Cleaning the lorica segmentata.

Owning armour means you are always trying to maintain it and it’s an ongoing fight with rust. Lorica segmentata was one type of armour which the armies of ancient Rome wore – we have some surviving pieces of it from the Corbridge hoard. This was an incredible find and I will have to visit the museum at Corbridge to see it up close.

My lorica segmentata is made of mild brushed steel and so will accumulate rust, especially from those school visits. Luckily the armour breaks down into four separate pieces, meaning cleaning it can be done more easily. In this instance it was an upper quarter (this would cover the left side of your upper torso). I’ve already done the other upper quarter so I’m half way there.

upper section of a lorica segmentata
Before – the whole piece was a tad mucky.
close up of the hinges on the lorica segmentata
The brass hinges certainly needed a polish.

The way I clean the armour is using abrasive pads to remove the layer of dirt and rust on the steel. You might notice the brass fittings and these are left till after I’ve used the grit pads. Next up it’s a case of wiping the armour of any debris and then using metal polish on the steel and the brass. For the brass it can really make it shine, for the steel it can bring out a nice gleam – but it’s more about giving the steel a protective layer. I also use products on the leather which needs nourishing.

After some elbow grease….

cleaned lorica segmentata section
after some hard scrubbing!
The brass hinges came up nicely.

Lorica segmentata – an overview.

In case you were interested I recorded something on my YouTube channel about the lorica a few years ago – just in case you were interested.


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