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James C





Joined: 21 Jul 2014

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 8:36 am    Post subject: Maille and Padding/Integrated Linings in the 12th Century         Reply with quote

There has been a lot of debate on this site over the years about the use of padded garments both under maille and as stand-alone armour in an early medieval context (with a particular emphasis on those bearded Scandinavian chappies). However these debates and even Alexi Goranov’s article on High Medieval Quilted Armour rather gloss over the 12th Century.

I would therefore be interested in examining what evidence there is for the various uses of quilted armour and padding in this time period. Off the top of my head I can recall two specific instances.

In the Mail Unchained article there is a quote detailing how during the 3rd Crusade the Norman infantry made use of “a vest of thick felt and a coat of mail”, though as Dan Howard points out there is no indication of whether this felt vest was worn above or below the maille.

The 1181 Assize of Arms which is often cited when discussing textile armours mentions gambesons as stand-alone armour but gives no indication of their use under maille.

On a related note the concept of integrated linings has been discussed in a very general sense but not to my knowledge explored in any great amount of detail. Based on pictorial evidence from the period and archaeological finds from other eras what can we say about the materials, construction and method of attachment to the maille? I would be particularly interested in Dan Howard’s opinion on the matter as he has expressed his belief that integrated linings were used with maille in this period as well as anyone who has attempted a reconstruction.

Possible examples of integrated lining to maille?
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4653/12310/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5512/18910/
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problem with these images is that men's garments in the first half of the twelfth century consisted of long bliauts. Thus, the cloth under the mail is probably just linen or silk from the bliaut, rather than integrated cloth armour. However, the images do provide evidence for clothing under mail, which would undoubtedly help to prevent piercing by bodkin arrows, and probably helps to cushion some of the blunt force trauma the wearer might otherwise suffer. If nothing else, one's clothing provides a modicum of extra protection when worn in tandem with mail.
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are reference to aketons and gambesons in Provencal chansons dating to the second half of the 12th century. IIRC The Chanson d'Antioche has some references, and Dan and I previously discussed some references from the chanson Aliscans, c. 1160-1190, over on Armour Archive. The reference seems to be a repetitive literary device, so it may be that aketon and gambeson were already interchangeable terms.

Aliscans, Laisse LXIII
Molt a bon frain, d'or i a maint boton,
El la sele est de l'ouvre Salemon.
Uns haumes pent devaut a son arçon,
Derriere trosse son hauberc fremillion,
Mais n'a entor forrel ne gambison.
Blance est la maille assés plus d'auketon
Et s'en y a de rouge com carbon.


Laisse XIII
En sa maiu tint d'uue lance uu tronchon;
Par tel ai'r eu jeta le baron
Tot li desront son hauberc fremillion
Et tresparcha par me son auketon,
Si ke par mi son vermeil ciglaton
Li enbati el cors jusqu' au pomon.


He holds the truncheon of a lance (having been previously broken - Mart)
The baron thrusts it with great force
It tears the glistening hauberk apart
and penetrates the aketon
and cuts in half the vermillion surcoat
into his chest as far as his lungs

There are also references to the jaserant, cloth covered and padded mail coats known as hauberc jaserant in twelfth century sources. The memoirs of Usamah ibn Munquidh mentioning two layers of mail and the associated padding.

Nevertheless, visual sources for the aketon beneath mail are hard to interpret in the 12th century. A number of sources seem to show a broad band at the base of hauberks, but how should they be interpreted? A few 12th century statues show some sort of garment with vertical lines beneatht the hauberk, but are these quilting lines or folds in the fabric?

David Nicole published the Massacre of the Holy Innocents panel from the Baptistry in Verona, c. 1200 in an Osprey text on the 3rd Crusade which Glen K brought to my attention. If these are aketons with quilting lines, it would explain why we rarely see them under the mail: They're short. The contrast between the drape in the clothes is also easily contrasted, and the sculptor has gone to the detail of showing the lines in the palm of the mother's outstretched hand.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Verona_San_Giovanni_in_Fonte_-_Taufbecken_Kindermord_in_Bethlehem.jpg

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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure whether we can say anything more definite than simply some mail was worn over an aketon and some had integrated padding. I suspect that integrated padding was more common than many suspect but I have nothing to confirm it.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I seem to recall that there is an item thought to be cloth armour dated to the 12th century in Ireland, but I cannot remember which museum has it. Does anyone know?

Edit: Found it. It's from the National Museum of Dublin, Ireland, and attributed as an aketon from 1150-1190, found at Cornmarket/Bridge St. in Dublin: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e3/f1/...76480c.jpg
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IIRC that's leather, and is presumed to be the covering of an aketon/gambeson. The stitching pattern is of interest, in that the "V"s could be made by using straight stitched pieces cut into gores and inserted into the seams. The same effect is shown on the Verona altar at the bottom hem.

But we already established the use of this type of armor in the second half of the 13th century, so the only thing this seems to add to out knowledge is that leather faces were sometimes used, as was done in later centuries as well.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the dating is accurate; hopefully, it was actually carbon dated, rather than given a speculative date by a person, it does give us a specimen nearly a century earlier than the late 13th C. So that is of value, too.

Is the leather like a jacket shell, and the aketon like the liner? Or are they entirely separate layers, like a sweater with a tee shirt underneath?
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The leather would be the outer part of the armor, not a separate piece.

One of the problems in 12th century sources is the appearance of broad, decorative bands at the bottom of mail. These could be some turn-back from a lining, or an applied band over the mail. They also appear frequently on civilian clothing, and might be the band on an underlying garment, aketon or otherwise. We might be seeing a linen chemise, topped by a wool tunic with decorative band, followed by mail. Interpretation can be difficult without written evidence or surviving artifacts.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4110/12072/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4999/15568/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4999/15569/
http://bildsuche.digitale-sammlungen.de/?c=vi...=&l=en

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart,

Some of the images from the [i]Gumbertus Bible[/i] suggest either a turn back from the lining or band over the mail, but do not suggest civilian undergarments. For instance, look at the warrior with the blue kite shield in 268v. The gold fabric by his knees is almost certainly integral to the mail. Otherwise, if it's just part of his undergarment, one has to account for why the bottom of his hauberk inexplicably becomes shorter by his side. It makes much more sense in this case to assume that the gold band is either a) sewn over top of the mail, and thereby concealing the bottom of his hauberk, or b) it's a turn back from the lining.

We still do not have a definitive interpretation, but at least we can reasonably narrow it down in some cases.


Last edited by Craig Peters on Thu 21 Aug, 2014 11:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2014 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
The gold fabric by his knees is almost certainly integral to the mail. Otherwise, if it's just part of his undergarment, one has to account for why the bottom of his hauberk inexplicably becomes shorter by his side.


Craig,

Perhaps the owner felt protection for the front of the thigh was more important than coverage on the back, which might have been covered by a saddle most of the time. Look at this later (16th c.?) shirt with the same coverage.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/7881368072310552/

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It could just be side vents on the mail with a garment underneath. If so, though, it seems rather remarkable, although not impossible, that the garment was tailored to have the gold trim placed precisely where the side vent is. Unless the garment was tailor made to be worn under the hauberk, it seems more likely that the trim would simply follow the line of cloth rather than precisely following the lines of the side vent.
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then what are we to make of the gold band on the tunic of the unarmored fallen king (Joshua 10:22-23)?


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UBEN H62-Ms1 fo061v-3.jpg
UBEN H62-Ms1 fo.61v

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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another 12th century example of the broad decorative band on a tunic over the longer gown taken from the image of Pharamond leading the Franks, Chronicle of Otto of Freising, ThULB Ms. Bos. q.6 fo.54r, 1157-1185, Hagenau, Alsace. These bands frequently appear in civilian dress at bottom hem, cuffs, and neckline.
http://archive.thulb.uni-jena.de/hisbest/rece...rotation=0



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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Then what are we to make of the gold band on the tunic of the unarmored fallen king (Joshua 10:22-23)?


I'm not sure this is comparable. True, it's located basically at the bottom of a short hauberk/haubergon. But the one in the other image would need to have the gold band stitched to follow the side vent perfectly. Possible, yes. Likely? It's hard to say.
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Mart Shearer




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

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2014 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They seem to have followed the slits at the neckline easily enough, as on this 12th century statue from Chartres.
http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~lwittie/sca/originals/column_king.jpg

In the previous miniature, I think it's important to note the gilt band not only appears at the bottom of the hauberk, but also at the bottom of the tunic of the unarmed, fallen king beneath. As an example of what the simplified gilt bands in manuscripts might actually look like, see the coronation robes of Roger II of Sicily, from 1133-1134. Undoubtedly these are more lavish than most examples would have been.
https://anglonormanlivinghistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/

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Last edited by Mart Shearer on Sun 24 Aug, 2014 6:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An example of a side slit with gilt orphrey band around it from the Stammheim Missal.
http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObject...obj=112612
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5022/15663/
-- to the right of the guards at the Resurrection on the angelic robe. It seems reasonable that such a band could have been applied to an aketon or tunic rather than to the mail itself, so should not be presumed to indicate a liner turn-back IMO.



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Getty MS. 64 fo. 111r

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