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Glued Linen Armour- a simple test
#31
Quote:The very interesting discussions on the subject on RAT will soon lead you to Plutarch, who refers to Alexander wearing a quilted linen corselet on one occasion, captured from the Persians.

You are, of course, referring to Plutarch's Alexander, 32.8. All of which, as always, comes down to translation. I am am not so certain that it refers to "quilteld" linen at all. It is rendered as "layered" or "two-ply linen"" in other translations. A close study of the Greek might show that the term "quilted" is a matter of opinion.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

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#32
Very true.

It could be a reference to the thickenss of the spun linen, or to layers of glued/quilted linen. But certainly an armour uncommon to the Greeks.

My opinion leads me to the assumption it was quilted.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
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#33
Quote:My opinion leads me to the assumption it was quilted.

Indeed it may have been. It is evidence, though, rather than opinion that should lead to conclusions rather than assumptions.

Plutarch is always interested in the anecdote to illustrate the man. Alexander utilising Persian armour - of the Great King (he would hardly adopt the armour of a lesser mortal) - fits his gestalt of the harmonising Alexander always willing to adopt the Persian practice. This does not necessarily invalidate the anecdote. Plutarch may have Alexander wear this armour as a matter of "display" - "I'm wearing your armour" type of thing - which suits the heroic king-battles-king rubbish of the source tradition.

If he did indeed wear this cuirass one can only assume he thought it better protection than that which he was accustomed to wear. There is nothing in the Plutarch anecdote to indicate that this style of armour was out of the ordinary or unknown - only that it was taken in the spoils of Issos and was, as indicated above, almost certainly the Great King's.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

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#34
Quote:You are, of course, referring to Plutarch's Alexander, 32.8. All of which, as always, comes down to translation. I am am not so certain that it refers to "quilteld" linen at all. It is rendered as "layered" or "two-ply linen"" in other translations. A close study of the Greek might show that the term "quilted" is a matter of opinion.

The Greek that Plutarch uses "thoraka diploun linoun" is usually translated wrong (see Dryden translation), as you allude to Paralus. It should be more correctly translated as "a folded (or doubled) linen corselet." This does not infer laminated or quilted. Unfortunately the decription Plutarch uses for this armor is far too vague to make a sound judgement.

Quote:It could be a reference to the thickenss of the spun linen, or to layers of glued/quilted linen. But certainly an armour uncommon to the Greeks.

This is not true. The Greeks had known about linen armor back to the time of Homer. He mentions it twice in the Iliad: describing the 'lesser Ajax' who "wore a linothorax" (2.529), and "...these were led by the linothorax-wearing Adrastus and Amphius, the twin sons of Merops of Percote" (2.830). Strabo would later almost perfectly recite this description from Homer in his Geography at 13.1.10.

Cornelius Nepos tells us that as part of his military reforms in the early 4th century B.C., Iphicrates exchanged the heavy bronze armor of the hoplite in favor of the lighter linen corselet. The reforms were intended to increase the speed and mobility of the soldier while still "providing sufficient security for their bodies" (Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates 1.3-4). If the linen corselet were considered inferior to bronze armor, or lacking the ability to provide "sufficient" protection, I hardly think Iphicrates would have chosen this style of armor.

Herodotus also speaks of two examples of linen armor when mentioning the breastplates that King Amasis of Egypt sends to certain Greek temples to be dedicated there: one given to a temple of Athena at Lindos (2.182), and one given to the Lacedaimonians (3.47). The same corselet at Lindos could still be viewed in the first century A.D. according to Pliny (Natural History 19.2), although in a tattered state due to curious tourists who liked to play around with it. Other dedicatory examples include three breastplates of linen dedicated by Gelon and the Syracusians after a victory over the Phoenicians that could be found in the treasury of the Carthagianians at Olympia (Pausanias 6.19.7), and a cache of multiple corselets of linen armor found at the temple of Apollo at Gryneion in Asia Minor (Pausanias 1.21.9).

There are yet more examples to be found which suggests linen armor was common, or at least well-known, to the Greeks: Xenophon's Anabasis 4.7.16, Xenophon's Cyropaedia 6.4.2, Herodotus 7.63, and Alcaeus 2.19, to name a few.

Quote:Plutarch may have Alexander wear this armour as a matter of "display" - "I'm wearing your armour" type of thing - which suits the heroic king-battles-king rubbish of the source tradition.

Possibly, but Plutarch does not say anything to this nature. In that same descriptive paragraph of Alexander's arms and armor, Plutarch is very thorough when mentioning where or how Alexander received the individual items of his full panoply, and the breastplate's previous owner (i.e. Darius) is not among them. One would expect such a writer like Plutarch to include this, in my opinion, highly valuable aspect of Alexander's character in his writings. After all, his intention was not to writie on their history but on their lives.

Quote:If he did indeed wear this cuirass one can only assume he thought it better protection than that which he was accustomed to wear. There is nothing in the Plutarch anecdote to indicate that this style of armour was out of the ordinary or unknown - only that it was taken in the spoils of Issos and was, as indicated above, almost certainly the Great King's.

We can't say for certain, or to any degree of certainty, that the armor did belong to Darius. This episode appears nowhere else in the extant sources and Plutarch is simply too vague to firmly make this statement. However, you do raise an interesting point: if Alexander wasn't wearing the breastplate for psychological reasons, or to show his acceptance of Persian clothing (and customs), then he may have thought that the breastplate taken from Issus truly was of superior quality than the one he was accustomed to wearing. But this again is only speculative. After all, Alexander is already shown wearing what looks to be a linothorax (or at least the style we associate with that armor, as seen on numerous vase paintings) on the Alexander Mosaic from Pompeii, comlpete with Gorgon. Not surprisingly, Achilles, on a famous vase painting, is also shown to have a Gorgon on his corselet (again what looks to be a linothorax, or at least the style we associate with that armor). If Achilles had a Gorgon on his corselet, then why not Alexander? It is hard to imagine Alexander trading in an Achilles-themed corselet for one of the Great King's. Hard to imagine, yes. Impossible, no. I am not pretending to state facts, I am simply trying to bring as much information as I can to a highly interesting, and albeit debatable, topic.

There is some evidence, although not direct, that suggests the Macedonian army did indeed wear corselets of linen (or at least a simlar material). While in India, the army receives some 25,000 new auits of armor to replace those that have become worn out through years of campaigning. Alexander then orders the old suits of armor to be burned (Quintus Curtius Rufus 9.3.21). That the old armor could be burned strongly suggests that the armor was not metal, but made of a flammable material such as linen or leather. It further helps the case of Philip's and Alexander's army wearing linen armor that Philip, when as a boy, supposidly spent time with Iphicrates and could have had first-hand exposure and knowledge of this type of armor (Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates 11.3).

Again, I am not pretending to state nothing but facts. I am open to alternate ideas. In my opinion this debate cannot be proven at its current state, we can only present the firm evidence we do have and not unfounded hypotheses. Unless further discoveries are made, strong opinionated stances on the issue should be avoided.
Scott B.
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#35
I agree that the armour is not stated to be that of Darius. And, as you state, the ancdote is not mentioned in the other extant source material. Either Ptolemy/Aristobulus and the Vulgate did not record this or Plutarch found it in a source unknown to either or he delicately "inserted" it as flavour. He is very detailed in his flavouring though and so one supects that there is some reality to it and it has slipped the other two traditions in some fashion.

Given that what Plutarch retails is fact, I can only see this cuirass as coming into Alexander's hands with the rest "of the spoils" taken after Issos. These spoils are clearly the Great King's advance camp at Damascus and his Ipsoss "headquarters" which provided much cash readies, Darius' family and - a fortiori - his possessions. Arrian gives an inkling after Gaugamela when he desribes Alexander's windfall at Arbela:

Quote:...his [Darius'] treasure, however, and all his valuables fell inot Alexander's hands, including his chariot, shield and bow...

This tallies with the description following Issos where the "headquarters" of Darius was stormed and taken as well as the main advance camp at Damascus where "all the paraphenalia" of Darius was stored. Plutarch himself adds rather more decadent details in his description post Issos:

Quote:He found his Macedonians carrying off the wealth from the camp of the Barbarians, and the wealth was of surpassing abundance, although its owners had come to the battle in light marching order and had left most of their baggage in Damascus; he found, too, that his men had picked out for him the tent of Dareius, which was full to overflowing with gorgeous servitors and furniture, and many treasures.


There is little doubt that if the spoils included war chariots, shields and bows it likely also included armour. I doubt that Alexander who, post Issos, clearly declared his "legitimate" status as the real king of Asia would don the armour of one of the king's "kinsmen", his lessers. Alexander, if he wore Persian armour, is much more likely to have deported himself in the great King's armour. Not only did he have the royal women he now took the field against him in his own armour.

All given, of course, it was a good fit...
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

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#36
Lysandros wrote:
Quote:One shoulder flap is in the air and the fastening in the air supports the theory of flexibility - it has most likely sprung up upon releasing and the painter made the scene right after the release. At least that is what logic tells me when I look at the flap and the fasterning. I can be wrong, of course
....flexible ,yes..........springy? ....not necessarily - as I have suggested, the shoulder guard may simply be thrown back. None of the suggested materials for the Tube-and-Yoke corselet has 'springy' characteristics.....
"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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#37
Quote:Lysandros wrote:
Quote:One shoulder flap is in the air and the fastening in the air supports the theory of flexibility - it has most likely sprung up upon releasing and the painter made the scene right after the release. At least that is what logic tells me when I look at the flap and the fasterning. I can be wrong, of course
....flexible ,yes..........springy? ....not necessarily - as I have suggested, the shoulder guard may simply be thrown back. None of the suggested materials for the Tube-and-Yoke corselet has 'springy' characteristics.....

It certainly conveys that impression though. Perhaps the artist wished that impression to be conveyed. I can't really discern a reason for the fastening to be so.. "alive" if the flap is simply laid back.

How do you see it being " simply thrown back"?
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

Academia.edu
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#38
Scott B. wrote:
Quote:I have done my own work. I have been researching this for over five years now. Nothing I have ever come across from ancient sources ever suggests quilted armor. Unless I am overlooking each and every source which speaks about quilted armor???

I'm not asking for an entire list of every ancient source which cites quilted armor, just a few. I am curious where your unmovable opinion is based

Have you looked at the iconography? Apparently not , or you would have come across the 'Alexander Mosaic' where several Persians wear what appear to be, and are most commonly interpreted as, red quilted Tube-and_Yoke corselets. Combine this with Plutarch's reference, which, taken in isolation is ambiguous as to quilting, but together with the mosaic is good evidence for quilted Persian corselets. Then, from the other end of the Mediterranean world there are statues, statuettes and friezes all showing Etruscans also wearing what are best interpreted as quilted Tube-and-Yoke corselets.

Whist, as you rightly say, there can be no certainty about this subject, the evidence has been thoroughly dealt with on this site in several long threads, and this statement cannot go unchallenged, if only for those readers who have not read those other very long threads!
Quote:John Conyard wrote:
It could be a reference to the thickenss of the spun linen, or to layers of glued/quilted linen. But certainly an armour uncommon to the Greeks.

This is not true. The Greeks had known about linen armor back to the time of Homer. He mentions it twice in the Iliad: describing the 'lesser Ajax' who "wore a linothorax" (2.529), and "...these were led by the linothorax-wearing Adrastus and Amphius, the twin sons of Merops of Percote" (2.830). Strabo would later almost perfectly recite this description from Homer in his Geography at 13.1.10.

Cornelius Nepos tells us that as part of his military reforms in the early 4th century B.C., Iphicrates exchanged the heavy bronze armor of the hoplite in favor of the lighter linen corselet. The reforms were intended to increase the speed and mobility of the soldier while still "providing sufficient security for their bodies" (Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates 1.3-4). If the linen corselet were considered inferior to bronze armor, or lacking the ability to provide "sufficient" protection, I hardly think Iphicrates would have chosen this style of armor.

Herodotus also speaks of two examples of linen armor when mentioning the breastplates that King Amasis of Egypt sends to certain Greek temples to be dedicated there: one given to a temple of Athena at Lindos (2.182), and one given to the Lacedaimonians (3.47). The same corselet at Lindos could still be viewed in the first century A.D. according to Pliny (Natural History 19.2), although in a tattered state due to curious tourists who liked to play around with it. Other dedicatory examples include three breastplates of linen dedicated by Gelon and the Syracusians after a victory over the Phoenicians that could be found in the treasury of the Carthagianians at Olympia (Pausanias 6.19.7), and a cache of multiple corselets of linen armor found at the temple of Apollo at Gryneion in Asia Minor (Pausanias 1.21.9).

There are yet more examples to be found which suggests linen armor was common, or at least well-known, to the Greeks: Xenophon's Anabasis 4.7.16, Xenophon's Cyropaedia 6.4.2, Herodotus 7.63, and Alcaeus 2.19, to name a few.

Homer certainly refers to linen armour. He does nor IIRC use the word 'Linothorax' which is modern. However that does not mean that the Greeks of Classical Greece wore linen Tube-and-Yoke corselets....the linen armour had fallen out of use centuries before.
Cornelius Nepos ( writing centuries later) has a very garbled tale, having Iphicrates replace Mail with linen armour, a hopless anachronism.Compare to our other source regarding Iphicrates 'reforms', Diodorus where there is no mention of mail or linen.
Herodotus does not refer to linen armour when speaking of the gifts of Pharoah Amasis to Greek temples. No Greek Goddess, AFIK, was ever depicted wearing body armour, not even the war-like Athena - only Amazons wear corselets. Herodotus here is using 'thorakes' in it's original sense of 'body covering' or garment. The practise of clothing statues of Athena in real clothes was well known. The same applies to the garment that the Samians stole from the Lakedaemonians.
The linen coselets dedicated by Gelon were not Greek, nor the Anatolian ones. Linen armour was certainly known and used in Anatolia, but I would aver there is absolutely no evidence that a linen Tube-and-Yoke corselet was generally worn in Greece in classical times, including the era of Alexander.Herodotus at 7.63 is referring to Assyrians in the Persian army wearing linen armour ( which might well have been quilted). Pausanias and Xenophon both refer to Anatolian linen armour, not Greek. Indeed where Xenophon refers to Greek body armour it is (probably) bronze 'thorakes' or leather 'spolades'.

Alcaeus of Lesbos surviving fragments of poetry are almost certainly referring to Homeric times, and even if not, Lesbos is off the coast of Asia Minor, where linen armour was known to be worn, and tells us nothing about mainland Greece.

As for Macedonian armour, the fact that old (infested with parasites body armour) was burnt tells only that it was organic, and the fact that Macedonian tombs apparently produce leather fragments, but not linen ones suggests that the Macedonians wore leather 'spolades'. ( One would like to see the full reports of these many tomb findings).

Having said this, I would agree that "the jury is out" on the commonest material used in classical Greece for Tube-and-Yoke corselets, but the weight of evidence suggests that leather, for which there is a little evidence, is slightly more likely than linen, for which there is no real evidence at all. Certainly the Greeks were aware of linen corselets, as the sources you cite show, but that is not evidence that the Greeks themselves used linen.What is all but certain is that Connolly's suggestion of glued layers of linen is almost certainly incorrect.
"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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#39
Paralus wrote:
Quote:It certainly conveys that impression though. Perhaps the artist wished that impression to be conveyed. I can't really discern a reason for the fastening to be so.. "alive" if the flap is simply laid back.

How do you see it being " simply thrown back"?
If we are talking about Patroclus, his shoulder flap also (rather unrealistically) has the fastening thong writhing about, snake-like, in mid-air....perhaps the artist wishes to imply that it has just been thrown back?

A thickish shoulder flap of, say several layers of leather, would all but stand up when unfastened and thrown back ( as would thick linen), and would not, unless very thin, flop down the back - being quite stiffish. No modern reconstructions, apparently, whether linen or leather, are springy. ( I have asked this question previously on RAT ).
"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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#40
Well,I'm unhappy to report that mine has this efect but is nothing near accurate construction. It is glued canvas with Neoprene adhesive. So many linothorakes around! Why doesn't someone make a quilted one maintaining the properties indicated in the vases! I wish to make one but there are technical issues.
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#41
Quote:Paralus wrote:
Quote:How do you see it being " simply thrown back"?

If we are talking about Patroclus, his shoulder flap also (rather unrealistically) has the fastening thong writhing about, snake-like, in mid-air....perhaps the artist wishes to imply that it has just been thrown back?

Yes we are talking of Patroclus.

Firstly this is art. As such the artist needs to convey the sense of movement in some fashion. The "snake-like" rendering is quite evidently used to convey movement. It is a little harsh to describe the artist's attempt at rendering movement as "unrealistic". Of course it is "unrealistic": it is art not photography!

Patroclus' hands are nowhere near the flap though so he has not just "thrown it back" to my view. It appears to me it has been loosed and the artist is conveying the movement (upright of the flap) by the "writhing" thong.

The other vase rendering clearly shows the amour being held by one flap and one side. The other flap is clearly holding itself up unless it too has been "thrown back" prior to donning. I don't see why one would have to "throw it back" to don the amour though.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

Academia.edu
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#42
I'm grateful to Paullus Scipio for restating the comments made on other threads. I suspect like many others I don't wish to go over old ground. But it does seem as if I need to re-examine my assumptions.

I am intrigued by the posible translations of Platarch. It triggered a memory of something in Strabo. I've spent some time this morning trying to consider what could possibly be meant. Greeks and Persians fought against Alexander at Issus, so does the armour have to be Persian? And does it have to be more protective? Or just lighter and more comfortable?

The line from Plutarch could mean quilted linen armour.
[attachment=0:1yygtikn]<!-- ia0 quilted.jpg<!-- ia0 [/attachment:1yygtikn]

It could mean armour of very thick linen, like canvas. Perhaps something like this is seen occassionally worn by hoplites.
[attachment=1:1yygtikn]<!-- ia1 Louvre%20iv%207-1.jpg<!-- ia1 [/attachment:1yygtikn]

Or it could perhaps mean two layers of linen, and some illustrations do show Persians wearing more than one tunic.

As a sort of control I checked this against the comment in Strabo. Strabo (XV.3.xix) says Persian commanders wore what is commonly given as "three-ply trousers and a sleeved double tunic". Certainly thick trousers would be useful for riding. But illustrations sometimes seem to show quilted trousers. Or perhaps the quote means long underwear, tight trousers and loose riding hose all worn to make up three layers. Certainly it precludes any form of stiff material, in which you could not ride.

It think we must acknowledge that we are taking about armour, so layers of clothing can be discounted. Thick linen is a possiblity, perhaps stiffened in some way in the case of armour. We could assume that Persians trousers were thicker than Alexander's armour. However the diameter of the linen thread used may not be consistant, while noting that strong trousers may have been needed when fighting a God king. However there are enough artistic renditions of quilting to make it the most likely, and the most effective.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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#43
To add to the discussion of flexibility and springiness of thorax flaps, please visit the following page and have a look at the picture. Took me some time to find it, because ive seen it too long ago. But in my opinion, this (and the previous pictures ive posted) suggests that the flaps were also springy - something like laminate. I am not sure about linen, but multiple leather layers usually have this behaviour, at least from what ive tried to reconstruct.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/im ... 93.01.0319
Juraj "Lýsandros" Skupy
Dierarchos
-----------------------
In the old times, people were much closer to each other. The firing range of their weapons simply wasnt long enough Smile
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#44
Quote:Have you looked at the iconography? Apparently not , or you would have come across the 'Alexander Mosaic' where several Persians wear what appear to be, and are most commonly interpreted as, red quilted Tube-and_Yoke corselets.

Yes, I have looked at the iconography and am very familiar with the 'Alexander Mosaic'. If you are referring to the three Persians that appear to be wearing the tube-and-yoke corselet, there is nothing in the visual evidence which suggests them to be quilted. Their undergarments perhaps, as they do look quilted, but simply from visual evidence one cannot make this judgment or interpret this with any amount of certainty.

This just came to mind: shouldn't Darius be wearing a tube-and-yoke corselet in the 'Alexander Mosaic'? If the corselet Alexander retrieved after Issus did in fact belong to Darius (as it is often interpreted), why isn't Darius shown to be wearing one? If many believe the corselet Alexander took after Issus and wore at the battle of Gaugamela (Plutarch 32) was in fact Darius's, then this strongly suggests Darius wore this type of corselet, unless he just hauled the corselet around for every battle he participated in and did not wear it (but this seems peculiar). So if Darius wore a tube-and-yoke corselet, why does he not have one on in the 'Alexander Mosaic'? Alexander is wearing one.

Quote:Combine this with Plutarch's reference, which, taken in isolation is ambiguous as to quilting, but together with the mosaic is good evidence for quilted Persian corselets. Then, from the other end of the Mediterranean world there are statues, statuettes and friezes all showing Etruscans also wearing what are best interpreted as quilted Tube-and-Yoke corselets.

If indeed the Persians wearing the tube-and-yoke corselets in the 'Mosaic' also have on quilted undergarments, then this at least shows how quilted items were portrayed in the ancient world; and this is exactly how one would expect them to appear: not smooth or lacking definable quilting marks, but checkered or grid-like. This quilted-grid design would have been familiar to any viewer and they would have immediately recognized this as a quilted undergarment. (See especially the soldier looking back in horror directly below Darius frantically holding onto a horse's reins.) The soldier to the right of Darius that appears to be wearing a red tube-and-yoke corselet does not have any type of quilting marks on his corselet; it is smooth and in one piece (from what we can tell at least).

Quote:Whist, as you rightly say, there can be no certainty about this subject, the evidence has been thoroughly dealt with on this site in several long threads...

Simply because an online forum deals with the subject, any subject, to a great degree does not make the matter solved. Nor does it give weight to one side or the other. Again, I'm not saying I am right, you are wrong. I'm not even attempting to dismiss the existence of the Greeks using quilted armor, or laminated armor for that matter. I only wish to make my judgments on the evidence we have and not on theory or loose interpretations that cannot be proven.

Quote:Homer certainly refers to linen armour. He does nor IIRC use the word 'Linothorax' which is modern.

Homer certainly does use the word. It is not modern. The lesser Ajax wears a "linothorex" in 2.529, and later at 2.830 Adrastus and Amphius also wear one (...Adrestos te kai Amphios linothorex...).

Quote:However that does not mean that the Greeks of Classical Greece wore linen Tube-and-Yoke corselets.... (bold added by me) the linen armour had fallen out of use centuries before.

How can you be certain? Not one Greek army or contingent, regardless of the enormous expense of bronze armor, wore the linen tube-and-yoke corselet in the Classical Age? Is there evidence to support this? Didn't Iphicrates, the Athenian general who lived in the Classical era, institute a reform which placed soldiers in linen corselets (Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates 1.3-4)? There are also numerous vase paintings from that same era that clearly depict soldiers of the phalanx wearing the tube-and-yoke corselet. Are we to assume these are contemporary depictions of warfare at the time (i.e. Classical Greece) with the soldiers wearing archaic armor? Should we also assume that none of the armor was made of linen, despite what Nepos says of Iphicrates?

Quote:Cornelius Nepos ( writing centuries later) has a very garbled tale, having Iphicrates replace Mail with linen armour, a hopless anachronism.

We should not be so quick to reject Cornelius Nepos. I don't translate that as chain mail. Grammatically I don't see the justification for assuming that. I read it as he exchanged the bronze corselet for ones made of linen.

Quote:Herodotus does not refer to linen armour when speaking of the gifts of Pharoah Amasis to Greek temples... Herodotus here is using 'thorakes' in it's original sense of 'body covering' or garment...

Herodotus calls the corselets of Amasis "thoraka lineon" (2.182) and he uses the same words to describe the Assyrian's corselets: "lineous thorakas" (7.63). The same goes for the stolen corselet "thorakos" (3.47). How are we to tell what Herodotus meant in each individual usage of the word? There is nothing to suggest that Amasis sent a simple garment to Greece. Herodotus describes each piece (2.182 and 7.63) using the same wording, and the Assyrians are most probably arming themselves with linen corselets, and not garments, since the paragraph lists their various arms and armor. To dismiss the Amasis reference as a mere garment is unfounded in my opinion.

I added the other references to demonstrate that linen corselets were widely-known in the ancient world, not necessarily to prove they were Greek.

Quote:Indeed where Xenophon refers to Greek body armour it is (probably) bronze 'thorakes' or leather 'spolades'.

Xenophon (Anabasis 4.7.15) exactly states that the Chalybes people wore corselets of linen ("thorakas linous"). In Xenophon's Cyropaedia (6.4.2), Abradatas puts on his linen corselet, again clearly stated, as was the custom in his country (i.e. Susa), when arming for battle ("linoun thoraka"). No bronze, no leather, no 'spolades'.

Quote:As for Macedonian armour, the fact that old (infested with parasites body armour) was burnt tells only that it was organic, and the fact that Macedonian tombs apparently produce leather fragments, but not linen ones suggests that the Macedonians wore leather 'spolades'.

I don't know if we can say they were 'infested with parasites', but the burning does only prove they were organic. It was common practice in Alexander's army to burn unnecessary or useless items (see Curtius 6.6.14-17, Plutarch 57.1-2, Polyaenus Strategemata 4.3.10), so it can't be said that Alexander burned them due to parasites, if that is what you were alluding to. I'm not sure if we can say anything suggests that the Macedonians wore only leather corselets either. After all, to use Plutarch once again, Alexander is mentioned as having a linen corselet before Gaugamela. I am partly playing Devil's advocate. I realize, at this point, it is impossible to determine one way or another.

Quote:Having said this, I would agree that "the jury is out" on the commonest material used in classical Greece for Tube-and-Yoke corselets, but the weight of evidence suggests that leather, for which there is a little evidence, is slightly more likely than linen, for which there is no real evidence at all. (bold added by me)

No real evidence at all...except for the abundance of literary references to linen corselets.

Quote:Certainly the Greeks were aware of linen corselets, as the sources you cite show, but that is not evidence that the Greeks themselves used linen.What is all but certain is that Connolly's suggestion of glued layers of linen is almost certainly incorrect.

Again, what about Cornelius Nepos? He specifically says that Iphicrates, the 4th c. Athenian general, used corselets made of linen. Whether these were quilted or not, who knows, nonetheless, they were corselets of linen used by Greeks in the Classical era.
Scott B.
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#45
Quote:But in my opinion, this (and the previous pictures ive posted) suggests that the flaps were also springy - something like laminate. I am not sure about linen, but multiple leather layers usually have this behaviour, at least from what ive tried to reconstruct.

Laminated linen does perform like this. Nice picture.
Scott B.
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