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William Carew




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 4:29 pm    Post subject: Early medieval small shields         Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Enclosed is the latest training shield I've made (so there's a few modern shortcuts!). The shield is basically an experiment in making the smallest possible enarmed round shield I could (diameter 44cm or 17") for practicing sword and shield fencing. It's essentially a medieval targe, with a decorative boss on the face. Or maybe an enarmed buckler... Wink

Most early medieval European round shields (and bucklers) with bosses appear to have been centre-gripped (so the boss was functional), though there were certainly medieval shields with enarmes and decorative bosses (such as early teardrop shields for eg). Enarmed round shields are found later (particularly common in Italy) and also earlier if we trust various Byzantine and Levantine sources for starters. But whilst I think this shield is completely historically plausible, as I've seen depictions of small, enarmed shields from the early Middle Ages from the Byzantine sphere, I'm wondering if anyone has seen anything exactly like this shield in a period source?

In any event, I thought it would be interesting to try it out, and I'm very happy with the result. Sits nicely on the arm and works very nicely with a good arming sword!

Cheers,
[/img]



 Attachment: 35.05 KB
_Shield.jpg


Bill Carew
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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

'The arrest of David' from a 9th century Byzantine Psalter, showing a soldier with what appears to be a small round shield at his shoulder. Actually, looking closely, perhaps the small circle in the middle could even be a boss, if it isn't just part of the design painted on the shield? In Dr Nicolle's work, small round shields shown near the shoulder seem to have been a feature of Byzantine cavalry.


 Attachment: 31.07 KB
Byz_Psalter_Mon_Pantocrater_Ms_61f_68v_Mt_Athos_c9thC.jpg


Bill Carew
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William Carew




Location: Australia
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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a later scene, form a 14th century European illumination and a 'Battel of Hebrews and Caananites' so features such as the round shields may be an artistic convention. Again, the small round shields are shown as also being capable of being worn over the upper arm or near the shoulder.


 Attachment: 33.85 KB
Paris,_Bibl__Sainte-Geneviève,_ms__0020,_f__123_c1335_battel_of_hebrews_and_caananites.jpg


Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another 14th century source, the Cronica of Giovanni Villani of Florence. The rider on the left seems to be holding a buckler, whilst the riders on the right appear to have larger round shields. Could the patterns on the face of the shields be the enarme attachment points? The Cronica features a few other oddities too.


 Attachment: 36.22 KB
Cronica_Gio_Villani_Chigi codex_L_VIII_296.jpg


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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Carew wrote:
Could the patterns on the face of the shields be the enarme attachment points?


Almost certainly.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is an interesting example of a small round, bossed shield carried by a mail wearing, spear and sword wielding warrior from Castile (c late 11th/early 12thC) from the Beatus Commentaries on the Apocalypse in the 'Mozarab' style according ot Nicolle. Small round shields also seem to have been popular on both sides of the Christian/Muslim frontier in Spain.

From http://ibs001.colo.firstnet.net.uk/britishlib...&idx=2



 Attachment: 32.54 KB
Ms_Add_11695_London_Beatus_Apocalypse_Silos_1091-1109.jpg


Bill Carew
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Richard Rohlin





Joined: 02 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a little off-topic, but is that a Type X blade on that Castile soldier's sword? I didn't realize those were still in use by that time period.
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