A section of the Lorica Segmentata straps for the Corbridge style of segmented plate armor. The standard armor for the Roman Legionary during Rome's prime.
This piece was for specific areas of the armor that required a hinge, yet no buckle. This piece served as the fastener for the leather strap that would then attach to the buckle to connect the various pieces of the armor. Three out of the four rivets remain and the hinge functions and is intact. A natural patina covers the piece.
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)
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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 103 2002.
(2) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; The Legionary, page 24 2000.
(3) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 229-230 1998.
*Image of Segmentata by P.CONNOLLY
**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014