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Full Version: Lorica armhole "flap"
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There is a flap that folds down over the armhole on a lorica musculata.

This is a feature I've seen on quite a few sculptures, and I can't find any information on it in the literature.

As far as I know it's a completely unidentified feature.

Anyway, Here's my take on it:

http://astro.temple.edu/~tlclark/lorica/parts.htm#flaps

Please comment!

Traivs
Hi Travis,

I notice in the pictures that the flap is always on the right side of the statues. Is it ever seen on the opposite side as well ?

BTW, which side usually or always has the hinges ? Left ?

I'm thinking there may or may not be a connection if the flap's only seen on the right side.
Jaime,

We see it on the right side most often because that's usually the arm that is up! This is the typical convention, the gesture of oration or adlocutio.

Usually hinges are seen on the right side, only because we can hardly ever see the left side, because there is usually an arm or cloak in the way. It's very frustrating.

My suspicion is that the arm flap is on both sides, but we can only see it on the right.

When a loricata has hinges, which is less that 50% of the time, they are on the right when we can see them, but we have the same problem seeing hinges on the left.

However, there are hinges on both side of the Primaporta Augustus, and many other examples as well. Look through my images pages, you can clearly see hinges on both sides. Hinges on both sides is problematic.

I suspect that they aren't realy hinges at all. They don't have pins and barrells like regular hinges. Rather they look like straps that stick into tight fitting slots on the armor, suggesting that the fasteners are concealed inside. Also, the hinges occur at parts on the armor where if they were made of metal, they would bind and not function. I strongly suspect that they were made of some soft material. The arm flap has something important to do with all of this, but there aren't many other clues to how this thing works.

Travis
"Rather they look like straps that stick into tight fitting slots on the armor, suggesting that the fasteners are concealed inside. " How would these work?

Btw, an outstanding piece of work on the musculata, pteruges etc. Very useful, and well-researched. And well-illustrated too!

Cheers

Britannicus
I tried writing a long response to this, and it just didn't make any sense...

So I made a quick illustration.

Here it is.

http://astro.temple.edu/~tlclark/lorica ... _small.jpg

Basically, all Greek cuirasses have traditional barrel and pin hinges. On the lorica musculata there are no pins, just tight fitting straps (most likely leather since they appear to bend around curves in the seams.) These straps fit through slots that 'pinch' the raised edges together. Exactly how these straps are fastened to the inside, is anybody's guess, I give two possibilities under "cross-sections". I think that the hinge is probably just tied or sewn into a loop on the inside wher it won't get caught.

Incidentally. Nearly all examples (Greek and Roman) have hinges on BOTH sides. This seems mind-boggling until you realize its convenience. It allows you to open it from either side. You just pull the tie or pin and the thing can open on either side.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the kind words about the site too!

Travis Big Grin
Hi Travis,
I think that the flap could be mainly intended for avoiding chafing the wearer's armpit, as you point. Think that the pterugae around the upper arm don't close a complete circle, as one of your superb photos
clearly show: [url:1qb7npgt]http://astro.temple.edu/~tlclark/lorica/images/loricatacapitdet2a.jpg[/url]
Hence the need of protecting that sensitive part against armour chafing.

Aitor
Quote:Usually hinges are seen on the right side, only because we can hardly ever see the left side, because there is usually an arm or cloak in the way. It's very frustrating.

My suspicion is that the arm flap is on both sides, but we can only see it on the right.

The statue of Constantine the Great seems to be one of the few exceptions - we can see his left arm pit. Neither the flap nor hinges can be seen.

[url:2lft7jvx]http://astro.temple.edu/~tlclark/lorica/images/capconstdeta.jpg[/url]

[url:2lft7jvx]http://astro.temple.edu/~tlclark/lorica/images/capconsta.jpg[/url]
Quote:The statue of Constantine the Great seems to be one of the few exceptions - we can see his left arm pit. Neither the flap nor hinges can be seen.

Yeah that's the problem. Many examples before the Antonine period have no seams at all, and hardly any of the ones after have any.

Either there is a change in technology and they fasten in the back somehow, or the art is just getting more stylized. I think the latter.

Travis
Aitor

Quote:Think that the pterugae around the upper arm don't close a complete circle

Yeah, I think a full circle of pteruges would bind, so the flap doesn't bind, but it seems to lay flat against the armhole. Not sure how this would work if the subarmalis and lorica are separate. It seems to be pretty rigid.

Any thoughts?

Travis
I know this is an old topic but there is one possibility I thought of last night that was never discussed here. What if it is a method of clasping the cuirass from the inside? The indisde could would be two bars to slide through flat loops on the inside of the cuirass.

One other thing of note is the officer's knot. Could that have been a functional method of fastening the lower part of the cuirass?
Looks to me like a flap for extra comfort, as Aitor pointed out. That, may also indicate that the cuirass is then made out of metal, not anything else like a textile, or leather. Otherwise you wouldn't need the extra anti-chaffing bit.