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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 276

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Carolingian Shield Strapping         Reply with quote

Look at the shield second from right. I see a long guige strap attached on each side of the grip, and to the left a smaller strap. This is the only Carolingian painting that shows a second smaller strap. The modern descriptions I've read only mention the center grip.


I'm assuming it's a forearm strap. Notice how the shield just hangs on the arm with the hand holding the reins.


On foot would this allow a two hand thrust with your spear with your shield in front?
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Matthew Amt




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

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hoo, that first illustration looks like it's showing only the *fronts* of those shields, to me! IF the 2 on the right are actually the backs, then that little detail next to the central circle is the end of the grip, and the curious "hanging" loopy thing which looks like a drawing of an island is most likely the neck guige. Various rings for carrying straps are pretty common finds on early medieval shields, as I understand it.

On the second one, that's just a normal center-grip shield hanging by the neck guige. No need to assume any other arm straps, because there isn't any other evidence for such things, that I've ever seen.

Yeah, enlarging that first image and looking some more, it does kinda look like 3 of those shields are seen from the back. But to me they're all straightforward, central grips with (presumably) carrying straps or guiges.

Matthew
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But you do see there are two straps. There's the longer dark one hanging down a bit past the shield, and then a smaller one just to the left.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I *think* I see what you're referring to, but even at best the smaller one can't be for the forearm, like the porpax on a Greek shield. It's just too long and floppy.

We may just be looking at wavy lines, here...

Matthew
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I only see the fronts of shields in the first image. There is iron strapping across the face to reinforce the handgrip that is presumably on the back.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You have to save it and enlarge it. It's seems obvious to me. The second guy from left is the only guy with his hand behind the shield. His is the only shield with the decorative three studs around the front of it. The other three guys all have their arms in front of their shields. Are we suppose to believe they're holding their shields by the bosses? If you look closely you can see the first and the forth also have the smaller straps. They're tiny but they're there.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, maybe. It just looks like a regular hand grip to me.
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Parker,

On Wednesday 13 December 2017, you wrote:
But you do see there are two straps. There's the longer dark one hanging down a bit past the shield, and then a smaller one just to the left.

And later, you also wrote:
. . . If you look closely you can see the first and the forth also have the smaller straps. They're tiny but they're there.

I think that the image shows the guige strap looped over the grip. On the rightmost and leftmost shields, you've noted what appear to be very short bits of strap above the grips, next to the soldiers' wrists. On the shield about which you ask, that bit (which may be intended to show the strap tucked behind the grip to get it out of the way) just seems to be a bit longer, so that it has flopped down. Looking carefully at the image, I see that strap attached at the grip's end, running downward to near the shield's rim, looping upward again, and passing over and then behind the grip to hang below the soldier's hand alongside his body.

I'm sorry that the .jpg's resolution isn't greater. Do you know whether any more detail is visible at the image's source?

Best,

Mark Millman
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 276

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark, I like your explanation. The guige strap looped around the grip makes sense. I knew I saw two loops hanging on that shield.
Here's a close up Egfroth posted on AA.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a somewhat better quality image.



(Right-click for the context menu, then middle-click "View Image" to view in full resolution in a new tab. Ctrl + scroll wheel to zoom in/out.)

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Len,

On Thursday 14 December 2017, you wrote:
Mark, I like your explanation. The guige strap looped around the grip makes sense. I knew I saw two loops hanging on that shield.

Thanks. I'm glad to have been able to offer a helpful suggestion.

Quote:
Here's a close up Egfroth posted on AA.

I've snipped the image from this reply, but that's about as big as I was able to view the one you originally posted when I expanded it.

Best,

Mark
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Kuusirati,

On Thursday 14 December 2017, you wrote:
Here's a somewhat better quality image. . .

Oh, that's very nice. Thank you for posting it, and for teaching me a new image-handling function.

Best,

Mark Millman
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