Armor

Recommended Armors

 

Lorica Hamata - Custom Lorica Hamata (Chainmail) offered by Soul of the Warrior. Probably the easiest armor to wear and maintain. Offered by Soul of the Warrior.

Lorica Squamata - Custom Lorica Squamata (Scale) offered by Soul of the Warrior. Lighter than chainmail and a good option if you have back issues. Offered by Soul of the Warrior.

Lorica Segmentata - Offered by the smiths at Fabrica Cacti, they make top-quality Lorica Segmentata of any type. If you want a Segmentata, buy custom! It is strongly recommended you have it custom made and fitted. An ill-fitted segmentata will make you miserable!!!

 

Or build your own Segmentata!

Instructions by Alex Matras, Legio XI Claudia

History

 

Lorica, the Latin word for armor, covers a wide range is types used during the Roman period.  The first century AD is no exception!  During this time the Romans used the subarmalis or thorocomachus (underarmor), hamata (chainmail), squamata (scale), segmentata (segmented plate), and musculata (molded plate).  We in the modern world have a strong concept of uniformity but in the classical world this was not the case. One type of armor was not specific to a single type of soldier, except for maybe the musculata.

Segmentata:

Probably the most recognizable type of armor is the segmentata.  It is commonly believed to have come about in the late 1st century BC and used up to around 280 AD.  Currently there are four versions of this type: Kalkriese, Corbridge A, Corbridge B, and Newstead.  Segmentata is Latin for segmented, but the actual name of the armor is not known.  The segmentata is composed of several segmented plates joined together: the upper half of the armor covering the shoulders and upper body is very similar to modern US football padding, the lower being several plates wrapped around the body joined in front and in the back.

 

The Kalkriese type (c. 10 BC-40 AD) is almost completely conjectural.  So far the only evidence for this armor is a breast plate and several hinge pieces.  The breast plate is the front left plate trimmed in brass, and the leather straps are riveted directly to the plate.  The plates for the lower half are somewhat of a mystery: we are unable to determine if they were joined together using leather straps or laced through metal hooks.

 

The Corbridge A and Corbridge B (c. 1st Century AD) are almost completely identical except for one thing: the Corbridge A has two leather straps in the front and four on the back, hidden inside the armor, holding the upper and lower half together. The Corbridge B replaced these leather straps with metal hooks and loops.  The lower half is held together by metal loops and lace.

 

The Newstead type (c. 100-280 AD) is a radical redesign of the armor.  The loops and lace that connect the lower halves together are replaced with brass loops and pins.  Instead of the two halves being pulled together and laced up, the plates overlap and the brass pins and loops join them together. The reconstruction of the shoulders for this armor is also somewhat conjectural, and is not ideal in its current form.

 

Out of these four variants, only three are acceptable for Legio VI F use: they are the Kalkriese, Corbridge A, and Corbridge B.

Hamata:

Hamata is a term used to describe chainmail.  Hamata was used by the Romans from its invention by the Celts in the 5th-4th centuries BC until 1453 AD when the Turks took Constantinople.  Up until the late Republican period hamata was reserved for the very best of troops, as armor was expensive and in the Polybian army system only the wealthier citizens could afford it, but during the late Republic this changed as more Senators slowly followed in the footsteps of Marius and the army began to becom professional and equipment government-funded.

 

Roman Hamata, historically, typically ranged from approximately 5-7mm in external diameter for the individual rings, and was constructed of a 4-in-1 pattern with alternating riveted and punched solid links. Roman maille used solid, circular rivets, not wedge rivets which appear much later in high medieval Germany. Some maille, such as the example from Leiden, was as small as 3mm external diameter, while contemporary Germanic and Sassanian finds typically used larger links than Roman maille, at about 8-10mm external diameter. Modern reproductions can't achieve such accuracy and functionality without paying exorbitant prices, but the maille we use in Legio VI FFC is relatively close.

Squamata:

Squamata is a term that is used to describe scale armor.  Squamata had been around since before chainmail, although the Romans seem to have begun using both at around the same time, and it lasted into the 10th century AD before lamellar made it totally obsolete.

 

The squamata would be held together through a series of holes at the top of each scale.  They would also be sewn on top of a sheet of linen to give it extra support and to help protect the soldier from the armor itself.  The scales themselves can be flat or dished, and many had a central ridge running down the middle. Roman scale armor had a staple connecting each scale to the next in each row, and some examples of "rigid scale" have been found where they are connected with brass staples in a construction similar to lamellar. The end of each scale may be rounded off or semicircular.

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