Was Maille and Lamellar/scale/brigandin armour worn together
Hello everybody this is my first post. but the question is!

Did Ancient/Medieval soldiers combine maille with lammellar/scale/brigandines armour throughout history.

I am curious cause video games like total war depict soldiers wearing multiple layers of armour. but most medieval and ancient illustrations don't really depict soldiers wearing multiple layers of metal armour.

And if not why?

Also can you please reference me some historical sources if this practise occurred.

Thank You
Layering of armor was quite common in the 13th and 14th centuries. There are literary accounts of layering mail too.

Couronnement de Louis, L. 20, ll.640-642
Quatorze roi armerent l'aversier
El dos li vestent une broigne d'acier
Desus la broigne .i. blanc hauberc doblier

(Fourteen kings armed the adversary
On his back the placed a steel byrnie
Over the byrnie, 1 white double-hauberk)

Cantar de Mio Cid, ll. 3634-3636
Tres dobles de loriga tenie Fernando aquesto le presto
Los dos les desmanchan & la tercerna finco
El belmez con la camisa & con la guarnizon

(Three double-hauberks worn by Fernando proved their worth
Two were broken and the third held
Along with the shirt and with the gambeson)

Written accounts for wearing an aketon, mail and pair of plates (of "brigandine" construction) also exist.

Guillaume le Breton, Philippidos, Book III, ll. 495--497
[i]Gambesumque audax forat, et thoraca trilicem
Dissilit. Ardenti nimium prorumpere tandem
Vix obstat ferro fabricata patena recocto,

Here, a lance pierces a gambeson, "thrice-woven thorax" (mail shirt), but is stopped by a hidden, worked iron dish. The use of hidden plates worn beneath the mail shirt is also attested too in the Norwegian "King's Mirror"

Konungs-skuggsjá, Ch. 38
Over this he must have a strong breastplate (góđar brjóstbjörg)
made of good iron covering the body from the nipples to
the trousers belt ; outside this, a well-made hauberk (góđar brynju) and
over the hauberk (brynju) a firm gambison ] (góđan panzara) made in the manner
which I have already described but without sleeves.

A number of famous artistic sources show the wearing of pairs of plates or scales over mail.

So, layering of defenses, including multiple layers of textiles, leather, and metal, was quite common from the late 12th century until the advent of full plate harness in the early 15th century.

Last edited by Mart Shearer on Sun 13 May, 2018 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Lamellar was worn with mail in the Middle East.

In the Nihayat al-Su’l it is written:

"A padded garment can be worn beneath lamellar (jawshan), as the Europeans wear beneath their iron cuirasses. This is the qarqal. It will protect the wearer from both heat and cold, and from the blows of maces and kafir kubat which soften the flesh and weaken the bones. If mail is worn beneath it, then both protection and safety are found."
You will also see depictions of plate elements over maille - something along the lines of the Cherbourg breast plate, for example - as well as plate elements at elbows, knees, rondels at the arm pits and basically everywhere else. Even with "full" plate, you see maille elements (voiders, brayettes, mantle, gorget, half-haugbergeon) that give protection where plates come together and have gaps.

But was it common to layer armours together, and also which cultures did this practice most commonly.
Jeton Osmani wrote:

But was it common to layer armours together, and also which cultures did this practice most commonly.

You received three replies that confirmed "yes" and we referenced European and Middle Eastern culture. Also, within the context of this group, unless otherwise stated, references are generally to European (primarily Western) cultures. Others are discussed, though, and, when they are, they are usually called out within the context of a "general" thread, like this one, or are the topic of the thread. Also, if someone's getting specific about a subculture or timeframe (Norse/Viking, Frankish, Migration Era, etc.) that will also be called out by most if the context isn't otherwise clear.
One question I have always had about armor layering was whether a specific order was involved? For example, hikers often layer course layers in between softer silkier layers to allow the dissimilar fabrics to move without bunching up and compromising mobility. Anyone who has ever had the wrong layers on underneath a coarse woolen sweater knows precisely what I'm talking about, how clothes that aren't even really tight can now become very hard to move in because the layers do not slide by each other easily. Were armor layers arranged the same way? Were softer, silkier layers arranged underneath mail or other supposedly coarser layers to allow for better movement?

Usâmah Ibn-Munquidh wrote about wearing a kazaghand constructed of two layers of mail during an incident when Saladin admonishes him for not donning his armor before a battle. He replied:

"By Allah I can not put on anything more. We are in the early part of the night and my kazaghand is furnished with two coats of mail, one on top of the other. As soon as I see the enemy I shall put it on."

After the battle, he demonstrates the armor’s construction to Saladin:

"I pulled out my knife and ripped it at the breast and disclosed the side of the two layers of mail. The kazaghand enclosed a Frankish coat of mail extending to the bottom of it, with another coat of mail on top of it reaching as far as the middle. Both were equipped with the proper linings, felt pads, silk stuffing, and rabbits’ fur."

According to this, each layer of mail had its own padded liner. You need something separating the layers of mail to stop the links from binding with each other.
Jeton Osmani wrote:
But was it common to layer armours together, and also which cultures did this practice most commonly.

This question can't be answered. We know that it was done on occasion but it isn't possible to know how common the practice was.
There are a number of historical images depicting scale over mail. The ones below are some of the more clearly depicted examples.

Manuscript miniatures has quite a number of examples, ranging mostly from the 1200's to the 1300's




One of the earliest surviving examples is the seal of Richard fitz Eustace, constable of Chester (died c. 1163). Originally interpreted as "tegulated" armour it looks like a fairly stock scale hauberk over mail (admittedly the mail isn't visibly detailed, but I'm sure its meant to be there).

Thank you very much for your answers

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