C5th Armour padding

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Postby WorkMonkey » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:59 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:
I think that the tube under the armpits is a line of padding. It certainly works well no the one that Wendy made for me. As for the lower one, it LOOKs like it might be edging with pteruges hanging from it but it's not very clear.


Ah yeah I can see the pteruges now, they look abit stiff though, more like they're part of the padding...and silvery bits on the scabbard! flash! 8)


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Postby Medicus Matt » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:20 pm

WorkMonkey wrote:
Medicus Matt wrote:
I think that the tube under the armpits is a line of padding. It certainly works well no the one that Wendy made for me. As for the lower one, it LOOKs like it might be edging with pteruges hanging from it but it's not very clear.


Ah yeah I can see the pteruges now, they look abit stiff though, more like they're part of the padding...and silvery bits on the scabbard! flash! 8)


There's a theory that pteruges were not the thin, almost decorative bits of leather or linen that are usually depicted, rather that they were substantial enough to be of some protection, so either thick leather/hide, stiffened fabric or possibly even padded. Makes sense, given that the upper arm and upper thigh are common target areas for a hroizontally delivered blow.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:24 pm

egfroth wrote:Matt, is that picture directly from the tombstone shown laid out flat or is it a re-draw by somebody later ? The reason I ask is that it seems unusual to see one of these things depicted separately, rather than being worn on the body.


Althought it is redrawn, it is as shown on the tombsotne (ie laid out flat). THe stone also showed a helmet, shield, sword with baldric and a pair of greaves, all laid out seperately.
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Postby WorkMonkey » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:07 pm

Makes sense that they'd be thicker to absorb a blow, your legs dont really provide a solid base to cut against since they'd start buckling as soon as they receive impact so you wouldn't need alot just to absorb and disperse the blows energy, odd that he's shown only with his under armour and not what goes on top, unless this is being used as a stand alone armour, in which case roman military ideas have changed greatly since werent the praetorians shamed by being made to parade in only their under armour?


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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:46 pm

WorkMonkey wrote:werent the praetorians shamed by being made to parade in only their under armour?


If you're referring to the events from the reign of Severus, retold by Herodian (Book II, Chapter xiii) then the literal translation is, I think, 'holiday uniforms'...then they were stripped of ALL military equipment...which I would have thought that they were either down to their tunics or buck naked.


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Postby egfroth » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:14 am

Well, it looks more like padding than anything else, but a case could be made for it being some form of lamellar, perhaps.

The Strategikon of Emperor Maurice (end of the 6th century) prescribes "tunics" (don't know the original Greek word, but the assumption is that these are padded) as the protection of the regular infantry, though the cavalry are suppose to have mail.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:37 am

egfroth wrote:Well, it looks more like padding than anything else, but a case could be made for it being some form of lamellar, perhaps.


Yeah right...made from big long lames that wouldn't bend anywhere. Behave. :wink:

egfroth wrote:The Strategikon of Emperor Maurice (end of the 6th century) prescribes "tunics" (don't know the original Greek word, but the assumption is that these are padded) as the protection of the regular infantry, though the cavalry are suppose to have mail.


What the author of the Strategikon actually says is that infantrymen
“...should wear either Gothic "tunics" (armilausa, or αρμιλαυσιον if you want the original greek)
coming down to their knees or short ones split up the sides...”


These armilausa are described by Isidorus of Seville (also 6th C) thus:
"armilausa are so called by the people, because they are cut
and open front and back, but closed only on the arms" (Etymologies Book XIX Ch 22 line 28)
Interesting sounding garment...does that mean it's fastened at the front and the back?

Yet ANOTHER 6th C Byzantine text (the Anonymous De re Militari ) gives us this:

(Armour) should not be worn directly over
ordinary clothing, as some do to keep down the weight of the
armour, but over a himation at least a finger thick. There are
two reasons for this. Where it touches the body the hard metal
may not chafe but may fit and lie comfortably upon the body. In
addition, it helps to prevent the enemy missiles from hitting the
flesh because the metal is kept away from the flesh.


Interesting in itself but what's also worth noting (in a deeply sad, geeky sort of way) is that the ancient greek 'himation' (which just means 'outer garment') was usually worn over a 'chiton' (same word used for either tunic or dress) When worn on it's own, it was referred to as "achiton" (without chiton)...which presumably gives us the root for 'aketon' (the greek letter chi, written 'X'. was pronounced a bit like the 'ch' in 'loch', rather than the 'ch' in 'chips')...which rather shites all over the theory that it comes from the Arabic "Al-qutn" or "Cotton" (which I've always thought was a bit iffy)


Dear gods....has anybody else noticed this? All the etymologies I've read all state that aketon is derived from the Arabic but this greek root, derived from outer garment, seems much more likley. Do I tell the world or do I let it languish here in the 'Mud-eaters' part of the forum? Ghah, I need to talk to Dr Timothy.


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Postby egfroth » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:26 am

Ghah, I need to talk to Dr Timothy.


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Postby Timothy » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:51 pm

There are a couple of reasons why it is less likely that aketon came from Greek. For one, medieval Greek has a well-established vocabulary for arming garments, while, as was noted, khiton is a generic term. For another, we did get a term from Greek in the form of gambeson. from vamvakion, the Greek word for cotton, via medieval Latin wambasium, and Norman French wambase.

But it is probably a bit simplistic to assume a single avenue of transmission anyhow. In any city in the Levant one would have heard Greek and Arabic, as well as less familiar laguages side by side. A Frank hearing an Arabic speaker extolling the virtues of his al-qutun over his Romiosi neighbour's khiton might not have been able to tell the terms much apart. Then there are all the permutations canvassed on the Camp Fire Forum thread on this subject.
Bad diction is hardly an invention of modern English, however much it may have been taken to new heights in our inner cities and new breadths in the media!

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Postby burton_kane » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:57 pm

just a little more help on this item.

what thickness of leather should i be using, which type of split would be the best?

got the linen and wool part made as close to the image shown. of course it’s my interpretation as there many different styles of the same item on the various group on the net.


many thanks for the help so far.

Gary



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Postby Medicus Matt » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:26 pm

burton_kane wrote:
what thickness of leather should i be using, which type of split would be the best?

got the linen and wool part made as close to the image shown. of course it’s my interpretation as there many different styles of the same item on the various group on the net.


Which bit are you making out of leather? If you're making the thoracomachus as described then are you making the cover as a seperate piece (it was to be worn OVER the padding to stop it from getting wet and soaking up heavy moisture when it rained.

Or are you making it with an outer face (ie a linen, wool and leather sandwich)?

Either way, I wouldn't use cow leather, I'd go for goat, or even elk hide. Both make excellent, tough but soft and very flexible under-armours. No dearer than good quality veg-tan cow.


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Postby burton_kane » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:35 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:Or are you making it with an outer face (ie a linen, wool and leather sandwich)?

Either way, I wouldn't use cow leather, I'd go for goat, or even elk hide. Both make excellent, tough but soft and very flexible under-armours. No dearer than good quality veg-tan cow.


going for the linen wool and leather sandwich. it's the type i prefer the sound of. although the seperate leather cover would make it easier to keep clean.



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Postby Nigel » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 pm

The only interpreatation of this i have ever seen looked wrong for some obscure reason


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby burton_kane » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:35 pm

Nigel wrote:The only interpreatation of this i have ever seen looked wrong for some obscure reason


i guess that can be a problem, with out a phys rep of the item found in good condition we all look at what is out there and the few reference and make up our own mind as to how an item should look.

i'm not saying what i'm make with be 100% correct. it will look ok i hope and will be hidden under the armour so it won't be seen that much. once its completed i'll post some picture for people to see and comment on good or bad. comments will be welcome so will improvements.



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Postby Nigel » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:10 am

O meant the thorawjhat you call it

Looke dlike an ECW buff coat


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:26 am

That'll be the illustration in the De Rebus Bellicus. The thracomachus on a stand with the coat of Libyan Hide displayed seperately. It does like all kinds of wrong but then it is a medieval copy of a copy of a copy etc etc.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:31 am

burton_kane wrote:
i'm not saying what i'm make with be 100% correct. it will look ok i hope and will be hidden under the armour so it won't be seen that much. once its completed i'll post some picture for people to see and comment on good or bad. comments will be welcome so will improvements.


With the linen/wool/leather construction, you've gone for option D...commonly known as the "making sh*t up" option. How correct it may or may not be is a moot point as there's no evidence for a construction of this type.


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Postby Nigel » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:45 am

The one Debs made for graham was felt filled from that reference from Caesar


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Hobbitstomper » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:57 am

A leather gambeson stuffed with wool? Sounds like an easy way to get heat stroke. Not only do you take away the possibility of heat loss by convection (because leather doesn’t breathe, particularly when weighted down with armour) you lose the possibility of conduction because of the wool insulation.

This is going to get very hot and sweaty. Make it in linen and the fighting will be much more fun.



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Postby burton_kane » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:23 pm

good point with the heat problem. used the basic part this weekend at out first training day of the year. which is just the inner linin and wool layer just to see how well in padded out the maile took a few blows to he body even a couple from jonny, hardly felt them.

so i may change track and go for a linin outer as well. as it is you need to be up close to notice the padding.

again thanks for the help.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:54 pm

The leather was only supposed to be used in wet weather to keep the rain off and to stop the padding from soaking up half a ton of moisture.

Actually, I might be forced to make one as it'd be the ideal thing to wear over mail when it starts to lash it down.


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Postby WorkMonkey » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:26 pm

burton_kane wrote:good point with the heat problem. used the basic part this weekend at out first training day of the year. which is just the inner linin and wool layer just to see how well in padded out the maile took a few blows to he body even a couple from jonny, hardly felt them.


Ahh, so you're in Johnnys new group then? I wondered where all this migration talk was coming from. I'll have to drop him a line to see whats happening with this.

Wm


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