RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Late Roman Shoulder Pauldrons
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
Hello Damianus

What finds are the shoulder pieces based on?

Graham.
That would interest me as well, albeit I expressed my discontent of using heavily archaizing or stylized sources on FB, so I wouldn't go for a cheap shot here.
Quote:A long time...

Some pictures to my new armatura.

Nice lower leg cut. That will put a nasty barbarian out of action.
Quote:Hello Damianus

What finds are the shoulder pieces based on?

Graham.

For the the size of the scales of the armor I 'm based on a fragmentary scales set from the museum of Strasbourg, dated to IVth century AD. To the small armed pauldrons, the inspiration comes directly from the bust attributed to Honorius dated to 5th century, visible to the Musée du Louvre. The hellenistic aspect of this cuirass is an conscious and deliberate choice from me, because in my opinion in adequacy with the military late roman military elites. We can discuss it, this question interest me.

Lastly, the realization of these pseudo-plate shoulders protections. They are based on no archaeological find but on a lot of representational sources. There are an personnal interpretation taking into account the anatomical and physical constraints.

My vision of the appearance of the late roman soldier evolved a lot since my beginnings in reenactement.

There is no question of stereotype, artistic license convention or archaism abstract as what can be raised of anatomical thorax armor or so-called pseudo-attic helmets because the imaging of these protections of shoulders really popularizes only in the course of the IIIth century AD. If the pseudo shoulders plates protections were visible in the previous centuries we could speak about archaism, but it is not the case. It is about a specific emerging element of cuirass in the late time and associated with the body of the armor. They are visible in number in numismatics from the constantinian period, on spaces mosaiced, pictorial frescoes of the IVth to Vth century without any ambiguity and we know it, promised to a brilliant future …

To quote some rather significant examples:
- the frescoes of Doura Europos. IIIth century.
- the wall mosaics of the villa of the nymphs of Nabeul. First half of the IVth century.
- the fresco of the crossing from the Red Sea of the catacombs of Dino de Compagio to Rome. IVth century.
- the very interesting mosaics of Alter Do Chao's pavement (of what we recently discussed on FB) IVth - 5th century?
- the codex Itala de Quedlinbourg. Vth century.
- the mosaics of the villa of Low Ham. Vth century.
- the amazomachy mosaics of the great palace of Constantinople. Louvre in the end of Vth - VIth century.

Some in these sources are printed by artistic conventions, others not, and sometimes even conjugate archaisms and novelties. The list is so far not being exhaustive.
Actually, on detailed reliefs you can see, that this so called shoulder armor is really just a) pteryges, or b) short sleeves.

Take a look at these. On the grabmedallion, you can see the pteryges, while still giving that spherical look. On the relief, you can even see the small markings of mail/scale. I have a firm belief, that if I would go for detailed images, all would show these.


[attachment=11489]antipolis6.jpg[/attachment]


[attachment=11490]GrabmedaillonCanturio.jpg[/attachment]
Mark you neglect the obvious late 4th century Amazonomachy example. These types of shoulder pauldrons also appear all the time in "Byzantine" depictions of armor. I have no qualms with the idea of them appearing in the 4th century AD.

[Image: Amazonomachy_Antioch_Louvre_Ma3457.jpg]

Also I'm going to split this into another thread.
The Amazonomachy pazldron is the same as with others.Heavily stylized, the pauldrons can still be interpreted as short sleeves, just like we see on the 6th c. pic I posted.

Isn't it strange, that the same form is seen everywhere, but when the relief or mosaic is a bit more detailed, you can see the pteryges or sleeves?
The soldier holding a victory in the Barberini ivory also has what appears to be a pauldron, Interestingly its surface is treated in precisely the same manner as the cuirass, and it is given exactly the same scalloped edging as the lower rim of the cuirass itself.

See here and use enlargement facility in picture:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c..._whole.jpg

Looks like a plate pauldron to me.
Thank you Flavius Aetius To have posted an image of the Amazonomachy, it is indeed a major source.

Several things. Let us not confuse everything. it is difficult to identify with certaintly an element of armor or an other one from simple representations. We are agree. The part of interpretation is important and each according to his level of analysis can understand what he wants.

However, you will have noticed that I deliberately quoted colored pictorial sources and not monochrome. Also I cited sources whose craft quality of the realization allows a detailed reading of the source which lets not much doubt over what is observable or not.

To return to sources quoted by Márk György Kis I also agree with you. I see too short sleeves of scales on the panel. As for the medallion, it is difficult to see fine protections of shoulders for a representation there which could make reference to very different elements. All this does not prove much, except for saying that scales armors are extended by sleeves or that ptèruges decorates the shoulders of body armor.

Very well, but I want to say that all this has nothing common with I call protections of shoulders such as we can see them on the Amazonomachie du Louvre or on the Mosaics of Nabeul. If archaism there is or stylization, they are somewhere else.

From there, on these examples, it is possible to deduct several aspects:

1) This part of armor is round shape, she can be decorated and independent on classic pauldrons.
2) They are in same colors as the body of the cuirass what suggests an identical species.
3) These protections of shoulders are articulated because they marry the shape of the shoulder and comes to flatten itself there.

I don't see stylization here but the appearance of new armor element from course of IIIth century.

Valentinian I is well know to creat new weapons to his reign?

The shoulders plate protection enter to the official imperial représentation on the solidii of Crispus type and Theodose I type until Johan in late Vth century at the same time in artistic production. Mostly in the Vth Century. There are an evolution.

It is remarquabe that in late roman times, the shoulders plate appears on anatomic body armor rather than squamata. Here, i'm in false but clearly armored sleeves and shoulders plate protection are not the same thing.
Quote:The Amazonomachy pazldron is the same as with others.Heavily stylized, the pauldrons can still be interpreted as short sleeves, just like we see on the 6th c. pic I posted.

Isn't it strange, that the same form is seen everywhere, but when the relief or mosaic is a bit more detailed, you can see the pteryges or sleeves?

It is stylized, but there are several clear aspects: for one the Armor appears to have had a Varangian Bra over it, the shoulder pauldron is the same material as the cuirass, and the pauldron is worn over the Ptyruges and Chainmail.
Quote:Thank you Flavius Aetius To have posted an image of the Amazonomachy, it is indeed a major source.

Several things. Let us not confuse everything. it is difficult to identify with certaintly an element of armor or an other one from simple representations. We are agree. The part of interpretation is important and each according to his level of analysis can understand what he wants.

However, you will have noticed that I deliberately quoted colored pictorial sources and not monochrome. Also I cited sources whose craft quality of the realization allows a detailed reading of the source which lets not much doubt over what is observable or not.

To return to sources quoted by Márk György Kis I also agree with you. I see too short sleeves of scales on the panel. As for the medallion, it is difficult to see fine protections of shoulders for a representation there which could make reference to very different elements. All this does not prove much, except for saying that scales armors are extended by sleeves or that ptèruges decorates the shoulders of body armor.

Very well, but I want to say that all this has nothing common with I call protections of shoulders such as we can see them on the Amazonomachie du Louvre or on the Mosaics of Nabeul. If archaism there is or stylization, they are somewhere else.

From there, on these examples, it is possible to deduct several aspects:

1) This part of armor is round shape, she can be decorated and independent on classic pauldrons.
2) They are in same colors as the body of the cuirass what suggests an identical species.
3) These protections of shoulders are articulated because they marry the shape of the shoulder and comes to flatten itself there.

I don't see stylization here but the appearance of new armor element from course of IIIth century.

Valentinian I is well know to creat new weapons to his reign?

The shoulders plate protection enter to the official imperial représentation on the solidii of Crispus type and Theodose I type until Johan in late Vth century at the same time in artistic production. Mostly in the Vth Century. There are an evolution.

It is remarquabe that in late roman times, the shoulders plate appears on anatomic body armor rather than squamata. Here, i'm in false but clearly armored sleeves and shoulders plate protection are not the same thing.
Quote:It is stylized, but there are several clear aspects: for one the Armor appears to have had a Varangian Bra over it

So you are actually trying to argue for the pauldrons with another obscure piece of equipment, which has not been solved as well?

Quote:the shoulder pauldron is the same material as the cuirass,

Then it has either metal lower pteryges as well or the figure has a leather helmet, if you are trying to argue with colors...

Quote:and the pauldron is worn over the Ptyruges and Chainmail.

I don't know how can you tell from literally 40 pieces of pebbles not even reaching to the wrist, that it is mail. Also, wearing mail just for the protection of 3/4 of your arm is quite stupid.


Damianus:

Apart from all the archaizing and stylized depictions, show me pictorial reference, where the figures are detailed AND you can see no pattern on the 'pauldrons'.

These are missing for example from the Valentinian Dish (depicting bodyguards),

show a distinct mail pattern on the David and Goliath silver dishes,

the Low Ham mosaics show a spherical shoulder part which is clearly a part of the equipment worn, not a separate piece,

even Trajan's Column shows these 'pauldrons', for Jupiter's sake! Now try to convince us, that these existed in the 2nd century! We would laugh at someone using this pauldron in Trajan's time, wouldn't we? But it is there on the Column...

And another one: if this piece was established by the 5-6th centuries, why is it missing from the Strategikons's equipment list?
Quote:These are missing for example from the Valentinian Dish (depicting bodyguards),

show a distinct mail pattern on the David and Goliath silver dishes,

the Low Ham mosaics show a spherical shoulder part which is clearly a part of the equipment worn, not a separate piece,
It is not possible to base any argument on the Missorium of Valentinian because of its condition.
The shoulder pieces on the David and Goliath dish are apparently of the same construction as the cuirasses, mail and scale, but nevetheless appear to be separate pieces.
The Low Ham mosaic is too crude to support the contention that the shoulder pieces are "part of the equipment", if that means that they are of a piece with the cuirass. For what it is worth, they appear more likely to separate than not.

In any event, it is fallacious to argue that, because separate shoulder pieces do not appear on some representations, they cannot appear on others.


Quote:even Trajan's Column shows these 'pauldrons', for Jupiter's sake! Now try to convince us, that these existed in the 2nd century! We would laugh at someone using this pauldron in Trajan's time, wouldn't we? But it is there on the Column...
Trajan's Column is rather a large monument. Can you post the image that you have in mind or at least give the Cichorius reference?


Quote:And another one: if this piece was established by the 5-6th centuries, why is it missing from the Strategikons's equipment list?
Maurice's Strategikon does not, and cannot be expected to, go into that sort of detail.
Quote:I don't know how can you tell from literally 40 pieces of pebbles not even reaching to the wrist, that it is mail. Also, wearing mail just for the protection of 3/4 of your arm is quite stupid.

It is quite clearly mail, I brought this up when discussing this mosaic with D'Amato. The figure is wearing a red tunic (as can be seen at the wrist) with the dark grey tiles representing mail armor.

And the argument of 3/4 length mail is irrelevant. By that logic the Romans would never have worn elbow length mail, which they used all the time. Furthermore, it's a logical fallacy in your argument of artistic license.

Quote:Then it has either metal lower pteryges as well or the figure has a leather helmet, if you are trying to argue with colors...

Well that is true, the lower Ptyruges are the same as the Cuirass and the Helmet. So is the Varangian Bra.
Quote:In any event, it is fallacious to argue that, because separate shoulder pieces do not appear on some representations, they cannot appear on others.


Márk György Kis post=363895 Wrote:even Trajan's Column shows these 'pauldrons', for Jupiter's sake! Now try to convince us, that these existed in the 2nd century! We would laugh at someone using this pauldron in Trajan's time, wouldn't we? But it is there on the Column...
Trajan's Column is rather a large monument. Can you post the image that you have in mind or at least give the Cichorius reference?

Thanks, Renatus.
We have already been down the "Trajan's Column Road" on another thread. And the column can only be perceived as a combination of reality and fantasy within a single and large unit. Whether or not early pauldrons existed seems to be subjective, and I'll only say that I wear splint greaves as a Roxolanus because-- likewise-- they did exist, although we are hard pressed to identify them in period artistic depictions. Art has a way of doing that. :whistle:
Pages: 1 2 3