Plated mail

Plated mail

Plated mail (sometimes called plated chainmail, splinted mail or splinted chainmail) is a type of mail with embedded plates. Armour of this type has been used in the Middle East, Central Asia, India, Eastern Europe, and by the Moors.

In Russia there are three known varieties of this armour. These were adopted from Persia, initially as Persian exports[citation needed], and have Persian names.

* Behterets (Russian: Бехтерец), from Persian behter[1] —- small horizontal plates arranged in vertical rows without gaps, joined by rings, and embedded in chainmail
* Yushman (Russian: Юшман), from Persian jawshan[1] —- long horizontal plates embedded in chainmail and resembling laminar armour (e.g. Roman lorica segmentata, and Japanese môgami dô)
* Kalantar (Russian: Калантарь) —- square plates embedded in chainmail, very similar to tatami-do. The major difference is that kalantar are not sewn to a cloth backing as tatami-do are.

According to Bobrov[2] the first plated mail appeared as cuisses in the Middle East, and were imported by the Golden Horde. Iranian miniatures of the first half of 15th Century show different combinations of plated mail with lamellar armor and brigandines sometimes worn with a single round mirror plate as breast re-enforcement. The first representation of plated mail as body protection is shown in Iranian miniatures, which show plated mail composed of relatively big plates, worn with laminar pauldrons and skirt (formed from long, horizontal plates), re-enforced by a big round mirror plate. The first representation of classic plated mail (without lamellar elements) can be seen in Baghdad's miniature which dates from 1465. From the end of the 15th Century plate mail began to fully replace lamellar armours. The main difference between eastern European (Russian and Polish) and Oriental plate mail is that eastern European versions usually do not have sleeves, while Oriental versions have sleeves (the forearms were protected by vambraces).[citation needed] In a heavy version these sleeves have embedded plates, and a light version (more widely used) has sleeves entirely made from mail.

In Kitab al-Durra al-Maknuna (The Book of the Hidden Pearl) Geber describes plated mail for use in armours (jawasin), helmets (bid) and shields (daraq).

In popular culture

Plated mail is commonly seen in modern fiction, such as role-playing games and video games. In such contexts, however, the term "plate mail" is also sometimes used (somewhat incorrectly) to refer to plated armour.

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