History article
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Articles Discussion
   
Author Message

Joined: June 02, 2002
Posts: 3148
Submissions: 83
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:45 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Well, sure. That'd be amazing, usually people would put pictures in thier articles if they had access to someway to get pictures. Like me for example, I know some of my articles would be much more helpful if I had pictures, I just can't get em Smile


There are only 2 things in life that we can be assured of: Somethings will never stop changing, and some things will never change.

Joined: December 25, 2002
Posts: 237
Submissions: 34
Location: St. Albans, VT

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:30 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Anakronica wrote:
Hello Smile
I read the article and I'm amazed Smile
It is very well structurated.....but what I loved more is that is Undertandable. I mean... it is clairly written in universitenglish but still I could Understand all.....(and english....as you could imagine with my mistakes....is my third language, I really don't know it enugh).
Also your references are really clear Smile

Thanks
N.


Anakronica,
Just curious, as I only live about an hour's drive south of you....
I assume French is your first language, what with you living in Montreal....With English being your 3rd...what;s your second....
actually not trying to de-rail the topic.
btw, welcome to M.A.I.L. I've been mailleing since 1995, but only been here not quite a year.

David (In St. Albans, Vermont)


David Stous
Chief Maille Smith
Wolf's Den Armoury
St. Albans, Vermont
http://www.wolfsdenarmoury.com

Joined: September 06, 2002
Posts: 124
Submissions: 0
Location: St. Cloud, MN, USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:24 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Greetings,

I must admit that my first thought after reading this was that it wasn't that bad. Especially given the misleading information you had to work with. In this reply I will highlight the portions that I feel need a bit of clarification. Please understand that although these responses may come across as blunt they are in no way directed as a personal afront to you.

Now, the beginning paragraph of your article is almost a verbatim copy of what was stated by the authors mentioned. This is not the way to write an article. Simply regurgitating what others have said does nothing to further knowledge of a given subject. What Matthias wrote about mail falling into disuse during the 17th century is not very accurate especially when he cites no solid references and instead tells us about an engraving. When Arkell visited the mail-makers in the Sudan in 1939 he was not seeing mail-making as it was done for the armour trade, but what was being done for the tourist trade. The Sudanese never made mail for combat. Rather they purchased used mail shirts from Europe and pieced them together.

I would also caution against the use of references within the text itself. Make them either footnotes or endnotes. It will give youa much more professional looking document. Using them in the text just disrupts the continuity of the article and prevents the reader from enjoying the article as fully as they would were the notes located at the end.

Your fourth paragraph cites mail as being susceptible to piercing attacks. Blunt trauma yes, but not so puch to piercing attacks. There are many contemporary accounts from the Crusades both Islamic and Christian that state the mail of the Crusaders was almost impenetrable. Some even looking like pin cushions due to the number of arrows protruding for their armour. They were unhindered by them. The most recent tests relating to how well mail protected against this sort of attack is given here

Your fifth paragraph account of mail being severely compromised is very suspect. We do not know the specifics of this injury or the specifics of the mail used. There are too many variables that are not mentioned for this description to be taken at face value. If the longbow was so effective, why was mail still employed as the main armour for some time after the inception of the bow? The longbow was not the weapon that many people today try to make it out to be. Much of its "mystique" was put forth by English historians with a need to build themselves up. A sort of national pride if you will.

Matthias' remarks about the guild system are unique. Unfortunately he does not cite the sources for his assertions. I am only aware of apprenticeships for plate. Those for mail would not take anywhere near that long to complete. Mail-making was a specialized trade, but one that was easily learned. This will be explained further on.

Now we get to the actual method of construction. You mention that it is highly debateable whether mail-makers knew the techniques of wire-drawing citing both Burgess and Matthias. This a strange statement coming from Matthias since he seems to be such an expert on guilds. If he were he woujld have known that wire-drawing was a separate trade with its own guild structure. It was like this, wire-drawers sold their wire to link-makers who in turn sold their links to mail-makers. This information is taken from Milan city documents of the 15th century.

The wrought iron wire that was used to make mail back then is obtainable today of you make it yourself. A very time consuming process as I have done it myself. However, if you use pure iron wire the results are very similar to using high quality wrought iorn. There are examples of mail being very high quality and slag free. This is due to the process by which the wire was manufactured. If it was not very pure and had many slag inclusions it could not be drawn successfully and owuld break off regularly. It wlso makes the following production steps very difficult if not near impossible.

The evidence for the tool used to remove the links from the coil is not destroyed. You just have to know what to look for.

Eli mentioned the lapping stage being left out. It should not have been. Where is this conflicting information you speak of? The lapping process is very critical to the type of mail you are trying to produce. The lapping stage is quite easy to do. All you need is a pair of pliers and patience. You do not need a fancy tapered hole or any other special device that people today seem to want to invent. Simplicity is the key here.

The flattening process that is described by Burgess is rubbish. A hammer and anvil, or other hard surface is all that is needed. You have to be careful not to flatten the lapped area too much or the link will not retain enough thickness to be able to be formed correctly with the setting tongs. The flattening and the lapping stages go hand in hand. Depending on the type of mail being produced the link could be flattened prior to lapping. It could also be flattened after or just the lapped area would be flattened.

The riveting portion needs clarification as well. Rivets of square, round/ovoid, and flat wedge were used. These could be made from wire or from flat sheet. There is some current research being done on this very subject which when finished will be quite an exciting read. Half of the links would be riveted one at a time and then placed within the garment and the connecting link riveted right away. They would not have placed rivets in links making up an entire row and then have gone back to peen them closed.

As for the patterning of mail garments, more thorough research needs to be done in that area before any conclusions can be drawn. Burgess did not view that many mail items so his opinion is not worth much.

The reason that the rivet heads faced out is something we will never be able to answer. The idea that it was to prevent chafing of the undergarment does not hold up to scrutiny. If that were the case then why are there so many garments made of mail sewn between two layers of fabric?

The idea of case-carburising is a hotly debated topic. If this were the case then why are none of the rivets in these pieces of mail steel? The link is but the rivet is still soft iron. This can only occur if the link is carburised before it is riveted, so the carburising of an entire garment is very suspect.

Now for the works you cite as your references. Burgess' work was performed almost five decades ago. He was not a mail-smith by any means. In fact his trade and passion were clockmaking. He noticed a piece of mail in a shop window one day at the age of eighteen and decided he could do that. Being a tinkerer with tools and whatnot he gave it a go. His articles leave a lot to be desired when viewed in light of todays research.

David Edge's book is also full of misleading information. He has told me this on several occassions. The part in the book where it discusses mail-making is nothing more than a reprint of what Burgess stated in his articles.

Ffoukles... Where to begin. His works are almost universially discredited today because of the immense amount of mistakes in them.

Now, Matthias is a very nice person and very knowledgeable. However, some of his theories are not. This is because he is an academic and not a practitioner. Without practical knowledge this is one subject that you cannot possibly hope to write about accurately.

Have a look at my website and shoot me an e-mail if you want more updated and informative information. I hope this has not come across as too in your face blunt.

Sincerely,
Erik



Joined: November 14, 2002
Posts: 1892
Submissions: 9
Location: North Carolina

Reply with quote
Posted on Thu Dec 04, 2003 4:35 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

hockywierdo55,

Unfortunatly the pictures I took while doing my project came out VERY blurry and not nearly worth the time of scanning. I might look into using some of the pictures from the books I used, with proper citations of course.


Tjelvar,

I used the interlibrary loan system at my college library. One of the books had to be sent from New Jersey.


Bative,

Many thanks. Smile I am glad that it is not boring.


Erik D. Schmid,

Thank you for the constructive criticism. Smile It is very much appreciated. I shall try to address each of your concerns here.
Mainly the text was taken from a report I did for my Archaeology class and was, for the sake of the report, merely a compilation of the historical background of maille. By no means my best historical work.
As for the citations, it was the style that I had to use for the project. Personally, I prefer footnotes/endnotes as well. Any citation style that uses the parenthetical style is an eye-sore to me.
Something that I tried to convey in the report was that maille making and bow making were, in a way, competing with one another. I do not think I fleshed out that argument well enough.
I wish I could recall the conflicting information, but unfortunatly I can not. I had one source claiming pre-overlapped rings and one claiming non-overlapped and, again for the sake of keeping the statement brief in my project, I omitted it. Later on, in my "experiment" section I explained that I cut the rings with an overlap already existing.
I was not much of a fan of Burgess' process of flattening either, so when I did my experiment I used just a hammer and steel plate. Same simple thing as you describe.
I was curious about the riveting procedure in the weaving process as well, and none my sources gave me an answer that went into enough detail to make me happy. I would have expected some type of "speedweaving" method like what you describe.
I was unaware of the controversy in the case-carburising, thank you for letting me know about it.
I was afraid that my sources were going to be sub-par. Especially since I had such a hard time finding sources that I could acquire through my library.
Again, many thanks for the clarifications. Your response was not too blunt for me. I have done many, many college papers and my professors are much more harsh than you have been. Smile


Peace,

Matt


'Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man.
- Joseph Carey Merrick, "The Elephant Man"

Joined: July 30, 2003
Posts: 2645
Submissions: 62
Location: Mission Viejo, California

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Dec 06, 2003 5:59 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Erik u no so much really i am amazed wuts your major i looked at your website and i was stunned is this your job for some historical society it looks like i wouldve taken days and hours how long have you been researching maille


<a href="http://www.greatbodyofwater.blogspot.com">Great Body Of Water Music Blog</a> run by me and my friend.

Joined: September 06, 2002
Posts: 124
Submissions: 0
Location: St. Cloud, MN, USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:31 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

I really appreciate the sentiment. However, there is still so much that I don't know about mail it's scary. I recently returned from a three week research trip to the UK where I obtained a good deal of new information on mail. However, just as I was figuring out the answer to one question a dozen more appeared. The world of mail scholarship is extremely vast.

My full-time career combines two jobes, one is being a mail-smith which I have been doing for seven years and the other is serving as director of the research society which started two years ago. By the way I just added a couple new pictures of Roman mail to the link styles page of the research society. More will be added very soon.

Cheers,
Erik



Joined: November 14, 2002
Posts: 1892
Submissions: 9
Location: North Carolina

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Dec 07, 2003 1:43 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Erik D. Schmid,

The trip must have been fantastic!
If I may ask, how is your research society funded? I am a budding historian (getting my bachelor's degree in 8 days) and am always looking for possible career paths.


Peace,

Matt


'Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man.
- Joseph Carey Merrick, "The Elephant Man"

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 2 of 2. Goto page Previous  1, 2
All times are GMT. The time now is Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:39 pm
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Articles Discussion
Display posts from previous: