheapest and quickest of all the metal armours to manufacture.

And the theory that Romans adopted segmented manica and reinforced helmets because of the Dacian campaign is complete bollocks IMO. It is baseless speculation. Just like viking lamellar.

i know its functional.. in fact i thought it was the BEST form of armour the romans had, aside from a solid cuirass of course,
this was someone elses words but since armour was state issued, why would a soldiers ability to afford armour matter at all?
or were they allowed to purchase their own armour oif they wanted?
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
i know its functional.. in fact i thought it was the BEST form of armour the romans had, aside from a solid cuirass of course,


I'd tend to agree! BUT you have to keep in mind that "best" is a very subjective thing, and it is NOT always the same as "most protective". A muscled cuirass looks better (to some folks!), but from an armorer's point of view it's harder to make and fit to a man. Mail is more comfortable to wear, and MUCH easier to fit to a wide range of sizes, plus it is far easier to maintain and far less resistant to daily wear and tear than a segmentata. Less upkeep is always high on the list for an organized military. Also remember that mail was always the most common form of armor in the Roman army, and was used by standard bearers, centurions, and other officer-types while segmentata does not seem to have been. Curious!

Quote:
this was someone elses words but since armour was state issued, why would a soldiers ability to afford armour matter at all?
or were they allowed to purchase their own armour oif they wanted?


Strictly speaking, issue of equipment *at state expense* did not begin until the third century AD. Before then, troops were apparently "issued" their gear but the costs were deducted from their pay. And we know that they could go outside the army system to get equipment. So yes, cost was presumably a factor. There is solid evidence that not all legionaries wore body armor, in fact.

Ralph, the bone armor is gorgeous!! Thanks for posting that. Hmm, might look cool with my Mycenaean boar tusk helmet! Nothing to polish, either, hmmm....

Matthew
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Ahmad Tabari




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Also remember that mail was always the most common form of armor in the Roman army, and was used by standard bearers, centurions, and other officer-types while segmentata does not seem to have been. Curious!
I believe that one of the main reasons why segmentata was primariy limited to the legionary soldiers was the fact that their style of fighting simply did not require a great deal of flexibility. The gladius and scutum combination made for a simple two dimensional and yet brutally efficient way of war. Auxilliary infantry on the other hand were quipped with spathas, indicating an emphasis on hacking and slashing rather than simple stabbing. As a result the armour had to be as flexible as possible. Cavalrymen also wielded spatha swords and were expected to hack down left and right from horseback and I simply cant imagine them doing that comfortably wearing a segmentata. What makes me convinced of this theory is the fact that the adoption of the spatha by the legions in the third century coincides with the phasing out of the LS.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Except that lorica segmentata is flexible! Everyone I know who wears one can swing a sword just fine. And we know that plenty of auxiliary infantry were carrying the gladius, as well. No one has been able to demonstrate any problems wearing segmentata on horseback, either.

It's more likely that segmentata went out of use simply because with mail it was easier to equip large numbers of different-sized men, and easier to store and maintain it.

Matthew
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the LS is a bit deficient in armpit protection. Needs voiders! Wink
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
I think the LS is a bit deficient in armpit protection. Needs voiders! Wink


Ha! All seriousness aside, mailshirts at that time were sleeveless--no better protection than a segmentata.

Matthew
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Myles Mulkey




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:
But I know of at least one other find of Frankish lamellar armour from such an early period, but I can't find the referece now.

On a side note regarding Frankish lamellar/leather armor, Clovis I was described in an account of the Battle of Voulon/Vouillé against the Visigoths:
"Clovis had a close escape when attacked by spearmen, but was saved by his leather armor and the speed of his horse." (Jim Bradbury, The Routledge Companion To Medieval Warfare)

"There wrought Regin
by the red embers
rune-written iron
rare, enchanted;"
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Myles Mulkey wrote:
Blaz Berlec wrote:
But I know of at least one other find of Frankish lamellar armour from such an early period, but I can't find the referece now.

On a side note regarding Frankish lamellar/leather armor, Clovis I was described in an account of the Battle of Voulon/Vouillé against the Visigoths:
"Clovis had a close escape when attacked by spearmen, but was saved by his leather armor and the speed of his horse." (Jim Bradbury, The Routledge Companion To Medieval Warfare)


Hmm, I keep seeing that story a bout battle of Vouille a lot recently, but I can't really see any word suggesting "leather" anywhere in the text?

My latin is nonexistent, but I can't find any word that would be translated like that, and it's not in any translation I've seen.

Just:

Porro rex, cum fugatis Gothis Alaricum regem interfecisset , duo ex adverso subito advenientes, cum contis utraque ei latera feriunt. Sed auxilio tam luricae quam velocis equi, ne periret, exemptus est.

So just "luricase" without any further detail, it seems.

Unless we're talking about different texts, but it seems that it's all from Gregory of Tours "Historia Francorum" ?
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Myles Mulkey wrote:
Blaz Berlec wrote:
But I know of at least one other find of Frankish lamellar armour from such an early period, but I can't find the referece now.

On a side note regarding Frankish lamellar/leather armor, Clovis I was described in an account of the Battle of Voulon/Vouillé against the Visigoths:
"Clovis had a close escape when attacked by spearmen, but was saved by his leather armor and the speed of his horse." (Jim Bradbury, The Routledge Companion To Medieval Warfare)

Secondary sources aren't much use. What is Bradbury's primary source? As Bartek says, Gregory of Tours just uses the word "armour" with no distinction at all.
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William P




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
William P wrote:
i know its functional.. in fact i thought it was the BEST form of armour the romans had, aside from a solid cuirass of course,


I'd tend to agree! BUT you have to keep in mind that "best" is a very subjective thing, and it is NOT always the same as "most protective". A muscled cuirass looks better (to some folks!), but from an armorer's point of view it's harder to make and fit to a man. Mail is more comfortable to wear, and MUCH easier to fit to a wide range of sizes, plus it is far easier to maintain and far less resistant to daily wear and tear than a segmentata. Less upkeep is always high on the list for an organized military. Also remember that mail was always the most common form of armor in the Roman army, and was used by standard bearers, centurions, and other officer-types while segmentata does not seem to have been. Curious!

Quote:
this was someone elses words but since armour was state issued, why would a soldiers ability to afford armour matter at all?
or were they allowed to purchase their own armour oif they wanted?


Strictly speaking, issue of equipment *at state expense* did not begin until the third century AD. Before then, troops were apparently "issued" their gear but the costs were deducted from their pay. And we know that they could go outside the army system to get equipment. So yes, cost was presumably a factor. There is solid evidence that not all legionaries wore body armor, in fact.

Ralph, the bone armor is gorgeous!! Thanks for posting that. Hmm, might look cool with my Mycenaean boar tusk helmet! Nothing to polish, either, hmmm....

Matthew

which is funny, i one said that continually that what i saw was a highlight of roman efficiancy and power was the fact that they, were one of the ONLY armies in history aside from the chinese, to equip nearly their entire army infantry and cavalry and even archers (maybe) with metal armour, and helmets in those sorts of massive numbers
no other army before, or since then has been able to match that feat as far as i know

the fact not all legionaires wore armour does shatter that abit

btw could anyone answer the quesion about plate armours

what was the style that came after the milanese and gothic suits, aside from maximillian armour, like the kind worn by the landsknechts and gendarms
and what is the difference in terms of subtracted pieces, between full 3/4 and half armours?
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, "lorica" or "lurica" in this case is just "armor". Nothing about leather in that passage that I'm seeing.

William P wrote:
which is funny, i one said that continually that what i saw was a highlight of roman efficiancy and power was the fact that they, were one of the ONLY armies in history aside from the chinese, to equip nearly their entire army infantry and cavalry and even archers (maybe) with metal armour, and helmets in those sorts of massive numbers
no other army before, or since then has been able to match that feat as far as i know

the fact not all legionaires wore armour does shatter that abit


Oh, the Romans certainly had a MUCH greater percentage of their troops in armor than anyone else in the neighborhood! And even the unarmored legionaries were still better equipped than your garden variety tribal spear-and-shield man, having helmet, sword, and dagger.


Quote:
and what is the difference in terms of subtracted pieces, between full 3/4 and half armours?


As I understand it, full of course is armor head to toe; 3/4 is to the knees; half armor to the hips or thighs (probably tassets at most rather than cuisses?). I believe that all still assumes covered arms.

Matthew
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