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Howdy!

In D`Amato`s book "Arms and Armour of the Imperian Roman Soldier" there is this picture of the so-called leather segmentata. In my opinion it clearly belongs to a charioteer. I mean the protection of the back and middle part of the charioteer for a bumpy ride (not much suspension on chariots, eh) like in this mosaic for example:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/4/8005583_22fde54d55.jpg

There is more evidence on some reliefs of charioteers which looks EXACTLY like the so-called "segmentata". What do you think? Sorry in advance if someone has presented this idea before :oops: ...
Your idea is not that bad, indeed. In fact it was already mentioned several times in the discussion of the book, which starts heren. And I think we all agreed that that was a much better explanation for the piece. But anyway, the discussion in that topic is very good to read, to get a good context to read the D'Amato book, which certainly should be read with a bit of caution.
I have not read the D'Amato book however there is a group that dose use leather lorica segmentata, the link I show is from my own personal photographs when we were preparing for an event in Sicily.
It is however unfortunate that it only shows a rear view of the soldiers wearing it, but it does show that they can sit in a comfortable position. It was I believe made from an experimental point of view and it functions very well.

http://www.northumberland-computers.com/sextima/ll1.jpg
I look at that picture and wonder why so many pieces/parts/joints would be necessary on leather armour? Particularly the joints at the back - surely this would be easier and just as flexible if the girdle plates were on piece joined at the front?
Probably because they based their leather 'replicas' on metal specimens from the archaeological record.
Exactly - which seems a very strange thing to do!
The Romans used leather on their shields,tents,sandals and many other things. If they didn't make armor out of it I would be very suprised. Maybe for mercenaries or light cavalry not standard gear. Also for training with wooden swords which I have read they did. I wouldn't mind protecting my ribs with one early in the cold Gallic morning!!! :lol:
Here are some pictures of charioteers mosaics. They seem to be wearing leather 'armor'.
Quote:Exactly - which seems a very strange thing to do!
I´m still waiting for a leather gladius. ^^
Cavalry and charioteers weren't the main battle line in those days. Leather armor woud have worked with great effect to harass and out flank the enemy. It offers good mobility and doesn' t sound like a bunch guys rolling up from behind wearing loud and shiny metal armor. Besides the Legions didn't really do much ambushing until the end of Rome's heyday. So everything seems logical to me.
Not so logical. Metal segmentata weighs less than any type of armour made of leather. Weight is not a reason to make armour from leather. Metal segmentata also is more flexible than leather segmentata so mobility is not a reason to make armour from leather. Leather segmentata creaks and groans at least as loudly as any noise that metal segmentata makes so stealth is not a reason to make it from leather.
Quote:Cavalry and charioteers weren't the main battle line in those days. Leather armor woud have worked with great effect to harass and out flank the enemy. It offers good mobility and doesn' t sound like a bunch guys rolling up from behind wearing loud and shiny metal armor. Besides the Legions didn't really do much ambushing until the end of Rome's heyday. So everything seems logical to me.

MOST skirmishers wore no armor at all, and in fact in most cultures even most of the front-line troops were unarmored. IF your leather "armor" is flexible by itself, it is not going to be nearly resistant enough against arrows and spears, the main weapons of the time. If you make it thick enough to keep those weapons out, or harden it, or both, you will find that it is just as heavy as metal plates of the same level of protection, and more bulky.

Skirmishers had no need for stealth, since they were in plain view between both armies. In the heat of battle, it is very easy to not see enemy troops flanking you, even if they are pretty much in plain sight, and it's impossible to hear them more than a few feet away. There is simply too much noise, confusion, and possibly dust. Ambushes on the level of an entire army could be executed by Romans as well as by anyone else, and we know such things were done by armored troops sometimes. To ambush 10,000 men, you can't just have a dozen guys hiding behind trees a few feet from the road. You need your own thousands of men, concealed several hundred yards away in ravines, or behind hills, etc. If the enemy is all strung out over seveal mile of road, it doesn't matter if your ambushing force takes several minutes to reach them. So any armor they are wearing won't make any difference in stealth or speed. Armored Romans would be even better at this than most armies because they were disciplined enough to stay hidden better, and trained to move quickly and keep their formations.

Sorry, but the "logic" for leather armor just isn't there. Leather WAS certainly used for armor at some times and in certain places! There's just no point in making a lorica segmentata out of it, and definitely no archeological evidence for it. The metal segmentatae in that photo that Brian posted seem a little long to me, but note that the wearers still have no trouble sitting down. It's flexible!

Valete,

Matthew
How many pieces of leather survive from the period of which we are talking. Leather rots out within 100 to 200 years if not taken care of. Mercenaries would probably copy the style of armor the of the army they were attached to. Metal was expensive and required many more tools and skills to work than leather. I am not positive that Leather Loricas existed at all
but it is a possibility.
Quote:Mercenaries would probably copy the style of armor the of the army they were attached to.

Do you have any source to support that view. I don't think so. A mercenarie fight as his job to get his money. So he will invest in proper gear, but once he get his gear together and it is been taken care of he doesn't going to change that. Not to mention that an army probably also ask for mercenaries for special roles, where they were specialists at (like archery, slingers, etc), which also would suggest they don't change clothing when they change of 'army'. Please correct me if that view is wrong, I would love to see some more sources about this theme.

Also, you mention that metal was more expensive as leather. Do we know that? To get a whole army equipped with leather, you need a big lot of animals, which also needs space, etc. And tanning leather and working it to a protective garment also need to be done by 'specialists' with tools etc. Remember that the 'modern' value of a product doesn't have to mean anything in antique.
Quote:How many pieces of leather survive from the period of which we are talking.

Lots. For example, it is my understanding that shoes are very common at many roman sites. I remember reading that from Vindolanda they have filled a warehouse with just roman footwear. Perfectly preserved examples have come from Mainz. Tent fragments and shield covers have also been found. If leather segmentata existed some pieces of it would of turned up.
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