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Thread: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

  1. #21
    mAIOR's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Genava View Post
    I know some of these sources, I have read some in my books in french. It is a subject I explored in the past because this is related to the Celts too. I don't want to argue on your opinion, I saw this debate so many times on different forums that I'm not interested anymore. I just pointed out there are historical accounts talking about linen and other textile in body protection but it was a mistake, forget this. Keep your opinion and forget my message.
    This is extremely rude. You basically say he is wrong but refuse to back it up except by saying there are sources that mention Linen.
    All of the sources presented by Aldrete talk about linen being used by foreigners and he just reconstruct following Connelly and uses the "glue method" for joining linen layers of which there is no mention in any of the sources he mentioned except im Herodoto's translation by Connolly It was an interesting test but ultimately it proves nothing regarding the adoption of linen armour by the Greeks or if the armour they indeed made even used glue (unlikely) or quilted linen (as in all surviving fabric armour s around the world).


  2. #22
    Genava's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    This is extremely rude. You basically say he is wrong but refuse to back it up except by saying there are sources that mention Linen.
    Try to get all the historical accounts in english and come back here to judge me. I'm tired to spend a huge time to do the effort other didn't, often without recognition and for nothing because the texts are browsed in a few seconds and ignored with the help of some questionable statements.

    All of the sources presented by Aldrete talk about linen being used by foreigners and he just reconstruct following Connelly and uses the "glue method" for joining linen layers of which there is no mention in any of the sources he mentioned except im Herodoto's translation by Connolly It was an interesting test but ultimately it proves nothing regarding the adoption of linen armour by the Greeks or if the armour they indeed made even used glue (unlikely) or quilted linen (as in all surviving fabric armour s around the world).
    There would be no debate if the texts were obvious. But anyway linen use to make body protection is something really known by the ancients. Cornelius Nepos even thought it was something commonly used by the Greeks (even if he is mixing several things, it seems something normal for him).
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  3. #23

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Some of the archeological evidence from the grave pits of the Battle of Wisby(sp?) may give some information as to the effectiveness of mail and metal hooped armours (albeit medieval ones) and the opinion of contemporary chroniclers is at least as valid as modern attempts at recreations. Noting that mail would normally be worn over some kind of thick padding means you would get pretty warm very quickly. Exhaustion was a live issue for the early crusader armies despite a preponderance of mail. To return to the OP, the linothorax was seen as useful enough to wear. Quite how useful mail, cuirasse or linothorax are depends so much on the circumstances as to make meaningful comparison quite difficult. It is a never ending debate.

  4. #24
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    I think the adoption of chain mail by most powers in and around the Mediterranean by the 2nd century BC is a testament to its effectiveness over the linothorax. That says a lot really, especially considering the rather rigid traditionalism of the Greeks who usually begrudgingly adopted foreign military equipment and arms and usually after being on the wrong side of a battle. For instance, the gradual but eventually universal adoption of the thureos shield wielded by the Galatian Celts when they invaded Greece and Anatolia in the 3rd century BC.

    If you needed further evidence for the superiority of mail, look at the Roman armies after the Hellenistic period and reign of Augustus. Lorica hamata mail armor became universal and was probably still the dominant type of armor used even in the heyday and zenith of lorica segmentata. It was almost certainly more widely used than lorica squamata scale mail, considering the previous Celtic traditions of using chain mail throughout the northern regions of the Roman Empire where it would have seen an unbroken continuation of its use.

  5. #25

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Porphyrogenita View Post
    Noting that mail would normally be worn over some kind of thick padding means you would get pretty warm very quickly.



    Well, gambeson with mail over it still breathes far better than encased structures like the linothorax, plate armor or lamellar cuirass.

    Also, padding and quilted garments worn under mail weren't really that thick prior to the high medieval period.
    Last edited by Mamlaz; November 13, 2018 at 12:20 PM.

  6. #26
    Genava's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by mAIOR View Post
    This is extremely rude. You basically say he is wrong but refuse to back it up except by saying there are sources that mention Linen.
    All of the sources presented by Aldrete talk about linen being used by foreigners and he just reconstruct following Connelly and uses the "glue method" for joining linen layers of which there is no mention in any of the sources he mentioned except im Herodoto's translation by Connolly It was an interesting test but ultimately it proves nothing regarding the adoption of linen armour by the Greeks or if the armour they indeed made even used glue (unlikely) or quilted linen (as in all surviving fabric armour s around the world).
    If you are more interested, here two academic reviews of the book of Aldrete and Bartell:
    https://www.academia.edu/18009021/A_...thorax_Mystery
    http://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10...86.2014.892707
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  7. #27
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    IFor instance, the gradual but eventually universal adoption of the thureos shield wielded by the Galatian Celts when they invaded Greece and Anatolia in the 3rd century BC
    I've got two related (if somehow remotely) questions:
    - apart from the mail and thyreos, what other Celtic gear would be introduced? (eg. stirrups?)
    - from which regions would the Celtic mercenaries to Greece would come from (Scordisci? Serdi? Tylis? or deeper?)

  8. #28

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    - from which regions would the Celtic mercenaries to Greece would come from (Scordisci? Serdi? Tylis? or deeper?)
    It's an interesting question. You shouldn't count out the Galatai in Anatolia as a candidate either IMO.

    From Celto-Pontica. Connections Of The Celts From Transylvania With The Black Sea(A., Rustoiu, 2011):

    On the other hand the activities of some Celtic mercenaries from the Carpathian Basin must have played a role in the circulation of such goods. They were often involved in the frequent military conflicts between Hellenistic rulers and at least some of them managed to return home at the end of their "contracts", bringing back various more or less exotic items
    The exotic items he refers to are a pair of greaves(very strange for Celtic context) which belonged to a mercenary.

    The circulation of such goods was also facilitated by various factors. Amongst them can be listed the occasional military raids against the Greek cities or the activity of some mercenaries in the Hellenistic world from eastern Mediterranean.
    The paper above was actually one of two we based the CelticMercPontic trait on, actually

  9. #29

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I've got two related (if somehow remotely) questions:
    - apart from the mail and thyreos, what other Celtic gear would be introduced? (eg. stirrups?)
    - from which regions would the Celtic mercenaries to Greece would come from (Scordisci? Serdi? Tylis? or deeper?)
    Stirrups are not in EB's time frame, methinks.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  10. #30

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Bit late to reply, but do note that those pictures primarily appear to be tube-and-yolk cuirasses, which are NOT necessarily linothorax. For instance, Roman mail (lorica haumata) and I believe lorica squamata (scale armor) share the same shape, yet we'd never in a million years refer to either one as linothorax.The etymology of the word---lino referring to linen and thorax referring to torso protection, makes it fairly clear that it should be a textile armor. HOWEVER, that is not to say that it must be the only armor ever produced in Greece. Other versions of the tube-and-yolk cuirass are entirely possible, heck it's perhaps even probable that the linothorax was a type of padding garment worn straight under the armor.In short, those statues don't prove anything about linothorax (which is too bad, really, because it'd be a nice simple conclusion).

  11. #31

    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Out of curiosity, if the sources which mention linen armor are questionable at best on whether or not they're actually talking about linen cuirasses or something else, how many sources are there talking about leather armour and leather cuirasses being used in antiquity? I'm sure there must be some - why else would people be so adamant about linothorax being leather rather than linen - but I don't know enough about the period to know any, nor where to find them.

  12. #32
    Genava's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: How Effective was Linothorax vs. Mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vilkku92 View Post
    Out of curiosity, if the sources which mention linen armor are questionable at best on whether or not they're actually talking about linen cuirasses or something else, how many sources are there talking about leather armour and leather cuirasses being used in antiquity? I'm sure there must be some - why else would people be so adamant about linothorax being leather rather than linen - but I don't know enough about the period to know any, nor where to find them.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...leather_armor/
    The true heroes of science are the defenders of open-access like
    Alexandra Elbakyan. Even in my country, Switzerland, we cannot afford the access to all the publishers material. Sci-hub and Library Genesis help thousands of researchers in the world. Support them.

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