Decius known as Trajan Decius, was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251. A distinguished politician during the reign of Philippus Arabus, Decius was proclaimed emperor by his troops after putting down a rebellion in Moesia. In 249, he defeated and killed Philip near Verona and was recognized as emperor by the Senate afterwards. During his reign, he attempted to strengthen the Roman state and its religion, leading to the Decian persecution, where a number of prominent Christians were put to death. In the last year of his reign, Decius co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus, until they were both killed by the Goths in the Battle of Abritus. Decius, born at Budalia, near Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior, was one of the first among a long succession of future Roman Emperors to originate from the Danube provinces simply called Illyricum. Unlike some of his immediate imperial predecessors such as Philip the Arab or Maximinus who did not have extensive administrative experience before assuming the throne, Decius was a distinguished senator who had served as suffect consul in 232, had been governor of Moesia and Germania Inferior soon afterwards, served as governor of Hispania Tarraconensis between 235–238, was urban prefect of Rome during the early reign of Emperor Philip the Arab.
Around 245, Philip entrusted Decius with an important command on the Danube. By the end of 248 or 249, Decius was sent to quell the revolt of Pacatianus and his troops in Moesia and Pannonia. After the collapse of the revolt, Decius let. Philip advanced against him and was killed at Verona, Italy, in September 249; the Senate recognized Decius as Emperor, giving him the attribute Traianus in reference to the emperor Trajan. According to the Byzantine historian Zosimus, Decius was clothed in purple and forced to undertake the government, despite his reluctance and unwillingness. Decius' political program was focused on the restoration of the strength of the State, both militarily opposing the external threats, restoring the public piety with a program of renovation of the State religion. Either as a concession to the Senate, or with the idea of improving public morality, Decius endeavoured to revive the separate office and authority of the censor; the choice was left to the Senate. But Valerian, well aware of the dangers and difficulties attached to the office at such a time, declined the responsibility.
The invasion of the Goths and Decius' death put an end to the abortive attempt. During his reign, he proceeded with several building projects in Rome, "including the Thermae Decianae or Baths of Decius on the Aventine", completed in 252 and survived through to the 16th century. In January 250, Decius is said to have issued one of the most remarkable Roman imperial edicts. From the numerous surviving texts from Egypt, recording the act of sacrifice, it appears that the edict itself was clear: All the inhabitants of the empire were required to sacrifice before the magistrates of their community'for the safety of the empire' by a certain day; when they sacrificed they would obtain a certificate recording the fact that they had complied with the order. That is, the certificate would testify the sacrificant's loyalty to the ancestral gods and to the consumption of sacrificial food and drink as well as the names of the officials who were overseeing the sacrifice. According to D. S. Potter, Decius did not try to impose the superiority of the Roman pantheon over any other gods.
It is probable that the edict was an attempt to legitimize his position and to respond to a general unease provoked by the passing of the Roman millennium. While Decius himself may have intended the edict as a way to reaffirm his conservative vision of the Pax Romana and to reassure Rome's citizens that the empire was still secure, it sparked a "terrible crisis of authority as various Christian bishops and their flocks reacted to it in different ways." Measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church make a sacrifice for the Emperor. The sacrifice was "on behalf of" the Emperor, not to the Emperor, since a living Emperor was not considered divine. Certificates were issued to those who satisfied the commissioners during the persecution of Christians under Decius. Forty-six such certificates have been published, all dating from four of them from Oxyrhynchus. Anyone, including Christian followers, who refused to offer a sacrifice for the Emperor and the Empire's well-being by a specified date risked torture and execution.
A number of prominent Christians did, in fact, refuse to make a sacrifice and were killed in the process, including Pope Fabian himself in 250, "anti-Christian feeling led to killings at Carthage and Alexandria." In reality, towards the end of the second year of Decius' reign, "the ferocity of the persecution had eased off, the earlier tradition of tolerance had begun to reassert itself." The Christian church, despite no indication in the surviving texts that the edict targeted any specific group, never forgot the reign of Decius whom they labelled as that "fierce tyrant". At this time, there was a second outbreak of the Antonine Plague, which at its h
Crisis of the Third Century
The Crisis of the Third Century known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis, was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into Roman territory. The crisis began with the assassination of Emperor Severus Alexander by his own troops in 235; this initiated a 50-year period during which there were at least 26 claimants to the title of emperor prominent Roman army generals, who assumed imperial power over all or part of the Empire. The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors. By 268, the empire had split into three competing states: the Gallic Empire, including the Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania. Aurelian reunited the empire; the crisis resulted in such profound changes in the empire's institutions, economic life and religion, that it is seen by most historians as defining the transition between the historical periods of classical antiquity and late antiquity.
After the Roman Empire had been stabilised once again after the turmoil of the Year of the Five Emperors in the reign of Septimius Severus, the Severan dynasty lost more and more control. Septimius Severus raised the pay of legionaries, gave substantial donativum to the troops; the large and ongoing increase in military expenditure caused problems for all of his successors. His son Caracalla raised the annual pay and lavished many benefits on the army, in accordance with the advice of his father to keep their loyalty, considered dividing the Empire into eastern and western sectors with his brother Geta to reduce the conflict in their co-rule; the situation of the Roman Empire became dire in 235. Many Roman legions had been defeated during a previous campaign against Germanic peoples raiding across the borders, while the emperor Severus Alexander had been focused on the dangers from the Sassanid Empire. Leading his troops the emperor resorted to diplomacy and accepting tribute to pacify the Germanic chieftains rather than military conquest.
According to Herodian this cost Severus Alexander the respect of his troops, who may have felt that more severe punishment was required for the tribes that had intruded on Rome's territory. The troops assassinated Severus Alexander and proclaimed the new emperor to be Maximinus Thrax, commander of one of the legions present. Maximinus was the first of the barracks emperors – rulers who were elevated by the troops without having any political experience, a supporting faction, distinguished ancestors, or a legitimate claim to the imperial throne; as their rule rested on military might and generalship, they operated as warlords reliant on the army to maintain power. Maximinus continued the campaigns in Germania but struggled to exert his authority over the whole empire; the Senate was displeased at having to accept a peasant as Emperor. This precipitated the chaotic Year of the Six Emperors during which all of the original claimants were killed: in 238 a revolt broke out in Africa led by Gordian I and Gordian II, soon supported by the Roman Senate, but this was defeated with Gordian II killed and Gordian I committing suicide.
The Senate, fearing Imperial wrath, raised two of their own as co-Emperors and Balbinus with Gordian I's grandson Gordian III as Caesar. Maximinus marched on Rome but was assassinated by his Legio II Parthica, subsequently Pupienus and Balbinus were murdered by the Praetorian Guard. In the following years, numerous generals of the Roman army fought each other for control of the empire and neglected their duties of defending it from invasion. There were frequent raids across the Rhine and Danube frontier by foreign tribes, including the Carpians, Goths and Alamanni, attacks from Sassanids in the east. Climate changes and a sea level rise disrupted the agriculture of what is now the Low Countries, forcing tribes residing in the region to migrate into Roman lands. Further disruption arose in 251; this plague caused large-scale death weakening the empire. The situation was worsened in 260. Throughout the period, numerous usurpers claimed the imperial throne. In the absence of a strong central authority, the empire broke into three competing states.
The Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania broke off to form the Gallic Empire in 260. The eastern provinces of Syria and Aegyptus became independent as the Palmyrene Empire in 267; the remaining provinces, centred on Italy, stayed under a single ruler but now faced threats on every side. An invasion of Macedonia and Greece by Goths, displaced from their lands on the Black Sea, was defeated by emperor Claudius II Gothicus at the Battle of Naissus in 268 or 269. Historians see this victory as the turning point of the crisis. In its aftermath, a series of tough, energetic barracks emperors were able to reassert central authority. Further victories by Claudius Gothicus drove back the Alamanni and recovered
Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Turin and of the Piedmont region, was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865; the city is located on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 878,074 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million. The city has a rich culture and history, being known for its numerous art galleries, churches, opera houses, parks, theatres, libraries and other venues. Turin is well known for its Renaissance, Rococo, Neo-classical, Art Nouveau architecture. Many of Turin's public squares, castles and elegant palazzi such as the Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. A part of the historical center of Turin was inscribed in the World Heritage List under the name Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.
The city used to be a major European political center. From 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy, the first capital of the unified Italy from 1861 to 1865. Turin is sometimes called "the cradle of Italian liberty" for having been the birthplace and home of notable individuals who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour; the city hosts some of Italy's best universities, academies and gymnasia, such as the University of Turin, founded in the 15th century, the Turin Polytechnic. In addition, the city is home to museums such as the Mole Antonelliana. Turin's attractions make it one of the world's top 250 tourist destinations and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008. Though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, Turin became a major European crossroad for industry and trade, is part of the famous "industrial triangle" along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third after Milan and Rome, for economic strength.
With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power. As of 2018, the city has been ranked by GaWC as a Gamma World city. Turin is home to much of the Italian automotive industry. Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F. C. and Torino F. C. the headquarters of automobile manufacturers Fiat and Alfa Romeo, as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The Taurini were an ancient Celto-Ligurian Alpine people, who occupied the upper valley of the Po River, in the center of modern Piedmont. In 218 BC, they were attacked by Hannibal as he was allied with their long-standing enemies, the Insubres; the Taurini chief town was captured by Hannibal's forces after a three-day siege. As a people they are mentioned in history, it is believed that a Roman colony was established in 9 BC under the name of Julia Augusta Taurinorum. Both Livy and Strabo mention the Taurini's country as including one of the passes of the Alps, which points to a wider use of the name in earlier times.
In the 1st century BC, the Romans founded Augusta Taurinorum. The typical Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city in the neighborhood known as the Quadrilatero Romano. Via Garibaldi traces the exact path of the Roman city's decumanus which began at the Porta Decumani incorporated into the Castello or Palazzo Madama; the Porta Palatina, on the north side of the current city centre, is still preserved in a park near the Cathedral. Remains of the Roman-period theater are preserved in the area of the Manica Nuova. Turin reached about 5,000 inhabitants at all living inside the high city walls. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the town was conquered by the Heruli and the Ostrogoths, recaptured by the Romans, but conquered again by the Lombards and the Franks of Charlemagne; the Contea di Torino was founded in the 940s and was held by the Arduinic dynasty until 1050. After the marriage of Adelaide of Susa with Humbert Biancamano's son Otto, the family of the Counts of Savoy gained control.
While the title of count was held by the Bishop as count of Turin it was ruled as a prince-bishopric by the Bishops. In 1230–1235 it was a lordship under the Marquess of Montferrat, styled Lord of Turin. At the end of the 13th century, when it was annexed to the Duchy of Savoy, the city had 20,000 inhabitants. Many of the gardens and palaces were built in the 15th century; the University of Turin was founded during this period. Emmanuel Philibert known under the nickname of Iron Head, made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza Reale and Via Nuova were added along with the first enlargement of the walls, in the first half of the 17th century. In the second half of that century, a second enlargement of the walls was planned and executed, with the building of the arcaded Via Po, connecting Piazza Castello with the bridge on the Po through the regular street grid. In 1706, during the Battle of Turin, the French besieged the city for 117 days without conquering it. By the Treaty of Utrecht the Duke of Savoy acquir
The Nerva–Antonine dynasty was a dynasty of seven Roman Emperors who ruled over the Roman Empire from 96 CE to 192 CE. These Emperors are Nerva, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus; the first five of the six successions within this dynasty were notable in that the reigning Emperor adopted the candidate of his choice to be his successor. Under Roman law, an adoption established a bond as strong as that of kinship; because of this, all but the first and last of the Nerva-Antonine emperors are called Adoptive Emperors. The importance of official adoption in Roman society has been considered as a conscious repudiation of the principle of dynastic inheritance and has been deemed one of the factors of the period's prosperity. However, this was not a new practice, it was common for patrician families to adopt, Roman emperors had adopted heirs in the past: the Emperor Augustus had adopted Tiberius and the Emperor Claudius had adopted Nero. Julius Caesar, dictator perpetuo and considered to be instrumental in the transition from Republic to Empire, adopted Gaius Octavius, who would become Augustus, Rome's first emperor.
Moreover, there was a family connection as Trajan adopted his first cousin once removed and great-nephew by marriage Hadrian, Hadrian made his half-nephew by marriage and heir Antoninus Pius adopt both Hadrian's second cousin three times removed and half-great-nephew by marriage Marcus Aurelius Antoninus' nephew by marriage, the son of his original planned successor, Lucius Verus. The naming by Marcus Aurelius of his son Commodus was considered to be an unfortunate choice and the beginning of the Empire's decline. With Commodus' murder in 192, the Nerva-Antonine dynasty came to an end. Nerva was the first of the dynasty. Though his reign was short, it saw a partial reconciliation between the army and commoners. Nerva adopted as his son the popular military leader Trajan. In turn, Hadrian succeeded Trajan; the Antonines are four Roman Emperors who ruled between 138 and 192: Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus and Commodus. In 138, after a long reign dedicated to the cultural unification and consolidation of the empire, the Emperor Hadrian named Antoninus Pius his son and heir, under the condition that he adopt both Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
Hadrian died that same year, Antoninus began a peaceful, benevolent reign. He adhered to Roman traditions and institutions and shared his power with the Roman Senate. Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus succeeded Antoninus Pius in 161 upon that emperor's death, co-ruled until Verus' death in 169. Marcus continued the Antonine legacy after Verus' death as an unpretentious and gifted administrator and leader, he was followed by his biological son, Commodus. The rulers known as the "Five Good Emperors" were Nerva, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius; the term was coined based on what the political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in 1503: From the study of this history we may learn how a good government is to be established. But as soon as the empire fell once more to the heirs by birth, its ruin recommenced. Machiavelli argued that these adopted emperors, through good rule, earned the respect of those around them: Titus, Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus had no need of praetorian cohorts, or of countless legions to guard them, but were defended by their own good lives, the good-will of their subjects, the attachment of the senate.
The 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon, in his work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, opined that their rule was a time when "the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue". Gibbon believed these benevolent dictators and their moderate policies were unusual and contrasted with their more tyrannical and oppressive successors. Gibbon went so far as to state: If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus; the vast extent of the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded respect; the forms of the civil administration were preserved by Nerva, Trajan and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws.
Such princes deserved the honour of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom. At the time when the above was written, the idea of enlightened absolutism was accepted in various European countries. One hypothesis posits that adoptive succession is thought to have arisen because of a lack of biological heirs. All but the last of the adoptive emperors had no legitimate biological sons to succeed them, they were thus obliged to pick a successor somewhere else. The dynasty may be broken up into the Nerva -- Antonine dynasty; the concept of "The Five Good Emp
Mithraism known as the Mithraic mysteries, was a mystery religion centered on the god Mithras, practiced in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century CE. The religion was inspired by Iranian worship of the god Mithra, though the Greek Mithras was linked to a new and distinctive imagery, the level of continuity between Persian and Greco-Roman practice is debated; the mysteries were popular among the Roman military. Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation and communal ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those "united by the handshake", they met in underground temples, now called mithraea, which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its centre in Rome, was popular throughout the western half of the empire, as far south as Roman Africa and Numidia, as far north as Roman Britain, to a lesser extent in Roman Syria in the east. Mithraism is viewed as a rival of early Christianity. In the 4th century, Mithraists faced persecution from Roman Christians and the religion was subsequently suppressed and eliminated in the empire by the end of the century.
Numerous archaeological finds, including meeting places and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, sharing a banquet with the god Sol. About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene, about 400 other monuments, it has been estimated. No written narratives or theology from the religion survive. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested; the term "Mithraism" is a modern convention. Writers of the Roman era referred to it by phrases such as "Mithraic mysteries", "mysteries of Mithras" or "mysteries of the Persians". Modern sources sometimes refer to the Greco-Roman religion as "Roman Mithraism" or "Western Mithraism" to distinguish it from Persian worship of Mithra; the name Mithras is a form of Mithra, the name of an Old Persian god – a relationship understood by Mithraic scholars since the days of Franz Cumont.
An early example of the Greek form of the name is in a 4th-century BCE work by Xenophon, the Cyropaedia, a biography of the Persian king Cyrus the Great. The exact form of a Latin or classical Greek word varies due to the grammatical process of declension. There is archaeological evidence that in Latin worshippers wrote the nominative form of the god's name as "Mithras". However, in Porphyry's Greek text De Abstinentia, there is a reference to the now-lost histories of the Mithraic mysteries by Euboulus and Pallas, the wording of which suggests that these authors treated the name "Mithra" as an indeclinable foreign word. Related deity-names in other languages include Sanskrit Mitra, the name of a god praised in the Rig Veda. In Sanskrit, "mitra" means "friend" or "friendship"; the form mi-it-ra-, found in an inscribed peace treaty between the Hittites and the kingdom of Mitanni, from about 1400 BCE. Iranian "Mithra" and Sanskrit "Mitra" are believed to come from an Indo-Iranian word mitra meaning contract / agreement / covenant.
Modern historians have different conceptions about. John R. Hinnells has written of Mitra / Mithra / Mithras as a single deity worshipped in several different religions. On the other hand, David Ulansey considers the bull-slaying Mithras to be a new god who began to be worshipped in the 1st century BCE, to whom an old name was applied. Mary Boyce, a researcher of ancient Iranian religions, writes that though Roman Empire Mithraism seems to have had less Iranian content than historians used to think, nonetheless "as the name Mithras alone shows, this content was of some importance". Much about the cult of Mithras is only known from sculptures. There have been many attempts to interpret this material. Mithras-worship in the Roman Empire was characterized by images of the god slaughtering a bull. Other images of Mithras are found in the Roman temples, for instance Mithras banqueting with Sol, depictions of the birth of Mithras from a rock, but the image of bull-slaying is always in the central niche.
Textual sources for a reconstruction of the theology behind this iconography are rare. The practice of depicting the god slaying a bull seems to be specific to Roman Mithraism. According to David Ulansey, this is "perhaps the most important example" of evident difference between Iranian and Roman traditions: "... There is no evidence that the Iranian god Mithra had anything to do with killing a bull." In every mithraeum the centrepiece was a representation of Mithras killing a sacred bull, an act called the tauroctony. The image may be a relief, or free-standing, side details may be present or omitted; the centre-piece is Mithras clothed in Anatolian costume and wearing a Phrygian cap. As he does so, he looks over his shoulder towards the figure of Sol. A dog and a snake reach up towards the blood. A scorpion seizes the bull's genitals. A raven is sitting on the bull. Three ears of wheat are seen coming out from the bull's tail, sometimes from the wound; the bull was white. The god is sitting on the bull in an unnatural way with his right leg co
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
Mail or maille is a type of armour consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. A coat of this armour is referred to as a hauberk, sometimes a byrnie; the earliest examples of surviving mail were found in the Carpathian Basin at a burial in Horný Jatov, Slovakia dated at 3rd century BC, a in a chieftain's burial located in Ciumești, Romania. Its invention is credited to the Celts, but there are examples of Etruscan pattern mail dating from at least the 4th century BCE. Mail may have been inspired by the much earlier scale armour. Mail spread to North Africa, West Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Tibet, South East Asia, Japan. Herodotus wrote that the ancient Persians wore scale armour, but mail is distinctly mentioned in the Avesta, the ancient holy scripture of the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, founded by the prophet Zoroaster in the 5th century BC. Mail continues to be used in the 21st century as a component of stab-resistant body armour, cut-resistant gloves for butchers and woodworkers, shark-resistant wetsuits for defense against shark bites, a number of other applications.
The origins of the word mail are not known. One theory is that it derives from the Latin word macula, meaning spot or opacity. Another theory relates the word to the old French maillier. In modern French, maille refers to a stitch; the Arabic words "burnus", برنوس, a burnoose. The first attestations of the word mail are in Old French and Anglo-Norman: maille, maile, or male or other variants, which became mailye, maile, male, or meile in Middle English; the modern usage of terms for mail armour is contested in popular and, to a lesser degree, academic culture. Medieval sources referred to armour of this type as mail. Since the word mail has been if incorrectly, applied to other types of armour, such as in plate-mail; the more correct term is plate armour. Civilizations that used mail invented specific terms for each garment made from it; the standard terms for European mail armour derive from French: leggings are called chausses, a hood is a mail coif, mittens, mitons. A mail collar hanging from a helmet is a aventail.
A shirt made from mail is a hauberk if a haubergeon if mid-thigh length. A layer of mail sandwiched between layers of fabric is called a jazerant. A waist-length coat in medieval Europe was called a byrnie, although the exact construction of a byrnie is unclear, including whether it was constructed of mail or other armour types. Noting that the byrnie was the "most valued piece of armour" to the Carolingian soldier, Bradbury, DeVries and Jestice indicate that: There is some dispute among historians as to what constituted the Carolingian byrnie. Relying... only on artistic and some literary sources because of the lack of archaeological examples, some believe that it was a heavy leather jacket with metal scales sewn onto it. It was quite long, reaching below the hips and covering most of the arms. Other historians claim instead that the Carolingian byrnie was nothing more than a coat of mail, but longer and heavier than traditional early medieval mail. Without more certain evidence, this dispute will continue.
The use of mail as battlefield armour was common during the Iron Age and the Middle Ages, becoming less common over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries when plate armor and more advanced firearms were developed. It is believed that the Roman Republic first came into contact with mail fighting the Gauls in Cisalpine Gaul, now Northern Italy, but a different pattern of mail was in use among the Etruscans; the Roman army adopted the technology for their troops in the form of the lorica hamata, used as a primary form of armour through the Imperial period. After the fall of the Western Empire, much of the infrastructure needed to create plate armour diminished; the word "mail" came to be synonymous with armour. It was an prized commodity, as it was expensive and time-consuming to produce and could mean the difference between life and death in a battle. Mail from dead combatants was looted and was used by the new owner or sold for a lucrative price; as time went on and infrastructure improved, it came to be used by more soldiers.
With the rise of the lanced cavalry charge, impact warfare, high-powered crossbows, mail came to be used as a secondary armour to plate for the mounted nobility. By the 14th century, plate armour was used to supplement mail. Mail was supplanted by plate for the most part, as it provided greater protection against windlass crossbows, bludgeoning weapons, lance charges. However, mail was still used by many soldiers as well as brigandines and padded jacks; these three types of armour made up the bulk of the equipment used by soldiers, with mail being the most expensive. It was sometimes more expensive than plate armour. Mail persisted longer in less technologically advanced areas such as Eastern Europe but was in use everywhere into the 16th century. During the late 19th and early 20th century, mail was used as a material for bulletproof vests, most notably by the Wilkinson Sword Company. Results were unsatisfactory.