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Corbridge A Breastplates - to cross or not cross diagonally?
#31
Well, I would just deduce that a metal fastener is harder to sever that a leather strap or tie, and in the heat of combat, who's to say what may transpire. You could lose your shield or what ever. Still, untill I get more armour, I will have to defend the point :twisted:
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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#32
Matt thanks for your reconstuction in paper Big Grin ? ( D D
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#33
Quote:Well, I would just deduce that a metal fastener is harder to sever that a leather strap or tie, and in the heat of combat, who's to say what may transpire. You could lose your shield or what ever. Still, untill I get more armour, I will have to defend the point

Byron - out of curiosity any chance of some pictures of your seg with the double breast plates straps?
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber
Moderator

COH I BATAVORVM MCRPF
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#34
Darned, somebody else want's to poke holes in my seg Sad

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q315 ... 005103.jpg

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q315 ... 5110-1.jpg

It may not meet all the requirements, but it will have to do untill I get some other stuff.
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
Reply
#35
Quote:But are the plates supposed to be vertical?

I'd say they were. Firstly, the angle of attachment of the buckles/straps
is perpendicular to the edge of the plates, and buckles and their
attandant straps are designed to take strain in one direction. In this
case, perpendicularly to the edges of the plates. Thus the plates are
intended to hang vertically, to allow the buckles and straps to be held
horizontally, in just the angle at which they are rivetted to the plates.
The same as the buckles/straps on a Corbridge A attaching the
shoulder guards to the girth plates. These are meant to hang vertically.
So obviously the shoulder guards from which they hang ought to be
held vertically too. With the average miles having sloping shoulders,
the only way to achieve the proper hang of the shoulder guards is to
have shoulder padding that's thicker over your deltoid muscles and
gets thinner towards your neck. This way, the shoulder plates hang
perpendicularly, and there's no undue stress on the leathers or buckles.
This also raises the height that the shoulder guards sit on your shoulders
and brings them higher up under your helmet. This has several
advantages. Firstly, it stops the edge of the shoulder guards from
cutting into your neck. Secondly, it reduces the gap between shoulder
guards and the neck guard of your helmet, making it harder for an
enemy to hack at your neck with a sword. Thirdly, the more padding
you wear under the shoulder guards, the more comfortable they are
to wear, anyway. 8)

Quote: I would suggest that diagonally crossing plates actually provide more protection to your heart (but if you are exposing the this area to the enemy then you probably deserve to die anyway having forgotten all your training Big Grin ). The plates also tend to stay crossed even without the strap in place.

Diagonally crossing plates, instead of giving you the protection they
were designed to give, open up the neck hole to allow an enemy to
attack your throat more easily, which is about the most vulnerable
unarmoured part of the body. The shoulder guards and the cheek
guards of the helmet between them give some protection, but it's still
vulnerable and largely uncovered. So you want the neck hole to be as
small as possible while still allowing you to breathe. :lol:

Quote:It is surprising that people automatically assume that the Newstead is in some way better than the Corbridge purely because it appears in the archaeological record after the Corbridge types. Process
is not necessarily progress.

Actually the Newstead is infinitely superior in providing protection
than the Corbridge A - the Corbridge B being an intermediate between
the two, with the leathers between the shoulders and girths being
replaced by metal hooks & eyes. This becomes a total replacement of
the external leathers, including the horizontasl ones, in the Nwestead.

Byron is right. The whole point of replacing external leathers with
metal hooks & eyes is for better protection. An enemy can slash you
open from gizzard to beakfast-time by cutting the external leathers
holding your Corbridge together. He can't if you have a Newstead.
Plus the quartermaster is going to love you, as you've got a lorica
which will last you a full 25 years, without ever needing to be handed
in for replacement of the external leathers. (Okay, so the internal
leathers will still need replacing, but these should last longer than the
external leathers, which have far more stress on them, and are the
ones exposed to the sword cuts of the enemy.) The downside of the
Newstead is more rididity over the Corbridge. But so what. I'd prefer
protection and durability to the small loss of flexibility, anyday. And,
because of that rigidity, the shoulder guards hang the way they are
designed to do, and don't flap about at a diagonal angle. 8)

Ambrosius/Mike[/quote]
"Feel the fire in your bones."
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#36
Ambrosius,

In answer to your first point I cannot argue about the position of the breast plate strap fixings, as I note in my previous posts. I do not agree about undue stress because of the difference in angle. In very simple terms the stress is in actual fact the weight of the girth hoops which is the same in either case. The leather straps are flexible enough to cope with the angle and in fact the stress is at a "rotational" point (the leather will move in any direction and take that load no problem), very similar to a pin joint in modern structural mechanics. The position of the neck opening gets raised by the "padding" in either case. In biomechanical terms surely it makes more sense to follow the natural shape of the shoulders and make the armour fit that? (A modern concept I know but empirical observation by the designers/makers are likely to have come to the same conclusion I suggest). The evidence (and indeed Robinson's reconstructions) seems to indicate that this is indeed the case. Wearing padding to "correct" the human anatomy to fit your armour just makes no sense IMHO. The closer it follows the human form the more comfortable (and natural) it will be 8) .

In answer to your second point I would completely disagree with that - see Matt L's picture in previous posts. The neck aperture does not open up at all, and in fact this is something one sees a lot in modern re-enactors segs that have the vertical join in breast plates I would argue.

In answer to your final point I assume this is based upon your experience of actual combat? All of the speculation (and this is all it is unless we have some evidence) about "sliced" leather straps assume that you have dropped your shield and are now fighting chest open to the enemy which seems to be completely at odds with the way we understand Roman Legionaries fought. It seems that the accepted current modern thinking about the seg (in all its forms) is that it is primarily designed to withstand downward blows to the upper body? The Corbridge A seems to have seen active service for at least 50 years (if not longer) so it would seem to have been fairly successful, and indeed seems to have replace the Kalkreise type (also external leather straps) which may have seen a similar service period.
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber
Moderator

COH I BATAVORVM MCRPF
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#37
I'm right in the middle of preps for a big event so I don't have the time to do the full research yet but this needs more looking at. :x

Matt makes a very strong case, but there are still some nagging points which seem to be echoed by Ambrosius. These basically come down to 'common sense' but should be considered. Before anybody shouts theres no historical evidence, do remember that as humans we apply commom sense/logic when recostructing from finds all the time otherwise we'd just have lumps of rusty metal.

I follow Matt's points, and agree that the lie of the crossing plates would not unduly expose the neck. but look at the angles and overlap at the bottom of the chest plates. This is unecessary and out of step with all of the rest of the plates which are parallel (if overlapping with each other). From a logical point of view this shold be reshaped to parallel the girth plates.

Ambrosius backs up my point about the buckles. Sulla, if you consider an A, then both the lateral (chest the chest) and vertical buckles (chest to girdle) would be stressed (and Matt is showing an angle of about 30 degrees). Whilst the leather would take this curve, this isn't the weak point. The point of highest stress is the brass hinged buckle fitting. Based on this angle and the thickness of brass used on the originals I would suggest that a contemprary piece would be lucky to last 6 months before these hinges failed and required repair.

A couple of points I will be checking (when I get an hour or so) the positioning of the rivet holes on the shoulder, mid neck and chest plates from the Corbridge hoard. The reported level of wear on the buckle hinges.

A final thought in regard of historical evidence; What is the context of the finds (in service armour, defcetive poorly designed copies, apprentice c**k ups) will we ever know?
Mark Downes/Mummius

Cent Gittus, COH X. LEG XX. VV. Deva Victrix

____________________________________________
"Don\'\'\'\'t threaten me with a dead fish!" - Withnail
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#38
Everyone seems to be thinking with a mental picture of a legionary at rest, arms down at his sides. But if his arms were raised (like often in battle) the pectoral plates, if angled, would still safely cover his sternum when his arms and shoulders were raised due to the inital overlap and angle. If they were neatly vertical and parallel at rest, wouldn't there be a chance of a gap showing in combat?
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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#39
Yep - which is why making the armour to "fit" with the natural body shape makes sense to me!
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber
Moderator

COH I BATAVORVM MCRPF
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#40
While I agree with your logic, I find my armour pretty comfortable, and my subarmalis does indeed follow the thinning towards the neck formula.
I have no problems raising my arms due to the armour, and just to reinforce Rusty's point about the buckle being the weak point, I will add that that was the main drive in the design of my lorica, to relieve stress on the buckles.
Brian stressed frequently that the way he made the buckles and straps, would minimize stress on the buckles, leathers and hinges.

When you are in formation, holding your shield and pilum, your arms will not be raised to any great degree, and an arrow would be a possibility in any gaps, which is another concern of mine, and one I hoped the verticle plates were to cover... just my own worries I guess.

And before anyone says I would have my shield raised, well......S$&t happens! :wink:

As I was looking for a seg that would require minimum maintenance, I was quite happy to accept his ideas, even though I had reservations to start with. He can eventually convince you with his logic, but I am afraid I am a poor substitute for relaying his ideas.

Hopefully, he will get on line sometime, and you can all argue to your hearts content.

Meanwhile, Matt, any answers to my query?
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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#41
Jim,

Any legionary lifting his arms up in training would have had a vitus jabbed in the armpit :o .

Any legionary lifting his arms up in battle would have had an enemy weapon in the armpit Cry .
Mark Downes/Mummius

Cent Gittus, COH X. LEG XX. VV. Deva Victrix

____________________________________________
"Don\'\'\'\'t threaten me with a dead fish!" - Withnail
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#42
Thanks for posting the pics of your seg Byron. I did not want to poke holes in it, just being nosey! I can see why you are proud of it - looks like a very nice piece of workmanship.
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber
Moderator

COH I BATAVORVM MCRPF
Reply
#43
Quote:Jim,

Any legionary lifting his arms up in training would have had a vitus jabbed in the armpit :o .

Any legionary lifting his arms up in battle would have had an enemy weapon in the armpit Cry .
Sorry, but I think that's a bit black and white, and you don't actually know that given the source material. When there's been a real battle between Romans and barbarians (and I mean REAL battle) with notes taken then an either/or maight be valid.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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#44
Fair enough Jim, a bit glib, but the point still stands. Whilst legionaries may have used full arm motion in battle and indeed in building and other tasks, this would ony account for a fraction of the body posture. 95% of the time the plates would be in the rest position, so that's when the wear would take place. Adding the angles on the chest plates it must be close to 60 degrees. :!: this is really going to hammer the hinges.

We know armour was repaired (often as a botch job) and you would expect to do so occassionally. But routine repairs due to a design feature seems unlikely.

I just can't get past this nagging doubt.
Mark Downes/Mummius

Cent Gittus, COH X. LEG XX. VV. Deva Victrix

____________________________________________
"Don\'\'\'\'t threaten me with a dead fish!" - Withnail
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#45
Quote:Does it not keep the plates vertical though?
And there are many things which only sculptural evidence is used to back up the use of. Besides, i am not saying it is so, but I can't find an argument that tells me it is not a possibility.

No, it doesn't- the issue with vertical orientation has nothing to do with the buckles- the plates are rigid, the buckle just helps hold them together. Actually it's just a supplementary piece as well, since the vertical connector belts (later hooks) are what mainly keeps the breastplates in place. The lateral belt just keeps them from spreading at the neckline when one moves. Thus two are really unnecessary.

Quote:And how many are actually known? a handfull from all accounts.
Enough from many different sites across the Empire to demonstrate reasonably what the design was, and not a single indication that armor was ever really like that on Trajan's Column except that it was laminated.

Quote:I like the idea of the 2 buckles at the front, as it gives a psychological boost, knowing that it will take more that a single lucky stroke of a gladius to cut the fastening of my heart protection, call it a backup system.

But since the lateral buckle doesn't really hold the plates together, this isn't an issue. If it were so significant, it wouldn't have remained a consistent feature through the Corbridge series, but would have changed when the buckles changed to hooks for the B.

Quote:That is also the logic I would think was used to advance to the Newstead, as it is harder to cut through a metal fastening, not only the vertical plates. Perhaps no finds are available because the users were more likely to survive combat, reatehr than the unlucky soul whose single strapped armour ended up in the smithies junk box! :wink:

But you have to consider just how often anyone's armor was actually hit- remember it's technically the LAST line of defense and something you want to avoid being hit if at all possible, so the chance of a lucky sword strike that cuts the buckle without hitting the face or anything vital in the process, is pretty remote. I'd think the switch from a leather belt to a metal fastener would have to do more with use damage repair issues than with safety in battle or even battle damage. The leather belt will wear out, and the hinges of the fittings are weak, so I'd bet these things were constantly having to be worked-on. The simple metal loops of the Newstead are tougher and thus doubtless required far less maintenance.

Quote:When I finally order a newstead, I will expect total accuracy then, no cheating or browbeating!! :lol: Or to be totally accurate, a Stillfried! :wink:
No problem Wink

Quote:Where do you find the info on these finds, as I seem to come up a blank mostly? And also, what period would they cover? Would the Neidermormter helmets go with it? and what kind of gladius?

All over- books, a bunch of stuff from Mike Bishop directly, and from generous fellow RAT members. A lot of the time it's wading through sources to find the gold nuggets... :wink: I'm not so up on helmet use time-periods, so someone else would better answer your question about that, but certainly a Gladius pompeiensis would be an appropriate choice.
See FABRICA ROMANORVM Recreations in the Marketplace for custom helmets, armour, swords and more!
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