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Was the Lorica REALLY polished?
#16
marcuscorneliusscipio writes:<br>
<br>
".However, the issues of cost and resources may have driven the Romans to more practical solutions than the shiny loricas all around."<br>
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If they were worried about the cost of anything, they wouldn't have gone to such great lengths to make all those loricae with all those VERY unnecessarily complicated and ornate hinges and fittings, not to mention fabulously decorated helmets, scabbards, belts, and more. Give up the old myth of "practical" Romans, really!<br>
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"I agree that most Legati probably thought that armor was something for you to carry and shine up - but I very seriously doubt the gregarii shared this enlightened view"<br>
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Well, it ain't the gregarii making the decisions. I have heard that British army NCOs in the early 20th century almost mutinied when all the brass buckles and rings on the belt gear were eliminated in favor of black metal--there was a lot less for the men to polish!<br>
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"Another reason why I consider the art suspect is one of the major pieces often referenced by folks seeking to re-create the "look" of the legionary - Trajan's Column...."<br>
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Sure, the Column is stylized in ways. But it's not really relevant here since the paint is all gone. But if we assume that all the artists are making up what they like to see, and that the writers are lying, and that the archeological finds are flukes, then frankly we can't really be sure these "Romans" ever really existed, right? At some point you have to trust the evidence that you have, meager as it might be. And in this case it all agrees: Pictures of silvery armor, descriptions of shiny armor, and surviving pieces of tinned or silvered armor.<br>
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Andy Volpe writes:<br>
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" I'm not quite sold either way on how Roman armor was finished. I am a big fan of Pistolier/Cuirassier armor in the 16th+ centuries, and I know Black and White armor can have some damned nice looking effects."<br>
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Sure, I've worn blackened 17th century armor. But remember that the Romans were WAY ahead of any other army in the world in terms of organization, supply, training, and financial backing, right through the 19th century. (I mean the Romans of the first century were ahead of someone else's army of the 19th century! Not that the Romans were still around, then...) They had time and money to do what they wanted, and their troops were better disciplined. AND they had their own fashions which were very important to them.<br>
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"Anything to take time off from polishing and to put it back into training and marching I think may have been on the back of a Roman officer's mind..."<br>
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It might have been much more important to find ways to use up soldiers' free time! Bored soldiers cause trouble.<br>
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DECIMUS MERCATIUS VARIANUS writes:<br>
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"I don't know... that's a bit much. Perhaps, but would they have really polished it all up? Tinned, I might believe, but polished, I think it is just too labor intensive."<br>
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But labor was free! You got all those soldiers sitting around, waiting for their armor! Actually making the armor may have been the job of hired contractors, but they all used slaves as labor. Mind you, I'm only saying it was bright metal, satin finish, not mirror-polished for the iron and steel, at least.<br>
<br>
"Really, I mean just how many people here have actually done that -- polished their armor by hand? "<br>
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In all fairness, I have not, but I am (thank God!) only a reenactor and not a full-time legionary. So I can keep my armor where it won't rust so fast, and use modern methods to maintain it, or I wouldn't have time to actually get to events and wear it. Back then, different story. We KNOW that armor and weapons in later periods were often bright or highly polished, with technology not much more advanced than what the Romans had. And like I always say, this is an army--a civilization--that can afford the world's largest full-time standing professional army, and put most of them in body armor (not to mention all the shields, helmets, weapons, tents, etc.). A few hours per man of brightening up the metal after forging is really no big deal.<br>
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One other point. A blued or blackened surface will not prevent rust, only retard it. And when you remove that rust, what do you get? Bright metal! The action of the plates chafing each other will also rub off any dark finish. Gonna look wierd, unless you dismantle the entire lorica every now and then to redarken it (the heat of the process will damage any leather). I have heard that people have done this, but if you are talking about doing this because it's easier and time-saving, I'd point out that I have NEVER had to dismantle my own lorica to get the rust off! So I seem to have saved a lot of time and effort by having bright metal in the first place.<br>
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BUT this is all speculation on different peoples' ideas of "practical". Give me the evidence, any day.<br>
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Whew! Valete,<br>
<br>
Matthew/Quintus, Legio XX <p></p><i></i>
Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.larp.com/legioxx/">http://www.larp.com/legioxx/
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#17
Good point on your last paragraph Matt. I notice also on the inside of my lorica, which is "paint blackened", that most of it rubs off where the plates rub together. Any training or combat will cause the same result, making that particular spot susceptible to rust. Then you have to clean it, and it's likely that whatever you are using to do so, will take off any blackening in the immediate area. This is just not feasible. It would take longer, to dismantle the armor, remove the leather, re-heat and re-blacken it, than to just scrub it.<br>
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Yeah, makes total sense.<br>
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And Decimus, I did find a site that details how to make all parts of japanese samurai armor. (It's like the samurai version of Matt's site).<br>
It's [url=http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/0.Katchu.html" target="top]here[/url], if you are interested. The author has published 4 books with Osprey on the subject, and was in Japan for several years making authentic ones. It doesn't sound that bad...I made about 90% of my Roman gear, so I am going to take a crack at it at the very least. I'll be substituting actual lacquer for paint, and possibly the chinese waterbuffalo rawhide with metal, and.....plastic!!! (Don't hate me! The author says this simulates lacquered hide greatly!)<br>
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<p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix" Coh I<br>
<br>
"I know I was born, and I know that I'll die. But the in between is mine."<br>
<br>
- Number of posts: current +1248</p><i></i>
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#18
We have just had a very sweaty session at Stoneleigh and there the Loricae were covered in rust due to the sweat and the high humidity.<br>
We must also remember that we use steel which rusts much more easily than iron<br>
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We have had a few threads on paint and I doubt whether the milk paints the Romans had would be better protection than a layer of ubiquitous olive oil.<br>
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Mine is painted on the inside but it wears away where there is frictionbut then I cannot recall cleaning the inside so that is a blessing. <p></p><i></i>
Quod imperatum fuerit facimus et ad omnem tesseram parati erimus
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#19
Avete omnes!<br>
<br>
Matt, I think we need to understand that the brightly decorated, extremely ornate examples of Roman artifacts that we are so fond of reproducing as reenactors are those that most museums are displaying precisely because they represent the pinnacle of the Roman culture's artistic achievements on their technology. For each "sword of Tiberius" we find in the archaelogical record, there are literally hundreds of undecorated simple swords. Same thing happens with helmets, and I suspect with other items as well.<br>
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Also, we cannot make the assumption that legionnaries had all day to sit around doing nothing - for example, foraging for food and firewood, maintaning and repairing weapons and other equipment, fighting drills, etc. -i.e. a lot of things WE reenactors do not do during our couple or three days of wearing loricae and trying to figure out how it all works without poking a pila in someone<br>
<br>
BTW, I do use and believe the sources and so forth - however, I try not to predicate absolute knowledge of the Roman way on my interpretation of things. Your Legio's Handbook was one of the source materials I used to create my initial kit for our church's Passion play (Via Crucis, to be exact) before I met ol' Hibernicus and co. I also know that archaeology can and does change the data available - just look at all the things we have all learned after the discoveries of Kalkriese, Dura Europos, the excavations being conducted even today in sites such as the Forum, the Collis Capitolinum, etc. Twenty years ago, our body of knowledge was much poorer than it is now. Just imagine what it will be ten or twenty years from now. We have verified quite a bit of what the ancient authors wrote - and also dispelled some of the myths they sought to perpetuate. I guess my way of looking at it is to work with the materials and see how they behave.<br>
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Point well taken regarding the forge blackening rubbing off with use. I think that tinning or silvering would probably have been a solution or answer to this (heck, we know they silvered masks and other bits of armor - wouldn't put it past the Legati or the Centurio to want to look his best ). That would produce the shiny effect without the need to polish continually (which a soldier on campaign won't do if it interferes with his primary tasking - to survive the engagement!). Look at those very same British Army NCO's during WWI and WWII in Burma, India, etc. and you'll see that once contact with the enemy was a certainty, the ol' spit and polish was slightly deemphasized<br>
<br>
As for practical Romans, practicality and beauty are not mutually exclusive - look at a Do-maru, or even an O-yoroi and you can see that even an eminently practical cuirass can be made quite beautiful with simple things such as color and designs. Of course, the most decorative examples belong to those who could afford them - a major incentive for looting in every army I can think of prior to our period. "Hey, I's goin' to buy me that dersh-good lookin' war-hat, and a preety shirt to match!!! Again, we get to see quite a bit of the prettier items because those will get museums visited (and therefore, $$$$ into the museum funds). Go to the research collections and you'll find things are a bit plainer, and a whole lot more common than we think. Art will show us how a culture wishes to portray itself - while it can be a very accurate portrait at times, it can also sway into serious self-delusion at others.<br>
<br>
I agree with you on hard evidence over speculation any day of the week - but it's a lot of fun to ask folks like you and all the others on this forum for your understanding of these subjects. It allows me (and I hope others) to think a bit more in depth about our hobby, and it beats working any day!<br>
<br>
Optime vale,<br>
Marius Cornelius Scipio<br>
LEG IX HSPA COH III CEN I HIB<br>
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<br>
<p></p><i></i>
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#20
Decimus,<br>
<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Matt, I think we need to understand that the brightly decorated, extremely ornate examples of Roman artifacts that we are so fond of reproducing as reenactors are those that most museums are displaying precisely because they represent the pinnacle of the Roman culture's artistic achievements on their technology<hr><br>
<br>
On the contrary, Lorica Segmentata <em>is</em> somewhat ornate, and that was the <strong>standard</strong> for that type of armor, which we are discussing. We are not discussing officer's kit here. Take a look at all the finds of this kind of armor. All of them have an enormous amount of intricacies to them, especially the Newstead types. The same goes for the gallic and itallic type helmets. These are extremely functional pieces of armor, not show pieces, such as the cavalry sports helm, or the velsen dagger. Yet, they have decorations on them, mostly in brass as well.<br>
<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Also, we cannot make the assumption that legionnaries had all day to sit around doing nothing - for example, foraging for food and firewood, maintaning and repairing weapons and other equipment, fighting drills, etc. <hr><br>
<br>
It's not really an assumption. It's based more of the "process of elimination". When not fighting, or building roads, time would be given to weapons and armor maintenance. Even when projects were on the go, time would have been set aside for this. Why? Ask any soldier. Your weapons are your life. They will take life, and save yours. If they are not serviceable, then they won't work. If they rust, blades then lose their edge and strength, and if armor rusts, it looses it's protective value right? So why would they neglect their armor? I think we can safely establish the fact that the armor was <em>not</em> blackened on the outside, or blued for that matter, given the above points. As such, it would require a daily oiling at the least. Some days, if it wasn't worn, or worn on light duty, it would NOT need to be scrubbed at all. The oil will protect it. As such, minimal attention will be needed to maintain it.<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr>BTW, I do use and believe the sources and so forth - however, I try not to predicate absolute knowledge of the Roman way on my interpretation of things. <hr><br>
<br>
I don't think anyone is, but it's important to look at this issue from all angles, and figure it out as best we can. We know it's not feasible to blacken the outside of the armour...it won't last...because of this, regular maintenance (ie a scrub and oiling) will be required. Now, based on that, time would have been set aside to do this. Soldiers have to take care of their kit, because one day, it will take care of them. That's just how it works. It's like cause and effect. Cause: Armor Rusty. Effect: Bad guy's sword penetrates = bad.<br>
<br>
On tinning: I don't think every lorica, regardless of type was tinned. I have a feeling that was a matter of station, or wealth. Maybe Matt can help me out here, but tinning was at least partly done in emulation of silver, and thus rank and station. Plus, it would have cost more and been more time consuming. As Derrek pointed out as well, the lorica seg. was iron, not steel, and thus didn't rust as quickly. ( i beleive that is due to teh carbon content in steel). Therefore, tinning was probably decorative. BUT, that is truly just my opinion.<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr>Art will show us how a culture wishes to portray itself - while it can be a very accurate portrait at times, it can also sway into serious self-delusion at others.<hr><br>
<br>
That's a generalization. Not all art is abstract, or is it surrealist. Some is very accurate and based on real life. Saying that because it's art, and thus open to interpretation is a complete cop out, unless you've spoken to the artist in person, and he has verified this. Roman statuary for example, is <em>extremely</em> accurate, especially when it comes to proportions and form.<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr>I agree with you on hard evidence over speculation any day of the week - but it's a lot of fun to ask folks like you and all the others on this forum for your understanding of these subjects. It allows me (and I hope others) to think a bit more in depth about our hobby, and it beats working any day! <hr><br>
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Amen to that brother! I find that more brains = more angles = probable solution. That's teh best we can do in a lot of cases I guess.<br>
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Hey, did you check out that japanese armor site yet?<br>
<p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix" Coh I<br>
<br>
"I know I was born, and I know that I'll die. But the in between is mine."<br>
<br>
- Number of posts: current +1248</p><i></i>
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#21
Avete omnes!<br>
<br>
Magnus, while I agree segmentata are more ornate than some of the extant armors around, we can see that even in the extant record the trend was toward simplification (basing the argument on the extant bits from Kalkriese, Corbridge, and Newstead finds). I would argue that the scarcity of examples may be due to the fact that iron is a recyclable material, and who knows how many of those plates got recycled into coats of plate or brigandines by later groups. And what we have found to date represents but a tiny fraction of the actual produced materiel for the Roman army during the circa 200 years of use we have for these armors.<br>
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I agree you would always set aside time to clean your weapons and armor - God knows I had to clean enough M-16 A1s and M1911A1s to last me a lifetime, and make sure my ALICE gear was ready for inspection or field training as appropriate (and I was merely a cadet in training!). However, modern armies dedicated a disproportionate amount of their daily routine to the spit and polish BECAUSE their soldiers did not have to engage in a lot of tasks that would have been routine for a Legio. They certainly would have been engaged in routine maintenance of their gear - no argument there. Spit and polish, well, probably done for the parade ground, but not while on active campaign (although you probably would find some miles who actually had enough time on his hands now and then). What I'm saying is, don't assume that because a modern would have done this, the ancients would have done the same. That's temporal ethnocentrism, and my anthropology professor would beat us with fustae for making such assumptions ...<br>
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On art - I think you might have missed my point. I agree some Roman art is very life-like and accurate (witness some of what I would call trompe-le-oile frescoes in Pompeii), but it can be equally whimsical at times. My comment on Trajan's Column comes from the fact that even though it is viewed as a chronicle of his military achievements, it is also a very blatant piece of political propaganda. My (perhaps very naive)<br>
approach is to look at the art, it's context, and compare to what we know of the archaelogical record. If they match, cool, I know what my next project's supposed to look like. If not, hmmm, what's wrong here? If I'm confused (which happens a lot) - Centurio!!!!! I'm not trying to "cop out" - I'm trying to leave a few of my own predispositions out of the interpretation.<br>
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By the way, that samurai website is extremely informative. Thank God I don't have the money, 'cause I'd be cutting scales right now!<br>
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Optime Vale<br>
Marius Cornelius Scipio<br>
LEG IX HSPA COH III EXPG CEN I HIB <p></p><i></i>
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#22
Avete, omnes!<br>
<br>
I would like to point out that all of our (and I do mean <strong>ALL</strong> of us reenactors!) experiences are based on segmentata reconstructions done in various steel alloys - steel, not iron - which behave in a manner very different from steel. Until someone gets around to doing one in iron, AND beating the holy %$&*%(^& out of it - I'd say that the chapter has yet to be written.<br>
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If someone else <strong>HAS</strong> done a seg. in iron, please correct me! - the IX Hispana has started on this sort of project (complete madness! Oh, the humanity!) and I'd like to hear of other's experiences...<br>
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Scy <p>LEG IX HSPA - COH III EXPG - CEN I HIB<br>
<br>
- FIDELITAS - - VIRTUS - - MAGNANIMITAS - </p><i></i>
Adam MacDonald

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org">www.legio-ix-hispana.org
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#23
Quote:</em></strong><hr> If they were worried about the cost of anything, they wouldn't have gone to such great lengths to make all those loricae with all those VERY unnecessarily complicated and ornate hinges and fittings, not to mention fabulously decorated helmets, scabbards, belts, and more. Give up the old myth of "practical" Romans, really!<hr><br>
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<strong>Waugh!</strong> On this I will have to call you. In technlogy, simplicity comes from evolution... I forget where I read it, but the more elegant solutions take time to reach. Just because it is complicated, we tend to think they did it this way on purpose, perhaps it was built complicated because that was what they figured out first. Who knows... maybe I'm wrong, but if you had no knowledge of armor and had to design something, it might be just this complicated.<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr> Well, it ain't the gregarii making the decisions. I have heard that British army NCOs in the early 20th century almost mutinied when all the brass buckles and rings on the belt gear were eliminated in favor of black metal--there was a lot less for the men to polish!<hr><br>
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No, but... it ain't like nowadays w/ tons of time to "make work." They had tons of @#%$ to do EVERY day. If you have to make camp at the end of every day's march and set up all the stuff and come up w/ food and firewood, etc. is there really enough time?<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr> But labor was free! You got all those soldiers sitting around, waiting for their armor! Actually making the armor may have been the job of hired contractors, but they all used slaves as labor. Mind you, I'm only saying it was bright metal, satin finish, not mirror-polished for the iron and steel, at least.<hr><br>
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Quintus sir, why not try it at your next few events? Don't use ANY modern cleaners, polish, etc. Only what they had then. And then try and keep your kit up. Also, wasn't cloth pretty pricey back then? What would you use w/ your sand and wood ashes to polish said armor?<br>
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I do agree w/ what you said about the blackening scraping off, but what do I know? I nominate Magnus to build us a time machine to go and see. <p>DECIMUS MERCATIUS VARIANUS<br>
Netscape Aim/AOL screen name: Sturmkatze<br>
<br>
Alteris renumera duplum de quoquo tibi numeraverunt.</p><i></i>
DECIMvS MERCATIvS VARIANvS
a.k.a.: Marsh Wise
Legio IX Hispana http://www.legioix.org

Alteris renumera duplum de quoquo tibi numeraverunt

"A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired." -- Alexander Hamilton

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.... But then I repeat myself." ~Mark Twain

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#24
I've read somewhere that iron produced with a low furnace method, as opposed to the modern high furnace is less sensible to rust. I don't know but I'd be glad to get details on that.<br>
I also very vaguely remember a column made of pure iron in India, that has been erected in the open there centuries ago and does not bear any rust.<br>
Besides, isn't polishing the best method to get rid of rust?<br>
Up to the 12th century, armours were often painted in the heraldic colors of the wearer. The helmets, rather, since the armour was not yet the armour of plates but still mail.<br>
With the development of the armour of plates, the complete harness was finally developed and in the 15th century came to be called in France "harnois plain" (plain harness) or "harnois blanc" (white harness). Milan and Augsburg were the main centers of production.<br>
It was called "plain" or "white" harness because it was entirely polished, and that is definitely a bigger surface than a segmentata...<br>
I don't know the method used for polishing but obviously it was an efficient one.<br>
As for the black and white armours or the 16th century, they were characteristic of the Reiters, german cavalrymen in the service of anyone that would pay good money. They were known as "the Blackened Devils" or "the smeared" (les barbouillés), not because of the black parts of their armour, but because a lot of them were of low grade and the blackened parts were not blued but painted black, with a bad quality paint that would wear off on their faces.. <p></p><i></i>
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#25
Blued... blackened... it is my understanding that forged iron holds its "bluing" far better than heat blued cold rolled mild steel especially if the steel is not heated hot enough... The cold rolled mild steel we've blued that we've heated hot enough is holding its blackening. There is some wearing away at contact points but because the steel was thoroughly and properly heated the bluing has held up.. one has been used in SCA combat for about 5 years now.<br>
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Also hot rolled steel holds it "bluing" far better than cold rolled. Hot rolled steel is a bit trickier to work than cold rolled steel.<br>
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Our iron segmentata is coming along nicely. The forge bluing on the iron is deeper than that on the steel. Think of your cast ironskillet...<br>
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Fancy seg fittings? I see the lobate hinges not as fancy but as fittings that use the least amount of metal to do the job. Five rivets = redundancy. We've had catastrophic rivet faiure in SCA combat, had a lobate hinge remain attached on one side with only one rivet! Thank the Gods for cinque rivets! All the other fittings are all practical... buckle straps hinges are designed to reduce wear on leather straps.<br>
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Salvete<br>
<br>
Gaius Valerius Tacitus Hibernicus, Centurio<br>
LEGIO IX HISPANA COH III EXPG CEN I HIB<br>
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Vexillatio I: Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Camp Pendelton<br>
Vexillatio II: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska<br>
Vexillatio III: Washington, Okinawa , Northern California<br>
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www.legio-ix-hispana.org<br>
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Sean Richards<br>
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Hibernicus

LEGIO IX HISPANA, USA

You cannot dig ditches in a toga!

[url:194jujcw]http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org[/url]
A nationwide club with chapters across N America
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#26
Avete, fratres!<br>
<br>
At Legio VI, our own Diogenes (Arick Greenberg), who built the world's first M.C. Bishop-model Newstead cuirass, has been using entirely period methods of keeping it clean for the past few months. He rubs it down with olive oil every couple of weeks, and rubs off rust spots with an oily rag impregnated with sand. At our recent beach march, his lorica was the cleanest of any of ours, with a nice satin silver finish to the steel areas. OK, he did smell a bit like an Italian delicatessen as we marched in the sun, but still, he looked great, with nary a spot of rust (I'll have to check in to see how the salt spray from the ocean affected his baby).<br>
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Interestingly, we've discovered the more "polished" a lorica is, the easier it rusts. When we uncrated our Albion Corbridge A cuirass, which comes with a factory polished surface, it was about half covered in rust-- yeechhh! In contrast, our other cuirasses, which had been given a satin finish and covered with a light film of oil after Fort Mac, were pretty much clean. Needless to say, we "satinized" the Albion cuirass right away.<br>
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Those who support a blued or blackened finish for Roman armor lack any historical evidence, literary, epigraphic or pictoral, on which to base their claim (in fact, all the available evidence indicates a silvery finish!), so they fall back on "well, it must have been this way because, otherwise, armor rusts and it takes too long to keep it clean. They didn't have time for all that maintenance."<br>
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In fact, if you consider the era the lorica segmentata was in use-- ca. 10 BC to AD 250 or so, Roman soldiers had oodles of time on their hands. Until the very end of that period, the Empire was at peace 80-90% of the time, with sporadic outbursts of conflict. Roman legions were mostly stationed at fixed locations and moved around rarely. As Matt noted, the main problem was not finding time to do all the things soldiers need to do, but finding enough for them to do to fill their time! Keeping their armor clean and rust-free would have occupied only a tiny amount of this time.<br>
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As far as cloth being too expensive to use as rags on armor, come on-- isn't that a bit of a stretch? With tunics being replaced every month or so (as recently discovered records indicate, soldiers received on average 8 tunics per year), there must have been lots of scrap cloth around.<br>
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The lorica segmentata is the perfect form of armor for a soldier in a largely peacetime army. It's interesting to note that when warfare starts to become endemic in the mid-third century, the lorica segmentata abruptly falls out of use. I think this is because an army constantly on the move, constantly fighting battles, has far less time to devote to simple maintenance, not only keeping the rust off, but fixing busted leathers, hinges, hooks, etc. Better just to throw on a good old, reliable mail shirt or an easy-to-fix scale lorica than fuss with the maintenance-intensive segmentata.<br>
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Veritas et vita,<br>
<br>
T. Flavius Crispus<br>
Legio VI Victrix Pia Fidelis<br>
California, USA<br>
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<p></p><i></i>
T. Flavius Crispus / David S. Michaels
Centurio Pilus Prior,
Legio VI VPF
CA, USA

"Oderint dum probent."
Tiberius
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#27
Excellent points Flavius! Well said.<br>
<br>
And Decimus, I am too busy polishing my armor to build a time machine.... <p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix" Coh I<br>
<br>
"I know I was born, and I know that I'll die. But the in between is mine."<br>
<br>
- Number of posts: current +1248</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=tiberiuslantaniusmagnus>tiberius lantanius magnus</A> at: 8/16/03 5:49 am<br></i>
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#28
Avete omnes!<br>
<br>
Just a couple of points - of course a highly polished Lorica rusts more quickly - more metal lattice edges with openings for oxygen to interact with the iron content = more rust. Satin finish wil retain other particles (dust, oil etc) and will allow less oxygen-iron interaction. Less rust.<br>
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As for period of relative peace - well, time percentage you're absolutely right, but when they were fighting (Dacian Wars come to mind) - Gods below, they really went at it. And then segmental armors really held up. They were practical and very protective, and I don't know of any accounts of them falling apart constantly...<br>
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A more probable cause for these armors to go out of service is the fact that more and more the Roman army... wasn't. The incorporation of more and more local fighters, and their use of native armors and equipment, changed the fundamental tactics of the Roman army. Also, the extent of the Empire, and it's ruinous economic policies (nearly 40-50% of GDP goint to things such as the Ludi Gladiatori) made prohibitive the use of armors that pretty much had to be made to fit the user. Mail could be used by several men of different sizes - yet you try wearing my seg more than ten minutes and see if it doesn't give you a few bites . Towards the end of the period, Dux Limitanei were pressing anybody they could get as recruits - and it got worse as time progressed. If I remeber well, there was even a proscritpion against self-mutilation (ca 300-400 AD) because it was a preferred method of avoiding service!<br>
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BTW, I think a lot of good points have been raised in this discussion, and personally I've learne quite a bit. BTW Flavius, have you guys posted anything on making that Newstead seg? What tools did Diogenes use, how'd he cut the bits and pieces, patterns, etc? It looked extremely cool, and I've already done a couple of the Corbridge variants...<br>
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valete optime.<br>
Marius Cornelius Scipio<br>
LEG IX HSPA COH III EXPG CEN I HIB<br>
CONT III SCIPIONES <p></p><i></i>
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#29
I've always wondered how people kept their weapons protected from the rust before the advent of the Holy Cosmoline..<br>
Olive oil seems to be OK although someone said it eats up the leathers. I suppose pig fat can be used too if you don't mind the smell.<br>
But what about neatsfoot oil?<br>
I'm just asking. I don't know a thing about the way to polish a segmentata.<br>
Neatsfoot oil is a by-product of glue production. When the hides, hooves and horns used in glue making are boiled, neatsfoot oil goes up to the surface and is skimmed. Naturally nowadays people will try to push "blended" neatsfoot oil (with mineral of vegetable oils added).<br>
But originally it was a natural product and was certainly known and used by the ancients. It certainly has exceptionnally good lubricating and protective qualities.<br>
BTW, I know all that not because I am an all-knowing person but because I looked it up on the web..<br>
On a site about do-it yourself hide tanning I found what could be yet another solution. If not for the metal, for the leathers.<br>
Here's what one of the guys wrote:<br>
"I tried Neatsfoot oil for making leather straps and belts supple. It worked well but during a session of soap making I was trying with pig fat I had some spare grease left over, it spilled over to a leather apron which I had discarded . The apron was stiff earlier but a few days after this spill it became flexible and supple enough to be used. The warm hue that the leather got is something that one may like to see rather than describe. try this on old shoes which are scruffed and see the difference."<br>
It looks like he is talking about hot pig grease..<br>
And about that polished segmentata: isn't the solution to buff it for an hour everyday? <p></p><i></i>
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#30
Neatsfoot oil doesn't work so great. I've tried it, for a while, and found that it:<br>
1) pools in some spots (where it will then drip), and leaves a bit of a stickier, not quite gummy blob.<br>
2) the oil still runs off the metal, exposing it after time<br>
3) any build up of the oil on the brass, leaves a deposit of oxydation on it, that is difficult to remove.<br>
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I have found, and I would put my reputation on this, that vaseline is the absolute best protector for armor. Here's why:<br>
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1) it doesnt drip off. At all, unless you heat it up a great deal.<br>
2) it protects <em>extrememly</em> well against rust. I was in full battle dress including helmet at roman days, in the pouring rain, and not one spec of rust, because of the vaseline.<br>
3) Vaseline is completely leather safe<br>
4) vaseline doesn't leave oxidation deposits anywhere<br>
5) vaseline is cheap, easy to remove and apply.<br>
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I've tried 3 in 1 oil, multi purpose oil, neatsfoot oil, and vaseline. Vaseline is in a league all it's own.<br>
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Not to mention, vaseline has other uses... <br>
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<p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix" Coh I<br>
<br>
"I know I was born, and I know that I'll die. But the in between is mine."<br>
<br>
- Number of posts: current +1248</p><i></i>
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