Ελληνικά

Hellenic Armors - Katsikis Dimitris

Hellenic Armors

Ancient Greek Armors

Heavy Full-Metal Linothorax with Bronze Scales and Strips of Linen

5th B.C.

Experimental reconstruction of a heavy 5th century BC linothorax based on iconographic archaeological findings. The epaulets and the trunk of the thorax have a full-metal cover consisting of over 1000 wrought bronze scales properly fixed onto a thick linen layered cloth substrate. The chest area has been strengthened by a bronze plate of 1.2 mm thickness increasing the level of protection for the sensitive wider area of the heart. The strips are made of layered linen fixed in a double row (total thickness of 3 cm) adequately protecting the groin and thigh area, while allowing great freedom of movement for the hoplite (bending, running, etc.).

The fastening mechanism of the linothorax includes six mooring points, two on the chest and three on the left side of the abdomen. Fastening is ensured by sturdy leather straps and bronze rings. Stability of the linothorax in use is further enhanced by application of a robust leather belt with copper buckle wrapped around the scale-covered surface at the height of the abdomen. The total weight of the linothorax is 12 kg. In the inside of the linothorax, the hoplite is wearing a vest made from natural sheep fur ensuring acceptable levels of body temperature preservation in the cold months of the year during which campaigns began to be realised with increasing frequency from around the middle of the 5th century BC.

The wooden scabbard of the sword is suspended by a leather baldric on the hoplite’s left side. It is decorated with a bronze rosette and an elaborate wooden ending while a leather outer lining offers protection of wood and better fitting of the handle.

The greaves follow the late archaic fashion with their bold relief patterns that mimic the human anatomy of lower limbs. They are made from a unique plate of bronze, lined in leather for leg comfort, and are applied without the help of any leather straps, etc. Field testing concluded that support through mechanical pressure of the greave’s sides is not sufficient, thus the presence of leather "rings" is necessary. At the height of the ankle, therefore, there has been attached leather cushion stuffed with sheep wool acting as a greave stabilizer preventing possible vertical displacements caused by gravity and movements during walking and manoeuvring.

The open type sandals are made of leather. The leather sole has a thickness of 1 cm and the outer surface has metal hobnails that increase the adhesion of the stride of the soldiers on the battlefield.

The shield has a wooden core with a diameter of 90 cm. In the inside, it is lined with leather, and externally it carries a gold edged emblem. The handle is copper and is removable via a mechanism employing pins. Its durability has been tested in real combat conditions.