Lorica Hamata vs Lorica Segmentata

Which type of armour do you think was the best?

  • Lorica Hamata

    Votes: 28 45.9%
  • Lorica Segmentata

    Votes: 33 54.1%

  • Total voters
    61

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,887
UK
I find it hard to believe it penetrated the plates unless it was spring steel against iron. If both were iron it may have creased it, but edged weapons are generally useless against plate defenses, as has been shown by many modern tests. There is some debate that Lorica segmata may have been rare in the legions to begin with due to cost, possibly the harness of wealthier romans, officers, or special units
The Falx could penetrate Sheet metal upto 1.4mm thick and that was using modern mild steel (Sim, 2000, pg 40).

I'm not saying it's able to be done every single time, but it can be done. Plus, it would depend on the which evolution of the armour was used.

As for shoulder protection, certainly the Segmentata was superior in that respect, but segmented armour could be applied to mail for the shoulders. A reconstruction was actually made for this purpose.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,887
UK
Do you have any historical sources of other than Smmitt who basicaly simply specifies based off the Trajani Trophy?(Which btw has very poor artwork, the Gallic helmet doesn't even look real sometimes)

I am definetley a 2 handed weapon designed to completely maul through thick shields have more trauma than a small mace.

With all due respect, have you read his work or my post? Not many competent historians accept the Trajan column as anything other than decorative.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,617
USA
Lorica Segmentata is about 1.5-2mm of mild steel I believe which would be case hardened.

From I know from Roman art, the Falx varied in length probably. Can you give me details of the Falx you used?
 
May 2014
247
U.S.A.
The Falx could penetrate Sheet metal upto 1.4mm thick and that was using modern mild steel (Sim, 2000, pg 40).

I'm not saying it's able to be done every single time, but it can be done. Plus, it would depend on the which evolution of the armour was used.

As for shoulder protection, certainly the Segmentata was superior in that respect, but segmented armour could be applied to mail for the shoulders. A reconstruction was actually made for this purpose.
Was this steel fastened to a post, or held in a vice? On a human body a lot of penetration is lost on the target being knocked away. Cutting a thin piece of steel held rigid on a vice doesn't accurately test the weapons capabilities. If the steel was fastened to a pork shoulder and hanging from a chain, we would have a better idea what it was capable of. This is why a smaller blunt trauma weapon, like a warhammer could do more damage than a large cutting weapon, as all the force of the blow could be transferred through the armor, without displacing the mass of the target. None of the force of the blow would be lost.
 
Dec 2009
5,615
Canada
Lorica Segmentata is about 1.5-2mm of mild steel I believe which would be case hardened.

From I know from Roman art, the Falx varied in length probably. Can you give me details of the Falx you used?
Lorica segmentata is 1.5-2 mm of wrought iron that was usually work hardened and only occasionally case hardened.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,617
USA
Both the Trajan Trophy and Trajan's Column are propaganda. Both show Dacians as unarmored savages when archeological evidence finds that they were well armored in scale and proffesionalized close to Roman Legions.

However I have quesions for the Trajan Column skeptics.
-How do you know the people wearing chainmail are not Legions and people wearing Segmentata not Auxilia?
-Auxilia did most of the fighting. Why would a piece of propaganda portray that rather than the glorious citizens of Rome crushing the Dacians?
-We can conclude that the Lorica Segmentata would stand up to the Falx if it was struck on the shoulder. However I question the two-handed Falx is wieldy enough to make a hooking attack to the thighs or armpits. Certaintly the 1 handed Falx(as Trajan's columm depicts) would be me more suited to defeating the Segmentata. Decabulus I believe was said to have adapted to Roman warfare, the 1 handed Falx seems to be a better completment to the Gladius since you can use a shield.
 
May 2014
247
U.S.A.
Both the Trajan Trophy and Trajan's Column are propaganda. Both show Dacians as unarmored savages when archeological evidence finds that they were well armored in scale and proffesionalized close to Roman Legions.

However I have quesions for the Trajan Column skeptics.
-How do you know the people wearing chainmail are not Legions and people wearing Segmentata not Auxilia?
-Auxilia did most of the fighting. Why would a piece of propaganda portray that rather than the glorious citizens of Rome crushing the Dacians?
-We can conclude that the Lorica Segmentata would stand up to the Falx if it was struck on the shoulder. However I question the two-handed Falx is wieldy enough to make a hooking attack to the thighs or armpits. Certaintly the 1 handed Falx(as Trajan's columm depicts) would be me more suited to defeating the Segmentata. Decabulus I believe was said to have adapted to Roman warfare, the 1 handed Falx seems to be a better completment to the Gladius since you can use a shield.
We can't really take any roman account as gospel, they were some of the worst about propaganda
 
Lorica segmentata is 1.5-2 mm of wrought iron that was usually work hardened and only occasionally case hardened.
Correct me if I'm wrong but in his book "Iron for The Eagles" Sims confirms from literary and archaeological record the Romans had the following ways of making steel

1. Cementation
2. Decarburization of Cast Iron accidently made
3. Heat Treatment
4. Annealing
5. Case hardening of an outer steel layer to an inner Wrought Iron core
6. Possibly Crucible Steel

Furthermore the study concludes that Roman Blooms are underestimated and could easily go beyond 1600 degrees.

My understanding was there was a tiny layer of outer steel to Lorica Segmentata Plates and it just doesn't make sense to be able to make steel armor then not make steel armor to me.

Romans used wrought iron for disposable weapons but for more permanent fixtures I thought used their inefficient steel manufacturing methods.

I was also under the impression that an outer layer of steel with a wrought iron core=case hardened steel.

Would you mind correcting me if I'm wrong?
 
Dec 2009
5,615
Canada
Correct me if I'm wrong but in his book "Iron for The Eagles" Sims confirms from literary and archaeological record the Romans had the following ways of making steel

1. Cementation
2. Decarburization of Cast Iron accidently made
3. Heat Treatment
4. Annealing
5. Case hardening of an outer steel layer to an inner Wrought Iron core
6. Possibly Crucible Steel

Furthermore the study concludes that Roman Blooms are underestimated and could easily go beyond 1600 degrees.

My understanding was there was a tiny layer of outer steel to Lorica Segmentata Plates and it just doesn't make sense to be able to make steel armor then not make steel armor to me.

Romans used wrought iron for disposable weapons but for more permanent fixtures I thought used their inefficient steel manufacturing methods.

I was also under the impression that an outer layer of steel with a wrought iron core=case hardened steel.

Would you mind correcting me if I'm wrong?
You are mostly correct on those points. However, he also goes into the issue that numerous different pieces of Segmentata have been tested, and only a small minority of them were case hardened. The rest were wrought iron that had been work hardened.

However, heat treating and annealing are generally not used to create steel. They're used to give certain properties to metal (strength, springiness, etc.) but it won't turn iron into the alloy steel.

Case hardened steel is generally used to refer to mild carbon steel that has been case hardened. If the material is iron, then it is considered case hardened iron.

It's not so much that they were able to make steel armour. It's that they tended to use the steel that they were creating for blades as opposed to armour. Steel lends itself much better for blade making, and the wrought iron they were using was still a high carbon content. Not worth it to go through all of that extra steps to make something that could feasibly take a while to make, when using a "lesser quality" material will still do just as good of a job in regards to protection.

It's the same reason why munitions grade plate was developed. It was quick, and cheap to make, and afforded acceptable protection on the battlefield. It's one of those situations where if something doesn't have to be done, then there's not much point in doing it.
 
You are mostly correct on those points. However, he also goes into the issue that numerous different pieces of Segmentata have been tested, and only a small minority of them were case hardened. The rest were wrought iron that had been work hardened.

However, heat treating and annealing are generally not used to create steel. They're used to give certain properties to metal (strength, springiness, etc.) but it won't turn iron into the alloy steel.

Case hardened steel is generally used to refer to mild carbon steel that has been case hardened. If the material is iron, then it is considered case hardened iron.

It's not so much that they were able to make steel armour. It's that they tended to use the steel that they were creating for blades as opposed to armour. Steel lends itself much better for blade making, and the wrought iron they were using was still a high carbon content. Not worth it to go through all of that extra steps to make something that could feasibly take a while to make, when using a "lesser quality" material will still do just as good of a job in regards to protection.

It's the same reason why munitions grade plate was developed. It was quick, and cheap to make, and afforded acceptable protection on the battlefield. It's one of those situations where if something doesn't have to be done, then there's not much point in doing it.
Thank you for the answer; but to follow up will high carbon iron do the job/has it been tested?

Conventional wisdom has always been the iron makes poor armor so I am genuinely curious.
 

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