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Lorica Segmentata
Time Period: 1st century BCE to 3rd century CE
Location: Rome
Common Construction: Iron strips

Lorica Segmentata is the modern term for the armor worn by the Romans around the turn of the century. It consists of broad metal strips that wrap around the body horizontally, and more overlapping strips covering the shoulders. The armor consisted of four sections fastened together with leather straps, and could be separated for compact storage.

In most movies, the Romans are wearing lorica segmentata because it was the only armor used exclusively by the Romans. However, historically this armor was reserved for the heavy infantry, and auxiliaries would typically wear lorica hamata. This is still a matter of debate among scholars though, because suits of lorica segmentata have been found in places where no heavy infantry were stationed.

Armor, BCE 01st Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, History, Rome, Torso


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Recent Reader Comments:

Comment From: Alex --

Excellent piece. You forgot one fine point.The pilum was spcaielly forged with an untempered shaft set into a reusable wooden handle, so that when it hit an enemy shield the metal shaft would bend and render it useless (i.e. it couldn't be hurled back at the Romans). The head was also made so that it would get stuck in the enemy's shield, and because it bent down, it would turn the shield into an anchor, usually causing the shield's owner to throw it away.The Romans would gather up the used pila and give them to the legion's blacksmiths, who would straighten the shafts. Then they'd be reissued to the soldiers.Clever fellows these Romans!

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