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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Sat 25 Oct, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: A definition for "doubled mail"         Reply with quote

Hello all. I think I may have found a definition for the elusive "doubled mail" that many have wondered about. Keep in mind that this is a 14th century Arab definition and may not necessarily apply to what Latin sources referred to.

I found the definition in the 6th volume of Nihayat al-Arb by al-Nuwairi (a 14th century Egyptian historian). It is contained in a section of his book which discusses mail and the various ways it was referred to by contemporaries and predecessors. The following quote is my translation from the original Arabic definition:

"Doubled [mail] refers to that which is woven two rings by two rings"

Thus it seems to imply that the doubled mail we often wondered about is basically mail weave using double the amount of rings like king's mail.
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Oct, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fascinating.
Thanks Ahmad Happy
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Oct, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does the text describe other types of mail?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like Dan, I would also be interested in seeing all the varieties described. From a bit of research, it seems the work dates to c. 1315-1332.

There are a number of varieties of mail described in European sources, many of which are not so explicit concerning the difference --tournament mail being one example.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for the late reply.

I am afraid doubled mail is the only thing al-Nuwairi mentions regarding mail woven in a different pattern. He mostly focuses on the different technical terms used for mail shirts. For instance he says that “sabigha” refers to a wide or spacious mail coat. “Dulamisun” is the adjective used to refer to very shiny mail. “Dikhasun” refers to a mail coat with “tightly/closely woven rings”. “Dhailatun” is the adjective describing a mail coat with a long skirt. “Sabiriyya” refers to mail with a light weave or using light rings. And “Sukkun” means mail with small rings.
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: A definition for "doubled mail"         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
Hello all. I think I may have found a definition for the elusive "doubled mail" that many have wondered about. Keep in mind that this is a 14th century Arab definition and may not necessarily apply to what Latin sources referred to.

I found the definition in the 6th volume of Nihayat al-Arb by al-Nuwairi (a 14th century Egyptian historian). It is contained in a section of his book which discusses mail and the various ways it was referred to by contemporaries and predecessors. The following quote is my translation from the original Arabic definition:

"Doubled [mail] refers to that which is woven two rings by two rings"

Thus it seems to imply that the doubled mail we often wondered about is basically mail weave using double the amount of rings like king's mail.


The Japanese used doubled mail, here is an example of a 6 in 1 pattern using doubled butted links.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That doesn't really help unless the same weave is found in a Middle Eastern context. We know that the Japanese used a lot of weaves that nobody else used. European 6-in-1 and 8-in 2 would also qualify. Does anyone know of any examples of Turko-Persian mail that matches al-Nuwairi's description?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: A definition for "doubled mail"         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
"Doubled [mail] refers to that which is woven two rings by two rings".

Hey, Ahmad, what is the Arabic term for "doubled mail"?

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Persian writer, Shahidi, wrote Taziyeh va Tazieyekhani in the same century (1380), and in it he distinguishes between two different kinds of mail. The first one was called zereh davudi ("davudi style mail") or zereh mikh gerd ("mail with rounded rivets"), and the second type was called zereh mamuli ("common mail").
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: A definition for "doubled mail"         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Ahmad Tabari wrote:
"Doubled [mail] refers to that which is woven two rings by two rings".

Hey, Ahmad, what is the Arabic term for "doubled mail"?

Al-Nuwairi uses the term مضاعفة (spelled muda'afa phoenetically) to refer to this mail type. This word could either mean doubled or multiplied. Considering the definition he provides though, it should be translated as doubled.
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Sun 26 Oct, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With regards to extant mail matching the description, I believe I might have come across a couple of 6 in 1 patterns used for a stiffened collar. Though I am not sure if this would match his description and I dont know of any full middle eastern shirts using ta doubled construction.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 3:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this Ahmad. So this seems to narrow theories about double mail down to weaves denser than the standard 4 in 1.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
Thanks for sharing this Ahmad. So this seems to narrow theories about double mail down to weaves denser than the standard 4 in 1.

In the Middle East it seems to. There is no way to know whether the Europeans used the term the same way.

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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Stephen Curtin wrote:
Thanks for sharing this Ahmad. So this seems to narrow theories about double mail down to weaves denser than the standard 4 in 1.

In the Middle East it seems to. There is no way to know whether the Europeans used the term the same way.


later on the most certainly did, there is a maille 'bishops mantle' from the early 16th century which you can see has different sections with whhat looks likemaille weaves of different densities..

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342555115380835956/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342555115380835955/
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

In the Middle East it seems to. There is no way to know whether the Europeans used the term the same way.


Fair enough point Dan, but it does improve the chances of it being true for Europe also. IMO anyway.

Éirinn go Brách
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Stephen Curtin wrote:
Thanks for sharing this Ahmad. So this seems to narrow theories about double mail down to weaves denser than the standard 4 in 1.

In the Middle East it seems to. There is no way to know whether the Europeans used the term the same way.


later on the most certainly did, there is a maille 'bishops mantle' from the early 16th century which you can see has different sections with whhat looks likemaille weaves of different densities..

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342555115380835956/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342555115380835955/


What you have there is regular 4-in-1 mail. The upper links are smaller than the lower links but it is all the same weave. Are you saying that this is double mail because the links are twice as heavy? Perhaps the links are small enough that twice as many are needed, which is closer to the the Arabic definition. But a different weave makes more sense, such as in 6-in-1 or 8-in-2 mail. Looking at the above definition, 8-in-2 sounds closest to "woven two rings by two rings".

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Looking at the above definition, 8-in-2 sounds closest to "woven two rings by two rings".


I agree.

Éirinn go Brách
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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just thought that to be that close together that it'd be using a denser weave like, 6 in 1 or 8-2 maille or something, that's pretty much all i thought

i didnt notice the links being that different in seize although with the massive difference in density bbetween the two sections, it is harder to check.
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