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Thread: B:TW - Encyclopedia of armour and weapons

  1. #1
    EarendilElenthol's Avatar Artifex
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    Default B:TW - Encyclopedia of armour and weapons

    I'm putting here my research for the mod, with regard to armour, weapons and so on. It will grow over time. This is meant to share my research with the community. I can't guarantee it's accuracy, although mostly it is based on more sources, so many that when you ask, I most certainly cannot remember where I found it. Use it at your own peril

    PM me if you have new idea's, or start a thread for comments on this one.


    Edit: Weapons survey is completed (only the firearms will need some info, but I'm not interesed in those )
    Edit: Helmets survey is completed (when someone could give me more info on the russian stuff, that would help definitely)
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; February 03, 2010 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2
    EarendilElenthol's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Encyclopedia thread

    List western armour types:

    (boiled) leather -> plate armour

    scale armour (scale armour) -> lamellar (leather iron steel horn) -> plated mail (iron/steel)/brigandine -> plate mail
    lamellae by steppe people (not known for their furnaces) quite likely of (lacquered) boiled leather or (lacquered) horn

    gambeson, 10th-14th -> brigandine, end 14th-end 16th

    Coat of plates, 12-14th 8-600 plates (also interpreted as transitional armour) -> Lentner, middle 14th-early 15th -> (late) Brigandine
    Coat of plates, 12-14th 8-600 plates (also interpreted as transitional armour) -> Jack of plates, middle 14th-late 16th
    (early) Brigandine, on from end 14th (lentner?/JoP?/CoP?) -> Alwyte armour, mid 15th-early 15th (white armour/italian) -> Maximilian armour, early 16th and later

    Mail, 5th?-14th -> transitional armour, around 14th
    Transitional armour could be:
    1. Panzerrock = plate armour (on from end 13th), some plates for over ringmail
    2. Coat of plates with few plates (brigandine-like)
    3. splint mail
    transitional armour, 14th -> Alwyte armour, mid 15th-early 15th (white armour/italian) -> Maximilian armour, early 16th and later
    transitional armour, 14th -> kasten-brust early 15th -> German gothic (Gothischen Plattenpanzer), end 15th -> Maximilian armour, early 16th and later

    -Schuppenpanzer (type of lamellae) was considered inferior to mail but used in high middle ages as cheap armour until brigantine armour substituted it.
    -PL: Brigantine, first for infantery, later for archers and xbow both on foot as horsed

    every part of the body can be covered in mail, often used in connection with plate until fully substituted by it, or by brigandine
    hauberk = knees + sleeves;
    haubergeon = mid thighs + partial sleeves;

    Coat of plates was standard outfit in battle of visby 1360 also called visby armour because of the finds. It was used often with a mail hauberk and an helmet.
    Seems to be used for all parts of the body, gloves and helmet in this way are known.
    Mail sleeves being used with composite defenses occurs throughout the 15th century, being commonly paired with brigandines.

    -Plate mail
    Everything from transitional armour to maximilian armour is called plate mail (with the exception of brigandine), different styles and weights (20kg with early plate to 40kg for late plate)
    Plate mail parts are made for each bodypart, starting with shoulders, hands and upper leg, later on the rest.

    List eastern armour:
    kuyak (eastern brigantine) is type of Khatanga-Degelen ¿armour? (collectively Mongolian armor made of leather or other soft material), and is reinforced with metal plates fastened inside. Outside the kuyak had a layer of colored cloth. Often the kuyak was strengthened with a metal mirror armour on the chest the dorsal side. Mongolian kuyaks did often have long sleeves and extra metal to protect the shoulders.

    Under mail (soft iron otherwise it broke on impact) was a tegilyay, something like a gambeson (although the russians know the gambeson as well and do differ betweeen a tegilyay and a gambeson). Sometimes was the tegilyay the only armour a soldier wore (poor soldiers). It was made of quilted cloth with sometimes scraps of metal inside and had a high collar.

    Shalka bumazhnaya (my transcription, google translates it as paper cap) - a cloth/fur hood, cheap armour

    Poddospeshnik, functions as a gambeson under mail and is made of cotton -> Plate and a Poddospeshnik was too heavy so later on the plate mail was substituted by brigandine armour.

    Sapogi high leather/woollen boots used from the 10 th century to the 20th (model for later army boots)

    Mirror armour was made by plates of iron set in leather (like a plated mail) and used as extra protection for quite some body parts (head, hands, stomach, sides, knees, feet). It was used over mail.

    Lamellar armour was very popular with the eurasiatic steppe people and the mongols, and is used by rus'ians as well. It could be used over mail.

    Laminal armour of fur and leather was used by the northern people (karelian and siberian) (didn't freeze on the hide as metal tends to do and when hardened gives quite some defence)

    Mail was used in different layers by the richer people (wasn't just a poor mans armour)
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 14, 2010 at 07:52 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Weapons


    on form:
    on pommel:
    on hilt:
    on families of grips:

    -Viking sword
    Size: 1H, 91-100cm, no guard
    Time: from roman spatha/ german saks, used until 11th
    Use: both foot and horse
    -Arming sword/Knightly sword/Breitschwert
    Size: 1H, single edged, with guard, average blade is 90cm, average grip is 20cm
    Time: most common between 1000 and 1350 possible until 16th
    Use: noble, both on foot as horsed
    Comments: always with buckler/shield; developed from viking sword
    Size: sword on a 2m pole
    Time: only known from scandinavia, perhaps as early as the 12th-13th century
    Use: foot
    Comment: mostly old or broken swords set on a pole, only one picture known from a source from 1502
    Size: mostly 2H, possible 1H, single edged, 90 cm blade and 15-30cm grip, guard
    Time: 13-17th, popular after 1350
    Use: noble both on foot as horsed
    Comments: perhaps an even longer blade possible, although that is qualified as a Zweihander
    Size: 2H, guard, blade 120-150cm grip 30-45, sometimes parierhaken close to the hilt; when the blade is wave shaped it is called a Flamberge (13th Switzerland, 15th-16th Europe)
    Time: 14th-17th, most common in the 16th
    Use: foot (professional)
    Comments: Landsknecht weapon, also used by Swiss; considered a type of longsword; flamberge type on pole is a pole weapon called ox tongue.
    -Bastard sword/Anderthalbhänder
    Size: 1.5H, guard, variable size: 80-110cm blade, 30cm grip
    Time: mid 12th-14th
    Use: both on foot as horsed
    Comments: considered type of longsword; used for piercing instead of slashing; related to the misericorde/panzerbrecher
    Size: S-form guard, 75-110cm blade, 20cm grip
    Time: late 14th Balkans; 16th Italy
    Use: both on foot as horsed
    Comments: most likely the outfit of the "Serbian style" light cavalry in Hungary/Poland/Lithuania; developed in reaction to the turkish swords; related to but perhaps not the same is the Schiavona

    Size: double edged, 20cm, lightweight
    Time: on from 13th
    Use: close quarters, most likely on foot
    Comments: type of dagger, perhaps an earlier medieval form of the dagger (see under) than the rondel?
    Size: double edged, 40-60cm
    Time: early middle ages (around 1250 on knighlty gravestones)-17th
    Use: foot, later also horse
    Comments: the standard dagger, later on it started to resemble minitiature swords; It seems to be both a type as a generic term. When placed on a pole it comes close to a javelin or Godendac.
    Size: double edged, 30-50cm, nearly no guard or round "plate"
    Time: 14th-16th
    Use: - (secondary weapon on belt)
    Comments: used by everybody from merchant to knight, most common HRR type, functions as stiletto

    Size: around 70-90cm, single edged, broad bladed sword
    v1: cleaver falchion, long meat cleaver with rounded tip; machete-like
    v2: cusped falchion, slightly curved long blade with a quarter circle taken out, giving it 2 sharp points
    Time: v1 13th-14th; v2: 11th-16th (most used in 14th-15th)
    Use: foot (v1 militia/professional, v2 militia, professional, noble) horse
    Comments: cheaper than a sword and seen as a knife and not a swords; 2nd weapon english archers 14th
    -Großes Messer/Hiebmesser
    Size: 80-90cm blade, 20-30cm cm grip, total 1-1.2m, a single curved edge that led to a clipped-back tip
    Time: 14-16th
    Use: foot
    Comments: a single curved edge that led to a clipped-back tip, HRR, seen as a knife and not a sword
    -Glaive/Kůsa (CZ) from Couteau
    Size: 2-3m pole with 45cm blade, convex sharpened, sometimes with hook on backside (Glaive-guisarme)
    Time: 13th in France Italy and Burgundy, large version 14th in Switzerland, HRR and France very common in 15th (but used in whole europe), used until 17th
    Use: foot, horse?
    Comment: same as a Falchion v1 mounted on pole; looks much like a Voulge; common Hussite weapon; version in maciejowski bible (1250 france) in which a glaive without pole (but 60cm long blade?) is used by a knight on a horse
    Size: 1.5-1.8m pole with a scimitar like sword (50-80cm) (curved with point tip bent upwards)
    Time: 13th name known but perhaps relates to spears; Russia and Lithuania at last 15th; Specially known from Muscovy 15-17th
    Use: foot
    Comments: related to glaive
    Size: curved single edged, about 80 cm?
    Time: 10th Steppe people, 13th Mongols -> hungary+kievan rus+lithuania (14th) -> Moscow (15th) / polish (early 16th) (perhaps earlier in use in Rus´)
    Use: (plebeian, perhaps professional, also patrician)
    Comments: Hussar and Szlachta weapon
    -Kriegsmesser (german scimitar)
    Size: 1.5m, curved, single edged
    Time: 15-16th HRR
    Use: foot
    Comments: german scimitar, Hungarian version of Zweihänder; for infantery officers
    Size: double edged, 20-40cm, Panzerbrecher type is without guard; Stiletto type is with a bar, the whole weapon resembling a cross.
    Time: on from 12th in England and HRR; name stiletto in 16th
    Use: foot
    Comments: for thrusting in the tiny gaps of a plate harnas, secondary weapon of knights. Stiletto seems to be both a type of knife and a generic term for a type of daggers (including the poniard). Misericorde = Stiletto (German) but Panzerbrecher seems not to be a Stiletto. Seems to develop to a longer version: the estoc
    Size: mostly 2H, although 1H or 1.5H is possible, 20cm grip, 0.9-1.3m blade, very thin blade
    Time: 14th-18th
    Use: first on horse (hung from the side), later in scabbard on foot
    Comments: the rapier and epee come from this type

    Club (Europe)
    -Cudgel/Keule (Knüppel/Prügel)
    Size: 1H 50 cm? stick, sometimes thickening to the end
    Time: middle ages
    Use: foot (peasant)
    Comments: smaller version of the quarterstaff (1H)
    Size: 1H/2H 50-70cm pole of wooden or metal with metal head, cavalry maces had longer shafts; flanged (europe) or pear shaped (poland/russia) and much Time: until 12th not popular in europe;
    Use: both foot and horse (first noble, later professional or perhaps militia)
    Comments: very common in east (Poland/Russia) (noble); associated with Zizka; short version in sweden called: Hjälmkrossare; later a version called Köritsklubbor (with 6-8 heavy sharp "points"/"wings") is in use against plate armour until deep in the 16th
    -Morning star/Spikklubba/Morgenstern
    Size: wooden pole (50 cm) with iron head (8-12cm) set with iron cones of 1-2cm or wooden pole (50cm) with wooden head (±10cm) with about 13 sharp long iron spikes (±5cm)
    Time: 11th-17th; in Poland on from early 14th
    Use: foot (peasants, militia and professional)
    Comments: is mace with spikes, also a version on a pole (1.8m), not sure what the difference is with the Holy Water sprinkler
    -Pincon a plance/Godendag
    Size: 2H 1.2-1.8m (1.35m most likely) thickening pole with iron bands around on top and a sharp 3 or 4 sided pyramidal spike (20cm) on top.
    Time: late 13th-late 15th
    Use: foot
    Comments: Flemish and later whole low coutries, effective in both clubbing and thrusting, cheap
    Size: 1.8-2.4m, ash oak hazel and hawthorn
    Time: first mentioned in 15th, used to 18th
    Use: foot
    Comments: only known in english sources although a stick as a weapon is arleady used in the bible
    Size: 2m pole with a free flying stick on a short chain, or even only a hinge; stick could be wood/iron and reinforced with spikes
    Time: 12th-17th
    Use: foot (peasants and levy)
    difficult to control, chance to hit comrades, good vs shield, good impact, Hussite weapon, no iron needed: very cheap
    Size: 1H short pole (±50cm) with a iron spiked ball on a chain (30-40cm), Ball: ball shaped, pear shaped, double-cone shaped and more
    Time: 10th russian, 11th in western europe, peak in 15th
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: chain nearly always shorter than the stick, Hussite weapon, from steppe, Much used in russia; also used for disarming an opponent

    -Normal Hammer/Maul
    Size: no idea, I think a bit like the sledgehammer (like mjollnir hammer)
    Time: known from roman times or prehistoric? most likely used throughout the middle ages
    Use: foot (peasants)
    Comments: not much data available
    Size: 50cm pole usually, about 3kg
    Time: on from 11th, use in 15-16th
    Use: foot (professional, sometimes peasants)
    Comment: very common, used in 15th peasants uprisings (germany?)
    Size: 1.2m pole, around 20cm hammer
    Time: development 14th, use middle 15th (italy, france, HRR) -17th (poland/russia)
    Use: horsed
    Comment: very common; could also have arabic roots; sometimes with hook to hang it from the belt
    -Poleaxe -> Lucerne Hammer/Bec de Corbin/Bec de Fauchon
    Size: pole 1.5-2m, hammer head, with sharpened sides, spike and hook, 14kg; also version like a halberd but with instead of a hook a hammer and thus it qualifies as a poleaxe.
    Time: originating in 14th, used in 15-17th
    Use: foot (professional, sometimes peasants)
    Comment: Lucerne hammer was used with the hammer side, Bec de corbin with the hook side

    Size: 1h
    Time: continuous? common until 14th, used until 16th replacement with muscet and sabre
    Use: foot (peasants, professional, knights: 14th-15th Fr and Eng), horse until 18th in Poland and Hungary, 15th in France, HRR
    Comment: first a noble weapon, later professional and peasant; used with shield
    Size: about 20x20cm 0.5kg, pole 0.9-1.2m
    Time: Viking origin and through normans 11th-13th common weapon western europe on from 12th until 14th-15th, while in russia in 12th-13th already less used. But other sources say that there is an eastern european version, what suggests that this 2h tradition continues.
    Use: foot (peasants, professional, ¿knights?)
    Comments: common and cheap
    -Doloire/Wagoners axe
    Size: Pole: 1.5m Head: 30cm? Tear drop form with axe on front and hammer on back, there is one with spike on back instead of hammer
    Time: 15th to renaissance
    Use: foot
    Comments: self defence europewide
    -Bearded Axe (Skäggyxe, Halvmåne)
    Size: 60-80cm blade on 1.4m pole
    Time: common in west/central europe 13th, more common in sweden, russia and other parts of eastern europe
    Use: foot
    Comment: halberd originates from this in 12th, sometimes hard to distinguish from halberd but halberd has allways a longer pole/shaft; sometimes bardiche is considered a bearded axe
    -Bardiche/Berdiche/Long poleaxe/Pålyxa/Bardisje
    Size: large sharp axe 60-70cm on pole of 1.3-1.8m
    Time: late middleages palace guards in russia (1st half 15th), 1400-1600 Norway, 15th also to sweden and east PolandLithuania, 16-17th rest europe (Poland 1674), although other source places origins in 13th Hungary/Poland
    Place: Russia, Sweden, Poland/Lithuania
    Use: foot (guards, peasants, professional)
    -Halberd/Swiss Voulge
    Size: axe, point and hook on 2,5m pole
    Time: from 13th swiss/elzas, most used in 14th-16th
    Use: on foot by peasants/professionals
    Comment: hook to pull riders from horse, pike to impale horses and axe to finish off both, cheap and versatile
    origins debatable: late 13th swiss from Roßschinder 2m pole, 40-50cm edge and point curved backwards (hook, and sometimes more hooks and a daggerlike point that comes from the Stangenbeil (1260 elzas) or 12th swedish large axe.
    For Glaive, Kuse: see swords
    For Guisarme, Bill, Voulge: see undefiniable poleweapons
    Size: Small hammerlike axe on large pole
    Time: prehistoric, continuous use on the steppe and so in russia during middle ages, on from 16th also again in poland, hungary (possible also northern europe)
    Use: no idea, most likely foot
    Comment: good vs armour because hard hitting on small area
    -Throwing axe/Hurlbat
    Size: iron/steel, 25-30cm, 16cm long edge, other side a point; iron/steel 6mm, sharpened on every end to point of blade (different designs in use)
    Time: Central Europe, late middle ages (±1450-±1650), perhaps whole europe
    Use: unknown
    Comment: would always hurt in one way: the axe or the points or the velocity
    Size: walking stick (1m perhaps longer before 18th) with small axe head
    Time: hungarian 9th and Bulgars, Alans; 14th-17th from Wallachia to central europe
    Use: foot
    Comments: weapon of valachs, shepherds; seems not only from Rumanian Valachs but also from Moravian Valachs, seems they migrated to moravia in 13th-14th and switched to a slavic language

    -Flugellanze/Boar spear/¿Spjut? form of for Flugellanze
    Size: pole 2m ash, spearhead 20-30cm, with crossguard attached to spearhead
    Time: used in HRR and Scandinavia in roman era, HRR: early middle ages until 13th/14th a battleweapon, in Scandinavia long in use as spear
    Use: early middle ages both horse and foot, later only on foot
    Comment: seems to be the standard medieval spear out of which the lance was made
    -Knebelspieß/Bohemian earspoon
    Size: pole 2m ash, spearhead, with 2 wings/lugs pointing sidewards
    Time: originates early 15th used until end 16th at least
    Use: foot
    Comment: designed to be thrust like a spear and swung like a pickaxe, Hussite weapon?
    Size: pole 2m ash, wide (5-6.5cm) shaped spearhead up to 60cm, with crossguard but not attached to spearhead
    Time: at last early middle ages, in battle in russia on from 12th to 18th
    Use: foot (russia on from 12th) horse (russia on from 16th, noble), also a 1st half 15th HRR version present
    Comment: Seems to be the standard slavic spear, is also used to hunt bears
    Size: pole 2m ash, wide shaped spearhead of around 30cm, with sharpened wing/lug to both sides as cutting edge
    Time: origin 14th, use 15th-18th
    Use: foot
    Comment: much used in renaissance italy, perhaps originates from there, perhaps evolution out of Flugellanze or Knebelspieß
    Size: 1.8-2.4m pole, ±30cm spearpoint with two wings (trident-like) of max half that size, points and area within the wings was sharp but sides and back were blunt
    Time: europe, 13th-15th/16th, later ceremonial weapon
    Use: foot
    Comment: Spetum, wings at acute angles, Ranseur more a real trident, easy to chop of bodyparts with a quick thrust
    Size: 3-6m pole with iron spike 12-57cm, grip was worked with leather; about 1kg/m; 1327 already militia in Torino with pikes of 6m
    Time: at last late 13th (scotland/flanders) until 17th; in whole europe
    Use: foot (militia and professional)
    Comments: used with +sword/mace/dagger as secondary weapon; Gildon/Geldon is the early flemish pike
    Size: small long spears (1cm wide, 1m long spike on pole of 1.6-1.8m, metal rondel between spike and pole)
    Time: HRR 15-16th, Italy in 14th a thicker spike (Candeliere); without rondel it is called a Breach pike
    Comments: no idea how this was used
    -Lance/Cavalry spear
    Time: 11th onwards
    Use: horse (noble/professional)
    Comments: Perhaps to be equalled with a late Flugellanze or an improvement of it, as the Flugellanze was Ottonic and a bit later.
    Size: 3-5m long, leaflike top
    Time: on from 14th
    Use: horse (noble/professional) foot like pikemen (nobles: 1389 Sempach)
    Comments: Broke on impact, but squires carried more. Developed from the lance and the pike.

    Size: total: about 1.6-2.8 sometimes over 3m, metal head (up to 50cm) on wooden pole
    Time: migration period to 15th century in war, Europe
    Use: foot, range 12-15m
    Comments: like pilum
    Size: about 2m
    Time: migration period to at least 11th HRR and Scandinavia
    Use: foot perhaps horse
    Comments: like hasta; Germanic tribes
    Size: 1.7m
    Time: 12-15th (1520 still used by Landsknecht); europe
    Use: foot
    Comments: like heavy javelin of romans, came from africa with the moors and used by almogavars; perhaps from there to europe as sources mention it in HRR in 13th-15th and was banned in 1320 but stayed very popular; this is perhaps the weapon of 14th english javelin-men;
    Size: heavy spear
    Time: 9-13th century in north/west Russia and Scandinavia
    Use: foot (10-30m range)
    Comments: this seems to be something else then the Rohatyn; name later used for western european lance or lancea
    Size: 70-120cm. steel tip of 15cm on shaft of 50-100cm
    Time: mongol invasion and later by osmans/persian
    Use: horse
    Comments: osmanic weapon and used by mongols, steppe weapon?

    Pole weapons derived from (peasant) tools
    -Military Fork
    Size: pitchfork with 2 prongs instead of 4-5, 1-1.2m pole, 30cm fork
    Time: 15-19th century all over europe
    Use: foot (peasants mostly)
    Comment: sometimes specially designed and easy to make for village blacksmiths, sometimes simple pitchforks bent right, notably use in France, Italy and HRR
    -Guisarme/Bill also called Bisarma, Giserne, Gisarme
    Scythe form: Scythelike blade (50cm) on 2m pole, concave sharpening
    billhook form: bill, also about 2m and 30-50cm blade; often with a point at the top, like a spear with a hook: bill-guisarme or guisarme, used for both cutting and hewing
    Time: 11-19th in europe (incl russia), 12th known in england; particularly common in 14-16th; also viking era england and scandinavia
    Use: foot
    Comments: difficult weapon to describe, guisarme is the term later used for a weapon with a hook at the back. At least used in
    England, HRR, France and Italy. The english bill is in french referred to as voulge, but they seem to differ.
    -Voulge/Pole cleaver
    Size: 2m pole and 30cm? broad blade, is nearly a halberd but not made in socket on pole but bounded to pole and with a much broader blade; with spike at back: voulge-guisarme used for hewing and thrusting.
    Time: 14th-16th
    Use: foot
    Comments: perhaps originating from a meat cleaver bound to a pole. The english bill is in french referred to as voulge, but they seem to differ. Used by bodyguards.
    -War scythe/Fauchard
    Size: pole of 1-2m with scyte of 60-90cm on it / 2m pole with blade with moderate/strong curve (40cm?) only sharpened on concave side like scythe, later with one point on top or a hook behind: Fauchard-fork
    Time: 12th-19th / 11th-14th
    Use: foot
    Comments: The fauchard wasnt particularly effective, there were better weapons, scythe was easy to change into one with the blade in line with the pole instead of perpendicular, was a cheap peasants weapon
    Size: Mattock on a pole
    Time: middle ages
    Use: foot (peasants)
    Comments: Makeshift peasant weapon

    -Short bow (<120cm), fast bow and shot twice as far as a longbow, and much stronger, contrary to common knowledge.
    Origin: steppe people later through hungary to the west.
    Timeframe: before christ on steppe, ¿high/late middle ages in western europe? (no sources yet)
    Used both on foot and horsed
    Made of composite of wood, sinew/tendon, glue and horn/bone. Solely wood would cause the bow to crack. Wood was elm, ash or when strength was necessary yew. The glue was when possible made of fish bladder or otherwise bovine sinew. Took 3-4 weeks to make, and the high humility of NW europe could loosen the glue (perhaps the reason the Huns withdrew)
    -Longbow (160-170cm), less power than a composite bow, but perhaps higher precision
    Origin: prehistoric europe
    Timeframe: prehistoric weapon (b.c. in denmark), used during early/high/late middle ages, but stopped in modern times (1550)
    Used on foot
    Made of wood, elm ash and best: yew, Took 6-8 hours for a passable bow
    NOT only english, also used as bow in france, netherlands, HRR (and thus Scandinavia), any sources on eastern europe?
    -Crossbow, better accuracy than handbow, although more susceptible to the weather and far more expensive.
    Origin: unknown
    Timeframe: known in roman times used until modern time (1650); 1079 crossbow banned for christion wars; 1139 arbalest banned both ineffectively; first southern and eastern europe, from 13th century also in western europe. In the early 15th centruy it saw different use, shooting from the shoulder
    Used both on foot and horsed
    Made of wood, tendon/sinew and iron/steel
    More types: lever under or lever up; winding mechanism differs (belt around middle, windlass, cranequin), wooden bow or steel one (arbalest) wooden one in use until 1460s in Scandinavia, while already long discarded in Southern Europe, seems mixed in HRR (between)
    In most armies, both handbow and crossbow companies were present. In the 12th crossbowmen earned 2/3 of a knight and free reparation and arrows

    Size: 40-50cm long?
    Time: until perhaps high middle ages, next to David's depiction in Maciejowski also somewhere one of a soldier with a sling
    Use: foot
    Comments: poor mans weapon if it is ever used, nearly no sources
    -Fustibale/Staff sling
    Size: pole of 1-2m with a short sling
    Time: at last 13th and used throughout the middle ages
    Use: foot
    Comments: in maciejowski, in source about frisian conquest of damiate (crusades), mostly used in sieges

    Around 1300 Hand cannon
    1324 Pot-de-fer
    1348 Pulvergeschutz
    1400 Bombarde + Steinbuchse + mortier
    15th Serpent/Culverine (fieldcannon)

    Addition perhaps:
    Degen = breiter, zugespitzter Klinge und Griff,
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 18, 2010 at 09:06 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Ships


    Strug (flat bottomed sailing/rowing boat for trade (people/cargo) on rivers and lakes, possible also used on baltic, no evidence)
    Koch (small trading boat, in masses, used in polar regions but I found evidence of use in Baltic by Novgorod; 9-19th century according to one source, 15-16th according to another)
    Uskuys (rowed boat with possible sail, used on the great russian rivers, pirates named after this type, possible also used on baltic, no evidence)
    Lad'ya (old slavic type, seems to be related to longship, larger trade/warship)

    Other ships
    Cog? (found no sources, seems that germans sailed and traded with Novgorod, not the other way around)
    Gukor - Hoeker (Late Russian ship type 16-18th century, but russian sources say that this ship is used in the Netherlands on from the 13th century, Dutch sources say that it is used on from the 17th century, don't know what to think of it)


    Longship (Drakkar/Snekkje/other names) common until mid 14th, last mention in 1428, far faster than Cog but as the cogs grow larger and the boards are high they dont stand a chance (no entering possible anymore)
    Knarr (small trading ship)
    Busse (some sources say that it is a longship, but other sources link it with the buza, which is a fishing boat)
    Skuta (some sources say that it is a longship, but other sources link it to the Schuit, which is a trading/fishing ship)

    The Knarr+Snekkje evolve to Cog in the netherlands, until early 14th not much difference between cog and longship, later on the Cog grows and becomes far taller, the load improves from 6-12 last to above 60 last.

    It is likely that the Hansecog and its later replacement the Hulk are used in scandinavia for the larger traderoutes (but mostly with german crew and captain), for internal traderoutes it is likely that they stuck to their old types as these were used until the 20th century in Norway and Sweden.

    Netherlands (and a bit later northern germany)

    Praam (flat bottomed ships, already used on the rhine in roman times) evolves into Hulk in late 14th century. Hulks are used until mid 16th century

    The Knarr and the frisian ships mix in the 10th-11th century and the Cog is created. There is a huge difference between mid 13th century cogs and mid 14th century cogs, as the load is 5 times as much. Cogs are used until mid 16th century.

    Buze/Buis/Cnorbuse (looks like mix of Knarr and Busse) is a fairly large fishing ship.

    Snekke evolves to Nef in 13th-14th century. The nef is a medium sized trading ship also useful for warfare. This is something else than the portugese Nao or french Nef, those are other names for Caravel/Karveel, named after a type of putting planks on the hull. The nef, with some additions of the Cog and the Karveel/Caravel is the basis of the Karacke/Kraak (the largest warship available, name is known in Genua in mid 14th, english ship in 1410 and german/dutch sources place this ship in late 15th-16th)

    Schuit (probably related to the skute; in latin scute) is mostly a medium sized transport ship (people/goods) also used as fishing boat.

    Most seabattles were on board of ships, using the decks as if it were land. There are very few large scale battles, mostly the warfare was a type of piracy, one ship at a time. The larger battles, with fleets consisting mostly of (hanse)cogs numbered 20-60 ships on one side.
    In the atlantic, many (relatively unknown) battles were fought between the english(and dutch and gascoine) fishermen against the french (and flemish and breton). It is very likely that there have been such battles as well in the baltics between the dutch or/and danish/swedish and the Hanse. Those battles have much in common with our modern hooligans, someone offended another and all the fishermen of that "country" in the port went together to get a satisfactory outcome or even named a battleground on which they would fight
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 10, 2010 at 04:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Encyclopedia thread

    Helmet types
    Mail coif
    Type: mail shirt the form of an head
    Time: early middle ages-1500
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: on from 1250/1300 mostly used under or over a cerveliere, bascinet or eisenhut, or even a great helmet.

    Lamellar helmet
    Type: coif of lamellae
    Time: unknown, pic in maciejowski (1250), in czech altarpiece 1380, and pic in 1437
    Use: all sources on foot
    Comments: -

    Schädelkappe (literally: Skullcap)
    Type: made from sheet iron (no idea of the form)
    Time: medieval
    Use: foot
    Comments: HRR, used by persons that didnt have the money for a real helmet; perhaps related to cerveliere

    Nasal helm
    Type: metal hat with domed/raised centre and noseguard
    Time: early-high middle ages (pic in maciejowksi 1250)
    Use: first both foot and horse, later only foot
    Comments: norman helmet

    Type: metal semiglobe, often with mail coif or aventail
    Time: <1000?-±1350
    Use: archers helmet, and the early high middle ages also for other infantry
    Comments: -

    Eisenhut/Chapel de fer/Iron hat/Isenhut/Kettle hat
    Type: metal semigobe with iron brim, in 15th brim so large that splits for eyes were made, sometimes aventail, sometimes with a noseguard late bohemian 1410 1450-1500
    Time: 11th-16th
    Use: infantry
    Comments: Nearly all helmets in Norway are this type, very common in scandinavia

    Type: Iron hat with long back part (looks streamlined), later eyesplits turned into visor 1475-1500
    Time: 1st half 15th-16th
    Use: foot (professional) horse (professional); noble only version with visor
    Comments: improvement of cerveliere and/or eisenhut; mostly in HRR and Italy or Northern europe and hungary, during 15th it gets it "tail".

    Type: metal hat with raised/domed centre, most likely with aventail or mail coif, possible with nose guard or skeletal like visor 1360
    Time: early 14th-early 16th
    Use: both foot and horse (professional/noble, later also militia)
    Comments: often under a Great Helmet, with visor only in HRR and Italy; Risk of heat exhaustion with visor

    Type: Bascinet with doglike sharp nose visor, small holes on either one side or both sides of the nose 1390
    Time: 1350-1420/1450
    Use: nearly only noble (both foot and horse)
    Comments: The wearer peered through two vision slots when the visor was lowered. The vision slots were either relatively flush with the visor, as was the custom in Western Europe, or elevated on mounts on the visor, as was commonly the case in Central Europe. Risk of heat exhaustion with visor

    Type: corinthian helm
    Time: 15th-16th
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: Italian type, derived from Bascinet

    Type: Steel helmet with visor, covering the whole head
    Time: 1420-16th
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: derived from Hounskull, italian origins, related to Sisak/Shishak? Popular in Italy and Hungary

    Great Helmet/Heaume/Topfhelm
    Type: metal box 1345
    Time: late 12th-1550
    Use: mostly horse (noble) but also foot (professional/noble)
    Comments: often over cerveliere, bascinet or mail coif


    Shalka bumazhnaya (my transcription, google translates it as paper cap)
    Type: folded hood of cloth (linen/cotton/wool) or fur
    Time: tribal - until 17th
    Use: foot
    Comments: cheap armour

    Chernigov type helmets

    Type: iron or sometimes copper helmets with the dome ending in a very long point on top, often with aventail
    Time: 10-13th
    Use: foot
    Comments: rus"ian region, poland, hungary, sambia (kaliningrad)

    Knyaz helmet

    Type: half mask helm with raised top (point) and a guard for the eyes with noseguard (a bit like vendel-time helmets)
    Time: 12th-13th century (stopped with mongols)
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: rus'ian region

    Type: iron or sometimes copper/silver helmet with a normal dome and a long spike on top, with noseguard = v1, without = v2; with aventail, and at last from 14th on ear parts, and from 15th on a visor, sometimes >30cm
    Time: v1 12-14th; v2 13-16th
    Use: both on foot and horse
    Comments: rus'ian, perhaps kipchak influence, the most common helmet until 17th; much in common with the chernigov types and the knyaz helmet; type comes from persia; found in the balkans when the turks conquer it. In the battle of Orsha all the rus'ian troops have this type.

    Double type: Erihonka seems to differ from Shishak but in the west both are called capeline and they have the same periods of use in the same regions.
    Shishak/Hussar cap/Hungarian cap/Chechak/Zischägge
    Type: dome shaped metal hat ending with a very short point
    Time: 1359-17th, end 15th to common soldiers
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: later in western europe as capeline (17-18th)
    Type: metal hat with domed top with point, nose guard, sideplates for ears and sometimes cheeks, metal plate for the neck
    Time: 1500-1700, but in russia at last 15th, perhaps even 14th
    Use: both foot and horse
    Comments: Russian version of gives startdate 14th, for poor people in copper/bronze(brass), from persia/turkey, at least no later than 15th in russia

    Misyurka/Mysyr (arab)
    Type: Metal circlet with flat top or slightly upwards (domed) to a central point. Mail hanging from it, sort of "extended aventail"
    Time: 14th in Turkey, little later in russia, 16th in poland
    Use: foot
    Comments: cheapest after the 'paper cap', meant to shield from cutting, all other harm was effective
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 24, 2010 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Shields


    A general note on spears and shields: the combination is possible, although the shield will act as passive armour on the left arm. It can be turned to an enemy, but cannot be used active in the way a 1H weapon and shield act.

    Round shield
    Size: 80-90cm, circular, with umbo/boss, made of (linden/lime, alder or poplar) wood, sometimes covered with leather
    Time: 7th-11th and most likely in scandinavia well into the 14th; perhaps in use in Rus'ian lands.
    Use: both on foot and horse
    Pics: geometrical
    Comments: One of the base forms of a shield throughout the ages. Most likely just an improvement on the Germanic round shield. Druzhina are pictured as with round shields, not yet found evidence for that conclusion.

    Kite shield

    Size: about 1-1.5m, triangular with upside rounded and a long point downwards (upside down teardrop/almond), mostly with umbo/boss (but later ones without), limewood or like covered with leather or cloth (canvas), edge set with hardened leather or metal. Mostly leather grips (enarmes) instead of boss grip.
    Time: 10-12th phased out in 13th, russians lose umbo end 12th in use 10-14th
    Use: both on foot and horse
    Pics: In russia painted with crosses and animals (lion, leopard, eagle); In western europe geometric shapes, animals and mythological beasts.
    Comments: should be derived from round shield, became shorter when leg protection got better

    Heater shield/Gothic Shield/¿Ecu?/Dreieckschild
    Size: shortened kite shield (straight upper part, no long point downward) early versions about 40-50cm wide and 70cm long, later versions 40cm wide and 50cm long. Later versions sometimes even in heart form (excellent for placing a spear in). Mostly wood with leather and/or canvas, sometimes full metal.
    Time: 12th-15th
    Use: both on foot and horse
    Pics: All types of heraldic paintings.
    Comments: The normal shield everybody knows, many slightly different designs, for idea's: start looking in medieval books and on paintings, nearly as good or better than osprey books As armour gets better, the shield becomes less used.

    Swedish pic from Jonköping/Kristdala and
    From old mac (french 1250): round shield and early heater
    1344 (possible swedish?):
    most likely 14th (possible swedish?):

    Tournament shield
    Hungarian shield
    Lithuanian shield = Tartsche
    Roundel = cavalry tartsche

    light wood covered with leather or cloth and watertight by using lacque or paint
    v1 (Standing Pavise/Mantlet) 2m high, 1 wide, sometimes with split to fire from behind the shield
    v2 (Hand Pavise) up to the shoulder (about 1.6m) or 1-1.5m high and 40-70 wide, sometimes a bit "bent" to circle around the body.
    v1 14th france (100 years war)
    v2 12th Rus'ian? 13th in Masovia, Prussia and Lithuania; 14th poland, italy; 15th Hussites (and europe);
    v1 infantery (archers, siege)
    v2 first on horse (version 1m×50cm), later by infantry (1-1.5m×50cm) some sources give this weapon also to polearm soldiers, although the polearm requires 2h
    Pics: Pavises were often painted with the coat of arms of the town where they were made, and sometimes stored in the town arsenal for when the town came under attack. Religious icons such as St. Barbara and St. George were featured on the front of pavises. Even the Hussite chalice was featured on pavises during the Hussite Wars. Most pavises were covered in a coarse, carpet base like canvas, before being painted with oil and egg-based paints. Only 200 or so exist today but many were present in the period.
    Comments: Name probably derives from Pavia, used there in a battle by teutonic knights. Also considered the rectangular form of a Tartsche/Targe


    Size: 15-45cm, mostly metal, form: flat, convex, concave; even possible with spike (late)
    Time: late 11th-16th
    Use: both on foot and horse
    Pics: none, perhaps some geometrical decorations in the metal
    Comments: combined with sword (Falchion/rapier), tertiary thing very common hanging from the belt of a soldier/knight
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 25, 2010 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Encyclopedia thread

    On other armour parts

    Mail coif
    Place: integral head and neck
    Used: early middle ages (<10th) - modern times (16th)
    Material: mail
    With: only this or with helmet

    Place: head and neck (back, side and front) that the helmet didnt cover
    Used: early middle ages (<10th) - modern times (16th)
    Material: mail, perhaps scale
    With: helmet (cerveliere/eisenhut/bascinet)

    Effect: neck (sides, front) that helmet didnt cover
    Used: 15-17th
    Material: plate
    With: helmet (sallet/burgonet)

    Effect: neck (collar around neck)
    Used: until 16th
    Material: mail
    With: all types of mail/helmets


    Effect: neck to shoulder (upper side), a flat rectangular piece with the coat of arms
    Used: mid13th-mid14th
    Material: wood or boiled leather
    With: over the armour from neck to shoulders

    Effect: shoulder (upper side), sheets hinging over each other
    Used: 14th-16th
    Material: boiled leather? plate
    With: over mail sleeves, in combination with rerebrace and/or coat of plates/brigandine/breastplate and/or besagew

    Pauldron (improvement of spaunders)
    Effect: shoulder (upper side), metal sheets hinging over each other; often also armpit
    Used: 14th-16th
    Material: plate
    With: over mail sleeves, in combination with rerebrace and/or coat of plates/brigandine/breastplate and/or besagew

    Effect: circle on front and back of armpit
    Used: 14-16th
    Material: plate
    With: over mail sleeves, in combination with rerebrace and/or splaunders/pauldrons and/or coat of plates/brigandine/breastplate

    Brigandine gloves
    Hourglass gauntlets


    Faulds (15th and later)
    ..... (leather strips with metal in it for over the thighs


    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; January 26, 2010 at 10:47 AM.

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    Default An overview of the german armour on gravestones and monuments

    List of types of armour and how much they were used on grave monuments between 1300 and 1450. Most likely many monuments have armour close to the state of the art version. But all are knights and nobles, what means that the soldiers, burghers and peasants will have armour that is not as good as this.
    Nordic countries imported german armour (which means that they would always drag a bit behind the state of the armour), or made lesser versions of this in their own smithies.
    Finland was even a bit behind on the scandinavian forms.
    This list is also useful for the teutonic order and bohemia, and in lesser extent for poland.
    Poland had also some eastern influences, as did lithuania and more eastern regions.
    Hungary was much influenced by the italian armour and less by the german, so the list is less useful here.

    Articulated started in 1360

    1300 mail, bit partial legs
    1350 bit mail, bit partial, full floated
    1400 full articulated

    1300 mail, bit floating
    1350 bit mail, floating
    1400 full articulated

    1300 mail
    1350 bit mail, some gamboised, bit studs, bit splints, bit plate
    1400 plate

    1300 mail
    1350 some mail, some schynbald, bit splints, some closed (plate)
    1400 closed (plate)

    1300 mail
    1350 most mail, bit full, some shoes
    1400 some shoes, most full

    Hip defense
    1300 most mail and CoP
    1350 most CoP bit mail
    on from 1370 all types:
    kastenbrust with tassets in 1430-1440
    kastenbrust with fauld in 1410-1430
    kastenbrust with scale in 1430-1440
    kastenbrust with mail in 1410-1430
    globose with fauld in 1370-1420
    globose with covered fauld in 1360-1390
    globose with padding in 1380
    globose with scale in 1390-1420
    and not complete, but:
    kastenbrust most likely on from 1410
    globose most likely 1360-1430

    Body defense
    1300 mail, bit CoP
    1350 bit mail, CoP, bit rounded
    1400 half rounded half globose
    from 1410 kastenbrust
    1450 kastenbrust
    rounded means possible CoP possible breastplate possible globose

    1300 mail, kettle hat
    1310 nearly fully bascinet
    1350 bit kettle, bascinet
    1400 bascinet
    from 1410 bit armet
    1450 bascinet, great bascinet
    kettle hat in 1300, 1340, 1350, 1360, 1420, 1430

    secondary helm is great helm until 1400 when turning point to jousting helm

    1300 mail
    1350 full floating, mail, bit partial arms, bit full articulated
    1400 full articulated
    (mail until 1390)

    Elbow (couter)
    1300 mail
    1350 mail, some plate
    1400 plate
    splints in 1340, 1360, 1370, 1380, 1410
    jack chains in 1340, 1370

    Upper arm (rerebrace)
    1300 mail
    1350 mail, some plate
    1400 plate
    some splints in 1340, 1360, 1370, 1380, 1410
    bit jack chains in 1340, 1370

    lower arm (vambrace)
    1300 mail
    1350 some mail, bit splints, half plate
    1400 plate
    some splints in 1320-1410

    1300 mail
    1350 bit mail, half segmented, half hourglass,
    1400 half hourglass, half solid
    1450 solid

    1300 mail
    1350 half mail, half cop
    1400 integrated
    1450 pauldrons
    cop 1320-1430 about half
    spaulders in 1370 and half in 1410
    integrated 1360-1430

    * German Effigies continue to use a variety of mixed materials up to to about 1450 whereas in England the harnesses were quite standardized by the 1390s.
    * German effigies show a lot of covered armour. This means quite a bit of the armour, in particularly thighs, knees and arms are often covered.
    * Starting in the 1320s foot protection seems to have been considered optional. There is a large percentage of German effigies that have no visible foot protection.
    * The thigh armour chart may be misrepresenting mail as a stand alone defense in the later period. While it appears into the 1420s the shape fo the effigies suggests that the mail may be worn over a rigid protection.
    * Bascinets with centrally hinged rounded visors continued to be used until 1450.
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; February 09, 2010 at 04:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Encyclopedia thread

    Some sources if one would be interested in eastern europe:
    I cannot guarantee the info is correct. -> many old sources (from all over de medieval world) but all in russian
    Last edited by EarendilElenthol; April 22, 2010 at 07:31 AM.

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