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Harrison A.

Location: United States
Joined: 20 Oct 2020

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2020 1:42 pm    Post subject: Early 13th Century Commoner Kit         Reply with quote

Hello! My name is Harrison and I've been a long time viewer of the reviews and forums here, but have only just decided to go ahead and register.

I'll skip straight to the point, however, since this is a forum for arms and armor. I'm interested in building a living history persona and, while I've been a follower of Tod, Scholagladiatoria, Knyght Errant, and other such persons, I'd like to get some input from the great folks here. Period, location, and class are the important questions. I'm aiming for the turn of the century, so say 1190-1210, shooting for a common sergeant-at-arms of one of the crusading orders (Ideally the Hospitallers) in the Levant. Base layer clothing and footwear aside (saved for other forums), the arms and armor of such a persona would be important aspects and I feel like they could be easy to miss the mark on.

My supposition is that a common soldier would either wear no leg armor and no body armor or only a gambeson. It also seems that gambesons of this period seemed to have either no sleeves or short sleeves as opposed to later renditions, but that is again supposition. I also expect that an arming cap and a helmet would be crucial, since if you can only wear one piece of metal armor, it should be a helmet. The Nasal Helm seems to be the most obvious choice, either spangenhelm-style or raised.

As far as weapons, a sidearm should be had. Either a sword, or perhaps only a dagger or knife, as the budget and period would allow for. Tod (Of Tod's Stuff) has a video from last year that suggests broken-back seaxes were used as late as 1200, which is super interesting. As far as I know, however, the broken-back style was distinctly English and thus might only work for a persona with an English background. For someone from, say, France, is there any evidence of Merovingian or Carolingian-style straight seaxes being used this late?

Beyond a dagger or knife (And potentially a sword), the primary arms could be either a spear/shield combination; a bow, or a crossbow. Spears seem like the easiest thing to grasp in theory, but are there distinct styles of spear specific to this period, or does a general spear shape work? Shield wise, a kite or heater type would seem to be the right choices and from what I hear, Shieldsplus is a good place to look.

Any suggestions on styles and quality makers of these items would be greatly appreciated. Tod is the obvious choice if a broken-back seax is to be had, but I'm unaware of quality historical makers of spears and don't even know where to start on helmets.
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Ron Reimer

Location: Australia
Joined: 16 Aug 2010

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2020 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are quite a few books which translate the Templar Rule ,(first one was issued 1128/29 ), which is fairly detailed in what the different ranks in the Temple are permitted. These include clothing , weapons/armour, even foods. This would probably be a good starting point.
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team

myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Fri 23 Oct, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome! It's easier to find verifiable swords of this era than knives/daggers. There are some threads on here that deal with aspects or timeframes close to what you're looking for. Here are some:


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