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Earliest Modern Mention of Glued Linen Armor?
#1
Is anyone aware of any mentions of glued linen armor in any language before 1868? Hopefully with a reference.

Does any contemporary non-English versions of Herodotus mention glued linen armor?

Before anyone tells me it's all a fraud concocted by the late Peter Connolly, the question I am asking is not if it is real...rather when does the idea first pop up in a text in the modern era.

My own research, with Todd F., indicates that in 1868 the French historian, Joseph Paul Lacombe, claimed a version of a glued many layered (18) linen upper body armor was in use by the Greeks and Herodotus is the source.! My version of Herodotus does not mention anything about this in such detail. 

The book in question is Les armes et armures.

That's about a century before Connolly so we can stop blaming him. 

Here's the English language translation of the passage I refer to: https://books.google.com/books?id=gEwBAA...en&f=false

The English language edition was published in 1869.

Here is the passage in French: https://books.google.com/books?id=bsNJAA...20&f=false

The 1st edition was published in 1868: https://archive.org/details/lesarmesetlesar00lacogoog with at least a 3rd edition published in 1877.

Again, not asking if it's real only asking about mentions in older text books and specifically any mention of glue and multilayers. 

If I misinterpreted the French feel free to point that out as well.
Joe Balmos
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#2
It looks to me like he is glossing the passage in Herodotus which says that the Assyrians in Xerxes' army wore iron or bronze helmets and a linen cuirass. "It was composed of many pleats of linen, up to 18, laid and stuck (collées) to one another, after undergoing a long soak in salted wine. They resisted, or so it seems (à ce qu'il paraît), a cutting blow, but not a good thrust." He does not give a source for any of those details, and the "salted wine" seems to come from a medieval Greek writer or one of the sources on the conquistadors. I think that the resisting a cutting blow comes from Pausanias or someone like that.

My French is not very good, but I don't see a reference to glue except that verb coller which could also refer to the effects of the wine.

It could well be that Connolly got the idea from one of these writers in the 19th century.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#3
No doubt Connolly was aware of the mention.

I would be very interested in what the earliest Greek language version says. Translations are always tough with these very ancient texts as words do change meanings over the years, and translators can make honest mistakes as they can not be experts on every aspect of ancient material culture.

Thanks Sean.
Joe Balmos
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#4
(12-10-2017, 07:46 PM)Creon01 Wrote: No doubt Connolly was aware of the mention.

I would be very interested in what the earliest Greek language version says. Translations are always tough with these very ancient texts as words do change meanings over the years, and translators can make honest mistakes as they can not be experts on every aspect of ancient material culture.

Thanks Sean.
Well, I am sure he got the idea from somewhere, but it might have been as simple as he and his buddies 'just knowing' that you make these by sticking together layers of linen, just like some illustrators in the 1970s 'just knew' that the archers on Trajan's Column wore leather jerkins. It is a real shame that he is no longer alive to answer questions Sad

Anyone with a semester or two of Greek can go to a library, check out a critical edition of Herodotus (one with notes in the margins saying what the individual manuscripts actually say) and look at those passages. I just don't have the time.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#5
Do we have the actual reference in Herodotus, so that anyone interested could look it up?
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#6
The passage is VII, 63. There is nothing in the Loeb translation or in the parallel Greek to indicate the method of construction.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#7
(12-11-2017, 12:16 PM)Renatus Wrote: The passage is VII, 63. There is nothing in the Loeb translation or in the parallel Greek to indicate the method of construction.
Right and I have found no other translation that discusses the method of construction either.

(12-12-2017, 04:35 AM)Creon01 Wrote:
(12-11-2017, 12:16 PM)Renatus Wrote: The passage is VII, 63. There is nothing in the Loeb translation or in the parallel Greek to indicate the method of construction.
Right and I have found no other translation that discusses the method of construction either.
It is so odd that the French author would be so precise and we can't discover his source.
Joe Balmos
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#8
(12-12-2017, 04:35 AM)Creon01 Wrote: It is so odd that the French author would be so precise and we can't discover his source.
Well, we can! The 18 layers and the salt and vinegar come from a Latin summary of Nicetas Acominatus, who wrote in the 13th century CE and described the armour worn by the Franks during his lifetime. The lack of protection comes from Pausanias' tourist guide in the 2nd century CE (Pausanias 1.21.7). You can find all of these sources in the footnotes to Margharita Gleba's article in Wearing the Cloak: I think she has put a free copy online.

And for what it is worth, I have read many guild rules and lists of expenses in making linen armour in the 13th and 14th century, and none of them mentions salt or vinegar. So a chronicler like Nicetas Acominatus is not really a good source.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#9
(12-12-2017, 02:14 PM)Sean Manning Wrote:
(12-12-2017, 04:35 AM)Creon01 Wrote: It is so odd that the French author would be so precise and we can't discover his source.
Well, we can!  The 18 layers and the salt and vinegar come from a Latin summary of Nicetas Acominatus, who wrote in the 13th century CE and described the armour worn by the Franks during his lifetime.  The lack of protection comes from Pausanias' tourist guide in the 2nd century CE (Pausanias 1.21.7).  You can find all of these sources in the footnotes to Margharita Gleba's article in Wearing the Cloak: I think she has put a free copy online.  

And for what it is worth, I have read many guild rules and lists of expenses in making linen armour in the 13th and 14th century, and none of them mentions salt or vinegar.  So a chronicler like Nicetas Acominatus is not really a good source.
Right, I mean why would that reputable 19th century author apply that information specifically to the ancients?

Wearing the Cloak is an excellent book by the way and everyone should have a copy.
Joe Balmos
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#10
(12-12-2017, 02:30 PM)Creon01 Wrote: Right, I mean why would that reputable 19th century author apply that information specifically to the ancients?

Wearing the Cloak is an excellent book by the way and everyone should have a copy.
It seems that most of these scholars thought that linen armour was 'a single thing' and if they found one way of making it, that was the way it was made everywhere. Whereas we know of at least three kinds: the kind from many layers stitched together, the kind stuffed with rags or raw cotton, and the twined kind. The kind stiffened with salt and vinegar might be a fourth, but I would like a better source, because this could be the equivalent of "Gaulish swords are only good for one cut and then they bend" or "those Japs fly tin cans and are blind in the dark."
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#11
Sean, you did not mention a version ancient linen armor held together and stiffened by some sort of adhesive like product. The only reasons this book keeps my interest is the mention of glue, and the 1868 publication date.
Joe Balmos
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#12
(12-13-2017, 03:06 PM)Creon01 Wrote: Sean, you did not mention a version ancient linen armor held together and stiffened by some sort of adhesive like product. The only reasons this book keeps my interest is the mention of glue, and the 1868 publication date.
Hi Joe,

that is because the French text does not say "glue." It says "many pleats of linen ... laid and suck together after a long soak in salt and vinegar." To me, it seems that Lacombe thought that the wine made the linen sticky, probably because he had seen that drops of wine or beer on the table leave a sticky mess. It looks like people remembered "stuck together" or "glued together" and forgot "after a soak in salt and vinegar."

This is my last post on the subject, unless someone with better French has a comment.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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