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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject: 11th century gambeson advice         Reply with quote

specifically thinking of the normans.

tthe bayeux tapestry i have heard COULD be a source but the cross hatched knights are probably also meant to be wearing maille

do we have any OTHER mentions of gambeson or aketon like armours underarmour or standalone before, say 1150.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not aware of 11th century mentions of padded armour. So far as I know, we do not have any evidence for textile armours at that time.
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I mostly agree with Craig in that hard evidence is lacking but there are hints in artwork that they may have had some kind of arming garment they often wore under mail, mostly it appears as a "border" that peeks out from below the cuffs and hem of a hauberk. As far as I know we have no information on exactly what it was... could possibly(but unlikely) have been trim attached directly to the hauberk, could have been a padded garment or could have simply been a common martial garment of ordinary cloth. There are some people who believe this garment may have been attached to the hauberk so they went on and off in one piece, thus explaining the bare bodies shown in the stripping of the dead in the Bayeux Tapestry.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Bayeux Tapestry could be a possible source of many things, including the theory that green, blue and red horses were used in the 11th century, depending on how you choose to interpret the very crude artwork. The only unequivocal thing we can say is there is no substantiated evidence of foundational garments worn beneath mail in the period, none. I'm not saying it wasn't done, but rather that we simply have no evidence of the practice. Any other stance is pure conjecture.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2016 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, that's not 100% accurate. We know beyond any reasonable doubt that *something* was commonly worn under mail in this period. We don't have any evidence it was padded or special in any way and as far as I know we don't really know anything at all about its construction from artifacts or text. The image below is about as clear as it is going to get for us, it is imperfect but it seems reasonable the guy in mail is wearing essentially the same thing as all the other guys.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4368/9950/

There are things in that image and others that suggest there might have been a little stiffness or perhaps even some quilting involved but there's no definitive evidence. We have other images that show garments that look a lot softer, too.

I would also like to take a minute to say I'm not particularly an advocate of an 11th century padded undergarment for mail, largely because I don't view such garments as being effective in the first place. I've fought in enough open steel longsword tournaments to see bones broken through heavily padded jackets and I think it's telling that in later centuries the gambeson was often worn over the mail. In my view anything worn under the mail is mostly there to prevent chaffing or keep broken rings out of your flesh and stout cloth without padding is enough to do that. If you do introduce a padded undergarment it's going to do more to keep your mail intact than your bones.

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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike, you're simply engaging in conjecture on that illustration. That could be any number of things being shown, you're viewing it as the possibility of a padded undergarment nothing more. My statement is one hundred percent accurate and my last in a thread on this incredibly tired topic, which I have no desire to discuss yet again.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually I said it's *something* and that I *don't* particularly believe in the padded garment thing. Anyway, fair enough and thanks for your contribution.

For everybody else who might be interested in this topic take a look at the arms in the following images.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4368/9949/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5562/19827/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/3965/13471/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4356/13454/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4357/13455/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4357/13455/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4357/13460/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4474/11163/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/media/manuscr...939-10.jpg

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5770/21791/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5770/21792/

Forget the word "gambeson" and just look at what's there. All these images and others show some kind of structure to the exposed portion of the arm on a particular style of garment that was evidently commonly worn under mail in the 11th c. by several different cultures. Whatever this may have been is your 11th c. Norman arming clothes and what it is doesn't appear to be the same as these,

http://historicenterprises.com/index.php?main...cts_id=869

http://historicenterprises.com/index.php?main...cts_id=874

Those show up in other images like the one below.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4778/14022/

A number of images from the Bayeux Tapestry also show something interesting going on with regular concentric rings around the forearms. Here's a couple examples,

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/bayeux-tapestry-detail-depicting-norman-invasion-england-th-century-36480086.jpg

http://cdn.european-traveler.com/wp-content/u...30x410.jpg

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