Full Version: lorica hamata made of bronze?
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I just got a new book "Das Heer des Varus" (the army of Varus) by Andreas Strassmeir.

One of the clour plates shows 2 cavalrymen from gallic/germanic alae serving as equites singulares, both wearing lorica hamata made of bronze. Unfortunately the author leaves no further explanation beside of higher quality equipment for these guards.

I have never read about such a hamata before, but my knowledge is far from complete.
Is there any literary or archeological source for this?
IIRC there is a Persian example dating to the early medieval period but don't have a cite. That is the only example of copper-alloy mail I can think of except for iron mail with latten decorations. I've never heard of copper-alloy mail in a Roman or Gallic context.
I recall an Etruscan example found. However it was not using the 1 through 4 but looked like some of the exotic types fabricated for samurai/ japanese soldiers over 2000 years later.
The rings of the depicted mail shirts are based on finds from Xanten as mentioned in the text accompanying the plate.
There have been found fragments of different shirts:
- 22 fragments made of iron rings
- 25 fragments made of bronze rings (some mixed with iron rings)
- 1 fragment of bronze rings with traces of bronze scales
Some of the bronze rings have a diameter of just 3mm!

Reference is: K.H. Lenz, Römische Waffen, militärische Ausrüstung und militärische Befunde aus dem Stadtgebiet der Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten), Bonn 2006, cat. 132-134

There have also been finds of bronze rings from Mainz and Baginton.
It is of course not always clear if the whole shirt was made of bronze rings or only parts of it, like the seams or in a "net"-like decoration as seen on the shirt from Bertoldsheim.

I have to admit, that I have overlooked the reference to Xanten, altough I have read the text at least twice :dizzy:

thank you also for the reference of K.H.Lenz
Me too. Many thanks.