Fully illustrated, this study investigates the origins, evolution and use of the mail and scale armour worn by the soldiers and gladiators of Imperial Rome.
Less glamorous than the Roman Army’s instantly recognizable plate armour but much more versatile, mail and scale armour were used by both legionaries and auxiliaries throughout Rome’s history. Developed by the Celts and quickly adopted by the Romans, mail armour was easy to make and required little maintenance. Scale was a much older form of armour, originating in the Near East during the second millennium BC. As with mail, it was used by both auxiliaries and legionaries, but like plate armour, it was much more fragile than mail. Both types of armour were also used by gladiators (principally as arm defences).
New discoveries in both mail and scale, as well as in hybrid forms that mixed the two, mean that much more is now known about the development of these types of defence during the Roman period, their efficacy in battle and how they were manufactured and repaired. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon the latest findings, this study lifts the veil on the mail and scale armour used by soldiers, gladiators and others during the heyday of Imperial Rome.
Imprint: Osprey Publishing/Bloomsbury
Publication date: 31/10/2023
Illustrator: Rava, Giuseppe