The case against linothorax

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Postby Ty N. » 25 Aug 2015 06:14

It's strange that the Greeks would make an issue of it. Whether the cuirass belonged to Philip II or to his son Arrhidaeus seems less important than the general assumption that the object itself falls within the time-frame of a few decades in the late 4th Century B.C. We have no idea if either men actually owned or wore that armor, or if it was merely placed there as a funerary tribute. There are simply too many variables.
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Thearos » 25 Aug 2015 22:18

It's true that "linothorax" is not an ancient noun--it's an adjective, which means "wearing linen cuirasses"-- which should be enough to give pause (though yes, it is in the Iliad).. It's also true that the Alexander Mosaic doesn't make clear the material of the cuirass-- but it does seem to be a Roman era copy with a lot of rather good stuff. The padded cuirass worn by Alexander is not a question of when Plutarch wrote, but whether his sources were reliable-- and some of them were. In any case, padded textile or layered textile garments do appear on red figure vases (sometimes with padded strips that look like gambesons. Pic attached.

I am less than convinced by Andrete's reconstructions, and rather agree with a very critical review by Duncan Campbell:

https://www.academia.edu/7536950/Review ... rete_et_al

But the issue will not go away: in the vases, used by Peter Connolly for his reconstruction, you can see that the cuirass is being wrapped around, and has stiff shoulder thingies that stick up in the air, before being bent into place--
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revel ... n_2307.jpg

The Vergina cuirass could be an iron version of the "linen" (whatever it was made of) cuirass, just as the Greeks wore bronze versions of their hats (pilos, but also petasos: shown by N. Sekunda in his rather wonderful Osprey Elite on the ancient Greeks).
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Dan Howard » 25 Aug 2015 23:15

Thearos wrote:But the issue will not go away: in the vases, used by Peter Connolly for his reconstruction, you can see that the cuirass is being wrapped around, and has stiff shoulder thingies that stick up in the air, before being bent into place--

So? Proper quilted textile armour is as rigid as a board and will flex exactly as suggested in the illustrations (it flexes like plywood). Layered leather will also flex in the same manner. I know it is hard for people to handle the extant examples in various museums, which it why I keep saying to go and get ahold of some kendo kote. It will show you how rigid quilted cloth can be.
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Thearos » 26 Aug 2015 01:37

Yes, but it can't be a solid metal sheet, as on the Vergina cuirass-- when you open that, the iron does not spring back vertical.
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Re: Re:

Postby Thearos » 26 Aug 2015 01:43

Dan Howard wrote:
Ty N. wrote:From the link you provided, it seems the article is saying Philip II's remains were at Tomb #1

Exactly. However, the iron cuirass came from Tomb #2, which was originally thought to belong to Philip II. A good case has been made for the last fifteen years that it was actually the tomb of Philip III, but the Greeks refused to acknowledge it. Now, with the new evidence from Tomb 1, it seems certain that Tomb 2 belonged to Phillip III, but the Greeks are still refusing to acknowledge it. The best rebuttal they seem to have these days is "nah ah, you are all poopy heads".


I do wonder what the latest round is-- I also read that some osteo-archaeologists arguing about the remains in the larnax in tomb II being Philip II.

There is a good summary of the debate by M B Hatzopoulos (yes, a Greek scholar, but a really fine one) here

http://www.tekmeria.org/index.php/tekmi ... ew/216/336

-- which at least has the blow by blow account (note that the challenges to the Philip II identification were almost immediately mounted by other Greek scholars). Hammond and Lane Fox are pretty firmly in favour of Philip II, and so is Hatzopoulos.
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Dan Howard » 03 Sep 2015 14:35

Thearos wrote:Yes, but it can't be a solid metal sheet, as on the Vergina cuirass-- when you open that, the iron does not spring back vertical.

Absolutely. Some of these cuirasses were covered in scales - including the shoulder flaps. These types don't have springy shoulders either.
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Thearos » 06 Sep 2015 04:13

In this famous vase painting of Achilles bandaging Patroklos, you can see that the shoulder flaps are reinforced with scales (as, indeed, the whole corslet, whatever its composite construction)-- and that one of the flaps has twanged open, springing back to a vertical position.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... armour.jpg
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Dan Howard » 06 Sep 2015 14:59

Yeah but his willy is hanging out too. :P
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Thearos » 07 Sep 2015 03:13

The arming cap might be made of wicker
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Re: The case against linothorax

Postby Dan Howard » 07 Sep 2015 14:15

If it is made of wicker, it can't be an arming cap.
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