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Liang Tuang Nah




Location: South East Asia
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Simple non metal armour         Reply with quote

Exactly how much protection would a cotton gambeson with 0.9 inches of padding worn under the non metal reinforced 14th century cuirass (item #AA1000C) featured below:

http://www.schmitthenner.com/cuirass.htm#Medieval%20Styles

provide? Apart from blunt traume prevention, would the above ensemble be of any use against sharp bladed weapons?

Would thick whole leather over thick padding be more effective than leather lamellar over similar padding?

The cartridge box, soap box and ballot box.....the first supports your right to use the second which in turn safeguards the right to be assured the third every few years.
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Apart from blunt traume prevention, would the above ensemble be of any use against sharp bladed weapons?


Sure, even a gambeson alone provides some protection against cuts with a sharp weapon. There is a nice test out there that shows the effect of different types of swords against gambesons of varying thickness.

Also, see the section on protective quality in this feature: Spotlight: Quilted Armour Defenses of the High Middle Ages
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the brief period of time in which cuirassses like that were worn they were worn exclusively in conjunction with mail. The mail gauranteed the protection from the cut. The leather served mostly to provide blunt trauma protection and to reinforce the cut- and puncture-resistance of the mail.

If you're looking for a more exact figure then I will answer: 7

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study


Last edited by Steven H on Wed 24 Mar, 2010 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Virtually every culture that had a textile iundustry made use of standalone textile armour. The most effective consisted of multiple layers quilted together. If it was intended to be worn with another type of armour then it was a lot lighter and flexible than if it was intended to be worn by itself. The two are very different garments and people confuse them all the time. We need to use separate terms to help classify them. I'd like to see the word gambeson reserved for standalone armour while haketon is used for underarmour. As Steven mentioned, the above cuirass was not worn with either type of padded defense - it was worn over mail while the mail would have been worn over a light haketon.
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd like to see the word gambeson reserved for standalone armour while haketon is used for underarmour.


Hello,
I feel I must disagree with this position. In most of the original texts I have studied, I have found there is a lack of distinction between aketon, gambeson, haketon, etc. In several texts it explicitly mentions putting the gambeson on before putting on armour. The text that epitomizes this, describes a person putting on a gambeson, then mail, then another gambeson. Other times however the word aketon is used to describe the same item. It seems that quite often multiple terms were used interchangeably.
Cheers

Historia magistra vitae est
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Reading list: 17 books

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian Coffin wrote:
Quote:
I'd like to see the word gambeson reserved for standalone armour while haketon is used for underarmour.


In most of the original texts I have studied, I have found there is a lack of distinction between aketon, gambeson, haketon, etc.


True, but in discussions it helps to clarfiy these terms. Usually on this forum (and others, like the armour archive) I see people using gambeson to refer to the thicker quilted armour used alone or sometimes with mail, and aketon used to refer to the thinner garment used under heavier armour like plate.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Hadrian Coffin wrote:
Quote:
I'd like to see the word gambeson reserved for standalone armour while haketon is used for underarmour.


In most of the original texts I have studied, I have found there is a lack of distinction between aketon, gambeson, haketon, etc.


True, but in discussions it helps to clarfiy these terms. Usually on this forum (and others, like the armour archive) I see people using gambeson to refer to the thicker quilted armour used alone or sometimes with mail, and aketon used to refer to the thinner garment used under heavier armour like plate.

I agree. For example, its easier to just say "polaxe" than say "axe" and then have to clarify that you mean a 4' to 6' long one with a front pick, back hammer, and top spike. But it is worth remembering that these terms (or their equivalents in Latin or Middle English) were often used in a wider sense than academics do today.
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Mar, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
But it is worth remembering that these terms were often used in a wider sense than academics do today.


Absolutely. You can't interpret the old texts properly using the modern usage of those words.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Mar, 2010 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We need terms to classify different types of armour. Best to use original terms but often there is no consistency. Doesn't really matter so long as everyone applies the same definition to the same terms. Gambeson is more often used to describe a standalone armour than an under-armour so that is what I prefer to use. Haketons and especially pourpoints are usually used in the sources to describe under-armour. If you get hung up on the original text then you are wasting your time. The most common term is lorica which simply means "armour". Doesn't help at all.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Mar, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The clash between taxonomic language, common modern usage, and period usage can be problematic, but only if the writer/reader doesn't distinguish between these 3 types of usage (explicitly, or at least by clear context).

One can always use unambiguous descriptors such as "type 1", "type 2", etc., but it's impenetrable to the uninitiated.

Also hard to establish consistent usage from the bottom-up, since a single writer or group only controls a small part of the bottom. The effective method is to write the classic monograph on the subject, and then your classification scheme will be used if useful.
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