The New Yorker magazine has just published a fascinating article on the academics who decided to make their own linothorax armour. Thoroughly recommended.
Intellectual life thrives on mystery. When it comes to ancient Greece, one of those mysteries is the linothorax—the flimsy-looking, hip-length armor that you see warriors wearing on Greek vases. (Linothorax means, literally, “linen chest.”) Why go to war, archaeologists have wondered, in what looks to be a linen minidress? While a linothorax lets you show off your muscular legs to great effect, it hardly seems like practical protection against the enemy’s swords and arrows. And yet, judging by how frequently linothoraxes are represented in Greek art, they were extraordinarily popular among soldiers in ancient Greece and around the Mediterranean between 600 and 200 B.C. Because no linothoraxes have survived—linen doesn’t last—no one knows why.
Read the whole article here