RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: What is He Wearing?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
I found this picture of the Tropaeum Traiani, and I was wondering: Is the legionary depicted wearing squamata or hamata?

[attachment=5245]457px-AdamclisiMetope10.jpg[/attachment]
Judging from other Adamklissi metopes, I would say neither. Here are representations of a squamata and a hamata:

[attachment=5246]IMG_2706.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=5247]IMG_2755.jpg[/attachment]
It looks like a Hamata to me when zoomed in, but also like perhaps a finer, smaller form of the Squamata similar to what is depicted in the images M. CVRIVS ALEXANDER posted.
The checked pattern on the body armour looks like some type of cloth to me, not metallic.
I would suggest, playing safe, that it is meant to represent scale, but that the carving was done by a less proficient sculptor than in the second image (the panels appear to be by different people, btw - compare the appearance of the barbarian figures especially in the top two images. The first is far stiffer in posture, and the drapery is carved differently).

However, being mischievous I could say that it might also be some sort of padded garment... :whistle:
Quote:However, being mischievous I could say that it might also be some sort of padded garment... :whistle:
Smother that man in custard and throw him to the badgers...

Looks to me like somebody taking shortcuts and representing scale in only the most cursory fashion with incised lines (both the scale and mail depicted on the TT were time-consuming to achieve by comparison).

Mike Bishop
I'd say scale.

Padded armor was used underneath other armor. But I'm not sure when it would be particularly useful without the metal armor too. Off the top of my head, many much-later references to light-armed legionaries, if not most references to them, refer to units in river crossings, on ships, etc. where the padded armor would be as much a hindrance as the metal armor would.
I would say that he is wearing Squamatat.
As an artist myself I can see no short cut in incised regularly spaced lines as opposed to those relatively simple drilled holes.

A more obvious short cut surely would be to keep it smooth and add whatever armour was intended at the painting stage. That is the method we are told was used for the earlier Rhineland tombstones.

I would go with the smaller type of scale as already suggested but out of interest what is so radically wrong with the quilted cuirass theory as that type of garment was well documented and successfully used at other times?

Graham.
Quote:As an artist myself I can see no short cut in incised regularly spaced lines as opposed to those relatively simple drilled holes.
Surely it is a short cut compared to the detailed work in that second meotope however? The drilled holes seem to have been an accepted short cut for ring mail, and it would have been confusing to try and show scale armour using the same technique...
Quote:I would go with the smaller type of scale as already suggested but out of interest what is so radically wrong with the quilted cuirass theory as that type of garment was well documented and successfully used at other times?
Can you get that close-fitting an effect with (effective) quilted armour? If it was worn, I would imagine it would be by a poorer auxliary rather than a legionary, since any form of metal armour would presumably be superior.
I generally side with the people saying that he's wearing squamata (in the image I posted). However, it looks like he's wearing a squamata with a cape doubler. I thought that was only for standard-bearers and calvary. :-?
Hello Robert

Not an accepted short cut but just another way of showing mail. The use of the drill became more popular in later Roman art it also casts a shadow whereas the mail on Trajan's column is so finely detailed that when it wears away it has often led to the belief that the coat was in leather.

In some late Roman examples you can see that the artist was just showing off as the depiction of mail constructed with a drill is just so realistic.

Metal is not always more expensive than non metallic garments and some poor auxiliaries also wore mail. Both metal armours and non metallic garments therefore presumably could come in a variety of costs as they did in the English Civil War period. So possibly the most expensively produced quilted garment would be more expensive than the most cheaply made armour.

Presumably mail is also worn over a padded garment or an integral one as argued by Dan Howard, so theoretically a mail shirt should not be depicted as close fitting in any case.

True, incised lines would be an easier way of depicting scale than the version illustrated but I was not suggesting that it did. Scale comes in a variety of sizes and the Roman artist may have been attempting to show that but if he was he has done a bad job and it looks like quilt. However the added (yellow) paint later may have saved the day and the shadow cast by the incised lines would help it to look like scale.

Then again he may have meant to show quilt in which case he succeeded! (Textile historians I have shown this type of sculpture to all agree it is quilt, as do medieval re-enactors I have consulted) Therefore you have to discuss the possible implications of that, so perhaps it is safest to say the artist did a bad job!

Graham.
Quote:Hello Robert
Then again he may have meant to show quilt in which case he succeeded! (Textile historians I have shown this type of sculpture to all agree it is quilt, as do medieval re-enactors I have consulted) Therefore you have to discuss the possible implications of that, so perhaps it is safest to say the artist did a bad job!
Always possible! I don't know if I could completely discount the possiblity of quilted armour. My main objection would be that I can't see how it could be as effective as metal armour - unless it had a brigandine-like construction? I don't know if there are any period parallels for armour like that.

Whatever it is, it also seems to be depicted in Metope V (the parallel incised lines are much clearer in the photo in Florescu 1965:421, abb.183). The fact that it's being worn by a cavalryman would support in my mind the assertion that it is scale armour, as quilted armour would lose its advantages on a mounted combatant. And the sheer wonkiness of the art would suggest that a less skilled craftsman may be to blame...
[attachment=5250]metope.jpg[/attachment]
Here is a side-by-side comparison. The squamata (far left) and the hamata. Im fairly certain that the origional pic is squamata, given the similarities. Also note that on the origional pic, some of the shapes are diamonds, while others are upside-down triangles (as would be the basic layout of squamata). I think the sculptor was either lazy or untalented-or both. I highly doubt that fabric armor would be present in the roman army. Fabric armor, such as the linen manicae that many gladiators wore, would have taken a great deal of time to make, and would have been incredibly expensive. I also have doubts that a legion would want to equip its soldiers in fabric armor, as it wouldn't be very durable, and would require replacement over the course of 25 years. Especially since archeologist have determined that with proper care, a set of hamata could be in serviceable condition for decades. Finally, a little thought of aspect of fabric is that it gets very heavy when wet. In places like Britania or Germania, fabric armor would be the last thing soldiers would want to wear.


[attachment=5251]450px-AdamclisiMetope38.jpg[/attachment]
Quote:I highly doubt that fabric armor would be present in the roman army.

What would you say the guy on the left here is wearing? ;-)

[Image: 4sarcophagedesplitive36dn9.jpg]
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5