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Thread: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

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    AqD's Avatar (~‾▿‾)~
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    Default How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    How? surely they're not hung like in museum - that'd be inconvenient, and there was no temperature or humidity control, but they were quite expensive so cares must be taken.

    Anyone has related links, ideas or anything?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    What do you think would be of particular concern? The metal armor is certainly no issue. You can pull copper-alloy equipment out of the ground two or three thousand years later and looks new other than discoloration of the surface. Linen, leather, and wood are all pretty durable as well on the scale of a human lifetime.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Sumskilz is likely right. Aside from the iron which probably need a periodic rub down with oil, most of the kit would probably store just fine hanging in a dry place or in chests. Other thinks might need care after use or over time - I would suppose you might need to check leather or linen armor depending on how it was treated. However that being said I made sample linen plates with hand made fish glue around 15 years ago and they are damn durable. Let unattended in box in a non climate controlled garage in Houston for years they attracted no bug abuse or degraded in performance.

    Seeing as wearing your kit about or even toting your weapons around in public was frowned on the stuff might not even be prominently displayed in the home.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    hellheaven1987's Avatar Comes Domesticorum
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    How about the wooden part? Such as shield and spear handle?
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    How about the wooden part? Such as shield and spear handle?
    properly seasoned, those can usually last decades without problem without needing a special environment.

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    How about the wooden part? Such as shield and spear handle? .
    The seasoned old-growth pine at my ~120 years old house broke my modern drill it was so hard and it just had over century of sitting out of the rain. Admittedly I was just used to driving screws into soft Georgia quick grow timber (that is no pre drill holes)... I would think their might be some balance in treatment to retain some strength vs flexibility in wood or leather or fabric. But realistically sometimes things are just durable. My wife camps with a now over 100 years old WW1 era Canadian army surplus tent. Lived in garages its whole life and zero maintenance or repair - creosote and canvas if not allowed to rot in water seem to look set last for another century and the fight over which of our kids will have inherit it...

    I got a cutting board I still use and made in in HS shop at 15. Nice white oak all I ever did was rub it down with olive oil. Thing goes through a dish washer just fine and has out lasted a fair number of store bought competitors. I admit the the dowels - just pine did rot out eventually but the oak survives with just the odd oil treatment. Considering the lit record says spear shafts got broken somewhat often I suppose you might be refitting the working hardware to a new shaft often enough that replacing the minor pegs and and dowels would be an afterthought.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    AqD's Avatar (~‾▿‾)~
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Sumskilz is likely right. Aside from the iron which probably need a periodic rub down with oil, most of the kit would probably store just fine hanging in a dry place or in chests.
    What about bronze though?

    EDIT: just realized modern replicas are brass not bronze! Probably very different way of preserving...

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    However that being said I made sample linen plates with hand made fish glue around 15 years ago and they are damn durable. Let unattended in box in a non climate controlled garage in Houston for years they attracted no bug abuse or degraded in performance.
    the linothrox?? but it's plant based...

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Seeing as wearing your kit about or even toting your weapons around in public was frowned on the stuff might not even be prominently displayed in the home.
    I'd be very disappointed if they don't do that! Anyone has info?
    Last edited by AqD; September 21, 2019 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by AqD View Post
    the linothrox?? but it's plant based...
    So is wood, but it can last centuries.

    Don't mistake organic for easily decaying. Polymers, like cellulose, chitin or plastics aren't succeptible to environmental decay and can be quite resistant to biological processes too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by AqD View Post
    What about bronze though?

    EDIT: just realized modern replicas are brass not bronze! Probably very different way of preserving...
    Brass and bronze are both copper alloys. That's what I was referring to.

    Here is a ~2,500 year old copper-alloy arrowhead:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It's only been rinsed in water. Otherwise, it came out of the ground like that. More common is they turn green, but are otherwise fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by AqD View Post
    the linothrox?? but it's plant based...
    Here is a ~1,500 year old linen tunic:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Though much less common, and the dry climate in Egypt helped, there are still several surviving tunics like this in similar condition.

    Something more recent. The wood on these chairs from the 1950s was treated with an organic oil mixture (mostly linseed). The seats are literally made of paper chords:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    As long as wood or linen isn't in long term contact with moisture or eaten by insects, it does pretty well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Something more recent. The wood on these chairs from the 1950s was treated with an organic oil mixture (mostly linseed). The seats are literally made of paper chords:
    My 1959 A2000 Wilson B-Ball glove is original (even all the ties are the as bought in place) and hard used grandfather to father to me and to daughters. All original leather and linseed oil. Sure any time in that period left to sit over winter in a field it would be a rotting piece of junk, but with simple maintenance and basic good storage it might make another generation but for the odd new leather tie.

    ----


    the linothrox?? but it's plant based...
    Fabric buried in glue, oil, reson and maybe clay derivatives. Likely treated and a repaired and not left sitting out in the open. No reason it can not lest a very long time.

    ----

    I'd be very disappointed if they don't do that! Anyone has info?
    Do what - flaunt weapons?
    Last edited by conon394; September 21, 2019 at 05:44 PM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    IIRC Thucydides notes its only a recent development (a few generations prior to c.400 BC) that Athenians don't gad about armed (not to mention funny underwear and grasshopper hairclips): weapon use may have been limited by social rank but even the hoi poloi could carry a club or staff (as medieval peasants did). In the archaic period it was impossible to distinguish traders from nobles from pirates (you had to ask them to find out): they were all armed the same way I guess.

    I'm guessing people had their arms displayed in the home: it was a sign of social rank to be able to afford hoplite panoply, and Athenians were politically demonstrative. Ditto Argos and Thebes where the hoplite/aggressive foreign policy was nexus was also strong. Phratry or tribe membership may have related to military service as well, so they may have provided a locus for weapon storage? That stuff is all a bit opaque to me.

    Spartans were state armed, and lived in barracks during their more active service years: I guess they had basic equipment stacked in dingy huts.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    IIRC Thucydides notes its only a recent development (a few generations prior to c.400 BC) that Athenians don't gad about armed (not to mention funny underwear and grasshopper hairclips)
    I thought that was Herodotus...

    weapon use may have been limited by social rank but even the hoi poloi could carry a club or staff (as medieval peasants did).
    Well technically anyone in Athens could carry a weapon that was the point that social rank was and weapon use was no longer part of the system - just if you had the silver. That is one reason you see subtle bias in Thucydides since he will insist of calling people X son Y and not the revolutionary X of deme of Y.

    I'm guessing people had their arms displayed in the home: it was a sign of social rank to be able to afford hoplite panoply
    They were not all that expensive and at least since Solon's day it was just money. Displaying your horse paddock and gold and silver dishes showed real elite wealth. But it worth considering that kind of display was at suppose to be private... Demosthenes got in a whole load trouble in the Assembly for being seen on a carried on a litter to do business at the port... he had publicly prove he an injured leg. In any case Athens might be as bad an example as Sparta both places were pretty far from typical. In traditional polis like Thebes (where some property and employment restrictions existed in hard reality) or at Mytilene where seeming the hoplite class was a tiny minority and most citizens unarmed - maybe display would be prominent in public.


    I guess they had basic equipment stacked in dingy huts.

    I would not underestimate the quality of life of an equal. Black soup and harsh disciple aside I pretty sure the equals had nice huts and lots of helots to keep them looking that way.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    I've read about this.

    Lathered in goose-fat and then thoroughly wrapped in cloth that had been soaked in hot wax.
    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser people are full of doubts.
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I thought that was Herodotus...
    Me too, I had to check it out. http://classics.mit.edu/Thucydides/p...r.1.first.html

    Thucydides starts with a general overview of History as invented by Herodotus (having it before him clearly, and able to criticise such shortcomings as he found), whereas Herodotus begins with mythology (the various abductions of Europa, Helen etc), not having any history before him to respond too.

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Well technically anyone in Athens could carry a weapon that was the point that social rank was and weapon use was no longer part of the system - just if you had the silver. That is one reason you see subtle bias in Thucydides since he will insist of calling people X son Y and not the revolutionary X of deme of Y.
    He's a toff, Thucycdides, a rather bitter Athenian, in contrast with Herodotus' Doric (but Asian Doric-practically Ionian, wealthy, familiar with barbaroi as equals rather than slaves) of at least equal high social rank but far wider experience of cultures and classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    They were not all that expensive and at least since Solon's day it was just money. Displaying your horse paddock and gold and silver dishes showed real elite wealth. But it worth considering that kind of display was at suppose to be private... Demosthenes got in a whole load trouble in the Assembly for being seen on a carried on a litter to do business at the port... he had publicly prove he an injured leg. In any case Athens might be as bad an example as Sparta both places were pretty far from typical. In traditional polis like Thebes (where some property and employment restrictions existed in hard reality) or at Mytilene where seeming the hoplite class was a tiny minority and most citizens unarmed - maybe display would be prominent in public.
    Even in isonomic and democratic Athens "class consciousness" was a factor: metics were kept well out of it, so the right to bear arms was defended and valued social capital, available by birth and not actually for sale despite the loosening of the aristoi's stranglehold on power.

    There's a theory of a class divide in Athens between the upper middle and lower middle classes, essentially the army and the navy: I'm persuaded its possible, certainly it coheres with wjhat we know about Athens, although not sure it can be proved.

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I would not underestimate the quality of life of an equal. Black soup and harsh disciple aside I pretty sure the equals had nice huts and lots of helots to keep them looking that way.
    Of course it changes over time. Once the Spartiates got out and about they famously succumbed to greed all over the shop and probably brought those acquired tastes home with them. Pausanius may have ordered his Spartan and Persian dinners side by side to make a point, but I reckon he blundered, and the Spartans present looked at the Iranian feast with envy and greed.

    That said the Spartans kept their "elite" older men at home on almost every campaign, and sent out the younger Spartiates and Perioki. Those were the dudes still living in barracks and eating at communal messes, so I'm guessing their arms were organised collectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    I've read about this.

    Lathered in goose-fat and then thoroughly wrapped in cloth that had been soaked in hot wax.
    How did you hold the book if you were lathered in goose fat?

    Also, sauce? Lol I mean source?
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Even in isonomic and democratic Athens "class consciousness" was a factor: metics were kept well out of it, so the right to bear arms was defended and valued social capital, available by birth and not actually for sale despite the loosening of the aristoi's stranglehold on power.
    I would disagree. The Democracy made a shift hard to the 'left' and stayed that way to its bitter end but for the point of a Spartan or Macedonian sword. Metics were all over the place, they had day by day more rights in court, in the streets, the right to have arms and the expectation to have them, running the banks... Athens is occasionally hammered for its supposed exclusive citizenship and the wide range rights Metics accrued over the Democracy's 200 are generally ignored but in comparison to what? Rome? When? When allies and freemen were crammed into one or two voting blocks such as to totally diminish their voting power (assuming they could even get to an erratically scheduled vote and knew the agenda contra Athens). Its worth pointing out Alexander was dismissive of getting honorary citizenship in Megara - and was a bit nicer when its ambassadors pointed out that in its whole history back to myth his company was just Hercules... Compared to most Greek states Athens had a revolving door of citizenship and near citizenship. Why do you think its all to elegant and educated 1% who though that being born rich was special were in such a lather and helped found two and a half thousand years of anti democratic ranting - done well and unfortunately all too persuasively (reading what people like John Adams for example though about Ancient Democracy is painful seeing as they only got the distilled anti side).
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: How was hoplite equipment stored and preserved at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I would disagree. ...
    Happy to be corrected, you're certainly more versed in the Athenian stuff than me. I hadn't realised the metics were allowed in the hoplite class.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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