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.
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.