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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject: The Metallurgical Capacity of Medieval Realms (c. 1100-1500)         Reply with quote

If it is anachronistic to speak of an "industry" in medieval times, so I think we can speak about production capacity and metallurgical technology. Its often said that the Romans were able to equip all his legionaries with loricas segmentatas (banded plate cuirass). The Byzantine Empire kept a lot of knowledge and capabilities of the Ancient Romans, did they stood out in production or armour quality?? I don't understand why the Klibanion (riveted and laced lamellar cuirass) wasn't popular outside the Muslim Near East and frontier Balkans States.

My main question is in relation to the medieval kingdoms of the twelfth century to the early sixteenth centuries:
What were the major "industries" in the production of armor in technology, quality and number? I would probably say Italian States, then it is correct to say in Italy was much more likely that knights and men at arms had more and better equipment?

Britain is practically on a huge reserve of coal and iron, which benefited them greatly in the First Industrial Revolution. The Celts themselves used the purest coal (Antracite) to light bonfires! Does the Kingdom of England could stand out with better equipped soldiers?

And my last question, what are the kingdoms there were difficulties of having supply of armor. The Iberian kingdoms would be a case? Scandinavian kingdoms? And the kingdoms of Central and Eastern Europe such as Bohemia, Poland, Bulgaria and Hungary?
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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is not anachronistic to talk about an industry in the medieval period. It's a myth to assume that they were primitive. Have you ever seen a medieval cathedral?


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...enwerk.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...echnik.jpg


These (above) are some images from the von Wolfegg housebook, depicting iron industry in a Rhenish town, possibly Strabsourg, around 1480. Gives you an idea of the scale, the level of mechanization (almost everything driven by water wheels). What it doesn't show is the extremely sophisticated network of contractors and subcontractors in the guild system which allowed them to make such sophisticated kit.

For an insight into that, there is a fascinating manuscript called the Thun sketchbook, it was developed from work-sketches by the armorers, who happened to share a guild with the painters in Augsburg in the second half of the 15th Century. The painters took the work-sketches and made them into paintings. I don't remember the manuscript number but maybe someone else can post it.






For the production of armor, there were a handful of large towns which produced the best and most sought-after armor. These towns produced the lions share of the armor worn by the top level princes and knights all over Europe, from England to Croatia. And then there were smaller regional production centers.

The most important late medieval towns for the production of armor were Milan, Augsburg, Brescia, Ulm and Nuremberg.

Milan was the most important armor center in Europe and was head and shoulders above every other production center until the late 14th Century, and were one of the first places making steel armor. Then they started to get increasing competition from south German towns, especially Augsburg, where increasingly sophisticated guild based production networks were pioneering the early development of tempered steel armor, which allowed armor to be made thinner and lighter but just as strong.

Later in the 16th Century a lot of the armorers from Augsburg were brought to Innsbruck in Austria and Greenwich in England.

I don't know all of the smaller centers (not as in smaller cities or economies, but towns with smaller metal industries) around Europe but I know a few of them, including Cologne, Krakow, Prague, Split, Barcelona, Greenwich in England, Bruges and Antwerp, Hamburg and Luebck.



By far the best source on all of this is a book by Alan Williams called The Knight and the Blast Furnace. It's out of print and it's very hard and / or expensive to find a hard copy, but you can find a lot of it on google books.

https://books.google.co.in/books/about/The_Knight_and_the_Blast_Furnace.html?id=OcYsngEACAAJ&hl=en

Brill is apparently republishing it but it aint cheap

http://www.brill.com/knight-and-blast-furnace

In addition to an excellent overview of the entire medieval armor industry of Europe, that book includes a piece by piece analysis including electron microscope and chemical analysis of hundreds of individual pieces of armor from all over Europe. If you want to know about the subject on a serious level, that book is a must-read.


Jean

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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James Moore





Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
It is not anachronistic to talk about an industry in the medieval period.


One book that spectacularly demolished the idea of an absence of industry isn't about arms and armour, its about economics:

Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe, by Peter Spufford.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Profit-Merchant...0500285942

I thoroughly recommend reading it.
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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another good book to get a basic idea is The Medieval Machine by Jean Gimpel

http://www.amazon.in/Medieval-Machine-Industr...0140045147

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The Metallurgical Capacity of Medieval Realms (c. 1100-1         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Its often said that the Romans were able to equip all his legionaries with loricas segmentatas (banded plate cuirass).


They might have been able to do so, but the evidence shows they clearly didn't. The Roman segmented cuirass was never universal, and many Roman troops (both legionary and auxilliary) kept wearing mail even during the heyday of the "segmentata." And of course they went on wearing mail, too, once the segmented armour had gone out of fashion.

It's also worth noting that the industrial output of medieval Europe had probably exceeded that of the Roman Empire by the 13th century at the latest. So yeah, "industry" is by no means an inappropriate or anachronistic term, at least nor for the High Middle Ages onwards.
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It should also be noted that we have no idea how much of the Roman army actually wore armour in any given period. It is likely to have been a lot higher than their contemporaries but it is entirely possible that a significant portion never wore armour at all.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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