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Thread: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

  1. #1

    Default On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    I have read many works about this period but one doubt that I always had is that : Were they really a thing and if that is the case then how popular were they in the Hellenic world?

    Also how popular was mail armour in the Hellenistic world?

    Final thing : Was Linothorax still used in 146 B.C. or in the Mithridatic wars?

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Linothorax is a weird animal because it can't be said for certain if it really existed within the context of the Classical Greece proper or if the tube & yoke cuirasses depicted in the art are the leather/hide "spolas" mentioned by Xenophon.

    The issue was argued forth and back, but it's not possible to solve in either favor without any surviving relics of armor...


    Edit:

    A link to give you an impression how headache-inducing is the "linothorax vs spolas" issue:
    https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/sh...=14678&page=18


    Edit+2:

    There's no material evidence for leather muscle cuirasses, even in the art. Even an unusual color for a depicted muscle cuirass wouldn't be an evidence because the Ancients could be painting metal parts of the armor. This type of armor most likely is a Hollywood fantasy.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 23, 2020 at 11:51 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  3. #3

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    The use of leather in Tube and Yoke cuirasses is up for heavy debate, but every enthusiast I know of rejects the existence of leather muscle cuirasses.


    Maille saw at least some use in the Hellenistic world, but you'll probably have to ask one of the historical consultants here as to how much. From what I see in the mod, maille remains rare until the Hellenistic world starts Romanizing. Then it sees a decent amount of use in the heaviest infantry of the army. I don't believe it sees much use in the cavalry, except for the Kataphractoi.

  4. #4

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    The use of leather in Tube and Yoke cuirasses is up for heavy debate,
    Current trend is to use hide or rawhide for the reconstruction and the reenactment, at least for the Classical period. Connely's theory is shakily conjectural (i.e. it proves that it could be built with the technology of the era but not that it was done).

    For the Hellenic period it could be either cattle hides or quilted linen, depends of what materials were more available locally.


    It's just that the theorized archetypal glued linen corset probably is as much a fantasy as are leather muscle cuirasses.


    But of course we'll never know for sure with the word thorax being used for all kinds of the torso protection and with how popular this cut was regardless of the material used (which means that its artistic depictions can be anything).
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 24, 2020 at 10:01 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  5. #5

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    So would that open the possibility for the famed Linothorax to be just some sort of streamlined, non-muscled, mostly metal cuirass, with no organic main components?

  6. #6

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    So would that open the possibility for the famed Linothorax to be just some sort of streamlined, non-muscled, mostly metal cuirass, with no organic main components?
    Nope. Given its prominence in art, it's almost impossible to not recover any remains of such common armour, unless it was organic and as such, subject to decay.

  7. #7

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    The Vergina cuirass is an iron plate corset made in a tube and yoke cut, but it was patterned to emulate contemporary soft armors. Not the other way around. It wasn't the only one of its kind and an iron plate can rust away completely... But there would be more than a single find if iron tube and yoke armors were common.


    But the Vergina cuirass is a very good example for how hard is to tell of what the armor is made whilst having only contemporary art as the source. If someone wearing it was depicted on a red figure pottery, they'd look like wearing same armor as people clad in fabric or leather corsets.


    Edit: The same can be said about the Prodromi iron muscle cuirass. The stylized period art wouldn't show it as being different than its bronze counterparts.


    BTW - imagine the high cost of quality iron armor in the era with no iron casting or blast furnaces. All the impurities had to be hammered out the hard way. Chances are, the iron plate armor and helmets could be more expensive than their bronze counterparts. Depends of how much a blacksmith would ask for the effort.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 26, 2020 at 12:49 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  8. #8

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    1. I don't know of any evidence for leather muscle cuirass.

    2. I have no idea how popular mail armor was, but the only depiction I know of is the funerary stele of Salmamodes. Perhaps it is mentioned more in ancient writings. Hopefully someone will be able to answer this, I'm kind of curious as well.

    3. Once again, the range of Linothorax use is beyond me. For what it's worth, I think Numidian reliefs at Chemtou depict such armor perhaps during Massinissa's reign. Although it was probably created well before 146 BCE, it was at least likely created in the same century. I don't really know of later depictions that would have been contemporary with usage. I don't have a clue for the Mithridatic wars.

    Oh boy, someone mentioned leather in creation of the armor we are referring to as Linothorax. Be careful with Roman army talk, they are kind of caught up on one definition relying on one source for leather.


    I hope someone who has done research on this sort of thing will step in, I obviously couldn't answer your questions.

  9. #9

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    They're at least two mentions of the spolas or spolades although the word may or may not be used for armor. The same ambiguity exists for the linen, though.


    What I'd like to know, however, is if there are preserved records of the availability and expense for linen because only knowing that it was a luxury fabric is not saying much. "Too expensive to be used for armoring" can only work if it's known for certain that it was expensive enough to pick metal armor instead. The era also knew iron scale armor and that's not as expensive as the bronze cuirasses. It's also simpler to build than iron chainmail.


    To elaborate - the idea that fine-woven linen was too expensive to be widely used for armoring works only if the expense of making a layered linen armor was high enough for the end product being only slightly less (or even more) expensive than armoring made of metal.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 29, 2020 at 08:52 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  10. #10

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    They're at least two mentions of the spolas or spolades although the word may or may not be used for armor. The same ambiguity exists for the linen, though.


    What I'd like to know, however, is if there are preserved records of the availability and expense for linen because only knowing that it was a luxury fabric is not saying much. "Too expensive to be used for armoring" can only work if it's known for certain that it was expensive enough to pick metal armor instead. The era also knew iron scale armor and that's not as expensive as the bronze cuirasses. It's also simpler to build than iron chainmail.


    To elaborate - the idea that fine-woven linen was too expensive to be widely used for armoring works only if the expense of making a layered linen armor was high enough for the end product being only slightly less (or even more) expensive than armoring made of metal.
    I'm sure you've heard of Aldrete's book on the Linothorax. The RomanArmyTalk folk hate it since the reconstructions are glued linen, more on that in a minute. I know you aren't a fan of glued linen due to lack of evidence. But more importantly he discusses the evidence for linen armor and why the spolas likely isn't armor.

    In it he discusses the spolas, which as you said is pretty ambiguous with Xenophon. It's said that the men (I think cavalrymen) were equipped with spolas and thorakes, but it wasn't clear if they were wearing both at the same time or if they were two separate types. I'm not sure, but isn't thorakes just the general term for body armor? If that's the case, it would be weird for the spolas to be separate if it were indeed armor. If I recall, the second mention is an arrow piercing a soldier's shield and spolas. This makes it sound like armor, but isn't definitive. The association with a spolas with leather armor is Julius Pollux's Omnasticon. This is dubious as an only source in many different ways, but notably how he also mentioned Sophocles description of Libyans wearing a spolas, which is a leopard skin. This rather confusing, because the two usages in the same definition seem to contradict. However, Aldrete also references Aristophanes play The Bird in which a citizen commands an attendant to give an impoverished poet their spolas. In this usage, it obviously isn't armor. It's likely that he was confused since he wrote in the second century, and Alderete believes it's also possible that he might have based it off of some leather garment worn under armor during his time which might have been referred to as such. Either way, the identification of armor Aldrete refers to as Type 4 as leather armor is extremely shifty.

    Linen armor does not have the same ambiguity. Aldrete wrote a number of pages referencing the use of linen armor by many different groups.

    I don't think it's possible to know how expensive linen was, but Aldrete points out that linen doesn't mean high quality luxury fabric. If I had to guess, I would say that the luxury is more recent perception. Linen was probably an everyday fabric for people then. There could have been high quality linen, but also low quality linen. Most of the cost of linen armor would have been in labor, as it requires a lot of it. But that also doesn't mean it would be less expensive than metal armor, as metal armor had labor costs of its own as well as scarcity. You mention comparison to iron armors, but during the greatest usage of linen armor, iron armor wasn't around or was fairly rare.

    I did say I'd get back to the glued (laminated) linen. Aldrete points out that a 14 layered piece of linen from Mycenae has been found. The folks at RomanArmyTalk argue that it's too old and wouldn't apply to more recent time period we are looking at, but that's pretty solid evidence that laminated linen was used. There's also a laminated fragment from Tarquinia. Especially with the reconstruction, lamination is a good candidate. That's not to say all linen armor was laminated. I'm not sure if the shin guard from Dura Europos was laminated.

    As is a theme in this thread, I can't give you the answer to what you're looking for. I don't know if records of availability and expense of linen from the time exist. It doesn't seem like something that would be preserved, but it would be cool if something was found.

  11. #11

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    I'm sure you've heard of Aldrete's book on the Linothorax. The RomanArmyTalk folk hate it since the reconstructions are glued linen, more on that in a minute. I know you aren't a fan of glued linen due to lack of evidence. But more importantly he discusses the evidence for linen armor and why the spolas likely isn't armor.

    In it he discusses the spolas, which as you said is pretty ambiguous with Xenophon. It's said that the men (I think cavalrymen) were equipped with spolas and thorakes, but it wasn't clear if they were wearing both at the same time or if they were two separate types. I'm not sure, but isn't thorakes just the general term for body armor? If that's the case, it would be weird for the spolas to be separate if it were indeed armor. If I recall, the second mention is an arrow piercing a soldier's shield and spolas. This makes it sound like armor, but isn't definitive. The association with a spolas with leather armor is Julius Pollux's Omnasticon. This is dubious as an only source in many different ways, but notably how he also mentioned Sophocles description of Libyans wearing a spolas, which is a leopard skin. This rather confusing, because the two usages in the same definition seem to contradict. However, Aldrete also references Aristophanes play The Bird in which a citizen commands an attendant to give an impoverished poet their spolas. In this usage, it obviously isn't armor. It's likely that he was confused since he wrote in the second century, and Alderete believes it's also possible that he might have based it off of some leather garment worn under armor during his time which might have been referred to as such. Either way, the identification of armor Aldrete refers to as Type 4 as leather armor is extremely shifty.

    Linen armor does not have the same ambiguity. Aldrete wrote a number of pages referencing the use of linen armor by many different groups.

    I don't think it's possible to know how expensive linen was, but Aldrete points out that linen doesn't mean high quality luxury fabric. If I had to guess, I would say that the luxury is more recent perception. Linen was probably an everyday fabric for people then. There could have been high quality linen, but also low quality linen. Most of the cost of linen armor would have been in labor, as it requires a lot of it. But that also doesn't mean it would be less expensive than metal armor, as metal armor had labor costs of its own as well as scarcity. You mention comparison to iron armors, but during the greatest usage of linen armor, iron armor wasn't around or was fairly rare.

    I did say I'd get back to the glued (laminated) linen. Aldrete points out that a 14 layered piece of linen from Mycenae has been found. The folks at RomanArmyTalk argue that it's too old and wouldn't apply to more recent time period we are looking at, but that's pretty solid evidence that laminated linen was used. There's also a laminated fragment from Tarquinia. Especially with the reconstruction, lamination is a good candidate. That's not to say all linen armor was laminated. I'm not sure if the shin guard from Dura Europos was laminated.

    As is a theme in this thread, I can't give you the answer to what you're looking for. I don't know if records of availability and expense of linen from the time exist. It doesn't seem like something that would be preserved, but it would be cool if something was found.

    Linen wasn't an everyday fabric in Greece and Rome. Wool was. That's of what reenacted clothes are made. Wool was available in large quantities in Greece. Actually, wool and felt are most common for Ancient and Medieval clothes in most regions.

    Glued armor is a weird idea not because it can't be done, but because in pre-industrial times there's no way of preserving it against humidity. Glues used in antiquity were similar to natural glues still used in carpentry. They don't take sweat and water well. Quilted linen doesn't have this problem. Quilted fabric armors were used in the era, so Connely's experiment is really reaching. Basing it on a Mycenean shinguard to recreate a piece of armor used centuries later used when contemporary quilted armor existed... It's like trying to test if boar tusks helmets were in use in the Archaic or Classical period.

    It's one thing to build a laminated shinguard, another one to build a vest you'll be sweating into having only a woolen chiton underneath. And then there will be rain. And then the armor will get soft and moldy and then it will fall apart on you. Because there's no way you can waterproof it. Short of using tar, resin or wax, but if you treat fabric with it it stops behaving like a fabric.

    Or one can assume that the simplest and contemporary method was used and linothorax was quilted. Like any other known fabric armor. Especially the ones Greeks already knew from the Middle East.


    This "must be linen only and absolutely glued one" cult is something that weirdly originated with Connolly. Before it was obvious that different materials could be used, not one or another.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 29, 2020 at 11:07 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  12. #12

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    Linen wasn't an everyday fabric in Greece and Rome. Wool was. That's of what reenacted clothes are made. Wool was available in large quantities in Greece. Actually, wool and felt are most common for Ancient and Medieval clothes in most regions.

    Glued armor is a weird idea not because it can't be done, but because in pre-industrial times there's no way of preserving it against humidity. Glues used in antiquity were similar to natural glues still used in carpentry. They don't take sweat and water well. Quilted linen doesn't have this problem. Quilted fabric armors were used in the era, so Connely's experiment is really reaching. Basing it on a Mycenean shinguard to recreate a piece of armor used centuries later used when contemporary quilted armor existed... It's like trying to test if boar tusks helmets were in use in the Archaic or Classical period.

    It's one thing to build a laminated shinguard, another one to build a vest you'll be sweating into having only a woolen chiton underneath. And then there will be rain. And then the armor will get soft and moldy and then it will fall apart on you. Because there's no way you can waterproof it. Short of using tar, resin or wax, but if you treat fabric with it it stops behaving like a fabric.

    Or one can assume that the simplest and contemporary method was used and linothorax was quilted. Like any other known fabric armor. Especially the ones Greeks already knew from the Middle East.


    This "must be linen only and absolutely glued one" cult is something that weirdly originated with Connolly. Before it was obvious that different materials could be used, not one or another.
    Are you kidding? Of course linen was an everyday fabric, and was better for wearing in hot climates. Wool was used, but to say linen wasn't is so bizarre. I'd bet in all the times and places you are thinking of, linen might be more common than you think given how widespread flax was.

    You're right, humidity can be rough on glued armor. The problem with saying that is that it's not known what glues were used. Aldrete uses only most common glues in reconstruction, which were animal glues (he uses rabbit) and flax seed glue (which I think is a bit weaker). There were likely stronger glues available (perhaps some fish glues). Perhaps some were even waterproof. But you also aren't considering that the glues can adhere again. During tests the armors were taken out in very wet conditions. They did start to come apart, but were just simply stuck back together without a problem. In different test (not in the Linothorax project), it was constructed with hide glue and a leather border around it (methods in the comments of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qyGge-laQY). When wet, the hardened leather border got weaker but the glued layers never delaminated. Unless you took a swim, the armor could probably deal with the moisture. You mention sweat, but I don't think it is possible to sweat enough to delaminate the armor. Aldrete suggested to deal with that problem to apply beeswax or pine resin on occasion, but the armor was still able to manage without it. I wonder if the paints used could affect moisture resistance?

    Yes, I understand that the Mycenaean armor doesn't tell us much about the armor of 1000 years later. What it does tell us is the capability is there, that laminated armor did exist. The Mycenae find isn't known to be from a linen greave, it just might be. There are also supposedly 2 other Mycenae fragments found, but I don't know of any information on those. And I'm not sure what you mean by "stop behaving like fabric" once treated.

    It should be noted that I haven't referenced Connelly's experiment once. The Linothorax project is more focused on the idea and uses extensive testing. It's also never said that quilted armors weren't used. But an added benefit of lamination is that the Linothorax project found that lamination could provide better protection than quilting provided the same number of layers, and lamination matches the appearance better. Lamination has its cons, which go beyond moisture. Aldrete found a ideal thickness, maybe around a centimeter. This might be 15-20 layers. I think some medieval textile armors could have 30 layers, which wouldn't be practical with lamination.

    I think you make one other assumption that you can't exactly make, that the fabric armors from the Middle East were quilted. Greek depictions of Persian armor often look just like the Greek armor. This is also true of the armor used to the west. This could be stylistic and doesn't say anything about construction, but might imply it a bit. The armor type and shape seem to be widespread.

    If there is an only linen and only laminated cult, I've never heard of them. The cult stuff are for the leather people who insist based on Pollux's definition of spolas that the type 4 armor was made of leather. Seriously, look up their original thread on it. They converted instantly and stick to the limited and ambiguous evidence like scripture. It's weird considering the many references to linen. But few people are saying only linen. In fact, I'm probably the only person who is even close to that (and even I know I can't confidently claim it). Aldrete even said in a presentation (which is on YouTube if you ever want to watch it) that they can't know that leather wasn't used and that people used what they had. I personally think that is a bit generous for the same reasons that you don't trust lamination. In fact, leather type 4 armor is even worse off than lamination. The reason is that there is no evidence, there has been no testing, it isn't clear how it would be constructed, etc. Leather type 4 armor presents many of the same problems like cost, availability, and (to a lesser extent) moisture, while also presenting new ones like thickness and how it would be treated. Aldrete thinks that making it rawhide (what is typically used for armor, mostly in scale form) would lead to flexibility issues or other problems, but we can't truly know because it hasn't been tested like linen has. Part of the reason might be that it probably isn't too high on the to do list because of the limited and dubious nature of the account of it. Overall, the evidence seems to strongly point to linen.

    Lamination is a different issue. The concern about it is legitimate due to lack of evidence, but I think you give it a little too much hate. The Mycenae findings show that it was used at some point, but as you said it doesn't mean that the type 4 armor of later times was constructed that way. But that also seems to be true for quilted. You're assuming based on other armor that this type must also be quilted, which isn't necessarily true. The method of construction isn't known. I lean towards lamination, but I would never state that it was the only way it was done or even in confidently saying that it was the way done at all. Based on reconstruction and appearance it just makes more sense. I don't like how EB 2 treats linen vs. leather, as it is inconsistent (like using spolas for the Kretan peltast description and linen for Etruscan hoplites) and the evidence leans one way. As for lamination, I like that they've left it ambiguous. If you look at the hoplite unit, the linen cuirasses have multiple appearances, some of which look more quilted.

  13. #13

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    Are you kidding? Of course linen was an everyday fabric, and was better for wearing in hot climates. Wool was used, but to say linen wasn't is so bizarre. I'd bet in all the times and places you are thinking of, linen might be more common than you think given how widespread flax was
    Wool was common fabric in Rome and Greece. There's more than one grade of wool, it doesn't always need to be thick and hot. Sheeps were very common animals in Greece and Rome. Flax was cultivated in Greece too, by the way. It's also possible to weave linen and wool together into one fabric.



    And I'm sorry, but it's too convenient to say "we don't know what kinds of glues were used". The ones that are made with technology of the era all don't work.


    Waterproof paints... For the Greek era, I'm not sure if there were any. Oil painting is an early modern era invention. Typical Greek painting technique was encaustic. Hot wax used as a paint medium. Could it be used for painting arms and armor? I don't know. Possibly. But if you soak fabric with wax it becomes rigid and brittle.


    Personally I believe that it was mostly linen, but quilted. I don't believe in linen being prohibitively expensive because it's like saying that Saitic Egypt, Babylonian and Persian soldiers were sleeping on money. It might've been more expensive than fabric used for day-to-day clothes, but so was leather.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    I think you make one other assumption that you can't exactly make, that the fabric armors from the Middle East were quilted. Greek depictions of Persian armor often look just like the Greek armor. This is also true of the armor used to the west. This could be stylistic and doesn't say anything about construction, but might imply it a bit. The armor type and shape seem to be widespread.
    Quilted linen is what Herodotus mentions for the Egyptians in the Persian service.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  14. #14

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    Wool was common fabric in Rome and Greece. There's more than one grade of wool, it doesn't always need to be thick and hot. Sheeps were very common animals in Greece and Rome. Flax was cultivated in Greece too, by the way. It's also possible to weave linen and wool together into one fabric.



    And I'm sorry, but it's too convenient to say "we don't know what kinds of glues were used". The ones that are made with technology of the era all don't work.


    Waterproof paints... For the Greek era, I'm not sure if there were any. Oil painting is an early modern era invention. Typical Greek painting technique was encaustic. Hot wax used as a paint medium. Could it be used for painting arms and armor? I don't know. Possibly. But if you soak fabric with wax it becomes rigid and brittle.


    Personally I believe that it was mostly linen, but quilted. I don't believe in linen being prohibitively expensive because it's like saying that Saitic Egypt, Babylonian and Persian soldiers were sleeping on money. It might've been more expensive than fabric used for day-to-day clothes, but so was leather.




    Quilted linen is what Herodotus mentions for the Egyptians in the Persian service.
    On the whole wool thing, I think you are missing the point. To all those statements about wool, that's great, but that doesn't mean linen wasn't used. I have no idea why you said "Flax was cultivated in Greece to, by the way". It wasn't something I ever indicated disagreeing with, especially since it's evident that they used a lot of it in making armor. Here's a paper on it (https://www.academia.edu/13138649/Li...ance_and_trade).

    We don't know what kind of glues is right. Aldrete mentions (maybe during the presentation) that there was a helmet found that used an unknown and strong glue. It also isn't convenient. The 2 laminated experiments I mentioned were conducted using the glues that were known (mainly animal glues, some flax glue), meaning the kind that are vulnerable to moisture. You also just said "The ones that are made with the technology of the era all don't work" despite the reconstructions working just fine. Not to mention the Mycenae fragment, which although outside the time period is evidence that lamination can work.

    There must have been a way for to paint on the armor, given the many designs often present on the armor.

    We don't know if the quilted linen of the Egyptians mentioned by Herodotus is a type 4 armor or not.

  15. #15

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    On the whole wool thing, I think you are missing the point. To all those statements about wool, that's great, but that doesn't mean linen wasn't used. I have no idea why you said "Flax was cultivated in Greece to, by the way". It wasn't something I ever indicated disagreeing with, especially since it's evident that they used a lot of it in making armor. Here's a paper on it (https://www.academia.edu/13138649/Li...ance_and_trade).
    The statement came from you saying that linen was the primary basic material. It wasn't. It shared the space with other fabrics. My mention of the flax being cultivated in Greece is in the context of the RAT discussion with claims that it had to be too expensive. Also it wasn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    We don't know what kind of glues is right. Aldrete mentions (maybe during the presentation) that there was a helmet found that used an unknown and strong glue. It also isn't convenient. The 2 laminated experiments I mentioned were conducted using the glues that were known (mainly animal glues, some flax glue), meaning the kind that are vulnerable to moisture. You also just said "The ones that are made with the technology of the era all don't work" despite the reconstructions working just fine. Not to mention the Mycenae fragment, which although outside the time period is evidence that lamination can work.
    "Unknown" can as well mean "nonexistent". Pieces like helmets and shinguards can be laminated with tar and resin. They can be rigid. T & Y ideally should be possible to unfold completely flat and with springy shoulder flaps to match the period art. All the modern experiments with natural glues also mentioned the corset becoming softer from the body heat and maybe it could be waterprofed somehow. Maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    There must have been a way for to paint on the armor, given the many designs often present on the armor.
    Painting a motif like vergina or dyeing fabric is not waterprofing. Decorations can be also embroidered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirtius View Post
    We don't know if the quilted linen of the Egyptians mentioned by Herodotus is a type 4 armor or not.
    It doesn't matter if it was a "tube on suspenders only" older Egyptian cut, a vest or a T & Y. You were saying that making of quilted armor isn't confirmed for the Middle East. It is. Greeks had contacts with those people. The main source of mercenaries for the Saitic Egypt were Greek communities.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 30, 2020 at 04:23 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  16. #16

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    The statement came from you saying that linen was the primary basic material. It wasn't. It shared the space with other fabrics. My mention of the flax being cultivated in Greece is in the context of the RAT discussion with claims that it had to be too expensive. Also it wasn't.



    "Unknown" can as well mean "nonexistent". Pieces like helmets and shinguards can be laminated with tar and resin. They can be rigid. T & Y ideally should be possible to unfold completely flat and with springy shoulder flaps to match the period art. All the modern experiments with natural glues also mentioned the corset becoming softer from the body heat and maybe it could be waterprofed somehow. Maybe.


    Painting a motif like vergina or dyeing fabric is not waterprofing. Decorations can be also embroidered.


    It doesn't matter if it was a "tube on suspenders only" older Egyptian cut, a vest or a T & Y. You were saying that making of quilted armor isn't confirmed for the Middle East. It is. Greeks had contacts with those people. The main source of mercenaries for the Saitic Egypt were Greek communities.
    I said linen was an everyday material, not that it was the only material or basic material for everything. My exact words were "Linen was probably an everyday fabric for people then". Nothing was said of wool or anything else since it's not the topic.

    If you're quoting "unknown" in reference to the helmet, I went back to the presentation. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLBMupbqo2I). He starts talking about glues around 22:15. He talks about that the ancients had superglues that were even waterproof at that helmets had been found at the bottom of rivers still intact, and while the composition is known the procedure and mixing is unknown. He is admittedly vague in the presentation, but he is not talking about nonexistent or hypothetical glues. Most notably he claims that some of the glues would have been waterproof.
    I looked into the helmet further in the book, which was apparently a first-century BCE Roman helmet near Xanten, Germany. The decorative metal parts remained attached after 2,000 years of immersion. The mixture contained bitumen, bark pitch, and animal grease, but as mentioned earlier the process is unknown, perhaps due to missing unidentified elements. Due to glues like this Aldrete believes other more complex glues could have been used, but conducts the experiments with more basic glues due to wider availability.
    It is unknown how glues like this would effect rigidity.

    I never said painting was a way to waterproof. I asked a question if painting could affect moisture resistance, but not in comment you are responding to. You had said you didn't know if the encaustic technique could be used on arms and armor. What I was saying that we know they must have done it somehow given the designs. Waterproofing not mentioned and it doesn't make sense in the context. I don't know about embroidery, which is possible, but patterns like the checkerboard pattern were dyed or painted.

    My bad for the way I put it. I wasn't saying there no armor was quilted. I was saying you couldn't assume that all were. I said that in the context of Greek depictions of Persian armor.

  17. #17

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    The Roman cavalry helmet, Weiler type, had traces of padding glued inside and metal cheeks were fixed with the lining. It's joining something to a metal object. Bitumen and pitch will not give you the light color used for depicting Y & T in the art. It's much later than the Y & T armors, too.




    Why are Mycenean and Imperial Roman finds used for justifying possible Archaic and Classic armor techniques? Anachronisms are not how the experimental archeology is supposed to work...



    Also, we don't know if waterprofing was used or needed. The art shows some kind of decorated vests with shoulder yokes. The art doesn't say if it needed waterproofing, because it doesn't say of what it's made of.


    It's like the Golyamata Mogila and Vergina armors being useless in the debate because they're metal armors with leather backing, but the backing was only to assist the metal.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 30, 2020 at 11:38 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  18. #18

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    The Roman cavalry helmet, Weiler type, had traces of padding glued inside and metal cheeks were fixed with the lining. It's joining something to a metal object. Bitumen and pitch will not give you the light color used for depicting Y & T in the art. It's much later than the Y & T armors, too.


    Why are Mycenean and Imperial Roman finds used for justifying possible Archaic and Classic armor techniques? Anachronisms are not how the experimental archeology is supposed to work...



    Also, we don't know if waterprofing was used or needed. The art shows some kind of decorated vests with shoulder yokes. The art doesn't say if it needed waterproofing, because it doesn't say of what it's made of.


    It's like the Golyamata Mogila and Vergina armors being useless in the debate because they're metal armors with leather backing, but the backing was only to assist the metal.
    Not saying bitumen and pitch would have been used. The reason Aldrete brings it up is to show that the ancients would was to show that such strong glues existed. Also, we don't know how they would effect the color since it hasn't been tested.

    The reason these examples are looked at is not direct evidence, but opens the possibility. The whole reason we are having the discussion is that we don't know, which is why experimental archaeology was used. Aldrete didn't just test laminated linen, but quilted and stuffed as well.

    You're pretty solidly towards quilting. What evidence, textual and archaeological (besides the Egyptian quilted armor mentioned earlier), do we have? What could connect it to the type 4 armor?

    On a somewhat related note, I found that scraps from Masada (which are thought to be part of pteryges) and the linen greave from Dura Europos are twined.

  19. #19

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    Pitch is what was used to fix the metal facing and the wooden bowl on the Vatican Museo Gregoriano Etruscan Aspis. The leather layer was then glued on top of the wood. A similar case with the Roman cavalry helmet, it's working on surfaces that don't need to be very flexible. But this one at least is contemporary to the T&Y cuirasses.


    What material evidence is for glued cuirasses? Well, effectively zero. Modern craftsmen with modern knowledge of what and what can't work then using hypothetical methods that can be attested (maybe) for smaller pieces not contemporary to what they're recreating. It's putting forward a hypothesis. It's not proving nor disproving it. Not a contemporary material proof.


    Laminated organic armor can work. The Chinese "paper" armors are proved to exist. Whether it's going to be used for building one or two-pieces corsets is another question. The Chinese examples (and they're also an anachronism to the Y&T question) have supposedly solid forearm guards at best. Otherwise they're scale and lamellar.



    The evidence on leather:

    Shaky, really. The spolades can't be an underarmor (because the Ancient Greeks didn't use underarmor), but the word also can mean the animal skin cloak sometimes present in the art. Byzantine and Late Roman writers have to be taken with a huge grain of salt because they were were writing centuries after the facts and were prone to "classicizing" their work a bit...


    The evidence on linen:

    As shaky as for the animal skins. It might be a Homeric figure of speech, a votive garment put on a temple statue, or a foreigner armor.

    The evidence for quilting it:

    Shaky too. The passage about Alexander wearing a linen armor taken from Persians can be translated as it being either double-sewn or the linen material being double-ply. It's still Persian.



    What actual evidence is preserved:

    The art. Coming from a tradition that also gave us Skythians and Persians wearing skintight spandex. With a convention of rendering anything light in colour as white or very bright creamy off-white. Which means that even if it was quilted, the artists would render it on the picture only if the thread used for quilting was significantly darker than the surrounding material.


    Then there's the Etruscan Mars of Todi bronze... Which might be a depiction of a metal or leather lamellar armor as well.



    You can't put any definitive statement and call it a truth or an evidence when you have only art as the period source.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 31, 2020 at 02:39 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  20. #20

    Default Re: On leather musculated cuirasse and other things.

    I think your list is missing a bit.

    Leather: Starting with leather since to establish material. No evidence except for the Pollux's definition of Xenophon's spolas. One question I have is on the survivability of leather. Would leather be more likely to survive and leave evidence than linen?

    Linen: Linen is attested to many times for many different groups. Linen is not "As shaky as for the animal skins". It's attested to a number of times. I don't know where the Homeric figure of speech idea is from. It also seems like you are slightly disregarding temple offerings and foreigners, which would be weird since these are occasions in which the armor would be brought up. Familiar armor usage is less likely to be specified.

    I didn't put them in chronological order, sorry about that. I committed references I found that didn't specify or heavily imply linen. Most of these examples are compiled in Aldrete's (and others) book Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor.

    Starting with greek examples. I thought you would have considered Homer as being outside of the time you wanted. But since you bring up Homer, there might be another reference that you may or may not have heard. Most commonly Ajax is known as wearing linen armor, but there are also two other people stated to have been wearing linen armor (Adrastus and Amphius, twin sons of Merops of Percote.) There is another famous Greek example in which a passage describes the Argives wearing linothorakes. Cornelius Nepos describes reforms of Iphractes as using equipping with linen armor. Aeneas Tacitcus describes smuggling in linen armor in case of a coup. A hellenistic inscription (166 to 155 BCE) lists items dedicated to the sanctuary of Delos, include linen armor with golden disks. Alcaeus references corselets of linen among military equipment. Sophocles' play Epigonoi has a line saying "And for the wearers of breastplates the weavers are striking up the wise shuttle's songs, that wake up those who are asleep".

    Foreign use provide even more examples. It's impossible to know in many situations if it is referring to type 4 (tube and yoke) armor like Strabo's description of lusitanians wearing linen armor. But type 4 armor is visually represented numerous times on the Italian Peninsula and sometimes for other groups like Carthaginians, so it's safe to say that their references could be considered as often referring to type 4. Leonidas of Tarentum describes 8 woven corselets captured from the Lucanians (third century BCE). Silius Italicus depicts linen armor on both sides of the Second Punic War, but sometimes confusingly. Silius Italicus describes Nubian (which other than Silius Italicus I've not heard of Nubians in the Second Punic war before) troops using linen head and body protection, but it might not be referring to type 4 armor. He also describes Crixus (Chief of the Boii, allied with Hannibal) wearing multilayered linen armor, and is supposedly speared through by the young Scipio at the battle of Ticinus. He also describes the brightness of the corselets worn by the Sedentanians of Saetabis (in eastern Iberia), and then talks about the quality of the linen which they are famed (linen quality of Saetabis corroborated by Pliny the elder) for which might imply the previous corselets are linen (metal armor is not well attested in Iberia, so the brightness would probably be referring to the color in the case of linen armor). On the Roman side, Silius Italicus describes a group of Falerii as wearing linen armor, made with local Faliscan linen. He describes an account of how a soldier named Tadius whose layered linen armor protected him long enough from an elephant with a bladed tusk to stab it in the eye, though the tusk blade obviously got through (a rather dubious story, but portrays linen armor as very capable). Another example of foreign usage is the dedication of three linen breastplates at Olympia after Gelon's victory over the Carthaginians. Herodotus references Assyrians wearing linen armor, but more importantly references Phoenicians wearing greek style helmets and corselets of linen (the other greek equipment might imply that armor is type 4). Xenophon references the Chalybes wearing linen armor with plaited cords instead of the usual flaps, which might imply that the rest of the armor would have been familiar. Of course there is also the reference to the armor captured by Alexander (Plutarch), but what folded or doubled (You use double-sewn or double-ply) means isn't specified. Abradatas of Susa is said to have worn a "corselet of linen as they use in his country" in Xenophon's Cyropaedia. A linen breastplate is stated by Livy as a spoil (spolia opima, collected from a dead commander after single combat) dedicated to the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius after Aulus Cornelius Cossus personally defeated an Etruscan king in the fourth century BCE, which shows that even the wealthier would use linen armor.

    Outside the time period, Romans seemed to have associated linen with the armor type. Caracalla tried to emulate Alexander's military, including three ply linen breastplates. Galba also put on a linen breastplate before his death.

    Quilted: No direct evidence, but possibly implied in some examples. It is the most common method of textile armor production throughout history. Some earlier vase paintings depict cross-hatched lines on the armor which might represent quilting. Not weak to water. Might be represented in gallic armors.

    Laminated: First I should point out that you said material evidence, which you don't say for any other category. There's not really material evidence for any such organic armor of the time. Anyways, it is known to be possible and likely used in some form at some points in time. What really makes laminated stand out is the artistic evidence. I know you considered artistic evidence a bit unreliable as evidence for lamination. You mentioned things like color, which indeed weren't depicted accurately on things like vases. But the armor was also depicted in many other forms, like statues and reliefs. These often have bright colors like white, red, blue, yellow, purple, etc, and might be more accurate than the vases. Even in other art forms, type 4 armors appear to be smooth and not quilted. The exception to this might be Gallic examples, which could be embroidered (an embroidered armor is mentioned in Plutarch's life of Marcellus) or quilted. Etruscan examples also have a lot of weird embroidering and scales going on.

    Actual evidence preserved:
    As you said, the only definite thing is the art, and there is a lot of it. Going through even a fraction of it would be almost impossible. Anyways, your statement seems to imply that you are mainly thinking of art on vases (due to your comment on color and depictions of Skythians and Persians in skintight spandex). There are, however, numerous examples of the armor preserved in other mediums, like the aforementioned statues and reliefs. There are even a few frescoes which have survived. I'll try to give examples from a number of locations. They don't say too much about material or production, but they're pretty cool anyways and show that type 4 and other textile armors have a very broad scope. Some examples are in other threads where I pestered the EB team (thanks to them and others for the information and pictures), which I'll link. I also took a few pictures from the Reconstructing Ancient Linen Armor and from online. One more note, there are an insane amount, so I pick the examples best I can or just choose a few.

    Greek examples: Alexander Sarcophagus, Aristion Stele, Tombs of Lefkadia fresco, Agios Athanasios fresco (purple armor), Other pottery examples
    https://imgur.com/qFxDZbF

    (https://imgur.com/h6QaeoF)

    (https://imgur.com/J1rOLCv)

    (https://imgur.com/B7DYG4q)

    Italian Peninsula examples: Amazon Sarcophagus in Tarquinia, Tomb of Orcus fresco, Falterona statuette, Etruscan warriors carrying fallen comrade cist handle (there are a number of these), Google "Umbrian warrior" or something similar for many different statuettes, Samnite tomb warrior fresco (https://imgur.com/V3ZmPTT)

    Persian examples: Unfortunately most are greek depictions often on pottery. I don't know of many native depictions (https://imgur.com/Z2EZlRB). Not necessarily related to type 4 armor, but the Altikulaç Sarcophagus from western Anatolia depicts an interesting armor that I don't know is organic or not.

    Phoenician examples: Armor captured by Agathocles depicted on a coin with Nike (http://numismatics.org/collection/1997.9.95)

    Numidian examples: Chemtou reliefs

    Iberian examples: https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...an-Linen-armor, https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...Scutarii-armor

    Gallic examples: https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...tic-Linothorax
    Last edited by Hirtius; June 15, 2020 at 12:24 PM.

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