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Old May 14th, 2017, 12:38 AM   #1

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Roman leather armor


Hello to all,
Did ever use roman leather armor?
hope you will help like before and thanking in advance.


with best regards-sajid
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Old May 14th, 2017, 01:36 AM   #2

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There are only two examples that might be contenders. One found at Dura Europos in Syria and one found at Karanis in Egypt. Both of them are scale/lamellar typologies and both are made from rawhide. So how do you define "Roman armour"? Suppose you have armour that was made in Egypt by an Egyptian craftsman and worn by an Egyptian soldier who served in the Roman army. Is the armour Egyptian or Roman?

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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:27 AM   #3

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To add to what Dan says, there is really no reason to think that Roman armor such as the famous muscled cuirass or the lorica segmentata was ever made of leather. There are LOTS of surviving leather items that have been found by archeologists over the years, including iron and copper alloy armor parts with mineralised leather straps still in place, but only those two fragments of rawhide armor from the east.

So basically not quite "Never", but "generally no".

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Old May 15th, 2017, 02:17 AM   #4

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Some people Ipotize that the segmentata was made of leather, due to some carving depictions were the armor seems to "bend" too easy or have to much shapes adapted to the body of the user, though as other said no proves are collected and it could just be simply an artistic style used on the Trajan Column.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 03:24 AM   #5

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From a practical artistic perspective, it seems that the torsos of the figures on Trajan's column were blocked out first, and then the armour was incised and carved onto the surface. This would be a practical way to ensure that the anatomy was correct and added dynamism to the compositions. It would be quite difficult and be not as durable to carve the edges of plates, etc. As long as it reads as"armour" visually, from below, mission accomplished. This becomes obvious when you look at the corners of the plates; they are not right angles, but conform to the curvature of the spines.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 04:07 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naima View Post
Some people Ipotize that the segmentata was made of leather, due to some carving depictions were the armor seems to "bend" too easy or have to much shapes adapted to the body of the user, though as other said no proves are collected and it could just be simply an artistic style used on the Trajan Column.
Nothing on Trajan's column can be used for this kind of analysis. It isn't a photo. Todd's assessment is correct.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 04:33 AM   #7

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What's up with the ends of those pteruges? Looks suspiciously like twining. Or is it stylized garment folds? This is the problem with artistic depictions that Dan and others have mentioned in the past. Greek Geometric depictions are like Rorschach tests.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
Nothing on Trajan's column can be used for this kind of analysis. It isn't a photo. Todd's assessment is correct.

Not according to some people that instead think that the lorica segmentata seen in the Trajan column is infact a representation of a leather one.

Now I am not one of the supporters of that theory but indeed there is such a theory wich I am reporting.

to claim their point they bring up some proves as :

The Qasr Ibrim fragment found in Egypt (British Mus., inv. 80, 1.21/75)
the Trajan column portrais already quoted
the Constantine arch relief , the Alba Iulia relief etc.

They also claim the fact that the for example the Trajan column armors portray a different kind of segmented armor, with both frontal and rear lacings and in general a different asset than the classic ones .
As said this could be either to a different armor, or to artistic licence may be.

the major proposer of that theory of the Leather segmentata is advocated especially by Ars Dimicandi in Italy, who claim the construction work seen on relief sculpture cannot be done with metal segmentata. However, there is no archaeological evidence for leather segs at all, whereas many many ferrous examples have been found far widespread locations.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 06:51 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naima View Post
Not according to some people that instead think that the lorica segmentata seen in the Trajan column is infact a representation of a leather one.

Now I am not one of the supporters of that theory but indeed there is such a theory wich I am reporting.

to claim their point they bring up some proves as :

The Qasr Ibrim fragment found in Egypt (British Mus., inv. 80, 1.21/75)
the Trajan column portrais already quoted
the Constantine arch relief , the Alba Iulia relief etc.

They also claim the fact that the for example the Trajan column armors portray a different kind of segmented armor, with both frontal and rear lacings and in general a different asset than the classic ones .
As said this could be either to a different armor, or to artistic licence may be.

the major proposer of that theory of the Leather segmentata is advocated especially by Ars Dimicandi in Italy, who claim the construction work seen on relief sculpture cannot be done with metal segmentata. However, there is no archaeological evidence for leather segs at all, whereas many many ferrous examples have been found far widespread locations.
Yeah, those Ars Dimicandi guys are pretty sad, the latest in Victorian research... But they're flat-out wrong: there is no piece of armor on any of those reliefs that can't be executed in metal. Metal bends! You can make it into any shape you want. I could build any of those cuirasses on Trajan's Column in my basement today, with nothing more than a hammer and a log. Ludicrous.

Is the "Qasr Ibrim fragment" is that piece of leather strap, that's even more laughable. It's the wrong size, and has no traces of any sort of attachement or connection points that a segmentata piece would have to have. In fact, this piece just underscores the fact that a LOT of bits and pieces of leather have survived astonishingly well, but practically no leather armor pieces! In other words, there was virtually none in use, or we'd have more of it.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 07:44 AM   #10

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All the Italians seem infatuated with leather armour. D'Amato is the ringleader.
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