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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject: Maille on the Bayeux Tapestry         Reply with quote

Hi
I was just wondering if anyone had given any thought more recently to what the chest squares on the maille in the bayeux tapesty are. A double layer of extra protection, seems a little weird. A neck fastening (LeDuc seemed to think so) but why only on the tapestry, not other pics. What is it?
Also are the legs laced together?
And how long are the sleeves?
I'm just wondering what people are thinking nowadays; everything I've seen about it is at least 60yrs old...
Z Happy

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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, my personal opinion is that, whilst it may be "double-maille" on an area most likely to recieve an impact from an opponets lance, I've personaly always prefered the idea that it was a early aventail(?) [face flap Laughing Out Loud ] that would be brought up to add extra protection to an otherwise relatively vunerable face.
And by 'laced together' you maen the occasional pair of chausses is laced on to their leg, then I'd say yes.
Length of sleave could be anwhere from just over the shoulder to halfway down the forearm, though it appear to be elbow length in the case of the tapastry.
Then again, it was made some years after the event, more then likely by peole who were never there and had no idea of what things really looked like.
Just my $0.02.

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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The "Norman bib" is a ventail that you fold up and tie in place behind the head. It protects the throat and chin. When not in use it hangs down on the chest
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 1:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Bayeux tapestry has generated all sorts of misconeptions over the years, including the belief that the armour was made by rings sewn to leather backing. As Sam pointed out, it was done after the event (about 20 years), and I suspect that the embroiderers didn't double as armour-smiths... The face-flap is AFAIK the accepted interpretation, and supported by contemporary artwork. I suggest you take a look at other sources; illuminated manuscripts and statues can provide useful information, but as with any artistic impression, one should be careful. As for the sleeve length, it seems like it reaches to the elbow. The "laced legs" can be interpreted as the split to faciliate movement, or perhaps actual lacing in order to provide better protection. AFAIK, the latter isn't supported by other sources, but I might be wrong.
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only thing that seems weird about an aventail though is why are none of them shown worn up. They are in the midst of battle after all.
Z
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Allen Reed




Location: Northwest, IL
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
The only thing that seems weird about an aventail though is why are none of them shown worn up. They are in the midst of battle after all.
Z


Perhaps the aventail is down because the Norman horsemen are facing infantry rather than other horsemen.

allen
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That makes some sense. How hard would it be to breathe with one up?
Z
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 10:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
That makes some sense. How hard would it be to breathe with one up?
Z


Depends on it covering the nose or just coming up to just under the nose. Internal padding would also make it harder to breathe through.

Up to just below the nose the nasal of a conical spangenhelm would make redundant for it to be higher and cover the nose I think. ( Just a guess and opinion ).

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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Tapestry         Reply with quote

Hi

The Ttapestry (embroidery would be a better defnition) believed to have been produced by English embroideresses and comisioned by William's half brother, Bishop Odo, well known for his military exploits.

Bearing in mind that little advancements in military technology had occured in Western Europe over the very short period from the proceeding events, the actual battle depicted to the completion of the Tapestry i doubt very much that those manufacturing and commissioning the Tapestry where unfamiliar with the military appearance of either of the opposing armies.

The embroidresses would have been high born ladies and used to seeing armoured retainers.

Best
Dave

ps there is a series running on the BBC at the moment about the Normans, simply titled 'The Normans' and may be available via the www on BBCiplayer.

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