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Scale or Imbricate armour was represented on the Trajan Column, to give only one of the many examples of its use in very early times. That it was a very pliant and serviceable defence we may judge from the fact that, with some alteration in its application, it formed the distinguishing feature of the Brigandine of the fifteenth century. The scales were sewn upon a leather or quilted garment. Scale mail predates chain mail and it can be traced down to the Ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. In the Bronze Age it was the armour of kings, princes and generals. But when manufacturing technology and metallurgy advanced, this kingly armour slowly filtered down to the common foot soldier, and the kings attired themselves in more prestigious armour. Scale armour offers better protection against bludgeoning than chain mail. It was also cheaper to produce, but it is not as flexible and does not offer the same amount of coverage. It was a favourite agent for defence for many centuries, and did not eventually disappear in England as such until the close of the fifteenth century.
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