Cavalry or Legionary Lorica Squamata

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Roman Lorica Squamata Scale mail fragments




Material  Silvered Bronze/Copper Alloy
Dimensions Each piece 24.5mm long x 13.81mm wide

Total length 10.5cm

The scale is 0.55mm thick

The holes are 2.62mm in diameter

The attaching rings are 1.48mm thick

Roman Empire  1st to 5th Century AD

A string fragment of Bronze Scale Mail or Lorica Squamata armor consisting of numerous leaf shaped pieces of silvered bronze connected with bronze rings/wire. This items has 11 leafs still attached together with a pair separate. Some of the silvering still remains and would have made this a very shiny piece of armor.

Each piece on its own has two holes on top and on either side. Once strung together this would have allowed numerous rows to be layered to eventually form a piece of armor of varied shape. Different types and sizes existed with a variety of styles and lengths depending on the area and era they were produced.  This armor was expensive to maintain and produce, making it something that was not mainstream and may only have been worn by a few infantry/legionaries or the mainly wealthier cavalrymen (due to its ease of movement).(1)(2)(3)(4)

-painting by M. Daniels


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Reproduction comparison

  Identical example in the Roman section at the British Museum, London July 2005

   Reverse close-up View

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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 98 2002.

(2) References to similar items: STEPHENSON, I.P; Roman Military Equipment "The Later Empire", page 36 2001.

(3) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 237 1998.

(4) Reference to similar items: BISHOP, M.C & COULSTON, J.C.N; Roman Military Equipment "From the Punic wars to the Fall of Rome", page 97 & 139 2006.

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014