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Thread: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Legionaries most likey wearing the heavy mail and Auxiliaries the light mail.
    are you referring to the 4th c? or an earlier period? cause in the 4th the Legio and Auxilia units likely wore the very same equipment.


  2. #82

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by juvenus View Post
    are you referring to the 4th c? or an earlier period? cause in the 4th the Legio and Auxilia units likely wore the very same equipment.
    Well that's a question whether the Auxilia style units continued in something of their original more flexible role. Metal armor had advantages but not all the time. The best example is Harold of England telling his mail troops to discard their metal armor in favor of boiled leather to pursue lightly armed Welsh.

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    i think the old style Auxilia blended into the Limitanei sphere and that all border troops in a particular area looked the same. while the Auxilia Palatina formed the core of the field armies, especially in the west. but this issues is sometimes confusing indeed.


  4. #84

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by juvenus View Post
    i think the old style Auxilia blended into the Limitanei sphere and that all border troops in a particular area looked the same. while the Auxilia Palatina formed the core of the field armies, especially in the west. but this issues is sometimes confusing indeed.
    However, monumental works from Constantine I onwards tended to show auxilia (where identified) as being unarmoured. They appear to have the same weapons and shields.

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentinian Victor View Post
    However, monumental works from Constantine I onwards tended to show auxilia (where identified) as being unarmoured. They appear to have the same weapons and shields.
    yes, as i noticed, it gets confusing. it is quite possible that some of them fought unarmoured. or, at least, they fought unarmoured if a particular situation required them to do so (acting as the scouts/skirmishers/raiders).


  6. #86

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by juvenus View Post
    yes, as i noticed, it gets confusing. it is quite possible that some of them fought unarmoured. or, at least, they fought unarmoured if a particular situation required them to do so (acting as the scouts/skirmishers/raiders).
    As with Harold's troops a brigade of men pursing barbarian raiders probably had the infantry do so without heavy armor for sake of speed.

    But my suggestion is at the strategic level things had become very different. In early times the metal body armor had been a personal possession that was paid for via a loan and then payments deducted from wages. In later Byzantine times the metal armor was carried with the baggage train and handed out when required. This is perhaps a change that came with the Septimius Severus reorganization.

    I might be wrong but the strategic movement of the later armies seemed to cover more distance more quickly than the earlier.

    A question for me is if the mail was a strategic supply, then what was a general rate of replacement? 10,000 suits a year for the whole army to keep up supply, 20,000 suits a year?

    20,000 suits a year would be a budget item in the region of 200,000 solidi.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    I might be wrong but the strategic movement of the later armies seemed to cover more distance more quickly than the earlier.
    Sounds interesting, although it would require some sort of evidence. Perhaps it is a false impression due to the fact that regional armies were based in all critical regions and thus could have rapidly responded to any crisis.


  8. #88
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Maybe they had a system for the military set up similar to the cursus publicus? With stations along the way stocked with armor and weapons or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  9. #89
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    hmmm, it sounds possible.....perhaps.


  10. #90

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by ☧ Flavius Aėtius ☧ View Post
    Maybe they had a system for the military set up similar to the cursus publicus? With stations along the way stocked with armor and weapons or something.
    If that were true then why did the Goth's have to head to a fabracae before being intercepted by Valens and his army outside of Adrianopolis?

    It was be a very dangerous thing to do in anycase as any ambitious general or even bacudae group would have a fairly easy way to equipe their force if this system was set up.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    although it is quite easy to have stations stockpiled with weaponry and stuff, however, what VV said makes a lot of sense. it would have been just too dangerous.


  12. #92
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Unless these were in fortified major cities or forts themselves, but that would be to expensive for those kinds of forts and for cities it would be the same thing as fabricae.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  13. #93

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by ☧ Flavius Aėtius ☧ View Post
    Unless these were in fortified major cities or forts themselves, but that would be to expensive for those kinds of forts and for cities it would be the same thing as fabricae.
    Stockpiling weapons and armour would have been a very dangerous thing to do as who knows who could lay their hands on it, usurpers, bandits, barbarians who sack the town or city etc. I would suggest all arms and armour were held in the field army headquarters or by the troops themselves and that replacements were drawn either from the HQ or orders placed directly to the fabricae.

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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Exactly, so that couldn't have worked. Barbarians by the time of Aetius were widely equipped with some for mof armor ranging from chain to scale mail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  15. #95

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBatavianHorse View Post
    I'm afraid you've opened up a can of worms here!

    In the past, the war-gaming community held to the belief that leather cuirasses predominated but that fell out of favour and is now creeping back in again.
    Oh such heresy! All simple because copius monumental and fresco evidence shows the same style of leather muscle cuirass running for 6 centuries or more.

    The evidence speaks for itself, legionaries of that period invariably wore the leather cuirass as their standard kit and seldom personally owned maile of their own.

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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Mail was supplied by the government from fabricae in the late empire. So it's very likely that most soldiers had it "on loan" or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  17. #97

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius View Post
    Mail was supplied by the government from fabricae in the late empire. So it's very likely that most soldiers had it "on loan" or something.
    This is not a question of whether late Romans used and produced maile or not. Maile was certainly used and personally possessed by heavy cavalry. What I'm saying is standard Byzantine practice was that the mail used by infantry was part of a strategic supply that wasn't normally worn by the infantry except were required.

    Earlier Legionaries invariably personally owned their entire kit and they were issued with the equipment on the basis of a monetary loan.

    What I'm saying is the leather cuirass was the distinguishing feature of later legionaries that would have been regularly visible.

  18. #98

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Oh such heresy! All simple because copius monumental and fresco evidence shows the same style of leather muscle cuirass running for 6 centuries or more.

    The evidence speaks for itself, legionaries of that period invariably wore the leather cuirass as their standard kit and seldom personally owned maile of their own.
    I'm sorry but that sounds kind of ridiculous, the thought that simply because there's "copious monumental and fresco evidence," doesn't necessarily equate to the standard. Even today, in modern times, we see all kinds of artwork that is grossly inaccurate. I'm not saying there isn't a possibility that those frescos and monuments are accurate at all, but you're throwing it out there as if it's fact. None of us can truly prove anything as we didn't live during their time. Oh and I'm not trying to bash or anything or dismiss you, its just an opinion.

  19. #99

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by AirAssault7 View Post
    I'm sorry but that sounds kind of ridiculous, the thought that simply because there's "copious monumental and fresco evidence," doesn't necessarily equate to the standard. Even today, in modern times, we see all kinds of artwork that is grossly inaccurate. I'm not saying there isn't a possibility that those frescos and monuments are accurate at all, but you're throwing it out there as if it's fact. None of us can truly prove anything as we didn't live during their time. Oh and I'm not trying to bash or anything or dismiss you, its just an opinion.
    That could be case, or it might not be. The question is why do we the same style of cuirass for well over 6 centuries of time. The cuirass is also mentioned copuisly in the notitia dignitatum and as I pointed out in the period "cuirass" meant one thing "made of skin".

    Notice that I'm not dismissing that late infantry used maile, my question is why people dismiss the leather cuirass which their is copius evidence for. Including even one actual find.

  20. #100

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Okay, that makes sense then. Leather Cuirasses as a back up standard, then quite possibly yes. Whether or not whole units flew into battle with them on is also up for conjecture.

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