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Linen Armour

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Why did Alexander wear armor made of linen?

And does it really work?

Hollywood epics depict Greek warriors wearing armor made of bronze.  But some believe the toughest Greek of all – Alexander the Great – wore armor made of linen.

This just seems wrong. 

But graduate student Scott Bartel, and his professor Greg Aldrete are convinced its true. So for our cameras they put the theory to a practical test by recreating Alexander’s linen armor and shooting arrows at it – arrows with sharp tips of bronze.

Did we mention Scott is wearing the armor when the arrows start to fly? Does the linen armor work?  Does Scott survive?

All is revealed in Museum Secrets: Inside Athens’ National Archaeological Museum.

Further Questions

When Oliver Stone made his feature length movie of the life of Alexander the Great, he went to great lengths to get the armor right.  To find out more about Oliver’s take on Alexander’s armor, we invite you to visit this costume design page.


zizis • #18 • 2012-03-23 02:55:30
Alexander lived well inside the age of iron, not bronze. Why did the researchers use arrows made of bronze? This can\'t be historically accurate.

Scott Bartell • #67 • 2014-01-29 16:24:24
@ #18: Dr. Aldrete and I used both iron and bronze arrowheads.

clubinglex • #74 • 2014-05-10 05:00:37
@ #67: 2 years for an answer x) but thanks :)

urmum • #89 • 2015-03-21 21:27:24
@ #74: 2 years later....\n.......\n......\n.....\n....\n...\n..\n.

darren • #98 • 2015-06-12 11:55:51
Why were different bows used to shoot the arrows at the linen test piece, the bronze and the guy wearing armour? Is it because a much more powerful bow was needed to make the arrow penetrate the bronze but a child\'s bow was used to make sure the arm