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Full Version: Roman Chainmail
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Ave,<br>
Can anyone tell me what is the smallest size link of Roman chainmail of which we have archaelogical evidence of? Inside diameter? Outside diameter? Would 3/16" O.D. be accurate? It is a very tiny link...<br>
Any help you all could provide would be greatly appreciated, as I am about to make a hamata, but I don't want gigantic rings... <p>Lucius Aurelius Metellus, draconarius, Secunda Brittanica</p><i></i>

Anonymous

How are you going to make the rings? Small rings like 3/16 inch OD neccesitate the use of small gauge wire which may not stay together if you simply but them together. Are you going to try riveting the rings? <p></p><i></i>
Hi Neuralmancer,<br>
No, I won't try to rivet such a small ring, I would end up pulling all of my hair out in frustration! I don't have the patience to rivet larger rings, much less one that tiny. I had intended to use butted rings. The wire is not very thin, (it is 17 guage) which means that with rings that tiny, the mail will be very dense, which is actually what I want...<br>
Basically, what I am looking for is proof that rings that small existed... <p>Lucius Aurelius Metellus, draconarius, Secunda Brittanica</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/[email protected]romanarmytalk>Lucius Aurelius Metellus</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/Lucius68/Lucius.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 12/14/04 4:53 pm<br></i>

Anonymous

Hi,<br>
The smallest chain mail found at Dura Europas (c.AD 250) was 6 mm in diameter (copper edging from iron mail, butted with traces of iron rings adhering to them). The smallest iron mail was 7mm, with the largest being 10 mm (possibly rivetted). (Simon James, Excavations at Dura-Europas Final Report VII)<br>
I saw some very fine mail in Caerleon Legionary museum, but was unable to measure it (in a glass case!).<br>
Regards<br>
<br>
Paulus <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

The smallest extant links are around 3mm but these are not substantial enough to work as standalone amrour - they are part of a sample of the incorrectly named "lorica plumata" - scale attached to a mail backing. The smallest extant links in standalone Roman mail armour are around 5mm. <p></p><i></i>
Ave,<br>
Is that outer or inner diameter? <p>Lucius Aurelius Metellus, draconarius, Secunda Brittanica</p><i></i>

Anonymous

IIRC Inside Diameter, but I would need to dig up the references. <p></p><i></i>
Hi Daniel,<br>
That is the smallest ring found, you say? Ok, thank you very much for your help. That really is a big help to me. 5mm is about 3/16 of an inch, is it not? Wow! That is a tiny ring! <p>Lucius Aurelius Metellus, draconarius, Secunda Brittanica</p><i></i>

Anonymous

These are approximations<br>
<br>
25mm=1"<br>
12.5mm=1/2"<br>
9mm=3/8"<br>
6.25mm=1/4"<br>
<br>
Dave <p>[url=http://www.freewebs.com/davekufner" target="top]www.freewebs.com/davekufner[/url]</p><i></i>
There is a fragment of mail in the museum a the Lunt with extremely small links. Through the glass it as difficult to gauge the size accurately but Robinson said that the rings are 3mm in diameter and are in alternate rows of punched and rivetted rings. As Robinson always uses external measurements the internal diameter would be somewhere around 2mm. He says that a similar piece was found at Mainz and that neither are 'torn' fragments and suggests that they might have formed parts of sleeves (I assume that he means in the underarm area). The card in the cabinet at the Lunt says that the fragment there probably formed part of a face guard, but I am not sure what they base this statement on.<br>
<br>
Crispvs <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

According to Mr Schmid he has not seen any standalone mail measuring smaller than 4-5mm. All of the smaller links have formed part of the "plumata" construction. That includes the Lunt and Mainz fragments. <p></p><i></i>
Lucius,<br>
The bronze rings on my fragment of lorica plumata are about 3mm outside diameter and are riveted. I'll bring it to a future event for you to see. I have a complete shirt of probably persian mail, tin plated bronze with 3 to 4 mm rings.<br>
<br>
Dan <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Presumably on a lorica plumata you would have a leather subarmalis, then the mail (small size), then the scales- an impressive defence!<br>
I've seen scale shirts, but has anyone re-constructed one as above?<br>
<br>
Paulus <p></p><i></i>
Ok Dan, Thanks! Tin plated bronze mail that tiny? That is impressive! <p>Lucius Aurelius Metellus, draconarius, Secunda Brittanica</p><i></i>

Anonymous

The fragments of a mail shirt in the British Museum seem to be around 4-5 mm, though this is only a guess. However, since those fragments also contain the two chest hooks, the mail was probably stand-alone armour. Also I have handled a very fine medeival mail shirt with 3.5-4mm inside diameter riveted rings, so there is no reason why the Romans couldn't do the same.<br>
<br>
Celer. <p></p><i></i>