The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.




ing plate which covered the back. (Paus. x. 26. 2 ; Horn. II. xv. 530.) Both of these pieces were adapted to the form of the body, as may be per-

ceived in the representation of them in the wood­cuts at pages 135, 196. The two figures here introduced are designed to show the usual dif-

ference of form and appearance between the an­tique Greek thorax and that worn by the Roman emperors and generals. The right-hand figure is from one of Mr. Hope's fictile vases (Costumes of t/te Ancients, \. 102), and bears a very strong resemblance to a Greek warrior painted on one of Sir W. Hamilton's (i. 4). The figure on the left hand is taken from a marble statue of Caligula found at Gabii. (Visconti, Mon. Gab. No. 38.) The gorgon's head over the breast, and the two griffins underneath it, illustrate the style of orna­ment which was common in the same circum­stances. (Mart vii. 1. 1—4.) [aegis.] The ex­ecution of these ornaments in relief was more esp cially the work of the Corinthians. (Cic. Verr. iv. 44.)

The two plates were united on the right side of the body by two hinges, as seen in the equestrian statue of the younger Balbus at Naples, and in various portions of bronze cuirasses still in ex­istence. On the other side, and sometimes on both sides, they were fastened by means of buckles (irep6va.i, Paus. /. c.). [FiBULA.] In Roman statues we often observe a band surrounding the waist and tied before. The breast plate and the back-plate were further connected together by leathern straps passing over the shoulders^ and fast­ened in front by means of buttons or of ribands tied in a bow. In the last woodcut both of the connecting ribands in the right-hand figure are tied to a ring over the navel. The breast-plate of Caligula has a ring over each breast, designed to fulfil the same purpose.

Bands of metal often supplied the place of the leathern straps, or else covered them so as to be­come very ornamental, being terminated by a lion's head, or some other suitable figure appearing on

each side of the breast. The most beautiful spe­cimens of enriched bronze shoulder-bands now in existence are those which were found a. d. 1820, near the river Siris in S. Italy, and which are pre­served in the Briti.-h Museum. They were origin­ally gilt, and represent in very salient relief two Grecian heroes combating two Amazons. They are seven inches in length, arid belong to the descrip­tion of bronzes called epya <T(pvpr]\aTa, having been beaten into form with wonderful skill by the ham­mer. Brondsted (Bronzes of Siris, London, 1836) has illustrated the purpose which they served, by showing them in connection with a portion of an­other lorica, which lay upon the shoulders behind the neck. This fragment was found in Greece. Its hinges are sufficiently preserved to show most distinctly the manner in which the shoulder-bands were fastened to them (see woodcut).

" Around the lower edge of the cuirass," ob­serves Brondsted, " were attached straps, four or five inches long, of leather, or perhaps of felt, and

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of