Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Older kit still used in later periods? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Older kit still used in later periods?         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Greg,

There is so much evidence for the continued use of outdated arms and armour I could not even give you a small number of them in this post and demonstrate how common it is.



I think this would make a great new Topic in itself: When putting a kit together for a specific period living history people seem to favour or allow only the kit assumed to be up to date equipment for that period.

In other words, in period one would not only see the most current armour or arms, but a much greater amount of earlier kit mixed in: So one could say that we can't have a later sallet in the 14th century but one might see old bascinets still in use along side a sallet in the mid 15th for example to illustrate what I am getting at. Wink

So maybe the very strict " historical accuracy " people may actually not be showing what one would see in period because they disallow older armour and arms from different periods being still in use at the same time.

If only dealing with the rich and powerful one can assume that for the reasons of social status they would rather be dead than be seen in anything but the most recent kit, but mercenaries, poor knight, civil militias, bandits, revolting peasants would use anything still functional, cheap and available.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
P. Cha




PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 10:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Tod has an excellent article about daggers doing the same thing on his website. Yes it is possible to have older stuff and still be within a period. Course the older the stuff, the less typical the armor becomes. A bacinet in the 1400s is perfectly plausible for your men at arms to have...but having a sugarloaf helm, while plausible to have seen use really does stick out. And I'm guess it's this sticking out that gets people riled up.
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While certainly it is possible to have "recycled" older equipment, I think a person needs to think about what exactly they want to portray. We certainly know that people used outdated equipment, just as with today. At the same time, though, if your goal is to portray someone who is "typical" of a certain time period, then I think you need to scrutinize just how much leeway you have with this.

For example, if I were trying to portray the average person in the 1980's, and I wore a tie dye shirt, pin striped pants, wing tiped shoes, a plaid tie and a fedora, then everyone would say that I didn't look anything like a person from that era, despite the fact that all of those clothing items would have been available to me, and are even all from the same century. Sure, I could argue that someone in the 80's had a really eclectic sense of style, and it certainly is more than possible... but am I really being representative of that era, or am I just kidding myself?

It's easier to justify to oneself when you're portraying something several hundred years ago because we are far enough away that the mismatches aren't so obvious (or at least, not until we learn better). We may assume two outfits from the 15th century must automatically be interchangable, yet we wouldn't think the same thing about an outfit from 1907 and 1977.

In the end, it depends on what you're wanting to get out of making a kit. If it's just for fun, then you can make any concessions you want and can justify it anyway you want. The more you care about history, though, the more you're going to have to analyze and ask yourself, "just how plausible is plausible?"

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
And I'm guess it's this sticking out that gets people riled up.


Well there is the practical issue of not wanting to confuse people by mixing stuff from different periods even if in period they might have been mixed: This avoids a lot of explaining that " Yes this is late 14th century and could have still been in use " mid-15th century while trying to educate the public about mid 15th century period kit.

I just think that knowing a lot more about to what degree and how wide the period overlap of armour and arms seen at the same time on a battlefield might be.

Extremes like Roman armour in the 12th century is out, but let's say just as another example that a nasal helm might still be in use during the whole great helm period and extending into early bassinet wearing period ? But one wouldn't still see a nasal helm being used along side a morion in the 16th century. ( Well, one might still see something close to a nasal helm in some regions like Ireland maybe as well as hauberk like armour still being popular in remote areas ).

But I'm just speculating to get the discussion going and I hope people with real knowledge can give us an idea of the range of perceived anachronism one might expect at different periods and locations. Wink Question

When we get into periods where uniforms and uniform pattern weapons become the norm mid 17th century and soldiers no longer have any choices about their weapons/armour/kit this is no longer a possibility.

I'm guessing that one generation back in kit would be common, two generations back less common and truly decrepit stuff a few centuries old would rarely still be in use ? Well, a re-hilted blade might be quite a few centuries old if still serviceable or a family heirloom ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
P. Cha




PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well it really comes down to two questions...

What era are you making this kit for?

and

Who are you?

Two generation old is still generally in the reasonable range for your low rank men at arms for examples. But for a noble would be cosidered just right out.
View user's profile Send private message
Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K, this is a bit of a wild tangent... In the original thread I specifically asked about references (obviously contemporary, although I didn't state that outright) regarding the use of out-of-date weaponry merely because the owner felt it was "lucky" or had some personal attachment to it and opted to keep it instead of newer, affordable equipment. I still haven't got any information regarding that question. The rest of this really isn't what I was asking about, but of course you're all welcome to have at it! I just wanted to make it clear what my original question was.

-Gregory
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:

In the end, it depends on what you're wanting to get out of making a kit. If it's just for fun, then you can make any concessions you want and can justify it anyway you want. The more you care about history, though, the more you're going to have to analyse and ask yourself, "just how plausible is plausible?"


I think that the above and the whole of your post is very relevant to " portrayals " in living history or other contexts where one wants to show something credible and probable for the period and certainly a good part of why I started this Topic.

But I also want to focus on what Randall was writing about there being a great deal of documentation about older arms and armour still being used much later than we generally visualize: This not specifically for period reenactment uses but just to know in more detail what one might have seen in period that might seem very " wrong " when we want a nice and neat evolution and period classification of kit.

One can certainly try to give dates to the first known use of a piece of armour or armament, followed by when it became popular and universal in use until it more or less slowly goes out of fashion ? I guess one would see a series of overlapping timelines that someone could chart on a series of bell curves with the extremes being very early adopters to very late known use.

Anyway, I'm just curious to learn things. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

( Note: So far all I've done is mostly to state the questions and add a bit of speculation, I hope for people to add facts to opinion and conjecture ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 1:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
One can certainly try to give dates to the first known use of a piece of armour or armament, followed by when it became popular and universal in use until it more or less slowly goes out of fashion ? I guess one would see a series of overlapping timelines that someone could chart on a series of bell curves with the extremes being very early adopters to very late known use.
Except for the bell curve, this is what AVB Norman does in "Rapier And Small Sword". BUT he bases himself on dates of portraits, which are, as a rule made of rich people in their best dress.

Alternatively, if one looks at pictures of farmers, like those of Brueghel and Duerer, they are generally portrayed in everyday dress, which may include a bauernwehr or messer, but not the old sword that may (or not) have been safely tucked away in some cupboard...

In other words, we don't know. Helmets are even more difficult.

The suggestion that kit may have been handed down for two generations seems reasonable enough. I still have my great-grandfather's pocket knife, and it's still perfectly serviceable... I can't imagine that a rebel peasant would care how old a sword is, if the choice is between an old sword and a club.
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Lindfors





Joined: 07 May 2008

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This kind of re-use of old equipment goes on even today. I remember seeing news-films from the Balkans during the nineties, where old ww2-era soviet T-34 tanks rumbled into action, and just a few weeks ago I saw a very recent photo from Afghanistan, where some tribal afghan warriors were carrying ww1-era British Lee-Enfields and German Mauser 98's. Those guns are nearly a century old. People use what ever is available to them. Old gear is better than no gear...
View user's profile Send private message
Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I saw a very recent photo from Afghanistan, where some tribal afghan warriors were carrying ww1-era British Lee-Enfields and German Mauser 98's.


Well, there are photos of a pre taliban war aghfan using a percussion rifle...replacing parts or repairing them by a village smith is easy and cheap , and that means that their use will be longer than more advanced and complex equipment. And even that one can be hand made...if you know Darra or Durra in Pakistan, that's a good example. Not the best quality, but you can have the coolest weapons for a fraction of the price.

Going back to topic, the biggest problem is that most documents and depictions are from upper class warriors, who wore the latest. Rarelly we can get a glimpse of those too poor to get new and modern equipment, and know how fast was the obsolete equipment discarded or recycled: the pre-industrial societies were great at this, just think why so few weapons come from non funerary contexts...even medieval ones (and the other bunch comes from "collections" or amouries...worth to be stored for a reason).
View user's profile Send private message
Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Medieval Armor From Rhodes. The armoury contained everything from the latest most up to date armour to armour that was nearly 100 years old at the time of the fall of the fortress ( fortress fell in 1522, the earliest surviving pieces date to the 1430's ) and everything in between. I find it hard to believe that the knights of the order and thier paid mercenaries were a single isolated inceedent.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think people are somewhat talking about different (but related) things here. We can talk about:

1-Is it possible that people used outdated equipment?

2-Is it reasonable that I make a kit of someone using outdated equipment?

If you're talking about #1, then I think the evidence is insurmountable that, yes, people recycled old equipment. No question there.

If it is #2, then the lines become much more fuzzy. Harry Lindfors above gave a great example of Balkans in modern times using old equipment, yet it would seem very bizarre for someone in the British military to be doing the same thing. Going back historically, if you are making a kit and attempting to portray a "typical" person from an era, you need to ask yourself just what you want to portray. If you're portraying a farmer who's been forced to protect his land you'll have a certain line of standards that will be a kit portraying someone of nobility and wealth of the same era.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Going back historically, if you are making a kit and attempting to portray a "typical" person from an era, you need to ask yourself just what you want to portray. If you're portraying a farmer who's been forced to protect his land you'll have a certain line of standards that will be a kit portraying someone of nobility and wealth of the same era.


I think this is important. While funery effigies do on occasion shown the intered in somewhat outdated gear ( 20 -30 years out of date in relation to the time of death ) in general effigies show folks in gear current to the time of thier death. These folks were people of some status, and having the latest gear was on some level a display of that status. I don't think in general one will find the upper class running around in 50 year old armour. If your aiming for Lord Thusandsuch as your portrayal, up to date gear is what you need. If you're aiming for one of the 150 slobs he pays to walk his battlements and watch his gate, thats a different story.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 245

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think what alot of people have said on here is a good view of it, lords and knights would have had up to date gear while the poorer classes might have used outdated equipment. I can see a young man-at-arms wearing a 20 year old helmet instead of spending his money on a brand new helmet and using the money instead to buy, lets just say, a new set of gauntlets or whatever peice of armour needed repair.

But I can also see him discarding his 20 year old helmet in favour of a newer helmet scavanged off the battlefield.

I think most of the people with outdated gear would probably have scavenged newer gear off the dead if they were in a battle, the militia guarding the city might have kept their outdated gear through the campaign but after a battle or two I think the majority of poorer soldiers would have scavenged newer, more in-fashion gear.

Just my 2 cents, i'm not as knowledgable as other people on here, but it makes sense and it's what I would do if I were a medieval soldier.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I think people are somewhat talking about different (but related) things here. We can talk about:

1-Is it possible that people used outdated equipment?

2-Is it reasonable that I make a kit of someone using outdated equipment?


1) Can be also our guesses about the prevalence of older kit and just for our better understanding of the various periods and places.

2) Not everyone is into actual living history and putting together a kit to educate people about a time period where a mix of older kit might just confuse the issue i.e. a responsibility to educate and not confuse a general audience with issues of older kit still being in use, but within a group who won't be confused, at least discussing the possibilities of a mix of older armour parts, that would normally be ruled out of period, would be a good idea to me. ( Being too strict about period appropriateness can actually distort what would have been seen in period, maybe ??? )

One option is to say that for each chosen time period one is showing only the most up to date kit and avoid the issue of continued use of older stuff i.e. " This is the in fashion kit of 1456 and the most modern for the time that would be worn by the upper social classes and the rich who could afford them ".


For poor foot soldiers, town militias, mercenaries and peasant revolt portrayals, then I think a mix of older kit should be allowed.

But again there are two things here to discuss in parallel: Reennactments and rules each group can chose as standards of historical accuracy and secondly understanding the period(s) in all it's greater subtleties for it's own sake as best as we can prove and also speculate while making sure that what we are sure about is kept distinct from what are best guesses.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking as a Living Historian, it behooves us to have a kit that is dated to within a decade of our timeframe. This is because the public nearly always has a Hollywood idea of history. It is hard enough trying to convince them that yes, that is a real fire (yes, we get that question all the time) without having to explain the sugarloaf helm and type XII sword being older kit for a poorer gentleman compared to Sir Geoffrey's houndskull bascinet and type XVa longsword. It just confuses the public, who may remember all of 2% of what you tell them and that likely incorrectly, and we try to teach the most accurately known information. Yes, the use of older equipment occurred, more often as the less wealthy your were. Nothing says recycling like wearing granddad's armor to the hastilude.

However, if all you want to do is make up a kit for your SCA group, well have at it. If you want a Sallet with a linothorax and a rapier, then go for it.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
Speaking as a Living Historian, it behooves us to have a kit that is dated to within a decade of our timeframe. This is because the public nearly always has a Hollywood idea of history. It is hard enough trying to convince them that yes, that is a real fire (yes, we get that question all the time) without having to explain the sugarloaf helm and type XII sword being older kit for a poorer gentleman compared to Sir Geoffrey's houndskull bascinet and type XVa longsword. It just confuses the public, who may remember all of 2% of what you tell them and that likely incorrectly, and we try to teach the most accurately known information. Yes, the use of older equipment occurred, more often as the less wealthy your were. Nothing says recycling like wearing granddad's armor to the hastilude.

However, if all you want to do is make up a kit for your SCA group, well have at it. If you want a Sallet with a linothorax and a rapier, then go for it.


Great post and I think it confirms a bit what I was saying in my previous post that to educate and not confuse the public you want to avoid mixing in your Sugar Loaves with your Bascinets ...... Wink Laughing Out Loud

But at the same time in this discussion we can deal with those things without it causing confusion for us, but I understand better the challenges of Living Historians when trying to educate the " Hollywood Educated ". Big Grin Cool

Oh,
Quote:
yes, that is a real fire
ROTFL Eek! WTF?!
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
Joined: 09 Feb 2009
Likes: 3 pages
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 649

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Once an old renactor said to me. "Yes, the sword is out of time, but all that is past can be worn. Whatever is the future, no. Do not overdo it, the ancient Greeks and Romans, better hold off. "

I can be okay, but that the majority wearing the era it represents.
Judging by the number of swords that were built, there was always a shortage of weapons.
Perhaps the change of weapons was faster than two centuries for the majority.

Ciao
Maurizio
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think class has much to do with this. The better off the more likely you'd be equipped with state-of-the-art armour and arms. That said some armour was being modified and used by men of relative wealth. We have to keep in mind that men at arms of the late medieval period were often not of noble or even gentle families. They were simply men who could afford to fight on horseback and in heavy armour (not even strictly complete harness). As well not all knights were rolling in cash. Arms, armour and horses were a major investment.... though we need not take this to represent all or even most knights.

In the 3rd or 4th decade of the 15th the Archbiz of York has a large number of COPs, Bascinets and mail..... all of which being intended for his own guard, not per se common riff raff, but men who he had to keep him safe and secure.

I'd be careful with effigies. We have no idea of what time period many are really showing, many having been simply dated by themselves. Of the hundreds of effigies I have examined I know of only a handful with firm dates.

The best way to do it is what Jonathan said, pick a decade or event and build from there.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall your comments are very welcome and I was hoping you would post on this Topic since it all started by a quote I posted from you. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

Also the quote from Maurizio is interesting:
Quote:
Once an old renactor said to me. "Yes, the sword is out of time, but all that is past can be worn. Whatever is the future, no. Do not overdo it, the ancient Greeks and Romans, better hold off. "


Do not overdo it is very much my point but at the same time don't avoid it completely, and as Jonathan explained it is necessary to keep things clear and simple to not confuse the public.

Well, I think the Topic is pretty much covered, so except for some specific examples or known examples from the historical records, if someone has some to refer to, I think the subject is just about covered.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Older kit still used in later periods?
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum