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Kieran Wardale




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Apr 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Gladiator padded armor         Reply with quote

I've seen many films depicting roman gladiators wearing thick sleeves of what looked like wool or cotton on their arms or underneath leg armor. I'm guessing that these had a similar purpose as a gambeson, to cushion a blow, or maybe a relation to their development in Europe. If any one could shed some light on this it would much appreciated. Happy
A man who speaks out of both sides of his mouth deserves to have it permanently shut.
Boyd Crowder
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have little idea what was worn under any kind of Roman armour. It is likely that segmentata required an undergarment of some kind that was heavily padded at the shoulders but we know nothing about other kinds of under-armour. IMO scale, mail, and solid cuirasses probably had integrated liners of some kind - not a separate arming garment.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gladiators aren't really my thing, so I haven't studied them closely, but the quilted limb defenses appear to be an interpretation of something in artwork that might be, well, quilted limb defenses! They aren't meant to be padding under other armor. They *could* be a misinterpretation of segmented metal armor, but like I said, I haven't studied the artwork in question.

I suspect that modern reenactors like them because they are relatively easy to make and they soak up impact, allowing a little less caution in their fights.

Matthew
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 277

PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like some padding for the greave http://www.tforum.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=33181
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
Looks like some padding for the greave http://www.tforum.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=33181


So it does! Thanks, hadn't seen that one, it's pretty unambiguous, at least on that lower leg. But notice on their arms--quilted fabric, or segmented metal? I believe the little ties hanging off are taken as arguments for quilted fabric. Though when the segmented metal armguards are found, every plate has a hole at each end, aside from the rivet holes for the internal leather strips--the rivet holes have rivets in them, the holes at the ends of the plates do NOT, so they must have been for laces of some sort. I made mine with a spiral leather lace to hold the leather lining in place, and every bend of the arm makes the plates cut the lacing like scissors! If every hole had its own little thong for tieing the armguard to the arm, well, probably the same thing would happen. But those holes are there for a reason...

Anyway, I'm undecided. Segmented iron and brass armguards are very well documented; I don't know if there are any literary references which might help either way. These depictions don't look bulky enough to be thickly padded cloth, to me. I guess padding doesn't seem *showy* enough for a gladiator, for me! Wouldn't we expect to see red or purple cloth, with spiffy embroidery on it? Plain white seems odd, in spite of traditional white tunics and togas--or maybe because of them? These guys are all about show, after all.

Matthew
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