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Leather Cuirass Lorica Musculata, I used to think no way but
Just to clarify a point, Constantine's father, Constantius I Chlorus, was not killed fighting the Picts (except in the movie "Constantine and the Cross"!); he apparently died of some kind of illness or overexertion at York after a campaign. There's some evidence he knew he was dying some weeks or months in advance, since he made a special effort to call his son (who was on the staff of Galerius) to his side.

Most Roman emperors and/or generals certainly "led from the rear" of a battle, but there are plenty of stories of Caesar and others finding themselves in the thick of the fighting through some turn of events. So one would expect even the highest officers would wear protective armor while in the field.

There is solid documentary evidence that at least some cuirasses were made from something other than metal: Cassius Dio writes that Caracalla wore a breastplate made of (presumably layered or molded) linen made (painted?) to look like a metal one, because he was too physically weak to bear the weight of the real deal. This confirms a couple of things: (1) There was a class of "faux armor" worn by at least some high officers in some (probably not combat) situations, (2) it was made to resemble "real" armor, which was invariably metal, and (3) you were considered something of a wuss (American term of "lightweight") for wearing it.

Now, does this non-metallic stuff constitute true "armor," or is is really a form of "triumphal military costume"? That's the rub.
T. Flavius Crispus / David S. Michaels
Centurio Pilus Prior,
Legio VI VPF
CA, USA

"Oderint dum probent."
Tiberius
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Not really Dave...linen has been a viable material for armour for a long time...do you know if there is a picture of this armour? Interesting to see if it was somehow molded as other musculata or if it was straight like a linothorax. But that evidence does not confirm that leather was ever used.

And yes....it's quite wussish. lol.

And Gil, I'd be careful about picking a fight with people here. And you may want to follow your own advice, especially the bit about evidence:

Quote:With all due respect, Dan, have you even read Travis' site? The evidence is all right there. Whether you choose to agree as to what it shows is certainly your choice. But to just keep repeating "where is the evidence", even after it's been presented to you, becomes tiresome. We get it: you don't agree they existed. I'm good with that.

I also find it a bit humerous that you're hung up on "evidence", yet made your pteryges out of LEATHER. Travis's site clearly states that the rectangular ones were in all likelihood fabric, NOT leather. And I quote "Nearly all of the modern reconstructions are made from leather, yet I think the evidence of the images, suggests cloth, rather than leather."

Care to explain that?

And to clarify, this is Bias (from dictionary.com):

bi·as /ˈbaɪəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[bahy-uhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, adjective, adverb, verb, bi·ased, bi·as·ing or (especially British) bi·assed, bi·as·sing.
–noun
2. a particular tendency or inclination, esp. one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.

You are clearly representing bias. You may counter with the same argument for me...but tell you what. Show me a real Roman LEATHER musculata and I'll change my mind. This isn't bias, this is simply coming to terms with the reality of the situation. And that reality is that the only evidence we have for leather is interpretational. That wouldn't even hold up in TV court.

I am not sure why you are so close minded at this point, given what Travis's site states. At no point on Travis's site does he EVER say for certain leather was used as the BODY of the musculata. He simply gives us his theory based on inconclusive ARTISTIC SCULPTURE. Then he does a brave thing...he lets us decide based on his findings. But I wouldn't get so fixated on it...because until they "find" a leather musculata...guess what? All you have is supposition, and that isn't worth a wooden nickle.

Know what makes more sense? Greeks used metal musculata. Travis gives artistic evidence of musculata used by Romans. Romans borrowed from the Greeks heavily. Roman musculata was very rare quantitatively vs any other armour type...finds are going to be extremely rare, IF at all. It's a MUCH stronger corroboration to say that the main body at least of Roman musculata was metal vs leather. There is little use of leather as a main armour type from this era. Period.

So maybe you should re-read his site? From my perspective, it seems you've only absorbed what you've wanted to further your own beliefs instead of weighing everything evenly.

And any conclusions on only one type of evidence is foolhardy, btw. Which is why Travis wisely leaves it open for further debate. Something you've missed apparently.

A few quotes which you should take into careful consideration from Travis' home page:

"But even in the most realistic pieces, an artist will have to use his judgment and we must be cautious."

"Interestingly enough, this doesn't mean they were ALL leather. When I have seen modern reconstructions of the musculata, they are nearly always, ALL leather or ALL bronze. I have never seen one that combines a bronze cuirass with a leather harness, but the evidence suggests that the cuirass could be bronze with leather harnesses, a proposition I had never considered before, but is clearly justified."


In reference to the Prima Porta:

"However, the artist, whoever he was, had an eye for detail, indicating that this may have been an actual suit of armor commissioned for Augustus, (not unlikely since parade armor for ceremonial purposes has a long tradition) or at the very least, the artist was familiar with similar armor.

There are several features that indicate that if this was a real breastplate it was made of bronze."


I've read Travis's site many times. There are 2 main points I don't agree with...but because Travis can only use one source of evidence, they're entirely open to speculation and the point of view of the reader.

The shoulder strapping could indeed be metal. Artistic style not withstanding, given the medium of using marble to accurately display 3 dimensional details is going to leave a bit of room for interpretation. I don't believe that the way the shoulders are carved is definitive enough to expressly say they are metal or leather. However, a rather irrelevant detail since we're talking about the body of the cuirass itself.

Second, the statue of the General from Bergama Museum in Turkey...the one with the 90 degree folded over "musculata". Let's say for a minute that it is indeed leather. Surely Gil in your experience you must know what happens to leather when it is bent. It cracks...it creates a seam due to compression, and the outer part will stretch. Add paint to that and guess what happens? It starts to deteriorate and will also CRACK.

Travis himself states that the leather would most likely be hardened, such as a cuir boilli. IF that's the case, do you really think it's going to bend to that extreme??? And if it does...guess what happens to hardened materials that get bent...that area begins to stress and becomes weak. AND...results in cracking.

Do you really, for one second think a high ranking officer, let alone an EMPEROR is going to strut around in garbage armour with cracks and paint chips?
____________________________________________________________
Magnus/Matt
Du Courage Viens La Verité

Legion: TBD
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Quote:The shoulder strapping could indeed be metal.
Of course it could, it's been found in a Mecedonian context.
[Image: CorfuCuirass.jpg]
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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No Tarby no. Look at the colour. Everyone knows that if it is brown in colour then it must be leather.

Like your response Matt. Still waiting for evidence for leather musculata.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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Quote:
Quote: A steel cuirass over a mail haubergeon was a common combination in 14th-15th C Europe.
Irrelevant for the time period being discussed.
How is it irrelevant? You said
the wonderful flexibility of the maille would be completely negated by the inflexibility of the solid cuirass strapped down over it.
If this were true then we would never see this combination used historically. Which is why I countered with the Medieval example.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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Just some clarification on the Cuirass that Tarby illustrated.

It is an iron cuirass,( confirmed by Ruben , one of our members) with gold fittings and clearly belonged to a High ranking Noble/Officer and is in the Corfu museum - for website details and other photos see the 'Makedonian armour' thread. I have not seen dating details ( and there may be none, though Ruben might know ), but I would put this at 3rd-2nd century B.C. at a guess - i.e. contemporary with Republican Rome. The museum also has an interesting silvered/tinned helmet that is contemporary with the cuirass , and conceivably associated with it. The helmet too has Republican Roman parallels......
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
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When someone does not agree with you, that does not constsitute "picking a fight" on a discussion board, Matt. Especially when that person has experience in the area being discussed, and you do not. Very sorry you feel that way, but it does explain a bit about your inability to stop posting on this thread long after you've made your opinion clear.

Quote:I also find it a bit humerous that you're hung up on "evidence", yet made your pteryges out of LEATHER. Travis's site clearly states that
Sorry to cut your na "na-na naaa na" short, but I made mine before I saw the site. At the time, leather was thought to be the most realistic option. Very selective of you to endorse Travis' findings in the one area, BTW, but completely disregard them in the next, along with Flavius' relevant comments on the matter.

Say, Matt, if you are such the expert in this area of the Roman uniform, why don't you post a pic of yourself in any armor of this type you've made? Seriously, Anthony (the fellow who opened the thread) and I have plenty of our work pictured here and in other threads, based on what we feel is correct. Where's yours (perhaps in your aforementioned "toga and helmet" combo)? Even Dan has at least an avatar showing what he's done, lol.

Later.

Gil
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People, let's stay civil in this discussion, shall we? Send personal remarks by PM and discuss FACTS in the thread.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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Gil,

Opinions aside, I've very adequately proven my side of the issue using the very website you hold so high. I'd love to see you refute my points using FACTS.


Quote:Sorry to cut your na "na-na naaa na" short, but I made mine before I saw the site. At the time, leather was thought to be the most realistic option."


Can't argue with you there, except the fact that you're still wearing them.

Quote:Very selective of you to endorse Travis' findings in the one area, BTW, but completely disregard them in the next, along with Flavius' relevant comments on the matter.


How do you figure that one? Travis's site wasn't taken out of context. I didn't cut and paste in order to further my own ends. Flavius's post was concerning something other than metal...NOT leather. I believe it was "layered linen". NOT LEATHER. Re-read it if you don't believe me.

Quote:Say, Matt, if you are such the expert in this area of the Roman uniform, why don't you post a pic of yourself in any armor of this type you've made?


You seem to think that making one of these is a qualifier for common sense. Guess what? And if I do make one it sure as hell won't be out of leather. There is ZERO evidence for it. So why you're such a staunch defender of leather musculata is beyond me.

Quote:Seriously, Anthony (the fellow who opened the thread) and I have plenty of our work pictured here and in other threads, based on what we feel is correct.


At NO point in Travis's site does he ever say that the body of musculata was EVER made of leather. How then do you explain your justification of leather? That to me looks like you're doing the exact opposite of what the experts say. Again, show me some factual evidence please.

Quote:Where's yours (perhaps in your aforementioned "toga and helmet" combo)? Even Dan has at least an avatar showing what he's done, lol.


In your wisdom, do you know what the first identifier is on the battle field for rank? THE HELMET. It either has a crest on it, or doesn't. Figure it out. Secondly, why would any officer wear armour unless there was a need to? Even if it was a dumbed down version? He won't. He's going to wear tunica with clavii which denotes his rank.

Again, show me evidence of leather musculata and I'll not only apologize in public, I'll make a set myself.
____________________________________________________________
Magnus/Matt
Du Courage Viens La Verité

Legion: TBD
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Quote:Just some clarification on the Cuirass that Tarby illustrated.

It is an iron cuirass,( confirmed by Ruben , one of our members) with gold fittings and clearly belonged to a High ranking Noble/Officer and is in the Corfu museum - for website details and other photos see the 'Makedonian armour' thread. I have not seen dating details ( and there may be none, though Ruben might know ), but I would put this at 3rd-2nd century B.C. at a guess - i.e. contemporary with Republican Rome. The museum also has an interesting silvered/tinned helmet that is contemporary with the cuirass , and conceivably associated with it. The helmet too has Republican Roman parallels......

Gioi posted that one first, just to Clarify that point! And the info about it being iron! :wink:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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Uhm, as I said in the post.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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Sorry, I didn't see it, you must have made another post before?
I just reentered on the latest page and saw Paullus post..... :roll: and looked at the pictures!

Good to see Jim! I had something you might have found interesting......but memory has failed me again... :oops:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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Hi Gil,

Quote:
Quote:Decius and his son Herennius in 251 by the Goths, Regalianus in 260 against the Roxolani, Valentinian is almost killed in 368 against the Alamanni, but we know of none of these incidents that the emperor was anywhere near the front line.
[color=darkblue]Vortigern's answer was ambiguously worded, to put it politely. One could just as easily have stated, "We don't know for certain if they died in combat, but of course, they were on campaign at the time, so it's quite possible."

I guess I was so busy moderating that I missed your curt dismissal.

Please send me a non-polite but straight PM about my 'wording', since I have not a clue what you're on about.

My dismissal of your claim was not ambiguous, I just gave you a short list of the historical evidence of emperors leading from the front.
You claimed that Valerian as well as Valens lead from the front, for which there is no evidence whatsoever - they were present at the battlefield, is all there can be said of that. Nothing ambiguous about that.

Besides, I forgot to dismiss your claim about 'the father of Constantine' (who was named Constantius, did you not know that?), and who by no means fell fighting the Picts, but instead became ill and died in Eboracum/York, which David kindly did for me:
Quote:Just to clarify a point, Constantine's father, Constantius I Chlorus, was not killed fighting the Picts (except in the movie "Constantine and the Cross"!); he apparently died of some kind of illness or overexertion at York after a campaign. There's some evidence he knew he was dying some weeks or months in advance, since he made a special effort to call his son (who was on the staff of Galerius) to his side.
Thanks David!

To but it politely, Gil, you are not using or at best misquoting the historical sources. There is no evidence of emperors leading from the front in this period.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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I would agree with Robert there, as the few incidents of later emperors who died in battle that I recall, not 'the few incidents of emerors who died in battle', just to be clear, seem to be a breakdown of the army allowing the eneny access to him? Although I do recall one getting clobbered by the Sassinids? or Parthians because he rushed into battle without his armour....cant think offhand if it was Justinian or whoever, just recall the image in osprey..... :roll:

Also dito on the death of Constantine's paw, died after campaigning, illness, managed to get his boy sent to him under a ruse, as the other emperor was sort of holding him as a hostage/using him to fill posts...
excuse my lack of details here tho' :oops:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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Davids post mentions Cassius Dio claiming Caracalla wore a linen musculata painted to look like metal, which kind of IMO (if cassius' claim is true) gives some weight to both sides. That non metallic musculata existed, though perhaps very rare, and that metal cuirass' were the norm, otherwise why mention him wearing a linen one? I'm assuming nearly all musculata's were made of metal, but occasionally somebody could have paid to have a linen or leather one made for themselves for whatever reason, maybe mobility.
Dennis Flynn
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