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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Mentions of Ancient Linen Armour         Reply with quote

[url]http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/texts/Cassius_Dio/78*.html[/url]
7 1 He was so enthusiastic about Alexander that he used certain weapons and cups which he believed had once been his, and he also set up many likenesses of him both in the camps and in Rome itself. He organized a phalanx, composed entirely of Macedonians, sixteen thousand strong, named it "Alexander's phalanx," and equipped it with the arms that warriors had used in his day; 2 these consisted of a helmet of raw ox-hide, a three-ply linen breastplate, a bronze shield, long pike, short spear, high boots, and sword.

[url]http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alexander*/4.html[/url]
8 After sending this message to Parmenio, he put on his helmet, but the rest of his armour he had on as p323 he came from his tent, namely, a vest of Sicilian make girt about him, and over this a breastplate of two-ply linen from the spoils taken at Issus. 9 His helmet was of iron, but gleamed like polished silver, a work of Theophilus; and there was fitted to this a gorget, likewise of iron, set with precious stones

[url]http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Aeneas_Tacticus/E*.html[/url]
First of all, to the aliens who had established themselves there in anticipation of what was to take place, and to the unarmed citizens who were to be accomplices there were brought in linen corslets, cloaks, helmets, shields, greaves, short swords, bows, arrows, stowed away in chests like those of merchants, with the statement that clothing and other merchandise were in them.
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have no idea why my links aren't working. Confused
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 1:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are over thirty mentions of linen armour in the classical Greek and Roman texts. Pretty much all of them refer to it being foreign in origin, not Greek or Roman. It was definitely worn by Greeks in the Bronze Age but the evidence dries up after that.
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Matthew Amt




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

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's an excellent description of a linen cuirass donated to a Greek temple by an Egyptian pharaoh, Amasis. It says each cord was spun of 365 individual threads. This is clearly not regular linen fabric, but must be *twined*, a method still used for rugs and handbags. Here's a sample I did:



The mentions of "2-ply" or "3-ply" have to refer to twined linen, as well, since 2 or 3 layers of garment-weight linen (or even canvas!) isn't going to do much for you!

I think it's Galba in the Year of Four Emperors who is said to have worn a linen cuirass, too.

Matthew
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len, are you just looking for mentions or do you have another idea you want to discuss? Or better yet NEW information to share as there's not much new out there...and we look for it all the time!

There have also been many discussions on this topic here and elsewhere which might be of interest to you if you are not already aware of them.
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nope, not looking. I was honestly unaware there were so many known mentions of linen armour in the ancient texts.
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Mon 25 Dec, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the mention of the corslet:
From: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh3040.htm
"and of the corslet which Amasis the king of Egypt had sent as a gift to them; for the Samians had carried off the corslet also in the year before they took the bowl; and it was of linen with many figures woven into it and embroidered with gold and with cotton; and each thread of this corslet is worthy of admiration, for that being itself fine it has in it three hundred and sixty fibres, all plain to view. Such another as this moreover is that which Amasis dedicated as an offering to Athene at Lindos".

Matthew, your project reminds me of this vase:
https://i1.wp.com/www.proprofs.com/flashcards/upload/q3613689.jpg
Notice the cords hanging down on the skirts. To me it looks like the sides of the tunic and skirt are also held together with cords. The artist seems to be creating a dappled look on the garments (except on the guy on the right). This could be scale, but could also be what's described above. I would ignore the white patch across the chest. The artist is leaving that blank to show the outline of the right arm and hand. I'm guessing this has aleady been discussed on RAT. Greek armour's not my usual study.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Dec, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fringes and tassles are an artefact of early weaving techniques. They aren't an indicator of twining. There are at least a dozen interpretations of the armour in the above "Warrior Vase" and all of them are valid based on the available evidence. IIRC Matt has already reconstructed two different interpretations - both are pretty cool.

We know that there were at least three ways to make linen armour.

1. Many layers (10-30) of cloth stacked and quilted
2. Stuffing a shell like a cushion and compressing it with quilting.
3. A few layers (2-3) of twined linen

We also have examples where 1 and 2 were used in the same construction.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Todd Feinman




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Feb, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm about halfway done with a twined Greek armour, made from $2,000 worth of hemp cord:



After twining it I soak it to tighten the twining and make it less likely to shrink later. This is a section that is soaked, and so strong, it is standing up on its own:


After I am done with a spolas:

https://www.romanarmytalk.com/showthread.php?tid=30681&page=7

I will be back to it! I DO think that the cords shown at the ends of ptyreges in Greek depictions as well as the Alexander Mosaic, are twined ends. The tube and yoke armours shewn without them, or composed of panel sections, I believe are spolioi.

Todd
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Feb, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm looking forward to seeing you finish this Todd.
Éirinn go Brách
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Feb, 2018 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Todd Feinman wrote:
...I believe are spolioi.


Every time you use that word, it hurts. Razz "SPOLADES", please! Gonna make Greek armor, you gotta learn to speak like a civilized man!

The twined linen corselet is FABULOUS, of course!

Matthew
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Todd Feinman




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Feb, 2018 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the correction, Matt! I'm learning the ways of you Greeks! But, I am really enjoying it. Thanks for getting me interested in them!
Todd
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Feb, 2018 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, yeah, blame it me, ha!

Matthew
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Todd Feinman




Location: USA
Joined: 15 Mar 2007

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 12 Feb, 2018 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
I'm looking forward to seeing you finish this Todd.

Thanks! me too. WTF?!

Todd
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