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Roman manica was a type of iron or bronze arm guard, with fourteen curved and overlapping metal segments or plates (12 narrow plates and two large ones at the ends) fastened to a leather backing and with four buckles and laces to hold it in place, worn initally by Roman gladiators called crupellarii, and later by soldiers. Made of highly polished, 18 guage mild steel plates and fits most adults.

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MANICA ARMORImage of AH3851A Manica Armor by Deepeeka (AH3851A) by DEEPEEKA
KEY FEATURES: * Polished 18 guage steel with leather laces * Replicates an original * This articulated steel armor was used in the late Roman period as an attachment to the lorica segmentata to provide extra protection. Also great for Gladiators. Made of steel plates with leather backing and straps. One size fits most.

The Latin word "manica" simply means a sleeve. A manica was a type of iron or bronze arm guard, with curved and overlapping metal segments or plates, fastened to leather straps, worn by Roman gladiators called crupellarii, and later by soldiers. The usual arm position for a Roman swordsmen is with the upper arm vertical and close to the torso, the forearm extended horizontally with the thumb uppermost. The plates of the manica were probably not long enough to cover the whole circumference of the arm, but would have extended from the upper arm down to the thumb, leaving an unprotected area at the back. The plates overlapped upwards, directing any blow to the inside of the elbow which had a particularly dense coverage of multiple plates.
Roman troops fought crupellarii in the revolt of Florus and Sacrovir of 21CE. By the time of Dacian Wars, Roman troops were wearing manicae with the short-sleeved lorica segmentata as a protection against the falc?s, which could cut through or around the Roman legionaries' shields. Its use (along with metal greaves) is attested on several reliefs depicting that campaign, including the Tropaeum Traiani at Adamclisi and Trajan's Column. These seem to suggest that, like the lorica segmentata, it was only issued to Roman-born legionaries and not to auxiliaries. The Dacian campaign is the only one in which we have representational evidence for its use, and we do not know if its use in that campaign was widespread or rare.


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