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leather cuirass
#1
is there any prove that legionaries used leather cuirasses ? i've seen a reenactor wearing only a leather cuirass. (no seg., no squa., no ham.)

rgds
Yves Goris
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Quintus Aurelius Lepidus
Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
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vzw Legia
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#2
You mean like those leather segmenata things?
Ben.
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#3
Salve,
I am afraid that they did not wear this cuiras as well as leather lorica segmentata. Idea
Radka Hlavacova A.K.A Titvs Iventivs Martivs
Tesserarivs Legio IIII FF
Castra Romana, Czech republic
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#4
No evidence of legionaries wearing them...not much for officers either. Even then, the evidence for officers using leather musculata is open to a lot of interpretation and speculation.
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#5
Quote:You mean like those leather segmenata things?

yep
Yves Goris
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Quintus Aurelius Lepidus
Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
Reburrus
Cohors VII Raetorum Equitata (subunit of Legio XI CPF)
vzw Legia
Flanders
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#6
tnx! could it be possible that because it's organic material we don't have prove for it but that images do show them?

rgds
Yves Goris
****
Quintus Aurelius Lepidus
Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
Reburrus
Cohors VII Raetorum Equitata (subunit of Legio XI CPF)
vzw Legia
Flanders
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#7
On page 144 of the book "Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier", by D'Amato and Sumner, there is a picture of what is labeled "leather banded armour" found in Egypt. This is definitely not an example of leather segmentata. Moreover, its military context is unclear. It might as well be something that a chariot driver would of worn.

He also shows, on page 137, examples of leather shirts, found at Vindonissa, that he claims to be armour. Again, I have doubts. Judging from the photo, these could just as well be a subarmalis.
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#8
Quote:tnx! could it be possible that because it's organic material we don't have prove for it but that images do show them?
No. We have tons of leather artefacts dating to the Roman period. Even leather components of metal armour. The only evidence for "Roman" leather armour is a piece of lamellar from Dura Europos. No musculata and definitely no segmentata.

Before anyone starts arguing semantics I define "armour" in this thread as an item designed to protect a person from various weapons in a military context. So I don't consider costumes to be armour and I don't consider chariot racers' equipment to be armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#9
Quote:
Aulus Perrinius:101i7rbn Wrote:You mean like those leather segmenata things?

yep

Well Magnus pretty much answered that question. But, no, there is no evidence for a leather segmenata outside movies. If someone finds one there'll be a lot of red faces on RAT
Ben.
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#10
Nicolle has a couple of examples of segmented leather armour in his Arms and Armour compendium but these are Middle Eastern and date a thousand years too late. They are also constructed in a completely different manner to Roman segmented armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#11
ok tnx !
Yves Goris
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Quintus Aurelius Lepidus
Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
Reburrus
Cohors VII Raetorum Equitata (subunit of Legio XI CPF)
vzw Legia
Flanders
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#12
Has anyone looked at the following factors to either help prove or deny the use of leather as a a realistic form of protection for this era?

Production time from prospected ore to metal armor (hamata, squamata, segmentata) vs slaughtering of the cattle and curing the hides to a suitable leather form of protection? I know David Sim did some work on this with metal artifacts, but I have never seen anyone work it on the leather side of the house/argument.

Weight of metal Roman armor vs weight of proposed leather armor to be able to provide about roughly the same protective qualities. A friend of mine that does work in leather has shown me a few examples of leather breastplates that would be protective, but they weigh a lot more than any of the Roman metal armor that I own.

Freedom of movement and flexibility. Byran Angel actually mentioned this in a earlier post. A soldier has got to have a good degree of flexibility in his armor, and be able to not only use his weapons as designed and instructed, but also be able to march and do other soldier like duties in them.

Performance in all weather conditions over prolonged periods of time. How would leather fair vs metal armor in a Junhkelmen like expedition? While leather used to make caligae, baldrics, belts, etc seems to hold up pretty well, how does a hardened version of it hold up, even if boiled in wax, oil, etc. Does it even need to be hardened in the first place?

The armor would also, of course have to based off designs of either known finds or period artwork.

I have my own speculative thoughts, but I am unaware of any experiments of this nature.

R/
Mike Daniels
a.k.a

Titus Minicius Parthicus

Legio VI FFC.


If not me...who?

If not now...when?
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#13
We know that leather armour was worn during this time by many cultures. The trick is to demonstrate that the Romans wore leather which can't be done using the above analysis.

What we do know is that leather segmentata cannot be constructed using the same method that the Romans used for metal segmentata. In order to provide any protection at all,the leather plates have to be much much thicker, which would lead to the type of assembly that Nicolle's Middle Eastern examples have. To put it simply, it is not possible to make leather segmented armour look like the depictions on Trajan's column. The only way to do it is to make the leather too thin to provide any kind of protection, which means that it no longer fits the definition of "armour".
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#14
Dan,
in other words, while leather armor was used by other cultures, how armor is depicted in Roman art and lack of leather archeological finds still makes it highly; improbable that it was ever used during the Imperial period by the Roman War Machine.

MC Bishop's Article on The Military Fabrica and the Production of Arms in the Early Principate along with Roths's Logistics of the Roman Army at War also got me thinking on the more practical logistical aspects of whether or not leather armor was even practical, sustainable and feasible; especially on campaign.

How practical it would have been for use in the Roman Army keeps me coming up currently with my own speculative thoughts. I lean towards it not being practical based on what we know currently, despite some new research recently by D'Amato and Sumner which has been successful in at least making me rethink and relook the subject once again.
R/
Mike Daniels
a.k.a

Titus Minicius Parthicus

Legio VI FFC.


If not me...who?

If not now...when?
:wink: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" />:wink:
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#15
Quote:He also shows, on page 137, examples of leather shirts, found at Vindonissa, that he claims to be armour. Again, I have doubts. Judging from the photo, these could just as well be a subarmalis.
Or simply a civilian shirt. Leather clothing (sheep, goat, reindeer, etc) was common in Northern Europe. Is it me or do the Italians have a fetish for leather armour? Italian reenactors seem to love it.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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