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Thread: New find of lorica segmentata

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    Default New find of lorica segmentata

    Archaeologists have made an important discovery: armor lorica segmentata was found at the battlefield Kalkriase, from the Augustus period. in very good condition. Especially because of the armor's design, it differs from the versions found in the UK. It can be seen that it has no arm covers. This suggests that the armor has evolved over time to accommodate different enemies.
    Thus, it can be inferred that Lorica Segmentata is very popular, because no one has upgraded to something that is rarely used.

    https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/niede...kriese446.html

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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata


  3. #3

    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    You know, for a people that used really large shields, the Romans sure did focus quite a bit on torso protection.

    How were manica's not universal is my question...

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    Himster's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    How were manica's not universal is my question...
    The expense, it had to be tailored to an individual (more or less) and the difficulty in maintenance would be my guess.
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    antaeus's Avatar Whataboutery
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    The most common modern soldier's body armour consists of a ceramic or metal chest/back plate, the cuirass far outlasted the rest of a late medieval suit of armour in use - even until the early 20th century in some cases.

    Blows to the torso are more likely to be life threatening than to the lower limbs.
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    ...
    Blows to the torso are more likely to be life threatening than to the lower limbs.
    Good points. About this one, I think people go for the body? I have a fuzzy idea in my head that most limbs can wiggle out of the way. In Australia cops and soldiers aim for the centre of the target (this comes up in "why don't cops just shoot the knife out of an assailants hands?" debates), I suppose archers (and other missile troops) did the same.
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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    You know, for a people that used really large shields, the Romans sure did focus quite a bit on torso protection.

    How were manica's not universal is my question...

    Your enemy is likely aiming at center mass. Also all to many light wounds to the chest can get ugly and had no good remedy vs say a limb that is injured.

    Redundant know forgot to post. Depends on if the archers were aiming but even in volley fire your arms and legs would be a smaller target.

    The expense, it had to be tailored to an individual (more or less) and the difficulty in maintenance would be my guess.
    Although you would think you get away with off the rack pieces of various sizes to any one stolider a kit. But than you are still likely holding more iron in storage than just putting together a chain mail.
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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    At the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, no less, so basically dated circa 9 AD. Cool! From what I understand there was an even earlier archaeological find at Dangestetten in southwestern Germany near the Swiss border, dated to 9 BC. I would be very surprised, however, if there was ever a discovery of lorica segmentata dated to the very late Republican period right before the ascension of Octavian as Augustus. It seems to be an innovation that existed well into the period of his reign and it is frustrating that surviving depictions of it in Roman artwork come way later with monuments like Trajan's Column.

    As for this being a new discovery, I think it has actually been known for a while, since the example at Kalkriese is discussed by M.C. Bishop in his book Lorica Segmentata Volume I: A Handbook of Articulated Roman Plate Armour (2002).

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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Your enemy is likely aiming at center mass. Also all to many light wounds to the chest can get ugly and had no good remedy vs say a limb that is injured.


    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    The most common modern soldier's body armour consists of a ceramic or metal chest/back plate, the cuirass far outlasted the rest of a late medieval suit of armour in use - even until the early 20th century in some cases.
    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post

    Blows to the torso are more likely to be life threatening than to the lower limbs.


    Yes but you have a shield in front of you?

    Even if you cannot fully rely on it, your swinging arm is far more likely to be exposed in a close engagement.

    Though, if they did not use them that much, they probably did not need them perhaps.





    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    The expense, it had to be tailored to an individual (more or less) and the difficulty in maintenance would be my guess.
    I do not see why a manica would have to be tailored.

    I made one for myself by cutting a long narrow sheeth of metal with a grinder in 30ish stripes and gave them to be drilled at a neighbours machine.

    It looked and all the parts were literally identical, it looked ugly as hell, yet there was no discomfort over a long sleeve and no loss of movemnt.

    A standard tailored shape mass produced could be made one size fits all by simply removing or adding plates for longer or shorter arms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    At the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, no less, so basically dated circa 9 AD. Cool! From what I understand there was an even earlier archaeological find at Dangestetten in southwestern Germany near the Swiss border, dated to 9 BC. I would be very surprised, however, if there was ever a discovery of lorica segmentata dated to the very late Republican period right before the ascension of Octavian as Augustus. It seems to be an innovation that existed well into the period of his reign and it is frustrating that surviving depictions of it in Roman artwork come way later with monuments like Trajan's Column.

    As for this being a new discovery, I think it has actually been known for a while, since the example at Kalkriese is discussed by M.C. Bishop in his book Lorica Segmentata Volume I: A Handbook of Articulated Roman Plate Armour (2002).
    Considering we have surviving examples so close to the late republican period, it is nearly a certainty that the form of armor existed and was used since at least some decades earlier, perhaps even to Caesars time, as a few historians suggest possible.

    IMO, it is possible that the armor was formed and produced by the Romans already after any of the Mithridatic wars, for the Romans won battles against cavalry who would be armored in segmented armor, and would probably have loads of segmented loot, especially after the battle of Tigranocerta.

    From which the Romans could have gotten inspiration for segmented armors of their own.

    If not then then after the victory over the Parthians by Cassius after Carrhae or the battles of Publius Ventidius Bassus.


    Though, until a surviving piece of art or armor itself is found, it is only guessing.
    Last edited by Mamlaz; October 28, 2020 at 10:38 AM.

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    antaeus's Avatar Whataboutery
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamlaz View Post
    Yes but you have a shield in front of you?
    We're getting a little too far into hypotheticals here so I'm going to wander all over the show...

    But the point of armour on the torso is to protect the most vital parts of the body. You're far more likely to survive a stab to the arm than you are to the kidney. Even in this period one could sometimes survive a severed arm, but not a disembowelment (now is a different story. Happened to my cousin, skateboard injury, loss of a couple of meters of intestine... nasty story for another day).

    There's a balance to be made - the weight of armour vs the requirement for movement vs the cost of production in both monetary and manpower terms vs tactical flexibility vs logistical requirements for maintenance and supply. We can't reveal all of these from individual finds. But if you're trying to give the broadest protection to the widest range of unit types via your production chain, rationalising the most important types of protection for a wide variety of situations is probably helpful. That might explain why torso protection is seen more often than arm, or leg. Because it was more universally applicable to more people in more situations.

    Then there's the fact that Roman soldiers, especially in the early and mid imperial period, were expected to march. A lot. It was not out of the question for the same unit to see combat in modern Spain and Egypt in the same year, travelling by foot half the way. Most medieval knights with their full body suits of armour might have travelled a few dozen or a hundred miles, in their entire lives, and then would have marched out of full armour and only trained in it. So from a purely practical perspective, weight would have been a real consideration, given that they were only expected to be in actual combat very very occasionally. Add to this the different climactic requirements of fighting in Anatolia vs Scotland and we might start to see why some additional protections might have been impractical in many situations - even if it offered better survivability.

    Re the shield: it is both defensive and offensive in it's use - meaning it moves and is vulnerable to being grabbed, pulled, tugged, shoved etc - and while this happens, a shield covers the majority of the arm holding it

    There are so many unknowables here. Armour was far from uniform in nature even within individual units. Some may have had extra elements that others did not. This piece may be representative or might be a fluke discovery of a rare kind.

    So plenty of questions and uncertainties. Great for archaeologist's ongoing job security.
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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: New find of lorica segmentata

    Most medieval knights with their full body suits of armour might have travelled a few dozen or a hundred miles, in their entire lives, and then would have marched out of full armour and only trained in it
    Also A knight likely had 2 horses one to fight with and one to ride to that battle. I agree on weight and probability of death (lower for extremities) for Roman infantry armor choices. Their whole kit was not exactly light somethings gotta give. In the long run the entrenching tool and sickle were just as important as a bit more armor might be if you wanted to make to muster out day.
    Last edited by conon394; October 30, 2020 at 09:18 AM.
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    '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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