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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri 10 Aug, 2012 11:46 pm    Post subject: Armoured Codpieces         Reply with quote

Are armoured codpieces just for fashion, or do they actually work as protection? They don't seem very common, so I wonder if they weren't very useful.

What sort of groin protection was employed, throughout the ages?
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Contrary to popular belief (and as I'm sure you know) codpieces did not actually contain what they appeared to, and as such are a purely decorative fashion accessory, and therefore codpieces on armour (or brayettes) were only around as long as codpieces were in fashion in clothing (as fashions in armour reflected fashions in clothing at this time - 16thC). Prior to the adoption of brayettes, the most common protection was a skirt of mail.

As to how effective it was, well, I guess it's the old argument of mail vs plate. But effectiveness isn't just about protection, you also have to go into the indelicate question of how did one perform one's bodily functions when dressed for battle, and the mail skirt was definately more convenient for that, which may be why the brayette fell out of use. I also suspect a strong reason was that wearing a brayette on horseback would not have been possible.......!

Julian



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Brayettes.jpg

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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, so a brayette is what they used. Thank you for explaining that.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

May I also add, on the subject of codpieces, I have many years of 16thC swordsmanship under my belt (so to speak), but whenever I am confronted by a codpiece-clad opponent I find it a real struggle to stop myself from launching my rapier at it! I know, its an ungentlemanly compulsion, and I have fought the impulse successfully up til now, but it's just so tempting a target........(after all, if you didn't want it to get hit, then don't bring it to everyone's attention!).

I wonder if they resisted the urge back in the day.....

Julian
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Nathan Johnson




Location: Australia
Joined: 05 Apr 2008

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
May I also add, on the subject of codpieces, I have many years of 16thC swordsmanship under my belt (so to speak), but whenever I am confronted by a codpiece-clad opponent I find it a real struggle to stop myself from launching my rapier at it! I know, its an ungentlemanly compulsion, and I have fought the impulse successfully up til now, but it's just so tempting a target........(after all, if you didn't want it to get hit, then don't bring it to everyone's attention!).


Previous topic http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p...ht=#140314

read my reply halfway down the page Wink
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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oops, should've looked more thoroughly before opening a thread.


So in short, armoured codpieces are basically more decorative brayettes.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm ever so pleased I'm not the only one who feels tempted to poke my opponent in the cods with my rapier...... Wink

Julian
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Marcos Cantu





Joined: 28 May 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

everything that is old is new again:

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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

NIJ Level IIIA, or just stab-proof? Big Grin
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

one thing i have realized is that the armored codpiece can be considered to be, in a way, the male equivalent of the cuirasses seen on female warriors in fantasy works. which even if they are normal, fully encompassing cuirasses are often have breast shaped hammered out in the same way the ancient greeks often shaped the breast and backplate to resemble an idealised musculature.

overall i would argue the armored codpiece can largely be a negative thing for similar reasons as why the 'boob plate' can be a bad idea as well.

in theory, having something stick out prominently means that downward strokes etc might catch it and not deflect away harmlessly. it might also become a target more often, it might cause the hit to deflect in an otherwise undesirable direction
(although that last consequence of an armoured codpiece may very well be a good thing since it means if they aim for the codpiece they arnt aiming for your head face and upper body which is always a good thing)

although as the muscled cuirasses of ancient greece showed, sometimes its just as much about showing off and saying 'hey look at how manly i am" or 'hey guys/ ladies, look, im more well endowed than you are" not to mention that such embellishments require more work to be put into the armour, thus to have such pieces of kit shows that you have wealth enough to maintain them.



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RomeTW2008-09-0301-20-44-35.jpg
amazon chariots in RTW note that while the rest of their gear is fairly normal ( although probably inaccurate in terms of a portrayel of classical/ hellenistic hoplites ) normal, notice how the breastplates have model breasts dished out as well
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John Turner




Location: East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Joined: 31 Jan 2011
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Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
NIJ Level IIIA, or just stab-proof? Big Grin


Actually to protect against abdominal penetration from IED fragments( and saving the genitals of course. Works pretty well for that when worn properly.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Edmund Burke

"If History is so important, why is it so easy to forget?"
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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
Joined: 11 Apr 2012

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
although as the muscled cuirasses of ancient greece showed, sometimes its just as much about showing off and saying 'hey look at how manly i am" or 'hey guys/ ladies, look, im more well endowed than you are" not to mention that such embellishments require more work to be put into the armour, thus to have such pieces of kit shows that you have wealth enough to maintain them.


Hmm so the muscle cuirass matched the wearer's muscles perfectly?
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Marc Blaydoe




Location: Maryland
Joined: 29 Sep 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peteris R. wrote:
Quote:
although as the muscled cuirasses of ancient greece showed, sometimes its just as much about showing off and saying 'hey look at how manly i am" or 'hey guys/ ladies, look, im more well endowed than you are" not to mention that such embellishments require more work to be put into the armour, thus to have such pieces of kit shows that you have wealth enough to maintain them.


Hmm so the muscle cuirass matched the wearer's muscles perfectly?


No, I don't think that is being said at all. A muscle cuirass probably was as "close" a fit as the codpieces were[n't]. Appearances is what matters, not fit.

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peteris R. wrote:
Quote:
although as the muscled cuirasses of ancient greece showed, sometimes its just as much about showing off and saying 'hey look at how manly i am" or 'hey guys/ ladies, look, im more well endowed than you are" not to mention that such embellishments require more work to be put into the armour, thus to have such pieces of kit shows that you have wealth enough to maintain them.


Hmm so the muscle cuirass matched the wearer's muscles perfectly?


no and thats the point its showing an idealsed look,, its what you WANT to look like (thats the theory anyway)i.e its a bluff to make yourself look better than you are,
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