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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 1:18 am    Post subject: Announcing: Armour in Texts         Reply with quote

I think that this might be of interest to members of this forum: https://bookandsword.com/armour-in-texts/

Quote:
Armour in Texts is a collection of texts which say something important about armour, and advice on how to find more sources from particular periods. My focus is on providing the original language, but where possible I provide a translation. Some texts are hosted on my website, and others elsewhere. If there is a source on armour which you have heard of, and you are from North America or Western Europe and not a professional historian, Armour in Texts will probably let you find it and read it in full, not through a paraphrase or translated translation.

Armour in Texts is a work of world history. In principle, anything from the origins of writing to the abandonment of traditional armour belongs, whether slat and coin armour from the Pacific Northwest, or the hide armour in Classical Chinese texts. Right now, it is strongest on the western half of Eurasia, because those are the sources and languages which I know best. However, I welcome suggestions of other texts which could be included!

Armour in Texts is a selection, not a universal library. I see it as a resource which someone could read through and learn something important every few pages, not a vast database which drowns readers in details. One day I would like to turn it into a book, translating all the sources in languages which I know myself, and illustrating it to help readers who are not experts in a particular period or culture understand the things which the words pointed to. That said, it might be worthwhile to add a user-submitted tagging system, or a search tool for finding the same term in different languages.

In short, Armour in Texts is my own idiosyncratic project, based on my own idiosyncratic skills and interests, meant to help readers find and read primary sources on armour.
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool. IMO textual evidence is more useful than pictorial evidence. Looking forward to seeing how this project progresses.

Re Kendall's thesis: I think you can request a copy from here without paying a subscription.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/35853517_Warfare_and_military_matters_in_the_Nuzi_tablets

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this Sean.
…irinn go BrŠch
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,223

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a pleasant Sunday morning read! Happy Thanks, Sean!.....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys! There are a few things in there which are not so famous ... and I hope that remembering one website is easier than remembering dozens of books and websites, and the alphabet soup which you need to find inscriptions or cuneiform tablets or documents in archives.

I will try researchgate, and if it works I will add a link. I also added a note to find and include the bit in Caesar's Civil War about his soldiers making themselves armour to protect themselves against Pompey's slingers and archers.
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J. Douglas




PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for sharing! I will have to have a look now!
~JD (James)
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work Sean.

While going through the ancient texts I noticed that you didn't have any Hittite textual examples.

I know we have some preserved images of hittites with weapons and helmets (both hittite and egyptian), but do you know if we have any hittite texts with detailed descriptions of martial equipment?

The Annals of Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II should have detailed information about the composition of the army and its arms, manpower, numbers and recruiting according to this article (source below), that also have images of some of the depictions and archaeological finds of Hittites weaponry and armour (page 128-133).
See: https://www.academia.edu/3630153/Hittite_Military_and_Warfare_in_H._Genz_D._P._Mielke_Hg._Insights_to_Hittite_History_and_Archaeology_Colloquia_Antiqua_2_2011_125_151_with_J._Lorenz_

Currently the problem is the following according to the article:
"Because sources are rare, even some terms designating types of soldier remain obscure. Hittite administrative documents contain a large number of terms for weapons and equipment. Some records mention them in such large numbers that the state production and issue of military equipment seems possible, but the written sources are not sufficient to verify this assumption.
A survey of pictorial and archaeological evidence provides a synopsis of common military equipment and weapons. It must be noted that identification of archaeological types with terms of the cuneiform tradition as well as attribution of weapons to ethnic groups remains in most cases a problem
."

So it does seem like it's a problem that might be solvable if we can get a better grasp of Hittite terminology?!
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Mon 13 Mar, 2017 2:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Niels,

I have not been able to look at Hittite texts at all unfortunately. Apparently the place to start is a book by Beale "The Organization of the Hittite Military."

Generally, you can assume that in any area of arms-and-armour studies, there are whole shelves full of interesting sources in any big library which nobody interested in arms and armour has looked at within your lifetime (and quite a few of those are available to anyone with a connection to the Internet). But those texts won't get studied automatically: someone has to chose to do it, and invest the necessary time and labour. I have done what I can, and I hope that others will continue.

We only know anything about armour in the Nuzi texts, or Tutankhamun's scale armour, or the details of the weave of medieval shirt of mail because one person invested the time.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Mon 13 Mar, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Hi Niels,

I have not been able to look at Hittite texts at all unfortunately. Apparently the place to start is a book by Beale "The Organization of the Hittite Military."

Generally, you can assume that in any area of arms-and-armour studies, there are whole shelves full of interesting sources in any big library which nobody interested in arms and armour has looked at within your lifetime (and quite a few of those are available to anyone with a connection to the Internet). But those texts won't get studied automatically: someone has to chose to do it, and invest the necessary time and labour. I have done what I can, and I hope that others will continue.

We only know anything about armour in the Nuzi texts, or Tutankhamun's scale armour, or the details of the weave of medieval shirt of mail because one person invested the time.


Hi Sean.
Since the Hittites used cuneiform can you decipher at least some of it when they use established sumerograms and akkadograms?

We also have the problem, that if the terminology already is uncertain, then the Hittite texts that are translated (into english, frrench or german) might give a layman researcher the wrong ideas. [It is a place to start though].
So you have to have people with knowledge of hittite and an interest in arms and armour and they are probably not so common.

I've found the annals of Mursili II online here: So I will go have a look.
Source: http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/hittite/index_en.php?page=textes

Edit: While the text mentions in translation "army", "troops", "levy troops", "officers", "soldiers", "horsemen", "cavalry", "chariots" and "prisoners" it sadly says nothing of martial equipment.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Niels,

The one time that I looked at a Hittite text, I could recognize some of the logograms. But deciphering terms for arms and armour involves a lot of working through documents, many of which may be just published as sketches or photos, and I can't afford to spend the time. I would be better to spend it improving the languages which I already know a bit of.

Armour in Texts mostly contains texts which I discovered during my research or read years ago when I had more time. While I would love to spend more time on it, I can't afford to do that. But when I remember a source which should be included, or discover a new one, I try to at least add a note about it.
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David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't really have anything of import to add other than my praise for undertaking such a grand and helpful task.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Hi Niels,

The one time that I looked at a Hittite text, I could recognize some of the logograms. But deciphering terms for arms and armour involves a lot of working through documents, many of which may be just published as sketches or photos, and I can't afford to spend the time. I would be better to spend it improving the languages which I already know a bit of.

Armour in Texts mostly contains texts which I discovered during my research or read years ago when I had more time. While I would love to spend more time on it, I can't afford to do that. But when I remember a source which should be included, or discover a new one, I try to at least add a note about it.


Hi Sean.
So it could be technically doable, but extremely time consuming; so I totally understand your position (it's a PhD work in its own right).
There is actually not that much hittite textual stuff that is readily available on the net (with both facsimile, transcription and translation) from the search I casually tried. The source I gave in the above post are a really good one, but with only 5 texts.
So the possible "gold mine" for hittite terminology would likely be dry administrative papers and they are way behind the list of texts with historical and religious significance when it comes to available translations.

So the Mursili II text has lot of "campaign" info, if you have another "box" for such texts.
It has one occurrence of maneuvering, which is interesting (rear-attack).

15) "But after I had marched and arrived at Lawasa, my lord the awesome Tarhus worked a miracle: he threw a bolt of lighning. My army looked at the bolt of lightning, it looked at the land Arzawa, the bolt of lightning crossed and struck the land Arzawa. It struck Apasas, the town of Uhhaziti, it constrained Uhhaziti in his knees and he fell ill. Since Uhhaziti had fallen ill, he did not come to fight me, but he sent his son SUM.MA-dKAL with troops and cavalry. He came to fight me at the river Astarpa at Walma. Then I, the Sun, fought him. My mistress the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lord the awesome Tarhus, Mezzullas and all the gods came along with me. I defeated SUM.MA-dKAL the son of Uhhaziti with his troops and his cavalry and I injured him. Moreover, I caught him in the rear. I crossed the land Arzawa and I entered into Apāsa, the town of Uhhaziti. Uhhaziti did not resist and he fled in front of me. He crossed the sea toward an island. He remained there".
Source: http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/hittite/en_t...v_col2.htm
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi NIels,

I think that if ancient historians spent as much time studying combat descriptions in Assyrian epics and Babylonian chronicles as they do studying combat in the Iliad, the debate about ancient warfare would be in a very different place. But the good thing is that there is lots of room for different people to contribute! Ancient Near Eastern warfare, or arms and armour studies, are an area where discoveries can come "like arrows in an English battle" when you start looking at written sources. And a lot of those sources are available in free translations if you know where to find them.

The Ancient World Online https://ancientworldonline.blogspot.co.at/search/label/Hittite and the Melammu Project http://www.aakkl.helsinki.fi/melammu/home/homeres.php can be good places to find Near Eastern texts online.

Somewhere on my blog I have a link to the Hittite Rule for Palace Guards, and one of the standard English-language sourcebooks has the Instructions for Commanders of Border Posts (it might be Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament). Books like that are in a lot of libraries not just big university ones.

I will happily add the Annals of Mursilli II to the list of texts I would like to look at one day.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 407

PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, even if you can only read English- there are 14th century Arthurian stories, or 16th century memoirs, which I guarantee nobody interested in armour has read since Claude Blair died. And you don't need to know enough Latin to win a debate with Cicero to work with inventaries and letters. There are all kinds of questions that anyone patient can help answer if they sit down and read some sources looking for the bits on material culture- just like anyone can submit new photos to Effigies and Brasses, or tag a Manuscript Miniature for having a face shield.

I am just trying to put some of the sources that I know of in one place, make them easier to read, and provide translations.
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