Home Forums Ancients Mycenaean Nobles in Dendra bronze corselet…

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  • #75173

    Paskal
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    Mycenaean Nobles at the time they wore the Dendra bronze corselet:

    1/ Did they have the famous shields of their time, the ‘figure-of-eight’ and ‘tower’ shield ?

    2/ Could they fight on foot with their Dendra bronze corselets ?

    3/ Could they fight on foot with their Dendra bronze corselets and ‘figure-of-eight’ or ‘tower’ shield?

    4/ And in their chariots, these Mycenaean Nobles in Dendra bronze corselets could use also in battle  the ‘figure-of-eight’ or ‘tower’ shield ?

    Thank you

    #75174
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Paskal, if you haven’t seen these, you may find them interesting:

    My guess is that the Dendra armour was essentially for chariot warriors & precluded the need for shields but I am speculating.

    donald

    #75186

    Paskal
    Participant

    Interesting these ideos, thank you …

    Precluded the need for shields, but do not confuse the bronze armor with the armor of the fifteenth century in Europe …

    In my opinion, there may be also, a question of size creating a lack of mobility …

    We must beware of illustrations in the books…

    #75203
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Paskal, it *is* hard to reconcile Homer’s Achilles, bounding over the battlefield like a tiger with someone encased in Dendra armour but I think the re-enactors have shown their is a reasonable amount of mobility. If they mainly fight whilst on a chariot, that seems to mitigate any loss of mobility, anyway.  You are aware that there are other finds of bits of armour that appear to be similar to the complete armour of Dendra? Not to mention Linear B pictographs that seem to replicate Dendra armour? In other words, Dendra-wearing chariot-lords may have been not uncommon.

    If the bronze armour is less effective than C15th plate, so too are the weapons of the Bronze Age less efficacious than medieval ones.

    I take your point about modern illustrations but on the other hand, without any written information, informed speculation is necessary.

     

    regards, donald

    #75205

    Paskal
    Participant

    Dendra-wearing chariot-lords may have been uncommon.;;What time?
    Because during the Trojan War, the ‘figure-of-eight’ and ‘tower’ shield may still be worn, as they are vaguely described, but it had to be rare, ditto for the Dendra bronze corselet, but again, there seems that only Telamonian Aias wears this type of armor completely obsolete.

    #75246
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    , there seems that only Telamonian Aias wears this type of armor completely obsolete.

    Paskal, I tend to think wargames’ armies/modern illustrations etc that show massed chariot formations, all manned by Dendra-wearing crew, are probably inaccurate. At any time.

    I’m always impressed by your trying to divide the Mycenaean period up into changes of style. I’m aware of some changes (especially in sword fashions) but I’m by no means very knowledgeable. I do think it possible that earlier fashions might linger on.

    I think any certainty would only be possible if the tomb of that great sheep-slaughterer, Ajax, was found & excavated &, preferably,  lying on his suit of Dendra armour & underneath his tower shield were  his memoirs, no doubt written in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

    BTW my beloved Mycenaean army would probably horrify you as it contains figures/units from whatever period: early & late.

    best regards, donald

    #75253

    Paskal
    Participant

    Donald, I understand what you say…

    I have an army of the first Mycenaeans to face other first Mycenaeans or the Hittites …

    Another army for the last Mycenaeans to face the Trojans or any opponents of the sea peoples , since the last Mycenaeans themselves were one of  of the sea peoples …

    I also have a Trojan army consisting of figurines designed as Trojans by the factories that sell them…

    And finally an army of Greeks from the time of Homer, the 8th century BC homemade manufacture …

    To return to the Telamonian Aias, according to the post-Homeric tradition, he is invulnerable. Quintus of Smyrna notes in Homer’s Suite: “The spear (…) does not start the delicate skin, although it strikes it in full swing.

    Fate does not want an enemy trait, heavy with sobbing, to be drenched with blood on the battlefield. ”

    That’s why Telamonian Aias wore maybe the Dendra bronze corselet, (according to Peter Connoly who also peeled the iliad …) …

    When Akhilleús put it on his sacred armor he tested it :’to see if it allowed his limbs free movement.’

    This would be essential for anyone wearing the Dendra bronze corselet, with its cumbersome shoulder guards and girdle plates.

    But it would not be necessary if he was wearing the simple corselet of the last Mycenaeans days.

    According to the legend Akhilleús could only be wounded in the heel.

    The only part of the body left unprotected by the Dendra armor as the back of the lower leg.

    The Telamonian Aias was also considered as invulnerable, that’s why he wore maybe a Dendra bronze corselet, (Always after Peter Connoly …) …

    Are these things sheer coincidence or do they betray traces of a legend far older than the Trojan war ?

    Best regards

    Paskal

    #75261
    Victoria Dickson
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    The only part of the body left unprotected by the Dendra armor as the back of the lower leg.

    And the arms, the eyes, the lower thighs…

     

    #75263
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Not my period, of course, but any modern infantryman is certain to be taken aback by the idea that a mere 18 Kg is “heavy”. I would question how cumbersome it could possible be, too, since the wearer will not presumably be having to lie down and stnd up again the whole time.

    All the best,

    John.

    #75276
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    … Are these things sheer coincidence or do they betray traces of a legend far older than the Trojan war ? Best regards Paskal

    The million dollar question. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that myths and legends are the pearls surrounding a grain of truth. How’s that for poetical?

     

    donald

    #75279

    Paskal
    Participant

    John D Salt,it’s true, but in terms of its weight, those who talk about it think rather in terms of mobility … Indeed many historians think that because of the tactics of the Mycenaean chariots, those who wore Dendra bronze corselets remained in their chariots.

    Donald, we should first know one day until when the Dendra bronze corselets was worn…

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  Paskal.
    #75453
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Somewhere I had gotten the idea that perhaps, maybe, there’s a slight possibility, that Dendra wearing troops would form the first rank(s) of a block of spearmen. I’m not sure where I acquired that idea and I know the period is too early for true phalanx formations but it does make some practical sense. It does (sort of) address the mobility issue since the Drenda-ites would be supported and have their flanks protected by others. Sort of a true heavy infantry man not expected to be leaping and dodging.

    Is that just pure speculation with no evidence? Is there anything that might support that in the historic or archaeological record?

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #75455

    Paskal
    Participant

    In my opinion, the men in the Dendra bronze corselet are nobles who fight from their chariots and never on foot. Indeed the first Mycenaeans did not use transport chariots as the  ‘rail’ chariot of their descendants at  the Trojan war but true battle chariots.

    #75468
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Somewhere I had gotten the idea that perhaps, maybe, there’s a slight possibility, that Dendra wearing troops would form the first rank(s) of a block of spearmen. I’m not sure where I acquired that idea and I know the period is too early for true phalanx formations but it does make some practical sense. It does (sort of) address the mobility issue since the Drenda-ites would be supported and have their flanks protected by others. Sort of a true heavy infantry man not expected to be leaping and dodging. Is that just pure speculation with no evidence? Is there anything that might support that in the historic or archaeological record?

    I believe “the jury is still out”.

    One aspect that suggests that the Dendra armour *wasn’t* for a chariot warrior but for a foot soldier, is the fact that the burial containd grieves: hardly useful for a chariot.

    Alternatively, the prominent neck collar can be seen as a Mycenaean version of an Egyptian device, designed to protect chariot warriors from arrows.

     

    And so it goes on….

     

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    #75470

    Paskal
    Participant

    No,until new archaeological discoveries, the Dendra Corselet wearing troops are nobles who remain in their chariots for battle and  their chariots and tactics are different from those of their successors of the Trojan War…

    #75472
    Mike Headden
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    The palace cultures seem to have equipped chariot units with whatever bits of the standard panoply they lacked. That may not have extended to the full Dendra style outfit but  from the palace inventories I believe the chariot warriors were armoured to a greater or lesser degree.

    My own (perhaps idiosyncratic) view is that engaging enemy chariots they would basically be proto-lancers. Lines of chariots passing through each other, effectively jousting. Pass through, turn, re-engage until one side decides “sod this for a game of soldiers” and breaks off. Exit, pursued by a … chariot 🙂

    Against infantry they would move to attack. If the enemy broke the chariots would chase them down. If the enemy stood they would peel off and poke and prod the infantry with their spears in an effort to cause a hole or break the infantry morale. If that failed, they had the option of dismounting at a safe distance and engaging on foot, with the chariots as “battle taxis” to rescue them if wounded or outmatched.

    I have no better evidence than that makes sense of all of the info I’m aware of.

    I find the Middle Eastern Bronze Age fascinating and the warfare conducted during it especially so.

    I am delighted to find so many erudite and fascinating people here who share my passion!

     

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #75473

    Paskal
    Participant

    I am in agreement with you, but the nobles dismounting, with a safe distance and engaging on foot, with the chariots as “battle taxis” to rescue them if wounded or outmatched, it is much later.No ?

    #75475
    Mike Headden
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    It is certainly done later Paskal  but all that lower body (hips to ankles) makes no sense to me if the warriors remained chariot bound. Not at all saying you are wrong, only that my explanation makes sense to me!

    The nice thing about Bronze Age armies is that it is so hard for anyone to prove your own interpretation is wrong … almost whatever your interpretation is! 🙂

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #75478

    Paskal
    Participant

    This is true, but if the chariots are attacked by the rear or of  very near, a more complete armor is necessary….

    And do not forget the projectiles, and the questions of fashion and prestige …

    #75497
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    . I am delighted to find so many erudite and fascinating people here who share my passion!

    Although clearly out of my depth, I enjoy Paskal’s BA threads & those who respond to them very much.

     

    donald

    #75505

    Paskal
    Participant

    By the way, when were the Dendra bronze corselet worn ?

    17th, 16th, 15th and 14th centuries before J-C ?

    Donald, you wrote: “Are you aware that there are other bits of armor that appear to be similar to the complete armor of Dendra ?”

    It was for the time of the Dendra bronze corselet ?

    For the nobles in chariots ..?

    Where can we see them ?

    You also also write: “Yes, I’m out of my depth, I’m enjoying Paskal’s BA threads & those who respond to them very much.”

    Sorry but I do not understand…

    I like questions without certain answers, endless discusions like those caused by uchronies (alternate history) …

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Paskal.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Paskal.
    #75521
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    You want Salimbeti, Paskal:

    http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/armour1.htm

    I remember reading about the pieces found at Thebes.

     

    donald

     

    #75522
    Mike Headden
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Paskal, the “other bits of armour” are not only the small number of partial suits found but also the pictograms of armour pieces found in some of the palace inventory tablets.

    Some people seem to think they represent the less complete armour worn by the less wealthy troops. Another theory is that palaces issued pieces to complete partial sets owned by charioteers. Of course it’s entirely possible that the palace acted as a very early “company store.”

    “You can buy your armour from anywhere you like … as long as the place you like is here!” 🙂

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #75539

    Paskal
    Participant

    Thank you Donald for the link …You also also write: “Yes, I’m out of my depth, I’m enjoying Paskal’s BA threads & those who respond to them very much.”

    Sorry Donald but I do not understand…

    Now It’s logical, the nobles  in the chariots could not have all only Dendra bronze corselets, nevertheless since the beautiful books with the beautiful illustrations of Peter Connoly one finds only that in figurines for the first mycéniens.

    At the moment I am removing the straps of shields found on some figurines in Dendra bronze corselets …

    After I am obliged to redo the armor part that left with the straps that I removed with the help of the Green Stuff, but I have no choice ,I do not want of ‘figure-of-eight’ or ‘tower’ shields with men wearing Dendra bronze corselets except for some Homeric characters described with as the Telamonian Aias .

    #75548
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    …You also also write: “Yes, I’m out of my depth, I’m enjoying Paskal’s BA threads & those who respond to them very much.” .

    In my clumsy way, Paskal, I was indicating that I am no expert. And that your Bronze Age threads are always enjoyable.

     

    Thank you.

    #75549

    Paskal
    Participant

    Oh thank you, because me neither, I am no a expert and especially in English language or I often have trouble.

    #75552
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Mieux que mon français

    #75563

    Paskal
    Participant

    Not sure Mr. Farrish.

    But to come back to our sheep, I find it strange that Homer describes in the Iliad, fighters – always heroes or demi-gods – equipped with Dendra bronze corselet and the famous shields of the first Mycenaeans, the ‘figure-of- eight ‘and’ tower ‘shield ?

    Normally they no longer existed in the time of the Iliad and even less in the time of Homer …

    #75579
    Mike Headden
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    As a species we are excellent storytellers and we have very long, but rather imperfect, memories.

    Things garbled in the retelling are the norm not the exception but kernels of truth remain for a very long time.

    A mixture of practice, old and new, in the Iliad does not surprise me.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #75581

    Paskal
    Participant

    Me, a mixture of practice, old and new, in the Iliad does surprise me, but do not dislike me …

    #75604
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Living in Australia, with quite a few dealings with indigenous people, it’s fascinating to speculate on the connection of their ‘Dreaming Stories’ with actual events. The stories are deeply spiritual, and almost certainly very old. The original inhabitants started arriving 65 000 years ago.

    One of the more obvious conclusions is to link the monstrous animals of The Dreaming with the mega-fauna who roamed the place up to about 35 000 years ago.

    So the difference in time between the actual Trojan war & Homer is but a few grains of the sand of time.

     

    donald

    #75609

    Paskal
    Participant

    Yes all our speculations on this forum on the Trojan War certainly have a background of truth …

    #75848

    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Lookitthis. Dated to c.1500 BC, so at the height of the Achaean palace era, and maybe three hundred years before the Trojan War. Unparalleled detail:

    http://magazine.uc.edu/editors_picks/recent_features/unearthingamasterpiece.html#.WgJUUKaBxQ4.facebook

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #75849

    Paskal
    Participant

    Unparalleled detail, yes thanks for the link, now it would be necessary to agree on the end date of use of the Dendra bronze corselets, the ‘figure-of-eight’ and ‘tower’ shield and on the appearance of types of ‘armor, armament and’ rail ‘chariots used at the time of the Trojan War…

    #75852
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Lookitthis. Dated to c.1500 BC, so at the height of the Achaean palace era, and maybe three hundred years before the Trojan War. Unparalleled detail: http://magazine.uc.edu/editors_picks/recent_features/unearthingamasterpiece.html#.WgJUUKaBxQ4.facebook

    Amazing. Those Caesar Mycenaeans & Trojans are pretty accurate after all!

    I think the gem is quite a bit older than the Trojan War at any rate.

     

    Thanks very much for the link.

     

    donald

    #75864

    Paskal
    Participant

    Yes the Trojan War, it’s modern Mycenaean.

    #75957
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    So would fighters wearing Dendra have used a shield at all? If I understand the above posts correctly it seems the figure-8 and tower shields had become obsolete. Does that leave us with the large crescent shields? And would that be the case both on and off chariots?

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #75962

    Paskal
    Participant

    The figure-8 and tower shields are not for chariot crew fighters in Dendra bronze corselet but for the heavy infantry of their era …

    The wide crescent or round and flat shields, often with several umboes were worn in and out of the chariots and by the heavy infantry of the Trojan War era…

    And as in both periods, the tactics being different, the chariots and the armament of the heavy troops are different.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Paskal.
    #75977
    Mike Headden
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Early period armies seem to have been close formed infantry in little to no armour but with a very large shield, a helmet and a long spear/ short pike; two-horse, two-crew chariots, at least some of which would have one warrior in Dendra armour or similar but none would have shields, and light infantry with sling, javelin or bow at least some of whom seem to have fought naked.

    This would make it very similar to Sumerian armies from a millenium earlier.

    Later armies seem to have had core infantry  with more armour (probably linen or leather), a smaller “pelta” style shield and spears or swords rather than the longer weapons carried earlier. Chariots seem to be lighter in construction. Light infantry would be much the same as earlier.

    Early armies emphasise protection, later ones mobility.

    My take is that early armies are designed to achieve or resist conquest while later ones are for police actions, raiding and mobile operations.

    Early and Late Imperial Roman armies show the same shift in emphasis.

    That’s my take on it, for whatever it’s worth.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #75985

    Paskal
    Participant

    Yes, you are right, the armies of the first period seem to have been infantry in tight order, without armor, but with a very large shield, often a helmet and a long spear of 4 meters maximum around and  a third or a quarter of these infantrymen  were archers; two-horse and 2-crew chariots, at least some of which would have a warrior in Dendra armor or similar, but none would have a shield, and light infantry are with sling, javelin or bow some of whom would have fought naked.

    This would make it very similar to Sumerian armies a millennium ago, except for chariots.

    Later armies appear to have had a basic infantry with more likely metal armor but sometimes linen or leather, a “pelta” or a round and flat shield often with several umboes, and shorter spears or swords than earlier weapons . Chariots seem to be lighter in construction because they are used only for transportation …. Yes the light infantry would be more or less the same as before.

    The first armies focused on the shields for protection, later on the armor but the late formations still remained as tight than previously except that late archers no longer form a third or a quarter of the strength of the heavy infantry.

    Me too my point of view is that the first armies are designed to reach or resist conquest while the last ones are for police actions, raids and mobile operations.

    Even though you never know , for how were the Mycenaean army equipped, who came into contact in Asia with the Hittites ?

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