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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jun, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Bardunias,

On Friday 8 June 2018, you wrote:
Greek artists surely thought you could stab a man through his bronze cuirasse. Here are a couple images I just found with a quick search. There are quite a few showing the T-Y penetrated as well.

Or the artists were depicting legendary heroes who could accomplish superhuman feats, or they were putting the spear points in artistically convenient locations (e.g., not in the face, which would obscure the face, or in the groin, which would obscure the spear head). I'd class these images with the ones in the Maciejowski Bible that show helmets being split with sword blows. Piercing a tube-and-yoke armor seems perhaps less unlikely, but may still fall into the pictures-of-superheroes category depending on the image's subject.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jun, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
If Greek armors were normally impenetrable, this passage in Herodotus where he has to explain why Masistius's armor is impenetrable makes little sense to me: "The cavalry charged by squadrons, and Masistius' horse, being at the head of the rest, was struck in the side by an arrow. Rearing up in pain, it threw Masistius, [2] who when he fell, was straightaway set upon by the Athenians. His horse they took then and there, and he himself was killed fighting. They could not, however, kill him at first, for he was outfitted in the following manner: he wore a purple tunic over a cuirass of golden scales which was within it; thus they accomplished nothing by striking at the cuirass, until someone saw what was happening and stabbed him in the eye. Then he collapsed and died.".

Masistius was wearing scale armour, not a plate cuirass. Masistius's scales were made of iron, not bronze, and they were gold plated. We have extant examples of this kind of Persian armour dating to the same time period. Masistius was stabbed in the eye because his attackers could not penetrate his armour. Best to read these texts in their original language.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books


Last edited by Dan Howard on Fri 08 Jun, 2018 3:30 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jun, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoffroy Gautier wrote:
I'm not very knowledgeable on Bronze Age warfare,

Why would you need to be? Pretty much all of the extant bronze cuirasses date to the Iron Age. Bronze continued to be used to make armour for a thousand years after the end of the Bronze Age partly because it provided better protection than iron. Iron never surpassed the protection provided by bronze until the intricacies of quench-hardened steel were understood.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books


Last edited by Dan Howard on Fri 08 Jun, 2018 3:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jun, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
Greek artists surely thought you could stab a man through his bronze cuirasse. Here are a couple images I just found with a quick search. There are quite a few showing the T-Y penetrated as well.


These aren't photos. They are the equivalent of modern comics depicting superheroes. Source analysis is a critical requirement before blindly relying on these kinds of references. It should be taught more stringently at universities.

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Paul M. Bardunias




Location: Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
Matt, do you know anything about 3-D weaving? They may have woven the multiple layers directly together rather than required any stitching or, cough...cough...glueing, after the fact. Giannis and I are thinking of trying to make a corselet directly woven into shape.


OOOOoooo, I hadn't thought of that!! Heavens, I should have.


You know Giannis Kataglou I am sure from the RAT days. He and I were discussing making a linothorax from the ground up literally. He owns a farm, and we were discussing growing the flax from seed, then doing the whole process. We will need much in the way of intellectual help, love for you to help advise us. I am thinking of maybe starting a kickstarter.

http://hollow-lakedaimon.blogspot.com/
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Paul M. Bardunias




Location: Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Masistius was wearing scale armour, not a plate cuirass. Masistius's scales were made of iron, not bronze, and they were gold plated. We have extant examples of this kind of Persian armour dating to the same time period. Masistius was stabbed in the eye because his attackers could not penetrate his armour. Best to read these texts in their original language.


You missed the point of my posting that reference. I agree that Masistius was wearing iron scale armor and have written as much. In fact I think his armor was especially heavy even for scale because he was a cavalry officer. the shield-less cavalry of the day needed heavier armor, as we can see many times in Xenophon's Anabasis, where they have to scrounge up metal thorakes for the men they are going to mount to counter the Persian horse, and later when Xenophon himself dismounts to prove he can march with the men even though he wear a thorax.

That said, why is this story worth repeating if everybody in a bronze thorax had this level of protection? The "surprise" of a surcoat mentioned earlier, surely lasted no longer than the first "clank", and no Greek would have expected a Persian cavalry officer to be unarmored. The surprise, as I see it, is that, unlike their own bronze armor, they could not jam their spears through iron scale backed by padding at a weight suitable for a cavalryman. Thus, bronze thorakes were not expected by hoplites to be proof against such hard strikes.

As to vases being comic books, sure, you could be right. They could be showing heroes doing the impossible stabbing of weapons through armor. But the plainest reading of the vase is that the audience thought you could put a spear through a bronze thorax if you hit just right.

http://hollow-lakedaimon.blogspot.com/


Last edited by Paul M. Bardunias on Sat 09 Jun, 2018 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paul M. Bardunias




Location: Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tor G. wrote:

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
You should read my book if you are interested in how large groups coordinate their movement and the way men actually fight when life is on the line as opposed to the play-fighting you have probably seen ad nauseum online.

That honestly sounds very interesting. I saw 5 minutes of one of your interviews were you talked about it. Definitely something I'll check out. Probably useful for the AI as well.


What I do for a living is develop algorithms from the study of group behavior in social insects for use in swarm construction in robots. I present that as bona fides to my knowledge of crowd mechanics- which is half of ancient battle in my opinion. I can definitely help you with AI issues.

Tor G. wrote:

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:

Dan Howard wrote:
Putting your spear through armour won't incapacitate a person unless you achieve a significant level of penetration. 4-6 inches seems to be the accepted depth.


That is way too deep. I recently came across a study of vital target depth to assess hazards of being accidentally stabbed by industrial robots, I will post a pic below.


I wish I'd seen that a month ago.. But it corresponds well to what I've been finding looking at human anatomy.


One caution is that those are depths-to-organ, you need to add a cm or 2 to actually damage them.


Tor G. wrote:

When it comes to the torso armor. From what I've read, a linen version is what I'm looking for.
What is known about the metal scales that sometimes accompanied them?

Would the metal scales extend to the back?.


Scales come in a bewildering variety of shapes. If you need images for the game, I have a file of vase images I compiled when I wrote my book. As to placement, the pattern seems to go like this, from less to more: right side panel or center belly panel, whole section around the belly and back, as previously, plus the upper chest, as previously plus the shoulder yoke and "skirt" (which is really not a skirt and should not extend past the groin. It is a flexible section from the hips down to cover the belly and allow bending. The old metal thorax often had a separate belly plate to do this.

http://hollow-lakedaimon.blogspot.com/
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2018 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
That said, why is this story worth repeating if everybody in a bronze thorax had this level of protection? The "surprise" of a surcoat mentioned earlier, surely lasted no longer than the first "clank", and no Greek would have expected a Persian cavalry officer to be unarmored. The surprise, as I see it, is that, unlike their own bronze armor, they could not jam their spears through iron scale backed by padding at a weight suitable for a cavalryman. Thus, bronze thorakes were not expected by hoplites to be proof against such hard strikes.

The original text makes it clearer that the surprise is in the fact that they initially thought that they were stabbing someone who was unarmoured. You lose these nuances when you rely on translations,

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Tor G.





Joined: 28 Mar 2018

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun, 2018 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
What I do for a living is develop algorithms from the study of group behavior in social insects for use in swarm construction in robots. I present that as bona fides to my knowledge of crowd mechanics- which is half of ancient battle in my opinion. I can definitely help you with AI issues.

I'm not sure about the programming. It isn't me doing it. But I'll definitely ask you if it encounter problems!

Paul M. Bardunias wrote:
Scales come in a bewildering variety of shapes. If you need images for the game, I have a file of vase images I compiled when I wrote my book. As to placement, the pattern seems to go like this, from less to more: right side panel or center belly panel, whole section around the belly and back, as previously, plus the upper chest, as previously plus the shoulder yoke and "skirt" (which is really not a skirt and should not extend past the groin. It is a flexible section from the hips down to cover the belly and allow bending. The old metal thorax often had a separate belly plate to do this.

Thanks. Sure, if it isn't much trouble, I'd very much like the images. I'll send you a request and a message with an email address.




To everyone else who have contributed to the thread. I really appreciate it. It's been a lot of help!
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2018 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Setting aside the question of whether ancient spears could penetrate ancient torso, there's a surprising amount of evidence that 15th/16th pikes & halberds/pollaxes could pierce at least low-quality infantry breastplates/faulds/tassets.

Fiore de Liberi wrote of a thrust with a pollaxe point he expected to penetrate torso defenses.

I've never be able to find the original source, but by various accounts Pierre d'Aubusson received an incapacitating wound from a Turkish spear that pierced his breastplate during the Siege of Rhodes 1480. This spear may have been thrown; there's plenty of evidence that a thrown spear can pack enough kinetic energy to pierce even high-quality armor by the numbers. I've posted about this in the past.

In the late 15th century, Jean de Waurin wrote that there was no armor Flemish pikes couldn't pierce or break.

You see various images of pikes pierce breastplates in period Swiss (and other) chronicles.

One test of an extant late-period halberd against a munitions-grade infantry breastplate achieved penetration via a thrust from the halberd's top spike.

In 1586, Cesare d'Evoli wrote that armor, including plate armor, frequently failed against a variety of weapons, pikes included.

15th/16th plate armor could be very low quality, possibly significantly worse than bronze. (The tests I've seen haven't experimentally confirmed that bronze is actually as good as mild steel.) I suspect it was usually thick enough to stop pikes, at least by the 16th century, but that some torso defense were too thin and/or slaggy to resist a powerful thrust.

The notion armor necessarily protected against the weapons it was supposed to protect against isn't supported by 15/16th-century sources. Poor-quality armor existed, and could fail.

So, depending on the exact period and kit employed, point design could be relevant for piercing torso defenses.

Given how thin much ancient armor apparently was, I strongly suspect it failed at times.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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