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Andres M. Chesini Remic




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: 12th - 13th century german warrior         Reply with quote

Hi, everybody!
I was talking with a friend, and he asked me for advice:
He wants to recreate a mid 12th to early 13th century warrior of Nieder sächsen or Schleswig-Holstein (norh of Germany).

But little help I could give to him, since all information I got is on vikings and normans, wich is my area of interest, and this is useless for him.-
I could give him some scarce information on swords, but not much more.

Can you guys give us a hand on this? Any books (or sites) you recommend to begin the investigation?
Wich are the main archaeological sites of the period on the north of germany?

I guess soime information on the teutonic order and the baltic crusades would be of interest to him, too.

Thanks in advance!

Andrés

"El que no viene por donde debiera, no viene a lo que dice - P. B. Palacios ~ Almafuerte"
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of the German Ritters of 12th - 13th century era would have been equipped similarly to other West European counterparts. I am guessing that the biggest differences might be in the area of heraldric devices. (Not at all sure what to recommend there, but there are lots of surviving illuminated manuscripts which might yield some ideas for decorative style.) William Marshal's biography specifically mentions him traveling to the North Rhine (Cologne/ Koblenze?) looking for tournaments. Similarly, Charles of Sayne (former bondsman of Frederick Barbarossa, later Saint of Abbey Villers in Brabant) wrote in his memoirs of earning a living in tournaments around the Rhine and France (visiting counterparts comming to tournaments held in German territories along the Rhine as well) after being released from service as a bondsman. I would have to dig through some texts to find the reference, but have read that a large percentage of crusaders were Germanic.

Consider looking at the Albion Next Gen Ritter, and its write up. Also, the Albion Sherrif/ Yeoman...then looking at the Manesse Codex and some other manuscripts such as Heinrich von Veldeke's Eneide. (See C.L. Miller's post http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=7062 ). The sword forms and generic kit are recognizable in some of these works.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Andres M. Chesini Remic




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent!
This is a great starting point! =D

-I've just found out that the codex I was browsing (to me: Heidelberg's cpg848) was indeed the Manesse u^^ -

"El que no viene por donde debiera, no viene a lo que dice - P. B. Palacios ~ Almafuerte"
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Andres M. Chesini Remic




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see that everyone -so far- in the codex and other depictions are wearing greathelms.
I understand that this was the standard for mounted warriors. Did infantry use them too? Or they were limited to kettle hats?
(my experience tells me that kettle hats provide quite poor protection)

About weapons, when did the mace come into scene?
I see that the flail was rather common in later times, when did this weapon became so widely spread?
Was the axe still beeing used?
In what year/region began the transition from the kite to heater shield?



- Gee.... this period is so out of my knowledge... T_T -

"El que no viene por donde debiera, no viene a lo que dice - P. B. Palacios ~ Almafuerte"
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cavalry was the dominant battlefield force in the era you're asking about, so a great helm would be representative. Kettle helms would probably work for a lower-income foot soldier. Generally (though there are always exceptions), during this period the infantry would have probably been peasant levies or perhaps archers. In many cases, there wasn't a proper infantry like we see later.

Maces were known at the time and were simple studded affairs like A&A's Iberian mace or this one from a private collection:



I don't believe the axe was out of favor during this era.

Happy

ChadA

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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 1:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Though not specifically what you're looking for region wise, I think this link may help:

http://www.keesn.nl/mac/mac_en.htm

The good old Maciejowski Bible, it's my primary source for various things, but mostly armour and weapon.

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Host of Crash Course HEMA.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kettlehatts would be apropriate from the late 12th century onwards. In norway, these are sometimes said to be "in german style", which would incate that they where bought in/from the region you are looking for. He could also have a pointed helm; they where still in use.

Otherwise, he wants a spear, sword(of XI or XII style), and a kite shield or long heater.

Armour wise, cloth armour or mail is apropriate, depending on how weathy he is. Mail could be everything from a short sleved t-shirt to full knightly armour with integrated gloves and mailed legs.

There is a Osprey book covering German Medevial Armies 1000-1300, which has pictures and information. There are also several german reenactment groups from the period that have good web sites.

"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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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi
I'm from Germany and I can tell you something about german blades.
-Usually german blades were broader than western european ones.
-Oakeshott type X /XI Blades were in unse quite longer than in the western countries(sometimes until the 13th century).
-In Germany, special pommel forms were favored(like type B, D, n and R)

-I also made a photo of some german swords in a museum(there you can see one from the late 12th century).



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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

XIIa and XIIIa hand and a half swords are typical for Germans. Fo example Albion Duke, Baron, Steward and Count.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
XIIa and XIIIa hand and a half swords are typical for Germans. Fo example Albion Duke, Baron, Steward and Count.


These swords come around in the late 13th century at the earliest, so they would be out of time range in question

"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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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
These swords come around in the late 13th century at the earliest, so they would be out of time range in question


Not entirely true. See here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8309

They may not be typical for the era in question, but did exist.

Happy

ChadA

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are enough examples in Oakeshott's records from 1200+ to say they were not rare. And in Germany they are more usual then elsewhere. But in 12th century they were not usual for sure.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Longswords where unusual enough to not be depicted or described in literary sources, at least, which in itself signfies they where not "institutionalized" as a seperate type of weapon, nor do they fit with the rest of the weapons technolgy of the period. (which is shield and spear based)
In the 12th and early 13th centuries, the shield was the primary means of defence for most people. Even full mail armour is not proof against spear thrusts, at least against spears with thin heads. To abandon the shield in such an enviroment would be rather counterintuitive, as standing in a shieldwall without a shield is not very fun.

What one has is very long XI's or XII's, like the St Maurice swords. These have blade lengths of about 95cm (37 in), which is the same as many later longswords. Presumably they where saddle swords, hug on the side of the horse in addition to the girdled sword (a practice we do have literary evidence for), used against infantry.
So, what differs the greatsword from these swords is basically hilt length. Oakeshott also sugests that the greatsword developed from these.
The longer hilt might have been to alow an extra hand (knights had the left hand free to hold the reins anyhow) or simply as easy way to conterbalance the long blade.
However, they did not become a sepparathe "thing" until later. Presumably, they would not be classified as something else than a cavlry sword with a long hilt before the decline of the shield in favour of armour meant that they where taken into use on foot.

Since there are no depictions or descriptions, you will in any case not look like a 12th/ 13th c. man at arms with a longsword in your belt. In context, on the side of a horse in addition to a regular sword, it would show the development in arms technology. Adopted of the 14th century shelf and worn alone, it would simply be wrong.



This might seem quite harsh, but sadly, if you want to have good and consistent recreations of a time period, you have to be very strict with what you recomend. As in fencing, you can do lots of fancy stuff once you have a propper and balanced starting point.
First, you find out what is typical, and get that kit. then you can learn more about what was around, and in what context it was found. Then, when you have a kit that matches, you can get apropriate shiny items. The isolated fact that Oakenshot dates some longhilted sword to the late 12th century based on their crossguard and pommel forms does not automatically mean that they are apropriate for any and all 12th century warriors.

"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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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andres M. Chesini Remic wrote:
About weapons, when did the mace come into scene?


Check this site:

http://otlichnik.tripod.com/medmace0.html
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
The isolated fact that Oakenshot dates some longhilted sword to the late 12th century based on their crossguard and pommel forms does not automatically mean that they are apropriate for any and all 12th century warriors.


It's not isolated to Oakeshott, Elling. It's Dr. Lepaaho, museums, and major auction houses among others.

Building a "typical" kit is what many people are after, but that doesn't mean it's everyone's goal. After all, if everyone back then was "typical" we wouldn't have the amount of variety in surviving examples that we do. Happy Limiting yourself to "typical" and "common" puts constraints on people that I find unnecessary. Our ancestors didn't always limit themselves that way. I personally think people should make the kit they want to make.

If you're part of a group that's doing education/documentary work, then you want at least a few "typical" kits among your group. A few unusual ones make contrast and create opportunities for education about variety.

If you want a typical kit and/or one most representative of the era, then you might want to steer away from an early great sword (not a longsword, they're somewhat different beasts). They weren't the most common for the era, but did exist. But I think it's foolish to dismiss these early great swords so quickly and easily.

If you have no group requirements, then build whatever kit you want. An early great sword can be appropriate.

Happy

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Andres M. Chesini Remic




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If you're part of a group that's doing education/documentary work...

(Not a minor thing!)
And we are, indeed. Thus, a typical kit would be the best.-


For what I understood, I recount:

Knight kit:

Fancy great helm
Full mail
Lance
Longsword (X, XI or XII blades and B, D, N and R pommels)
Mace (perhaps)
Dagger or knife
Heater or kite shield

Middle kit

Less decorated greathelm, face mask helm, chapel de fer, or conical helm with mail coif (see pic)
Hauberk (how longed sleeves?)
Lance
One handed sword
Mace (maybe)
Dagger or knife
Heater or kite shield?

Levy or lower kit:

Chapel de fer (Kettle hat?), phrygian style helmet, conical helmet or nothing at all.- (any other options?)
parpoint (perpunctus, gambax... I don't remind the name in english u^^)
Crossbow, pike or axe.
Dagger or knife.
Heather or kite shield?


Is this more or less correct?

I scanned this image of a french chess piece of the 12th century.
Do you think this kind of helmet be correct for the region too?



 Attachment: 95.68 KB
Frenchess 12thc LR.jpeg
French Chess piece - 12th Century - LoRes: 600x500px -

"El que no viene por donde debiera, no viene a lo que dice - P. B. Palacios ~ Almafuerte"


Last edited by Andres M. Chesini Remic on Sun 28 Dec, 2008 6:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You actually have 2 knight kits, one richer and one poorer and if you want a greatsword (not longsword) it would be nice to put it in just one kit, richer one for example. Other should have typical one haded sword. Or if you can't afford 2 swords maybe axe? You don't have axe in your planed kits. I just remembered that Arms&Armor 12th century sword might be a good choice for you. http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword089.html
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andres:
Pretty much, but with some modifications.
Everyone should have spear, as it was the primary weapon of war in pretty much every period up until the introduction of gunpowder.
In the period in question the chapel de fer is more high tech than the conical helmet, and might be used by the upper classes as well, though both styles where around.
The great helms go through quite a bit of development in this period, but a face mask helm would be the most apropriate.

Knights could have a surcote, but in the 12th century it is not required. If you have one it should generally be in one colour, without heraldry (which became popular in the last quarter of the 13th century).

"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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Andres M. Chesini Remic




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chapels de fer are a mistery to me...
I feel like they provide too little protection. If I had to choose, I'd rather use a conical helmet with a coif than a chapel with coif....
Is there anyone here that uses it for fencing? I'd like to hear the version of someone who tried it... =S

About the spear... that was a big "ups" u^^ I'll edit the original message =)

But that reminds me: What about polearms? Which were in use at that time?

This is getting a more complete guide than what I expected! Thanks =)

"El que no viene por donde debiera, no viene a lo que dice - P. B. Palacios ~ Almafuerte"
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andres M. Chesini Remic wrote:
Chapels de fer are a mistery to me...
I feel like they provide too little protection. If I had to choose, I'd rather use a conical helmet with a coif than a chapel with coif....
Is there anyone here that uses it for fencing? I'd like to hear the version of someone who tried it... =S

About the spear... that was a big "ups" u^^ I'll edit the original message =)

But that reminds me: What about polearms? Which were in use at that time?

This is getting a more complete guide than what I expected! Thanks =)


I'm not sure, but I would say no polearms. Two handed axe with a long haft maybe. And you could wear only a coif but for safety, I would use a nasal helm.
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