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Plate Manica
Quote: the carvings are widely accepted as having been executed by soldiers in the field. Certainly, they are far cruder than those one sees on the Trajanic column.

They were a memorial made by soldiers, for soldiers. These people had a different agenda. If the armour plates overlapped the other way, why represent them so they overlap downwards? I would think that the last people to get it wrong would be those who used it in combat!

Why soldiers, and not local craftsmen? I know it's a popular theory that soldiers made it, but I don't see what the evidence is, so it's a very open ended subject where I feel the soldier-sculptors idea has a "romantic" whiff about it. Perhaps the absence of segs on the Adamklissi metopes are because local sculptors recreated non-legionaries (auxilia) who were there at the very time they made it? Drawing from life and accurate, but not "historically accurate"?
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
It may also be that trajans column used one 'example' legion; which wore segmentata, and adamklissi was depicting another alternately armoured legion? (or cohort/or century, or even individual for that matter)

I don't think we know enough for certain about uniformity of appearance in a legion, nevermind between different legions, and as tarbicus says auxilia can't to my mind be ruled out?

I think everyone would agree that equipment within the legion would differ somewhat, but to what extent no one is certain? :?

As for archaeology as a science- I think its as scientific as you can be when dealing with people. :wink: (and thats about as ambiguous as you like!)

On a cold and gray Chicago mornin\'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghettoooooo...
(vocalist extrodinaire- Eric Cartman)
There is always is the possibility that Lendon is correct in his opinion that by that time the roles of auxilia and legions were distinctly different.

Trajan's Column;
Depicts combat and engineering.
The disproportionate amount of combat is undertaken by soldiers in hamata and squamata.
All engineering is by soldiers wearing segmentata.

Depicts combat and no engineering.
All Roman soldiers depicted in armour wear hamata or squamata.

Therefore, if Adamklissi was intended only to depict combat and no engineering, and the vast majority of combatants wore hamata or squamata, then it would actually be historically correct in depicting them as such, and incorrect to show segmentata to be truly representative of its subjects.

There would actually be no conflict or contradiction between the two monuments. Trajan's Column is simply telling a wider story involving more characters, scenes and armour types.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
Thanks for the intersting debate all-

Perhaps we should turn this on its head. Given we have artefactual, all be it 3-4 examples, to prove upward overlapping occured; what would be the advantage to having downward overlapping plates?

Here is why I think upwards plates are good-
To my mind upward overlapping plates stop forward angled (i.e from 45% either side of straight ahead) cuts and thrusts from biting in and DEFLECT them, and thus their power, away when the arm is extended and thus at its most vulnerable. IMHO they were also probably using some padding to help absorb a little of the blow (probably for infantry and definately for gladiators).

All this would stop the blade biting into soft flesh and save the majority of blows which one recives in a fight from causing damage. By majority I mean the blows that we all have had that get past our guard, be it shield or last resort blade parry. These shots are therefore either a lucky scrappy shot by the time they are past the guard (90%) or a very skilled shot which was carefully crafted by someone better than you (10%), if its the latter then they have already compensated for your armour and more likely than not your going down no matter what you are wearing! Sad

In the arena this makes for a better fight and removes debilitating but boring minor wounds Confusedhock: (boring for the crowd only I'm sure and not the poor sod who received it!) On the battlefield it stops a large number of your fighting force being wounded in a non-fatal, but possibly maiming and certainly "off duty/out of action for a while" injury.

The blows travelling up the arm on an overlapping guard slide up the arm and off to one side when the arm is extended and stops most these wounds. I have several cuts and bruises each time when free fighting with steel weapons and we are quite tame, using blunt weapons and not trying to hit each others arms!

Downward overlapping would not be as effective in this manner, so my question is; what would they do better than upwards overlapping?

On a cold and gray Chicago mornin\'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghettoooooo...
(vocalist extrodinaire- Eric Cartman)
I can think of one probable reason why downward overlap would be good in the arena: against big cats. If one managed to get its claws on an upward manica it would have a great grip on the arm, where downward would likely mean the claws slid down and off.

[Image: glad_c2.jpg]

[Image: glad2a.jpg]

Photos from: Bad Kreuznach
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
[Image: teach_p4.jpg]

[Image: 081.jpg]
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
Very good point- also I suppose retiarius would probably wear his on his left arm (or right but defensive forward whatever) and that defensive arm would be held in a more verticle or 45 degree angle, so the plates would want to overlap downward to deflect blows off that way and act like a shield?

On a cold and gray Chicago mornin\'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghettoooooo...
(vocalist extrodinaire- Eric Cartman)
I really know very very little about the games, which is obvious from my posts, and my mind was set in man-to-man combat. Then I realised it had gone a bit too military and thought "what was different about a soldier's and gladiator's opponents?"

TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
I have seen a few pictures of different mancia. One has plate on the upper part of the arm and on the forearm with chainmail in the center for the elbow. Another picture was not so clear but looks like it had an opening on one side of hte manica for the elbow. It is hard to explain but the picture is in the osprey book for the gladiators. Which plate manica is the correct one or do we know?
Joshua B. Davis

Marius Agorius Donatus Minius Germanicus
Optio Centuriae
Legio VI FFC, Cohors Flavus

"Do or do not do, their is no try!" Yoda
Did soldiers carve Adamklissi? I think that one pointer to this is to look at exactly what the depicted figures are doing. Looking at No.XVIII again, this depicts a combat between a Roman infantryman (presumably a legionary) and a Dacian (because of the latter's headgear). The Roman is depicted in the 'classic' legionary stance - namely using the shield as a battering ram to unbalance the opponent and then reaching around the right side of the shield with the sword held low for a blow to the lower abdomen. This was what Roman soldiers were trained to do and is described by a number of Roman writers.

The whole attitude of this carving smacks of having been done by someone who knows this manoeuvre intimately. The stance is "right". It just doesn't look like it has been executed by a professional Greek-influenced Roman sculptor (as so much of the Trajan's column does). Or, indeed, by some local stonemason.

It is widely held that the army depicted on the column is being presented in a coded form. Instead of writing something like: "These are Roman soldiers storming a fortress, while these are auxiliaries bringing in Dacian prisoners", the scultor used visual clues. The Roman legionaries always wear lorica segmentata armour, while the auxiliaries wear scale or mail armour and the Prætorians wear 'attic' helmets and are always shown in close proximity to the Emperor. All sorts of attempts have been made to identify the legions involved, no no-one's complete satisfaction. I doubt that we can read more into this than that, unless someone comes up with a 'Rosetta stone' sometime!

The question as to whether the plate armour was used by legionaries alone or whether auxiliaries used it as well has also made for some interesting discussions (I did my Masters on this topic, so I'm well aware of the arguments).

Which brings me back to one observation. The girdle plates of the lorica segmentata tend to overlap downwards. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?
visne scire quod credam? credo orbes volantes exstare.
Quote:Which brings me back to one observation. The girdle plates of the lorica segmentata tend to overlap downwards. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?
I don't believe so in this case. Unless the legionary kept his arm constantly pointed down at his side in battle, in which case it would act as well as a seg. However, they tended to point towards the enemy they were trying to stab, which gives it the opposite direction to a seg when the legionary was leaning forwards and the gaps in the seg were pointed away from the enemy.

By having the plates overlap upwards that would then mimic the combat orientation of the seg plates, with the vulnerable openings facing away from the enemy. Then it would be sauce for the gander.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers

Quote:If there is an example from a gladiatorial context that is different, then this could be interesting. (I don't know of any?- maybe some of the Pompeii stuff?)

Perplexingly, there were no manicae found at Pompeii. Perhaps they were made of organic material (linen, leather, etc.)?

Quote:Which brings me back to one observation. The girdle plates of the lorica segmentata tend to overlap downwards.

Conventional thought is that the Roman (initially, anyway) were shorter than their Germanic opponents, though this certainly isn't clear from Adamklissi. But assuming this were true, torso plates overlapping downward makes perfect sense. I had thought I'd read of a lorica seg torso and mail shoulder section hybrid, supposedly used by cavalry... and on that example, the torso plates did indeed overlap bottom to top (believe it was in MC Bishop's Lorica Seg Vol 1, I'll have to recheck it).

M.Valerius Aelianus
Jim Whitley
Legio VI Victrix, L.A.

In this topic you mention several pictures. Could anybody who has these pictures send me a link or the pictures please.
I would realy apriciate it.
Many thanks,

Collegium Gladiatorium Hungary
aka Gus ztav Gar as
Hi there guys, here are some musings I have had/found on the subject:

Downwards facing overlaps (like roof tiles) are simpler to make, in so far that the individual segments can be longer as they slide across each other quite nicely and move well at the elbow. Upwards facing ones tend to lock and so need to be individually quite thin to work well with each.

I have found evidence for both up and downward facng manica from gladiatorial depictions and plenty of evidence of 'lazy boy' carving where the shape of the arm is simply shown with a series of lines across it showing something was going on but who knows.

In these examples the lapping is upwards on both the arm and the leg:

I am at work and struggling to find gladiatorial versions of the downward config ...

In this example its is simply banding, either a 'lazy' artisan or possibly a depiction of tied padding?

Most examples, particularly mosaic, seem undeterminable.

Given that lots of metal survived Pompeii (helmets) I always find it odd that no manica survived. I believe, certainly at the time the volcano buried everything that manica where probably cloth, leather or fabric and not metal.

Whilst the look of metal is a lot flasher, I am slowly trying to replace most of my group with leather or fabric manica ...what do you all think?
My leather manica has the plates facing upward, for reasons mentioned before...a sword thrust can more easily be parried when sliding in that direction. Generally speaking, the sword/weapon arm will be toward the opponent, and therefore, the upward facing plates will help direct the attacking blade away.

Essentially, then, this becomes more or less like a typical boxing or martial arts parry. No need to bash the intruding weapon very far: just enough to miss me suits me just fine. I'm getting older, so I'm working on economy of movement to save energy.

I've read, but not seen certain examples, that gladiators used BOTH directions of plates, depending on what type of gladiator they were facing. I'm sure it's for the reason of letting the opponent's attacks slide off. If coming mostly from above, then downward facing is better, if towards the body, then upward would work better.

AFAIK, there's no reason to want to receive all the force of the incoming attack on the arm. And I can't imagine wearing metal armor on arm or leg without some kind of padding. A piece of metal over a shin bone doesn't help with the impact, though it might prevent a cut. Take a metal plate, lay it across your shin, and hit the plate with a hammer, and you'll see what I mean. Try it a second time with an inch of padding. Nuff said.

I also think padding makes sense under leather for the same reasons.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.

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