Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search


Please help our efforts with a donation. It's time to pay our annual server hosting bill. We've collected 1789.00 towards our goal of 2640 USD. View Goal Progress
Last 10 Donors: Ralph Grinly, Søren Niedziella, Gregg Sobocinski, Neil Eddiford, Antal László, Stefan Gruenewald, Chad Arnow, Adam Simmonds, Aaron Hoard, Todd Hawkins (View All Donors)

Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Discussion on western splint armor Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




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

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Discussion on western splint armor         Reply with quote

Since 1330's, or perhaps even earlier by 1320's, we can see an amazing development for arms and legs' armor in the form of pieces of plates. There are heavily present in German, French and English by this date, from what I have seen. However, as we arrive by mid-14th century and went until the very end of 14th century, some sort of new type of limb's armor came on: splint .


Source: <http://effigiesandbrasses.com/821/1127/>

The thing is, if splints were basically cheaper and abudant armor for poorer soldiers, that wouldn't explain why it retained such popularity among german princes and noblemen. This almost seens like some kind of retrogression instead of improvement, since most of you wouldn't argue that splint is less eficient than actual plate pieces. I made some theories about its popularity and the decline of earlier forms of plate pieces for limbs. I would like to discuss them with you:


1) The Black Death and 14th century's crisis:

Coinciding with the emergence of this type of armor in art, we have the arrival of the Black Death and the climatic crisis of the 14th century. It is indisputable that these calamities destroyed much of the European population and economy by that time, so that makes plausible to believe that, naturally, the technical knowledge of making armor decline as just as suitable suply of iron and coal. For the sake of example, I could mention how Ferrero introduced hazelnut chocolate during the World War as means to suit the chocolate's shortage during the war; you have the supply's crisis, then you logically change your production to suit the market's necessities as pragmatic as possible. Then, I argue that its plausible that splint came and got popularity by that time for that chaotic economical situation, although I wouldn't say that it was the only relevant factor.

2) Germany as the problem:

Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it is indisputable that Italy was the main producer of armor throughout Europe. And although there are important centers in Germany and France, they are more likely to local producers rather than continental centers, in such a way that Germany only gained full prominence in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Having done some research on how common splint armor was common in regions such as France, England, Italy and Germany, I noticed that this type of armor was much less popular in those places as it was in Germany. Even in the middle of the fourteenth century, for example, Italian artistic evidence tends to point to the use of from splints as something more inherent to infantry and soldiers of lesser financial condition. Because of this, I raise the hypothesis if it was actually possible that this was actually more of a matter for Germany itself (and perhaps even for Catholic Eastern Europe too) than something more general.

That said, I came to see that, in terms of resources, Germany, even for later periods in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, suffered from a scarce sources of iron and coal (Sweden being a relevant exporter of iron in Middle Ages), which may lead one to believe that, having the earlier thesis in mind, that would be something more particular to Germany due to the resources. The other, equally important question is the aesthetics: splint would have been more popular in Germany for its more pleasing aesthetic appeal. This would explain why we have German kings (yes, I wrote kings on purpose) with armor of gold-plated splints and other perks. Of course this was not a purely german stylistic deal, but it would be at least more prevalent in this region. That is to say, several regions produce their own particularities when we speak of armor, Germany would not be an exception in this sense.

Other sources for german splint armor:

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3193/3138/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/2742/2407/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3805/3361/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/841/2991/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/893/1139/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/741/1019/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/829/2937/
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 17 Apr, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might help:

http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...lysis.html

One of the clearest indications is that splints didn't seem to have been very popular and didn't seem to have greatly effected the development of plate armour either. Maybe you're getting the impression that they're more popular than they were since they're fairly common in modern reenactment and steel combat scenes.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




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

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jul, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
This might help:

http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...lysis.html

One of the clearest indications is that splints didn't seem to have been very popular and didn't seem to have greatly effected the development of plate armour either. Maybe you're getting the impression that they're more popular than they were since they're fairly common in modern reenactment and steel combat scenes.


Thanks for the source, I'm quite surprised with the statistic data to the point I'm even somehow skeptical about the depth of the research (I don't know if I'm prepared to accept 15% of popularity of it in Germany at its peak). The impression I got wasn't from reenactment, but for german effigies I had been looking through and some commentaries done in military books (.e.g. Heath's Armies of Middle Ages vol. 2)
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jul, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Discussion on western splint armor         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Since 1330's, or perhaps even earlier by 1320's, we can see an amazing development for arms and legs' armor in the form of pieces of plates. There are heavily present in German, French and English by this date, from what I have seen. However, as we arrive by mid-14th century and went until the very end of 14th century, some sort of new type of limb's armor came on: splint .


Source: <http://effigiesandbrasses.com/821/1127/>

The thing is, if splints were basically cheaper and abudant armor for poorer soldiers, that wouldn't explain why it retained such popularity among german princes and noblemen. This almost seens like some kind of retrogression instead of improvement, since most of you wouldn't argue that splint is less eficient than actual plate pieces. I made some theories about its popularity and the decline of earlier forms of plate pieces for limbs. I would like to discuss them with you:


1) The Black Death and 14th century's crisis:

Coinciding with the emergence of this type of armor in art, we have the arrival of the Black Death and the climatic crisis of the 14th century. It is indisputable that these calamities destroyed much of the European population and economy by that time, so that makes plausible to believe that, naturally, the technical knowledge of making armor decline as just as suitable suply of iron and coal. For the sake of example, I could mention how Ferrero introduced hazelnut chocolate during the World War as means to suit the chocolate's shortage during the war; you have the supply's crisis, then you logically change your production to suit the market's necessities as pragmatic as possible. Then, I argue that its plausible that splint came and got popularity by that time for that chaotic economical situation, although I wouldn't say that it was the only relevant factor.

2) Germany as the problem:

Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it is indisputable that Italy was the main producer of armor throughout Europe. And although there are important centers in Germany and France, they are more likely to local producers rather than continental centers, in such a way that Germany only gained full prominence in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Having done some research on how common splint armor was common in regions such as France, England, Italy and Germany, I noticed that this type of armor was much less popular in those places as it was in Germany. Even in the middle of the fourteenth century, for example, Italian artistic evidence tends to point to the use of from splints as something more inherent to infantry and soldiers of lesser financial condition. Because of this, I raise the hypothesis if it was actually possible that this was actually more of a matter for Germany itself (and perhaps even for Catholic Eastern Europe too) than something more general.

That said, I came to see that, in terms of resources, Germany, even for later periods in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, suffered from a scarce sources of iron and coal (Sweden being a relevant exporter of iron in Middle Ages), which may lead one to believe that, having the earlier thesis in mind, that would be something more particular to Germany due to the resources. The other, equally important question is the aesthetics: splint would have been more popular in Germany for its more pleasing aesthetic appeal. This would explain why we have German kings (yes, I wrote kings on purpose) with armor of gold-plated splints and other perks. Of course this was not a purely german stylistic deal, but it would be at least more prevalent in this region. That is to say, several regions produce their own particularities when we speak of armor, Germany would not be an exception in this sense.

Other sources for german splint armor:

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3193/3138/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/2742/2407/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3805/3361/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/841/2991/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/893/1139/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/741/1019/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/829/2937/

Leather is easier thing to wrap around and fit precisely to your leg and arms. Most plate limbs in the early the early 1300s weren't cased.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Discussion on western splint armor
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