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View Poll Results: Which type of armour do you think was the best?
Lorica Hamata 22 45.83%
Lorica Segmentata 26 54.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 8th, 2011, 03:47 AM   #31

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
The only thing chain actually protects from is edged damage. It doesn't offer any protection against the impact of a blow, as it is not rigid.
Did you even read the excerpts from the article I've given?
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Old July 8th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #32

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Old July 8th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #33

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The article summarily proves, that it was not easy to penetrate chainmail with arrows, spears and thrusts, and it was not any way inferior to even plate armour in this regards. If chain is not inferior to plate armour, what could even remotely suggest that it was inferior to segmentata?
Well, it's not just about penetrating the armour. The Lorica Hamata isn't solid in the same way as the Lorica Segmentata, and consequently the impact of a blow with a sword is still great enough to break bones if you're wearing a chainmail - but most likely not if you're wearing a Lorica Segmentata. Even though it seems plausible, I can't prove that the Lorica Segmentata was more difficult to penetrate than the Lorica Hamata(has such tests been made, or is there only speculation?).

Quote:
Not to mention, Segmentata covers less area than Hamata. So while it might protect from broken bones on the torso, it doesn't cover the upper arms or armpits.
Not true. The Lorica Segmentata provides excellent protection for the shoulders and upper arms.

Quote:
I've already offered proof that chain was extremely protective armour. It's your turn to prove that Segmentata is superior.
I'm not denying that chainmail is very protective armour. Like I said, I can't prove that the Lorica Segmentata is superior to the Lorica Hamata - or the other way around, for that matter. I don't know if tests have been made - I haven't found any - but if not, we can really only speculate.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #34

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arras,

Funny video, but it doesn't prove anything.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #35

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Here is a crud chainmail test against slashes and thrusts, except I don't know how sharp the blades are that he is using.

It would be nice if some rich person bought a bunch of historically accurate weapons and armor and did tests to see what armor stops what weapons. We can't trust things we see on TV because most of the tests are using inaccurate weapons and or armor.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #36

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It would be nice if some rich person bought a bunch of historically accurate weapons and armor and did tests to see what armor stops what weapons. We can't trust things we see on TV because most of the tests are using inaccurate weapons and or armor.
Agreed!
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Old July 8th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #37

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arras View Post
In contrast to anybody here, Romans used both in combat and their choice was clear, no doubt about that. Their most favourite armour was chain mail.

I'll bet on ancient Romans against any theorist out there.

Well being the most widespred don't mean to be the best in combat. Actually, mail armour during roman times was sometimes reinforced with scales and plates. Scale and plate armours were surelly better, but more costly.

Quote:
Bye the way, chainmail is single most successful metal body armour of all history, so it is not just Romans who preferred it.
Actually, Lamellar Armour was the most widespread in the east of Eurasia, while in the Middle East every kind of armour converged, being mail armour specially popular in Europe.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thegn Ansgar View Post
Yes, I do have proof. I'd suggest to read the entirety of this article by Dan Howard, but I will quote the relevant parts here.

Full article: myArmoury.com: Mail: Unchained

Now you'll have to mind, that a lot of examples are from medieval maille, but the metallurgy is similar, as is the construction to Hamata. Apart from where it is found (i.e. in an excavated Roman fort for example, as opposed to an excavated medieval burial site), it is rather difficult to distinguish between the two, because they are so similar.

That's worth to read but like Cornelius said, this don't prove that Segmentata was inferior.

Furthermore I can't agree in several points that the article claim, and actually fail in some points but not always because their fault, for example:

Quote:
The Persian infantry found it hard to avoid the arrows shot from the walls by the artillery, and took open order and since almost no kind of dart failed to find its mark, even the mail-clad horsemen were checked and gave ground.

The above passage suggests that the Roman arrows, while effective against the poorly armoured infantry, did little to harm the Persian cavalry. One could surmise that the arrows had little effect on the armoured riders but caused some distress to their mounts, causing the cavalry to give ground

They are wrong, because the translation of the original latin is wrong. The original is this;

Ammianus Marcellinus: Liber XIX

Quote:
oppositis scutis Persae pedites sagittas tormentis excussas e muris aegrius evitantes laxarunt aciem nullo paene iaculi genere in vanum cadente: etiam cataphracti hebetati et cedentes animos auxere nostrorum.
And previously

Quote:
Cumque primum aurora fulgeret, universa quae videri poterant armis stellantibus coruscabant ac ferreus equitatus campos opplevit et colles.

I mean, the original author didn't tell about mails but armours. However the traslator equalled armour=mail.

Persians as Parthians used mostly scale armour, being mail used to a lesser degree.

No surprise if in the ME and eastern Asia, where projectiles were heavilly used across history, scale and lamellar armour was favoured.


Then the authors agree in some weapons that damage the mail: halberds, lances (pikes?), spears used while mounting, crossbows.

They claim that tests with longbows proved to be innefective, however the longbows were underpowered. Then they claim that no sword is able to trust the mail, probably no spear on food. I think that these tests were done with underpowered offensive attacks, since we know by historical accounts and pictures that this was common

(The guys on right corner)
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


I've read accounts about the conquest of my islands on how wooden javelins could pierce through mails.


The problem is that between tests and historical accounts, I mostly go with the last, since tests need to replicate an old reality while accounts tells the reality usually from the point of view of eyewitness.

Even tests that have very good material, fail to replicate important factors: for example the hability and training of the warrior with its weapon.




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I don't want to say that it was a poor armour, just it was one of the very best ever produced. But i think that it falls behind other types.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #38

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank81 View Post
Well being the most widespred don't mean to be the best in combat. Actually, mail armour during roman times was sometimes reinforced with scales and plates. Scale and plate armours were surelly better, but more costly.
Can you point me at some evidence that scale armour or Roman plate armour was more costly?

As much as I know, chainmail was quit expensive during Middle Ages. And while I can take plate for being perhaps somehow more expensive, production of scale armour seems to be much more easier. It consist of probably 10x less pieces which do not need to to be of especially good quality. Certainly chainmail is more difficult to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank81 View Post
Actually, Lamellar Armour was the most widespread in the east of Eurasia, while in the Middle East every kind of armour converged, being mail armour specially popular in Europe.
I was speaking about all times and all places.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #39

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Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
Not true. The Lorica Segmentata provides excellent protection for the shoulders and upper arms.
Shoulders, yes. But upper arms, I would definitely disagree. The bands stop well further above the elbow joint. The area from your wrist up to the base of your shoulder is still relatively exposed. Long coats of Hamata can go down to just above the wrist.

Quote:
I'm not denying that chainmail is very protective armour. Like I said, I can't prove that the Lorica Segmentata is superior to the Lorica Hamata - or the other way around, for that matter. I don't know if tests have been made - I haven't found any - but if not, we can really only speculate.
I'm simply saying that Hamata was in no way inferior to Segmentata in terms of protection.

Quote:
That's worth to read but like Cornelius said, this don't prove that Segmentata was inferior.

Furthermore I can't agree in several points that the article claim, and actually fail in some points but not always because their fault, for example:
And I was not attempting to say that Segmentata was inferior. Only that Hamata is much better than what everyone is attempting to argue.

Quote:
I mean, the original author didn't tell about mails but armours. However the traslator equalled armour=mail.

Persians as Parthians used mostly scale armour, being mail used to a lesser degree.

No surprise if in the ME and eastern Asia, where projectiles were heavilly used across history, scale and lamellar armour was favoured.


Then the authors agree in some weapons that damage the mail: halberds, lances (pikes?), spears used while mounting, crossbows.
Actually, the translation is difficult to ascertain. However, from Wikipedia about "Cataphracts" it states

Quote:
There appears to be some confusion of the term in the late Roman period, as armored cavalrymen of any sort which were traditionally referred to as Equites in the Republican period, later became exclusively designated as "cataphracts". Vegetius writing in the 4th century described armor of any sort as "cataphracts" - which at the time of writing would have been either lorica segmentata or lorica hamata. Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman soldier and historian of 4th century, mentions the: "cataphracti equites (quos clibanarios dictitant)" – the "cataphract cavalry which the they call Clibanarii," (implying clibanarii is a foreign term, not used in Classical Latin).
Clibanarii is a Latin word for "mail-clad riders", itself a derivative of the Greek: κλιβανοφόροι Klibanophoroi meaning “camp oven-bearers” from the Greek word κλίβανος, meaning "camp oven" or "metallic furnace".
It's safe to say that the Persian horsemen were armoured in mail.

Quote:
They claim that tests with longbows proved to be innefective, however the longbows were underpowered. Then they claim that no sword is able to trust the mail, probably no spear on food. I think that these tests were done with underpowered offensive attacks, since we know by historical accounts and pictures that this was common
Be careful using medieval artwork to show the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of armour. Medieval art shows people cleaving plate helmets and bodies. We know now, that such a thing is not the case. Empirical evidence is much more effective at determining what did what (i.e. testing a bow against armour), than looking at anecdotal evidence being done by an artist who likely didn't even witness the battle.

And they also did not claim the arrow tests to be ineffective, but rather they are presenting both sides. They are saying that the testers may have underestimated the power of the longbow, because to date there hasn't been a re-construction of both accurate armour and bow together.

There have been tests where longbows can penetrate cheaply made mail that would not have been worn by even a poor soldier. There have been tests of average (i.e. being in the middle on the draw weight scale) longbows that failed to penetrate armour that is accurate to the period and well made.

However, we really don't know the percentage of very high draw weight bows, to average bows. The other point to especially make note of, is that it's not comfortable to advance while having arrows being fired at you, regardless if you know your armour can protect you. There is still the fluke chance it can hit you in an unprotected area, go through an eye slit, hit you square in the face, etc.

Also, if you look up Atarn, which is an Asian bow testing group, you'll see that they tested bows which were composite recurve, but have the same-similar draw weight as an English longbow, and they used different arrow heads as well. They tested this against mail, and found that apart from 10 yards, all of the shots failed to penetrate the armour. And then at 10 yards, only one shot was able to penetrate both the armour and padding underneath.

What I am trying to argue, is to dispel the myth that chain armour was ineffective against all attacks except for slashing. The empirical evidence by the majority of tests done to it, have shown that such a statement is simply not true.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #40

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Originally Posted by Thegn Ansgar View Post
Shoulders, yes. But upper arms, I would definitely disagree. The bands stop well further above the elbow joint. The area from your wrist up to the base of your shoulder is still relatively exposed. Long coats of Hamata can go down to just above the wrist.
The Romans used the manica to protect the arm:

Click the image to open in full size.

Usually the right arm, as the left was holding the shield:

Click the image to open in full size.
Roman legionaries circa 100 AD looked like that. Peter Connoly is an archaeologist and has made realistic reconstructions of how the Roman army looked like. According to this reconstruction some soldiers used hamata, but the majority used segmentata.

Quote:
I'm simply saying that Hamata was in no way inferior to Segmentata in terms of protection.
As a rule plate armor is superior to chain armor in terms of protection. But is harder to manufacture and more costly. But given infinite money, the ideal armor was gothic plate armor. Since only kings had the $$, most soldiers used chainmail. The Early Roman Empire used the Lorica Segmentata due to their abundant wealth, as they were the only ancient Empire to equip entire armies with a form of plate armor.

Segmentata was laminated plate armor.

Quote:
And I was not attempting to say that Segmentata was inferior. Only that Hamata is much better than what everyone is attempting to argue.
It was better than nothing and was the standard armor used during the late republic. Lorica segmentata was used starting at the time of Augustus. By the time of Trajan it was the standard armor, apparently used by all Legionaries if these representations are accurate:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

It is nonsense to say that most Roman soldiers didn't wear armor.
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