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U. M. Tønner




Location: Denmark
Joined: 26 Apr 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 1:46 am    Post subject: Viking Mail         Reply with quote

While I know this probably have been discussed before, I couldnt quite find it so I thought id ask again.

Which type of chainmail would be most appropriate for a (rather wealthy) viking warrior?

Im thinking of making a shirt from alternating rows of riveted and solid flat profiled rings as bought at this page from GDFB

However I'm not sure if this style is the best for a viking or if I should go for all riveted and/or a round profile.

Hope you can help.


*Editted subject for clarity


Last edited by U. M. Tønner on Tue 19 May, 2009 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, first off, proper term would be a mail, not chainmail Happy
Also, I belive that all finds apropriate to the "viking age" so far have been of links made of round wire, not flattened.


Last edited by Artis Aboltins on Tue 19 May, 2009 5:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that is right. Maybe Eric or Dan can chime in with more detail?

RPM.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, sadly there is not much in the way of whole mail shirts surviving from the Viking age - Gjermondbu find is, probably, most famous of those. One more detail that has already been discussed in another threrad is that rivets for this mail also should be round, not triangular ones, and that shirt ought to be tailored to the wearer, not a simple T-shirt affair.
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U. M. Tønner




Location: Denmark
Joined: 26 Apr 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies so far.

I was aware that the rivets should be round and the shirt tailored Happy Just wasn't sure about the profile of the rings and if alternating rows were solid rings.
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 11 books

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Posts: 425

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William R. Short's new book: "Viking Weapons and Tactics" is now available through this forums link to Amazon and contains some photos of extant maile examples from the viking era. They clearly show alternating rows of flat riveted and ring links. The ring links may have been punched from a sheet of plate. I'm at work without my copy so I can't be more specific, but the book seems to be a great resource.

Home now. The title is actually "Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques." And the piece of maile was found in Gjermundbu. It also states that Slag intrusions in the iron of the solid rings indicate they were punched from sheet metal.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,193

PostPosted: Wed 20 May, 2009 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Gjermundbu riveted links look rounded to me though I've only seen photos, not the original.
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Justin B.




Location: Riverside, CA
Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed 20 May, 2009 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most everything I could contribute here has been covered (flat-section solid rings punched from a sheet and sound-second riveted rings using round-headed pin rivets) except for ring size. They were ridiculously small, for the most part (I believe there have been a could Vendel era finds with relatively huige ring sizes) by modern standards... 6mm rings would be the closest modern size that I think you could get to the Gjermundbu find.

Also on the subject of tailoring, it seems to me that the style during the Viking era was to wear maille shirts quite short, based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of surviving accounts. I'm not sure when (or why) they started to lengthen, but I'd wager that it had a lot to do with the falling cost of iron that made swords more common battlefield items.
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