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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 18 Feb, 2020 9:36 pm    Post subject: Detailed Description of 12th Century Armour and Padding         Reply with quote

My apologies if this has been covered in other discussions, but I wanted to share the following and ask a few questions.

I believe this is from the Kitab al-I'tibar (Book of Contemplation) of Usama ibn Munqidh. However, I may be mistaken.

“So we dismounted, and no sooner had [Saladin] set foot on the ground than he said, ‘Where is thy jerkin?’ Upon my order, my attendant produced it. Taking it out from its leather bag, I pulled out my knife and ripped it at the breast and disclosed the side of the two coats of mail. The jerkin enclosed a Frankish coat of mail, extending to the bottom of it, with another coat of mail on top of it reaching as far as the middle. Both were equipped with the proper linings, felt pads, rough silk, and rabbit’s fur.”

The only phrase for which we have the original language is “rough silk”. This is al-lāsīn, which the author takes to be the silk waste produced in the process of spinning the silk threads from the cocoon.

Does anyone know the Arabic for the other things mentioned, especially "jerkin", "felt pads" and so forth?

My second question is how indicative do you think this would be of armour in western Europe, particularly in regard to the textile armours?
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Toni Šušnjar




Location: Split, Croatia
Joined: 03 Feb 2020

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu 20 Feb, 2020 12:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found this, though it discusses horse armour:
https://journals.openedition.org/cy/3293

Tijfaf would apparently be quilted armour.

Term for gambeson would apparently be al-qutun.

https://militaryfantasy.home.blog/
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Dan Howard




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

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Posts: 3,493

PostPosted: Thu 20 Feb, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Detailed Description of 12th Century Armour and Padding         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
“So we dismounted, and no sooner had [Saladin] set foot on the ground than he said,

The armour was Usamah's. He was showing Saladin why it was so heavy (because it had two layers of mail).

Quote:
Does anyone know the Arabic for the other things mentioned, especially "jerkin", "felt pads" and so forth?

The original word is "kazaghand". This passage is covered in the Mail Unchained article.

Quote:
My second question is how indicative do you think this would be of armour in western Europe, particularly in regard to the textile armours?

It has nothing to do with textile armour. A kazaghand is regular mail armour with an integrated liner and a cloth cover. In Europe they were called "jazerants". The only thing special about Usamah's kazaghand is that it had two layers of mail, which apparently required a layer of liner material in between the layers of mail in addition to the regular liner.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Alan E




Location: UK
Joined: 21 Jan 2016

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: Detailed Description of 12th Century Armour and Padding         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:
“So we dismounted, and no sooner had [Saladin] set foot on the ground than he said,

The armour was Usamah's. He was showing Saladin why it was so heavy (because it had two layers of mail).

Quote:
Does anyone know the Arabic for the other things mentioned, especially "jerkin", "felt pads" and so forth?

The original word is "kazaghand". This passage is covered in the Mail Unchained article.

Quote:
My second question is how indicative do you think this would be of armour in western Europe, particularly in regard to the textile armours?

It has nothing to do with textile armour. A kazaghand is regular mail armour with an integrated liner and a cloth cover. In Europe they were called "jazerants". The only thing special about Usamah's kazaghand is that it had two layers of mail, which apparently required a layer of liner material in between the layers of mail in addition to the regular liner.

Presumably then, Saladin was surprised at the weight (which was why it was shown) and the multiple layers of mail cannot be taken as representative of the usual construction for such a garment?

Member of Exiles Medieval Martial Arts.
Currently teaching Fiore's art in Ceredigion
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,493

PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2020 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Detailed Description of 12th Century Armour and Padding         Reply with quote

Alan E wrote:
Presumably then, Saladin was surprised at the weight (which was why it was shown) and the multiple layers of mail cannot be taken as representative of the usual construction for such a garment?

Usamah wouldn't have had to show how it was constructed if Saladin was familiar with it. Keep in mind that Usamah was an Arab from northern Syria while Saladin was a Kurd from Tikrit in Iraq. It is possible that double-layered kazaghands were common with Syrian Arabs but not Iraqi Kurds.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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