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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2014 7:00 am    Post subject: Question:Helmets and armour of the time of alfred the great         Reply with quote

Like many of you ive been enamored by the book series produced by Bernard Cornwell, (with his sharpe series being a huge factor in me having an interest in Napoleonic warfare.)

however as I learned in another thread on the forum, from other, much more learned people than I, that the descriptions of helmets described in the books of the uthred of bebbanburg series, (following a warrior that fightsalongside alfred the great) are somewhat fantastical, making mention of faceplates, face concealing cheek peices and other such things a well as a danish helemt crest made of a ravens wing. (the mention of face plates and such make me really think of helmets like the sutton hoo and one of the vendel or valsegarde helmets like the vendel XIV

which makes me wonder... what DID the anglo saxon warriors of the time of alfred the great actually use..

if i were a betting man id guess that theyd use helmets not unlike the benty grange, coppergate and pioneer helms (yes i am aware that they are a decent bit earlier than alfreds reign however they seem to feel like quintessential anglo seaxon style helmet).., as well as other such helmets and, based on the reproductions ive seen, having a fondness for boar crests, with their danish opponants having helms similar to the gjermundbu and other simple nasel and spectacle helms.

I also am under the impression that anglo saxo armies made good use of lenticular shields as well as the usual flat round shields typical of the period.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2014 5:01 am    Post subject: Question: Helmets and armour of the time of Alfred the Great         Reply with quote

I am not quite sure what type of helmet and armour did Anglo-Saxon warriors during Alfred the Great's time really wear actually but for more infos on Alfred himself you can go here:
http://faculty.history.wisc.edu/sommerville/1...s%20vi.htm
I hope this helps.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2014 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know of any reason to doubt the spangehelm general style being present in that era. Nithard (a grandchild of Charlemagne and military commander and related subjects author wrote primarily about drills. But I seem to remember that he indicated Saxon and Frankish forces participated and interchanged just fine with whatever gear they had.

A fairly good discussion about possibilities is here. http://deremilitari.org/2014/02/carolingian-a...h-century/

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i guess it would make sense that carolingian stuff and saxon stuff wouldnt be very different, i do notice a bit of homogeneity in european military gear for a large chunk of dark age and medieval history, slight variationsfrom region to region but mostly the same kindof fighting techniques
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect the "Carolingian morion" of kettle hat was more common than we generally allow, given the preponderance of evidence for it in the late 9th century art. There is always the argument that the artists merely continued to follow late Roman art without showing what was contemporary. It could be that the armor followed late Roman models as well as the art.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=9561
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?year=...anuscript=

In fact, the same helmet style is seen in the early 9th century Utrecht Psalter, and copied in the Harley Psalter from the early 11th! Did armorers copy old fashions as much as miniaturists?
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_603_f011r



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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Jun, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

what evidence do we have in the archaeological record?
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jun, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
what evidence do we have in the archaeological record?


From England, from Alfred's era? Nothing! The closest one might be the Benty Grange helmet, though I'm blanking on the date for that. Otherwise you've got the Coppergate and Northampton helmets. Just bits and pieces beyond that.

There's lots of Saxon artwork, so presumably some of that is from around the right time frame, though I couldn't point you to anything specific, unfortunately. Been too long since I looked at any of this stuff... Artwork is going to be vague and controversial anyway, though I suspect it will suggest spangenhelms!

Matthew
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