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Corbridge A Breastplates - to cross or not cross diagonally?
#46
Posted: Tue 26 Jun 2007, 13:57 Post subject:

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Well, as always, all you experts are never going to agree, and I will take what looks good!


Gaius Julius Caesar wrote:
Does it not keep the plates vertical though?
And there are many things which only sculptural evidence is used to back up the use of. Besides, i am not saying it is so, but I can't find an argument that tells me it is not a possibility.


"No, it doesn't- the issue with vertical orientation has nothing to do with the buckles- the plates are rigid, the buckle just helps hold them together. Actually it's just a supplementary piece as well, since the vertical connector belts (later hooks) are what mainly keeps the breastplates in place. The lateral belt just keeps them from spreading at the neckline when one moves. Thus two are really unnecessary. "


OK, well I was refering to the fastener on the Newstead.

And it is the Stillfried I had not seen finds for, but did see the re-construction on, I think, Mat Amt's site.

But anyway, there is still the arrow strike to consider..... Confusedhock: 8)

And the order may be getting closer than I thought possible a few days ago.......Start stoking that furnace dude....... :twisted:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#47
Quote:Matt thanks for your reconstuction in paper Big Grin ? hmm.

Lorica segmentata papyrus- a new form! :lol: Yes, the hinge on the Bank of London breastplate fragment is angled 'outboard' slightly, but I don't see how this can be taken as evidence of anything to do with the plate's hang angle- the other half of the hinge could have been equally twisted on the mid-collar plate but the plates still line up straight, and anyway, it's mainly the angle at which the mid-collar plate is angled out from the upper back plate, and the fact that the breastplates are narrower than the back plates that results in their having to be angled to meet. The fact remians that the 6 articulated artifacts from Corbridge ALL require the breastplates to be angled to meet. Because these are a mixture of A and B types and there is some variation in plate size and shape among them while the overall shape of the unit is the same, it's difficult to see how it would be anything but the actual design.

Quote:On the surface finish,David ask me what my thoughts were on rolling mills and I agreed with him hence my use of the term modern rolling.I have in my work shop pre 1879 wrought iron, with the milling scale on while the surface is smooth it has slight imperfections in it ,but they will not come out on camera Sad D D
Regards Brennivs Big Grin

Very cool Tony- and indeed it's in part the marks on the surfaces of various sheet metal artifacts that first got me to thinking that rolling was possibly the cause.
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#48
Quote:
sulla felix:3t43x9z3 Wrote:But are the plates supposed to be vertical?

I'd say they were.

Not to sound confrontational, but can you demonstrate this using the exact layout of the original Corbridge artifacts? Because I can't.

Quote:Firstly, the angle of attachment of the buckles/straps
is perpendicular to the edge of the plates, ...


But you have to bear in mind that the wearer wasn't just standing there he moved around quite a lot and with that motion, the plates, being very mobile relative to one another, would rotate, flex, etc. and as Barry has rightly pointed-out, the girth section isn't necessarily very heavy (the plates were thin- on the order of 0.7mm), and you have 4 belts spreading that weight out, not to mention any that's borne partially by the wearer's hips as he moves. And anyway, as I've mentioned previously, there is common damage to the hinged buckles that appears to be the result of lateral force, exactly what would result if they were angled relative to the 'hang' of the armor.

Quote:Diagonally crossing plates, instead of giving you the protection they
were designed to give, open up the neck hole to allow an enemy to
attack your throat more easily, which is about the most vulnerable
unarmoured part of the body. The shoulder guards and the cheek
guards of the helmet between them give some protection, but it's still
vulnerable and largely uncovered. So you want the neck hole to be as
small as possible while still allowing you to breathe. :lol:

I'm afraid this is just incorrect- the cross doesn't increase the size of the neck opening- if anything, they decrease it since the long edge of some plates would result in a deep neckline exposing more of the sternum. Play with cutouts or Photoshop some real artifacts and you'll see.

Quote:Actually the Newstead is infinitely superior in providing protection
than the Corbridge A - the Corbridge B being an intermediate between
the two, with the leathers between the shoulders and girths being
replaced by metal hooks & eyes. This becomes a total replacement of
the external leathers, including the horizontasl ones, in the Nwestead. Byron is right. The whole point of replacing external leathers with
metal hooks & eyes is for better protection. An enemy can slash you
open from gizzard to beakfast-time by cutting the external leathers
holding your Corbridge together. He can't if you have a Newstead.

I don't mean to be a pain, I really don't :lol: , but again I have to disagree- I've built and worn both types and I don't find the Newstead to be significantly superior to the Corbridge with respect to protective value. There's an awful lot of area on a cuirass to hit, and that's only if one gets past the man simply moving out of the way, and then his shield- what then is the liklihood of cutting a small lether part on the armor? Pretty minimal. And with 5 or 6 laces, you'd have to be Achilles to cut all at once :wink: Cutting the lateral breast buckle won't significantly comprimise the protection of the armor, and you'd have to cut both vertical belts to really cause a problem- again unlikely. Given that soldiers were in battles quite infrequently and that training damage and parts wearing out is far more likely to be the cause of repairs being necessary, it's only logical to realize that the maintnance issue can be reduced significantly by introducing metal fasteners instead of leather ones.

Quote:Plus the quartermaster is going to love you, as you've got a lorica
which will last you a full 25 years, without ever needing to be handed
in for replacement of the external leathers. (Okay, so the internal
leathers will still need replacing, but these should last longer than the
external leathers, which have far more stress on them, and are the
ones exposed to the sword cuts of the enemy.) The downside of the
Newstead is more rididity over the Corbridge. But so what. I'd prefer
protection and durability to the small loss of flexibility, anyday. And,
because of that rigidity, the shoulder guards hang the way they are
designed to do, and don't flap about at a diagonal angle. 8)

There you've hit the nail on the head :wink: Yes, the metal fittings are more durable in combat, but that's more significant a fact the other 99.99% of the time. And yes the Newstead is a bit more rigid than the Corbridge, but not so much as to really be so significant- the human body doesn't bend so much in the thoracic region, so the armor being fairly rigid there isn't bad, and yes the wider breast and back plates do offer a bit more restriction to the movement of the shoulders, but I don't think it's appreciable really either if one is used to it. Indeed the rigidity of the breast and back is better protection though because they're rigid. But since we don't have an articulated artifact, you can't say the shoudler wasn't angled- it's all about the exact shape and orientation of the mid-collar plate and because the back plate's corner is angled, not straight, it seems rather more likely that they were angled just like those of the Corbridge. Angled is better protection too- downward blows will deflect more- the sloped vs. flat armor plate idea- the former is ALWAYS superior.

Ambrosius/Mike[/quote][/quote]
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#49
Quote:"No, it doesn't- the issue with vertical orientation has nothing to do with the buckles- the plates are rigid, the buckle just helps hold them together. Actually it's just a supplementary piece as well, since the vertical connector belts (later hooks) are what mainly keeps the breastplates in place. The lateral belt just keeps them from spreading at the neckline when one moves. Thus two are really unnecessary. "


OK, well I was refering to the fastener on the Newstead.

Oh, okay, I thought you meant the buckles of the Corbridge. But the answer is still no, the fastener of the Newstead hasn't anything to do with the orientation of the plates- that's all due to the mid-collar plates and especially the fact that the breast and back plates are of equal width.

Quote:And it is the Stillfried I had not seen finds for, but did see the re-construction on, I think, Mat Amt's site.

Those are the Newstead breast and back plates, the Stillfried artifacts are only two girth sections- I replicated those, you can see them in my recent posting.

Quote:But anyway, there is still the arrow strike to consider..... Confusedhock: 8)

And the order may be getting closer than I thought possible a few days ago.......Start stoking that furnace dude....... :twisted:

Arrow strike? Confusedhock:
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#50
Quote:I'm right in the middle of preps for a big event so I don't have the time to do the full research yet but this needs more looking at. :x

Absolutely- I didn't start from the position of believing the plates hung at an angle, but that they were likely straight- I discovered the angle when examining the artifact diagrams, and was rather surprised. It's not that I simply feel I'm right, it's just that I can find no other possibility, so if someone can, I'd be curious to know Big Grin

Quote:I follow Matt's points, and agree that the lie of the crossing plates would not unduly expose the neck. but look at the angles and overlap at the bottom of the chest plates. This is unecessary and out of step with all of the rest of the plates which are parallel (if overlapping with each other). From a logical point of view this shold be reshaped to parallel the girth plates.

Indeed it seems strange, but we're not talking about loose artifacts, the original orientation of which we're trying to discern- they're articulated and the shapes are known. Logic cannot be imposed to alter phyisical fact. The fact that the fasteners aren't angled seems odd to us, but unless anyone can show how the artifacts in their current orientations can adopt different conformations that still work, we are left with wondering just why the fittings are the way they are.

Quote:Ambrosius backs up my point about the buckles. Sulla, if you consider an A, then both the lateral (chest the chest) and vertical buckles (chest to girdle) would be stressed (and Matt is showing an angle of about 30 degrees). Whilst the leather would take this curve, this isn't the weak point. The point of highest stress is the brass hinged buckle fitting. Based on this angle and the thickness of brass used on the originals I would suggest that a contemprary piece would be lucky to last 6 months before these hinges failed and required repair.


What makes you think 6 months between repairs was abnormal? It might have been significantly more frequent than that for all we know. Imposing modern ideas of how things 'should' last is dodgy- I doubt many of use would disagree that the lobate hinges are unduly complex and weak to be used on armor, but they were for centuries so the Romans obviously had a different take on the matter. And again, there are lots of broken buckles around- I have 6 myself- so this kind of damage was indeed common it seems, which means your statement actually supports the idea of angled breastplates.

Quote:A final thought in regard of historical evidence; What is the context of the finds (in service armour, defcetive poorly designed copies, apprentice c**k ups) will we ever know?

Fair enough, but how likely is it that the one set of clearly well-used, based on the number of repairs, articulated artifacts we have are any of the above? It might be reasonable to wonder if we had just one and it had issues that seemed difficult to explain, but that's not the case at all.
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#51
I have not found lobate hinges to be complex.. functional yet decorative....afterall they only take about 20 minutes to make with hand tools..

Nor have I found them to be weak having used them in SCA combat and practice for many years with minimal failures.
Hibernicus

LEGIO IX HISPANA, USA

You cannot dig ditches in a toga!

[url:194jujcw]http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org[/url]
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#52
I also have to agree with Matt Lukes on the issue of having your strap leather cut in combat. That's a 1 in 1000 shot...hitting a small strap that is what, half an inch wide or so on a moving target in the heat of battle is going to be pretty darn hard. Especially considering the scutum, and the gladius if the legionary chooses to parry.
____________________________________________________________
Magnus/Matt
LEGIO II AVG COH VIII
It amazes me how quickly stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones.

"The greatest impediment of all is the square-jawed, flat-talking Tatum, who is so wooden he presents a fire hazard." - The Toronto Star on Channing Tatum in "The Eagle".

"I am on a drug. It\'s called Charlie Sheen. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body" - Charlie Sheen
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#53
Well then! We'll just have to disagree! I have seen the size of some of the northern europeans. They would have little problem ripping my scutum out of my hands and laying out the whole front row with it! Then probably tearing the armour apart with their bare hands, impaling me on their spear,and the knocking the rest of the line out! :lol: :lol:

True, they would obviously loose in the end..... but I will just be glad I have two straps holding my chestplates on for now! Tongue
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#54
lol
____________________________________________________________
Magnus/Matt
LEGIO II AVG COH VIII
It amazes me how quickly stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones.

"The greatest impediment of all is the square-jawed, flat-talking Tatum, who is so wooden he presents a fire hazard." - The Toronto Star on Channing Tatum in "The Eagle".

"I am on a drug. It\'s called Charlie Sheen. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body" - Charlie Sheen
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#55
Gaius Iulius! If one of them gets close enough to grab your scutum just give his goolies a dance on the tip of your gladius!
Hibernicus

LEGIO IX HISPANA, USA

You cannot dig ditches in a toga!

[url:194jujcw]http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org[/url]
A nationwide club with chapters across N America
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#56
Quote:Gaius Iulius! If one of them gets close enough to grab your scutum just give his goolies a dance on the tip of your gladius!

That one I can deal with no problem! And probably the other two who jump in! But the possibility of one of them getting in while I deal with the first one and his extended family has to be guarded against!! :wink:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#57
Gaius Vitruvius just about finished his first segmentata.. about 24 hours of labor over 3 weeks

Still needs some minor adjusting, a tweak or two here and there

Here a bend there a bend everywhere a plate bend..
Old Hibernici had a fabrica
EE aye EE aye Oh

.. sorry.

Lightly hammered plates, tinned, chisel cut fittings
All plates are after the Corbridge variations; proportioned and cut to fit the individual.

Note how nearly square the breast plates sit on his torso.. no subarmalis yet.

Not sure if Matt L is interested in seeing this as he has me "ignored".. maybe someone can post him direct?
Hibernicus

LEGIO IX HISPANA, USA

You cannot dig ditches in a toga!

[url:194jujcw]http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org[/url]
A nationwide club with chapters across N America
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#58
Why is he ignoring you? :twisted: Nice work BTW Big Grin
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#59
I would suggest that they sit square because the breastplates are way too wide compared to the Corbridge finds, even taking account of the size of the individual.

If you are proportianately increasing the breastplate then all the USG and LSG plates should be much wider as well IMHO. None of the surviving breastplates are even remotely close to being that wide.

The points Matt is trying to make are based upon the actual available evidence.
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber
Moderator

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#60
Exactamundo. Modern makers' armor is not appropriate to look at when considering this issue unless it's formed EXACTLY like a real example- size, shape and orientation. Any of us could make the plates line up however we want them to- the question is did they originally.
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