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Thread: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

  1. #141

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    I suspect the reason they have such fits over lorica musculata is 1500 years of christian training that the body is evil. For us the Greeco-Romans who worshiped the human form are culture shock.
    Funny you mentioned that, as I've recently come across this Taboo episode on youtube. It's by National Geographic, and the first part talks about Paganism. Um, by the way viewer discretion is advised. I'll be sure to take this down if you guys believe this infringes upon the rules or anything, apologies ahead of time if this is the case.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    It doesn't work for me but anyways, I agree wulfgar, Cheistianity Prior to the Reniassaince ruined culture and heritage. LEt alone learning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  3. #143

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    While we're slightly going off-topic, I agree Christianity did exactly what you gentlemen are saying, however, when the so called Dark Ages fell upon humanity, they were also one of the few groups of people that helped to preserve the old works and codices of knowledge from the classical era. So yeah.... definitely a controversial grey area as it were. "Let's preserve what little we have of what we were originally destroying, and yet still destroy to this day."
    Last edited by First Citizen Gallienus; July 12, 2011 at 05:14 PM.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    True, but off topic, you're right. Anyways the Muscle Cuirass if made with soft leather should be quite flexible, although Hard leather less flexible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  5. #145

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    If you read the link to the two RAT discussions you will note that I highlight the fact that the surviving fragments of the Column of Theodosius show infantry wearing muscle cuirasses that have definate rims around the arm holes and around the rim of the neck and bottom of the cuirasse. This is a very strong indication that the cuirasses were made out of metal. However, I am also aware that some of the pen and ink line drawings of the same column show the backs of infantry wearing cuirasses and this appears to show them being fastened up the back, which could indicate that they are made out of leather or textile.

    I suggest people have a look and then put their thoughts here.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    It could be that maybe they were decorated with metal rims to hold their form around the arm and neck-holes. Didn't they often use brass patterns on Musculata anyways?
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  7. #147

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius View Post
    It doesn't work for me but anyways, I agree wulfgar, Cheistianity Prior to the Reniassaince ruined culture and heritage. LEt alone learning.
    Well I wasn't criticizing our present culture. But the fact is Western culture of 2,000 years ago would be a shock to us today.

    True, but off topic, you're right. Anyways the Muscle Cuirass if made with soft leather should be quite flexible, although Hard leather less flexible.
    I can't see much point in a rigid hard leather, part of the trick of protective armor is to yield partly the to the blow against it and transfer the force by slowing the blow.

    Theodosius show infantry wearing muscle cuirasses that have definate rims around the arm holes and around the rim of the neck and bottom of the cuirasse. This is a very strong indication that the cuirasses were made out of metal.
    Possible, the legionaire style of fighting did seem to change and become more static. A rigid breastplate wouldn't have suited the early style of fighting though.

    But I'll stick with my conjecture that a cuirass combined with maile might be all the armor you'd ever need.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Wulfgar's right, I'd wear that. The leather to keep the Mail off (although a thick wool tunic did the same) and also to keep wounds from becoming "dirty". That way there wouldn't be any metal in them and I could just pour alcohol on and keep 'em clean (lol ODST reference)
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  9. #149
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    I can't see much point in a rigid hard leather, part of the trick of protective armor is to yield partly the to the blow against it and transfer the force by slowing the blow.



    Possible, the legionaire style of fighting did seem to change and become more static. A rigid breastplate wouldn't have suited the early style of fighting though.

    But I'll stick with my conjecture that a cuirass combined with maile might be all the armor you'd ever need.
    How are we defining "cuirass" here? A subarmalis or armour capable of protecting against wounds itself?

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Normal armor, we already discussed subarmalis
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
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  11. #151

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius View Post
    Normal armor, we already discussed subarmalis
    Define 'normal armour'?

    If the Thoracomachus did exist then it may well have acted both as a subarmalis with mail over the top, or as body armour in its own right if my reading of the 'De Rebus Bellicis' is correct.

  12. #152

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Renatus View Post
    How are we defining "cuirass" here? A subarmalis or armour capable of protecting against wounds itself?
    I'm referring to a flexible strategic strategic concept of armor, not a rigid concept. The cuirass was the normal everyday dress armor and capable of providing protection in its own right. The maile was no longer individually possessed by infantry but came from a strategic central corps supply.

    This concept means legionaries would operate in a lighter or heavier condition depending on the circumstances. Heavy maile is detrimental to pursuing raiders which was likely the most common role of imperial infantry. Earlier legionaries "owned" and were responsible for almost every piece of equipment they had. They would be extremely reluctant to leave behind maile if individually owned, something that seems to have had a price of 12 solidi. An amount equal to the annual full time wages of a workmen.

    Using Constantine's measures, 1 x 4.5 gram gold solidi = 24 x silver siliqua and the silver siliqua at 3 grams of silver was the day wage of a laborer or servant.

    It might pay to remember that for us material goods are prolific, but this is not the condition of half of today's humanity or the vast majority of elder man.

    As for leather it had become relatively cheap in the later empire because of the mass cattle ranching industry.

  13. #153

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    It would be very helpful if people who state that Late Romans troops wore leather armour or muscle cuirasses could provide some evidence as I for one would like to see it as it would greatly help my research into this topic.

  14. #154

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentinian Victor View Post
    It would be very helpful if people who state that Late Romans troops wore leather armour or muscle cuirasses could provide some evidence as I for one would like to see it as it would greatly help my research into this topic.
    Why you ask Gunga din? You already know the answer!

    notitia dignitatum.....fabricae.......cuirass.......in old latin meant one thing......made of skin.

    T or F?

    Might be the Muscle cuirass, might be just submalis. You decide.

    Copius monumental evidence running century after century showing the same muscle armor.

    T or F?

    Might be leather, might be metal plate. However the argument is it would be very unlikely the lorica segmenta was replaced by solid metal breast plate. Roman legionaries were primarily swordsmen and required armor that allowed movement.

    However if you think the Romans had the appearance of Normans or Saxons, go for it! What ever turns you on, even if it's a maile fetish.

    Phil Barker saw the facts, the rest are numb nuts with a maile fetish.

  15. #155

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Why you ask Gunga din? You already know the answer!

    notitia dignitatum.....fabricae.......cuirass.......in old latin meant one thing......made of skin.

    T or F?

    Might be the Muscle cuirass, might be just submalis. You decide.

    Copius monumental evidence running century after century showing the same muscle armor.

    T or F?

    Might be leather, might be metal plate. However the argument is it would be very unlikely the lorica segmenta was replaced by solid metal breast plate. Roman legionaries were primarily swordsmen and required armor that allowed movement.

    However if you think the Romans had the appearance of Normans or Saxons, go for it! What ever turns you on, even if it's a maile fetish.

    Phil Barker saw the facts, the rest are numb nuts with a maile fetish.
    The Notitia shows fabricae with depictions of both muscle cuirasses and mail hauberks (both coloured light blue by the way, so indicating made of iron), as well as helmets, swords, axes, spears, javelins etc So fabricae made all these types at the same location.

    Whilst I agree that we should include Late Roman artwork in all its forms as evidence of the existance of the muscle cuirasse, a great many historians dispute its existance based on lack of either archeological evidence or the total lack of literary evidence from any Late Roman literary work.

    As to Late Roman's wearing mail hauberks and looking like 'Normans or Saxons', I might like to refer you to the large amount of evidence for this in both Late Roman wall paintings, Late Roman monumental works such as the pen and ink drawings of the base of the Column of Arcadius and descriptions of such armour in Ammianus, Julian and other Late Roman author's works.

    As to Phil Barker, he has now changed his viewpoint about Late Roman armour and agrees that they did wear mail hauberks, whilst also still believing that they may have also worn muscle cuirasses. This is based on many discussions with him on various forums.
    Last edited by Valentinian Victor; July 14, 2011 at 09:56 AM.

  16. #156

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentinian Victor View Post
    The Notitia shows fabricae with depictions of both muscle cuirasses and mail hauberks (both coloured light blue by the way, so indicating made of iron), as well as helmets, swords, axes, spears, javelins etc So fabricae made all these types at the same location.
    Ok you have chosen the option that the muscle "cuirass" was a common type of armor made of iron. All those reliefs are show muscle metal plate, a concept I consider ridiculous. However you are still stuck with the problem that "cuirass" means one thing and one thing only.......made of skin. For the Romans there is no such concept as metal cuirass. Now for the people copying the ND in the 16th century, metal "cuirass" was an item.

    As to Late Roman's wearing mail hauberks and looking like 'Normans or Saxons', I might like to refer you to the large amount of evidence for this in both Late Roman wall paintings, Late Roman monumental works such as the pen and ink drawings of the base of the Column of Arcadius and descriptions of such armour in Ammianus, Julian and other Late Roman author's works.
    Yep.....cavalry. I agree cavalry did not wear a muscle cuirass
    Last edited by wulfgar610; July 14, 2011 at 10:04 AM.

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Ok you have chosen the option that the muscle "cuirass" was a common type of armor made of iron. All those reliefs are show muscle metal plate, a concept I consider ridiculous. However you are still stuck with the problem that "cuirass" means one thing and one thing only.......made of skin. For the Romans there is no such concept as metal cuirass. Now for the people copying the ND in the 16th century, metal "cuirass" was an item.
    The etymology of "cuirass" indicates that it entered English from French and that, ultimately, it derives from the Latin for leather. However, this tells us only that, at some time, the French may have had armour made of leather. Can you point us to a Latin word for armour that has a "leather" element in it? I know of none but I am always ready to be educated.

  18. #158

    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Ok you have chosen the option that the muscle "cuirass" was a common type of armor made of iron. All those reliefs are show muscle metal plate, a concept I consider ridiculous. However you are still stuck with the problem that "cuirass" means one thing and one thing only.......made of skin. For the Romans there is no such concept as metal cuirass. Now for the people copying the ND in the 16th century, metal "cuirass" was an item.

    Yep.....cavalry. I agree cavalry did not wear a muscle cuirass
    Whilst you might find the concept of metal cuirasses ridiculous, more historians are ready to believe that if they were worn then they were made out of iron or bronze than if they were made out of leather. The only support I have found for leather cuirasses is from Graham Sumner who came to my defence in a RAT thread about this topic.

    And your wrong about cavalry wearing cuirasses, there are many depictions of Late Roman cavalrymen wearing cuirasses, granted these may be officers, but they are wearing muscle cuirasses. And of course it may well be that Catafractarii/Clibanarii riders wore them as well.

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentinian Victor View Post
    If the Thoracomachus did exist then it may well have acted both as a subarmalis with mail over the top, or as body armour in its own right if my reading of the 'De Rebus Bellicis' is correct.
    My reading of the De Rebus Bellicis differs from this. The purpose of the thoracomachus is stated specifically to be to protect the body against the discomfort of wearing armour, "so that, when it has been put on first" (ut hoc inducto primum), it prevents the body from harm caused by the weight and friction of the armour. The inventor goes on to say, "So when, as we have said, the thoracomachus has been put on" (Hoc igitur, ut diximus, thoracomacho inducto) and the soldier takes up his weapons, he is ready for battle. By using the phrase "ut diximus" and repeating "inducto", the writer is referring back to his earlier statement and thus that the thoracomachus is put on as a preliminary to the soldier donning his armour. He nowhere suggests that it can be used otherwise than in conjuction with armour.

  20. #160
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    Default Re: Usage of Armor in the late roman army

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfgar610 View Post
    Might be leather, might be metal plate. However the argument is it would be very unlikely the lorica segmenta was replaced by solid metal breast plate. Roman legionaries were primarily swordsmen and required armor that allowed movement.
    EDIT: Sorry, the words glitched. What I said was:

    The Romans never replaced whatever with Solid Metal Breatplate, it was expensive and only affordable by officers, it was also inefficient in combat because of a loss of mobility.

    Also, there's almost undisputable evidence that LS was never a dominant form of armor, and that chainmail from the republican to the late era was dominant combat armor.
    Last edited by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius; July 14, 2011 at 01:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix
    Well then Attila just got delicious.
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