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Aspis cover.
#1
Transporting my aspis around Yorkshire and Humberside means the paintwork is taking a hammering. In a good Roman tradition I’ve made a shield cover for it, based on the two images from the Bowdoin Eye-Cup Painter.

I used three pig skins. Goat would have been my preferred choice but pig was 25 % cheaper. I applied an eight-pointed star pattern to the front of the cover using leather appliqués. The edge of the cover has been strengthened in some areas with a second layer of leather. The whole cover has been soaked in oil today ready for use on Wednesday. The wooden bipod fits nicely inside the aspis and cover and is now much easier to carry around with the shield.

I’ll post pictures when the leather has dried.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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#2
On reflection goatskin would have been tougher, but I just had to use up those pigskins.

If nothing else the oiled leather will make an excellent waterproof shelter or groundsheet Smile

[attachment=1:3o7pr0g0]<!-- ia1 shield cover 1.JPG<!-- ia1 [/attachment:3o7pr0g0]

[attachment=0:3o7pr0g0]<!-- ia0 shield cover 2.JPG<!-- ia0 [/attachment:3o7pr0g0]
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
<a class="postlink" href="http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com">http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com
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#3
Excellent!

I think I've seen a couple of period illustrations--but pigskin seems as likely as any other substance.

Must make one of my own.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
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#4
Welldone.
One of our meber covers his shield in a round hessian bag with an attached bauldrik for easy transport.

Kind regards
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#5
I'm conditioned to make goatskin Roman shield covers.

And Xenophon mentions shield covers used on the march, so they may have been robust and made from goat skin. However somehow I believe an Athenian gentlemen could just use his cover to protect his shield fo dust. IMO.

Thanks forn the comments. Shield coveres are very easy to make.
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
<a class="postlink" href="http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com">http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com
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#6
Nice,this is how i would also make my shield cover. And this re-enforces my belief that the inner ropes of the aspis had as a primary purpose to be carrying ropes. Why not just one of them but a complicated system? Just to divide the weight of the shield to more than two attachments.
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#7
Certainly.

Or you could attach a carrying strap to the shield cover.
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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#8
You could. But in the few (2-3) depictions od shiel covers i have seen,none shows a carrying strap,while i have seen at least one vase (I think Neoptolemos) using the aspis ropes for carrying it. Or almost.
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#9
I have three illustrations showing a shield cover, all from the front and therefore unable to varify the use of a strap attached to the cover itself. So it is a possible method.

The illustration of Antimachos acting as page to Neoptolemos by the Lykaon Painter of around 440 BC, has Antimachos carrying the shield by lengths of cord attached to the internal face of the aspis. I also believed this to be the carrying method. But I have to carry my aspis around a great deal. You can easily use the cords as shown on the Attic vase, but the porpax stickls in your back. If I could dismount the porpax this system would work, and packing the internal face of the shield with a large cloak helps. But currently I just tie some cords to the porpax and carry the aspis off and supported by my shoulder. I think the weight of the aspis would rip any carrying strap off my shield cover.

Of course the shield cover could be stronger, or the aspis lighter ........
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
<a class="postlink" href="http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com">http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com
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#10
The illustration that made me think the aspis cover was similar to the roman ones was this one:
[Image: Bellcuirasspteriges_questionable.jpg]
I interpreted the semi circles as the parts that would fold on the back of the rim and perhaps a rope would keep them together like in your reconstruction. The hung shield i believe it's not in its cover,sice the rim is visible. Even if it is,the peculiar lines on the front i think they don't represent a carrying stripe.since that would have been in the back of the shield.

Daniyal placement of the fittings i believe is a little incorrect. I also think their rope(if you haven't replaced it) is a bit short. This may make your shield hung a bit too high and make the porpax uncomfortable. Matthew Amt in his site states that his own shield hungs nicely from its internal ropes and that unexpectedly the porpax was comfortably resting inside the curve of the back. This may mean that his is hunging lower than yours?
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#11
After lunging my aspis around I think I need a slave to carry it, never mind a shield strap. A 20 mile march with this would be a serious trial.

Giannis, I slung the shield lower on my back, and I can understand what you mean. But I would still want it packed with bedding to make it comfortable. Not all shields seem to have internal ropes, and I suspect they went on the nearest cart :lol:
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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#12
You can always dismount the porpax, from what I remember, it was possible. While I am unsure about the mounting mechanism, Lakonians used to dismount the porpax from their shields and lock it inside their personal chests during the night when they slept - as a preventive measure. This way their slaves would not be able to take them and use them against their masters. An Aspis without a porpax is not very usable in combat.
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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#13
Dismounting the porpax, hmmmm. Well, that would make all of us who rivet them on to be, errr, wrong. Interesting. I think it would be possible to make the "nail" that come through to the backside pierced at the right place, and a pin, (like a clevis or carter pin) used to hold it in place. I'm not suggesting that's how they did it, but that it could be done that way.

Using any kind of fastening system like that would certainly make the shield easier to carry from here to there if slung on the back, but it would also mean there would be as much as a few minutes' delay in making the shield battle ready when the time came, wouldn't it?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#14
From what I've read, slaves were utilised to carry the equipment for and dress the masters when they marched off to war.
The time was allocated for forming up on the battlefield so time would permit the readying of equipment before the formality of a battle settled the issue of the day. I don't recall to many hoplite battles being fought by ambush. Although there were some, with the obvious results.
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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#15
In my belief,when the ancients reffer to "removable porpakes" they must habve reffered to the later type where the actual arm band is much narrower than ther older ones. Much of the waight and the close fitting is supported and achieved by the padding which wad the shape of the earlier metal porpakes,but they were removable. Usually they could be removed by a simple mechanism,but there is also the unique shield of Phillip II from the vergian tomb where the padding was suspended with iron hinges.
So the actual metal porpax would remain riveted in place,just it was now a narrow metal plate,not the wider older porpax. This means that comfortability wouldn't change much.
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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