Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > "Flekkja" as gambeson/aketon? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Håvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2016 6:40 am    Post subject: "Flekkja" as gambeson/aketon?         Reply with quote

In a previous thread we steered into the use of the words treju and panzar to denote a 13th century gambeson/aketon in Norse. Both words are by the way probably borrowed from Middle Low German but related to Old French: "[Cloth from] Troyes" and 'Pancier' ("belly [protection]") respectively.

Now the question is wether variants of the Old Norse word 'flekkja/flekka/flekki' has been known to cover a related meaning in northwestern Europe in the 13th or 14th century?

It means according to Fritzener "some kind of clothing", "some undefined part of what constitutes a full set of mail armour" or, most precicely after Hjalmar Falk, "a garment beneath the mail or a sleeping garment from thick wool fabrick." (I'm only paraprhrasing) Falk linked the word wih the Middle Low German word 'vlecke', meaning "Wams" or "belly [protection]". However, so far I've found no 13th or 14th reference to the term.

I've managed to compile only four norse instances of the word, mainly via Kopenhagen University's dictionary project, all from around the mid 14th century, allthough the first instance is a copy of a text edited around 1300.
- "hann [Sturla] var i blaárri ólpu [overklede], aaðr enn [førenn?] Hallr Ara son steypti ifir hann mórennðri [stripete] ⸢flecku [var. flexu Holm papp 8 4°x “H”, etc.] ok ermar aa, ok litla bryniu StuIK 52411 [c1350-1370] Kr. Kålund (red.) 1911, Sturlunga saga efter membranen Króksfjarðarbók udfyldt efter Reykjarfjarðarbók 1-2, Kbh./Kra. 1906-1911.
- "tuau panzer. ok eit par flekkia" DN IV (1353), s. 290 nr. 363
- "gefuer ek till Bærfœtta brœdra min tygh grusener skyrsill krake ok flækkur ok æin gangare" DN XI (1349) 425.
- "vnum par flækkio" DN. III (1340) nr. 202. Among the remains after King Magnus Eriksson at Bohus castle.

Litterature:
Fritzener 1890ies - norse dictionary
Hjalmar Falk 1919, Altwestnordische Kleiderkunde
Hjalmar Falk 1914, Altnordische Waffenkunde


Last edited by Håvard Kongsrud on Mon 19 Dec, 2016 1:03 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2016 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder if there is any connection there between that and a modern-day 'flak jacket'.... WTF?! ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, as modern Flak is a shorthand for Fliegerabwehrkanone. An association with English flek - a spot, is more likely. In modern Icelandic flekku might describe a patchwork garment.
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Håvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2016 10:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
No, as modern Flak is a shorthand for Fliegerabwehrkanone. An association with English flek - a spot, is more likely. In modern Icelandic flekku might describe a patchwork garment.

I've seen the word in use by reenactors describing the 15th century jack/wams with integrated "spots" of mail voiders in a north european context (vleck/flekk). They too interpret it as "spotted". This meaning as spot is also found in the common Old Norse word flekkr. I'm guessing his interpretation would seem somewhat anacronistic in the 1340-70ies though?.
View user's profile Send private message
Alexander H




Location: Austria
Joined: 17 Apr 2016

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2016 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In modern Austian German "ein Fleck" can also mean a small patch of fabric to cover up a hole
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2016 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Patchwork", perhaps? As in the Bernuthsfeld tunic?



Also the "Robe of St. Francis of Assissi":



I'm guessing St. Francis didn't use scraps to make a special tunic to wear under his armor, but other folks? Or are these just the mark of the extremely poor, clad literally in rags? Hmmmm...

Fascinating word!

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2016 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Håvard Kongsrud wrote:
I've seen the word in use by reenactors describing the 15th century jack/wams with integrated "spots" of mail voiders in a north european context (vleck/flekk). They too interpret it as "spotted". This meaning as spot is also found in the common Old Norse word flekkr. I'm guessing his interpretation would seem somewhat anacronistic in the 1340-70ies though?.


Separate mail sleeves, skirts, and collars appear in the earliest decades of the 1300s. Personally, I would look for another explanation for the description of being "spotted", but who knows with certainty? Perhaps it's like Chaucer's knight whose gypon was besmottered by his haubergeon? Rust stains on the gambeson?

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




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Bohus castle entry - (The mix of Latin and Danish makes it even more difficult.)
https://sok.riksarkivet.se/?ValdSortering=DatumStigande&PageSize=100&Sokord=Magnus+Nilsson&EndastDigitaliserat=False&FacettLimits=CtFteA%3A0&AvanceradSok=False&page=58&FacettState=RvGmvA%3Ao&FacettFilter=register_facet%24Brev%2FSDHK+(medeltidsbrev)%3A&postid=sdhk_5311&tab=post
Quote:
jtem vnum par ørløghes benwapn. cum wapnsco. jtem .I. par maliotygh. lumbarzt. scilicet vnum par flækkio. vnum par grusænær. vnum skøzel. et .I. kraghæ. jtem habet secum dominus rex cottidie .I. par maliotygh.


Item, one pair of light armored legs (mail chausses?), Item, 1 pair bad or damaged Lumbarzt (lumbar = loin, perhaps the lendener or loin belt to hold up mail chausses?), namely one pair spotted. ???

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




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
The Bohus castle entry - [...]
Quote:
jtem vnum par ørløghes benwapn. cum wapnsco. jtem .I. par maliotygh. lumbarzt. scilicet vnum par flækkio. vnum par grusænær. vnum skøzel. et .I. kraghæ. jtem habet secum dominus rex cottidie .I. par maliotygh.

Item, one pair of light armored legs (mail chausses?), Item, 1 pair bad or damaged Lumbarzt (lumbar = loin, perhaps the lendener or loin belt to hold up mail chausses?), namely one pair spotted. ???

Thank you, Mart. To Falk 1919: 172 all the diplomataria references linked up (and there is nothing even remotely varranting a comparison with poor mans armour). Falk make the point that the flekka on all three places are related with grúsener (tabard??) and kragi (collar) and that all these are represented as tyg (garment/textile), repeated here with proper reference.

1. "jtem tuau panzer. ok eit par flekkia. jtem tuær slæfwr. jtem tuau grusnær. jtem æin krakhe." DN IV (1353), s. 290 nr. 363 is among inheritance taken hand of on behalf of the custodian, queen Blanche of Namour. Some of the inventory was traded off and in stead the vitnesses pesented among other the stuff referred too.

2. "gefuer ek till Bærfœtta brœdra min tygh grusener skyrsill krake ok flækkur ok æin gangare" DN XI (1349) p. 42 nr 40.

3. "jtem i. par maliotygh Lumbarzt. scilicet vnum par flækkio. vnum par grusænær. vnum skøzel et i. kraghæ." DN. III (1340) p. 178 nr. 202. (the swedes, reffered by Mart, dates it to 1346) Royal stuff presented to Ingemar Ragvaldsson as the new head at Bohus castle: I would translate Lumbarzt with Lombardy. The word "item" denotes a new passage, translating the relevant passage into something like: "further one pair of mail dress [mail armour set?] of the Lombardian kind, that is one pair of flekka, one pair of tabards and one protection(?) and one collar. Do you think it could it be more correct? There are a few other sets as well...

ed: This blog confirms the word mailiotyg as a Middle Swedish term for mail.
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Håvard Kongsrud wrote:
3. "jtem i. par maliotygh Lumbarzt. scilicet vnum par flækkio. vnum par grusænær. vnum skøzel et i. kraghæ." DN. III (1340) p. 178 nr. 202. (the swedes, reffered by Mart, dates it to 1346) Royal stuff presented to Ingemar Ragvaldsson as the new head at Bohus castle: I would translate Lumbarzt with Lombardy. The word "item" denotes a new passage, translating the relevant passage into something like: "further one pair of mail dress [mail armour set?] of the Lombardian kind, that is one pair of flekka, one pair of tabards and one protection(?) and one collar. Do you think it could it be more correct? There are a few other sets as well...

ed: This blog confirms the word mailiotyg as a Middle Swedish term for mail.



Yes, Lombard mail was highly prized, and is mentioned in other areas. In English sources documented by Richardson, the "complete armour" or "complete harness" for the time would consist of mail pair of paunces (skirt/belly protection), pair of sleeves, and collar (Pisan), completed with a pair of plates. It is worth noting the English sources call both the paunce and sleeves pairs, as we see done here with the flækkio and grusænær. If one of the remaining items is the collar, what is the fourth, a camail or aventail?

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




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2016 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Yes, Lombard mail was highly prized, and is mentioned in other areas. In English sources documented by Richardson, the "complete armour" or "complete harness" for the time would consist of mail pair of paunces (skirt/belly protection), pair of sleeves, and collar (Pisan), completed with a pair of plates. It is worth noting the English sources call both the paunce and sleeves pairs, as we see done here with the flækkio and grusænær. If one of the remaining items is the collar, what is the fourth, a camail or aventail?


All terms in the document must be seen together to draw conclusions then. To continue with the 1340 inventory, I found some help in A.W. Brøgger, «Båhus slott og festning», in Göteborgs och Bohusläns Fornminnesförenings Tidskrift 1925, pp 12-15, which gives a tentative translation of the whole source.

- maliotygh Lumbarzt = "lombardian mail [harness]".
- scilicet = "with", or "consisting of"? According to Brøgger this is lombardian hauberk/haubergon with the following elements added, but do I understand you (with Richardson) correctly that no separate haubergon/hauberk is inculded here and that you consider the second interpretation to be correct?
- vnum par flækkio = Brøgger read this as "a pair of breast/[torso?] covers", while you guess these are the "paunces/pans (mail skirt)".
- vnum par grusænær = Brøgger read this as "a pair of tabards", which is in accordance with a Middle Low German word for tabard, Grusener and Middle High German Kürsen. Thus I hesitate to agree with your reading of these as "separate mail sleeves".
- vnum skøzel = Brøgger read this as the paunces/pans (mail skirt)", while Richardson seem to be reading "cover" as "[padded] lining for the mail collar", in his p 41 read as 'Pavillonis pro pisanis’?.
- et i. kraghæ = Both Brøgger and you state this as "pisane (mail collar)"

Mail sleeves was according to Falk 1914: 180 [in the 13th century] denoted as brynstúka, járnstúka and (once) ermr, but I'm not sure if this is also the case after separate mail sleeves became common in the 14th century. I'm more inclined to read the tuær slæfwr in the 1353 diploma as separate sleeves (neither Fritzener nor the Copenhagen dictionary project has translated this word).

Your tentative conclusion flekki = paunce sits well with me, for now excluding the reference in Sturlunga saga. I can't say I share Richardson's (p 39) reluctance to rule out torso armour as part of the definition of paunce, though.
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2016 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Håvard Kongsrud wrote:
]All terms in the document must be seen together to draw conclusions then. To continue with the 1340 inventory, I found some help in A.W. Brøgger, «Båhus slott og festning», in Göteborgs och Bohusläns Fornminnesförenings Tidskrift 1925, pp 12-15, which gives a tentative translation of the whole source.

- maliotygh Lumbarzt = "lombardian mail [harness]".
- scilicet = "with", or "consisting of"? According to Brøgger this is lombardian hauberk/haubergon with the following elements added, but do I understand you (with Richardson) correctly that no separate haubergon/hauberk is inculded here and that you consider the second interpretation to be correct?

Scilicet is straightforward Latin, meaning "namely", "plainly", or "rightly". What follows are the individual pieces of Lombard mail.

Quote:
- vnum par flækkio = Brøgger read this as "a pair of breast/[torso?] covers", while you guess these are the "paunces/pans (mail skirt)".
- vnum par grusænær = Brøgger read this as "a pair of tabards", which is in accordance with a Middle Low German word for tabard, Grusener and Middle High German Kürsen. Thus I hesitate to agree with your reading of these as "separate mail sleeves".

Brøgger wants both of these items to essentially be the same thing, as breast covers and tabards are essentially one. I'm not certain which should be a pair of sleeves, and which should be a pair of paunces, but only note that both of those items are described as "pair of" in the English inventories. Kürsen appears on this page to be considered a fur rug in MHG!
http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/keurslijf

Quote:
- vnum skøzel = Brøgger read this as the paunces/pans (mail skirt)", while Richardson seem to be reading "cover" as "[padded] lining for the mail collar", in his p 41 read as 'Pavillonis pro pisanis’?.

The pavillions for Pisans are confirmed as being padded by the 1364 Sixteen Regulations of Armorers, Textile Armorers, and Helmers of Paris
Quote:
5. Item, que nul ne puisse faire pavillon a gorgière, se ce n'est de neufve
estoffe, et que le colet soit arrière pointé et trait et que il y ait contrendroit, et
que il soit houssé dedans de toille neufve ou de cendail, et soit dedans couchié
de coton neuf; ....

I have attempted a poor translation of this as,
"5. Item, that no one shall make a pavilion for a gorget, if this is not of new
materials, and the collar should be pointed back and characteristic, and there being placed
within the cover (housing) of new cloth or cendal, couched new cotton;..."

Quote:
- et i. kraghæ = Both Brøgger and you state this as "pisane (mail collar)"


Quote:
Your tentative conclusion flekki = paunce sits well with me, for now excluding the reference in Sturlunga saga. I can't say I share Richardson's (p 39) reluctance to rule out torso armour as part of the definition of paunce, though.


I believe we should try to find the etymology of these terms for further clues. Then the believed translation must be tried against other sources. Of course, the meanings of words change and grow with time, but if the proposed translation of flekki = paunce doesn't work well in one source, perhaps it's not the correct translation.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
The Bohus castle entry - (The mix of Latin and Danish makes it even more difficult.)

jtem vnum par ørløghes benwapn. cum wapnsco. jtem .I. par maliotygh. lumbarzt. scilicet vnum par flækkio. vnum par grusænær. vnum skøzel. et .I. kraghæ. jtem habet secum dominus rex cottidie .I. par maliotygh.

Item, one pair of light armored legs (mail chausses?), Item, 1 pair bad or damaged Lumbarzt (lumbar = loin, perhaps the lendener or loin belt to hold up mail chausses?), namely one pair spotted. ???


A) I just researches the word "ørløghes".
It seemed that Danish in the middle ages changed into using that word as a substitute from the older (pl) "orostær" (old Danish variants "orest", "horestæ", "offræst", "offrøs"), that was retained for a longer time in Swedish as "oræsta" or "oresta".
Source:

The word is basically u-Rast. Modern Danish retains the word "rasteplads" is a place of rest along the road, so the word is basically cognate for "Un-Rest" meaning here specifically war.

The word "ørløghes" takes over the common usage, but is with time specifically tied to Naval warfare.
So in old Danish "Ørlog" [Modern Danish Orlog seems to be a loan from Dutch Orloch/Orloge - still a close cognate, but is strangely enough still a basic war for war in Dutch]
Swedish Örlig/Örlog for primarily naval warfare.

So "vnum par ørløghes benwapn" is "one pair of (naval)war leg-armour" - so it doesn't have to be light leg armour?

B) About "flækkio":
When I go through the Danish, it seems only partly a loan from low German Vlecke.

1) En Flække (older Danish Flekke) means a small hamlet far from the main road - and that is a low German loan (a small spot on the map).
2) En Flække = something split (wood or rock). When knapping flint you produce a Flække for instance.
3) The Verb "At Flække" (older Danish Flækje) -> To course a wound or by splitting material. An specialized axe to split wood was call a Flækkeøkse. You can threaten people with "at flække skalden på dem" = to split the skull on them.

So I wonder if the usage is connected with some "split fabric" especially as it is introduced as a "pair" rather than something spotted (as low german vlecke).
A pair of trousers (Danish: "Et par bukser") denotes a fabric split and thus having two legs.

So the idea of a Flekkja being a paunce could work with the 2+3) as the armour covering the lower abdomen is also split in two to protect down each groin region?


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Mon 12 Dec, 2016 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2016 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:

kraghæ = Both Brøgger and you state this as "pisane (mail collar)"


Kraghæ is actually an old Danish word means Crow (modern danish krage).
The modern Danish word Krave (= collar) is from low german "Krage".
So here it seems clearly to be the low german usage of the word, with a the spelling identical to the Danish Crow word.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > "Flekkja" as gambeson/aketon?
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