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Roberto Banfi




Location: Near Milan - Italy
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: 1250-1300: Transitional Leg Armor?         Reply with quote

Hi guys... 1st post, but been lurking around for a while in this precious forum... I hope not to break any rule Happy

I'm a reenactor from northern Italy and I'm another 13th Century guy..
focusing on second half of 13th Century I was wondering about leg defense

Mac Bible is full of mail clad knight with cuisses and in many effigies or illuminated manuscript from the period we can see various sort of poleyns

as for the hauberk we can easily think about a padded layer under the mail and in the Mac Bible raffiguration of Goliath we can see a couple of greaves over the padded leg (no mail ever)

what do you think about a padded leg with a thigh-only mail covering (a cuisse) plus a poleyn and a greave? my speculation is that basically the full mail leg (chausse) is shortening because the insertion of the plate below the elbow...

Thanks

Rob
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: 1250-1300: Transitional Leg Armor?         Reply with quote

Roberto Banfi wrote:
in the Mac Bible raffiguration of Goliath we can see a couple of greaves over the padded leg (no mail ever)


General consensus seems to be that Goliath is depicted with greaves because the bible says he was wearing greaves, not because greaves were used in the 13th century.

If you want some other leg defence besides maille chausses, I'd take a look at padded cuisses over maille chausses with optionally a steel knee cap attached to the padded cuisse.

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hullo Roberto and welcome,

Sander is correct, the fact is Goliath was said to be wearing greaves (or rather in the Mac Bibles case schynbalds), but if you look everywhere else they are non-existent. That being said, there is a sculpure of an Italian knight wearing cuir-bouilli plates with cool looking floral motifs on them. BUT! I think it might be early 14thC.
However, Italy had trade links with the Middle East. Hm. But I think it's better safe then sorry, so no greaves.schynbalds.

What I've done with my chausses (well, intend to do) is have the maille attach to the stuffed cuisse at about mid thigh level. Then, if or when I wish, I can point on and strap a poleyn over my knee.

The beauty of 13thC. armour is that it can be turned into everything from 11th., 12th. to 14th. Century kit Big Grin

P.S. The Mac Bible is good, but have a look around at other sources like the Kings Mirror or the works of Matthew Paris.

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to say exactly when greaves were first being used in the middle ages. Gerald of Wales mentions the Welsh wearing them in the 12th century http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/chap_p...mp;c_id=10, also Chrétien de Troyes describes knights wearing iron greaves with leather lacing in his poems c.1180s. Chrétien de Troyes Arthurian poems do take place in an earlier period but he seems to be describing contemporary arms and armour. Remember these would all be demi-greaves, covering the front of the shin only, knights would still be wearing full maille leggings.
Oakeshott has an image of a knight on the Seal of the Guild of St. George showing a two piece closed greave c.1290.
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Roberto Banfi




Location: Near Milan - Italy
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Hullo Roberto and welcome,

Sander is correct, the fact is Goliath was said to be wearing greaves (or rather in the Mac Bibles case schynbalds),


yup that's only a bad word selection from my dictionary, in italian the difference is less consistent

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
The Mac Bible is good, but have a look around at other sources like the Kings Mirror or the works of Matthew Paris.


definitely yes! those and many others are already on my virtual bookshelf for my searches
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Roberto Banfi




Location: Near Milan - Italy
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

would like to add something to the discussion Wink

this one being the Arca di Guglielmo Berardi da Narbona, dead in Battle of Campaldino (Tuscany) in 1289... sculpure being dated to 13th Century



and this one from the well-known Manesse Codex

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Roberto Banfi




Location: Near Milan - Italy
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and digging into D. Nicolle (actually looking for real pics)

Quote:
Oak statue of King Louis IX of France by the ' Strasbourg Master ' , Swabia , c .1290 (private collection; after Miller - Wiener)

Although this carving represents the canonised French king St Louis, who died a generation before the statuette was made, the carver is believed to have been from the Imperial city of Strasbourg. The armour it portrays is very traditional and even old-fashioned with the exception of the plated greaves.

so I assume greaves / schynbalds were common in 1290 ?



Quote:
597 Seal of the Ferrarese Guild of St. George, Lombardy, 1290 (Dept. of Seals, British Library, London, England)

If this seal from the city of Ferrara has been correctly dated, then it again indicates the presence of certain items of armour in Italy long before they are seen elsewhere in Europe. The most obvious of these are the full-plate greaves and possible sabatons worn with a fluted, pointed poleyn
.



Quote:
608A — Embossed silver altar front of antipetidium by Andrea di Jacopo d'Ognabene, Tuscany, late 13th century (in situ Cathedral, Pistoia, Italy

Two men wear mail chausses, perhaps inside ordinary shoes, plus greaves of iron or hardened leather (H and I )





but here's when the clock seems to turn real backwards to 1250-1260

Quote:
from Lives of the Two Offas not only are plate schynbalds and poleyns visible, but also a perhaps unique representation of a face plate without any helmet.




Quote:
The knights in this scene from the Trinity Apocalypse of c. 1250 - 60 display a number of interesting features. The king in the foreground is wearing poleyns and schynbalds that appear unconnected to each other. Despite this up-to-date plate armour he only wears a strip of mail beneath, instead of full mail chausses.


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Roderick Stacey




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is another depiction of Greaves in the Trinity too,



Both on kings in the Trinity and Goliath is a hero, so why not have him in the latest gear?

Even in the Holkham bible, the kings/rich people have greaves etc but most people are in maille in the entire bible and this is mid fourteenth century.



In the Psalter-Hours of Guiluys de Boisleux. Arras, France, 1243-1246, Goliath has no greaves, bottom right picture.



I don't agree with the consensus view, as the macky is considered representative of equipment at the time, then there must have been some greaves around as other artists displayed Goliath in other equipment such as maille chausses.
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Roderick Stacey




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote



Another depiction of Goliath, without greaves, Psalter. France, perhaps Beauvais, ca. 1250
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Roberto, between you and Roderick it looks like you have enough evidence to support the use of demi-greaves in Italy Big Grin
I guess you could wear them underneath your maille chausses if you wanted to.
I'd still say don't use them, but that's because I like the look of plain chausses. I just looks more... Quintessentially 13thC.

Edit: Btw, some of those pictures I have never seen before. Awesome, time to save them.

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Roberto Banfi




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks Roderick for the precious material Wink

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
I'd still say don't use them, but that's because I like the look of plain chausses. I just looks more... Quintessentially 13thC.


got it and agree for the plain look; the vast majority of 13th century reenactors don't bother much about leg protection and specifically full mail chausses are a pain in the *** Happy actually I borrowed from a friend a couple of those, all riveted

let's say.... for fighting I prefer to use every inch of rigid plate wherever I can, according to my period Laughing Out Loud

actually as a DIY project I'm working on the famous 13th century armored surcoat, plates are already done

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Edit: Btw, some of those pictures I have never seen before. Awesome, time to save them.


glad to be helpful!
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Roberto Banfi




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

BTW after I demonstrated my innocence Happy what you guys think about the possibility of thighs-only covering mail cuisse plus schynbalds/poleyns?

it sounds reasonable if you think that in 14th century plate had gradually superseded mail when possibile.. SO if I put a schynbald I have no more need for a full mail chausse

it's only a speculation, still have no evidence of that at the moment
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S. Sebok





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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been looking all over for schynbalds that are period for the late 13th century with no luck. Everywhere I look it's late 14th-15th century stuff. I assume it would be the cheaper option for leg protection and probably easier to put on as well. Maille chausses wouldn't fit my beanpole legs anyway as they'd probably have very excess stuff and I'd have to tailor them along with my outright refusal to use butted maille leaves me with NO leg protection at all. Any suggestions on where to look or what to do?
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Sebok wrote:
Maille chausses wouldn't fit my beanpole legs anyway as they'd probably have very excess stuff and I'd have to tailor them along with my outright refusal to use butted maille leaves me with NO leg protection at all.


Of course not. Sew a couple of padded hosen to "flesh" out your legs. There's a really nice example somewhere on the Armour Archive. And all maille should be tailored IMHO. Tailoring riveted maille isn't any harder than tailoring butted maille. Pretty much all maille vendors sell rivet-setting pliers and loose rings alongside their hauberks and chausses. It's pretty easy since the rings snap shut by themselves. No need to bend the rings.

Here is my riveted coif that I tailored extensively to fit me.

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Roberto Banfi




Location: Near Milan - Italy
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Sew a couple of padded hosen to "flesh" out your legs. There's a really nice example somewhere on the Armour Archive. And all maille should be tailored IMHO.


+1 for the padded hoses, that's the basic layer under the mail; I thought it was unnecessary to specify Happy

and +1 for the tailoring, it really helps with stamina saving... actually only with butted mail though... riveted is on the TO-DO list
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roberto Banfi wrote:
BTW after I demonstrated my innocence Happy what you guys think about the possibility of thighs-only covering mail cuisse plus schynbalds/poleyns?


Interesting thread!

It's not something I've ever seen before - and to be honest, doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me. most of the early depictions (shown in this thread) indicate that the hardened defenses were worn over mail rather than instead of it. this is still true will into the c14. I suspect that it wasn't until plate became sophisticated enough that the joins gave *almost* the same coverage as mail that it was worn standalone.

Also, you have to remember that c13 cutting edge armour was the province of the knighthood - and the knighthood were mounted warriors. Basically, the armour is designed for horseback - where the inside of the thigh is against the saddle, and the outside already covered by the hauberk - so adding mail to only cover the upper leg doesn't seem to add much.
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Roberto Banfi




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Robson wrote:
most of the early depictions (shown in this thread) indicate that the hardened defenses were worn over mail rather than instead of it. this is still true will into the c14. I suspect that it wasn't until plate became sophisticated enough that the joins gave *almost* the same coverage as mail that it was worn standalone.


my idea comes, for example, from the breastplate; there would be a transition from aketon+hauberk to padded jack (watch out I'm not that familiar with 14+ century english terms) with strips of mail only where the plate left blank spaces so

if breastplate superseded mail in covering the torso and the belly, why the same principle can not be applied on legs?

Brian Robson wrote:
Also, you have to remember that c13 cutting edge armour was the province of the knighthood - and the knighthood were mounted warriors. Basically, the armour is designed for horseback - where the inside of the thigh is against the saddle, and the outside already covered by the hauberk - so adding mail to only cover the upper leg doesn't seem to add much.


agree 100% but "unfortunately" I have to reenact (and fight as) a knight and have no horse Happy
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Jens Boerner




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

You don't wear a "padded jack" under full plate, and you don't have maille strips on a "padded jack". In fact you hardly have evidences (except for Hastings MS and some other text sources) for maille strips, mostly for full sleeves or a shortened hauberk.

As for leg defenses before mid-14th century instead of maille: doesn't make too much sense of you don't use any iron, because it will not help against arrows, for instance, which is possibly the reason why thigh-defenses were added to maille chausses.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the last decades of the 13th we have textual evidence as well. Ralph de Nesle has more or less a full harness and he dies in 1302.

RPM
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Jens Boerner




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
By the last decades of the 13th we have textual evidence as well. Ralph de Nesle has more or less a full harness and he dies in 1302.

RPM


Evidence for what? Maille strips on a "padded jack"? Underneath Plate? Or what do you mean? I was talking about the later usage of maille on a foundation garment (see "arming doublet" thread) underneath full plate armour.
About 1300 it seems a little unlikely to me that maille strips were used instead of a full hauberk...
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