A working bronze Lorica Segmentata strap buckle for the Corbridge style of segmented plate armor along with a fragment of a front buckel. The standard armor for the Roman Legionary during Rome's prime.
Nice patina with a more elaborate floral design for the back half. Two holes remain where the buckle would have been riveted to the armor.
The buckle pin is missing and was clearly broken off in antiquity. This buckle design was more uncommon and showed a greater interest in artistic nature than the more simpler, yet more practical buckles seen later on.
This type of armor had many advantages over scale mail and chain mail, primarily being that it could withstand much harder impacts from pointed weapons while still allowing a good amount of flexibility. The only inherent weakness, at least on these earlier versions was that all the buckles and hinges could easily break and required constant repair. Furthermore the leather straps trapped in moisture on the iron, making it harder to keep corrosion free. This early version was also relatively hard to put on and invariably required a second person to do the buckles up. It was not until the Newstead type that the buckles, hinges and laces were largely done away with. (1)(2)(3)(4)
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(1) Reference: Thomas, M.D. (2003), "Lorica segmentata, A catalogue of finds", JRMES Monograph No.2(Chirnside).
(2) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 103 2002.
(3) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; The Legionary, page 24 2000.
(4) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 229-230 1998.
*Image of Segmentata by P.CONNOLLY
**Note on background. A Fresco from the ancient Roman City of Pompeii. The interior walls of a wealthy Roman's Estate 79AD. Picture taken July 2005.