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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > early medioeval infantryman hands protections Reply to topic
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

Posts: 710

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: early medioeval infantryman hands protections         Reply with quote

taking a look at the iconographic source for the early medioeval period ( XI - XIII cent.) i have never found

a depiction of armoured gauntled of any sort. conpared with later period ( XIV - XV cent.) the early medioeval infantryman

or common soldier was depicted always without hands protections. i believe that it's quite strange because the hands are a

very vulnerable target and even a light wound can reduce or stop the fighting ability. ii's true that often one of the hand is

covered by a shield of some sort but the hand holding thr weapon is , in my opinion ,quite vulnerable.

What do you think about ?
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All sorts of hand protection are pretty expensive. I think it was about the 13th-14th century that we that sort of thing becoming the norm for the warrior class, who also served as infantry when needed.

Remember, the Romans didn't issue hand protection, except in one offensive against the Dacians.

M.

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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,272

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Presumably they felt the hands were not all that vulnerable. If a shield is used, the left hand is as safe as it's going to get. The right is holding the weapon, and only comes out very quickly and briefly when a blow is struck. At which point the opponent is REALLY more concerned about the weapon than the hand!

For thousands of years, most ancient warriors fought without hand protection. Even the Roman manica didn't necessarily cover the hand, only the arm (though some did have plates over the hand). In other ancient cultures, hand protection is very rare indeed, even when arm guards are used by nobility and other wealthy warriors. I certainly agree that getting hit on the hand is a bad thing!! Darn delicate things, and not something you want to do without. Just doesn't seem to have been their greatest concern back then.

I have heard that Scottish soldiers in the early 14th century were supposed to have armored gloves of some sort, but that's not from a primary source and I don't know if there are comparable requirements in other countries. But it's about the earliest that I know of for *common* hand protection.

Valete,

Matthew
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The fighters in 1.33 wear gloves, but these do not seem to be armoured, merely the white (kidskin?) gloves worn by noblemen at the time.
However, it is definitely better than nothing.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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