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linothorax and other white cuirases
#1
I know that this is a treat that has been debated many times, but I will like to make some points:
About quilting and gluing I suppose they use a mixture of techniques but quilting and leather will not explain some features of roman armours, specially some muscle cuirasses.

1.- They were flexible
2.- They were thick
3.- They do not have joints
4.- They have sleeves

...and they were white
#2
Quote:I know that this is a treat that has been debated many times, but I will like to make some points:
About quilting and gluing I suppose they use a mixture of techniques but quilting and leather will not explain some features of roman armours, specially some muscle cuirasses.

1.- They were flexible
2.- They were thick
3.- They do not have joints
4.- They have sleeves

...and they were white

Item 1 and item 2 are mutually exclusive. As soon as you make leather or textiles thick enough to actually function as armour it becomes rigid. Any sculpture that appears to show flexible armour is either 1) not depicting armour or 2) not depicting it realistically. It should be self evident that these things aren't photos and can't be interpreted as such.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
#3
I don't think that you will find too many types or armor that are flexible without joints. The enduring popularity of mail is chief because of its unique quality of being flexible while still providing very good protection (assuming it is used with padding). However, I don't think you will find any period material that can be shaped as a musculata while being both flexible and providing reasonable protection.
#4
The point Is that Roman did find a flexible armour
#5
Quote:The point Is that Roman did find a flexible armour

Segmentata is somewhat flexible. So is scale armour. Mail has the best flexibility. Leather and textile armour are as rigid as a board. Take a look at the arm guards on kendo armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
#6
Quote:The point Is that Roman did find a flexible armour

Really? Where? All that I've seen is stone depictions (without any colour) of Romans striking the very famous "heroic pose" that originates in much older greek art. The ONLY non-metallic looking (see how subjective even that statement is?) muscled cuirass I've ever seen in years of amateur sleuthing is from the famous mosaic from Alexandria where, as far as the consensus in academia goes, some (Augustus? Alexander? Agrippa?) famous general from the Greco-roman world looks to be wearing green kit, cuirass included.

I dare you (in all honesty - no jest) to find any evidence for any flexible muscled cuirass worn in roman context. You'll be a star in all the Hollywood-educated world mate (ok, that is jest Wink)
Alexander
#7
And it could be a painted metal cuirass if it's green. I suspect the Romans painted their armor like the Greeks did.

Also, moved thread.
#8
Either quilting or leather will not explain some extrange armour with sleeves, like Marcus Caelius

http://images.travelpod.com/tw_slides/ta...lefeld.jpg

or the Publius Gessius cuirass.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_v-nFIazrgkA/SD...5891_1.JPG

There are many other examples including some auxiliary soldiers armours:
http://www.romancoins.info/DSC_0285.JPG
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/14003197412

I´m a sculptor mayself and the quality of the sculptures don´t match an error of this caliber in the modeling.
Also most Roman imperial sculptures show them flexed an sometimes foldings in the armour.

c2.staticflickr.com/8/7236/7239373940_198ae4530c_z.jpg

Also is extrange that the armours are apparently made in one piece including pteriges.

c2.staticflickr.com/8/7169/6614653579_4849c7a79a_z.jpg
#9
This is a detail of some greek stiled sculpture warrior.


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#10
Sorry mate, seen it all before and still not convinced we're seeing anything than artistic interpretation, except for the last one, which I do find interesting. IMO what's being depicted is a subarmalis.
Alexander
#11
Unfortuantelly we have not a cuirass itself, but you will agree that the sleeves are impossible to move if metal. The detail of the sculptures is good enogh to undertand that there is not an error of the sculptor, having in mind we are talking of diferent sculptors in diferent years...about the subarmalis, also is a complicate topic itself but I agree it maybe. I will love to see more photos of this sculpture.
#12
http://www.swordsswords.com/images/produ...rge_03.jpg

This shoulder finishing is similar to the one of Marcus Caelius...but aparently is no chainmail on it

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/14003197412
#13
The simple fact is that leather and textile armour are not flexible. Any sculpture depicting something that is flexible is 1) not armour or 2) not realistic. Here are two explainations for the apparent sleeves

1) Roman sculptures were painted. Any detail not carved into the stone will be picked out with paint.
2) The sculptor simply didn't see it as important to make the armour photo-realistic.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
#14
Quote:or the Publius Gessius cuirass.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_v-nFIazrgkA/SD...5891_1.JPG

If you think that this is an accurate rendition of armour that was made from leather or textile then try making one. You'll soon discover how silly it is.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
#15
Quote:Unfortuantelly we have not a cuirass itself, but you will agree that the sleeves are impossible to move if metal. The detail of the sculptures is good enogh to undertand that there is not an error of the sculptor, having in mind we are talking of diferent sculptors in diferent years...about the subarmalis, also is a complicate topic itself but I agree it maybe. I will love to see more photos of this sculpture.

My friend, as Dan has pointed out, basically your first point is true of both leather and layered or quilted linen - the way the sculptures depict the armor/garment wrapping over the shoulder, in any type of protective material you're discussing (that being plate metal, leather hide, or quilted/layered linen), would not allow a soldier any range of movement. Think about it - you have to agree that this is just artistic interpretation, UNLESS you move on to chain mail, or alternatively, give up that it depicts armor altogether and is simply a garment of some sort.

As Dan pointed out, and I absolutely agree with after having literally spent hundreds of hours combing through every last image I can find for that Holy Grail sculpture or wall painting which will make all of Roman armory absolutely clear - I have come to believe that many Roman artists were using real military objects to guide their sculpting and paintings, HOWEVER, I do not believe they were at all concerned with photo-realism. There is so much variation in the artistic depictions of Roman military subjects; I'm quite certain that their aim was to create an aesthetically pleasing image given the resources available, and perhaps used real-life objects as a guide (case in point - Trajan's column; did the artists carving the scenes onto the column travel all the way to Dacia to see what the Roman troops actually looked like on campaign? Or did they just ask for some random Praetorians stationed in Rome to strike a pose?). Sometimes we see sculptures that are so seemingly "clean" in their depictions (the Augustus Prima Porta is a striking example), even including such details as the woven textile across the pyteruges, that we say to ourselves " aha! this must have actually existed in real life!" But even then, we really do not know, and can never know until Octavian's breastplate is recovered from the depths of the Palatine hill, etc.. And most Roman military depictions are of an obviously much lower quality, anyway, so that it would be perfectly understandable for the artist to fudge wherever necessary.
Alexander


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