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  History Store > Roman Legion Store > Roman Lorica > Lorica Hamata
 

Lorica Hamata

Lorica Hamata was the chainmail shirt used as standard protection for the Roman legionnaire before the introduction of the Lorica Segmentata. The mail was made of iron rings about 1/8" in diameter in a 4-1 pattern, variably welded shut or punched from sheet metal. The chainmail naturally conformed to the body, and the hamata would typically be made of several thousand metal rings. The closely linked metal rings, welded together and supported by the subarmalis was difficult for the enemy weapon to trespass.

The mailshirt had no sleeves or had very short cap sleeves and would reach to about mid-thigh. The shoulder flaps extended from the mid-back to the chest and connected with metal hooks. The chest hooks could have been made from sheet brass or iron but were frequently cast brass.

On most modern reconstructions the shoulder doubling is attached to the body by a row of rings along the back bottom edge, but two surviving Roman shirts from Britain have small buckles riveted to the back, presumably to secure the shoulder doubling.

Between the hamata and the tunic worn by the legionnaire, it was necessary to wear a subarmalis of cloth or leather padding. It was used to provide the necessary stiff padding that would contribute to the mail's full protective potential. When properly made and properly padded, mail was a very effective defense. The knowledge of mail manufacture, much like the gladius, came from Roman contact with Celtic and Spanish forces.
 
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Roman Centurion Officer Hamata - Chainmail Lorica Hamata - Roman Soldier Chainmail Roman Hamata Mail Shirt  
Roman Centurion Officer Hamata - Chainmail Lorica Hamata - Roman Soldier Chainmail Roman Hamata Mail Shirt  
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