Alexander the Great conquered an empire that stretched from Greece through Egypt and the Middle East into India.
The soldiers he led wore armor made of cloth that was strong enough to protect its wearers from arrows, swords and spears.
Gregory Aldrete, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay, will present “Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor,” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Hosted by Winchester Academy, the program is free and open to the public.
Aldrete examines linothorax, a linen armor worn by the Greeks, Macedonians and other ancient Mediterranean warriors. Because the linothorax was made of cloth, no examples of it have survived. There are, however, dozens of references to the linothorax in ancient literature and nearly a thousand images of it in art.
The UWGB Linothorax Project is a collaboration between Aldrete and a group of current and former UWGB students.
Using available literary and artistic sources, the group reconstructed several linothoraxes using only authentic fabrics and glues that would have been available in the ancient Mediterranean. The students then subjected the various reconstructions to a series of tests to precisely determine how wearable and how effective it would have been in protecting its wearer from common battlefield hazards.
Aldrete’s presentation will not only describe the project, but will also display a reconstructed linothorax.
Aldrete received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton and his doctorate from the University of Michigan. His scholarship spans fields including history, archaeology, art history, military history and philology.
His Linothorax Project has been featured in documentaries on the Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, and on TV programs in Canada and across Europe. It has also been the subject of articles in U.S. News and World Report, Der Spiegel and Military History Magazine,
Winchester Academy’s programs are funded through sponsors and tax-deductible donations from community members. Sponsors for Aldrete’s presentation are Maurice and Suzanne Wozniak.
For more information about Winchester Academy, check winchesteracademy.org or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.