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Full Version: tents as missle defence?
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I was thinking of the logistics of building a century size marching camp, and thinking of the vulnerability of any marching camp wall, particularly to missles easily going over them. But I was thinking, a leather tent which was not tightly drawn would tend to absorb missle energy such as slingshot in an arc, and to an extent arrows. Are there any mentions of that in literature? Seems like the leather tents add to the defensive nature of the camp. Even the panels can be replaced in a modular fashion when torn up. <p>Legio XX<br>
Caput dolet, pedes fetent, Iesum non amo<br>
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Anonymous

Well that could be an explanation for the leather!<br>
It makes sense since siege machines where also covered with hides against missiles and... fire.<br>
If you look at the pro and contras between leather and canvas, it is difficult to understand why the Romans used leather (heavier, more voluminous). But this an idea to ad to the pro's for leather.<br>
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Greetings,<br>
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Jurgen/Quintilianus <p></p><i></i>
I think the ancient description of camp layout includes an empty space inside the rampart, to keep the tents out of missile range. Don't recall if that's Polybius or Hyginus. It doesn't have to be a hugely wide space, since most of the worry is the bad guys chucking things in from outside the ditch. Archers would tend to be farther back (and would be focusing on shooting the defenders), and the enemy rarely had much in the way of artillery.<br>
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Plus, if the camp is under attack, the idea would be to get OUT of the tents and into action as quickly as possible! But yes, leather tents will go up in a firestorm a lot less readily than canvas ones.<br>
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Valete,<br>
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Matthew/Quintus <p></p><i></i>
Jurgen wrote:Quote:</em></strong><hr>If you look at the pro and contras between leather and canvas, it is difficult to understand why the Romans used leather (heavier, more voluminous). But this an idea to ad to the pro's for leather.<hr><br>
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Let us not forget that relatively speaking fabric is a <strong>manufactured</strong> item - that's some pretty high-tech stuff.<br>
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Leather is easy, and a by-product of an animal that is very easy to raise in large numbers (conveniently forgetting for now the tendancy to over-graze... that's another subject all together...). Textiles are by their very nature very labour-intensive.<br>
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While I have not <strong>raised</strong> the goats, I did help slaughter them and turn the skins into leather, and I have done some spinning and weaving as well...<br>
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<p>Scythius<br>
LEG IX HSPA - COH III EXPG - CEN I HIB<br>
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- FIDELITAS - - VIRTUS - - MAGNANIMITAS - </p><i></i>
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"Let us not forget that relatively speaking fabric is a manufactured item - that's some pretty high-tech stuff."<br>
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Ah, very true. If you have ever looked at a warp weighted loom and thought about spinning with a drop spindle (Legio XX's Deb is on the right of the picture)you'll avoid that wear/tear right away.<br>
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<p>Legio XX<br>
Caput dolet, pedes fetent, Iesum non amo<br>
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</p><i></i>

Anonymous

Aah,... there are always slaves to do that!<br>
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Jurgen/Quintilianus <p></p><i></i>
This might seem obvious but as far as I can tell the romans were the only people using tents as we would understand them. The Gauls and Britons seem to have made small huts (based on the ridiculously small amount of archaeological evidence). Therefore why use Leather? it's durable, easy and perhaps most important a logical development of the skin covered hut that has been in use since the neolithic period. I personally think that other considerations would be secondary. Also as an aside to the original point I know from personal experience that a Baker Rifle ball can be stopped but a blanket if the blanket is hung up with a fair bit of give so I wouldn't have thought leather is intrinsically more missile proof than a fabric. <p></p><i></i>