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cuirass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A piece of armor to protect the torso, both front and back, and often molded to the contours of the body. Originally made of thick leather, it was variously made of laminated linen, sheet bronze, or iron, or scales of horn, hide, or metal. In Homeric and Hellenistic times, it was made of bronze. Cuirasses of leather as well as iron were worn by officers in the armies of the Roman Empire. Later made of steel, the cuirass was forerunner to body armor worn to deflect bullets.

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