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Padded Armour
#31
Quote:M.C. Bishop dismisses this idea in favour of the edged shoulder doublings of the mail shirt.

I didn't dismiss the idea per se, but rather pointed out that there is (as is usually the case with all ambiguous sculptural reliefs) an alternative, equally viable, explanation for what is being seen. The same remains true of the Croy Hill relief: it may indeed show some sort of padded undergarment being worn, but that is not the only (or even the most plausible - see my comments above) explanation. It is best not to pin too much on such tendentious evidence; by all means note its existence, but such memes can very swiftly mutate into factoids and, before you know it, re-enactment groups are coming out with this sort of stuff in their commentary as if it is fact. A case in point is the 'evidence' for face masks used by standard bearers: factoid, not fact.

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#32
Hi,

I agree with Aitor: clearly no pteryges. Check out this detail:

[Image: detailarlon.jpg]

I really can't see no indication of scale armour like Drsrob suggested. Maybe he was led by the zig-zag pattern of the lower hem, but this is more an indication of a mailshirt in my opinion.

Wether or not we can see a padded undergarment or a pleated tunic is another question. But is it normal that the pleats at the neck are also repeated at the shoulders and at the lower hem?

To M.C. Bishop:
Quote:I didn't dismiss the idea per se

I really shouldn't have used such a strong word, sorry. I thought I could read a (slight) favour for the interpretation as shoulder-doublings in your book.

Hans
Flandria me genuit, tenet nunc Roma
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#33
Quote:I really shouldn't have used such a strong word, sorry. I thought I could read a (slight) favour for the interpretation as shoulder-doublings in your book.

Well, I tried to be a bit more even-handed than that, and Simkins' replica certainly shows that it could be done (but then that's all experimental archaeology can ever do: it never proves it). I felt it best to allow the reader to apply Occam's Razor as they saw fit.

Incidentally, battle reliefs such as that from Arlon are covered in a paper by Gabelmann, who looks at all the then-known examples and compares the tradition with the 'Reiter-typ' tombstones:

Gabelmann, H. 1973: 'Römische Grabmonumente mit Reiterkampfszenen in Rheingebiet', Bonner Jahrbücher 173, 132-200

In discussions of whether we are seeing tunics or arming doublets peeking out from under the armour, it must be remembered that these cavalrymen, in common with many of the tombstone depictions, as well as the Vachères 'warrior', are wearing long-sleeved tunics (the cuffs are clearly visible).

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#34
Well, if the features at the wrists are really cuffs (and not wrist-guards, which would be a really weird choice!! :roll: ) then we would have an answer to our main question at this thread! :wink:

Aitor
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
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#35
Quote:Well, if the features at the wrists are really cuffs (and not wrist-guards, which would be a really weird choice!! Rolling Eyes ) then we would have an answer to our main question at this thread!

They are clearly shown as sleeves on the Vachères figure by a zig-zag line running up the arm (which may be stitching or some sort of embroidered pattern)... unless he's had a very nasty gash and some ham-handed surgery to stich it up again. There is an easily accessible painting showing this on p.64 of:

P. Connolly 1978: Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome, London

repeated on p.123 of Greece and Rome at War, with Connolly's reconstruction of this type of tunic on p.120 of the same.

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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#36
Quote:They are clearly shown as sleeves on the Vachères figure by a zig-zag line running up the arm

[size=150:31za3sfl]TRUE!! [/size] Big Grin

And now that we've eliminated the less likely, we must end up with the most likely even if it seems absurd. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, the feature under the hamatas of the Arlon relief should be most probably... a quilted subarmalis Confusedhock:

Aitor
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
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#37
Quote:Hi,

I agree with Aitor: clearly no pteryges. Check out this detail:

[Image: detailarlon.jpg]

I really can't see no indication of scale armour like Drsrob suggested. Maybe he was led by the zig-zag pattern of the lower hem, but this is more an indication of a mailshirt in my opinion.
As I said my conclusion comes from comparing this reliëf with two tombstones:
Vonatorix:
[Image: lg_Vonatorixd3.jpg]

Sextus Valerius Genialis:
[Image: lg_SextusValeriusGenialisd1.jpg]
All seem to show the same type of armour. And that of Vonatorix clearly has scales. A scalloped lover edge moreover is atypical for 1st century mail-shirts, but very common on scale-shirts of that period.
Quote:Wether or not we can see a padded undergarment or a pleated tunic is another question. But is it normal that the pleats at the neck are also repeated at the shoulders and at the lower hem?
Imo we see pteryges at the shoulders and at the hem a scalloped edge.

Quote:And now that we've eliminated the less likely, we must end up with the most likely even if it seems absurd. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, the feature under the hamatas of the Arlon relief should be most probably... a quilted subarmalis Confusedhock:

Aitor
Not so hasty.... :wink:
drsrob a.k.a. Rob Wolters
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#38
Here is my reconstruction of a padded subarmalia. It's the only way to go. I have formed a belief that the shoulder doublings of the lorica hamata were not "edged" but were backed of similar material as in the picture here.

[Image: Picture132.jpg]
"In war as in loving, you must always keep shoving." George S. Patton, Jr.
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#39
Dsrob, sorry but I have to come to Aitor's defence Big Grin

When talking about armour padding at Budapest, Prof. Ubl mentioned an early Byzantine book on strategy written by an anonymous, probably in the time of Justinian I.

This is NOT the Strategikon, but another text edited [and translated] by G.T. Dennis:
George T. Dennis (Ed. and Transl.), 1985, Three Byzantine Military Treatises, Washington.

I cite from chapter 16 ("armament" = peri hopliseos):

"Armor for the head, breastplates, and shin guards should be heavy enough to ward off injury nut not so heavy as to be burdensome and wear down the strength of the soldiers before they get into action. These should provide protection not only because of their material strength but because of their design and their smoothness, which should cause missiles to glance off and fall to the ground. There should also be a space between the armor and the body.
IT (the armor) SHOULD NOT BE WORN DIRECTLY OVER ORDINARY CLOTHING, AS SOME DO TO KEEP DOWN THE WEIGHT OF THE ARMOR, BUT OVER A GARMENT AT LEAST A FINGER THICK."

[all' epi himation ouk elatton daktylou to pachos echontohn]
[note: a 'daktylos' should be about 2 cm]

"There are two reasons for this. Where it touches the body the hard metal may not chafe but may fit and lie comfortably upon the body. In addition, it (the armor) helps to prevent the enemy missiles from hitting the flesh because of the iron, the design, and the smoothness, BUT ALSO BECAUSE THE METAL IS KEPT AWAY FROM THE FLESH."

[... here come a few words about spears and infantry tactics, and how the first, second and last row should be given the best armor...]

"The rest of the troops may be provided with coats of mail [zabais], breastplates [thoraxi - should this really be translated with 'breastplates' ???], and head coverings fashioned of felt or leather [kai perikephalaias tais ek pilou kai byrsaes syntetheiménais]."

(this should start another discussion about armour caps :wink: )

"SO THAT THE ROUGH MATERIAL DOES NOT CHAFE THE SKIN, THEY SHOULD WEAR PADDED GARMENTS [peristedidia = lit. 'cheast-wrappers'] UNDER THEM, AS WE RECOMMEND [above] FOR IRON BREASTPLATES AND OTHER ITEMS. The thickness of the cloth also makes it more difficult for missiles to penetrate, or at least to penetrate deeply, into the body."


Ok, so what we are talking about, the peristedidion mentioned here, should be a subarmalis with a density of about 2 cm, which is worn OVER ordinary clothing.
It is hard to tell how relevant these early Byzantine writings were for earlier periods, but we once again have a case of "everything was better in the past" (= "nowadays the lazy soldiery doe not wear peristetidia because they hate carrying heavy stuff"), which sounds much like Vegetius.

So, the anonymous on strategy is likely to be relevant not only for the late late Roman age, but also for previous periods.
(the passage on how to cross a river e.g. is stuffed with allusions to the times of Trajan, Alexander and others).

Now comes the advocatus diaboli et Aitoris et Aurelii Floriani:

IF Roman soldiers had a subarmalis in the 'better' periods before the late late Roman age, and IF a subarmalis should be worn OVER the tunic (late Roman reencators would hate to snafu their beautiful tunics by wearing them directly under a rusty coat of mail),

...then why should we see quilted tunics on the abovementioned cavalry relief but not a subarmalis ??? Normally you would expect the subarmalis to be over the tunic, not the other way around.

Furthermore, just look at the density of the material ! It looks very thick. Now woolen tunics could be quite heavy, but a tunic of this density (and quilted!) would probably make a subarmalis downright superfluous.
And since the riders do wear long sleeved tunics, the strange quilted vests are most likely indeed peristedidia.

"TRUE" (as Aitor calls it Big Grin !)



Darn, I have to make a 2 cm fat and heavy subarmalis over winter - combined with the Christmas chocolates this might explode my segmentata in spring Confusedhock:
Florian Himmler (not related!)
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#40
The only Roman literary account that specifically describes the subarmallis states it was made of felt. Anything else would seem to be pure speculation.
Dan
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#41
Quote:The only Roman literary account that specifically describes the subarmallis states it was made of felt. Anything else would seem to be pure speculation.
Dan
Which one is that?
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Robert Vermaat
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THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#42
'De Rebus Bellicis', Robert! :wink:
I'm not at home now and I cannot have access to it but the text says that the thorachomacus must be made of felt.

Aitor
It\'s all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever.

Rolf Steiner
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#43
From De Rebus Bellicis on the thoracomachus "invented to counter the weight and friction of armour...made to measure from felt to protect the human body was worked out of soft wool...in case the weight of the thoracomachus should be increased when it is sodden with rain (obviously he went to the same re-enactment events I've been to Smile ) and should therefore hamper the wearer it will certainly be advisable to wear on top of it a similar garment made of well-prepared Libyan fleeces to the cut ofthe Thorachomachus".

A similar jerkin of felt and leather was used in WW2 as an over-jacket. I am sure the Roman design was very different, but the concept seems to work!

The picture looks for all the world like a padded doublet- but was it a copy of the original picture, or a product of the medieval copyist?

Cheers

Britannicus
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aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
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#44
Can a subarmalis made of felt be quilted ? Perhaps by sewing several layers of felt together, with a layer of linen on top (and on the inside) ?

I know little of making felt, but one single layer with a thickness of a 'daktylos' (ca. 2 cm) should be difficult to produce.

Sewing several layers together would probably still lead to something like the subarmalis in the De Rebus Bellicis image, or the items seen on the abovementioned reliefs.

One final question - if 'libyan hide' should be worn over the subarmalis to prevent it from getting soaked with rain, how is it possible to keep it from getting soaked from the inside - with SWEAT ? My cloth subarmalis is usually quite heavy when I teak off my armour after a warm day.

Clearly you would not wear a leather tunic UNDER a subarmalis ? Confusedhock:

VALE,
Flavius Promotus/Aurelius Florianus
Florian Himmler (not related!)
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#45
Quote:'De Rebus Bellicis', Robert! :wink:
I'm not at home now and I cannot have access to it but the text says that the thorachomacus must be made of felt.
Aitor
Hi Aitor,
I disagree, for two reasons.
a) the thoracomachus is not 'just' a subarmalis (even though it functions as protection under the armour), it's advocated as added armour.
b) we can't be sure that the thoracomachus was real, or just one of the inventions/alterations proposed by the writer of De rebus bellicis.

I realise (I think, I'm not at home too :wink: ) that the writer tells us that this is the subarmalis of the ancients, but if it was, then why mention it as a novelty is a manuscript of novelties and inventions?

Quote:Anonymus, De rebus bellicis, XV, 1-2:
`The ancients, among the many things which... they devised for use in
war, prescribed also the thoracomachus to counteract the weight and
friction of armour... This type of garment is made of thick sheep's wool
felt to the measure... of the upper part of the human frame...'

Mike, you wrote about it in M.C. Bishop, "Aketon, Thoracomachus, and Lorica Segmentata", in Exercitus: the Bulletin of the Ermine Street Guard vol. 3 no. 1 (1995), 1-3. Any opinions?
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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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