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Arms and Armour terminology!

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#1 Mythos_Ruler


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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:55 PM

Add to the list! I'll keep adding to the list. I'll alphabetize once we get some input.



-- Chieres/Manica: Segmented armour for the arms of a soldier (usually for a cavalryman) . Notably used by the Romans during the Dacian Wars and by Eastern "cataphract" style cavalry.

-- Chamfron: Armour for the face of a horse.

-- Peytral: Skirt armour for the chest of a horse.

-- Is there a separate name for the horse chest armour that is one solid piece rather than a skirt?

-- Parameridia: A piece of armour for a cavalryman's legs, usually scale mail or lamellar mail over layers of leather. They often look like small "wings" on the side of a horse.

-- Crupper: Armour for the hind-quarters of a horse.

-- Gorget: A single piece of armour protecting the upper chest/neck area of a soldier.

-- What is the scale neck collar for the Persians called?

-- Tube & Yoke Corselet: Synonymous with the apocryphal "linothorax."

-- Thorax: Body armour. Cuirass.

-- Hemithorax: Half-cuirass or breastplate. Presumably referring to metal armour only covering the chest or front.

-- Greaves: Shin guards. Can "snap" over the shin and be held in place by the calves, or fastened with straps.

-- Lorica Segmentata: A modern term for the segmented Roman armour of the Trajan era.

-- Lorica Hamata/Hauberk: Chain mail body armour.

-- Lorica Squamata: Roman/Latin term for scale mail body armour.

-- Pteruges: Groin straps; overlapping strips of linen or leather that protect the lower part of the body, sometimes a far down as the knees.

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#2 LCJr



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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:58 PM

Are you planning to break this down by century or period(i.e. Republican, Imperial, etc...) as well?

Also pet peeve on the terminology. Mail is simply mail, not chainmail and you don't add mail to end of everything i.e. scalemail. Sorry:)


Worn by Romans under armor to prevent chafing, damage to clothing and possibly reduce the impact of blows. Like many things it's rather vague as to what it exactly was. One fourth century AD reference refers to a padded garment with a leather covering(or separate leather garment worn over it) for waterproofing.

-Lorica Plumata Modern term(?) for an expensive armor worn for high ranking officers. Basically a mail shirt with small scales attached. The scales have a raised central ridge and thus resemble bird feathers. Beside looking good the ridge makes the scales stronger.

-Lamellar Similar to scale, armor composed of rectangular plates which are laced together so each plate is connected to the plates above, below and on each side. Used some by the Romans in the later periods and widely used across Asia.

-Caparison Cloth or felt covering for horses body. Mostly ornamental but depending on type of material used could provide some protection.

Edited by LCJr, 07 December 2011 - 01:11 AM.

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#3 LCJr



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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:19 PM



Spear 6-10 ft in length, primary weapon of the Hoplite. Unique features of the Dory are that the shaft narrows towards the head and it has a pointed counterbalance(sarouter). Shifting the center balance to the rear(2 ft from the end?) allows the spear to have more 'reach' when used overarm.

-Sarissa Heavy pike 13-21 ft in length wielded with both hands. Weapon of the famed Macedonian Phalanx.

-Xiphos Generic term for the 'leaf bladed' short sword. Double edged with a thrusting point, the blade is narrower at the hilt and widens towards point giving it the leaf shape. Capable of thrusting but the point heavy design favors cutting.

-Kopis Generic term for the single edged sword with a forward curving blade, similar to the Iberian Falcata and the Nepalese/Gurhka Kukri. Most have a tip capable of thrusting but is obviously designed for powerful cuts. Hilt is typically C shaped with the wings most likely to prevent slipping and provide protection for the hand.

Xyston, Kontos Long(-13'/4m) cavalry lance most likely wielded with both hands. The Xyston was used by the elite Macedonian heavy cavalry. The Kontos(Greek for oar or barge pole) originated in Persia. Keep in mind cavalry of this era didn't have stirrups so they were used as thrusting weapons rather than couched like a medieval knight.


-Aspis Generic term for the large, heavy round shield used by the Hoplite. The shield is primarily constructed of wood with a dished or bowl shape. Usually has bronze reinforcement of the rim or the entire shield face may be sheathed in bronze. Typically richly decorated. Note: I've also seen the term hoplon used for the shield with others saying the term hoplon is a more general term with meaning closer to 'arms and armor of the hoplite'. I'll leave that one for the experts.

-Pelta, Pelte, Peltarion Small crescent shaped wicker shield used by skirmishers and light infantry. Described by Aristotle as being covered with sheep or goats skin. Term was later also applied to the smaller round shield carried by Macedonian phalangites.

-Thureos Oval shaped shield of leather covered wood with boss and raised spine. Greek version of the Celtic(Galatian) shield. Name means 'door stop' a reference to the oval shaped stones Greeks use to prop their doors open.

Edited by LCJr, 07 December 2011 - 01:47 AM.

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#4 General Octavian

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:38 PM
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#5 Gothic



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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:35 PM

Gladius Hispaniensis-
Fulham Gladius-
Pompeii Gladius-
Mainz Gladius-
Coolus Helmet-
Montefortino Helmet-
Imperial Gallic A-
Etruscan Corinthian Helmet-
Some of these are on the main site though, so I probably should remove them.

Edited by Gothic, 23 March 2012 - 04:35 PM.

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#6 wrod



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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:04 AM

Khopesh- an egyptian scycle shaped sword. With an easy cutting curved blade an false blade on the other side to and u could stab with it at the same time so its perfect to use against shields by hooking over it pulling it back then stabbing etc.

And LCjr the dory was also used for throwing(favorite weapons for spartans) then they take out their swords daggers MACHETES etc....
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#7 Burzum



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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:32 PM

Scutum (Roman)
The Famous Roman Shield.

Roman Javelin.

Hoplon/Aspis (Greek ὅπλον)
The Greek Round Shield.

Hence the Greek soldiers name "Hoplite* derives from the hoplon shield.
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Lorica Squamata
Roman scalemail armour.
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Galea (Roman helmet)

Pugio (Roman Dagger)

Edited by Burzum, 02 March 2013 - 09:36 PM.

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#8 Burzum



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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

Hasta (Roman spear)

Ocrea (Roman legging)

Clipeus (Roman oval shield) -- Normally used by the auxila infantry in the Imperial era.

Parma (Roman round shield) -- Often used by Roman cavalry

Verutum (Roman standard javelin)

Balteus (Roman standard shield)

Cassis (Roman helmet)
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#9 Lion.Kanzen


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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:05 PM

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#10 wolflance



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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:15 AM

Pectorale is the Roman term of the small breastplate used by early Roman and Iberian soldiers. The Greeks call it 'kardiophylax'.


Mitra is a separate groin plate that can be found on some Greek muscle cuirass.

Edited by wolflance, 23 March 2014 - 11:20 AM.

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