Author Topic: Hoplite - Scale armour?  (Read 143 times)

Denis Grey

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Hoplite - Scale armour?
« on: November 02, 2019, 08:14:13 AM »
A friend of mine has just bought some hoplite figures from Forged in Battle, some of which are wearing what looks like scale body armour.  Assuming that this is historically accurate, does anyone know - or have any thoughts - what this is intended to represent?  Metal, some sort of padded or stiffened cloth, something else?
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Hoplite - Scale armour?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 06:06:24 PM »
Scale armour could be metal or leather; Tutankhamun's tomb contained a leather scale corslet, probably for practice as the inside lining was torn, apparently from repeated use.  Metal scale mail (bronze and iron) was popular with Assyrian and Egyptian armies, and was also adopted by others.

I would think the hoplite scale armour is most likely to be metal, possibly 'borrowed' from a previous Persian, Etruscan or even Roman owner.  It could conceivably be a linothorax reinforced/overlaid with metal scales, as in this depiction.

I await comment from those better versed in this particular field.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Hoplite - Scale armour?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 02:16:23 PM »
From the photos on the website, the Forged in Battle hoplites look to be in quite accurate armour. As Patrick suggests, most if not all Greek scale armour was in fact scale reinforcements over a linen, or perhaps leather, cuirass. Finds suggest the scale could be either bronze or iron. Some such cuirasses are more or less completely covered in scales, others only in parts. One of the best-known representations is Alexander on the Mosaic, who has a band of probably-iron scales over the lower part of his cuirass - see here, below the sash and above the pteruges.

For other examples see:
Here
Here, quite a famous example
Here

Of course other peoples used leather scale - this is a lovely example - so it's not impossible the Greeks did as well, but I don't know of any direct evidence for it, only for metal ones.
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Denis Grey

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Re: Hoplite - Scale armour?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2019, 04:13:42 PM »
Patrick, Duncan.

Thank you both.  I have passed this on to my friend with the Forged in Battle figures.  (He is a member of the Society, but, despite my urging, hasn't yet made it onto the forum.)

Denis
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