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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Early reference for buckler         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I am looking for early references of bucklers.
Preferably before 1300, best before 1250.
Obviously I have quite a lot around 1300, it's the earlier stuff that is hard to find.

It doesn't matter wether it is textual, pictorial or factual - any proof of bucklers before 1300 / 1250 will do.

As to give a working definition: I define a buckler as a small shield of any shape (approx. diameter of 40cm or less) that is center gripped.

I would be really grateful for your input.

Thanks a lot!

Herbert

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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There may be earlier examples which haven't been tagged.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?tags="buckler"

It's also harder to tell if an earlier example is a buckler or simply a round shield. Scale isn't always exact in miniatures.
Here's some possibilities:
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/book-of-hours-morgan-m739/5197/ from 1201-1219:


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/bible-moralis...2554/3844/ from 1225-1249:


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/the-rochester...xiii/1523/ from 1225-1250:

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
CALENDAR OF LETTER-BOOKSOF THECITY OF LONDON.

LETTER-BOOK B.

Folio 1 (cxxx b). (fn. 1)

Saturday before the Feast of Nativity B. M. [8 Sept], 9 Edward I.[A.D. 1281], in the presence of G[regory] de Rokesle, Mayor,W[illiam] de Farendone, N[icholas] de Wynchester, Sheriffs,Henry Waleys, William de Durham, John Horn, Philip theTailor, John Addr[ian], John de Northampton, Robert deMeldeburn, Wlmar de Essex, and Simon de Haddestoke, Aldermen.

Inquisicio de nocte vagantibus.

----------------
Henry de Wynchester, Michael de "Womburne,"....... John Burnel, and Alan de Ewelle—arrested for divers trespasses, homicides, robberies, and assaults, and for being nightwalkers after curfew in the City with swords and bucklers, and for setting up games near the City, contrary to the King's peace and the ordinance and statutes of the City of London...
---------------
.....Roger the Cook, "pasteler," [and] John leFevere are night-walkers with swords and bucklers, contrary to the peace, &c.,...
--------------

From: 'Folios 1 - 6', Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: B: 1275-1312 (1900), pp. 1-15. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?...uery=sword buckler Date accessed: 04 December 2012.

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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent! Absolutely brilliant - thank you very much!
This is really helpful. There are quite a few that I wasn't aware of before.

Again, thanks a lot!

Herbert

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One issue is that sword & buckler is a system often used by lightly armored, or non-armored men, and manuscriptminiatures.com is dedicated to showing armor images. He has accepted non-armored sword and buckler miniatures since they are of interest to the community. I'll try to tag a few more pre-1300 images.

There are a number of hidden images in marginalia and bas-de-page figures, often grotesque hybrid zoomorphs, or incomplete figures. Here's a few examples from Yale's Beinecke MS.404 Rothschild Canticles from Flanders or the Rhineland, c. 1300.
http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/exhibiti...child.html
Unfortunately for your purposes, the style of decorating the borders of the text with these sorts of figures doesn't become popular until around 1280 or so.



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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart,

I am aware of these border illustrations but they are notoriously hard to find because often they are not categorized in detail.

Thank you very much for your help - it is much appreciated!
If you happen to stumble upon anything else, I'd be grateful.

best wishes from snowy Austria!

Herbert

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What exactly is the difference between a buckler and small round shield?
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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some subtle differences but the main difference is that the buckler, whatever his shape is, is hold by a central grip in the middle of the shield. The round shield usually is held by means of straps and/or other handles etc.

The size and form alone is not enough to distinguish between the two. The scottish targe is the best example. The size of a (large) buckler it is held by straps on the forearm and therefore is a small round shield and no buckler.

That is at least in my opinion and to my knowledge.

Herbert

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Jack Savante





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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Romans used bucklers and they were most certainly centre gripped despite depictions to the contrary in Starz' Spartacus.

Byzantine Troops used them extensively, and they very closely reseambled the bucklers of the Middle Ages which you probably have in mind:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V3ssuRXhbw0/UAK_pmn...bzclim.jpg

How far do you want to go back?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 3:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Herodotus says that the Carians were the first people to add hand grips to their shields. The shields described in the Iliad are bucklers - centre-gripped rounds shields with a boss. I doubt that they ever went out of use from then onwards.

I think the targe has been misnamed. I'm pretty sure that Froissart says that a knight was carried off the field on a targe so that couldn't be a small shield. In addition the word "target" literally means "small targe" so a targe has to be larger than a target.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
What exactly is the difference between a buckler and small round shield?


My personal opinion is that a buckler is a centre grip shield whose diameter does not exceed the distance which is past the elbow when held.

Above that size with a centre grip, or if it uses enarmes at any size I would call it a shield. That way you could have a large buckler, or a small shield imho.

For example*:

- 50cm dia [centre grip] = large buckler,
- 60cm dia [centre grip] = small shield.
- 50cm dia [enarmes] = small shield.

*These measurements are proportionate to me. The distance from my clenched fist to just past my elbow being 30cm aprox.

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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jack Savante wrote:
Romans used bucklers and they were most certainly centre gripped despite depictions to the contrary in Starz' Spartacus.

Byzantine Troops used them extensively, and they very closely reseambled the bucklers of the Middle Ages which you probably have in mind:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V3ssuRXhbw0/UAK_pmn...bzclim.jpg

Do you have any references for both, Romans and Byzantine troops?

Boeheim mentions that the buckler was in use in Byzantine troops in the 8th. cent. but refeernces are lacking.

Jack Savante wrote:

How far do you want to go back?

I am concentrating on the middle ages and the renaissance, mainly because there are no surviving examples of earlier bucklers (with some exceptions).
Basically I would like to cover the whole timeframe of their appearance, although there will be areas I can only graze (India, Africa, Polynesia etc.)

Herbert

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can go back to the Bronze Age. You'll see continuous use of bucklers by someone from then right up till the modern period.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 6:51 am    Post subject: Buckler definition         Reply with quote

Dan has hit it on the head, good ideas rarely go out of style. One element to all this is to remember that we are defining the buckler today. It was not called the same thing in many of the periods of its use as well as regional differences. So any time we start applying boundaries to what is or is not some object its good to remember that is for us not them.

Best
Craig
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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
You can go back to the Bronze Age. You'll see continuous use of bucklers by someone from then right up till the modern period.


I am aware of that. That is exactly what I am doing. I am in the process of research for a book and I am looking for the lineage of the buckler. But to do this I need proof, references, object, pictures etc. That is why I am asking.

So, if you have any then please let me know. I do know of the leather buckler/shield from Clonbrin and also the Herzsprung shields. But if you have more, please let me know.

Thank you very much

Herbert

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't really see the point. The project seems to involve:

1. Saying say that centre-gripped round shields have ben in use since the Bronze Age.
2. Creating a term ("buckler") to help modern classification
3. Arguing about how big this buckler can be and picking an arbitrary maximum size
4. Selecting some random examples from the last three thousand years
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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
I don't really see the point. The project seems to involve:

1. Saying say that centre-gripped round shields have ben in use since the Bornze Age.
2. Creating an arbitrary word ("buckler") to help modern topology
3. Arguing about how big a buckler can be
4. Picking some random examples from the last three thousand years

Let me try to explain it this way - maybe it gets clearer for you.

To state something you should have proof of it. So if you, I or anyone else states that small, center gripped shields were in use one should proof it by bringing up some evidence. So whatever we think we know, if we state something, we should be able to bring evidence.

The topic is the medieval buckler but the medieval buckler didn't pop up out of nowhere. Any serious research also takes into account the development of the item at hand. So it is not a research done in vain if I want to get to know the origin of the buckler better.

The term "buckler" is so far not defined. That is why we are struggling a bit in the areas where a buckler overlap with other shield types. That is, arguably, a modern trait but these are the times we live in, at least I do.

So - if you know it better and if you have evidence, then I would be very grateful if you provide me with it. We all can learn from you in this instance. If not, then... well - thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Herbert

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Jack Savante





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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember a primary source ( can't remember name sorry :S ) saying that the Romans were convinced to use their bucklers not their shields in to raid the Gothic Camp around the time of the battle of Adrianople (c.378). This likely would refer to something like the 'parma' that the Roman Standard bearers had long carried. So it was clearly considered to be of military importance to Romans.

The Byzantine usage of the buckler has an unbroken line with Roman usage, as the Byzantines were in all things the inheritors of Roman military tradition.

http://pneymatiko.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/ar...-defenses/

Byzantine ikons are generally depicted with this shield when depicted with any (though be mindful of post Byzantine ikons).

It appears from contemporary depictions that the buckler was reserved for special occasions (skirmishing) and for officers and troops for whom mobility was an issue.

http://www.orthodoxy-icons.com/uploads/posts/...rs-002.jpg

This site shows a byzantine skirmisher with a buckler:

http://www.levantia.com.au/

and is also an excellent resource for all things Byzantine.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The etymology seems to indicate a boss is required.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=buckle
Quote:
buckle (v.2) "distort, warp," 1520s, bokelen "to arch the body," from M.Fr. boucler "to bulge," from O.Fr. bocler "to bulge, curl," from bocle "boss of a shield" (see buckle (n.)). Related: Buckled; buckling.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=buckler
Quote:
buckler (n.) "small, round shield used to ward off blows," c.1300, from O.Fr. boucler (12c., Mod.Fr. bouclier), from L. *buccularius (adj.) "having a boss," from buccula (see buckle (n.)).

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd reckon between the etymology Mart just mentioned and the historical lineage of "small, center-gripped, bossed shields" you're going to have a lot to cover if you want to trace the history of the buckler. As stated, such shields have a been used in many places over a long period, and buckler is just a European term to describe them.

If you focus on Medieval bucklers, here are some of the earliest real examples you can sift through... Be sure to look at all the pages of the search, as they appear randomly throughout the 164 images. If you lose the search, just type in "skjold" up top and start anew.

http://www.unimus.no/foto/#/P=search/S=skjold

-Gregory
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