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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Standardised nomenclature         Reply with quote

The recent thread about Meyrick has me wondering whether this forum could benefit from a list of armour terms that everyone can agree upon. Medieval swords are easy because we have Oakshott's typologies with which most people are familiar. It is a neat shorthand to use when discussing swords instead of having to describe each sword in detail. When someone says, for example, Oakeshott Type XII. Everyone here knows the type of sword being referred to.
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spotxii.html

Here is a preliminary list of suggested armour terms. If people have strong objections to any of these then another word can be selected instead. It doesn't really matter which terms are used so long as everybody uses the same ones to refer to the same object. Going back to the original texts doesn't usually help because there isn't any consistency. "Aketon", for example could refer to a lightly padded arming garment or a heavy standalone armour. I am thinking that a commonly agreed-upon naming convention will make discussions a lot easier to follow. I'll be continuously editing the following list as changes and additions are suggested.


Last edited by Dan Howard on Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cuirass: A generic term for torso armour. It usually refers to rigid constructions made from metal or hardened leather (cuir means "leather").
Corselet: A generic term for torso armour. It usually refers to more flexible constructions made from textile or small plates.
Harness: A generic term for a suit of articulated plate armour. One example is German Gothic plate.

Padded armour
Aketon: A lightly-padded arming garment designed to be worn under metal armour - usually mail.
Arming doublet: A lightly-padded arming garment specifically designed to be worn under plate harness. It incorporates laces ("points") to which pieces of plate are attached and can have patches of mail ("voiders") to cover gaps in those plates.
Gambeson: A soft padded armour intended to be worn by itself or over the top of other armour.
Jack: Heavily quilted cloth armour. Some are thick enough to be completely rigid - containing up to thirty layers of cloth. Can be worn by itself or over the top of other armour.

Metal armour
Mail: Armour consisting of an interlinked mesh of metal rings.
Scale: Armour consisting of a garment with small overlapping plates attached externally. May also consist of non-metallic plates such as horn or rawhide.
Ring: Armour consisting of a garment with separate metal rings attached. They are not linked together. One example is the "eyelet doublet".
Bezanted: Armour consisting of a garment with small round discs attached but they to not overlap. One example is the "pennyplate coat".
Lamellar: Similar to scale armour except that the plates are laced together in a fashion that doesn't require a backing.
Segmented: Armour consisting of a series of horizontal metal plates attached in a manner that retains some flexibility. One example is the Roman lorica segmentata
Splint: Armour consisting of long, narrow, metal plates aligned vertically. Usually only worn on the limbs.
Mail and plates: Armour consisting of small metal plates joined together with sections of mail.

Covered armour
Coat-of-plates (COP): a type of segmented armour in which the plates are riveted to the inside of a foundation garment so that only the rivets are visible.
Brigandine: Similar to a coat-of-plates except that the plates are generally smaller.
Jazerant: Armour consisting of one or more layers of mail concealed within a padded garment.
Jack of plates: A jack that has been reinforced with concealed metal plates.


Last edited by Dan Howard on Sun 28 Oct, 2012 3:41 pm; edited 11 times in total
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm in agreement with all of these, as this is how I use them.
Éirinn go Brách
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm on board too. I especially like your "covered armor" category.
"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

I am with that. We can make an article up on the main page or a sticky post at the top of the page. It'd seem to make things easier with something like that for people.... As far as Meyrick term I think one might as well start over, it is so contorted and confused, and this would be a good place to start.

I prefer pair of plates over coat of plates but i have to admit COP is far more common now, though that seems not to be the case for then.

What about leather armour?

RPM
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Padded Jack? Even if it doesn't feature any actual padding? Sorry, but I kind of disagree with this one.
"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, how about a leather category? And what if we called heavy cloth armor a "quilted jack"?
"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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Mohammed Alhassani




Location: Arizona
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this is a great idea, however i believe that the term "Kazaghand" or "Jubbah" would be better to describe a mail type armor enclosed within a padded garment, such as the type mentioned in Usama ibn Munqidh's memories.
"More dreaded by the dauntless foe, Than any other warlike blow, Come the wooden shafts which are, Shot with bows that send them far. They fell his ranks, line after line, And shower them with death divine. Piercing through the shield and mail, They cause the breath of life to fail." - unknown poet
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Modern English terms only. Otherwise we'd have a huge list of words from every language for every item. It is meant as a quick reference to the most comonly-used terms not an exhaustive glossary. Another language can be considered for a term if there isn't an acceptable English one.

If we use "pair of plates", we first have to explain that the word "pair" doesn't mean the same thing today as it did at the time. It seems unneccessarily confusing when "coat of plates" is in more common usage today anyway. Even if you use the abbreviated "COP" most people here understand what is meant.

I'm not sure we need a dedicated term for leather armour. Cuirasses were made from both leather and metal. So was scale and lamellar. It doesn't become another type of armour just because it is made from leather. I'll include an entry for "cuirass", though. We'll probably need to call that category something other than "metal armour".

I have no problem using "quilted jack" instead of "padded jack".

Does the word "jack" need its own entry?
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Weston R Ash




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: so far . . . i agree with         Reply with quote

Padded armour;

Aketon: A lightly-padded arming garment designed to be worn under metal armour - usually mail.

Arming doublet: A lightly-padded arming garment specifically designed to be worn under plate harness.
It incorporates laces ("points") to which pieces of plate are attached and can have patches of mail
("voiders") to cover gaps in those plates.

Gambeson: A soft padded armour intended to be worn by itself or over the top of metal armour.

Quilted Jack: Heavily quilted cloth armour. Some are thick enough to be completely rigid - containing
up to thirty layers of cloth. Can be worn by itself or over the top of metal armour.

I'm looking to familiarize my knowledge of Renaissance weapons and armour.
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Weston R Ash




Location: Madison, WI.
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: i only agree with . . .         Reply with quote

Metal Armour;

- Maille: Armour consisting of interlinked mesh of metal rings.

- Scale: Armour consisting of a garment with small overlapping "imbricated plates" attached. May also consist of non-metallic plates such as horn or rawhide.

- Ring: Armour consisting of a garment with separate metal rings attached. They are not linked together. "The Eyelet Doublet?"

- Lamellar (Eastern Oriental): Similar to a Scale Coat, except that the plates are laced together in a fashion that doesn't require a backing.

- Segmented: Armour consisting of a series of horizontal metal plates attached in a manner that retains some flexibility.

- Cuirass: Torso armour consisting of a rigid breastplate and backplate. It can be made of hardened leather or metal.

- Splinted Maille: small plates sewn onto maille, then upon a backing of cloth or leather.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
this item below is something that i'm un-familiar with;

Bezanted: Armour consisting of a garment with small round plates attached but they to not overlap. One example is the "pennyplate coat".

I'm looking to familiarize my knowledge of Renaissance weapons and armour.
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Weston R Ash




Location: Madison, WI.
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Covered Armour;

Coat-of-plates (COP) or Banded Plate: a type of "Segmented Plate Armour" in which the plates are riveted to the inside of a foundation garment so that only the rivets are visible.

Brigandine: Similar to a Coat-of-plates, except that the plates are generally smaller and the armour is more carefully tailored.

Jack-of-plates: Similar to a quilted jack except that the armour is reinforced with concealed metal plates.

agreed . .

I'm looking to familiarize my knowledge of Renaissance weapons and armour.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: i only agree with . . .         Reply with quote

Weston R Ash wrote:
- Scale: Armour consisting of a garment with small overlapping "imbricated plates" attached. May also consist of non-metallic plates such as horn or rawhide.
There are examples of scale armour where the plates aren't imbricated.

Quote:
Lamellar (Eastern Oriental)
How do you define "eastern" or "oriental"? Lamellar wasn't just worn in Asia. It seems to have been worn pretty much everywhere except western Europe.

Quote:
Splinted Maille: small plates sewn onto maille, then upon a backing of cloth or leather.
Some splinted armour was not attached to mail or even a backing.

Don't repeat everything that you agree with - it just clutters up the thread. Specify what you don't like and offer an alternative term/definition.

If I get outvoted and everyone wants to use "maille" instead of "mail" then Im taking my bat and going home Razz
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Weston R Ash




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: i'm agreeing on these points . . .         Reply with quote

i'm agreeing on these points . . .

Padded armour

- Aketon: A lightly-padded arming garment designed to be worn under metal armour - usually mail.

- Arming doublet: A lightly-padded arming garment specifically designed to be worn under plate harness. It incorporates laces ("points") to which pieces of plate are attached and can have patches of mail ("voiders") to cover gaps in those plates.

- Gambeson: A soft padded armour intended to be worn by itself or over the top of metal armour.

- Quilted Jack: Heavily quilted cloth armour. Some are thick enough to be completely rigid - containing up to thirty layers of cloth. Can be worn by itself or over the top of metal armour.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Metal Armour;

- Maille: Armour consisting of interlinked mesh of metal rings.

- Scale: Armour consisting of a garment with small overlapping "imbricated plates" attached. May also consist of non-metallic plates such as horn or rawhide.

- Ring: Armour consisting of a garment with separate metal rings attached. They are not linked together. "The Eyelet Doublet?"

- Segmented (Banded): Armour consisting of a series of horizontal metal plates attached in a manner that retains some flexibility.

- Splinted Maille: small plates sewn onto maille, then upon a backing of cloth or leather.

- Cuirass: Torso armour consisting of a rigid breastplate and backplate. It can be made of metal or hardened leather (cuir means "leather").

-----------------------------------------------------
these items below are something i'm un-familiar with?;

- Mail and plates: Armour consisting of small metal plates joined together with sections of mail. "composite armour!"

- Bezanted: Armour consisting of a garment with small round plates attached but they to not overlap. One example is the "pennyplate coat".

- Lamellar (Eastern Oriental): Similar to a Scale Coat, except that the plates are laced together in a fashion that doesn't require a backing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Covered Armour;

- Coat-of-plates (COP) or Banded Plate: a type of "Segmented Plate Armour" in which the plates are riveted to the inside of a foundation garment so that only the rivets are visible.

- Brigandine: Similar to a Coat-of-plates, except that the plates are generally smaller and the armour is more carefully tailored.

- Jack-of-plates: Similar to a quilted jack except that the armour is reinforced with concealed metal plates.

all of the above, agreed upon . . .

I'm looking to familiarize my knowledge of Renaissance weapons and armour.
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Michael G.





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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a good thought, but I have some issues with the plan.

For one thing, using historical terms that we know could refer to different things seems like it might just confuse issues even more. I can see someone referencing something called "aketons" in some historical document, but calling them "gambesons" because they believe that they were worn over rather than under armor. Or vice versa. In any case, it seems like it might get confusing.

Even using more modern terms can be confusing. What does one make of armor of horizontally laced plates that does not require a backing, but is attached to one anyway? Is it lamellar or scale? Or what about Roman-style locking scale--is that scale, or lamellar, or maybe mail and plates?

Over the years I've had plenty more questions for myself about different kinds of armor and how to categorize them. Like, is brigandine really any different than inside-out scale armor? Or how do we draw the line between brigandine and coats-of-plates (is armour 24 from Visby a brigandine--because of the small size of the plates, or a COP--because, hey we called everything else from that site that was constructed similarly a COP)?

One of the nice things about the Oakeshott typology is that it uses neutral terms and therefore avoids these issues. Obviously, this is more difficult with armor as there is a great variety of construction types and materials. And even within Oakeshott's system there can be areas of overlap or disagreement. But at least there is a system, and I think this is important.

Now, I'm just playing devil's advocate here and I think most of us, including me, understand what you mean by most of these terms and we certainly need a way to discuss clearly, but I wonder if there is a more "neutral" and systematic way to categorize these things.

Starting with larger-scale categories ( I mean scale in terms of size, not little metal plates!) we could arrange by material--e.g. metal, textile, whatever. But obviously there are some armors that combine them.

Or we could try to organize by the elements used in construction--e.g. little metal rings connected together are mail, that's easy! A collection of metal plates, whether laced together, laced to a backing, riveted to a backing, and with a cover inside or outside could be called...something. Textiles quilted together, whether from multiple layers of woven fabric or fibrous padding (felt, cotton wool, etc.) could be called padded or quilted armor.

In any case, it's a difficult task and it's great that you have brought it up.



Oh, and don't even get me started on pole-arm terminology....
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The actual terms we use are completely irrelevant so long as we come to an agreement to use them consistently. That's the whole point of this thread. If everyone wants I hereby propose a completely new naming convention. Starting at the top and proceeding down the list we call them Howard Type I, Howard Type II, Howard Type III, and so on. Cool
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A general question: are these categories meant to be mutually exclusive? That is, can any armour fall into two (or more) categories at once? If so, a binary key for classifying them would be nice.

Dan Howard wrote:

Mail and plates: Armour consisting of small metal plates joined together with sections of mail.
[...]
Brigandine: Similar to a coat-of-plates except that the plates are generally smaller and the armour is more carefully tailored


This "mail and plates" definition excludes Turkish/Russian armours with a large plate or plates in the mail ("pot lid" armour).

There are plenty of brigandines where the armour isn't more carefully tailored. I am thinking of East Asian brigandines (Korean and Chinese).

There are some Indian armours with no obvious category. Is char aina (4 mirrors) a cuirass (if so, the cuirass definition needs modifying) or a coat of plates or something else? Indian textile armours with metal plates are hard to fit into these categories too.

It isn't easy coming up with good working definitions; one need only recall the tale of Plato's man.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

How about textile armour over padded? I'd just use jack.

RPM
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just just use jack.

cause if i'm not mistaken there is 1 example of some sorta raw wool version that's more like stuffed than layered. i don't have the source on hand, just remember it when research it when i made mine
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Weston R Ash




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: yes         Reply with quote

Agree:
- Padded armour; Aketon, Arming Doublet, Gambeson, Jack (thought both the Gambeson and the Jack were "Quilted"?)
- Metal Armour; Mail, Ring, Cuirass
- Covered armour; Coat-of-plates (COP), Brigandine (thought the plates were placed within a Gambeson or something similar to a Gambeson?), Jack-of-plates.

Uncertain:
- Scale; Dan says; "examples of scale armour where the plates aren't imbricated," could some forms be considered to be
"Tegulated?" i consider a single "Scale" shaped plate to have a single lobe versus bi or tri-lobed, as in some examples of Brigandine, but i've also seen depictions of square shaped plates labeled "Tegulated." the shape and placement of individual plates seems vague, but i'll go along with "a garment with small over-lapping plates attached."
- Segmented; seems to me that COP and Segmented are almost the same, except time period, rivets & placement of padding. i tend to see both COP & Segmented as Bands of Plate or Banded Plate, especially for RPG purposes.
- Splint; always read that its called "Plated Mail or Splinted Mail." would like to see examples of "splinted armour was not attached to mail or even a backing."

New to me;
- Bezanted; Kuyak? an armor made of metal plates (usually round) not connected to each other, but fixed, each separately, to the leather or cloth base. Bezanted = Byzantine?
- Lamellar; only seen examples of this type done in Leather, Wood, Bone, etc..
- Mail & Plates; essentially, small plates attached by small sections of mail? i've seen examples of such, but didn't know what it was called?
- Jazerant; knew it was Mail, didn't know it was placed within the garment?

define "eastern" or "oriental"?; sorry i should say eastern europe, russia, india, east and south-east asia. i've always thought that oriental was south-east asia and india, and that south central asia, asia minor, and the middle-east were all considered something different or removed from the orient?

would like to ask for some Timeline Dating on these types of Armour if possible? also, i have a list and photos of Russian Armour i'd like to bring to the fore.


thx

I'm looking to familiarize my knowledge of Renaissance weapons and armour.
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