In the first century, Roman soldiers wore various types of breastplates to protect their chest and back. High-ranking officers wore a cuirass (1), a two-piece metallic breastplate that conformed to their body. The front was attached to the back by hinges on one side and buckles or laces on the other. Many soldiers wore a breastplate made of iron- or copper-alloy scales (2). The scales were attached to a backing made of leather or linen. Others wore mail armor over a leather jacket (3). The mail consisted of thousands of iron rings arranged in interconnecting rows. It provided strong protection and weighed less than the other breastplates. Paul used the breastplate to illustrate the protective qualities of righteousness, faith, and love.—Eph 6:14; 1Th 5:8.