Full Version: Military Greaves - Progress pics
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Hello all

I have been asked to make some decorative greaves for a Centurion based upon Q. Sertorius Festus's stele in the Verona Museum (p.156 The Armour of Imperial Rome, Russel Robinson) which has in turn lead me to trying to find military greaves from this period, about AD42 through to around AD150 that reach and cover the knees. I am trying to get a better idea of the fashion for this period when considering the shape of the greaves, muscularity and decoration.

The ones in the stele mentioned above are quite shapeless, but so is the rest of the sculpture, presumably following stone work depictions of the period and rather than simply make some decorated tubes I am trying to track down the shapes of the period for military greaves. However I have so far managed to draw a complete blank and I can't find any examples that aren't gladiatorial or the smaller ones that cover only the shin and are either heavily decorated with figures or with very simple beading down the edges.

Are there any good examples of these fuller, military greaves out there that I am missing, or is it going to be a case of simply trying to interpret a stone mason's handiwork?

My thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

I don't know of any such greaves except the 3rd century "cavalry sports" ones. However, "centurion" Chris Haines MBE of the Ermine Street Guard wears greaves based on the ones on Festus' stele. If nobody else comes up with info for you, then maybe the Ermine Street Guard could help you out? Contact info for "the Guard" is here [I hope it's OK to post this]
I've been searching for the same quite recently as I'm also looking for a new set of greaves for my centurio impression. I'm afraid we have no real examples that could be identified as such, so I think you've to go by interpreting masonry. (Although it is good to also take a look at the earlier greek and Samnites examples)
Thanks for the feedback guys, I feared that this would be the case. My recent migration to including medieval reenactment has really highlighted the lack of evidence found for most things in the Roman hobby by comparison.

I will continue with interpreting what the FESTUS stele is showing me and post some finished results when done.

Thanks for the time, its most appreciated.

Hi Graham,

There are other centurion grave stele that depict greaves. From the front, some are shaped rather like the sprung Greek style greaves. Perhaps you could use this as a basis and not extend to the fully enclosing sprung backs to achieve a simpler frontal greave which you could then decorate like the Festus example?

Quote:The ones in the stele mentioned above are quite shapeless
The Festus greaves are quite shapely I think. The do seem to have the basic shape of the lower leg and knee tapering down from the calf muscles to the ankle joints. ... Itemid,94/
Hello folks

I thought I'd update this with some progress pictures based on my version of the greaves. I'm not doing an exact copy as you can't see a lot of the details, but rather simply basing these on the greaves you can see.

[Image: normal_IMG_3221.jpg]


Kind regards

Very nice chasing work. Do you have a rounded form below the greave, or how do you hold the overall shape while you beat the scrolled designs into the shin?
Hi there

Thanks for the kind comments.

I use the edge of an anvil I have rounded a bit and two hammers. A small, pointed hammer that is a little like a blunt chisel that I drop in a couple of quick passes with moving the greave through the shape of the circle and then deepen the chasing with a flat faced round hammer, then tidy up the shape if I need to (which I think I did on each one).

The work is done from inside the greave pushing the form out.

The shape tends to hold itself if you do the work in successive light passes but it requires some touching up afterwards.

I am in the workshop tomorrow I will try and remember to take a few pictures of the tools.

Hope this helps.

Nice work. I have a pair of greaves I plan on modifying one day!
Nice to see a work in progress!
Hello all

Almost there with the greaves now, here they are during punch work, just before adding the tie loops and a final polish.

[Image: normal_IMG_3233.jpg]

[Image: normal_IMG_3235.jpg]

Link to the gallery in case these don't work [url:32azuchu][/url]

Hope these are useful to any one.

All the best

wow, very nice greaves! Well done!
there was a heckuva lot of work going on between the two sets of pictures! Great work! Amazing work!
Thanks for the comments, here are the final items all finished for anyone that's interested.

I couldn't really see the tops of the knees from the stele from the pictures I have, so I decided to keep them part of the overall structure, rather than a hinged version. The plan look of the tops was down to preference more than anything else, although I have once knelt on a decorated knee by accident and the pain was pretty bad, also a statuette of mars has a solid shaped greave like this in Russl Robinson's book. I opted for a rolled safety edge around the greave more as a modern consideration as I have not seem many rolled edges like this on much Roman requipment (some but not a lot), again though the Mars statuette looks to have an edge like this, but that might have been simulating an applied shim? The punch work is not evident from the FESTUS stele, but is seen throughout much armour during this period so I thought it would make a nice addition.

[Image: normal_IMG_3249.jpg]

[Image: normal_IMG_3243.jpg]

[Image: normal_IMG_3241.jpg]

All the best

Very nice! :-) )
Very excellent. You have made a wonderful contribution to the field of repro-history!
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