Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 14th C Arms & Armour Questions Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 7:41 am    Post subject: 14th C Arms & Armour Questions         Reply with quote

I have a few questions about military equipment seen in manuscripts.

What weapon is this one here?

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4641/12673/

In this image, one figure on the far right seems to be wearing scale armour, but is the other layered armour scale or brigantine? Is the scale supposed to be exotic and non-European, or is there a possibility it could be worn, albeit rarely?

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4268/14127/

The figure on the left seems to be wearing a coat-of-plates, but what is the piece at the upper part of his chest called? Is it still termed a breast plate? Can someone tell me more about it?

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5188/16562/

Is there a name for the polearm below?

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4100/12707/
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First picture: Possibly just something fanciful scribbled in to fill the space. Inspired by a hand-scythe perhaps? It says it's a 'breviary', a prayer book of some sort I believe, so it's not a historical text.

Second: I would say it's to make the fellow stand out. Note the little caption over his head which I presume indicates that he's a key figure in the scene. If he was just wearing mail like the others, he wouldn't stand out as much. Some effort at "antique" or "foreign" may be underway, but honestly cannot say. It does appear anachronistic, though, unless you want to get into the whole "did they have scale armour in the Middle Ages" debate again...

Third: No idea. Possibly an early breastplate, as you say.

Fourth: Simply a large two-handed mace of some kind. It's depicted sort of like a blade, but I would say it's probably just a mace. Given that the person wielding it has a beast's head, I doubt realism was particularly the intent of the artist.

Does that help?
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,137

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
First picture: Possibly just something fanciful scribbled in to fill the space. Inspired by a hand-scythe perhaps? It says it's a 'breviary', a prayer book of some sort I believe, so it's not a historical text.


Good luck finding a lot of historical texts from that era. The vast majority of the period art we have from that era comes from breviaries, psalters, books of hours, illuminated bible stories, etc. Implying it's fanciful just because it doesn't come from a historical text invalidates the overwhelming majority of manuscript images from the 13th and 14th centuries. I disagree with that approach.

However, I agree we'd need to know more about the book's creator and/or patron as well as what story is being depicted. It could be a monk's attempt to paint some oddly described biblical implement. Or this could be a space-filler and the weapon could have no basis in reality; drawings in the margins can be very fanciful (I've seen a bagpipe-playing bear illustrated Exclamation ). But, I'm guessing there may be something more specific and realistic that the artist was trying to portray.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
First picture: Possibly just something fanciful scribbled in to fill the space. Inspired by a hand-scythe perhaps? It says it's a 'breviary', a prayer book of some sort I believe, so it's not a historical text.


Good luck finding a lot of historical texts from that era. The vast majority of the period art we have from that era comes from breviaries, psalters, books of hours, illuminated bible stories, etc. Implying it's fanciful just because it doesn't come from a historical text invalidates the overwhelming majority of manuscript images from the 13th and 14th centuries. I disagree with that approach.

However, I agree we'd need to know more about the book's creator and/or patron as well as what story is being depicted. It could be a monk's attempt to paint some oddly described biblical implement. Or this could be a space-filler and the weapon could have no basis in reality; drawings in the margins can be very fanciful (I've seen a bagpipe-playing bear illustrated Exclamation ). But, I'm guessing there may be something more specific and realistic that the artist was trying to portray.


Fair enough. I would say that we need more context, perhaps the full page so we can see what the text says.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've just been discussing the issues of using this kind of illustration to make hard and fast answers with regards to reconstructing objects on a UK forum, prompted by something being asked for from the Lutterell Psalter.

As I'd also been asked to produce an item from a 9th cent ms and my protestations to the client that it wasn't a spec I could work to and the artist had no idea what he was drawing were met with a little confusion I boiled t down to this-

Would you be happy asking me to make a dog kennel and typewriter based on this image:



 Attachment: 86.99 KB
[ Download ]

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, as far as the last image, the whole animal head, as well as the topic, (about legendary destruction of Rome, it appears?)

http://medievalsourcesbibliography.org/sources.php?id=2146115107

suggest that we have to consider very stylized, mythological, or straight out derisive depiction. Which were strong trend in Medieval art.

Weapon certainly looks like maybe mace, or maybe glaive, made to look exotic and 'barbaric'.
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm afraid there's a pretty long-standing debate about just how accurate/detailed/RELIABLE historical manuscript illustrations really are. Part of the big problem is that we don't necessarily have that many artifacts that can be matched up to manuscript images so we can critique for accuracy. Some things we have more of than others-- swords, for example, are pretty well research-able via manuscripts. However perishable things such as leather goods or wooden pieces or clothing are a little harder to pull off.

Sculpture tends to be more accurate than manuscripts, but in general you have to decide whether it's an accurate portrayal, "artistic impression", plausible/not plausible, and how much you want to err in either direction. It's a mess, and that's the last thing I'll say about it. I would rather just go with what other people more learned than me have concluded for the most part Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding the first weapon, I believe it can be compared with the one depicted in another marginal miniature from Bologna. Perhaps a war scythe, or some sort of ax?
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/3939/10795/
Another figure from the same originally referenced Morgan MS, M.373 fo 05v. I suspect these all show urban militia.


The second image comes from a 1317 French Life of St. Denis and the captioned figure in square-bottomed scale armor is the Governor Fescenninus Sisinnius who persecuted the saint. It is scale armor, but betrays considerable Byzantine influence. It seems likely that it has some basis in fact considering the scale gauntlets shown on the mail-clad soldier and the scale mantle on the fellow to the far right.

The third image is a depiction of the Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and might be a French perception of English armor. It appears the breast is composed of two pieces joined by hinges.

I agree with others that the final miniature likely depicts a two-handed mace. The depiction is "The giant Estragot slays Savaris". The Moorish giant Estragot is described, as having a boar's head and a great mace.

c1450(c1400) Sultan Bab.(Gar 140) 349: Estragot..as a bore an hede hadde And a grete mace stronge as stele.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 450

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Yeah, I'm afraid there's a pretty long-standing debate about just how accurate/detailed/RELIABLE historical manuscript illustrations really are. Part of the big problem is that we don't necessarily have that many artifacts that can be matched up to manuscript images so we can critique for accuracy. Some things we have more of than others-- swords, for example, are pretty well research-able via manuscripts. However perishable things such as leather goods or wooden pieces or clothing are a little harder to pull off.
Happy


Well, but it's also pretty well researched debate, though.

If painting pictures some more or less real occurrence, some 'normal' soldier, on Christian side in particular, and dressed in things we know about from other sources - the even if he holds the wildest weapon, we may have to suspect that he could in fact held something similar.

If we see some giant jackal (?) demon in legendary tale, it's different matter.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 14th C Arms & Armour Questions
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
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