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Recreating a Greek Cavalryman
#31
Would there be any objections if I moved this to the new Greek Reenactment section?
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Magnus/Matt
LEGIO II AVG COH VIII
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#32
I agree it is better placed here.

Byron, I'm a beginner when it comes to things Greek. But I suspect you are refering to the arm and thigh guards from Olympia. There are more upper arm guards than lower ones, probably seldom used, and disappearing by the end of the 6th century. At least 100 years before Xenophon.

Xenophon talks about a newly invented bit of arm for the shoulder, arm, and elbow, being so constructed as to extend and contract. Rather like a manica.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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#33
Quote:He also suggests modifying the right shoulder of a bronze cuirass to make it easier to throw a javelin but I can't think of any surviving examples that have such a modification.

Maybe this one is such an exemplar? Site 34, the armour from Rouets, district Turgovishte [url:1q8rrmca]http://books.google.at/books?id=5FHuDZYFrbcC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=thracian+armour+Rouets+Turgovishte&source=bl&ots=al68PVBHhi&sig=TrcPZwi2Y0aezyY6B3o9kB6tGV8&hl=de&ei=5ffUSoiXDozCsAbduPHkCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false[/url]

Mention the outcutted shoulderpieces and the modifications for the lining. For me it looks like the Mitra was detachable so riding should be no problem. Also the area in front of the throat was cut out, which may was protected with a pectorale to be more flexible in the upper thorax-area. And Xenophon was a guest at the Odrysian king's court and also fought in Thracia.

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#34
Such thorakes from Thace that resempled the bell cuirass of the archaic greece were almost the same but had parts of the neck and arm holes made of iron. The lower part,the "rim" of the bell was also made of iron. Very often those parts are missing,most probably due to the fact that iron isn't preserved like bronze. The holes we see on the edges were not for the linning but for nailing the iron parts.
I don't think this has to do with Xenophon's description.
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#35
Quote:Maybe this one is such an exemplar? Site 34, the armour from Rouets, district Turgovishte
I don't think so. It is the backplate that we would need to see since that is where the modification would need to be.

Quote:For me it looks like the Mitra was detachable so riding should be no problem.
Mitras ave been detatchable since the Bronze Age. Long before the Greeks adopted cavalry.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#36
Quote:I agree it is better placed here.

Byron, I'm a beginner when it comes to things Greek. But I suspect you are refering to the arm and thigh guards from Olympia. There are more upper arm guards than lower ones, probably seldom used, and disappearing by the end of the 6th century. At least 100 years before Xenophon.

Xenophon talks about a newly invented bit of arm for the shoulder, arm, and elbow, being so constructed as to extend and contract. Rather like a manica.

Thanks John. I was thinking of the example in the BM.
But I haven't read all of Xenopon, so will go with that. Looking on those coins on anotherthread, you can see a mainca on one rider, and what looks to me to be acorinthian on another.
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.
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#37
Hal took a break from Roman stuff to enjoy a Greek day in the sunshine. He is far less stocky than Murph.
[attachment=2:20m94phr]<!-- ia2 Hal 1.JPG<!-- ia2 [/attachment:20m94phr]

My boeotian fell off a couple of times and is now covered in scratches, which gives it a more lived in feel. But I really do not want to go drilling holes in it for a chin strap.

[attachment=1:20m94phr]<!-- ia1 Hal 2.JPG<!-- ia1 [/attachment:20m94phr]

Hal is 14 hands, still very nervous, very fast, and great fun. We almost parted company once but he is far more comfortable than Murph.

[attachment=0:20m94phr]<!-- ia0 Hal 3.JPG<!-- ia0 [/attachment:20m94phr]

Thank you to Graham Sumner for the pictures.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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#38
Quote:My boeotian fell off a couple of times and is now covered in scratches
If yours fell off, theirs must have been prone to the same thing, so how do you suppose they dealt with the problem? If there are no holes/rivets in cavalry helmets, perhaps the strap was attached to the liner, which might have been glued into the helmet? Losing your helmet in a real battle would be more than a minor inconvenience, yes?

Archeologically, can we distinguish differences between Boetian cavalry and infantry helmets?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

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#39
At least one boeotian helmet i know of has two holes in wither side that would most probably hold a strap,or even two,one for the chin and one for the back of the head as seen in other types of hats,like the petassos.
[Image: Boeotian_Helmet_02.jpg]
I also know of another one that in all the half rear edge has tiny dots that would be either gor a lining or even the addition of mail (?),and who know,they might ahve also served for a strap. It's interesting that that helmet doesn't have any holes in all the half front edge.
Another idea would be that the straps were added on the outer side of the helmet like they would have been in the actual felt cap,but i haven't seen anything like this in art.
In any case,one of the most detailed sculptures,the Alexander sarcophagus doesn't show any strapping in any of the two boeotian helmets depicted.
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#40
Good morning,
And thank you for your interest. I suspect the thickness of the bronze boeotian Greek helmet makes loosing it in battle a minor inconvenience. Although I say this partly in jest.

Giannis, just to fill you in I based my boeotian on the example from the Ashmolean. I went down there for some conferences and fell in love with it. Oswaldkirk is not so far from where I live so it seemed appropriate to have it reconstructed not only for me, but also for sale. We do not know when the holes were placed in the helmet so I did not have them placed in my versions. If the customer wants them in they can drill them themselves.

What holds the helmet on the head is the size of the orbital ridge in relation to the wearer’s head. The brass prototype fitted my head like a second skin and you could not rip it off without removing a large part of my scalp. The bronze version I had done for myself is a little larger for comfort. The helmets do come supplied with a leather liner glued inside. People seem to expect it. However I cover this with a thick felt pilos which is better for soaking up the sweat and cushioning any blow. I suspect if your helmet was made for you it would be a perfect fit. If it was issued to you a thick felt liner would be needed.

My helmet did not exactly fall off. I threw a long javelin into a shield where it stuck. Hal had never seen sharp javelins before, and certainly not one sticking out of a shield towards him. Coupled with the noise of the impact he gave a buck as we went past the target. This made my second javelin hit my helmet tipping it over my eyes. The noise sounded like a bell and the horse gave another buck. I used the second javelin to hit my helmet under the front rim to remove it from my head completely, which made more noise and the boeotian hit the horse as it fell off. This produced more excitement. I remember hanging on to the horses neck and hauling myself upright. Hal has no shoulders. Luckily the cameras were turned off. Afterwards Graham passed up my helmet but I was very tired and promptly dropped it as he handed it to me. Not exactly heroic but I like to think history is made up of such daft accidents.
[attachment=0:942sj9ix]<!-- ia0 boeotian on hal.JPG<!-- ia0 [/attachment:942sj9ix]

Yesterday Hal was treated to full colour targets and an afternoon of remedial sharp javelin practice. He has a tendency to run well at the first target but slightly turn away from the second. Sometimes. But he will get better. He already has a lot of experience of running at live targets throwing blunt javelins.

The Bulgarian boeotian helmet with small holes around the rear edge which Giannis refers to, is another version of the design with a beautiful shape. The rear edge covers the nape of the neck very well so I discount the idea it is for a mail aventail. It also makes my initial idea about a cloth sun shield, like a Havelock, unlikely. Instead I now suspect it is there to allow leather edging to be applied as with a late Roman helmet. The rear edge of a boeotian ridge can rub your shoulders and back, especially if not made for you. Leather edging would make it more comfortable to wear and reduce damage to clothing or skin. It would not be needed on the front of the helmet, and there are no holes in this corresponding position.

[attachment=1:942sj9ix]<!-- ia1 Bulgarian%20boeotian.jpg<!-- ia1 [/attachment:942sj9ix]
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.historicalinterpretations.net">http://www.historicalinterpretations.net
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#41
John,what is that great sword you are holding? Can you post close ups and description?
Great photos by the way. For some reason,it's the first time i'm liking a boeotian helmet,and i have to say,it fits very much to a cavalryman.
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#42
The sword is a simple serviceable and cheap cavalry kopis from Len Morgan here in the UK. Nice handle, no fullers in the blade, and a scabbard that can form the basis of whatever you want to make it into. Len's swords are so far standing up well to hitting things on horseback. They can be sharpened easily and flex well. I fear cheap brittle blades break easily. I suspect it would be possible to grind fullers into the blade if required. I suspect most Greek swords contained relatively poor steel, and Len's blade fits the bill nicely.

[attachment=0:25a16q3z]<!-- ia0 Greek swords.jpg<!-- ia0 [/attachment:25a16q3z]

The short Lakonian sword he sells is I suspect made by somebody else and is a conversion. It is relatively heavy and robust. It looks the part and will look better when sharpened.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
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#43
A few of you have PM'ed me. Len can be contacted via

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/fabrica/index.htm

He is a gentleman and I can recommend him.

[attachment=0:1zlw1g6p]<!-- ia0 Spartan sword 1.JPG<!-- ia0 [/attachment:1zlw1g6p]
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.historicalinterpretations.net">http://www.historicalinterpretations.net
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#44
Over the past few days I have had a chance to ride using different weapons and shields. I've had a great time in perfect weather with lots of BBQ's other good food and drink.

Last year I was riding Murph. Murph is steady with a broad back. In comparison Hal has a narrow back, a great turn of speed and is a stallion. He is more challanging. Hal is just 14 hands and a good shape for a Greek/Roman horse. I used a sheepskin held in place with a well padded Spanish girth which goes all around the horse. I put a blanket over the whole lot.
[attachment=0:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia0 Mac 8.JPG<!-- ia0 [/attachment:1yro9ay7]

I spent some time trying to ride with an aspis. Mine is a DSC 9.6 kg/22 lb version. With it resting on my shoulder I couldn't hold the reins in my left hand, so I had to ride right handed. The weight of the aspis was literally trying to pull me off the horse. I felt like a hoplite riding to battle rather than a shielded cavalryman.
[attachment=5:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia5 Mac 2.JPG<!-- ia5 [/attachment:1yro9ay7]

I played around with a pelta and could ride left handed with a weapon in right. I loved the bronze skythian axe hammer.
[attachment=4:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia4 Mac 4.JPG<!-- ia4 [/attachment:1yro9ay7][attachment=3:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia3 Mac 3.JPG<!-- ia3 [/attachment:1yro9ay7] I also carried a lakonian short sword suspended vertically from two rings. It was easy to carry such a weapon high in my arm pit. It is such a small size you forget you are carrying it.

I then tried a round pelta. I fear this looks covered in bronze from the pictures, but in fact it is plastic from the film "Alexander". But size and curvature are good. It was easy to use and the rim didn't get in the way of holding the reins in my left hand.
[attachment=2:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia2 Mac 6.JPG<!-- ia2 [/attachment:1yro9ay7]

I spent a lot of time with the 4m long kontos/sarissa. You need two hands for this weapon and none of the shields could be carried. I tried the weapon one handed but my arm soon begain to ache. As a roman I feel I could use a kontos against infantry or cavalry. But as a Greek, with relatively little support on the horse, the sarissa felt like a weapon to use against fellow horsemen. If I hit a foot soldier with it the impact would take me off my horse.
[attachment=1:1yro9ay7]<!-- ia1 Mac 1.JPG<!-- ia1 [/attachment:1yro9ay7]

Throwing javelins needed some getting used to. At first I rose on the horse and left fly with all my strength. But there was nothing to brace myself against and I almost slide off the horse as I followed through. I could ride with one javelin held in my left hand vertically, and another in my right ready for throwing.

I tried a large tapered spear with a massive head and small ferule. I suspect as a reconstruction this is all wrong, but I gave it a go. It would kill anything it came into contact with, but it was hard to use. I rammed straight through a shield and almost came off with the shock of contact. it is very heavy.

I used the cavalry kopis and it was a joy. I did resort to a small leather loop around part of the handle to help hold the sword in the scabbard. I need to make a bone neck piece for the scabbard in an attempt to hold the sword in place.

The boetian helmet was great for keeping the sun off, and Hal seemed to think the whole thing was a nice holiday compared to Roman saddles and armour. I enjoyed it.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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#45
Excellent job John!
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