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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, I'll chime in due to popular demand, though I'm not sure how much help it will be. Yes, my Legio XX site mentions references to the Roman subarmalis/thoracomachus, though at the moment I frankly don't recall all the research that went into that page! Besides the Anonymous description of the thoracomachus, the subarmalis is mentioned in (I believe) an equipment list of some sort. First century AD, maybe early 2nd century. Mike Bishop and probably a few people on RAT have better details at their fingertips. Anyway, there was a modern authority who came to the conclusion that "subarmalis" in that context probably referred to some sort of weapon, but Mr. Bishop appeared to have much better reasons for taking it as what we think of it as, a garment made to be worn under armor.

I'm pretty sure there is one other reference to subarmalis or Roman padding of some sort, though I just can't remember it, sorry! I don't think there's anything in Polybius, though. The other indication of padding under lorica segmentata is that moden repros worn without padding tend to show angled stress in the horizontal connecting straps on the breastplates, *which the originals do not show*. Padding the shoulders raises those plates and makes them hang straighter, alleviating that angled stress. However, there is a LONG discussion on RAT about this, with much familiar fur flying, and I don't think I followed the whole thing so there could very well be something I am missing.

My websites are often generalized and condensed since they are just intended to be "how-to" guides focusing on the hardware itself, rather than exhaustive academic analysis. Tempting as it is to include more raw data and analysis, I tend to keep in mind the rule, "The more you write, the less they'll read!"

For what it's worth, I see the Roman references as a sign of continuity in the use of padding under armor, since they are separated by several centuries. That does NOT necessarily support padding under armor in EARLIER times (Roman Republic, etc.), though it's at least a little better reason to suspect padding used later. BUT I also am wary of thinking, "Well, the Romans had it, so later folks must have as well!" The mention of hairy hides to pad against snakes is fascinating! To me, it just screams that such an idea was NOT widespread, or the hero would simply have said, "Well, I'll just wear the padding that goes under my mail!" He had to make something new up. Could almost be evidence of absence, eh?

I think it was Erik Schmid who suggested padded linings integral to mailshirts to me, or it may have been a conclusion based on Roman hamatae which are often (though NOT always!) shown in artwork with a border or edging of some sort.

Bottom line, I agree that there is no good evidence on the immediate subject, so that's how I'd go with a strict interpretation. If we're only talking *possibiblities*, however...

Matthew
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Matthew, haven't seen you around in a while Wink

Matthew Amt wrote:
The mention of hairy hides to pad against snakes is fascinating! To me, it just screams that such an idea was NOT widespread, or the hero would simply have said, "Well, I'll just wear the padding that goes under my mail!" He had to make something new up. Could almost be evidence of absence, eh?


As usual with period documents, the interpretetatoin depends a lot on the context. Again, it would be very useful to find the original term actually used to describe this "dress", but Saxo Grammaticus was writing a history of a period in this case a few centuries before his own lifetime, he was the secretary or clerk of an Archbishop, and he was describing the Danish culture to other educated Christians, essentially other clergy. Not to warriors necessarily. He may very well have been describing the padding worn under armor to an audience not particularly familiar with the finer points of military kit.

Ragnars principle innovation for fighting the serpent / dragons was actuallly his hair-covered (and frozen) wooden 'breeks', this was what earned him his cognomen. The "dress" stuffed with horse-hair is mentioned almost as an afterthought.

J

EDIT: Here is the original text in latin
http://www2.kb.dk/elib/lit//dan/saxo/lat/or.dsr/

and here in English.

http://omacl.org/DanishHistory/book9.html

Maybe somebody with better latin than mine can find the original latin section describing ragnars kit it might be enlightening. The relative section is found toward the end of book IX.

I think the relevant passage is somewhere in here:

Quote:
Dan 9.4.5 (p. 252,21 )
[1] Interea rex Sueonum Herothus, silvas forte venatione complexus, repertas a comitibus angues filiae detulit nutriendas. [2] Illa paterno ocius obsecuta praecepto, vipereum genus virgineis manibus educare sustinuit; quin etiam curae habuit, ut integrum bovis cadaver earum quotidie satietati suppeteret, ignorans se privato pabulo publicam sustentare perniciem. [3] Quae cum adultae pestilentissimo halitu viciniam urerent, rex, inertis operae paenitens, potiturum filia, qui pestem amovisset, edixit. [4] Quo non minori fortitudinis quam libidinis incitamento frequens iuventus adducta periculosam inaniter operam erogabat.

Dan 9.4.6 (p. 252,30 )
[1] Cuius rei summam Regnerus ab intermeantibus expertus, laneum a nutrice sagulum villosaque admodum femoralia, quibus inflictos anguium morsus elideret, expetivit. [2] Nam ut munimenti gratia referto pilis cultu utendum credidit, ita agilitatis causa tractabilem sumpsit. [3] Cumque navigio Suetiam appulisset, incidente gelu, aquis de industria corpus iniecit humefactamque vestem, quo minus penetrabilis redderetur, brumae durandam praebuit. [4] Qua amictus salutatos comites ad fidem Fridlevo servandam hortatus, solus procedit ad regiam. [5] Qua visa, ensem lateri nectens, dextrae telum inserit amentatum.

Dan 9.4.7 (p. 252,38 )
[1] Procedenti inusitatae magnitudinis obvius allabitur serpens; huic alter, granditate par priorisque prolapsum insecutus, arrepsit. [2] Qui iuvenem modo caudae voluminibus quatere, modo pertinaci vomitu ac veneno conspuere certabant. [3] Interea aulici, tutiora complexi latibula, perinde ac paventes puellulae rem eminus inspectabant. [4] Ipse rex pari metu perterritus in angustum cum paucis conclave refugerat. [5] At Regnerus, gelati cultus duritie fretus, non armis modo, sed etiam amictu virulentos frustrabatur assultus, solusque duarum rictum pertinaci spiritu virus in se profundentium infatigabili congressione sustinuit. [6] Quippe morsus clipeo, venenum veste respuit. [7] Ad ultimum excussum manu telum strenue incessentium se beluarum corporibus adigit, eoque utriusque praecordia lacerans, felicem pugnae eventum habuit.

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know Jean, translation is a huge issue here. I think one thing that we have to be careful of is we have a few padded garments or padded armour who's names have evolved into standard garment, though they were originally names for the padded armour.

Here's two:

kavadion - Byzantine, - I think the eaxct interpretaion is a garment made of valuable textiles, was a padded underarmour, another more current interpretation fo it is just a coat.

treyja - was mentioned earlier in this thread. Means a sweater now, getting it's name when apparently the design of the military treyja became fashionable as civilian wear.

I guess my point here is perhaps we should be careful and look closely if a translation mentions a warrior wearing a coat of some sort.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is also a type of quilted / padded garment worn in China and on the Steppes by Tartars, Huns, Kipcheks etc. both for warmth and as light armor, called the Kaftan. The Eastern Vikings would definitely have been exposed to this as well.

Here is an article about Eastern padded armor and under-armor:

http://www.geocities.com/normlaw/page1.html

His opening comments seem very relevant to our discussion:

Quote:
As was armour in the West, Eastern armour was worn over a padded garment. This garment, just as in the West, was generally a heavier version of the civilian garment which was in fashion at the time. In the East, this garment tended to be the Kaftan, though there were some exceptions.
(snip)
The Military Kaftan was made of thick wool, quilted cloth or leather, or of sheep skin with the fur on the inside. In addition to its use as padding, the Kaftan was often used on its own as a light armour.


Chinese peasants wore quilted-padded Kaftans as late as the Korean war.

He also mentions that Military Kaftans are depicted in a fresco found during the excavation of the Dura Europos Synagogue, which dates from the 3rd Century AD, and also in early Alexandrian era depictions of Persian Cavalry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos_synagogue

J

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is another contemporary form of islamic quilted padded armor / under-armor garment called a Jibbah. This is essentially a military kaftan.



Quote:
This long, quilted coat is known as a jibbah. It was worn by an Ansar, a Sufi Muslim warrior and follower of El Mahdi, in northern Sudan in the late 19th century. The split down the front enabled it to be worn both on horseback and on foot. Muslim Europeans would have worn it under mail but in the Sudan and Nigeria it was often worn alone. It is made from cotton called dammur, spun by women and woven by men. This jibbah has a more complex and colourful woven pattern than most, the conventionally vertical and horizontal quilting lines spaced 1-3 cm apart.


J

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:

(...)
treyja - was mentioned earlier in this thread. Means a sweater now, getting it's name when apparently the design of the military treyja became fashionable as civilian wear.
.

At least in the Swedish branch of the Scandinavian languages "treyja" or "tröja" to use a more modern spelling has chnaged it's meanign several times, basicly it's a reference to a piece of clothing that is worn on the upper body but the design and exact nature has varied and must be determined by context and time period.
For example in the 14th & 15th centuries a reference to a "tröja" describes what in english is a known as a "doublet".
The 'military' version is generally distinctive in that its called a "vapentröja" to distinguise it from the civilian "tröja".
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are two Chinese panoplies incorporating textile armor analagous to the type of 'military kaftan' the guy on the Silk Roads Armory wesbite was talking about, I'm not sure what era these are but I believe the same basic type of textile armor goes back to the Bronze Age in China.



These two panoplies would not be contemporaneous to the VIking era I'm sure of course.

J

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm still waiting for something that dates before the Middle Ages. There are plenty of examples of arming garments being worn under mail in the Middle Ages and beyond. They had telescopes and cannons during the Reianssaance. Does that mean that the Romans must have had them too? They had the skill and the materials to make them.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
I'm still waiting for something that dates before the Middle Ages. There are plenty of examples of arming garments being worn under mail in the Middle Ages and beyond.


You are playing games as usual, and nobody is here to satisfy you Dan. You have raised one dubious absurd objection or segue after another only to have them shot down one by one, then you throw out a new one.

But you apparently missed this which I'll repost to help focus your attention again:

Quote:
He also mentions that Military Kaftans are depicted in a fresco found during the excavation of the Dura Europos Synagogue, which dates from the 3rd Century AD, and also in early Alexandrian era depictions of Persian Cavalry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos_synagogue


You also have apparently been confused enough to forget about linothorax, and the numerous Byzantine references to padded armor which are contemporaneous to the Viking era and before.

J

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Mikael Ranelius




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:


Any idea when the Treyja was first mentioned?


According to the Swedish National Encyclopedia, the term is known from Old Swedish (early 13th century) as tröia, but it doesn't state specifically when or where it occurs for the first time. In Low German it was appearantly known as troie, and the term may have its origin in Old Frankish. Treyja is the Icelandic form, it might be found in the sagas but I can't vouch for it.

As a funny anecdote, the great 17th century Swedish Scholar and scientist Olaus Rudbeck argued that the ancient city of Troy was evidently founded by Swedes, since the city’s name, he asserted, was derived from the word [brynje]Tröja (= "mail shirt" in Swedish).

Daniel Staberg wrote:
For example in the 14th & 15th centuries a reference to a "tröja" describes what in english is a known as a "doublet".
The 'military' version is generally distinctive in that its called a "vapentröja" to distinguise it from the civilian "tröja".


AFAIK, vapntræiu is a word only to be found in Norwegian texts. “Pansar” or “pansare” are the only period Swedish terms I’ve come across (used in Norwegian as well).
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sources on chineese, middle eastern, roman, or even byzantine cloth armour still does not mean that cloth armour was in common use in northern europe. (which is the topic of this thread)
Unless one can establish a solid source on either cloth armour use in the region, or the wholesale adoptation of military techonology that used them, it is still just guesses.

There is no indication of such a adoption of byzantine military technology, so we can't asume that it was the case.

A seperate thread on early cloth armour would probably be in order.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Sources on chineese, middle eastern, roman, or even byzantine cloth armour still does not mean that cloth armour was in common use in northern europe. (which is the topic of this thread)
Unless one can establish a solid source on either cloth armour use in the region, or the wholesale adoptation of military techonology that used them, it is still just guesses.

There is no indication of such a adoption of byzantine military technology, so we can't asume that it was the case.

A seperate thread on early cloth armour would probably be in order.


We seem to be having multiple arguments overlapping here. We aren't assuming anything, we are demonstrating that it was plausible. Period. We aren't saying they definitely had it. Some people seem to be implying that they definitely didn't but I'm honestly not certain what Dan etc. are arguing, since they already admitted it isn't currently possible to know, presumably they are trying to establish that it is not plausible, and Dan specifically challenged us to find examples of pre-medieval textile armor that the Vikings may have come in contact with. You will notice his post a few inches above this one.

If there were archeological evidence of Viking textile armor then there wouldn't be a thread, it would be a one post answer to the OP "Yes there is, here is the link".

We are exploring the possibility, some of us think it was A) possible, and B) plausible.

We already know A) is true. The use of textile armor by the Byzantines in particular is very relevant to B) because we know for a fact the Vikings fought for the Byzantines in their army and then returned to Scandinavia. Whether you are comfortable with that link doesn't really matter to me to be honest, it is valid.

Along those lines, here is some more specific evidence of Byzantine textile armor from the Viking era, I just found gathered on this website:

http://www.geocities.com/egfroth1/ByzArmour2.html

These ikons date from the 10th-11th Century and depict soldiers and saints wearing the garment called Kavadion under other types of armor:







I'm not sure about the green textile cloth on this figures arms but it looks thick to me.

There is also an earlier Byzantine form of Textile armor called Zava but I have to pin down the references to it.

J

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Ste Kenwright




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Worried I wouldn't want to get told off for being off topic, but to help on the direct question about sources for the Roman 'subarmalis'. I am uncertain as to the precise identification as a fabric garment worn below armour, as I think 'terms' for garments and armour were used very loosely until much later in history.

In the above quoted passage of Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum L. IX from the middle paragraph (Oliver Elton's translation):
Ragnar, learning from men who travelled to and fro how the matter stood, asked his nurse for a woolen mantle, and for some thigh-pieces that were very hairy, with which he could repel the snake-bites. He thought that he ought to use a dress stuffed with hair to protect himself, and also took one that was not unwieldy, that he might move nimbly. And when he had landed in Sweden, he deliberately plunged his body in water, while there was a frost falling, and, wetting his dress, to make it the less penetrable, he let the cold freeze it.

I believe specific Saxo Grammaticus use of 'subarmalis' are GESTA DANORUM, LIBER IV:
Amlethus, cognita fraude, metum dissimulanter habuit, ducentisque equitibus in comitatum receptis, subarmalem vestem indutus obsequitur invitanti maluitque regiae simulationi periculose parere quam turpiter repugnare. Adeo honestatem in cunctis observandam putabat. Quem comminus obequitantem rex sub ipsa bipatentium portarum testudine adortus iaculo transegisset, ni ferrum subarmalis togae durities repulisset.

But Amleth, having learnt the deceit, dissembled his fear, took a retinue of two hundred horsemen, put on an under- shirt (of mail), and complied with the invitation, preferring the peril of falling in with the king's deceit to the shame of hanging back. So much heed for honour did he think that he must take in all things. As he rode up close, the king attacked him just under the porch of the folding doors, and would have thrust him through with his javelin, but that the hard shirt of mail threw off the blade.

and LIBER VII:
Tum vero conspectissimum virtutis argumentum exhibuit. Quippe subarmali tantum subucula fretus inermem telis thoracem opposuit.

It was then that he gave a notable exhibition of valour; for defended only by a shirt under his shoulders, he fronted the spears with unarmed breast.

The description I refer to in my post on the topic 'Thoromachus' (thoracomachus) of the garment being 'a finger thick' is from the anonymous C6th Byzantine Treatise on Strategey Section 16 (George T. Dennis (Ed. and Transl.), 1985, Three Byzantine Military Treatises, Washington). It's called a himation (tunic).
"Armor for the head, breastplates, and shin guards should be heavy enough to ward off injury nut not so heavy as to be burdensome and wear down the strength of the soldiers before they get into action. These should provide protection not only because of their material strength but because of their design and their smoothness, which should cause missiles to glance off and fall to the ground. There should also be a space between the armor and the body. It should not be worn directly over ordinary clothing, as some do to keep down the weight of the armor, but over a garment at least a finger thick (daktylos)... The rest of the troops may be provided with coats of mail, breastplates and head coverings fashioned of felt or leather... so that the rough material does not chafe the skin, they should wear padded garments (peristedidia, lit. 'cheast-wrappers') under them, as we recommend for iron breastplates and other items."

In that post I also give the reference for Mike Bishop's article on this subject.

'Subarmalo' appears in the inventory on the Vindolanda Tablet 184, but in a fragmentory section.

'Subarmalis', is used in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae VI 1.1 (perhaps late C4th), but I haven't tracked down the quote for you yet. Perhaps it's time to knock off anyway, I wouldn't want to overdo it...

Hope that helps Happy

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ste Kenwright wrote:

and LIBER VII:
Tum vero conspectissimum virtutis argumentum exhibuit. Quippe subarmali tantum subucula fretus inermem telis thoracem opposuit.

It was then that he gave a notable exhibition of valour; for defended only by a shirt under his shoulders, he fronted the spears with unarmed breast.

Hope that helps Happy


Wow.. Wow. yes I think that does help, thank you very much.

I suspect we can actually find more sources like this in some of the other sagas as well if we look a little harder. This is very interesting stuff, this entire thread has been very interesting, thank you.

J

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ste Kenwright wrote:
:
and LIBER VII:
Tum vero conspectissimum virtutis argumentum exhibuit. Quippe subarmali tantum subucula fretus inermem telis thoracem opposuit.

It was then that he gave a notable exhibition of valour; for defended only by a shirt under his shoulders, he fronted the spears with unarmed breast.

So what exactly is the word subarmali describing? A tunic? underwear? an arming garment? The phrase "unarmed breast" suggests that it was just regular clothing.


Quote:
The description I refer to in my post on the topic 'Thoromachus' (thoracomachus) of the garment being 'a finger thick' is from the anonymous C6th Byzantine Treatise on Strategey Section 16 (George T. Dennis (Ed. and Transl.), 1985, Three Byzantine Military Treatises, Washington). It's called a himation (tunic).
"Armor for the head, breastplates, and shin guards should be heavy enough to ward off injury nut not so heavy as to be burdensome and wear down the strength of the soldiers before they get into action. These should provide protection not only because of their material strength but because of their design and their smoothness, which should cause missiles to glance off and fall to the ground. There should also be a space between the armor and the body. It should not be worn directly over ordinary clothing, as some do to keep down the weight of the armor, but over a garment at least a finger thick (daktylos)... The rest of the troops may be provided with coats of mail, breastplates and head coverings fashioned of felt or leather... so that the rough material does not chafe the skin, they should wear padded garments (peristedidia, lit. 'cheast-wrappers') under them, as we recommend for iron breastplates and other items."

This suggests to me that the garment was intended to be worn under rigid armour such as a metal cuirass or perhaps lamellar. Mail is not rigid.

Quote:
In that post I also give the reference for Mike Bishop's article on this subject.

'Subarmalo' appears in the inventory on the Vindolanda Tablet 184, but in a fragmentory section.

'Subarmalis', is used in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae VI 1.1 (perhaps late C4th), but I haven't tracked down the quote for you yet. Perhaps it's time to knock off anyway, I wouldn't want to overdo it...

Hope that helps Happy


Yes it helps to demonstrate that the Romans made use of such a garment. There is nothing to imply that it was worn under mail. Segmentata cannot be worn without a padded undergarment. Mail does not need it - especially if it had its own integrated liner.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
I'm still waiting for something that dates before the Middle Ages. There are plenty of examples of arming garments being worn under mail in the Middle Ages and beyond.


You are playing games as usual, and nobody is here to satisfy you Dan. You have raised one dubious absurd objection or segue after another only to have them shot down one by one, then you throw out a new one.


Based on your logic I can use a photo of 16th century European plate armour as evidence that the Egyptians wore it a thousand years earlier.

Quote:
He also mentions that Military Kaftans are depicted in a fresco found during the excavation of the Dura Europos Synagogue, which dates from the 3rd Century AD, and also in early Alexandrian era depictions of Persian Cavalry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos_synagogue

How is this evidence of padding being worn under mail?

Quote:
You also have apparently been confused enough to forget about linothorax, and the numerous Byzantine references to padded armor which are contemporaneous to the Viking era and before.

How is this evidence of padding being worn under mail?
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Quote:
You also have apparently been confused enough to forget about linothorax, and the numerous Byzantine references to padded armor which are contemporaneous to the Viking era and before.

How is this evidence of padding being worn under mail?


Dan, you really amaze me. I have lost respect for you in this discussion. I just posted 4 images if Byzantine ikons where you can clearly see the padded garment worn under their armor, look at their forearms.

I don't think you are intellectually honest, you are obviously desperately invested in the idea that padded garments were not worn under mail, regardless of the evidence either way. There will be no way to convince you of anything, because your agenda is not to learn, but to obfuscate. Not unusual in internet discussions i guess, but I'm not engaging with you any more on this, it's a waste of time. Other people reading the thread can draw their own conclusions. I've learned a lot myself.

J

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
Can I assume that I and any other who like Dan woudl like to see evidence and sources for the viking use of padded garments under mail that would pass muster in an academic ccontext are also " intellectually dishonest"?

As some one with a degree in Archeology & history I have still to see valid historical evidence that the vikings used padded garments with their mail. Evidence that other cultures, some of which were incontact with the vikings, is not evidence that the vikings did so. The Byzantines use greek fire, composite bows, horse archers, kataphracts and elaborate army formations in the period in question. All of which any intelligent & practicaly minded warrior would recognise brought considerable advantages in battle. Yet we don't find any evidence that the vikings using those things just as there is no evidence that the vikings used byzantine style armour padding. The cultural, economic and technological factors needed to reproduce any of the above seems not have existed in 9th to 11th century Scandiniavia.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Jean,
Can I assume that I and any other who like Dan woudl like to see evidence and sources for the viking use of padded garments under mail that would pass muster in an academic ccontext are also " intellectually dishonest"?


Given that we have just seen literary evidence and sources posted a few inches above this post (the excerpts from Saxo) I would actually have to wonder about that, though I have not 'known' you on the internet as long as I have Dan. I've seen Dan chime in on many of these kind of discussions over the last several years in a way that seems intellectually dishonest in similar forum debates. You I don't know about, maybe you are only being snarky due to the nasty tone this thread has taken.

Quote:

As some one with a degree in Archeology & history I have still to see valid historical evidence that the vikings used padded garments with their mail. Evidence that other cultures, some of which were incontact with the vikings, is not evidence that the vikings did so. The Byzantines use greek fire, composite bows, horse archers, kataphracts and elaborate army formations in the period in question. All of which any intelligent & practicaly minded warrior would recognise brought considerable advantages in battle. Yet we don't find any evidence that the vikings using those things just as there is no evidence that the vikings used byzantine style armour padding. The cultural, economic and technological factors needed to reproduce any of the above seems not have existed in 9th to 11th century Scandiniavia.


And yet we know quite well that unlike with greek fire, the economic and technological factors for producing linen or other textiles were well within the capabilities of the Vikings, in fact textiles were one of their principle sources of wealth and trade (as I've pointed out before, Flax was used as a curreency in iceland).

More importantly, we often forget that Vikings didn't only live in Scandinavia. They lived in the baltic, in Russia, in Ireland, in Scotland, in Britain, in the Hebrides, Iceland, Greenland, northern France around Rouen, in Poland, in the Ukraine, and in Central Asia down around the Black Sea, in Anatolia with the Byzantines, and even, briefly, in North America.

And actually Daniel, we also know for a fact that the Eastern Vikings (the Rus) did in fact use horse archers and composite bows by the way, perhaps when you got your degree in Archeology and History you never heard of a Varjag or Druhzhina who were fighting with both lances and composite bows as early as the 9th Century and were armored like Katafracts.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druzhina

Varjazi bands are closely associated with Varangians (the terms were used interchangably) who were fighting for the Byzantine empire. I suspect the use of horse-archers didn't make it up to Scandinavia, any more than Norman heavy cavalry did, due to conditions on the ground as you say, in Scandinavia one did not have to face Steppe nomads or armored knights. But one did have to face spears, and we don't know any reason that conditions would or could have precluded the use of padded undergarments, in fact we know from modern testing that they would have offered considerable advantage. We know the Vikings lived all over the world as I pointed out, and we also know they tended to move back and forth a lot between all these places (like Harald Finehair as was already pointed out).

Again, noboy as far as I can tell has asserted that they were certain Vikings used padded armor, that there was academic or scientific proof, or a body of evidence suitible for a Masters or Doctorate Thesis. What we have said is that it is plausible and we have supplied evidence, with sources. As this thread has matured more evidence has come in from various other people, which seems alarming to some people, but I have personally found informative.

Please state clearly what your position is and then I'll be glad to address it. All I have seen so far from the other side in this debate has been attempts to shut the thread down, patronizing comments about education, and attempts to derail the discussion into segues and shoot holes in the evidence we have provided, which, when unsuccessful (when Dans bluff was called repeatedly, for example), are followed by reiterations that there isn't any proof.

We know there isn't any proof, either way. That is why we are having a discussion about whether it was plausible or likely.

J

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Last edited by Jean Henri Chandler on Fri 30 Jan, 2009 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen, this thread is starting to cross the line between debate and venom. Make your point, state your evidence, and do not make personal attacks.

Jean Henri Chandler: If you have a personal problem with Dan Howard, fine. But don't bring it into this thread. Feel free to debate him anywhere you disagree, but do not start bringing in past experiences or judgements of his character.

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