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U. M. Tønner




Location: Denmark
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Viking padding         Reply with quote

This has probably been discussed before, but I couldn't find it.

What, if any, padding would a viking wear under his chain mail, providing he owned one of cause.

would it be an actual padding like a jack or gambeson or just a heavy woollen tunic?

And how about those warriors not rich enough to own a chain mail would they wear something like a padding or perhaps a leather jerking of some sort.

I know both jacks and gambesons are somewhat later than the viking era, but I find it difficult to believe nothing was used, as in either you wore mail or some variant of a woollen tunic.

any help or direction to historical material is appreciated.

This is all for the re-enactment kit I'm putting together of a fairly wealthy warrior (as he should be, wearing chain mail).
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

a wool tunic.

there is no historic evidence for any such padded garment.
so if you want 100% historic a tunic with what ya got. i know there might be yada yada in some saga, hehe we've had this subject numerous times on myArmoury, but as a reenactor a wool tunic is all you will need.
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello look at this topic
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

The answer is we frankly don't know. From a logical standpoint it seems something would be worn under the maille as padding but we frankly don't know what. Some people will tell you to wear a couple wool tunics but we don't even have evidence for this. Others will tell you to wear a gambeson but the earliest we see gambesons is in the 12th century. My advice is to read some books and some sagas and form your own opinion so if anyone ever asks you you can explain why you choose what you did. It also will depend as to what type of group you are in some people only want to wear things that have an archeological counterpart, others will be less "hardcore" and want what is portrayed in period art or writings.

As to your second question
Quote:
And how about those warriors not rich enough to own a chain mail would they wear something like a padding or perhaps a leather jerking of some sort.

It depends how "not rich enough" the warrior is. During the early viking age (8th cent.) mail was very expensive and only the most elite could afford it, by the later viking age (11th cent.) maille was much more common and many more warriors would have worn it. Most warriors would have a helm and shield as armour (often this was all). As for fabric or leather armour we have,
A saga mentioning the gift of 13 cotes of padded reindeer hide to King Olaf
Several carvings and statues (all mentioned in the thread I just posted)
A few difficult to interpret weavings,paintings,embroideries, carvings, etc.

What you need to do is read, read, read and form your opinion on what you have read. I personally believe leather armour existed in the viking era, but others are bound to disagree.
Best,
Hadrian
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Nathan F




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

in irish accounts from the various fights between the irish and norse there are many references to padded armour and leather armour. the difficult thing is that this type of armour rots and eventually no evidence can be found and i dont know of any archaeological finds that back up the accounts. i believeone of the accounts talks of brian boru wearing a jacket made of layers of either linen or leather stitched together forgive my bad accounts i havent read it in a long time but references are there and i dont see why not. im a reenactor myself and i find a field full of chain maille clad vikings ridiculous. also using blunt weapons maille does little to add protection it merely looks nice. i hope i helped in some way. you could always try to make one of the fabled reindeer skin jackets
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian Coffin wrote:

A saga mentioning the gift of 13 cotes of padded reindeer hide to King Olaf


The famous reindeer coats where bought by Olavs advesary, Tore Hund, from a lappish shaman, who had "enchanted them so that they turned sword blows."
Since Olav later became a saint (aka superhero) his saga is a lot more Fantastic than the others, and featureplenty of miracles, magic and trolls...

"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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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As mentioned, we had a gigantic "discussion" about it a few months previous. Closest thing we know is there existed a particular kind of jacket shown in a few carvings, but worn by itself. I know of someone who manufactures them, actually.

Anyways, as far as we're concerned, they wore it over their shirts, maybe even a few shirts. I don't write about MY underwear, anyways.

M.

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Douglas S





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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you involved in a proper reenactment group? What are their standards for this?
Remember that a hauberk is not only armor, it is also a radiator. Without insulation, you may overheat, freeze or both. Eek!
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know in the end I would not say it can be proved they did not but there is little to no evidence of padded armour in use alone or under armour. Personally I think wearing mail alone is not fun and cannot see them not wearing something more than a single tunic but with the lack of real info we cannot make any hard and fast statements. That said I do not like just wearing my mail with only a tunic and wear something to correct this. In the future my idea is to make a heavy weight wool tunic. It will be made with some light padding between two lighter wool layers inside. Since the padding I will use comes in sheets I am not going to sew channels into it and no one but you me and everyone on the forum will know the better.

RPM
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Nathan F




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im in a group based in ireland and we do hiberno-norse stuff as well as alot of battles in england safety regulations are only in place really at a group level but gloves and helmets are a general agreement. as for armour you can go bare chested if you wish (though i dont) as for the reindeer jackets its likely they are similar to those worn by inuit tribes in russia and iceland and if anyone knoes where i could find an "authentic" one of these please pm me. i reckon that leather was worn. we know ship crews worn leather over there clothes which shows they knew they were durable anyone who has worked on a boat will know what i mean. this does not take a great leap of imagination to say a crew member jumped off a boat or fought on his boat and realised what he wore was sturdy. but again tests on these clothes show there just as good as modern thermal equipment so yes heat is an issue for battle but it is likely leather overalls like that butchers used to wear might have been worn. all i know is references to padding in this period was vague as it was a period that was all about image and nothing said im a rich warrior better than a shirt of shiny maille
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would defimitely think the Vikings and anyone who wore mail would have worn some sort of a protective garment underneath. True, we really don't know what exactly was worn underneath, but to wear mail without some other protection makes little or no sense.

Obviously, nothing textile survives to give proof, but in absence of evidence you need to try to use common sense, with the understanding that it is speculation to a point.

It's a good possibility the padded garments were not the same construction of a gambeson, but it could have been a few layers of thick cloth.

As far as the padded/quilted armour on it's own, once again we know nothing. The reindeer hides in the saga are enchanted, but as someone else mentioned there is a good possibility soemthing of this type was used to provide protection, as myths have some basis in fact. It's clear in the saga they were used as armour, and an enchanted spear mentioned in a saga does not indicate spears were not used just because the spear mentioned was enchanted.

I feel comfortable (as do some of the authors on the reading list) that Vikings very well could have used some form of layered textile/padding/hide garment for protection.

The one thing though that makes it a bit tough for me - illustrations show an attempt to represent a gambeson garment worn alone as armour in the 12th century or so in europe. Prior to this, these gambeson type garments are not illustrated. Is this a change in the techniques of illustration? Could some 8-11th century illustrations show a multi-layered garment like I mentioned above? It's real hard to say, as illustrations are often not very clear. There are conflicting opinions on what illustrations represent.
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depending on your group you can wear something under your tunic under your maille so no one will see it. This will make you more comfortable and will not change the look of your outfit.
Quote:


A saga mentioning the gift of 13 cotes of padded reindeer hide to King Olaf



The famous reindeer coats where bought by Olavs advesary, Tore Hund, from a lappish shaman, who had "enchanted them so that they turned sword blows."
Since Olav later became a saint (aka superhero) his saga is a lot more Fantastic than the others, and featureplenty of miracles, magic and trolls...


Please see the other topic I put as a link it discusses's this quite a bit...
Logically something was worn under maille, historically there is no evidence.
As to fabric or leather armour the only evidence is artistic or written so you will have to believe what you want on this, rather than on archeological evidence. This means you will get polar opposite opinions from equally knowledgable people. A few years ago no one would have dated wheel pommels any earlier than the 13th century, the only evidence for wheel pommels from the 11th century was artistic, then the lepahoo swords were found and now everyone knows that swords with wheel pommels existed in the 11th century (an example of how now people believe in pre-1200 wheel pommel swords would be the Albion Bayeux).
Thus a long and vicious argument will inevitably begin, the one side will provide logic, art, and writings as evidence. The other side will provide logic, and that since nothing has been found fabric and leather armour didn't exist.
Best
Hadrian
P.s. As someone said leather armour would be very warm, we must remember that it is quite cold in scandinavia and the north of the UK I have spent much time in both places and I get quite chilled there.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
I feel comfortable (as do some of the authors on the reading list) that Vikings very well could have used some form of layered textile/padding/hide garment for protection.

Of course they COULD have. They also could have been to Japan and trained to be a ninja. Until the evidence presents itself to support this theory, it is best to stick with what we know. Plenty of people have testified to the comfort of simply wearing a heavy woollen tunic under their mail. All else is empty speculation without supporting evidence.

FWIW the better your mail is tailored, the less padding you need to wear. Most "mail" I've seen is nothing more than a tube with sleeves and has nothing in common with what was actually worn historically. Unless your mail is tailored to fit a human torso then any lack of comfort is not the fault of your undergarment.
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C. Gadda





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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Gary Teuscher wrote:
I feel comfortable (as do some of the authors on the reading list) that Vikings very well could have used some form of layered textile/padding/hide garment for protection.

Of course they COULD have. They also could have been to Japan and trained to be a ninja. Until the evidence presents itself to support this theory, it is best to stick with what we know. Plenty of people have testified to the comfort of simply wearing a heavy woollen tunic under their mail. All else is empty speculation without supporting evidence.

FWIW the better your mail is tailored, the less padding you need to wear. Most "mail" I've seen is nothing more than a tube with sleeves and has nothing in common with what was actually worn historically. Unless your mail is tailored to fit a human torso then any lack of comfort is not the fault of your undergarment.


However, this is not primarily an issue of comfort! This is really a matter of common sense regarding the viability of maille as a protective garment against significant armed threats, including impalement and dismemberment, and especially blunt force trauma!

As I recall, the world’s leading expert on the subject of maille armour, Erik Schmid, has stated something to the effect that maille without padding is “worthless.” (I am quoting from memory, but that specifically sticks in my mind) Assuming that no new evidence has surfaced to revise that claim, then we are left with a quandary: either Erik is in some fashion wrong, and blunt trauma is not a threat when wearing just maille by itself with no significant padding, or the Vikings as a people were somehow unintelligent, or perhaps just excessively “macho” and would do their best to simply “rub some dirt in it and walk it off” after receiving a ruptured spleen, cracked or broken ribs, etc. whilst wearing maille sans padding. Or maybe all of their Anglo Saxon, etc. enemies were just effeminate sissies who could not swing a sword or axe forcefully enough to do meaningful harm...

Seriously, though, consider the evidence of Williams “Knight and the Blast Furnace”, pp 942-943. One of the impact tests performed was on a piece of 15th century mail backed with padding. This required a 170 J swing from a simulated halberd to breach. On page 943 (see pp. 934-935 for rationale) the padding is estimated to contribute 80 J – or nearly HALF of the overall protective value of the armour. Thus, as a matter of documented scientific fact, padding plays a significant role in the overall protection offered by maille; without padding, that protection is vastly diminished.

I also find it disingenuous to suggest that the theory that Vikings did indeed wear some kind of padding is in anyway equivalent to suggesting that they went to Japan and trained as ninjas. This is as absurd as it is unhelpful.

For starters, garments of any kind are seldom found, and then usually only in fragments under isolated circumstances. While combined with artistic depictions we do have a moderately good idea of what was worn, it is far, far from a complete picture. Based on the scanty evidence one simply cannot rule out the existence of a gambeson-type of garment. One cannot prove it, but one is in no position to *disprove* it, either. In this case, then, where perhaps something on the order of 1/1000th of 1% of all clothing made in this period actually survives and has been recovered in some fashion or another, coupled with the mundanity of “undergarments”, I utterly fail to see why absence of evidence should in any way be construed as evidence of absence. The logic is lacking, here. By my estimates, the score is 0-0.

But here is the tie-breaker: based on our current scientific knowledge of both human physiology and mediaeval armour capabilities (the latter clearly outlined above) we know that maille functions poorly without some degree of padding behind it. Why? Primarily two things: blunt force trauma and having the rings driven into unprotected flesh, which could easily result in serious injury or death (whether due to bleeding or more slowly due to infection).

As I do not accept the proposition that my distant ancestors were utter morons, there are only two possibilities left: either they did indeed wear padding under their maille like everyone else in recorded history with an IQ greater than room temperature has done, or Erik Schmid and Alan Williams do not know what they are talking about.

If one insists on clinging to the notion that maille can be effective without padding (for which at present none exists), then you need to disprove both of the aforementioned gents. Given that they have done a good deal more research than probably 99% of everyone on this forum combined (including especially the two of us, Dan) and are backed further by the immutable laws of physics, I can only say: “Good luck with that.”

Otherwise, let us safely conclude that the Vikings did indeed wear some sort of padded garment under their maille. What form it took is unknown, as no known artefacts survive (or they might, but have been mis-identified, an all too common occurrence). But exist it did, nonetheless.

**********

POST SCRIPT: I reserve the right to ruthlessly and utterly disavow the above should good evidence be brought to light that I am wrong. Not expecting that to happen but one can never be too sure in these uncertain times.
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sigh. this argument again. please read the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method scientific method. not to be disrespectful, but it is not up to the non believer to prove the non believe, but rather those that believe to show it's there. no one is going to change their minds without proof. whether someone "thinks" or "says its foolish" or not. I've fought in mail over wool, gotten hit with good hard hits with steel.. ya it hurts but still doesn't convince me of viking padding. i just don't see it.

and its prob up to your group as to what you can and can't wear. the reenacting group's I've been associated with would not let you wear something that couldn't be documented. whether it made sense or not. always check first, recheck, and then buy or make the item. less heartache that way Happy[/code]
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Chuck. Let's not repeat this argument.

However, I do laud Gadda for citing sources to back up his presented view. I think more of us, in general, should cite sources.

M.

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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
FWIW the better your mail is tailored, the less padding you need to wear. Most "mail" I've seen is nothing more than a tube with sleeves and has nothing in common with what was actually worn historically. Unless your mail is tailored to fit a human torso then any lack of comfort is not the fault of your undergarment.

Very true, however that does not mean your maille will be effective with nothing under it but your skin Wink Having seen (and worn) both types of maille it is far more effective with some form of padding, however we still do not know what kind.

Quote:
Of course they COULD have. They also could have been to Japan and trained to be a ninja. Until the evidence presents itself to support this theory, it is best to stick with what we know.

No one is saying the vikings went to japan or became ninjas, that would be called nonsense. We are basing our opinion that there was leather armour and some form of gambeson on either: logic, art, or, writing.

Quote:
Plenty of people have testified to the comfort of simply wearing a heavy woollen tunic under their mail. All else is empty speculation without supporting evidence

How many of these people have been to battle and been cut at with sharp swords, stabbed with spears, or shot with bows? Re-enactment is far different from war.
Secondly "a heavy woollen tunic" is a form of padding we have no evidence for, we know they had wool tunics but we have now proof that is what they wore under there maille.


Quote:
sigh. this argument again. please read the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method scientific method. not to be disrespectful, but it is not up to the non believer to prove the non believe, but rather those that believe to show it's there. no one is going to change their minds without proof. whether someone "thinks" or "says its foolish" or not. I've fought in mail over wool, gotten hit with good hard hits with steel.. ya it hurts but still doesn't convince me of viking padding. i just don't see it.

I am familiar with the scientific method Happy

Quote:
I've fought in mail over wool, gotten hit with good hard hits with steel.. ya it hurts but still doesn't convince me of viking padding. i just don't see it.[/

Again, please do not confuse battle and re-enactment. In battle people are trying to kill people and people die, in re-enactment people rarely die. A rap with a rebated sword does not compare to a committed cut with a sharpened sword (or axe, seax, spear, etc., etc.)
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sigh, never mind. I'm done. you must be right and all else is wrong.... please forgive. sigh...
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Jan, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As any professional, serious historian or archeologist knows "logic" is not an historical source and thus have little value as historical evidence by itself.
Despite the fact that almost none of the various forms of padded garments and textile armours in use have survived until today we have plenty of other sources which describes their use. None of these exists from the Viking period.

The 170J blade vs mail&jack test done by Alan Williams was not conducted using the padding which supposedly provided 80J protection but rather a much heavier piece of padding made up of 30 layers of heavy linen meant to simulate a 15th century Jack. The mail&padding tests in the Knight & the Blast Furnace suffer from several problems as written.
170J was enough to penetrate both mail and 30 layers of linen, yet on page 943 the Jack by it self is supposed to withstand 200J when hit with the same simulated blade. Both of these two numbers can not be true. It is simply impossible to gauge the level of protection provided by the mail alone using Williams numbers.

The modern mail tested also provided more protection, even at 200J it was not fully defeated. This brings us to the second question, what kind of mail was tested? Preserved mail varies a lot as far as the thickness of rings are concerned. The 16th Century mail voiders I've examine used much smaller and thinner rings than the 13th century mail shire kept in a local museum. The rings of the later are massive in comparison.
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C. Gadda





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PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
sigh. this argument again. please read the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method scientific method. not to be disrespectful, but it is not up to the non believer to prove the non believe, but rather those that believe to show it's there. no one is going to change their minds without proof. whether someone "thinks" or "says its foolish" or not.


Nice, but irrelevant. You really aren't getting my point at all. And I have provided proof, albeit indirect. That you choose to unscientifically ignore it is beyond my control.

By way of example, the planets Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto were initially discovered, not by direct observation, but rather by observing the perturbations they introduced into the orbits of other planets. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto

I am making precisely the same sort of argument. At present, of course, we have little direct proof for or against. And this problem is hardly restricted to the Viking Age! Consider this, from p. 57 of Ian Stephenson's Romano-Byzantine Infantry Equipment, "Indeed, the survival of such garments [e.g. padding]is, with a possible exception - namely a fifteenth-century arming-doublet in the Kienbusch collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art - unknown until the early modern period, from when a number of buff coats survive." By your reasoning, no re-enactor from a period prior to the 15th century should wear any padding at all! (yeah, yeah, I know we have documentation, artistic representations, etc., but still...)

Given how little survives from all periods, why are we so discomforted that we have not (yet) found an example from the Viking Age? What exactly were you expecting to find? If one were to go solely by the physical evidence one would have to conclude that the inhabitants of Scandinavia ran around naked! Obviously not the case (as Thor Ewing demonstrates in his book on Viking clothing) but still a lot of fragmentary evidence giving a very incomplete picture.

What we do have is mostly indirect evidence, though one minor but interesting piece of direct evidence is extant. In sum, we have:

1. A modern, scientific understanding of how armour works which clearly shows the ineffectiveness of maille alone. Compare the figures I cited previously with the estimated 70-130J impacts of edged weapons and, as they say, "do the math." It becomes quite obvious that without the padding maille simply becomes more of a burden than a help, and not worth the weight to tote around. [NOTE: I just noticed a response regarding Williams' figures, and I will have to review more closely. I will let this stand at present, but may edit later if there is something really wrong. As stated in my last P.S., I reserve the right to completely reverse my position on a dime should the facts warrent it]

2. Evidence for padding at least in periods before and after the Viking Age. Jury is still out on contemporary cultures (I'm pretty sure about Byzantium, not so much about A.S. England or the continent. I am still looking, and I have a few other books to check.) I am highly skeptical that all knowledge of padding should vanish in the Viking Age, only to reappear later. Weird.

3. At least some helmets from the general period have traces of padding. Sutton Hoo very likely does (see Bruce Mitford Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Vol II Arms Armour Regalia and I expect others do as well. Admittedly I need to translate Gjermundbufunnet, which may well have something interesting, but I don't have time as yet. Someday. It does not seem, however, that padding was some sort of alien concept in the Viking Age.

4. Of interest is a minor piece of direct evidence, namely the fact that there is an Old Norse term (or maybe terms - still looking into this) for gambeson, namely treyja which can be glossed as "war-jacket" (see Hjalmar Falk's Altnordische Waffenkunde, chap. 90, pp. 185-186). Since we do rely on literary evidence for the existence of gambesons in other times and cultures, this is just as compelling (even within the limitations of being written down after the Viking Age, etc. - while such is worth noting, one should maintain perspective and consider that the entire Old Norse vocabulary did not appear in whole cloth to be written down in the 12th century - the vast majority does indeed date back to the Viking Age, and there is no compelling reason to think otherwise of the term treyja).

There might be other, lesser, points that could be brought up, but this is a good start.

Chuck Russell wrote:
I've fought in mail over wool, gotten hit with good hard hits with steel.. ya it hurts but still doesn't convince me of viking padding. i just don't see it.


And by "good hard hits" do you mean with sharpened steel weapons wielded with intent to injure/kill? I doubt that. While many reenactors like to think that their stylised sport with all its safety rules is the same as, say, the field of Towton, it just isn't. In reality, reenactment combat bears no more resemblance to a real battlefield than foil fencing does with rapier dueling. For this reason, such anecdotes are, well, rather pointless and have no meaningful bearing on the discussion. When you are willing to let someone go at you full power with fully sharpened, quality weapons, let me know. Until then there is nothing worthy of noting on that score. (Sorry if I seem disrespectful. I know that re-enactment combat can provide some valuable insights. But assessing true force of impact and capability to impact damage are not among them)

As for trying to "convince" you or make you "see it" regarding padding, that is not in my job description. If you choose to ignore willfully the simple facts I have presented, you are free to do so. It would be pointless to "convince" you since your mind is plainly already made up. Heck, we could find an army drowned in a bog in Denmark tomorrow, complete with padding under their maille, and frankly you still wouldn't be convinced (I can see it now, "Well, how do you KNOW they're from the Viking Age, yada yada). Sorry. I know that is disrespectful, but I'm just calling them as I see them (not as if you were any nicer to me, anyway...)

What I *am* trying to do is present my facts and reasoning to those who are honestly seeking knowledge and insight into the problem, and let them decide from there how to proceed. Nothing more and nothing less.
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Viking padding         Reply with quote

I know we have been down this road on a number of occasions, but do we ever consider the economics of what any possible padding material may have been how this may have effected any potential material of choice. I appreciate we have discused the viability of leather hide as a potential material for armour ect in this period.

I just had an email from a friend in which we where discussing layered linen and although not in direct context of its use as a component of viking age padding, he tells me the amount of land needed to make linen would be very big, massive.

I need to ask if he meant for it's production in the Classical Period for the production of Hoplite armour or Early Medieval Period.

Interestingly he tells me that the use of linen rope is also now questioned , as the amount needed & used would be unsustainable. I do know that sea mammalian hide was used for rope, and it is now believed that other hides may have been used.

Perhaps as my friend suggested layered leather (perhaps even with linen) could have been used as a padding?

I do tend to side on Charle's opinion that padded armour was known before and after the Viking Age, and find it unlikely that this was some how 'lost' during that period.

Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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