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Roman Chain mail hooks matching pair attaching lorica hamata




Material  Copper Alloy
Dimensions 5.5cm long x 1.0cm wide
Roman Empire 1st or 2nd Century AD

A bronze chain mail or lorica hamata hook with a head that appears to have horns, eyes and a snout.. Two that make a pair would have been joined with a hinge in the center. It has an intricate dot and line pattern on the surface for decoration.   These hooks were designed to decoratively and functionally hold the shoulder pieces of chain mail together across the chest on the early legionary. There were a variety of styles, with many being of the serpent/snake.

As lorica segmentata came into mainstream use chain mail or lorica hamata began to be phased out. It was expensive to make and had some distinct disadvantages for protection over the new plate armor. (1)(2)(3)

-painting by John Warry


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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 100 2002

(2) References to similar items: COWAN, Ross; Roman Legionary 58 BC- 69 AD, page 41 2003

(3) References to similar items: I.P STEPHENSON & K.R DIXON; Roman Cavalry Equipment, page 46 2003

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014